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ADA turns 30, Panasonic’s new battery tech and delivery (data) woes – TechCrunch



DE&I at Facebook, Prop 22 and gig worker earnings – TechCrunch

The Station is a weekly publication devoted to all issues transportation. Sign up right here — simply click on The Station — to obtain it each Saturday in your inbox.

Hello and welcome again to The Station, a publication devoted to all the current and future methods individuals and packages transfer from Point A to Point B.

Before we get into all of the mobility information and evaluation of the week I wished to flag an upcoming occasion that is perhaps of curiosity to the budding entrepreneurs on the market. TC Disrupt, that BIG annual occasion we maintain every fall, is digital this yr. I can’t inform you the whole lot but, besides we put a variety of effort and tech into making this interactive and thrilling. This shouldn’t be going to some boring webinar.

We’re including a bunch of recent occasions to Disrupt this yr, together with one thing we’re calling Pitch Deck Teardown. Top enterprise capitalists and entrepreneurs will consider and counsel fixes for Disrupt 2020 attendees’ pitch decks. Investors who signed up for the Pitch Deck Teardown, embody Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures, Charles Hudson with Venture Forward, Niko Bonatsos of General Catalyst, Megan Quinn with Spark Capital, Cyan Banister of Long Journey Ventures, Roelof Botha from Sequoia and Susan Lyne with BBG.

Only pitch decks of registered Disrupt attendees shall be chosen. Here’s an entire breakdown of the occasion and easy methods to register.

The Pitch Deck Teardown couldn’t come at a greater time both. During our Early Stage occasion final month, Jake Saper with Emergence Capital talked about easy methods to time your Series A fundraise. September simply so occurs to be a giant month for traders to assessment pitch decks.

Alrighty then. Vamos.

Friendly reminder which you could attain out and e mail me anytime at [email protected] to share ideas, criticisms, provide up opinions or ideas. You can even ship a direct message to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.


This summer season is popping out to be a vital interval for scooter corporations vying for permits in a handful of markets. Cities discovered a factor or two throughout that first wave of electrical scooters that hit the streets a few years in the past. This time round, metropolis leaders are inserting extra restrictions on e-scooters and limiting the variety of corporations allowed to function in an city space. That’s an vital change, and one which raises the stakes for scooter corporations.

First there was Paris, which awarded Dott, Lime and Tier permits to function within the metropolis. Now, Chicago has issued permits to Bird, Lime and Spin for its second pilot program. Chicago is limiting scooter use to 15 mph between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. And there are few areas, just like the Lakefront Trail, the place scooters are prohibited.

Each scooter firm is restricted to not more than 3,333 gadgets, 50% of which have to be deployed with an fairness precedence space. New to the second pilot is a requirement that each one e-scooters will need to have locks that require riders to safe the scooter to a hard and fast object to finish their journey.

On a aspect notice, Lyft didn’t apply for the scooter allow. I requested Lyft, ‘why not?’ The firm stated it’s specializing in its growth of Divvy, Chicago’s bike-sharing system. The metropolis made Lyft the unique operator of Divvy final yr and now beginning to increase. The Divvy system will ultimately embody 16,500 bikes and 800 stations. Here’s what Lyft needed to say:

“We have spent the higher a part of the final yr working with communities in Chicago’s South and West Sides to arrange for brand new stations and ebikes. In order to prioritize our work with CDOT to increase Divvy and supply the best potential expertise for Divvy members, Lyft opted out of submitting an utility that mirrored requests of this yr’s scooter pilot. We are devoted to the long-term success of micromobility in Chicago, and we sit up for future alternatives to work with the City to mix the advantages of bikes and scooters into one Divvy membership.”

In different micromobbin’ information …

Bird stated Friday it’s launching its shared e-scooters in Yonkers, New York as an “unique” operator. The phrase “unique” is a type of buzzwords that’s tossed round rather a lot so I requested what this really means. And Bird says it’s the solely firm that shall be issued a allow to function in Yonkers. So there you’ve gotten it. The firm’s fleet of next-generation Bird Two scooters shall be accessible to lease beginning August 10.

bird-Yonkers scooters

Image Credits: Bird

Revel, the shared moped startup, has shut down operations in New York City following two deaths inside days of one another. The startup’ blue mopeds had develop into a standard sight in New York City. Revel, based in March 2018 by Frank Reig and Paul Suhey, began with a pilot program in Brooklyn and later expanded to Queens. Revel has been on a fast-paced progress observe, increasing to Austin, Miami and Washington, D.C in its first 18 months of operation. In January, the corporate launched in Oakland and not too long ago introduced plans to increase to San Francisco this August.

The firm stated in a press release that’s reviewing its security measures and does plan to return to New York.

Deal of the week

money the station

Prickly relations between China and the United States, notably round commerce, has not slowed the march of Chinese corporations hoping to listing on American inventory exchanges. Li Auto is simply the most recent instance, Rita Liao reported this week.

Li Auto is aiming for a rising Chinese center class that aspires to drive cleaner, smarter and bigger automobiles. Its first mannequin, offered at a sponsored worth of 328,000 yuan, or $46,800, is a six-seat electrical SUV that started transport on the finish of final yr.

The five-year-old Chinese electrical automobile startup raised $1.1 billion by means of its debut on Nasdaq. Li Auto priced its IPO north of its focused vary at $11.5 per share, giving it a totally diluted market worth of $10 billion. It additionally raised an extra $380 million in a concurrent non-public placement of shares to current traders.

Li Auto

Image credit score: Li Auto

Other offers that received my consideration this week …

Argo AI is now valued at $7.5 billion, a determine that was confirmed Thursday, almost two months after VW Group finalized its $2.6 billion funding within the autonomous automobile expertise startup. You would possibly recall that Argo got here out of nowhere in 2017 with $1 billion (to be unfold over a number of years) in again from Ford. Last yr, VW introduced it was going to put money into Argo as properly.

Under the deal that was finalized final month, Ford and VW have equal possession stakes, which shall be roughly 40% every over time. The remaining fairness sits with Argo’s co-founders in addition to workers. Argo’s board is comprised of two VW seats, two Ford seats and three Argo seats. Ford stated Thursday it netted $3.5 billion within the second quarter from promoting a few of its Argo fairness to Volkswagen.

AUTO1 Group, the European digital used-car buying and selling platform, raised 255 million euros ($300 million) within the type of convertible notes. The spherical  was led by Farallon Capital Management and the Baupost Group in addition to current investor Softbank Group, the NYT reported., a Berlin-based startup that runs a market for reserving air freight, closed an $18.6 million Series A spherical of funding led by Index Ventures. Other contributors within the spherical embody Subsequent47 in addition to prior backers Creandum, Lufthansa Cargo and Point Nine Capital. Various angel traders additionally joined in, together with Tom Stafford of DST Global and Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas, the COO of GoCardless and former chief product officer of Skyscanner.

LINE MAN, the Thai meals supply platform that may be a unit of Japanese chat app LINE Corp, raised $110 million from BRV Capital Management and merged with a neighborhood restaurant aggregator. LINE MAN is loading up on capital because it goals to compete with Singapore-based Grab, Indonesia’s Go-Jek and Foodpanda of Germany’s Delivery Hero SE, Reuters reported.

FreightWaves, the freight information and analytics firm, raised $37 million in a spherical led by Kayne Partners Fund. Other traders embody 8VC, Fontinalis Partners, Revolution Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Prologis Ventures, Story Ventures and Engage Ventures.

Theeb Rent-a-Car is trying into a possible preliminary public providing. The Saudi Arabian rental firm employed Saudi Fransi Capital to advise on the IPO, Bloomberg reported.

Toyota is taking a 10% stake in BluE Nexus, an organization that makes electrical drive modules. The funding is a part of a deepening collaboration between the 2 corporations.

Xpeng, the Chinese electrical automobile startup and Tesla rival that simply introduced a $500 million Series C+ spherical, is reportedly in talks to lift round $300 million forward of an preliminary public providing (IPO) within the United States. (again to my earlier level about curiosity amongst Chinese corporations to listing on U.S. inventory exchanges)

Delivery and information (breaches)

Image credit score: Getty

If you hadn’t seen, supply has been forged as one of many large success tales to emerge throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I exploit the time period “forged” as a result of it’s not all sunshine, roses and rainbows for the supply trade or its customers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a spike in demand for supply companies. It has additionally helped propel unprecedented consolidation as corporations like Uber search profitability.

There are challenges although, together with an space that maybe deserves A LOT MORE ATTENTION. I’m speaking about information and privateness. Delivery corporations, which features a rising variety of autonomous and teleoperated companies, gather a ton of non-public information from its prospects. The type of useful information, like house addresses and bank card numbers, which can be offered on the darkish net.

This week, our cybersecurity editor Zack Whittaker reported on two information breaches involving supply corporations. The first was Drizly, one of many largest on-line alcohol supply companies within the U.S. and Canada, elevating over $68 million thus far. Drizly informed prospects a hacker “obtained” some buyer information. The hacker took buyer e mail addresses, date-of-birth, passwords hashed utilizing the stronger bcrypt algorithm and, in some instances, supply addresses.

As many as 2.5 million Drizly accounts are believed to have been stolen. Here’s one thing to be aware of, Drizy informed TechCrunch that no monetary data was compromised. However, an inventory on a darkish net market from a well known vendor of stolen information claims in any other case. TechCrunch, after all, didn’t hyperlink to it. But Whittaker did take and share a screenshot.

Meanwhile, on-line purchasing and supply service Instacart is blaming prospects who reused passwords for a latest spate of account breaches. The information breach compromised 270,000 Instacart prospects. The firm printed a press release late on Thursday saying its investigation confirmed that Instacart “was not compromised or breached,” however pointed to credential stuffing, the place hackers take lists of usernames and passwords stolen from different breached websites and brute-force their method into different accounts.

Customers can’t shoulder all the accountability. Instacart, as Whittaker notes, nonetheless doesn’t help two-factor authentication, which — if prospects had enabled — would have prevented the account hacks to start with.

Other supply information …

Flipkart, which is owned by Walmart, launched a hyperlocal service in suburbs of Bangalore, 4 years after the e-commerce group abruptly concluded its earlier foray into this class.

The new service known as Flipkart Quick makes use of the corporate’s provide chain infrastructure and a brand new location mapping expertise framework to ship inside 90 minutes to prospects greater than 2,000 merchandise throughout grocery, perishables, smartphones, electronics equipment and stationary gadgets.

It’s electrical

the station electric vehicles1

Remember the times when electrical automobile information was relegated to Tesla, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt? Times have modified and, properly, stayed the identical. Tesla nonetheless dominates the headlines and this week wasn’t any totally different. (extra on them later). But now, there are dozens of different electrical automobile fashions coming to market. The upshot: charging infrastructure is changing into extra vital. (Hey, not everybody has a storage).

This week, GM and EVgo introduced plans so as to add greater than 2,700 new quick chargers. The rollout, which can take 5 years, will triple the dimensions of the EVgo community. The first of those new EVgo quick charging stations shall be accessible to prospects beginning early 2021.

The corporations are focusing on high-traffic areas like grocery shops, stores, leisure facilities, areas the place individuals usually spend 15 to 30 minutes. The stations, which shall be powered by renewable power, will characteristic new charging expertise with 100 to 350-kilowatt capabilities, the businesses stated.

The charging partnership follows a quite a few bulletins from GM round its electrical automobile technique. Earlier this week, GM stated metal building has began on the almost 3-million-square-foot manufacturing unit that can mass produce Ultium battery cells and packs. The Ultium battery, together with a modular propulsion system and electrical automobile platform, is the cornerstone of GM’ technique to carry 20 electrical automobiles to market by 2023.

GM not too long ago launched a video of its upcoming GMC Hummer EV and subsequent week plans to disclose the Cadillac LYRIQ.

GM and EVgo charging

Image Credits: GM/EVgo

Other electrical information this week …

BMW stated it can provide the all-electric variations of X1 compact SUV and the 5 Series as a part of the German automaker’s plans to have 25 electrified fashions in its portfolio by 2023.

Electric Brands is engaged on a VW Bus-inspired EV known as the eBussy, through The Drive.

Fisker Inc. revealed in a presentation that was filed with the SEC {that a} “cornerstone settlement” with Volkswagen has been delayed, the Verge reported. Fisker desires to make use of Volkswagen’s modular EV platform for its upcoming electrical automobiles.

Kandi Technologies Group, the Chinese electrical automobile and elements producer, bringing two EVs to the United States by means of its subsidiary Kandi America. The two fashions, that are priced underneath $30,000 earlier than federal incentives, would be the most cost-effective EVs within the United States.

Lucid Motors supplied new particulars about its upcoming electrical automobile, the Air. In quick, this luxurious EV sedan is loaded up with {hardware} — dozens of sensors, a driver monitoring system and an Ethernet-based structure — for a sophisticated driver help system that goals to match and even surpass its rivals.

There shall be 32 sensors in all, in keeping with Lucid, which has branded its superior driver help system DreamDrive. Lidar, a sensor that will get a variety of consideration, shall be on the automobile. But I used to be struck by the variety of radar sensors on the Air. There shall be 5 radars in all, giving the automobile 360 levels of radar protection.

Panasonic revealed to TechCrunch this week that it developed new battery expertise for the “2170” lithium-ion cells it produces and provides to Tesla, a change that improves power density by 5% and reduces expensive cobalt content material. The new, larger power dense 2170 cells shall be produced by Panasonic at Tesla’s manufacturing unit in Sparks, Nevada. Improvements on the battery tech will proceed with a 20% enchancment in power density over the subsequent 5 years and a purpose to be cobalt free.

Rivian’s retail technique is beginning to emerge. The firm has stated it can try to repurpose current buildings for its shops, when potential. This week, the corporate stated it’s pursuing the acquisition of the historic Laguna Beach South Coast Cinema. The theater’s current construction, was opened in 1935 and stood as the town’s solely cinema till it closed its doorways in August 2015.

Tesla’s gross sales in China have gotten more and more vital to its backside line. An SEC submitting this week exhibits that income in China climbed 102.9% year-over-year to $1.four billion. That means China now makes up 23.3% of Tesla’s whole revenues of $6 billion within the quarter, in comparison with nearly 11% in the identical interval a yr earlier than.

Tesla additionally revealed in the identical SEC submitting that it acquired payroll-related advantages from the federal government, funds that helped cut back the influence of the coronavirus pandemic on its enterprise, Reuters reported.

Speaking of Tesla … CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to say that the automaker could be “open to licensing software program and supplying powertrains & batteries” to different automakers. Musk added that that may even embody Autopilot, the superior driver help software program that Tesla gives to supply clever cruise management in a lot of totally different driving eventualities. No phrase on whether or not any corporations are biting.

ADA and mobility

Illustration of a group of people with a variety of disabilities cheering

Image Credits: iStock / Getty Images

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 paved the best way for many years of incremental adjustments to the best way buildings, companies and legal guidelines accommodate individuals with all kinds of disabilities. As reporter Devin Coldewey notes, the legislation’s impact on tech has been profound.

There continues to be a variety of work to do. I’m all of you autonomous automobile engineers, designers and founders.

Here are just a few tales that spotlight the influence of ADA.

Start with Coldewey’s overview on ADA and tech. Then transfer over to Streetsblog, which digs into the function bicycles have performed as mobility assistive gadgets. Finally, try this story on Fable, a startup that goals to make disability-inclusive design simpler by offering testing and growth help from disabled of us on-demand.

See ya’ll subsequent week. 

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Twitter warns investors of possible fine from FTC consent order probe – TechCrunch




Twitter warns investors of possible fine from FTC consent order probe – TechCrunch

Twitter has disclosed it’s going through a possible wonderful of greater than 100 million {dollars} because of a probe by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which believes the corporate violated a 2011 consent order by utilizing knowledge supplied by customers for a safety goal to focus on them with adverts.

In an SEC submitting, reported on earlier by the New York Times, Twitter revealed it obtained the draft grievance from the FTC late final month. The exercise the regulator is complaining about is alleged to have taken place between 2013 and 2019.

Last October the social media agency publicly disclosed it had used cellphone numbers and e-mail addresses supplied by customers to arrange two-factor authentication to bolster the safety of their accounts with a view to serve focused adverts — blaming the SNAFU on a tailor-made audiences program, which permits corporations to focus on adverts in opposition to their very own advertising lists.

Twitter discovered that when advertisers uploaded their very own advertising lists (of emails and/or cellphone numbers) it matched customers to knowledge they’d submitted purely to arrange two-factor authentication on their Twitter account.

“The allegations relate to the Company’s use of cellphone quantity and/or e-mail handle knowledge supplied for security and safety functions for focused promoting in periods between 2013 and 2019,” Twitter writes within the SEC submitting. “The Company estimates that the vary of possible loss on this matter is $ million to $ million and has recorded an accrual of $ million.”

“The matter stays unresolved, and there will be no assurance as to the timing or the phrases of any remaining end result,” it provides.

We’ve reached out to Twitter with questions. Update: An organization spokeswoman stated it had nothing so as to add outdoors this assertion:

Following the announcement of our Q2 monetary outcomes, we obtained a draft grievance from the FTC alleging violations of our 2011 consent order. Following normal accounting guidelines we included an estimated vary for settlement in our 10Q filed on August 3.

The firm has had a torrid few weeks on the safety entrance, struggling a serious safety incident final month after hackers gained entry to its inner account administration instruments, enabling them to entry accounts of scores of verified Twitter customers, together with Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Joe Biden, and use them to ship cryptocurrency rip-off tweets. Police have since charged three individuals with the hack, together with a 17-year-old Florida teen.

In June Twitter additionally disclosed a safety lapse might have uncovered some enterprise clients’ info. While it was compelled to report one other crop of safety incidents final yr — together with after a researcher figuring out a bug that allowed him to find cellphone numbers related to hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts.

Twitter additionally admitted it gave account location knowledge to considered one of its companions, even when the person had opted-out of getting their knowledge shared; and inadvertently gave its advert companions extra knowledge than it ought to have.

Additionally, the corporate is now on the entrance of a protracted queue of tech giants pending enforcement in Europe, associated to main GDPR complaints — the place regional fines for knowledge violations can scale to 4% of an organization’s international annual turnover. Twitter’s lead knowledge safety regulator, Ireland’s DPC, submitted a draft determination associated to a probe of considered one of its safety breaches to the bloc’s different knowledge businesses in May — with a remaining determination slated as seemingly this summer time.

The determination pertains to an investigation the regulator instigated following one more main safety fail by Twitter in 2018 — when it revealed a bug had resulted in some passwords being saved in plain textual content.

As we reported on the time it’s fairly uncommon for a corporation of such dimension to make such a fundamental safety mistake. But Twitter has a really lengthy historical past of failing to guard customers’ knowledge — with further hacking incidents all the best way again in 2009 resulting in the 2011 FTC consent order.

Under the phrases of that settlement Twitter was barred for 20 years from deceptive customers concerning the security of their knowledge with a view to resolve FTC expenses that it had “deceived customers and put their privateness in danger by failing to safeguard their private info”.

It additionally agreed to determine and keep “a complete info safety program”, with unbiased auditor assessments going down each different yr for 10 years.

Given the phrases of that order a wonderful does certainly look inevitable. However the broader failing right here is that of US regulators — which, for over a decade, have did not grapple with the exploitative, surveillance-based enterprise fashions which have led to breaches and safety lapses by quite a few data-mining adtech giants, not simply Twitter.

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Search the web – TechCrunch




Search the web – TechCrunch

WhatsApp, one of the fashionable immediate messaging platforms on the planet, has rolled out a brand new function in choose markets that makes it simpler for customers to confirm whether or not the assertions made in messages they’ve acquired on the app are true.

The Facebook -owned service has enabled customers in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US to click on on a magnifying glass-shaped icon subsequent to continuously forwarded messages — these which have been forwarded at the least 5 instances — to go looking the online for his or her contents and confirm them.

WhatsApp stated the brand new function, referred to as ‘search the online’, works by permitting customers to add the message — it could possibly be textual content or a picture — through their browser. This implies that WhatsApp itself by no means sees the content material of any message, it stated in a weblog publish.

The function, out there throughout WhatsApp’s Android, iOS, and Web apps, is in pilot stage, the messaging platform stated. It stays unclear how quickly WhatsApp intends to roll out this function, which it started testing a number of months in the past, to customers throughout the globe.

But regardless, the brand new function comes at a time when WhatsApp and different messaging platforms are getting used extra typically than ever earlier than as individuals keep in contact with their pals, households, and colleagues on the top of a world pandemic.

WhatsApp, which has been compelled to confront with the unfold of misinformation problem on its platform in recent times, has launched a number of options and imposed restrictions to higher management the circulation previously 12 months.

In April, WhatsApp put in place further restriction on how continuously a message could possibly be shared on its platform. WhatsApp stated that any message that has been forwarded 5 or extra instances will now face a brand new restrict that may forestall a person from forwarding it to multiple chat (contact) at a time. Weeks later, quantity of “extremely forwarded” messages had already dropped by 70% globally, it claimed.

Though WhatsApp has visibly rushed to take well timed actions in current quarters, misinformation has not vanished from the app. Ill-informed explanations about Indian authorities’s strikes, and “cures” of Covid-19 had been nonetheless doing rounds on the platform a couple of months in the past in India, its greatest market, for intance. And to be truthful, there’s solely a lot a tech agency can do to battle human stupidity.

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TaxScouts raises £5M Series A to expand to Europe, first stop Spain – TechCrunch




TaxScouts raises £5M Series A to expand to Europe, first stop Spain – TechCrunch

TaxScouts, the U.Ok. tax preparation startup based by TransferWise and MarketInvoice alumni, has raised £5 million in Series A funding for European enlargement.

Leading the spherical is Octopus Ventures, with earlier traders SpeedInvest, Seedcamp and Finch Capital, following on. Also taking part is Clocktower Technology Ventures, the U.S. enterprise capital agency specialising in monetary expertise.

Aiming to construct a “pan-European” tax submitting service, first cease exterior the U.Ok. is Spain, with TaxScouts having already appointed a Madrid-based nation supervisor. It says it has chosen Spain based mostly on the dimensions of the market and the complexity of the native tax system, and can develop to additional European markets within the close to future.

Image Credits: TaxScouts

Combining “automation” with a community of human accountants, TaxScouts’ service is designed to assist you thru your annual tax submitting preparation and submission. The firm costs a easy flat charge — at present £119 within the U.Ok. — and guarantees a fast turnaround, sometimes simply 1-2 days.

To obtain this, the online app walks you thru your tax standing, revenue and bills with out assuming an excessive amount of prior data. This contains asking you to add or take a photograph of any required paperwork, reminiscent of invoices or dividend certificates. The concept is that all the admin is captured digitally and packaged up prepared for an assigned accountant to test.

TaxScouts says the brand new Series A funding will likely be used to develop the corporate’s Spanish service and make key hires throughout its engineering, product, and advertising and marketing groups.

Mart Abramov, co-founder and CEO of TaxScouts, feedback: “We see an enormous quantity of potential in launching TaxScouts into Spain. Naturally, the climate and the wine had been thought of when choosing the market, however having efficiently constructed an answer for one of many trickiest tax methods in Europe, we’re assured that we will ship one other nice product for Spain’s complicated tax construction. The market is double that of the UK, and this is step one to us constructing a pan-European tax service”.

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