Luxe got the customer experience largely right, putting valets where people congregated, but they did not control the commodity pricing that mattered to it: Parking spaces.
[T]he demise last week of valet parking company Luxe, which followed the collapse of three of its competitors, shows the brutal economics of on-demand services and raises questions about the viability of the concept.Luxe raised $75 million and reached a valuation of about $160 million as investors competed to back on-demand startups in everything from restaurant take-out to health care and home repair.
Source: Valet parking startup Luxe latest casualty of on-demand bust – Business Insider
Bodega is putting quick-serve vending machines in apartment buildings, other high-traffic places. From an on-demand perspective, this is an inversion of the idea that inventory need not deployed until it is purchased. Spoilage, theft, maintenance are all risk factors for Bodega.
Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the “store.”
Source: Two Ex-Googlers Want To Make Bodegas And Mom-And-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete
“Human cloud” = Gig Economy.
SIA estimates that total human cloud spending reached between $47 and $51 billion globally in 2016. The business-to-business (B2B) segment of the human cloud grew approximately 20% year-over-year, with remote work arrangements accounting for 80% of human cloud revenue and highlighting flexible work location as one of the benefits of the human cloud.
Source: IT News Online – PR Newswire – Total Human Cloud Spending Between USD $47 & $51 Billion
The Taylor Review calls for gig workers to receive a basic set of core pay rights, comparable to those receiving the national minimum wage. This would include the right to receive statutory sick pay, holiday pay and other benefits. The report believes the government should treat the self-employed like any other section of the labour market, acknowledging that they require a spectrum of intervention, focused on protecting the most vulnerable.
Source: Understanding insurance and the gig economy – FTAdviser.com
Not entirely new, as several other vendors, including Microsoft, have embraced the device-as-a-service model. The interesting element here is bundling IT services and advisory services with the device. HP can lead across many specialized device sectors with this model.
“From Birth to Burial” is not the right way to cast this. It has a “you belong to us” quality that companies should avoid.
HP CEO Dion Weisler Tuesday rallied 1,300 partners to step up to the dramatic shift from transactional sales to an on-demand service economy with Device-as-a-Service offerings that take customers from “birth to burial.”
Source: Weisler: Now Is Time For Partners To Provide Device-As-A-Service From ‘Birth To Burial’ In An On-Demand World – Page: 1 | CRN
Local services businesses continue to migrate to on-demand. Can one brand for freelance photographers win? Maybe not globally, but regional or national brands could be effective.
Snappr, an online photography platform that counts Australian Test cricket captain Steve Smith among its early backers, has closed a $2.5 million seed funding round including support from a raft of major global venture capitalists including Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen and renowned Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator.
Source: Photographer marketplace start-up Snappr attracts big name backers in $2.5m seed round | afr.com
Son, whom I worked during his first foray into the U.S. venture investing world, is placing big infrastructure bets globally. The price per share SoftBank ultimately pays will be convoluted, because Uber wants to protect its previous valuation. Masoyoshi Son is aggressive enough to swallow the risk. I remember being in the room when he bought Comdex from Shel Adelson for about $300 million more than he would ultimately sell it a few years later. “I want the relationships [with tech vendors],” he said, and he got them.
The green light comes as a 30-day due diligence process that began in mid-August draws to a close. Uber’s shareholders will now deliberate over who will choose to sell their stake in the company — the so-called “tender offer” process that will begin soon will give investors a clearer picture of how much they can expect to be paid per share.
Source: SoftBank and Uber’s deal talks have advanced under Uber’s new CEO – Recode
Services that cater to catering companies wanting to add on-demand office meals.
The new platform enables Grazing clients to order their workplace catering on a daily, weekly, monthly or ad-hoc basis via a new self-service web portal. There are no contracts and no long lead times required.
Source: Grazing Catering launches unique on-demand ordering system – Hospitality & Catering News
On-demand is intrinsically local. Boombox, an on-demand storage company, is making its mark in the community it serves by donating to relieve San Francisco’s raging homelessness.
Founded in February 2017, San Francisco-based Boombox Storage has pledged to donate the first month’s rent of any customer who switches from self-storage to its full-service model to a Bay Area homeless shelter.
Source: On-demand storage entrant makes helping homeless its mission – The SpareFoot Storage Beat
Old news, but of growing importance. One of the challenges for new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is addressing the consequences of the “free-wheeling bro culture,” which is a nice way of people were freely ignoring the law at Uber.
Latest unwelcome newsflash for the incoming CEO: The ride-hailing giant’s use of a software program which tracked activity of a rival, Lyft, is being investigated by the FBI over whether it constituted an illegal interference with a competitor, the WSJ reports.
Source: FBI probes Uber’s use of software to target rival Lyft | TechCrunch