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SoftBank to invest in AI search tech startup Perplexity at $3 Bn Valuation 

Here is today’s top trending news from the world of technology. News that every tech enthusiast should keep a tab on.  


SoftBank to invest in AI search tech startup Perplexity at $3 Bn valuation 

Japanese tech investment giant SoftBank is in talks to invest $10-$20 Mn in AI search tech startup Perplexity AI at an impressive valuation of $3 Bn, according to Bloomberg. This will be part of a larger funding round of $250 Mn that is likely to oversee the participation of other investors. The identity of other investors is still not known. If this funding round goes through then Softbank will join Nvidia and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who invested in the search tech startup earlier this year. Perplexity AI, which aims to challenge Google’s monopoly in the online search market, provides instant answers to user’s questions with accurate sources and citations.     


TikTok launches a new photo sharing app ‘Whee’ 

Last week, TikTok launched Instagram like photo sharing app ‘Whee’ according to news portal Android police. However, TikTok’s Whee is bit different than Instagram. It only allows you to share photos with your closest friends. Screenshots of the app, as viewed by Android Police, show that it has features like photo viewfinder, a list of friends to message and a feed. This app is currently being tested in several countries, but the US is not included in this list of countries. Interestingly, in April TikTok had rolled out another photo sharing app called TikTok Notes, which apparently did not take off.  


Google launches slew of new features on Chrome Mobile to boost search experience  

Your search experience on Chrome Mobile app is all set to get a major upgrade, thanks to new features launched by Google. Now when you search for local business, Chrome will automatically suggest shortcuts to call them, get directions and read reviews. There is also a feature dedicated to iPhone users. iPhone users can see trending searches directly in Chrome’s address bar, just like Android users already do. Besides, Chrome’s new Discover Feed will take your sports excitement to a new level. It will show you the live updated scores of your favorite team directly in the feed. Overall, all these exciting features are most likely to elevate your search experience on Chrome app.       


Waymo’s RoboTaxis is now open to everyone in San Fransico  

Image Credits: Waymo Facebook

In what will come as a major encouragement for driverless cars, Google’s Waymo has finally ditched its waitlist and opened its robotaxis to everyone in San Fransico. This means now anyone can enjoy a ride in Waymo’s driverless cars. They just have to order the ride through their dedicated app. After Phoenix, San Fransico has now become the second city in the US where Waymo will be launching its robotaxis as a full-fledge service. The company has been testing its service in San Fransico since August 2021. Back then, the service was rolled out to only test testers who had to reportedly sign non-disclosure agreement before taking the ride.  


Shopify’s new AI Chatbot ‘SideKick’ is now open to limited Merchants


Shopify, which helps in building online shopping stores, has decided to join the AI chatbot bandwagon. After waiting for several months, the company is finally rolling out its AI chatbot ‘SideKick,’ which can help merchants with several tasks. This inculde creating discount codes, generating reports of store performance and even recommending ideas for blog posts. More or less, it is like a typical chatbot assistant, aiming to help merchants in managing their online stores. SideKick is still under development and is currently being tested in English speaking countries in North America.

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