Top Local Business Stories of the Week


ORACLE EXPANSION

Oracle plans to nearly double size of Austin campus, city documents show: Oracle’s massive Austin waterfront campus is about to get even bigger.

In March, Oracle moved into its new, five-story building in Southeast Austin that spans more than half a million square feet and overlooks Lady Bird Lake.

Plans filed with the city of Austin now show just how much larger the corporate campus along South Lakeshore Boulevard is about to get.

The city documents show that the company’s plans for a second phase would add 420,000 square feet to the existing building, which has 560,000 square feet of space. The new wing would extend from the south side of the existing building into an area that is now open space, the documents show. The plans are awaiting approval by the city.

Oracle, the second-largest software company in the world, has not said when it plans to start construction on the expansion.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company has said its first phase will house 3,000 tech workers, many of them millennials.

In an interview late last year, Scott Armour, senior vice president of Oracle Digital, said the second phase would house “another couple thousand” employees.

Julia Allyn, an Oracle spokeswoman, declined to comment on the projected headcount for the second phase of the Austin campus. She previously said that Oracle has about 2,500 employees in Austin and more than 4,500 in Texas.

However, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison said he expects the corporate campus in Austin to grow to as large as 10,000 employees.

“We have big plans,” Ellison told the crowd. “We have a handful of hubs in the United States, and Austin is one of the key places we want to be because that’s where we think our people want to be.”

Mike Rollins, president of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, said the planned expansion is a “continued big win on several fronts…”

“Oracle is a technology iconic brand that other tech companies take notice of…,” Rollins said. “This type of industry notice will be good news as potential other tech followers will look to be part of the Austin region’s secret sauce of success.”

Angelos Angelou, an Austin economist, said Oracle’s investment signals that the company “is committed to Austin and intends to grow their presence significantly.

“This means that they find our city and region very attractive for talent recruitment and are counting that Austin and Texas will be a major source of new business growth for their company,” Angelous said.

CRYPTO SCAMS

Cryptocurrency investment fraud rampant in Texas, regulators say: So-called digital coins might live up to their hype someday of being integral to commerce of the future, but in the interim the term “cryptocurrency” already has a more dubious distinction — it’s become the most common buzzword used in investment scams statewide.

Crypto-related potential swindles have surpassed schemes involving oil and gas assets, real estate and stocks in recent months as the most popular means by which fraudsters are attempting to separate Texas investors from their money, according to Joe Rotunda, director of enforcement at the Texas State Securities Board.

“It is everywhere,” Rotunda said of the scams tied to various digital currencies. Unscrupulous promoters “are trying to get as much money as they can as quickly as they can” while the sector remains hot.

Rotunda’s agency isn’t attempting to regulate the actual cryptocurrencies. Rather, it has been aiming to crack down on various fraudulent “investment programs” and other schemes touted as either providing exposure to digital coins or based upon them.

A four-week sweep by the State Securities Board, designed to collect data and get a handle on the scope of crypto-related investment offerings in Texas, turned up 32 companies marketing securities through online advertisements or social media without proper registration, according to the securities board. More than half didn’t provide potential investors with physical addresses, and a number were guaranteeing specific investment returns — some as high as 40 percent per month, according to the securities board.

The state agency has taken enforcement action against seven of those companies because of information turned up during the sweep, which began Dec. 18. Investigations are ongoing into the bulk of the remaining firms, Rotunda said, as are inquiries into two dozen or so additional crypto-related schemes identified before and after the sweep.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

These Android phones have security defects out of the box
These Android phones have security defects out of the box

At least 25 Android smartphone models — 11 of which are sold by major U.S. carriers — carry vulnerabilities out of the box, making them easy prey for hackers, according to a new study from security researchers. Researchers from the firm Kryptowire found 38 vulnerabilities in 25 Android phones, according to Wired. They range from being able...
How to get data from one device to another

Q: I copied some photos from my camera’s memory card to a newly created folder on my two-year-old Surface Pro tablet PC, using a USB card reader. I could see the photos after I transferred them, but when I restarted the PC the photos were gone. I haven’t gotten any “low memory” warnings. What’s wrong? — Angie LaMere...
T-Mobile gets rid of robot system for customer service calls
T-Mobile gets rid of robot system for customer service calls

SEATTLE — T-Mobile is getting rid of that robotic voice on its customer service lines, the company announced recently. The telecom said it would connect users straight to a team of customer representatives, unique to their own city, when they call customer service. “ ‘Your call is important to us’ are the six emptiest words...
‘Magic: The Gathering Arena’ may finally get game right for video games
‘Magic: The Gathering Arena’ may finally get game right for video games

Despite pioneering the trading card game on paper, Wizards of the Coast has had a rough go of it in the digital space. “Magic: The Gathering Online” hasn’t had wild success mainly because of stability issues and accessibility. “Magic Duels” was better but it didn’t seem to take full advantage of the medium or capture...
Smart padlock protects front porch deliveries
Smart padlock protects front porch deliveries

The BoxLock is designed to prevent theft of delivery packages left by the front door. In addition to the anti-theft aspect, packages are protected from bad weather, which has victimized me. Nothing like having a box soaked in a thunderstorm, etc. The BoxLock smart padlock solves both these problems. According to BoxLock, this is the first of its kind...
More Stories