Shyp is reducing headcount and suspending all operations outside of SF | TechCrunch

Shyp quickly became top-heavy, and now pays the price.

Shyp, the on-demand shipping service launched in 2013, has announced in a blog post that they are withdrawing from all but one city and “reducing headcount at headquarters” in an effort to “prove their business model and set Shyp up for long-term success.” As of today, the company will suspend operations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, and only operate in San Francisco, where the company is based.

Source: Shyp is reducing headcount and suspending all operations outside of SF | TechCrunch

Trump’s Favorite Japanese Billionaire Is Seeking a Huge Stake in Uber | Vanity Fair

Executives may be racing for the exits, but at least one major investor is still keen to do business with Uber. While the ride-hailing giant searches for a new C.E.O., Uber has also found a new suitor in Japanese tech giant SoftBank and its Trump-friendly C.E.O. Masayoshi Son, who the Wall Street Journal reports is interested in taking a multi-billion dollar stake. The news follows a report from Bloomberg, which said Uber’s shareholders were planning a stock sale to SoftBank.

Source: Trump’s Favorite Japanese Billionaire Is Seeking a Huge Stake in Uber | Vanity Fair

Lyft is growing faster than Uber, but there’s a long way to go – Engadget

Lyft’s driver-generated revenue went up 25 percent to hit $1 billion in the second quarter of 2017, up from $800 million in Q1. In aggregate, the company has a ways to go before it rivals Uber’s $8.25 billion gross bookings it earned in the same period — but that figure only improved 10 percent quarter-on-quarter. Ergo, Lyft is growing faster.

Source: Lyft is growing faster than Uber, but there’s a long way to go

Uber is overhauling its driver support systems in a bid to decrease turnover – Recode

Finally, Uber remembers the workers are pissed off, too.

This time, the company is focusing on its driver support system — which the company concedes was built to get bigger, not efficiently respond to drivers’ issues. To rectify that, Uber has overhauled the more than 100 policies the company’s support agents use to respond to driver concerns and is rolling out a number of new driver support features.

Source: Uber is overhauling its driver support systems in a bid to decrease turnover – Recode

Lyft to Develop Self-Driving Car Technology in New Silicon Valley Facility – The New York Times

On Friday, Lyft, the ride-hailing company, announced that it was developing its own self-driving technology, marking yet another company’s gamble that the future of transportation will be marked by self-driving cars.

Source: Lyft to Develop Self-Driving Car Technology in New Silicon Valley Facility – The New York Times

How Uber’s Hard-Charging Corporate Culture Left Employees Drained — BuzzFeed

While Uber’s culture is deeply broken, the kind of on-call responsibilities described as onerous here are not much different than any other organization with high growth or established scale.That’s not an Uber issue, it’s a standard feature of the tech industry — when I was on call at Bing, for example, I got calls at any time of day or night, with only seven minutes to respond before the event escalated.

This can produce a culture of fear, as described, but doesn’t necessarily if on-call duties are cycled through the team. It’s never pleasant to be on-call.

During periods of rapid growth, current and former employees said, on-call employees could be paged dozens or even hundreds of times a night. Even employees with realistic expectations of the hard work that fast-growing startups often demand felt burdened by an on-call system that they say often amounted to unpaid extra shifts. “There was a three- to four-month period where I was getting woken up every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 or 4 in the morning to fix something,” said an engineer who started at Uber in 2014 of his earlier years there. “Months of that, on top of working 10-plus hours a day.”

Source: How Uber’s Hard-Charging Corporate Culture Left Employees Drained

The gig economy and Senate health care plan are a toxic combination

“…that’s nothing compared to how unbelievably screwed older people are under the BCRA. If you’re 64 years old and make $56,800, you pay about $6,800 under Obamacare. That would jump to $20,500 (!!!) under the Senate plan. This is a particularly scary problem for older gig economy workers.”

Source: The gig economy and Senate health care plan are a toxic combination

Uber, Lyft take down not just cab drivers, but also lenders

Three New York-based credit unions that specialized in loaning money against taxi cab medallions, the hard-to-get licenses that allow the city’s traditional cab fleet to operate, have been placed into conservatorship as the value of those medallions has plummeted.

Source: Uber, Lyft take down not just cab drivers, but also lenders

Uber Backers Discuss Stock Sale to SoftBank, Others – Bloomberg

SoftBank, which recently launched a $93 billion technology fund, has no plans to invest in Uber, a person close to the Japanese company said. SoftBank has backed Uber’s primary rivals in India, Southeast Asia and China. Some of Uber’s investors would like to see the startup cut deals with overseas competitors — as it did with Didi Chuxing in China and Yandex NV in Russia. Grab, a leading ride-hailing startup in Asia, is raising as much as $2 billion from backers including SoftBank and Didi.

Source: Uber Backers Discuss Stock Sale to SoftBank, Others – Bloomberg

Voice-Controls Making Mobile, Desktop Devices Less Important For Online Commerce 07/13/2017

Voice is a local on-demand key ingredient.

Some 19% of consumers have made a purchase using a voice-controlled device in the past 12 months, according to a study released Wednesday.

Source: Voice-Controls Making Mobile, Desktop Devices Less Important For Online Commerce 07/13/2017