Here are this week’s favourite stories across tech and finance from our Head of PR, Bilal Mahmood. Happy reading!

‘Danny In The Valley’

After more than a decade in London, The Sunday Times’ Danny Fortson (Tech correspondent) returns to Silicon Valley to meet the techies trying to change the world – and make loads of money while doing it. Tune into his podcast

Small businesses bank on alternative finance

A survey of SMEs by Worldpay reveals small business owners are increasingly looking at alternative financing options to support growth. While 21% of business owners aged 44 or under say they are still most likely to apply for a bank loan when looking for funding, 17% of respondents say they’re more likely to look at crowdfunding, while 11% prefer peer-to-peer lending, and 6% say they favour business cash advance. Read more

Fraud risk from connected devices

A report by National Trading Standards (NTS) warns that the use of connected devices such as smart TVs and voice-activated home assistants by criminals seeking to steal data poses an emerging threat to UK consumers. NTS has urged consumers to “remain vigilant” as criminals exploit new trends and technology, warning that connected gadgets could leave households open to data theft. Read more

Think tank: Robots can drive growth and productivity

The Centre for Policy Studies think tank says robots may help boost growth and increase productivity, saying it believes a “robot tax” would “impede productivity growth, depress wage growth and encourage economic activity to relocate, reducing the UK’s tax base”. The report concedes that increased reliance on robots could drive up inequality as certain jobs are replaced. Read more

UK tech firms need to adapt ‘rock star’ culture

A US expert says that if UK companies wanted to attract the best workers in the digital age they must offer Silicon Valley perks – from yoga classes to valet parking. Duncan Logan, founder of San Francisco firm Rocketspace which helps IT start-ups grow, said talent-based economies, including tech, generate real premiums for people at the top. “’One of the challenges we have with large corporations is explaining to them that these talented people, they are the rock stars of your business. So, you have to get used to paying them big salaries and giving them perks in the same way that you would look after a film star,” he said. Read more