Strix Leviathan raises $1.625M for its enterprise crypto trading platform

Seattle-based Strix Leviathan, an enterprise trading and management platform for crypto assets founded by startup vet Jesse Proudman, today announced that it has raised a $1.625 million seed round led by Joe Montana’s Liquid 2 Ventures (yes, that Joe Montana). Other investors include Founders’ Co-op, Future\Perfect Ventures and 9Mile Labs, as well as angel investors like Chris McCoy, Doug Baldwin Jr., Kirby Winfield and Steve Hall.

Prior to founding Strix Leviathan, Proudman was the founder and CEO of Blue Box, a cloud computing startup that was acquired by IBM in 2015. With this new startup, Proudman’s moving into a somewhat different space, but as he told me when the company first launched, he believes the state of crypto is similar to the state of the Internet when he launched his first startup in 1997.

Given his experience in the enterprise world, it’s maybe no surprise that Proudman opted to take an enterprise approach to crypto, too. “Many Institutional investors have struggled to figure out the best path of entry into cryptocurrency markets due to the inherent complexities of the space,” he said. “We’re squarely focused on solving trading and management of cryptocurrencies for these institutions and enterprises. Considering the thousands of individual trading pairs, the plethora of exchanges and the immaturity of cryptocurrency markets, these investors desperately need a platform to simplify their trading initiatives. The markets are ready for an offering like ours and we’re excited to bring it to them.”

To do this, the Strix Leviathan team is building three core features: a data ingestion engine for pulling in relevant data across a variety of sources, algorithmic trading strategies based on this data that others can license, and an order gateway that allows the service to execute trades across many of the popular crypto exchanges.

“I’ve seen the birth of PCs, the internet and mobile,” said Liquid 2 Ventures’ Joe Montana in a statement today. “It’s early, but I think crypto may be the next revolution. Unfortunately, it’s also full of scams. Right now the key is to find the right team that is doing something new and to trust them. We’ve known Jesse for years. He’s proven himself to be trustworthy and adaptive in fast paced markets. Strix should be huge.”


Airtable raises $52M to give non-coders tools to build complex software

A massive company probably has plenty of engineers on staff and the resources to build a complex backbone of interconnected information that can contain tons of data and make acting on it easy — but for smaller companies, and for those that aren’t technical, those tools aren’t very accessible.

That’s what convinced Howie Liu to create Airtable, a startup that looks to turn what seems like just a normal spreadsheet into a robust database tool, hiding the complexity of what’s happening in the background while those without any programming experience create intricate systems to get their work done. Today, they’re trying to take that one step further with a new tool called Blocks, a set of mix-and-match operations like SMS and integrating maps that users can just drop into their systems. Think of it as a way to give a small business owner with a non-technical background to meticulously track all the performance activity across, say, a network of food trucks by just entering a bunch of dollar values and dropping in one of these tools.

“We really want to take this power you have in software creation and ‘consumerize’ that into a form anyone can use,” Liu said. “At the same time, from a business standpoint, we saw this bigger opportunity underneath the low-code app platforms in general. Those platforms solve the needs of heavyweight expensive use cases where you have a budget and have a lot of time. I would position Airtable making a leap toward a graphical user interface, versus a lot of products that are admin driven.”

Liu said the company has raised an additional $52 million in financing in a round led by CRV and Caffeinated Capital, with participation from Freestyle Ventures and Slow Ventures. All this is going toward a way to build a system that is trying to abstract out even the process of programming itself, though there’s always going to be some limited scope as to how custom of a system you can actually make with what amounts to a set of logic operation legos. That being said, the goal here is to boil down all of the most common sets of operations with the long tail left to the average programmers (and larger enterprises often have these kinds of highly-customized needs).

All this is coming at a time when businesses are increasingly chasing the long tail of small- to medium-sized businesses, the ones that aren’t really on the grid but represent a massive market opportunity. Those businesses also probably don’t have the kinds of resources to hire engineers while companies like Google or Facebook are camping out on college campuses looking to snap up students graduating with technical majors. That’s part of the reason why Excel had become so popular trying to abstract out a lot of complex operations necessary to run a business, but at the same time, Liu said that kind of philosophy should be able to be taken a step further.

“If you look at cloud, you have Amazon’s [cloud infrastructure] EC2, which abstracted the hardware level and you can build on existing machine intelligence,” Liu said. “Then, you get the OS level and up. Containers, Heroku, and other tools have extracted away the operation level complexity. But you have to write the app and modal logic. Our goal is to go a big leap forward on top of that and abstract out the app code layer. You should be able to directly use our interface, and blocks, all these plug and play lego pieces that give you more dynamic functionality — whether a map view or an integration with Twilio.”

And, really, all these platforms like Twilio have tried to make themselves pretty friendly to coding beginners as-is. Twilio has a lot of really good documentation for first-time developers to learn to use their platforms. But Airtable hopes to serve as a way to interconnect all these things in a complex web, creating a relational database behind the scenes that users can operate on in a more simplistic matter that’s still accurate, fast, and reliable.

“Obviously MySQL is great if you want to use code or custom SQL queries to interface with the data,” Liu said. “But, ultimately, you’d never as a business end user consider using literally a terminal-based SQL prompt as the primary interface to and from your data. Certainly you wouldn’t put that on your designs. Clearly you would want some interface on top of the SQL level database. We basically expose the full value of a relational database like Postgres to the end user, but we also give them something equally but more important: the interface on the top that makes the data immediately visible.”

There’s been a lot of activity trying to rethink these sort of fundamental formats that the average user is used to, but are ripe for more flexibility. Coda, a startup trying to rethink the notion behind a word document, raised $60 million, and all this points towards moves to try to create a more robust toolkit for non-technical users. That also means that it’s going to be an increasingly hot space, and especially look like an opportunity for companies that are already looking to host these kinds of services online like Amazon or Microsoft and have the buy-in from those businesses.

Liu, too, said that the goal of the company was to go after all potential business cases right away by creating a what-you-see-is-what-you-get one size fits all platform — which is usually called a horizontal approach. That’s often a very risky move, and it’s probably the biggest question mark for the company as there’s an opportunity for some other startups or companies to come in and grab niches of that whole pie in specific areas (like, say, a custom GUI programming interface for healthcare). But Liu said the opportunity for Airtable was to go horizontal from day one.

“There’s this assumption that software has to involve literally writing code,” Liu said. “It’s sort of a difficult thing to extricate ourselves from because we have built so much with writing code. But when you think about what goes into a useful application, especially in the business-to-business internal tools in a company use case which forms the bulk of software that’s consumed in terms of lines of code written, most of them are primarily a relational database model, and the relational database aspect of it is not an arbitrary format.


TypingDNA launches Chrome extension that verifies your identity based on typing

TypingDNA has a new approach to verifying your identity based on how you type.

The startup, which is part of the current class at Techstars NYC, is pitching this as an alternative to two-factor authentication — namely, the security feature that sends unique codes to a separate device (usually your phone) to make sure someone else isn’t logging in with your password.

The problem with two factor? TypingDNA Raul Popa put it simply: “It’s a bad user experience … Nobody wants to use a different device.” (I know that TechCrunch writers have had two-factor issues of their own, like when they’re trying to log in on an airplane and can’t connect their phone.)

So TypingDNA allows users to verify their identity without having to whip out their phone. Instead, they just enter their name and password into a window, then TypingDNA will analyze their typing and confirm that it’s really them.

TypingDNA Authenticator - Animation

The startup’s business model revolves around working with partners to incorporate the technology, but it’s also launching a free Chrome extension that works as an alternative to two-factor authentication on a wide range of services, including Amazon Web Services, Coinbase and Gmail.

Popa said TypingDNA measures two key aspects of your typing: How long it takes you to reach a key and how long you keep the key pressed down. Apparently these patterns are unique; Popa showed me that the system could tell the difference between his typing and mine, and you can test it out for yourself on the TypingDNA website.

He also said that the company can adjust the strictness of the system, getting the rate of false positives as low as 0.1 percent. In the case of the Chrome authenticator, Popa said, “We minimize the false acceptance rate” — so you might get rejected if you’re typing in an unusual position, or if there’s some other reason you’re typing slower or faster than usual. But in that case, the authenticator will just ask you to try again.

And again, you can use the Chrome extension on a variety of sites. Most two-factor options allow to confirm confirm a device using a QR code, which TypingDNA can grab. The two-factor codes are then sent to the TypingDNA extension (the codes are stored locally on your computer, not the company’s servers), and they’re revealed once you’ve verified your identity with the aforementioned typing.

You can visit TypingDNA to learn more and download the extension.


Microsoft announces its first cloud regions in the Middle East

Microsoft today announced its plans for a major expansion of the Microsoft Cloud with the launch of its first cloud regions in the Middle East. These new regions, which are scheduled to go online in 2019, will be located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and will host the company’s usual Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 services.

“Microsoft has been present in the Middle East for more than two decades and is deeply invested in the region in many ways,” said Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf, in today’s announcement. “Driven by strong customer demand for cloud computing, local data centers were the logical next step given the enormous opportunity that the cloud presents. In areas like digital transformation, and the development of new intelligent services, our ambition is for the Microsoft Cloud to form a strategic part of the backbone for regional economic development.”

The region of the Middle East is relatively late in adopting cloud computing, but that also means that it has a lot of room left to grow. Microsoft is clearly trying to get ahead of this trend.

It’s worth noting that Amazon, too, has already announced its plans for a region in Bahrain which will open in about a year, while Google has not announced any plans to enter this market yet.

In addition to the new Middle East regions, Microsoft also today announced its first region in Switzerland (with data centers around Geneva and Zurich), which is scheduled to go online in 2019. In Germany, the company is launching an additional cloud region and in France, the Microsoft Cloud is now generally available.

In total, Microsoft now offers 50 regions around the globe, with plans for 12 new regions in the works already.


Pilot raises $15M to bring bookkeeping into the modern era

The first time Waseem Daher, Jessica McKellar, and Jeff Arnold worked together on a startup, they built one that allowed administrators to patch security updates to a system without having to restart it.

So it might come as a bit of a surprise that the next big technical challenge the three MIT graduates want to tackle is bookkeeping . But after selling Ksplice to Oracle back in 2011, it was actually the financial software they had built internally that made the jaws of the finance teams at Oracle drop, Daher said. They had created a continuously-updating internal version of QuickBooks, keeping a close eye on their spending and accounting and not having do hire a bookkeeper to do so, out of pure frustration with the process. And today that’s basically launching as Pilot, a startup that has now raised $15 million in a financing round led by Index Ventures.

“If you look at the history of bookkeeping, it goes back to the 1400s,” Daher said. “Probably the oldest written records were of transactions. Around 1400s, we invented double-entry bookkeeping, a system for how money moves into and out of various accounts of companies. That system, as articulated in 1400 in Venice, is basically still what people do in every American business today. You hire a bookkeeper or bookkeeping firm, you send them all your stuff and they track and produce the set of books. The way it’s done today is the same way it’s done in the 90s, the 40s.”

When a company starts working with Pilot, the actual core experience on the customer side doesn’t really change all that much: they still work with a human on the other end. But the bookkeeper from Pilot is working with the internal tools they have built to bring in the data from the company, organize it and structure it, and produce a set of books that are more accurate than someone might have produced than just doing it by hand. Customers will get the kinds of questions you might expect from a normal bookkeeper as they look to clarify what’s happening, but in the end the process happens much more seamlessly. They can integrate directly with their existing services like Expensify or Gusto (or ask Pilot to help out with that) and then go from there.

That kind of human-software mix is something that’s increasingly common in services businesses — like Pilot — as the tech industry figures out what should be automated and what should still be handled by a person. There are still a lot of things that a person can catch, but there’s also the actual human relationship, which isn’t a kind of repetitive task you’d want to automate with an algorithm. To begin, Pilot isn’t trying to force companies to completely rip out their bookkeeping software and start from scratch, and instead start to collect the electronic information they already have.

“Uber’s like that, the drivers are humans but the software makes them much more effective,” Index Ventures’ Mike Volpi said. “You can see it in a lot of applications where in IT support there’s a few businesses like this, you troubleshoot using software, and when you can’t you fix it pass it to humans. In customer service chats, a lot of times it’s an AI, and when the questions get tricky enough it rolls over to humans. It’s interesting because there are tasks which humans are fundamentally needed and there are tasks that are mundane that software can do and the human can avoid doing. It’s an interesting thesis around this hybrid.”

Prior to Pilot, the team sold another company to Dropbox called Zulip, and spent some time at the company as it continued to scale up (Dropbox is now in the process of going public). Some of the challenge alone was somehow assembling a team that found some fascination with the intersection of accounting, machine learning and working directly with customers, but so far McKellar said that they’ve been able to put one together thus far. And, more importantly, now that they are starting to roll out their service they can start getting some perspective on the industry as a whole.

“I think people can get motivated by almost any problem if you know you’re tackling a big problem for many people,” McKellar said. “But there’s quite a lot of subtlety to what we’re building. The rules and principles of bookkeeping are well define but the real world is really messy, and designing the right systems to automate bookkeeping at scale is actually a tricky thing. We have an incredible engineering team that is able to tackle this with the right mindset it. The analogy you can draw is self-driving cars — that’s a system normally done by a human, everyone understands what it takes to drive a car, what actions you should take. It’s difficult for people to put into words, what are the rules given a set of inputs, but it needs to work and be reliable.”

As more and more of this information comes in, and more and more companies start to work with Pilot, they can start spotting trends in the industry. For example, if a 17th SaaS business with a similar business model to other Pilot companies signs up, they could down the line take a look at their info and spot potential discrepancies based on anonymized trend data picked up from other comparables in the industry — or do a better job of spotting inefficiencies or others. And there are some obvious funnels for this already, like getting the right information for tax purposes to accountants.

There’s going to be a lot of increasing activity in this space, though. Already you’re seeing some funded projects like botkeeper, which are looking to find some ways to automate a bookkeeping service. There’s nothing quite so formalized and an obvious tool that looks to take out QuickBooks (and, again, a lot of these seem to be playing nice for now), and there’s always the chance that Intuit could try to take on the space itself. But at the end of the day, Volpi says it’s based on the team that they’ve assembled — and that combination of humans and algorithms — that gives them a shot at succeeding.

“If you look at a fundamental level, the bookkeeping for the doctor’s office or florist, it is really all following the same underlying principles,” McKellar said. “One of the engineering challenges is to build the tooling and systems and software in a way that’s intelligent. It has to be a set of processes that can flexibly accommodate every vertical over time. In some sense this company, why we raised this, was to validate a huge hypothesis — it’s possible to automate bookkeeping at scale across a range of industries.”

Here’s the rest of the investors in this round, since it’s a long list: Patrick and John Collison, Drew Houston, Diane Greene, Frederic Kerrest, Hans Robertson, Adam D’Angelo, Paul English, Howard Lerman, Joshua Reeves, Tien Tzuo, as well as many others.


Talking Drupal #162 – Pm Tools

In episode #162 we talk about Project Management tools we use.


  • News
    • Drupal 8.5 released
    • Drush sanitize issue
  • Types of PM tools
  • Basecamp
  • Jira
  • Redmine
  • Rally
  • Trello
  • Asana
  • HipChat
  • Slack
  • Notebook (yes)
  • OmniFocus
  • Email
  • Timetracking




Don’t Get Hit with a Database Disaster: Database Security Compliance

Percona Live 2018 security talks

In this post, we discuss database security compliance, what you should be looking at and where to get more information.

As Percona’s Chief Customer Officer, I get the opportunity to talk with a lot of customers. Hearing about the problems that both their technical teams face, as well as the business challenges their companies experience first-hand is incredibly valuable in terms of what the market is facing in general. Not every problem you see has a purely technical solution, and not every good technical solution solves the core business problem.

Matt Yonkovit, Percona CCOAs database technology advances and data continues to be the core blood of most modern applications, DBA’s will have a say in business level strategic planning more than ever. This coincides with the advances in technology and automation that make many classic manual “DBA” jobs and tasks obsolete. Traditional DBA’s are evolving into a blend of system architect, data strategist and master database architect. I want to talk about the business problems that not only the C-Suite care about, but DBAs as a whole need to care about in the near future.

Let’s start with one topic everyone should have near the top of their list: security.

We did a recent survey of our customers, and their biggest concern right now is security and compliance.

Not long ago, most DBA’s I knew dismissed this topic as “someone else’s problem” (I remember being told that the database is only as secure as the network, so fix the network!). Long gone are the days when network security was enough. Even the DBA’s who did worry about security only did so within the limited scope of what the database system could provide out of the box.  Again, not enough.

So let me run an experiment:

Raise your hand if your company has some bigger security initiative this year. 

I’m betting a lot of you raised your hand!

Security is not new to the enterprise. It’s been a priority for years now. However, it has not been receiving a hyper-focus in the open source database space until the last three years or so. Why? There have been a number of high profile database security breaches in the last year, all highlighting a need for better database security. This series of serious data breaches have exposed how fragile some security protocols in companies are. If that was not enough, new government regulations and laws have made data protection non-optional. This means you have to take the security of your database seriously, or there could be fines and penalties.

Percona Live 2018 security talksGovernment regulations are nothing new, but the breadth and depth of these are growing and are opening up a whole new challenge for databases systems and administrators. GDPR was signed into law two years ago (you can read more here: and and is scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018. This has many businesses scrambling not only to understand the impact, but figure out how they need to comply. These regulations redefine simple things, like what constitutes “personal data” (for instance, your anonymous buying preferences or location history even without your name).

New requirements also mean some areas get a bit more complicated as they approach the gray area of definition. For instance, GDPR guarantees the right to be forgotten. What does this mean? In theory, it means end-users can request that all their personal information is removed from your systems as if they did not exist. Seems simple, but in reality, you can go as far down the rabbit hole as you want. Does your application support this already? What about legacy applications? Even if the apps can handle it, does this mean previously taken database backups have to forget you as well? There is a lot to process for sure.

So what are the things you can do?

  1. Educate yourself and understand expectations, even if you weren’t involved in compliance discussions before.
  2. Start working on incremental improvements now on your data security. This is especially true in the area’s where you have some control, without massive changes to the application. Encryption at rest is a great place to start if you don’t have it.
  3. Start talking with others in the organization about how to identify and protect personal information.
  4. Look to increase security by default by getting involved in new applications early in the design phase.

The good news is you are not alone in tackling this challenge. Every company must address it. Because of this focus on security, we felt strongly about ensuring we had a security track at Percona Live 2018 this year. These talks from Fastly, Facebook, Percona, and others provide information on how companies around the globe are tackling these security issues. In true open source fashion, we are better when we learn and grow from one another.

What are the Percona Live 2018 security talks?

We have a ton of great security content this year at Percona Live, across a bunch of technologies and open source software. Some of the more interesting Percona Live 2018 security talks are:

Want to attend Percona Live 2018 security talks? Register for Percona Live 2018. Register now to get the best price! Use the discount code SeeMeSpeakPL18 for 10% off.

Percona Live Open Source Database Conference 2018 is the premier open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference will be April 23-25, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara & The Santa Clara Convention Center.


The Multi-Source GTID Replication Maze

Multi-Source GTID Replication

In this blog post, we’ll look at how to navigate some of the complexities of multi-source GTID replication.

GTID replication is often a real challenge for DBAs, especially if this has to do with multi-source GTID replication. A while back, I came across a really interesting customer environment with shards where multi-master, multi-source, multi-threaded MySQL 5.6 MIXED replication was active. This is a highly complex environment that has both pros and cons, introducing risks as a trade-off for specific customer requirements.

This is the set up of part of this environment:

I started looking into this setup when a statement broke replication between db1 and db10. Replication broke due to a statement executed on a schema that was not present on db10. This also resulted in changes originating from db1 to not being pushed down to db100 as db10, as we stopped the replication thread (for db1 channel).

On the other hand, replication was not stopped on db2 because the schema in question was present on db2. Replication between db2 and db20 was broken as well because the schema was not present in db20.

In order to fix db1->db10 replication, four GTID sets were injected in db10.

Here are some interesting blog posts regarding how to handle/fix GTID replication issues:

After injecting the GTID sets, we started replication again and everything ran fine.


After that, we had to check the db2->db20 replication, which, as I’ve already said, was broken as well. In this case, injecting only the first GTID trx into db20 instead of all of those causing issues on db10 was enough!

You may wonder how this is possible. Right? The answer is that the rest of them were replicated from db10 to db20, although the channel was not the same.

Another strange thing is the fact that although the replication thread for the db2->db20 channel was stopped (broken), checking the slave status on db20 showed that Executed_Gtid_Set was moving for all channels even though Retrieved_Gtid_Set for the broken one was stopped! So what was happening there?

This raised my curiosity, so I decided to do some further investigation and created scenarios regarding other strange things that could happen. An interesting one was about the replication filters. In our case, I thought “What would happen in the following scenario … ?”

Let’s say we write a row from db1 to db123.table789. This row is replicated to db10 (let’s say using channel 1) and to db2 (let’s say using channel2). On channel 1, we filter out the db123.% tables, on channel2 we don’t. db1 writes the row and the entry to the binary log. db2 writes the row after reading the entry from the binary log and subsequently writes the entry to its own binary log and replicates this change to db20. This change is also replicated to db10. So now, on db10 (depending on which channel finds the GTID first) it either gets filtered on channel1 and written to its own bin log at just startcommit with any actual DDL/DML removed, or if it is read first on channel2 (db1->db2 and then db20->db10) then it is NOT filtered out and executed instead. Is this correct? It definitely ISN’T!

Points of interest

You can find answers to the above questions in the points of interest listed below. Although it’s not really clear through the official documentation, this is what happens with GTID replication and multi-source GTID replication:

  • As we know GTID sets are unique across all nodes in a given cluster. In multi-source replication, Executed_Gtid_Set is common for all channels. This means that regardless the originating channel, when a GTID transaction is executed it is recorded in all channels’ Executed_Gtid_Set. Although it’s logical (each database is unique, so if a trx is going to affect a database it shouldn’t be tightened to a single channel regardless of the channel it uses), the documentation doesn’t provide much info around this.
  • When we have multi-source, multi-level replication, there are cases where the GTID sets originating from one master can end up on one slave via different replication paths. It’s not clear if it applies any special algorithm (although it doesn’t seem that there could be one), but the preferred method seems to be FIFO. The fastest wins! This means that GTID sets can travel to the slave via different channels, and it’s related to how fast the upper-level slaves can commit changes. In fact, the path doesn’t really matter as it only executes each GTID trx once.
  • Replication filters are global regardless the channel. This means they apply each filter to all channels. This is normal as we can’t define a replication filter per channel. In order to be able to debug such cases, adding a small replication delay per channel seems a good idea.

Webinar Thursday, March 15, 2018: Basic External MySQL Troubleshooting Tools

Troubleshooting Tools

MySQL Troubleshooting ToolsPlease join Percona’s Principal Support Engineer, Sveta Smirnova, as she presents Basic External MySQL Troubleshooting Tools on March 15, 2018 at 10:00 am PDT (UTC-7) / 1:00 pm EDT (UTC-4).

In my troubleshooting webinar series, I normally like to discuss built-in instruments available via the SQL interface. While they are effective and help to understand what is going on, external tools are also designed to make life of a database administrator easier.

In this webinar, I will discuss the external tools, toolkits and graphical instruments most valued by Support teams and customers. I will show the main advantages of these tools, and provide examples on how to effectively use them.

I will cover Percona Toolkit, MySQL Utilities, MySQL Sandbox, Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) and a few other instruments.

Register for the webinar now.

Troubleshooting ToolsSveta Smirnova, Principal Technical Services Engineer

Sveta joined Percona in 2015. Her main professional interests are problem-solving, working with tricky issues, bugs, finding patterns that can quickly solve typical issues, and teaching others how to deal with MySQL issues, bugs and gotchas effectively. Before joining Percona Sveta worked as Support Engineer in the MySQL Bugs Analysis Support Group in MySQL AB-Sun-Oracle. She is the author of the book “MySQL Troubleshooting” and JSON UDF functions for MySQL.


WeWork expands its Flatiron School education business to London with £1M in scholarships

WeWork — the co-working startup valued at $20 billion with some 200,000 members across 200 locations globally — is continuing with its strategy of expanding into a wide array of adjacent operations to grow its business. Today the company announced that it will be expanding the coding-focused Flatiron School abroad, starting in London this June.

Alongside this, it’s also launching a scholarship program, offering £1 million in fees to people from underrepresented groups in tech to enrol in Flatiron classes, working with existing local groups like AllBright, Code Bar and Women Who Code to spread the word.

This is the Flatiron School’s first move outside of the U.S. for its physical classes — it had already offered online courses internationally before this — and notably it is also WeWork’s first significant educational effort since acquiring the New York startup last October for an undisclosed sum.

Since acquiring Flatiron, WeWork’s chief growth officer Dave Fano — who himself joined WeWork when the company acquired his own startup, building infomation modelling firm Case, heralding the start of the company’s acquisition spree — said that the idea has been to let Flatiron run business as usual, offering a variety of online and in-person coding and related courses. That is now changing as WeWork puts the acquisition to work, so to speak.

Expanding the kinds of services that it offers in European markets specifically is an interesting move for WeWork. When it first opened for business here in London, for example, people hiring out desks in other people’s offices, or working out of dedicated co-working spaces, was already a standard practice.

“There was lots of co-working already, so there was no need to educate the market on it,” Fano said in an interview. Hence, adding in more services and offerings is a way to help differentiate WeWork from the rest of the productivity pack. Education sits alongside a number of other services that WeWork has been developing, from offering all-in, optimised office spaces (complete with the ever-present glass decanter of fruit-infused water in the kitchen) both for individuals and running then on behalf of other companies, through to event planning (by way of its Meetup acquisition), and likely more down the line.

On the other side, this move is also an indication of how Flatiron, which had raised a modest $14 million in funding in its five years of life before getting acquired, is using the acquisition by the well-capitalised WeWork to upsize and compete against the likes of General Assembly and others who have doubled down on international expansion to build out their coding education businesses.

Flatiron School’s London operation will be based out of Finsbury Pavement, one of WeWork’s multiple London locations, and it will kick off with two courses, one a full-time software engineering immersive course that will last 15 weeks; and the other a part-time front-end web developer course that will run 10 weeks.

There have been a lot of efforts, both private and public, to help raise tech literacy among the workforces of the world, as industries and economies hope to train people for the next generation of employment as more legacy roles and processes tip into obsolescence, and all signs point to a more digital, connected and technological future.

Not all of these have been home runs, though, with many programmes failing to connect the dots between learning new skills and then applying them in actual jobs. And of course there remains a big digital divide between those who are already socially or economically challenged ever getting access to either the training or the subsequent work opportunities.

The company claims to have a strong success track record for its educational program.

“In the US, Flatiron School has set the benchmark for programming education with its community-first learning platform, market-aligned open-source curriculum, and outcomes-focused approach to education,” claims Adam Enbar, Flatiron School’s co-founder and CEO. “Since 2012, Flatiron has maintained a 99 percent graduation rate for its Software Engineering Programs in NYC and more than 2,000 students have graduated from Flatiron School to date, across both the on-campus and online programs. With our new Flatiron London location, we’ll be able to give more people access to attain the skills they need to create their life’s work.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the school said that it also has a 99 percent placement rate for those looking for jobs in NYC in the area of the immersive program, and 97 percent placement overall in software engineering, iOS development and the fellowship program.

It’s a small start, but offering £1 million in scholarships alongside the launch can offer at least a small boost in trying to fix that problem. And for WeWork, which has now raised $7.3 billion in funding — including backing from the seemingly bottomless coffers of Softbank’s Vision Fund — a $1 million scholarship fund is small change, so hopefully it prove to be successful and it might consider how it can dole out more.

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