Tech at Work: DE&I at Facebook, Prop 22 and gig worker earnings

The Station: ADA turns 30, Panasonic’s new battery tech and delivery (data) woes

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Hello and welcome again to The Station, a e-newsletter devoted to all the current and future methods folks and packages transfer from Point A to Point B.

Before we get into all of the mobility information and evaluation of the week I needed to flag an upcoming occasion that may be 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 let you know the whole lot but, besides we put numerous effort and tech into making this interactive and thrilling. This is just not 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 recommend 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 might be chosen. Here’s an entire breakdown of the occasion and learn how 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 learn how 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 to share ideas, criticisms, provide up opinions or suggestions. You may also ship a direct message to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.


This summer time is popping out to be a vital interval for scooter corporations vying for permits in a handful of markets. Cities realized 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 should have locks that require riders to safe the scooter to a hard and fast object to finish their journey.

On a facet be aware, Lyft didn’t apply for the scooter allow. I requested Lyft, ‘why not?’ The firm mentioned it’s specializing in its enlargement of Divvy, Chicago’s bike-sharing system. The metropolis made Lyft the unique operator of Divvy final yr and now beginning to develop. The Divvy system will finally 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 spanking new stations and ebikes. In order to prioritize our work with CDOT to develop 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 mentioned Friday it’s launching its shared e-scooters in Yonkers, New York as an “unique” operator. The phrase “unique” is a kind of buzzwords that’s tossed round quite a bit so I requested what this truly means. And Bird says it’s the solely firm that might be issued a allow to function in Yonkers. So there you will have it. The firm’s fleet of next-generation Bird Two scooters might be obtainable to hire beginning August 10.

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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 typical 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 lately introduced plans to develop to San Francisco this August.

The firm mentioned 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, significantly round commerce, has not slowed the march of Chinese corporations hoping to checklist 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, bought at a backed value 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 car startup raised $1.1 billion by way 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 personal placement of shares to present traders.

Li Auto

Image credit score: Li Auto

Other offers that obtained my consideration this week …

Argo AI is now valued at $7.5 billion, a determine that was confirmed Thursday, practically two months after VW Group finalized its $2.6 billion funding within the autonomous car know-how startup. You may 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 nicely.

Under the deal that was finalized final month, Ford and VW have equal possession stakes, which might be roughly 40% every over time. The remaining fairness sits with Argo’s co-founders in addition to staff. Argo’s board is comprised of two VW seats, two Ford seats and three Argo seats. Ford mentioned 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 present 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 individuals within the spherical embody Subsequent47 in addition to prior backers Creandum, Lufthansa Cargo and Point Nine Capital. Plenty of 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 knowledge 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 wanting 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 car 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 checklist on U.S. inventory exchanges)

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Delivery and knowledge (breaches)

1596375776 448 The Station ADA turns 30 Panasonic’s new battery tech and

Image credit score: Getty

If you hadn’t observed, supply has been solid as one of many massive success tales to emerge through the COVID-19 pandemic. I take advantage of the time period “solid” 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 knowledge and privateness. Delivery corporations, which features a rising variety of autonomous and teleoperated companies, accumulate a ton of private knowledge from its clients. The type of precious knowledge, like residence addresses and bank card numbers, which are bought on the darkish net.

This week, our cybersecurity editor Zack Whittaker reported on two knowledge 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 up to now. Drizly informed clients a hacker “obtained” some buyer knowledge. The hacker took buyer e mail addresses, date-of-birth, passwords hashed utilizing the stronger bcrypt algorithm and, in some circumstances, 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 widely known vendor of stolen knowledge claims in any other case. TechCrunch, in fact, didn’t hyperlink to it. But Whittaker did take and share a screenshot.

1596375776 494 The Station ADA turns 30 Panasonic’s new battery tech and

Meanwhile, on-line procuring and supply service Instacart is blaming clients who reused passwords for a latest spate of account breaches. The knowledge breach compromised 270,000 Instacart clients. 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 manner into different accounts.

Customers can’t shoulder all the accountability. Instacart, as Whittaker notes, nonetheless doesn’t assist two-factor authentication, which — if clients 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 know-how framework to ship inside 90 minutes to clients 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 car information was relegated to Tesla, the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Bolt? Times have modified and, nicely, 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 car 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 is able to take 5 years, will triple the scale of the EVgo community. The first of those new EVgo quick charging stations might be obtainable to clients beginning early 2021.

The corporations are focusing on high-traffic areas like grocery shops, stores, leisure facilities, areas the place folks sometimes spend 15 to 30 minutes. The stations, which might be powered by renewable vitality, will characteristic new charging know-how with 100 to 350-kilowatt capabilities, the businesses mentioned.

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

GM lately launched a video of its upcoming GMC Hummer EV and subsequent week plans to disclose the Cadillac LYRIQ.

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GM and EVgo charging

Image Credits: GM/EVgo

Other electrical information this week …

BMW mentioned it should 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, by way of 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 car and elements producer, bringing two EVs to the United States by way of its subsidiary Kandi America. The two fashions, that are priced beneath $30,000 earlier than federal incentives, would be the least expensive EVs within the United States.

Lucid Motors supplied new particulars about its upcoming electrical car, 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 complicated driver help system that goals to match and even surpass its rivals.

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

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

Rivian’s retail technique is beginning to emerge. The firm has mentioned it should try to repurpose present buildings for its shops, when potential. This week, the corporate mentioned 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 obtained payroll-related advantages from the federal government, funds that helped scale back the affect of the coronavirus pandemic on its enterprise, Reuters reported.

Speaking of Tesla … CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter on Tuesday night time to say that the automaker can be “open to licensing software program and supplying powertrains & batteries” to different automakers. Musk added that that might even embody Autopilot, the superior driver help software program that Tesla presents to supply clever cruise management in a variety of totally different driving situations. 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 way in which for many years of incremental adjustments to the way in which buildings, companies and legal guidelines accommodate folks with all kinds of disabilities. As reporter Devin Coldewey notes, the regulation’s impact on tech has been profound.

There remains to be numerous work to do. I’m taking a look at all of you autonomous car engineers, designers and founders.

Here are a couple of tales that spotlight the affect of ADA.

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

See ya’ll subsequent week. 


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