To get a roundup of londonbusinessblog.com’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3 p.m. PDT, subscribe here.
Today we will be especially listening to this wonderful end-of-the-week gratitude meditation, and thinking about all the weird and wonderful things that have happened this week. Because, dammit, a lot of strange things have happened. And in that regard, a lot of beauty.
The londonbusinessblog.com Top 3
- Stop it: We mean pictures, not reading this newsletter. We enjoyed seeing how creative some iOS 16 users were in using the new photo background removal feature. Ivan has more and even created its own shortcut.
- eat uber? More like Uber defeats: That notification you got to unlock your Uber account was actually something to worry about. The ride-hailing giant is investigating its cybersecurity processes after a hacker came in, carly reports.
- Don’t be afraid of the hyphen: Polywork raised $28 million to help you embrace all the job title streaks you have. Natasha M even tried it himself.
Startups and VC
Shervin Pishevar, an investor who left Silicon Valley for Miami after being accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women in 2017, has resurfaced as the “vice president” of Yeezy, the consumer brand controlled by Kanye West. Connie reports.
In the land of the gig economy, things are about to get interesting. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating the complex and potentially unfair economy and gig economy policies for “deceptive, unfair and otherwise illegal acts and practices.” Whether it’s forced arbitration, labor misclassification or algorithmic pay and division of labor, the agency says it will follow any questionable tactics that harm workers, Devin reports.
Okay, fine, a few more:
- Over the moon with Loona: Consumer robot Loona is Anki’s spiritual successor, and has just gone live on Kickstarter with some impressive moves. It’s cute, and Brian‘s piece includes a video to prove it.
- It’s alright how fast?!: hi has checked out the Apollo Pro and the company’s CTO says he wants the new scooter to become “the Cybertruck of scooters.”
- Edtech with a discount: Ingrid reports that General Atlantic is buying SoftBank’s 15% stake in edtech Kahoot, now valued at about $152 million — that’s $63 million less than the valuation SoftBank invested two years ago.
- In a sense, aren’t we all squid- or octopus-like humanoids in a post-apocalyptic world?: Amanda celebrated its 420th post on londonbusinessblog.com by beating Splatoon, a video game version of those ASMR-esque “strangely satisfying” videos.
- The highs and lows of scooter land: hi also had a few stories about the scooter company Unagi. It announces it will not be producing the Model Eleven scooter after all, though it has raised more than $700,000 through Indiegogo to bring the micromobility product to market. Instead, it’s launching the updated Model One Voyager and offering its crowdfunding backers some of those scooters.
3 investors explain why startups with access to wages earned start cashing more checks
Employees with low-paying jobs often experience cash flow problems.
Because so many have no access to credit or savings, a growing number who once depended on predatory lenders can now withdraw their pay before payday through earned wage access (EWA).
“The potential for this model is huge, but the industry is still in its infancy,” reports Karan Bhasin, who interviewed three active EWA investors to learn more about where the industry is headed:
Jennifer Ho, partner at Integra Partners
Aris Xenofontos, Partner at Seaya Ventures
Aditi Maliwal, Partner at Upfront Ventures
(londonbusinessblog.com+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here. Use code “DC” for 15% off an annual subscription!)
Big Tech Inc.
For you Apple Watch lovers, Brian wrapped in the puns and postulates about the Series 8 (“The new features aren’t flashy, but some could save your life”) and the SE (“The SE is the Apple Watch for those on a tighter budget, who recognize that they don’t absolutely need every yearly addition to the device”). He talks a lot about choice – which one do you choose?