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A News Digest on IT Forecast, Automated Tools and Social Media

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Gartner Forecasts
Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.9 trillion in 2021, an increase of 6.2% from 2020, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Worldwide IT spending declined 3.2% in 2020 as CIOs prioritized spending on technology and services that were deemed “mission-critical” during the initial stages of the pandemic.
Worldwide IT Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Worldwide IT Spending Forecast
Source: Gartner (January 2021).
It helps people automate their finances and connect subscribers to financial advisers, raises $100M Series C led by General Atlantic — Financial services startup Albert has raised $100 million in a Series C funding round led by General Atlantic, the company announced on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
AMD sees strong 2021 on data center, gaming chips demand On Tuesday, Advanced Micro Devices beat quarterly revenue estimates and forecast robust 2021 sales on strong demand for its chips used in PCs, data centers, and gaming consoles from companies and customers adapting to remote working. The company projected first-quarter revenue to be about $3.2 billion, plus or minus $100 million, compared to analysts’ average estimate of $2.74 billion, according to Refinitiv. AMD forecast 2021 sales of $13.37 billion, above analysts’ estimates of $12.28 billion. AMD’s fourth-quarter revenue rose to $3.24 billion, beating analysts’ estimate of $3.03 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Excluding items, the company earned 52 cents per share, topping estimates of 47 cents. According to data from FactSet, revenue in the computing and graphics unit, where it supplies processors and graphics chips for PCs, was $1.96 billion versus analysts’ estimates of $1.8 billion. In the company’s enterprise and semi-custom segment, which includes data center processor chips and gaming console chips, revenue was $1.28 billion, compared with analysts’ estimates of $1.24 billion. AMD’s graphics chips have also seen a surge in demand from cryptocurrency miners.
A popular meeting scheduling service, Calendly, raises $350M from OpenView Venture Partners and Iconiq at a $3B+ valuation
Snap, the parent company of social media app Snapchat, has acquired a British artificial intelligence start-up called Ariel AI which focuses on augmented reality. Ariel AI was founded in London in 2018 by a group of former Google and Facebook research scientists including Chief Executive Iasonas Kokkinos and Chief Technology Officer George Papandreou. Prior to the Snap acquisition, Ariel AI had raised $1.1 million in funding from investors, according to Crunchbase. Snap declined to comment on the price of the new deal, but it is likely in the single-digit millions. Ariel AI has been focusing on an area of AI known as computer vision, which is used to build augmented reality features. The start-up’s website says that its software allows “3D human perception” in real-time and that it can be used to power “the next generation of consumer experiences on mobile devices.” U.S. tech firms have acquired several British AI start-ups in recent years. The best-known example is Google buying DeepMind for a reported $600 million in 2014. Elsewhere, Twitter bought Magic Pony Technology for $150 million, while Facebook bought Bloomsbury AI in a deal worth up to $30 million. Snap also bought a start-up called Voisey last November, which has developed an app that allows people to overlay their own voice on short music tracks.
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