Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

French startup Alan has raised a $ 54.4 million (€50 million) Series C funding round. Temasek is leading the round with existing investors (such as Index Ventures) also participating. Overall, Alan has raised $ 136 million (€125 million) over the past four years.

Alan has built a health insurance product for the French market. The company first started with a well-designed insurance product and wants to tackle all things related to your personal health in the future.

The startup isn’t partnering with an existing insurance company. It has obtained an official health insurance license. Compared to legacy products, Alan wants to be as transparent as possible with clear pricing and policies.

Alan has a huge market opportunity in France as every employee is covered by both the national health care system and private insurance companies.

In addition to its health insurance product, the company has been working on multiple products to help you stay on top of your health. For instance, Alan has partnered with Livi so that can easily schedule telemedicine appointments.

Alan has launched a directory of doctors around you. With Alan Map, you can easily find a health practitioner without any surprise — the company tries to predict how much you’re going to pay so that you can check if you’re 100% covered.

You can also use Alan to keep track of your past appointments, get the phone number of a doctor you’ve already interacted with and more.

Just like fintech companies are building apps that act as financial hubs, Alan wants to become a health hub. Whenever you have a question, you need a piece of information or you want to get reimbursed on your health appointments, Alan wants to become the entry point for those use cases.

More recently, Alan has worked on some content about the coronavirus outbreak and COVID-19 symptoms. You can create an account and talk to a doctor through Livi for free. You can also get two months free on a Headspace subscription in case you’re looking for a meditation app.

With today’s funding round, Alan plans to expand to other countries. It has already opened offices in Spain and Belgium and the company wants to be available all around Europe within five years.

Alan currently covers 76,000 people. It represents $ 63 million (€58 million) in revenue. At the end of 2018, Alan’s insurance covered 27,000 people. As you can see, the company is growing nicely.


TechCrunch

When is a game not a game? When you never win.

For years, virtualization software maker Parallels offered the chance to win a free product key if you “stump the KeyGenie,” a virtual robot which users can play against. Normally, users must buy a product key to run the software beyond its two-week free trial. But if you can make it through five questions without the robot guessing what you’re thinking, the robot says a key “may be yours.”

But it turns out it’s an impossibility.

Security researcher John Wethington alerted TechCrunch to the KeyGenie game more than a year after he told Parallels that the game was impossible to win. He examined the source code of the webpage to see how it worked. He quickly found that no matter what a user does, the code never allows a user to win a free product key.

“It’s to get people to sign up for a trial by pretending to give them a chance at a free license,” he said. “But the source code proves it never will.”

We asked three security researchers to independently verify our findings. Spoiler alert: they did.

Yonathan Klijnsma, a threat researcher at cyberthreat intelligence firm RiskIQ, looked at the code and found that the robot’s responses were hardcoded.

“There’s never any product key,” he told TechCrunch. “You have that winning screen but there’s never a product key on the page,” he said. “You can trigger the case for getting a key but there is no way to get to it.”

Though it’s possible to trick the game into thinking you’ve won, nothing happens — and no key is ever awarded.

parallels

A screencap of the KeyGenie game; no product key is ever produced (Image: TechCrunch)

“It’s a bunch of hardcoded if-else statements that just take you to the same widget in the end,” said Edwin Foudil, a security researcher who also performed a cursory review of the site. And Baptiste Robert, who’s known for finding security vulnerabilities in apps and websites, said his own checks show nothing is ever pulled from the server after the user wins, suggesting the winner is never served a product key.

“It seems to be a fake game,” said Robert.

We contacted Parallels prior to publication but spokesperson John Uppendahl did not comment. If that changes, we’ll update.

The KeyGenie site was born more than five years ago after Parallels found its popular desktop emulation software was regularly falling victim to software piracy. Hackers would crack the software’s product key algorithm, then build and share their product key generators — known as keygens — on file-sharing sites. Quickly, these keygens floated to the top of search engines, making user piracy even easier.

Parallels built the aptly named “KeyGenie” game so it would rise to the top of search results and replace the illegal keygen search results.

One of Parallels’ marketing agencies at the time published a blog post claiming that KeyGenie “will actually hand out keys,” and that the game was “programmed randomly.” The post, published seven months later, “generated dozens of trials” and “four-figures in revenue.”

The Federal Trade Commission, which regulates potentially deceptive advertising and marketing, did not comment outside business hours.


TechCrunch

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the company is in the process of completing a “small acquisition” that will help it release its own insurance product, something it said in April that it was only around “a month” away from bringing to market. One month is at least two months when translated from Musk time to rest-of-us time, so that tracks.

Musk made the remark at Tesla’s Annual Shareholders Meeting, adding that the company is “pretty close to being able to release [its insurance product],” and that in addition to this acquisition in progress, Tesla also has “a bit of software to write” to make it ready for market.

Insurance for Tesla vehicles can be expensive when sourced from traditional insurance providers (it ranked 15th highest in the U.S. in a recent third-party survey) but Tesla says it has a key advantage when compared to third-parties that will help it price insurance for its customers correctly – ample and detailed information about their driving habits.

No word yet on who the acquisition target is, but it makes sense that Apple might seek to pick up a small insurer to supplement its own driving and user data, rather than trying to build an insurance business in-house from scratch.


TechCrunch

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