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Retain Raises $23M in Series A Funding

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Retain.ai 23m series emergence

Customer Insights Engine (CIE) Retain.ai 23m series emergence situated in San Francisco, California, got $23M in Series A funding.

Baseline Ventures, Upside Partnership, and Afore Capital, who were already investors, also took part in the round, which was led by Emergence.

The business, which has received a total of $27.6M to date, plans to utilise the money to hire more employees and accelerate growth.

Retain is an enterprise browser extension that collects customer engagement data from throughout the company and generates actionable insights to power the best team behaviours that increase revenue and customer retention. Retain is led by founder and CEO Eric Chernoff. The CIE provides a centralised perspective of customer engagement that spans teams, procedures, and apps. Every browser-based application can be integrated with Retain.

Salesforce, Nielsen, and Google are a few examples of clients.

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Press Release

Gang leader Larry Hoover sentenced 6 times to life

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Gang leader Larry Hoover

Chicago’s biggest gangster Larry Hoover since Al Capone is him.

Less well known than the Crips and the Bloods, the Gangster Disciples are nevertheless one of the most ferocious gangs in the United States . With numbers now estimated between 50,000 and 100,000 active members, they reign supreme over drug trafficking, theft and extortion in and around Chicago.

And if you’re wondering how what in the 60s was just a small neighborhood gang like there were so many others was able to transform over time into a real crime empire, the answer lies in a name: Larry Hoover .

A former corner boy sentenced to life for homicide, he is the one who, from his prison cell for twenty years, led the “GDs” under the radar and with an iron fist until he himself became a legend of the game.

Here is his story.

strength in numbers

Larry Hoover was born on Christmas Day 1950 in Mississippi before his parents moved four years later to the “Windy City” in search of a better life. Unfortunately for them, very quickly their offspring starts hanging out with the wrong people .

At twelve years old, young Larry goes completely illegal when he joins other small-time hitters of his own from the southern suburbs who call themselves the Supreme Gangsters. Dressed in all black and bronze, the gang specializes in theft and racketeering.

When three years later, Alex Rain, the leader of the fine team dies following a settling of accounts, the one who is now nicknamed ‘Prince Larry’ then emerges as the new leader .

Although already at the head of about fifty members, he decided to merge his troops with those of two other rival local bands like the Black King Cobra or the Black P Stones to form the Gangster Nation.

Three years later, in January 1969, Hoover continued his momentum by joining forces with David Barksdale ( yes like Avon ), founder of the Devil’s Disciples in the early 60s. The two men thus created the Black Gangster Disciple Nation and found themselves de facto at the head of nearly a thousand blue and black “disciples”.

Older Barksdale officially takes the title of ‘King’, while Hoover holds the position of ‘Chairman’.

As discreet as he is respected, Barksdale makes it a point of honor to manage his affairs without making waves , so much so that neither the police nor the courts will ever be able to stick the slightest serious conviction on his back.

The prince who became king

If at the beginning of the following decade everything seemed to be going well for the BGDN, a series of events seriously undermined this beautiful dynamic .

It is first of all David Barksdale who is the victim of an assassination attempt in 1970 and who if he comes out alive, does not come out unscathed: hit by a bullet in the kidneys, he must now come to terms with capricious health.

It was then in early 1973 Larry Hoover who ordered the murder of a certain William ‘Pooky’ Young, a 19-year-old drug dealer accused of stealing drugs and money from the Disciples Gangsters. Young will be found dead in an alley, six bullets lodged in the head. Bad luck for Hoover, the police had been watching him for some time and managed to send him to court where he was jailed for “150 to 200 years ” .

It is finally, the death of Barksdale on September 2 of the following year following renal complications which leaves the organization without sovereign.

Unable to hold together, the gang then sinks into The Division .

Despite his incarceration, Larry Hoover nevertheless manages to keep control of the “historic channel” branch, even if he has to fight for two years with Jerome Freeman, one of his former lieutenants.

Renouncing his initial ambitions, the latter ended up going to found the Black Disciples in the summer of 1976 with what remained of his supporters (ie still a third of the workforce), while a third faction was born, the Black Gangsters.

Now sole master on board after what looks very much like a Pyrrhic victory, Hoover undertakes serious reconstruction work.

Iron hand and velvet glove

Behaving more like a businessman than a mobster , he first secures his positions in the drug trade on the South Side of Chicago before forging alliances with rival groups, not only black as before, but also Hispanic (La Raza, the Maniac Latin Disciples, the Spanish Gangster Disciples…).

From the center of Stateville where he is incarcerated, Larry Hoover restructures the hierarchy of the gang on the model of the big companies of the Dow Jones and sets out to conquer the drug market on a national scale , taking advantage in the early 80s of the The sudden appearance of crack cocaine in the ghettos offers unprecedented development prospects.

Within four walls, strengthened by this new power and by the fact that the government’s policy of increased repression of gangs has caused the number of detainees to explode, he is able to constantly recruit new soldiers to whom he offers protection on the inside and “prospects for the future” on the outside.

This is how the Gangsters Disciples very quickly exceeded the 20,000 member mark .

Hoover is all the more comfortable in his new role as he officially plays the model prisoner card . Not only does he forbid his men from attacking prison staff, but he does not hesitate to forge links with rival gangs (the Black P Stones, the Vice Lords, the Latin Kings, etc.) to limit the maximum intramural friction.

Hoover was so successful that in the late 1980s he ended up being transferred to a less secure facility .

Better, in 1993, he organized a giant picnic in the sensitive district of Kankakee where 10,000 followers were present and during which he announced to them via a pre-recorded speech that he renounced violence .

Proof of this change, the meaning of the acronym “GD” is changed to “Growth & Development  .

Hoover then launched the 21st Century VOTE movement, the aim of which was to encourage his supporters to enter politics and stand for election and published a kind of program book on this occasion (to become a better person, to help his community rather than to pull it down…).

The masks are falling

That same year 1993, his request for parole, although supported by several public figures (including the former mayor of Chicago Eugene Sawyer) was rejected: if the general public could indeed from afar have the feeling of a sincere questioning, prison staff are not fooled about the maneuver .

Far from having mourned his criminal past, Larry Hoover instead pursues his illicit activities in secret, using his respectability in public as a front .

In August 1995, he was thus indicted by federal justice for narcotics trafficking, extortion and criminal association , and this, for facts going back for some to more than fifteen years back – under the name of Operation Headache, the authorities were already investigating his hidden actions from the end of the 1970s.

Arrested in prison (?), he was immediately transferred 1,500 kilometers further to a high-security establishment in Colorado.

When the time came for his trial in 1997, the verdict was final: he was not only found guilty of having generated 100 million dollars annually in traffic of all kinds in more than 35 American states , but he was also updated that the network of charitable associations (association of appeal to the vote, music label…) of which he boasted so much was in reality only used to launder dirty money.

Larry Hoover thus received six life sentences in quick succession , while 38 of his lieutenants were also sentenced in long terms.

Considered since as a political prisoner by some (Kanye West and Rick Ross in the lead, Ye having gone so far as to request his release from Donald Trump), the “Chairman” now only occupies a symbolic position within the Gangster Disciples. Which doesn’t stop the gang from continuing to thrive.

And too bad if Chicago has meanwhile become ” Chiraq  , a city in which the deaths by bullets from 2003 to 2011 were more numerous than those recorded over the same period during the war in Iraq.

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Press Release

Fetch Rewards Raises Over $210M in Series D Funding

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Fetch Rewards Raises Over $210M in Series D Funding

Consumer loyalty and retail rewards software Fetch Rewards, based in Madison, Wisconsin, raised more than $210 million in Series D funding.

Leading the round, which raised a total of $328 million, were SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and existing investors ICONIQ, DST, Greycroft, and e.ventures.

The money will be used by the business to keep growing operations and clientele.

Wes Schroll, the company’s founder and CEO, founded Fetch Rewards, which enables customers to earn free rewards on regular purchases by taking photos of their receipts or sending electronic receipts.

The app has approximately 7 million active users and has received more than 19 million downloads since its inception in 2017. Nearly a billion receipts have been processed by Fetch thus far, and its customers have saved more than $120 million as a result.

The business has locations in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.

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