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What’s the news from the MEF community? Here’s your weekly round up of all the latest announcements from MEF members including product launches, partnerships, research insights and more…

Upstream confirms Guy Krief as new CEO

Guy Krief has been promoted by mobile commerce firm Upstream to chief executive. He takes over from co-founder Marco Veremis, who has become executive chairman.

Krief joined Upstream in 2004 and was most recently chief innovation officer. He was also co-founder of Persado, an Upstream spin-off company dedicated to AI-generated marketing.

He said: “I am honoured to take on the role of CEO and continue to build on the amazing success Upstream has enjoyed over the years. We are launching innovative customer solutions and I am thrilled to be able to guide the company into its next phase of growth.”

The firm has also promoted Natalia Mila to the role of CTO. She joined the company in 2008.

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Verve buys German push marketing specialist matchinguu

Location-based mobile ad firm Verve has acquired Munich’s matchinguu to beef up its messaging capabilities.

matchinguu gives app developers access to targeted, real-time communications. Its products will now be integrated into the self-service Verve Velocity platform. Verve says this will help its clients deliver more engaging ads based on real-time consumer behaviour.

Ian James, General Manager International at Verve, said: “The acquisition came naturally, thanks to the complementary technologies and both parties having similar missions: enabling great storytelling through location-powered data.”

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Wirecard launches self-learning ePOS system

Retailers can get more insight than ever into their business metrics with Wirecard’s new Omnichannel ePOS Suite.

Wirecard says it is the first payment provider to offer a self-learning system that analyses payment data and other data sources.

It claims the system gives more insight into customer conversion, customer attrition rates, future consumer behaviour and linking points of sale with e-commerce.

Jörn Leogrande, Executive Vice President Mobile Services at Wirecard: “Using our data evaluations and analyses, merchants can increase their metrics in important performance areas. Our previous experience has shown that sales increases in the double-digit percent range are realistic.”

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Gemalto puts the lock into smart lock

Rising smart lock maker Dessmann has turned to Gemalto to secure its app-based platform.

Dessman makes a door lock that users can open and close from their phone. They can also use the app to create spare or temporary virtual keys for trusted third parties.

Gemalto will provide the Machine Identification Modules (MIM) and Secure Elements (SE) that power the security features inside the platform.

“We are constantly on the lookout for complementary technology that enhances the security of our products,” said ZHU Zhiling, CEO of Dessmann. “Gemalto has the solutions we need. Its ability to deliver end-to-end security solutions as well as a roadmap to future IoT connectivity won us over.”

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Orange begins testing LoRa tech for IoT connections

Orange says it will extend its LoRa network to French enterprises by the end of this year.

LoRa technology uses battery-operated sensors to power connections over long distances. So it can connect devices in environments that were previously out of reach.

Orange says the standard will support its Orange Business Services solution to deliver IoT coverage in towns, harbours or industrial sites.

It is planning to have 75 IoT devices available by the end of this month.

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SpotX places bet on haptics

Video ad specialist SpotX has joined forces with Immersion Corp to bring tactile haptic experiences to mobile inventory.

Haptics mimic physical sensations when users put their fingers on a touchscreen. Most users are familiar with the tech, but its application in advertising has been limited.

Now, SpotX says the integration of Immersion’s technology will make haptic mobile video adverts available at significant scale..

Sergio De Acha, Regional Head of Business Development at Immersion, said: “With haptic ads you can feel, touch taps into an additional sense to help brands differentiate themselves. Our partnership with SpotX makes high-impact ad units available to buyers at scale, making the power of haptics more pervasive.”

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Mozilla launches privacy-centric browser for Android

Security-aware Android users have a new option for web browsing: Firefox Focus.

Mozilla has just launched Focus on the Google OS. It says the browser is dedicated to user privacy and will by default blocks many web trackers, including analytics, social, and advertising.

Firefox Focus also runs quicker and has a scaled down ‘clutter-free’ interface. It launched for iOS in December 2015, where it remains the the highest-rated browser on the App Store.

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PubMatic seals ad deal with Amazon Publisher Services

Publishers that use Amazon’s cloud-based header bidding solution, Transparent Ad Marketplace, now have access to programmatic demand via PubMatic.

This is thanks to a deal between Amazon and Pubmatic that gives publishers the choice of either use PubMatic’s OpenWrap header bidding solution or to add the company as a monetization partner through Transparent Ad Marketplace.

Evan Simeone, SVP of Product Management at PubMatic, said: “We see Amazon’s offering as a clear indication that they are just as dedicated to providing publishers with the most advanced monetization technology possible as we are at PubMatic.”

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