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StdLib Secures $2M in Strategic Financing from Stripe, Finalizing a $4M Seed Round From Multiple Investors

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StdLib Secures $2M in Strategic Financing from Stripe, Finalizing a $4M Seed Round From Multiple Investors

Polybit Inc., the company behind the Standard Library of the Internet (StdLib) has secured an additional $2 million in strategic financing from Stripe, bringing Polybit’s total funding to date to $4 million.

StdLib announced the $2M strategic funding round from Stripe in a blog post that went live earlier this morning [1]. The announcement comes with a new product offering, Code.xyz [2], an online code editor that allows anybody to create a serverless API in a single click.

“We want to give developers and organizations the ability to build, publish and integrate with enterprise-grade APIs with the same ease-of-use they create and share documents or spreadsheets,” said Keith Horwood, founder and CEO of StdLib. “Our serverless platform provides a scalable compute (hosting) layer with automatically generated documentation, authentication, billing, and other services, enabling anybody to turn simple JavaScript functions into production-ready APIs in seconds.”

While large players in the serverless space, like Amazon Web Services’ Lambda, focus on operational cost-savings associated with per-millisecond billing, StdLib is focused on using serverless technologies and the commoditization of compute to standardize the way in which companies build APIs. StdLib aims to make API development more accessible while encouraging a more seamless API partnership model and fueling ecosystem growth. The company’s $2M investment from Stripe follows a major investment from Slack [3] and API partnership with MessageBird [4], the YC-backed Twilio-competitor that raised a record-breaking $60M Series A just last year.

The investments will further fuel StdLib’s product and API ecosystem development. Stripe’s mission, to grow the GDP of the internet by enabling new business models and lowering the barriers to entrepreneurship, parallels StdLib’s goals to remove the barriers-to-entry to both software development and API integration as a means to propel businesses forward.

Introducing Code.xyz: One Click APIs

StdLib’s funding announcement coincides with the release of a new product, Code.xyz, an in-browser code editor and embeddable development environment for easily building APIs, webhooks, and workflow automation tasks that run on top of the StdLib serverless platform.

“What’s really missing in the API space is a simple, one-tool solution for developers, product managers, and really, anybody in an organization to easily build, host and collaborate around API development. APIs run our businesses and we need better tools to manipulate them that work for everybody — not just veteran developers,” Keith said.

The goal of Code.xyz is to provide a “Google Docs”-like experience for API development and publishing, available to anybody from their web browser. Using Code.xyz significantly reduces repetitive API development work for professional engineers and provides less technical knowledge workers greater access to writing software and utilizing enterprise-quality integrations. Now you can quickly design and build APIs with complete documentation, share these API design specs and more with a single click.

Developers and organizations get a few other benefits of working with Code.xyz and StdLib:

Never worry about endpoint scaling: the StdLib cloud auto-scales
Manage and share API templates (sources) within your organization
Provide customers the ability to write custom logic in response to webhooks
Onboard developers to your APIs with shippable, production-ready examples
“Our team is excited to make APIs more accessible and easier to build for everyone,” said Keith, “and we’re very thankful and humbled to have Stripe’s and others’ support as we grow.”

[1] https://stdlib.com/blog/stripe-code-xyz

[2] https://code.xyz/

[3] https://slackhq.com/introducing-7-new-slack-fund-companies-4b1ab9fd7a8a

[4] https://blog.messagebird.com/integrate-sms-messaging-in-minutes-with-stdlib-and-messagebird-c651744637b5

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Japan’s jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures – Reuters poll

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Japan's jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures - Reuters poll 1

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s jobless rate is expected to have edged up in January as service industry businesses suffered renewed restrictions on movement to fight spread of the coronavirus in some areas, including Tokyo, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.

While industrial production activity picked up in Japan, emergency curbs rolled out last month such as asking restaurants to close early and suspending the national travel campaign hurt the jobs market, analysts said.

The nation’s unemployment rate likely rose 3.0% in January, up from 2.9% in December, the poll of 15 economists found.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio, a gauge of the availability of jobs, was seen at 1.06 in January, unchanged from December, but stayed near September’s seven-year low of 1.03, the poll showed.

“As the impact from the coronavirus pandemic prolongs, it is hard for firms, especially the service sector, to expect their business profits to improve,” said Yusuke Shimoda, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.

“So, their willingness to hire employees appear to be subdued and it is difficult to see the jobs market recovering soon.”

Some analysts also said the government’s steps to support employment and existing labour shortages will likely prevent the jobless rate from worsening sharply.

The government will announce the labour market data at 8:30 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday (2330 GMT Monday).

Analysts expect the economy to contract in the current quarter due to the emergency measures to counter the spread of the disease.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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China’s economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 – central bank adviser

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China's economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 - central bank adviser 2

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.

This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.

Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.

China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.

Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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Japan’s January factory output rises for first time in three months, retail sales drop

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Japan's January factory output rises for first time in three months, retail sales drop 3

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s industrial output rose for the first time in three months in January thanks to a pickup in global demand, in a welcome sign for an economy still looking to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.

But retail sales, a key gauge of consumer spending, posted their second straight month of declines in January as emergency measures taken in response to the pandemic hit consumption.

Official data released on Friday showed factory output advanced 4.2% in January, boosted by sharp rises in production of electronic parts and general-purpose machinery, as well as a smaller increase in car output.

“Manufacturers will continue to increase output over the near term as long as there won’t be any big shock,” said Taro Saito, executive research fellow at NLI Research Institute.

While economic growth will likely be negative in the first quarter, the strength in manufacturing would offset the negative impact of a state of emergency at home, which is mainly affecting the services sector, he said.

The rise in output, which followed a 1.0% fall the previous month, was largely in line with a 4.0% gain forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expect output to grow 2.1% in February, followed by a 6.1% decline in March.

The government kept its assessment of industrial production unchanged, saying it was picking up.

Factory output fell in November and December as a rebound in car production ended on sagging global demand, but since then strong demand for tech-making equipment and electronic goods has helped turn the tide.

Still, some analysts worry that Japan’s economic recovery will remain hobbled by weaker conditions at home and as lockdown measures taken around the world to contain the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in Europe, weigh.

The government also released data on Friday showing retail sales fell 2.4% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, in a sign households tightened their purse strings as the coronavirus staged a resurgence.

The fall, which was in line with a 2.6% drop seen by economists in a Reuters poll, was largely due to sharp contractions in general merchandise and fabrics apparel spending. It followed a 0.2% fall in December.

Compared to a month earlier, retail sales in January fell 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the third straight month of declines. But the pace of decline was slower than in the previous two months.

“We think consumer spending will only fall around 1% quarter-on-quarter this quarter,” said Tom Learmouth, Japan economist at Capital Economics.

“We expect it to rise fairly strongly over the coming quarters as the recovery resumes and is soon given a shot in the arm by vaccines,” he added.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Sam Holmes and Richard Pullin)

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