Back Market, platform for refurbished tech gadgets, raises $335 million

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Back Market, an online platform for buying, selling and servicing refurbished tech gadgets, said on Tuesday it raised $335 million in its latest funding round which valued the company at $3.2 billion.The company, started in France in 2014, aims to make it easier for customers to buy refurbished gadgets like iPhones without having to worry that the seller may be peddling stolen or broken goods, said Chief Executive Thibaud Hug de Larauze.To ensure the quality of the refurbished-goods merchants, Back Market has a strict onboarding policy, he said. That includes an acceptance rate to join the platform of only 30%, followed by a sales limit of five items a day for 40 days to prove their products have low failure rates and their customer service meets the standards.“We basically take all the feedback from the clients. We make a quality score. And...

Toshiba and Dharma Capital bid to bring quasi-quantum computing to HFT

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Japanese tech giant Toshiba is joining forces with Dharma Capital to trial the use of quasi-quantum technology in financial trading. The experiment will investigate the effectiveness of high frequency trading (HFT) strategies for Japanese listed stocks based on "optimal solutions" presented by a quasi-quantum computer -Toshiba’s Simulated Bifurcation Machine.Toshiba says that by combining its computing power with conventional HFT technology, it is now possible to search statistical arbitration opportunities that have not been targeted before, with a sufficient level of low latency against market price fluctuations. More broadly, establishing trading systems that can quickly detect ever-untargeted mispricings and eliminate them is expected to further improve market efficiency and liquidity, says the...

Goldman Sachs makes quantum breakthrough

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Goldman Sachs is claiming a quantum computing breakthrough, designing algorithms it says could be used on hardware that may be available in as little as five years. The bank has been working with Silicon Valley startup QC Ware for the past couple of years to investigate the use of quantum algorithms in finance, exploring how the technology will eventually outperform classical computers for finance applications.Researchers at the two firms have been looking at how quantum computing can be tapped for the Monte Carlo algorithm used to evaluate risk and simulate prices for a variety of financial instruments.Using traditional hardware, the complex calculations needed for Monte Carlo are typically executed once overnight, which means that in volatile markets, traders are forced to use...

Ally partners with Microsoft Azure to prepare quantum computing-ready workforce

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US fintech Ally Financial will collaborate with Microsoft on Azure Quantum solutions to develop quantum computing skills and explore how new algorithms and future quantum hardware could improve customer experience. With claims that the industry is reaching the limits of classical computing, quantum computing has become an attractive proposition. A quantum computer can perform calculations based on the probability of an object's state before it is measured - instead of just 1s or 0s and process more data compared to their traditional counterparts. Ally is collaborating with Microsoft as part of its Enterprise Acceleration Program (EAP) to resolve optimisation issues, as well as utilise available, rich data to support financial services professionals make better decisions, learn why a customer may contact a...