The tables have turned on a US-based hoverboard maker that sued a Chinese competitor for patent infringement.
Future Motion’s complaint led to Changzhou First International Trade’s products being seized at the CES tech trade show in January.
But the Chinese firm is now seeking $100,000 (£69,900) in damages plus reimbursement of its legal fees after the Californian firm dropped its claim.
Changzhou said there had been no reasonable basis for its rival’s case.
Both Future Motion and Changzhou make electric-powered hoverboards that are unusual for having a single central wheel rather than one at each end.
In January, Future Motion’s chief executive Kyle Doerkson told the BBC that Changzhou’s Trotter product was a “knock-off” of its own more expensive Surfing Electric Scooters.
“We have design and utility patents that cover our invention,” he added.
US marshals enforced a restraining order after receiving a complaint from the US firm, which led to the closure of Changzhou’s stall at the CES tech show on 7 January.
Footage of the incident was posted online by the news agency Bloomberg and it was widely reported elsewhere.
Changzhou subsequently rejected the allegations, saying a side-by-side comparison of the two firms’ products demonstrated that the platform, footpad and tyres designs were “plainly dissimilar to the ordinary observer”.
Furthermore, Changzhou said that the actual scope of Future Motion’s patents were much narrower than had been indicated and that US firm could in no way could claim the rights to “all one-wheeled, self-balancing vehicles”.
Future Motion maintains its claims, dismissing the first of the points as “legal puffery” and insisting that it still believes its intellectual property was infringed.
However, on 4 February it told the court that it wanted to voluntarily dismiss the case.
“We had achieved our goal of preventing [Changzhou’s] exhibition at CES,” Mr Doerkson told the BBC.
“Looking forward at the cost-benefit of continued litigation to seek an injunction, we decided that that cost benefit did not pencil out for us and that our intellectual property budget would be better spent in other ways.”
But Changzhou has since petitioned the judge to re-open the case saying it wants to be reimbursed for “business expenses incurred, lost sales suffered, and reputational damage”.
Moreover, the Chinese firm is also demanding Future Motion be forced to issue a press release notifying the public that it had dismissed its original claims.
Future Motion’s lawyer told the BBC it plans to formally oppose these demands once Changzhou’s legal team has filed some additional paperwork.
Coin Metrics Closes $15M Series B Round Led By Goldman Sachs
Coin Metrics, the leading provider of crypto financial intelligence, announced that it raised $15 million in Series B financing, led by Goldman Sachs.
Castle Island Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Fidelity Investments, Avon Ventures, Communitas Capital, and Collab+Currency are also increasing their investment in the company after participating in previous fundraising rounds.
They are joined by new investors Acrew Ventures, Morningside Group, BlockFi and Warburg Serres Investments. Mathew McDermott, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, and head of their blockchain and crypto expansion efforts, will join Coin Metrics’ Board of Directors.
Coin Metrics provides network data, market data, indexes and network risk solutions to the most prestigious institutions touching cryptoassets. This financing will accelerate the company’s global expansion, enable further product innovation, and allow existing offerings to touch even more cryptoasset networks and markets.
The company institutionalized their network and market data offerings over the past 18 months, creating a resilient infrastructure to meet the needs of the most discerning organizations. Their index offering, which leverages elements of the market and network data offerings, has been adopted by some of the largest names in the cryptoasset ecosystem, including Fidelity Investments, Osprey Funds and BlockFi.
Additionally, Coin Metrics recently announced several new products, including a network risk management offering, FARUM™, and a universal block explorer, ATLAS™, both of which leverage the infrastructure of the existing data business. “FARUM and ATLAS are perfect complements to our network and market data products,” said Tim Rice, co-founder and CEO of Coin Metrics. “The tremendous interest we are seeing in these offerings reinforces the value of on-chain data to institutions engaging in cryptoassets. I couldn’t be more proud of what the team has built over the past 12 months. Our data is clearly on a path to becoming an integral part of the infrastructure for the future of finance.”
“Data is critical for the mainstream adoption of cryptoassets by traditional investors and financial services players. Our clients will greatly benefit from Coin Metrics’ institutional-grade data insights and emerging risk management tools,” said Mathew McDermott, Global Head of Digital Assets of Goldman Sachs. Marianna Lopert-Schaye, in Firmwide Strategy at Goldman Sachs added, “Coin Metrics is at the forefront of innovation and institutionalization in the digital asset markets. We are excited to be leading their Series B, thereby enabling their growth and supporting their mission to be the leading provider of data-driven market insights and intelligence for institutions in crypto.”
Since its Series A in 2019, Coin Metrics has built a world-class team, marrying cryptonative talent with veterans of the traditional financial services and data industries. The company will continue to focus on attracting the best talent to set the industry standard for how crypto networks and assets are monitored and analyzed and share insights and intelligence to enhance the cryptoasset ecosystem as a whole.
Goldman Sachs is continuing to seemingly warm to more companies and financials innovations of the crypto space this year. Last week, the firm identified 19 stocks from crypto and blockchain firms that had outperformed the S&P500 in the year to date.
The financial giant is also reportedly preparing to make Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies available to its clients in the second quarter of 2021.
Leading Fintech Companies in Nigeria
Financial Technology (Fintech) companies in Nigeria have raised millions of US dollars in the last few years, create jobs, increase foreign exchange inflow and taught Nigerians ease of doing financial transactions just in time without banks’ usual queues.
Below is the list of 13 leading fintech companies in Nigeria.
It was established in 2017 by Iyin Aboyeji and Olugbenga Abgoola and is headquartered in San Francisco. It provides payment services to banks and businesses to ensure seamless transactions with customers. It raised $170 million in its latest round of funding to increase its customer base in the global market. It initiated Batar. It allows users to create virtual US dollar debit cards within seconds for one-time or regular usage. Unlike other platforms, it requests a working email address and phone number as the service relies on customer details already obtained by a user’s bank.
Interswitch, headquartered in Lagos, integrates digital payments. It was founded in 2002 by Mitchell Elegbe. Visa in November 2019 invested $200 million and will recoup 20 per cent stake from the company which is valued at no less than $1 billion.
PayStack was established in 2015 by Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi. It makes payment processes consistent for both consumers and the businesses they are attempting to pay.
Paga was founded in 2009 by Tayo Oviosu but launched in 2011. Through Paga, you can pay bills, make bank deposits and even pay in certain stores. It acts as a mobile wallet where customers perform transactions on their mobile devices.
Carbon, formerly known as Paylater, is owned by One Finance and was founded in 2016. It is a loan app which gives short loans through its mobile app. Use of mobile phones to obtain loans makes the process faster and easier.
Remita set the pace for fintech companies in Nigeria as it was developed by system specs in 1991 by John Obaro. It assists SMEs, multinationals, state governments, government agencies, NGOs, educational institutions and individuals to receive and make payments electronically.
VoguePay was established in 2012, it is accessible to local consumers with a simple and minimal effort platform as its principal selling point.
OPay is owned by Opera. It entered the fintech market in August after acquiring a controlling stake in PayCom. It was founded by Telnet Nigeria.
Lidya is a mobile-first technology with strong customer experience and proprietary credit scoring.
Kudi Money was rebranded to Kuda Bank. It was founded in 2017 by Babatunde Ogundeyi. It performs similar functions like other fintech companies. The start-up raised $1.6 milion in 2019.
It was originally known as Piggybank.ng, before it became PiggyVest. It allows debit cardholders to save little amounts of money frequently with minimal effort. It automates the process of saving tiny amounts daily, weekly, or monthly you. It was founded in February 2016 by Ayo Akinola, Joshua Chibueze, Nonso Eagle, Odunayo Eweniyi, and Somto Ifezue.
This is a mobile banking platform that gives loans and credits. It was founded in 2017. It has a team of people across Paris, France, and Lagos, Nigeria.
Chipper Cash was founded in 2017 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled and it is headquartered in San Francisco, California. It enables free instant cross-border mobile money transfers in Africa as easy as sending a text message.
Klasha – Building Borderless Payments For Commerce In Africa
Starting as a fashion e-commerce company, Techstars backed company – Klasha is now building payment integrations that allow African consumers to buy from global retailers online in their local African currencies and get their items shipped quickly to the continent.
Today, we’re thrilled to introduce Klasha, a unified payments solution for commerce across Africa launching firstly in Nigeria.
How is Klasha different?
At Klasha, we’re simplifying borderless payments for commerce in Africa. Our solution helps merchants worldwide sell online to Africa and receive payments in local African currencies while enjoying super fast last-mile delivery to consumers across the continent. Consumers can make online payments regardless of where they are based geographically in Africa and where the retailers are based too.
What we have built
We have learned a lot about consumers’ pain points online over the past few years, and we are committed to solving these unique challenges. We have built a secure and reliable commerce solution from scratch using modern technologies.
Our integrated technology solution – Klasha Checkout, can be integrated into any e-commerce platform, website, or app allowing international merchants to collect payments from Africa in local currencies. We ensure that consumers enjoy quick, cost-effective and direct shipping of physical goods from across the globe to their doorsteps.
The Klasha mobile app
Making international payments online is very problematic, and more often than not, local bank debit cards do not work and are marked with restrictions. We have built the Klasha mobile app – a simple and secure app that allows you to make local and international payments online in your local African currencies without any restrictions.
With the Klasha mobile app, you can send and receive money from family and friends who are using the app for free. No monthly charges or transfer fees. You can create a virtual card, fund it with NGN, KES or GHC, see all your transactions, including the amount paid, merchant details, card information and much more! The Klasha App is currently available for download in Nigeria on Android and iOS.
For us, this is just the beginning, and in line with our mission, we are committed to transforming the payments landscape in Africa and building borderless payments for commerce.
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