Recommended Reading: May 15, 2017 - eMarketer
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Recommended Reading: May 15, 2017

eMarketer’s scan of the key developments of the day, plus data to make sense of it all

May 15, 2017

NBCUniversal Acquires Craftsy

NBCUniversal has acquired Denver-based Craftsy, a startup that sells videos of crafts classes, as well as craft supplies and kits. According to sources in a Re/code article, the company paid roughly $230 million for the site. “Craftsy’s lifestyle learning studios supply content for its own branded online network, and we believe that the interests and passion of our share audiences naturally align,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable.

Germany Adopts Self-Driving Cars Law

A new law in Germany is moving the country’s automotive industry forward. According to the ruling, “a driver must be sitting behind the wheel at all times ready to take back control if prompted to do so by the autonomous vehicle,” Reuters reported.

Lazada Malaysia Shoppers Can Now Pay at 7-Eleven

Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada Malaysia has joined with 7-Eleven to let its shoppers pay for goods bought online at the convenience store chain’s physical locations. The payment option is geared toward online shoppers who lack credit cards or are otherwise uncomfortable buying digitally. Instead, these consumers receive a payment code which can be taken to 7-Eleven to complete the payment transaction. eMarketer estimates that retail ecommerce sales in Malaysia will total $2.4 billion this year.

UK VR Startup Pulls Softbank Investment

Japanese telecom firm Softbank plunked down some changes in a new investment round in UK-based virtual reality outfit Improbable Worlds—Softbank led a funding round of $502 million. Although the VR firm’s valuation was not disclosed, back-of-the-envelope calculations put it above $1 billion. Much of Improbable’s focus so far has been on using VR for massive multiplayer online games.

—Rahul Chadha and Rimma Kats

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