Zego picks up £6M Series A led by Balderton for its gig economy worker insurance | TechCrunch

Insurance by the hour. A billing cadence or a business model?

Founded by Harry Franks, Sten Saar and Stuart Kelly in 2016, Zego has set out to re-invent commercial insurance for self-employed people, with a particular focus on contractors powering various parts of the gig economy. Its first product is pay-as-you-go scooter and car insurance for food delivery workers utilising platforms such as the Deliveroos of the world.

Source: Zego picks up £6M Series A led by Balderton for its gig economy worker insurance | TechCrunch

Some Instacart workers to strike over pay that can be as low as $1 per hour | Ars Technica

A “strike” in on-demand is failing to show up for work, something that is very hard to enforce in a virtual community. With Instacart’s “commission” structure, which provides the base pay for a delivery, local factors can bring compensation way down, to “just $1” in Evansville, Indiana.

One of the strike’s leaders is Matthew Telles, a Chicago-based shopper who has been with Instacart for two years. He was also one of the named plaintiffs in a lawsuit (Camp et al v. Maplebear dba Instacart) that resulted in a $4.6 million preliminary settlement, which is set to be finalized in a Los Angeles court in January 2018. (Telles is set to receive $681 as part of the settlement.)

Source: Some Instacart workers to strike over pay that can be as low as $1 per hour | Ars Technica

We’re joining Lyft! – Kamcord

Kamcord, a game streaming developer, has been acquired by Lyft and announced it is closing existing services to focus on video engagement in autonomous Lyft vehicles. Interesting.

The transportation space is very different from mobile live streaming but we see a lot of parallels. Prior to Kamcord, broadcasting your mobile screen involved cables and desktop software. As Steve Jobs would say, YUCK! We simplified the process to one tap on your phone and invested heavily in making the broadcaster-viewer interactions natural and fun. In many ways, Lyft has done the same thing for getting from point A to point B, pioneering the peer-to-peer ridesharing model and placing an importance on a

Source: We’re joining Lyft! – Kamcord – Medium

Volvo Cars to supply tens of thousands of autonomous drive compatible cars to Uber – Volvo Car Group Global Media Newsroom

Uber and Volvo move to deliver the first fleet of autonomous ride-sharing cars. This comes sooner than many expected, and raises a very important question about Uber, which has relied on drivers to supply, clean, and maintain cars in the past: Is there any margin in autonomous vehicles? The acquisition of 24,000 self-driving cars for approximately $1 billion will require management and maintenance of those vehicles be performed by Uber, which, at let us say $30 a day in maintenance fees (24,000 x $30 x 30 days = $21 million a month in costs — or $259 million annually, and we haven’t covered parking, fuel costs, and cleaning up after messy riders intra-day).

Taking humans out of the car provisioning equation doesn’t pencil out. Uber’s model benefitted from individual ownership of vehicles.

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has signed a framework agreement with Uber, the ride sharing company, to sell tens of thousands of autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.

Source: Volvo Cars to supply tens of thousands of autonomous drive compatible cars to Uber – Volvo Car Group Global Media Newsroom

Fines for firms that cheat on status of gig workers | The Times & The Sunday Times

U.K. politicians have made gig work a hot-button issue as Tories and Labour vie for post-Brexit influence. This will spread to the U.S.,. and companies need to get ahead of regulators by finding solutions for on-demand work benefits and safety net services.

Companies should face punitive fines for falsely classifying workers as self-employed and denying them benefits such as holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and pensions, under proposals by MPs to crack down on abuses of the gig economy.

Source: Fines for firms that cheat on status of gig workers | Business | The Times & The Sunday Times

Amazon’s Last Mile – Gizmodo

Local value must be recognized by Amazon — or any on-demand company — if it is going to revive the middle class economy. Human interaction is the highest degree of engagement, but treated by financial-centric organizations as the least valuable. Flex drivers are in the best position to get a full accounting of customer satisfaction, suggestions, and to enhance the customer experience.

Near the very bottom of Amazon’s complicated machinery is a nearly invisible workforce over two years in the making tasked with getting those orders to your doorstep. It’s a network of supposedly self-employed, utterly expendable couriers enrolled in an app-based program which some believe may violate labor laws. That program is called Amazon Flex, and it accomplishes Amazon’s “last-mile” deliveries—the final journey from a local facility to the customer.

Source: Amazon’s Last Mile

Apple Pay Users Get Free Postmates Deliveries | PYMNTS.com

Smart move, big win for Postmates. Bundling of delivery is how many consumers will first experience on-demand service.

According to news from Mac Rumors, Apple announced the offer to its Apple Pay customers via email: “Special announcement: Just in time for the holidays, we’ve extended the Unlimited trial for customers using Apple Pay. Sign up before Nov 23rd and your subscription will be free for all of 2017. That means all orders over $20 have no delivery fee.”

Source: Apple Pay Users Get Free Postmates Deliveries | PYMNTS.com

TasyEasy Raises 21.3M in Series C – Utah Business

Question for debate in comments: Are national brands the ultimate end-game for in-home services or do local small businesses play the leading role in the long-run?

TaskEasy has performed over one million tasks in more than 10,000 cities in all 50 states. The company has established the largest network of screened and insured lawn maintenance contractors, with over 5,000 small businesses across the country performing work for TaskEasy customers.

Source: TasyEasy Raises 21.3M in Series C – Utah Business

Uber-like services in the suburbs? ‘Microtransit’ tech wants to make it happen – Curbed

The microtransit “movement” is an evolution of campus developments in corporations over the past 30 years. These locally delivered shuttle services will develop around shopping destinations and planned urban and suburban communities. Look for apartment/condo developments to add an alternative to owning a car. Keep an eye on partnering between communities, developers, and transportation network companies.

Proponents of the growing micro-transit movement see it as a means of cheaply and efficiently expanding mass transit access. These types of services, which offer on-demand transit, could become the feeder system for larger regional transport systems, ferrying riders from neighborhoods to local transit hubs. Many also see a big opportunity for these services to feature automated and electric vehicles, which would lead to more sustainable and efficient mass transit. Trials in Las Vegas and Helsinki are workin

Source: Uber-like services in the suburbs? ‘Microtransit’ tech wants to make it happen – Curbed

Vancouver, B.C. cracks down on Airbnb with tough new short-term rental regulations – GeekWire

Like Seattle, Vancouver, B.C., is preparing to lockdown Airbnb rentals to improve the housing stock for full-time residents. The impact of this new law is simple: Airbnb rentals may not be a business, either operated by a property owner who rents their home part of the year or who keeps a separate apartment on their property — nor may a business rent apartments through Airbnb.

In some ways, this reinforces Airbnb’s core mission, to make homes into sources of part-time revenue, but it closes off the opportunity to expand into new landlord-oriented services.

The new regulations only allow hosts on sites like Airbnb and VRBO to rent out rooms in properties where they live. On-site basement suites and mother-in-laws are not allowed. The rules also prohibit businesses from operating short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb. Short-term rental operators will also be required to purchase an annual license for 49 Canadian dollars.

Source: Vancouver, B.C. cracks down on Airbnb with tough new short-term rental regulations – GeekWire