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Voyage’s driverless future, ghost work, B2B growth strategies, and Black Hat takeaways

By Danny Crichton

Inside Voyage’s plan to deliver a driverless future

In the autonomous vehicle space, startups have taken radically different strategies to building our AV future. Some companies like Waymo have driven all across different types of environments in order to rack up the datasets that they believe will be needed to effectively maneuver without a human driver.

That’s the opposite strategy of Voyage, where CEO and founder Oliver Cameron and his team have focused on driving safety in the incredibly constrained context of two retirement communities.

Our transportation editor Kirsten Korosec talked with the company and analyzes their approach in a new profile for Extra Crunch, and also drops some news about a partnership the company has brewing with a major automotive manufacturer.

Cameron, who shies away from discussing timelines, describes the company as inching toward driverless service.

Its self-driving software has now reached maturation in the communities it is testing in, and Voyage is now focusing on validation, according to Cameron.

Voyage has developed a few systems that will help push it closer to a commercial driverless service while maintaining safety, such as a collision mitigation system that it calls Rango, an internal nickname inspired by the 2011 computer-animated Western action-comedy about a chameleon.

This collision mitigation system is designed to be extremely fast-reacting, like a reptile — hence the Rango name. Rango, which has an independent power source and compute system and uses a different approach to perception than the main self-driving system, is designed to react quickly. If needed, it will engage the full force of the brakes.

Startup ads are taking over the subway

Public transit is just swimming in startup ads. From complete Brex takeovers of the San Francisco Caltrain station to the sleep puzzles posted by Casper across the New York City subway, startups have been taking advantage of this unique out-of-home advertising space. What’s the full story though? Our reporter Anthony Ha takes a look at how the subway ad market came to be in the past few years, and what the future holds for other marketers.

Local governments are forcing the scooter industry to grow up fast

By Megan Rose Dickey

Gone are the days when tech companies can deploy their services in cities without any regard for rules and regulations. Before the rise of electric scooters, cities had already become hip to tech’s status quo (thanks to the likes of Uber and Lyft) and were ready to regulate. We explored some of this in “The uncertain future of shared scooters,” but since then, new challenges have emerged for scooter startups.

And for scooter startups, city regulations can make or break their businesses across nearly every aspect of operations, especially two major ones: ridership growth and ability to attract investor dollars. From issuing permits to determining how many scooters any one company can operate at any one time to enforcing low-income plans and impacting product roadmaps, the ball is really in the city’s court.

Startups seek sperm… and venture capital backing

By Kate Clark

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we were helmed by Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm, but those of you who love the show having guests on, don’t despair. As we explain at the top, there’s a lot of folks coming on the show soon, many of whom you know by name.

But that’s to come, and we had a lot to chat through this week. Including, right from the jump, the latest gyrations in the stock market. Earlier this week tech stocks, and especially cloud and SaaS stocks, took a nosedive. Sentiment swung around later in the week when markets caught their breath and Lyft’s earnings went well. But the movement in highly valued SaaS companies caught our eye. Perhaps if the market finally does correct, we’ll see growth stakes take the worst of it.

But it wasn’t all bad news on the show; a new app that raised $5 million caught Kate’s attention. It’s called Squad and it’s now backed by First Round Capital, the seed fund behind the likes of Uber . You can read Kate’s interview with the founder, Esther Crawford, here.

Next, we turned to two startups that are focused on male reproductive health. While we’ve covered startups focused on fertility, this is the first time we’ve delved into male-focused services that are designed to help men take part in conception. The news here is Dadi has raised another $5 million in venture capital funding. Legacy, the other male fertility company we discussed, is taking part in Y Combinator’s summer batch right now.

On the IPO-ish beat, we talked about Postmates, which has a new stadium partnership, and, more importantly, permission to use cute robots to deliver things in San Francisco. After hearing for years about how small, rolling robots will handle last-mile deliveries, we’re excited for them to actually make it to market. In our view, technology of this sort won’t eliminate the need for human workers at on-demand shops, though they may replace some routine runs. Bring on the burrito robots.

We closed on Airbnb’s purchase of Urbandoor, yet another acquisition from the popular home-sharing company that will eventually go public. It has to, right? Perhaps Urbandoor will help unlock new revenues in the corporate travel space before we see an S-1. After all, Airbnb wants to debut with plenty of growth under its belt to help it meet valuation expectations. Adding revenue to its core business could be a good way to ensure that there’s new top-line to report.

More to come, including something special next week!

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Uber lost more than $5B last quarter

By Kate Clark

Uber disclosed earnings for the second time since becoming a public company, reporting revenues of $3.16 billion on losses of $5.2 billion for the second quarter of 2019.

Uber (NYSE: UBER) closed up more than 9% Thursday at $42.98 per share, just below its $45 IPO price, but took a nose dive more than 11% on the news.

$5.2 billion in net losses represents the company’s largest-ever quarterly loss. Revenue, for its part, is up only 14% year-over-year. The company says a majority of 2Q losses are a result of stock-based compensation expenses for employees following its May IPO. Stock compensation aside, Uber still lost $1.3 billion, up 30% from Q1.

Analysts had expected losses per share of $3.12 versus Uber’s $4.72. As for revenue, analysts, per CNBC, had expected $3.36 billion.

“While we will continue to invest aggressively in growth, we also want it to be healthy growth, and this quarter we made good progress in that direction,” Uber chief financial officer Nelson Chai said in the earnings document.

Uber’s had a rough few months since making the leaps to the public markets. The stock has tumbled as the business finds it footing. Recently, Uber announced it was laying off one-third of its 1,200-person strong marketing department in an effort to slash costs and make operations more efficient.News of Uber’s piling losses comes one day after its key U.S. competitor, Lyft, beat on revenue with $867 million for the quarter on net losses of $644 million. That’s up from $505 million in revenue in Q2 2018 on losses of $179 million. Lyft closed up 3% Thursday at $62 per share. The company’s stock sunk in after-hours trading Wednesday after it announced the IPO lockup period would end more than a month early.

Uber Eats “monthly active platform consumers,” or MAPCs, grey 140% YoY, Uber said. The company now works with 320,000 restaurants.

This story is updating.

‘The Operators’: Experts from Airbnb and Carta on building and managing your company’s customer support

By Arman Tabatabai
Tim Hsia & Neil Devani Contributor
Tim Hsia is the CEO of Media Mobilize and a Venture Partner at Digital Garage. Neil Devani is an angel investor and venture capitalist focused on companies solving hard problems.

Welcome to this transcribed edition of The Operators. TechCrunch is beginning to publish podcasts from industry experts, with transcriptions available for Extra Crunch members so you can read the conversation wherever you are.

The Operators features insiders from companies like Airbnb, Brex, Docsend, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Carta, Slack, Uber, and WeWork sharing their stories and tips on how to break into fields like marketing and product management. They also share best practices for entrepreneurs on how to hire and manage experts from domains outside their own.

This week’s edition features Airbnb’s Global Product Director of Customer and Community Support Platform Products, Andy Yasutake, and Carta’s Head of Enterprise Relationship Management, Jared Thomas.

Airbnb, one of the most valuable private tech companies in the world, has millions of hosts who trust strangers (guests) to come into their homes and hundreds of millions of guests who trust strangers (hosts) to provide a roof over their head. Carta, a $1 Billion+ company formerly known as eShares, is the leading provider of cap table management and valuation software, with thousands of customers and almost a million individual shareholders as users. Customers and users entrust Carta to manage their investments, a very serious responsibility requiring trust and security.

In this episode, Andy and Jared share with Neil how companies like Airbnb, Carta, and LinkedIn think about customer service, how to get into and succeed in the field and tech generally, and how founders should think about hiring and managing the customer support. With their experiences at two of tech’s trusted companies, Airbnb and Carta, this episode is packed with broad perspectives and deep insights.

image1 2

Neil Devani and Tim Hsia created The Operators after seeing and hearing too many heady, philosophical podcasts about the future of tech, and not enough attention on the practical day-to-day work that makes it all happen.

Tim is the CEO & Founder of Media Mobilize, a media company and ad network, and a Venture Partner at Digital Garage. Tim is an early-stage investor in Workflow (acquired by Apple), Lime, FabFitFun, Oh My Green, Morning Brew, Girls Night In, The Hustle, Bright Cellars, and others.

Neil is an early-stage investor based in San Francisco with a focus on companies building stuff people need, solutions to very hard problems. Companies he’s invested in include Andela, Clearbit, Kudi, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Solugen, and Vicarious Surgical.

If you’re interested in starting or accelerating your marketing career, or how to hire and manage this function, you can’t miss this episode!

The show:

The Operators brings experts with experience at companies like Airbnb, Brex, Docsend, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Carta, Slack, Uber, WeWork, etc. to share insider tips on how to break into fields like marketing and product management. They also share best practices for entrepreneurs on how to hire and manage experts from domains outside their own.

In this episode:

In Episode 5, we’re talking about customer service. Neil interviews Andy Yasutake, Airbnb’s Global Product Director of Customer and Community Support Platform Products, and Jared Thomas, Carta’s Head of Enterprise Relationship Management.


Neil Devani: Hello and welcome to the Operators, where we talk to entrepreneurs and executives from leading technology companies like Google, Facebook, Airbnb, and Carta about how to break into a new field, how to build a successful career, and how to hire and manage talent beyond your own expertise. We skip over the lofty prognostications from venture capitalists and storytime with founders to dig into the nuts and bolts of how it all works here from the people doing the real day to day work, the people who make it all happen, the people who know what it really takes. The Operators.

Today we are talking to two experts in customer service, one with hundreds of millions of individual paying customers and the other being the industry standard for managing equity investments. I’m your host, Neil Devani, and we’re coming to you today from Digital Garage in downtown San Francisco.

Joining me is Jared Thomas, head of Enterprise Relationship Management at Carta, a $1 billion-plus company after a recent round of financing led by Andreessen Horowitz. Carta, formerly known as eShares, is the leading provider of cap table management and valuation software with thousands of customers and almost a million individual shareholders as users. Customers and users trust Carta to manage their investments, a very serious responsibility requiring trust and security.

Also joining us is Andy Yasutake, the Global Product Director of Customer and Community Support Platform Products at Airbnb, one of the most valuable private tech startups today. Airbnb has millions of hosts who are trusting strangers to come into their homes and hundreds of millions of guests who are trusting someone to provide a roof over their head. The number of cases and types of cases that Andy and his team have to think about and manage boggle the mind. Jared and Andy, thank you for joining us.

Andy Yasutake: Thank you for having us.

Jared Thomas: Thank you so much.

Devani: To start, Andy, can you share your background and how you got to where you are today?

Yasutake: Sure. I’m originally from southern California. I was born and raised in LA. I went to USC for undergrad, University of Southern California, and I actually studied psychology and information systems.

Late-90s, the dot com was going on, I’d always been kind of interested in tech, went into management consulting at interstate consulting that became Accenture, and was in consulting for over 10 years and always worked on large systems of implementation of technology projects around customers. So customer service, sales transformation, anything around CRM, as kind of a foundation, but it was always very technical, but really loved the psychology part of it, the people side.

And so I was always on multiple consulting projects and one of the consulting projects with actually here in the Bay Area. I eventually moved up here 10 years ago and joined eBay, and at eBay I was the director of product for the customer services organization as well. And was there for five years.

I left for Linkedin, so another rocket ship that was growing and was the senior director of technology solutions and operations where I had all the kind of business enabling functions as well as the technology, and now have been at Airbnb for about four months. So I’m back to kind of my, my biggest passion around products and in the customer support and community experience and customer service world.

Daily Crunch: Fires prompt Lyft to pull e-bikes

By Anthony Ha

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Lyft pulls e-bikes in light of apparent battery fires

Lyft recently won the right to launch its pedal-assist bikes in San Francisco, but now it’s pulling those bikes from the city and other parts of the Bay Area after two of those bikes experienced apparent battery fires.

A spokesperson told us, “Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily making the ebike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology.”

2. For the next month, the Impossible Whopper will be available at Burger Kings across the country

The world’s second largest fast food chain is rolling out the Impossible Whopper nationwide at all of its 7,200 U.S. locations, testing demand for the meaty tasting meatless patty.

3. With the acquisition closed, IBM goes all in on Red Hat

These announcements further IBM’s ambitions to bring its products to any public and private cloud — which was the reason IBM acquired Red Hat in the first place.

4. Asana launches Workload to help prevent burnout

Workload provides a central view of how much more work any given team can currently handle. Team members can customize their own workload based on criteria like points or hours, and even set capacity limits.

5. Amazon-backed food delivery startup Deliveroo acquires Edinburgh software studio Cultivate

Cultivate is a software development and user experience design house that has worked with a number of big names, including Deliveroo itself.

6. Smartphone sales expected to drop 2.5% globally this year

New numbers from Gartner forecast a drop of 2.5%, down to 1.5 billion, with the biggest hits to the industry in Japan, Western Europe and North America.

7. The Exit: The acquisition charting Salesforce’s future

With Salesforce’s $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau closing, we talked to investor Scott Sandell of NEA. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

Bird, Uber and Lyft get another chance to apply for electric scooter permits in SF

By Megan Rose Dickey

In light of a so-far successful electric scooter pilot program in San Francisco, the city has opened up the application process for service providers to deploy their respective scooters as part of a more permanent program. However, the permits will only be valid for about one year, “reflecting the rapid pace at which the scooter industry continues to involve,” the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency wrote on its blog.

That means starting in October 2019, we may see electric scooters from more than just Skip and Scoot. Skip and Scoot’s current permits expire on Oct. 14, 2019.

As part of the permitting program, the SFMTA plans to issue permits to “a limited number” of applicants, the agency said. The city also plans to maintain a cap on the number of scooters to be deployed at any one time, likely somewhere between 1,000 to 2,500 scooters per company. Currently, Skip is authorized to operate 800 scooters, while Scoot is authorized to operate up to 625.

The application requires companies to integrate locking mechanisms to all of its scooters, implement stricter policies to ensure people don’t ride on sidewalks as well as pilot adaptive scooters to ensure people with disabilities are not left out from this new form of transportation. This comes shortly after Lyft began testing adaptive bike share for riders in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 21, 2019, which gives the likes of Bird (proud new owner of Scoot), Skip, Lime, Uber/JUMP, Lyft, Spin and the many others a fair amount of time to get their things in order — that is, if they want to. All of those companies mentioned above applied for permits to operate as part of SF’s pilot program, but were denied. Some companies took it worse than others, while others decided to focus their efforts on other markets for the time being.

What we can expect is yet another battle among the electric scooter providers to deploy their vehicles in the highly-coveted market of San Francisco. Last time, there were about one dozen applicants for the city’s pilot program.

On average, scooter riders took about 3,400 trips per day in San Francisco in May. Scoot has had a pretty drama-free existence in San Francisco, minus the whole theft and vandalism issue that forced the company to add a locking mechanism to its scooters. Skip, on the other hand, had to pull its scooters off the streets after one caught on fire in Washington, D.C.

It would be odd if the SFMTA didn’t consider that as it looks over all of the applications this time around. Meanwhile, given that a couple of Lyft’s electric bikes recently caught on fire due to apparent issues with the batteries, Lyft has likely given the SFMTA some pause around the company’s abilities to safely deploy electric vehicles.

 

An autonomous robot EV charger is coming to San Francisco

By Kirsten Korosec

Electric-vehicle chargers today are designed for human drivers. Electrify America and San Francisco-based startup Stable are preparing for the day when humans are no longer behind the wheel.

Electrify America, the entity set up by Volkswagen as part of its settlement with U.S. regulators over the diesel emissions cheating scandal, is partnering with Stable to test a system that can charge electric vehicles without human intervention.

The autonomous electric-vehicle charging system will combine Electrify America’s 150 kilowatt DC fast charger with Stable’s software and robotics. A robotic arm, which is equipped with computer vision to see the electric vehicle’s charging port, is attached to the EV charger. The two companies plan to open the autonomous charging site in San Francisco by early 2020.

Stable render 2 final

A rendering of an autonomous electric vehicle charging station.

There’s more to this system than a nifty robotic arm. Stable’s software and modeling algorithms are critical components that have applications today, not just the yet-to-be-determined era of ubiquitous robotaxis.

While streets today aren’t flooded with autonomous vehicles, they are filled with thousands of vehicles used by corporate and government fleets, as well as ride-hailing platforms like Uber and Lyft . Those commercial-focused vehicles are increasingly electric, a shift driven by economics and regulations.

“For the first time these fleets are having to think about, ‘how are we going to charge these massive fleets of electric vehicles, whether they are autonomous or not?’ ” Stable co-founder and CEO Rohan Puri told TechCrunch in a recent interview.

Stable, a 10-person company with employees from Tesla, EVgo, Faraday Future, Google, Stanford and MIT universities, has developed data science algorithms to determine the best location for chargers and scheduling software for once the EV stations are deployed.

Its data science algorithms take into account installation costs, available power, real estate costs as well as travel time for the given vehicle to go to the site and then get back on the road to service customers. Stable has figured out that when it comes to commercial fleets, chargers in a distributed network within cities are used more and have a lower cost of operation than one giant centralized charging hub.

Once a site is deployed, Stable’s software directs when, how long and at what speed the electric vehicle should charge.

Stable, which launched in 2017, is backed by Trucks VC, Upside Partnership, MIT’s E14 Fund and a number of angel investors, including NerdWallet co-founder Jake Gibson and Sidecar co-founder and CEO Sunil Paul .

The pilot project in San Francisco is the start of what Puri hopes will lead to more fleet-focused sites with Electrify America, which has largely focused on consumer charging stations. Electrify America has said it will invest $2 billion over 10 years in clean energy infrastructure and education. The VW unit has more than 486 electric vehicle charging stations installed or under development. Of those, 262 charging stations have been commissioned and are now open to the public.

Meanwhile, Stable is keen to demonstrate its autonomous electric-vehicle chargers and lock in additional fleet customers.

“What we set out to do was to reinvent the gas station for this new era of transportation, which will be fleet-dominant and electric,” Puri said. “What’s clear is there just isn’t nearly enough of the right infrastructure installed in the right place.”

Lyft pulls e-bikes in light of apparent battery fires

By Megan Rose Dickey

Lyft is pulling its e-bikes from the streets of San Francisco, as well as from those in the South Bay Area in light of two recently catching on fire. The first reported fire took place over the weekend, with the second one happening today, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Don’t think I’ll be going on a @lyft @baywheels any time soon. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/MOU9wIjgII

— Zach Rutta (@zrutta44) July 27, 2019

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily making the ebike fleet unavailable to riders while we investigate and update our battery technology,” a Lyft spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Thanks to our riders for their patience and we look forward to making ebikes available again soon.”

The timing couldn’t be worse for Lyft, which recently obtained the right to deploy its dockless pedal-assist bikes in the city following a lawsuit against San Francisco. But with its bikes catching on fire, it surely does not help its argument that it should be the sole provider of bike-share services in the city.

This also isn’t the first time Lyft has experienced issues with its e-bikes. In April, Lyft paused its e-bike operations in New York and San Francisco due to injuries associated with overly responsive brakes. It wasn’t until June when Lyft deployed its newly-branded e-bikes in San Jose, Calif.

It’s worth noting that Lyft is not the only micromobility service to experience apparent battery issues. Both Skip and Lime have had to pull their electric scooters in light of the vehicles catching on fire.

I’ve reached out to the SFMTA and will update this story until I hear back.

‘The Operators’: Experts from WeWork and Brex talk marketing – Getting the most bang for your buck

By Arman Tabatabai

Welcome to this transcribed edition of The Operators. TechCrunch is beginning to publish podcasts from industry experts, with transcriptions available for Extra Crunch members so you can read the conversation wherever you are.

The Operators features insiders from companies like AirBnB, Brex, Docsend, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Carta, Slack, Uber, and WeWork sharing their stories and tips on how to break into fields like marketing and product management. They also share best practices for entrepreneurs on how to hire and manage experts from domains outside their own.

This week’s edition features Christiana Rattazzi, Head of Technology Marketing at WeWork, the leading coworking company that has raised over $8 billion and has a valuation of $47 billion and a rumored IPO impending. Also joining the show is Elinitsa Staykova, VP of Marketing at Brex, another fast-growing unicorn, recently valued at over $2 billion, that is the leading provider of credit cards to startups and tech companies.

In this episode, Christiana and Elinitsa explain how marketing works, how to get into and succeed in the field of marketing, and how founders should think about hiring and managing the marketing function. With their experiences at two of tech’s biggest and most innovative marketers, WeWork and Brex, this episode is packed with broad perspectives and deep insights.

image1 5

Image via The Operators

Neil Devani and Tim Hsia created The Operators after seeing and hearing too many heady, philosophical podcasts about the future of tech, and not enough attention on the practical day-to-day work that makes it all happen.

Tim is the CEO & Founder of Media Mobilize, a media company and ad network, and a Venture Partner at Digital Garage. Tim is an early-stage investor in Workflow (acquired by Apple), Lime, FabFitFun, Oh My Green, Morning Brew, Girls Night In, The Hustle, Bright Cellars, and others.

Neil is an early-stage investor based in San Francisco with a focus on companies building stuff people need, solutions to very hard problems. Companies he’s invested in include Andela, Clearbit, Kudi, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Solugen, and Vicarious Surgical.

If you’re interested in starting or accelerating your marketing career, or how to hire and manage this function, you can’t miss this episode!

The show:

The Operators brings experts with experience at companies like AirBnB, Brex, Docsend, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Carta, Slack, Uber, WeWork, etc. to share insider tips on how to break into fields like marketing and product management. They also share best practices for entrepreneurs on how to hire and manage experts from domains outside their own.

In this episode:

In Episode 4, we’re talking about marketing. Neil interviews Christiana Rattazzi, Head of Technology Marketing at WeWork, and Elinitsa Staykova, VP of Marketing at Brex.


Neil Devani: Hello and welcome to another episode of The Operators, where we learn from the people building the companies of tomorrow. We publish every other Monday and you can find us online at www.operators.co. I’m your host, Neil Devani, and we’re coming to you today from Digital Garage here in downtown San Francisco.

Joining me is Eli Staykova, Vice President of Marketing at Brex. Brex is the corporate credit card for start-ups, one of the fastest companies to reach a billion dollar evaluation, having launched barely two years ago, and its customers include Y Combinator, Flexport, SoFi, and many, many other startups.

Also joining us is Christiana Rattazzi, the head of enterprise technology marketing at WeWork. WeWork, with almost 10 billion dollars in financing to date, also counts major corporations and startups among its hundreds of thousands of customers. The firm is reportedly the largest leaseholder in New York, London, and Washington DC and has a footprint in almost a hundred other countries.

Eli and Christiana, thank you for joining us. Just to start, if you can share with our listeners about yourselves, a little bit about where you’re from and how you got into marketing, that’d be great.

Christiana Rattazzi: Happy to lead off. I’m actually from the Bay Area, go Warriors and I was pre-med through college and really thought I was going to go to med school and as I started studying for the MCAT, really discovered that that was what the path was going to be like.

One where you spend a lot of time in the library and maybe you weren’t up for it later and I wasn’t sure I wanted to sign up for that but I wanted to be at a company and being able to speak about a product that I was passionate about. And so that got me into cleantech, as I started my career, actually in cleantech, in marketing because I really loved to write and I love to tell stories.

So that was the beginning of my career and it’s been a great ride since then.

Devani: And what about yourself?

Eli Staykova: I came to the Bay Area in 2006 so I’ve been living here for the past thirteen years, it’s been quite the ride. I came here for the business school at the GSB, Stanford, and I started my career in finance, so I worked for IFC, International Finance Corporation, then for UBS in their LBO group, and I thought that you know after that I would stay in finance.

However, after Stanford I decided to work and live here in San Francisco and it’s so hard to be in the Bay Area not working in tech so I eventually joined the tech world. I work for Apple in their corporate finance team and I recently made the switch back in February at the new company Brex.

Devani: Very cool. These are two very exciting companies, two companies that do a lot of marketing, probably have very sophisticated marketing operations at least that’s what I would assume from the outside.

For the folks who are listening, who maybe don’t know much about marketing, can you help us understand at a very high level, the marking operation in your company. What are the different departments or roles, the different things that are just the nuts and bolts of how it works?

Report: Lyft COO Jon McNeill is leaving

By Kate Clark

Shortly after going public, Lyft is losing one of its top executives, according to a new report from CNBC.

Jon McNeill, who joined the ride-hailing business from Tesla about 18 months ago, is reportedly stepping down. We’ve reached out to Lyft to confirm.

Lyft’s stock (NASDAQ: LYFT) is down nearly 3% on the news. Despite a turbulent first month on the public market, Lyft has traded up the past three months, closing Friday up about 1% at $65.52 per share with a market cap of $18.55 billion.

Of his COO pick, Lyft CEO and co-founder Logan Green said in a statement provided to TechCrunch last year that “Jon is a world-class leader who brings deep experience as a highly successful entrepreneur and executive.”

“Last year, the Lyft community experienced more growth than in all previous years combined, growing rides by 2.3x and increasing market share by more than 50%. Jon is the right leader to build upon this momentum with his unique background of starting companies from scratch and managing at scale.”

SoftBank pumps $2B into Indonesia through Grab investment, putting it head to head with Gojek

By Ingrid Lunden

Grab — the on-demand transportation app worth $14 billion that is the Uber of Southeast Asia — today announced how it would be using some of the $7 billion or so that it has raised to date: $2 billion provided by SoftBank is being earmarked Grab’s operations in Indonesia — the biggest economy in Southeast Asia — over the next five years, to help it go head-to-head with local rival Gojek.

Specifically, Grab said it and SoftBank met with Indonesian government officials and have agreed to use the money to help modernise the country’s transportation infrastructure and economy with the development of an electronic vehicle “ecosystem”, new geo-mapping solutions, and the establishment of a second headquarters for Grab in Jakarta focused on R&D for Indonesia and the wider region, to sit alongside its existing HQ in Singapore.

Grab has confirmed that this investment news does not affect the company’s valuation as it’s not fresh funding — although it looks like it might lead to another, new SoftBank injection in Grab, too.

“I’d like to invest more… We would invest (in) Grab more, and also encourage to invest more in other companies,” SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said in a press conference earlier today. “We will create a second headquarters of Grab in Indonesia, and become 5th unicorn and also invest $2b through Grab. On top of that, we will invest more.”

Grab last raised money just four weeks ago, $300 million from Invesco as part of a larger, ongoing Series H that it wants to use in part for acquisitions. That round is already at around $4.5 billion, with SoftBank having already put in just under $1.5 billion. This $2 billion is on top of that previous round, the company said today.

The company’s last reported valuation from a couple of months ago was around $14 billion, a figure that we have been able to confirm remains the same today.

“With our presence in 224 cities, Indonesia is our largest market and we are committed to long-term sustainable development of the country,” said Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab, in a statement. “We are delighted to facilitate this SoftBank investment, as we believe by investing in digitizing critical services and infrastructure, we hope to accelerate Indonesia’s ambition to become the largest digital economy in the region and improve the livelihoods of millions in the country.” Indonesia accounts for the lion’s share of Grab’s business in terms of total footprint: its in 338 countries overall, meaning this country accounts for two-thirds of the whole list.

The news puts Grab head to head with another big on-demand transportation startup Gojek: the two were already rivals in the region, but GoJek is based out of Jakarta and has been the dominant player in that specific market up to now.

Indeed, the deal is notable not just for the amount, but for how it casts both Grab and SoftBank as allies of the government, not just accepted as businesses but endorsed as key players in helping improve the Indonesian economy and how the country is able to deliver critical services like healthcare and transportation, as well as give more services to drive the growth of “micro-entrepreneurs” by way of Grab-Kudo, the payments startup in the country that Grab acquired in 2017 for less than $100 million.

Given the track record that companies like Uber have had in locking horns with regulators, this puts Grab immediately into a strong position in terms of introducing and running with new services in the future. Its restaurant delivery business, GrabFood, is already the largest in the region, it claimed today.

Grab said the financial commitment was the result of a meeting between Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group, Anthony Tan, CEO of Grab and Ridzki Kramadibrata, President of Grab Indonesia, at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta.

“Indonesia’s technology sector has huge potential,” said Son in a statement. “I’m very happy to be investing $2 billion into the future of Indonesia through Grab.”

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan also had words supporting the deal: “Supported by the growing economy, Indonesia has a good investment climate where we are working together to boost the ease of investment in Indonesia,” he said. “This investment is evidence that Indonesia has been on the radar of investors, especially in the technology sector. We look forward to working with Grab, the fifth unicorn in Indonesia, and SoftBank to empower SMEs, accelerate tourism, and improving health services.”

This deal is a win on a couple of levels for Grab.

Most obviously, it’s giving the company a huge injection of capital to continue expanding its business aggressively in what is the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, with GDP of around $1 trillion annually.

A well-worn strategy by on-demand transportation companies — typified by others like Uber, Lyft and Didi — is to go big and go fast in order to establish a market presence among drivers and passengers, which can be used as a foothold to expand into other areas like food or package delivery and to then increase prices to improve margins.

Given that Indonesia is Gojek’s home country, and given that Indonesia is one of the biggest markets in the region, this makes it one of the most important territories for Grab to — err — grab.

“Grab is an Indonesia-focused company,” said Ridzki Kramadibrata, president of Grab Indonesia, in a statement today. “Having our second headquarters in Jakarta will allow us to better serve the needs of all Indonesians and those from emerging economies in the region. As a technology decacorn, Grab very well understands the needs and challenges we have here. We are also well positioned to support more high tech industries and infrastructure companies originating from Indonesia.”

On another front, this is an important strategy for the company on the regulatory and government front.

In a climate where it’s not unusual to see companies banned from operating in markets where they have run afoul of officials and the public, Grab is essentially buying its way into working with the state, and actually taking a commercial role in building its infrastructure. This — offering help with building infrastructure and simply passing on some of its experience and learnings — is a route that Didi has also been taking to make its way into new markets.

Grab said that it has invested $1 billion to date in Indonesia before now, and it said that its contribution to the economy in 2018 was $3.5 billion (48.9 trillion Indonesian rupiahs).

Updated to clarify that this is NOT a new infusion of capital, but a specification of how existing investments will be used. Meanwhile, Grab is still raising money and SoftBank said it wants to invest more.

Last-mile training and the future of work in an expanding gig economy

By Jonathan Shieber
Ryan Craig Contributor
Ryan Craig is managing director of University Ventures.

The future of work is so uncertain that perhaps the only possible job security exists for the person who can credibly claim to be an expert on the future of work.

Nevertheless, there are two trends purported experts are reasonably certain about: (1) continued growth in the number of jobs requiring substantive and sustained interaction with technology; and (2) continued rapid expansion of the gig economy.

This first future of work trend is evident today in America’s skills gap, with 7 million unfilled jobs — many mid- or high-skill positions requiring a range of digital and technology capabilities.

Amazon’s recent announcement that it will spend $700 million over the next six years to upskill 100,000 of its low-wage fulfillment center employees for better digital jobs within Amazon and elsewhere demonstrates an understanding that the private sector must take some responsibility for the requisite upskilling and retraining, as well as the importance of establishing pathways to these jobs that are faster and cheaper than the ones currently on offer from colleges and universities.

These pathways typically involve “last-mile training,” a combination of digital skills, specific industry or enterprise knowledge and soft skills to make candidates job-ready from day one.

The second trend isn’t new; the gig economy has existed since the advent of the “Help Wanted” sign. But what’s powered the gig revolution is the shift from signs and classified ads to digital platforms and marketplaces that facilitate continued and repeated matching of gig and gig worker. These talent platforms have made it possible for companies and organizations to conceptualize and compartmentalize work as projects rather than full-time jobs, and for workers to earn a living by piecing together gigs.

Critics of the gig economy decry the lack of job security, healthcare and benefits — and rightly so. If it’s hard to make ends meet as a full-time employee making a near-minimum wage, it’s impossible to do so via a gig platform at a comparable low wage. But rather than fighting the onset of the gig economy, critics might achieve more by focusing on upskilling gig workers.

To date, conversations about pathways and upskilling have focused on full-time employment. In the workforce or skills gap vernacular, upskilled Amazon workers might leave the fulfillment center for a tech support job with Amazon or another company, but it’s always a full-time job. But how do these important concepts intersect with the rising gig economy?

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Image via Getty Images / PeterSnow

Just as there are low-skill and high-skill jobs, there are gig platforms that require limited or low skills, and platforms that require a breadth of advanced skills. Gig platforms that can be classified as low-skill include Amazon’s Mechanical TurkTaskRabbitUber and Lyft and Instawork (hospitality). There are also mid-tier platforms like Upwork that span a wide range of gigs. And then there are platforms like Gigster (app development) and Business Talent Group (consulting and entire management functions) that require the same skill set as the most lucrative, in-demand, full-time positions.

So just as Amazon is focused on last-mile training programs to upskill workers and create new pathways to better jobs, in the gig economy context, our focus should be on strategies and platforms that allow gig workers to move from lower-skill to higher-skill platforms, i.e. pathways for Uber drivers to become Business Talent Group executives.

One high-skill gig platform has developed an innovative strategy to do exactly this. CreatorUp is a gig platform for digital video production that has built in a last-mile training on-ramp. CreatorUp offers low-cost or free last-mile training programs on its own and in conjunction with clients like YouTube and Google to upskill gig workers so they can be effective digital video producers on the CreatorUp platform.

CreatorUp’s programs are driven by client demand; because the company saw significant demand from clients for AR/VR video production, it launched a new AR/VR training track. Graduates of CreatorUp’s programs join the platform and are staffed on a wide range of productions that clients require to engage customers, suppliers, employees and/or to build their brands.

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The good news for CreatorUp and other high-skill gig platforms that begin to incorporate last-mile training is that investing in these pathways can start the flywheel that every successful talent marketplace requires. Clients only patronize talent marketplaces once there’s a critical mass of talent on the platform. So how do platforms attract talent? One way is to be first-to-market in a category. A second is to attract billions in venture capital. But a third might be to use last-mile training to create new talent.

CreatorUp believes its last-mile training programs have allowed it to grow a network that serves diverse client needs better than any other video production platform. For not only has last-mile training allowed CreatorUp to understand and certify the skills of talent on the platform, and therefore to meet the needs of more clients, it has also allowed CreatorUp to bid more competitively because newly trained talent is often willing to work for less.

Last-mile training has the potential to be a win-win for the gig economy. It’s a strategy that may allow gig platforms to scale, matching more talent with more clients. Meanwhile, by allowing workers to upskill from lower-tier gig platforms to higher skill platforms, it’s also the first gig economy solution for social mobility.

Spacetech growth, the future of micromobility, and how to solve the hell of open offices

By Danny Crichton

Is space truly within reach for startups and VC?

With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing taking place this past week, Darrell Etherington takes a temperature check of the current state of spacetech, chatting with startups like Wyvern and NSLComm. What he finds is actually a fairly positive picture — not only are there a huge number of original ideas and serious dollars flowing into the … space (couldn’t resist), but there are also clear trajectories to real products in the short-to-medium term. Writing about satellites:

Now, driven largely by miniaturization and manufacturing efficiency gains resulting from the ubiquity of home computing and smartphones, those components are a lot more affordable and a lot more available. High-quality optics can be had off the shelf for a relative song; antennas, solar cells, batteries and more have all dropped off a cliff in terms of manufacturing cost. Consumer hardware startups benefited from this trend as well, but it’s paying dividends to companies with higher-altitude ambitions, too.

[…]

Thanks to improvements in materials science, NSLComm was able to develop a proprietary technology to quickly deploy long communications antennas in orbit from relatively small craft, letting them offer high-bandwidth ground and air connectivity at a fraction of the cost needed by large satellite operators, while still maintaining favorable margins.

How top VCs view the new future of micromobility

Transportation into the cold vacuum of space isn’t the only hot zone for VC investment. Transportation itself is still getting a lot of love, but the investment theses are changing as more data comes in from the first wave of micromobility startups. At our Sessions: Mobility event, we had our VC reporter Kate Clark interview Sarah Smith of Bain Capital Ventures, Michael Granoff of Maniv Mobility, and Ted Serbinski of TechStars Detroit to discuss the future of this market, and we’ve now posted an exclusive edited transcript for Extra Crunch members.

How top VCs view the new future of micromobility

By Arman Tabatabai

Earlier this month, TechCrunch held its annual Mobility Sessions event, where leading mobility-focused auto companies, startups, executives and thought leaders joined us to discuss all things autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and electric vehicles.

Extra Crunch is offering members access to full transcripts key panels and conversations from the event, including our panel on micromobility where TechCrunch VC reporter Kate Clark was joined by investors Sarah Smith of Bain Capital Ventures, Michael Granoff of Maniv Mobility, and Ted Serbinski of TechStars Detroit.

The panelists walk through their mobility investment theses and how they’ve changed over the last few years. The group also compares the business models of scooters, e-bikes, e-motorcycles, rideshare and more, while discussing Uber and Lyft’s role in tomorrow’s mobility ecosystem.

Sarah Smith: It was very clear last summer, that there was essentially a near-vertical demand curve developing with consumer adoption of scooters. E-bikes had been around, but scooters, for Lime just to give you perspective, had only hit the road in February. So by the time we were really looking at things, they only had really six months of data. But we could look at the traction and the adoption, and really just what this was doing for consumers.

At the time, consumers had learned through Uber and Lyft and others that you can just grab your cell phone and press a button, and that equates to transportation. And then we see through the sharing economy like Airbnb, people don’t necessarily expect to own every single asset that they use throughout the day. So there’s this confluence of a lot of different consumer trends that suggested that this wasn’t just a fad. This wasn’t something that was going to go away.

For access to the full transcription below and for the opportunity to read through additional event transcripts and recaps, become a member of Extra Crunch. Learn more and try it for free. 

Kate Clark: One of the first panels of the day, I think we should take a moment to define mobility. As VCs in this space, how do you define this always-evolving sector?

Michael Granoff: Well, the way I like to put it is that there have been four eras in mobility. The first was walking and we did that for thousands of years. Then we harnessed animal power for thousands of years.

And then there was a date — and I saw Ken Washington from Ford here — September 1st, 1908, which was when the Model T came out. And through the next 100 years, mobility is really defined as the personally owned and operated individual operated internal combustion engine car.

And what’s interesting is to go exactly 100 years later, September 2008, the financial crisis that affects the auto industry tremendously, but also a time where we had the first third-party apps, and you had Waze and you had Uber, and then you had Lime and Bird, and so forth. And really, I think what we’re in now is the age of digital mobility and I think that’s what defines what this day is about.

Ted Serbinski: Yeah, I think just to add to that, I think mobility is the movement of people and goods. But that last part of digital mobility, I really look at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. And it’s really that intersection, which is enabling all these new ways to move around.

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Image via Getty Images / Jackie Niam

Clark: So Ted you run TechStars Detroit, but it was once known as TechStars Mobility. So why did you decide to drop the mobility?

Serbinski: So I’m at a mobility conference, and we no longer call ourselves mobility. So five years ago, when we launched the mobility program at TechStars, we were working very closely with Ford’s group and at the time, five years ago, 2014, where it started with the connected car, auto and [people saying] “you should use the word mobility.”

And I was like “What does that mean?” And so when we launched TechStars Mobility, we got all this stuff but we were like “this isn’t what we’re looking for. What does this word mean?” And then Cruise gets acquired for a billion dollars. And everyone’s like “Mobility! This is the next big gold rush! Mobility, mobility, mobility!”

And because I invest early-stage companies anywhere in the world, what started to happen last year is we’d be going after a company and they’d say, “well, we’re not interested in your program. We’re not mobility.” And I’d be scratching my head like, “No, you are mobility. This is where the future is going. You’re this digital way of moving around. And no, we’re artificial intelligence, we’re robotics.”

And as we started talking to more and more entrepreneurs, and hundreds of startups around the world, it became pretty clear that the word mobility is actually becoming too limiting, depending on your vantage where you are in the world.

And so this year, we actually dropped the word mobility and we just call it TechStars Detroit, and it’s really just intersection of those physical and digital worlds. And so now we don’t have a word, but I think we found more mobility companies by dropping the word mobility.

Lyft poaches Bird’s head of vehicle product

By Megan Rose Dickey

Shared electric bike and scooter services are constantly at war with each other — whether it’s battling for an operating permit in a highly coveted market, raising a massive round of funding or making a key hire. Today, the war continues with Lyft’s recent hiring of Eugene Kwak, Bird’s now-former head of vehicle product. Kwak’s first day as Lyft’s head of hardware product for bikes and scooters was this past Monday.

Bird has been on a tear as of late, between actively raising a massive D round at a $2.5 billion valuation and having been one of the first scooter startups to deploy its own custom-built scooter. The in-house scooters, previously overseen by Kwak, have proven to have a positive impact on Bird’s unit economics.

“Eugene was a member of our very robust vehicle design and engineering team that is lead by Scott Rushforth, Bird’s Chief Vehicle Officer, a Bird spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “We wish Eugene all the very best in his future endeavors.”

Lyft, on the other hand, is still relying on Segway for its scooters. This hire, however, signals Lyft’s shift to deploying scooters built in-house.

In addition to Kwak’s hire, Lyft has spent the last couple of months beefing up its bikes and scooters hardware team in order to keep iterating on its products. Earlier this month, Lyft also brought on Marc Fenigstein, co-founder of the now-defunct electric motorcycle company Alta Motors. Fenigstein is Lyft’s product lead for new vehicles.

Last month, Lyft brought on Mark Holveck from Tesla, where he served as a senior manager for the technology research and development team. At Lyft, Holveck is the head of hardware technology.

“We couldn’t be more excited to add these three leaders to take our hardware team to the next level,” Lyft Head of Bikes and Scooters Dor Levi said in a statement to TechCrunch. “They bring experience from some of the top hardware technology companies in the industry, and we look forward to continue offering best-in-class mobility solutions to our riders to help them easily get around their cities.”

Lyft is undoubtedly hitting its stride as a multi-modal transportation provider. To date, Lyft operates its bikes and scooters in 20 markets. Just last week, Lyft had a major legal win when a judge granted the company a preliminary injunction to prevent San Francisco from offering permits to other bike-share services.

Although Lyft is newer to the micromobility space than Bird, it’s noteworthy that the company poached a key member of one of its major competitor’s teams. Given the relative newness of this space, any little bit of a leg up on the competition will surely help.

I’ve reached out to Bird and will update this story if I hear back.

Cars-as-a-service, Alibaba and ridehailing, mental health, and the future of financial services

By Danny Crichton

The future of car ownership: Cars-as-a-service

It’s Mobility Day at TechCrunch, and we’re hosting our Sessions event today in beautiful San Jose. That’s why we have a couple of related pieces on mobility at Extra Crunch.

First, our automotive editor Matt Burns is back with part two of his market map and analysis of the changing nature of how consumers are buying cars these days. Part one looked at how startups like Carvana, Shift, Vroom, and others are trying to disrupt the car dealership’s monopoly on auto sales in the United States.

Now, Burns takes a look at how startups like Fair and premium automakers like Mercedes are disrupting the very notion of owning a car in the first place. Rather than buying a car or leasing one, users with these new services are asked to subscribe to their cars, giving them the flexibility to get a car when they need it and to get rid of it when they don’t. Fair has raised $1.5 billion in venture capital, so clearly the space has caught the eye of investors.

“In simple terms,” co-founder and then CEO [of Fair] Scott Painter, told TechCrunch following its recent raise, “for every dollar in equity we unlock $10 in debt, and we borrow that cash to buy cars.”

Fair works much like a traditional lease with more options. Users can drive the vehicles as long as they’re paying for them and can switch to a different one whenever. This is different from a traditional lease where the buyer is often locked into the vehicle for two to four years. The model makes Fair an excellent option for Uber and Lyft drivers, and in the last year, Uber sold fair its $400 million leasing business to accelerate this offering.

Meituan, Alibaba, and the new landscape of ride-hailing in China

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, our China tech reporter Rita Liao takes a deeper look at the quickly changing tides of the ride-hailing industry in China. It’s a fight between intermediation, disintermediation, and who ultimately owns the ride-hailing consumer. As transit in China and the rest of the world increasingly becomes multi-modal, who owns the gateway to figuring out the best method and paying for it is increasingly in the driver’s seat:

The future of car ownership: Cars-as-a-service

By Matt Burns

Car shoppers now have several new options to avoid long-term debt and commitments. Automakers and startups alike are increasingly offering services that give buyers new opportunities and greater flexibility around owning and using vehicles.

Cars-as-a-Service

In the first part of this feature, we explored the different startups attempting to change car buying. But not everyone wants to buy a car. After all, a vehicle traditionally loses its value at a dramatic rate.

Some startups are attempting to reinvent car ownership rather than car buying.

Don’t buy, lease

My favorite car blog Jalopnik said it best: “Cars Sales Could Be Heading Straight Into the Toilet.” Citing a Bloomberg report, the site explains automakers may have had the worst first half for new-vehicle retail sales since 2013. Car sales are tanking, but people still need cars.

Companies like Fair are offering new types of leases combining a traditional auto financing option with modern conveniences. Even car makers are looking at different ways to move vehicles from dealer lots.

Fair was founded in 2016 by an all-star team made up of automotive, retail and banking executives including Scott Painter, former founder and CEO of TrueCar.

Dockless bikes, except for JUMP’s, are still on hold in SF

By Megan Rose Dickey

In light of Lyft filing a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco regarding dockless, the city is holding off on its permitting process for additional dockless bike providers at least until later this week. Although Uber-owned JUMP’s pilot was set to expire today, it is now extended until 10 days after the court’s order, SFMTA spokesperson Benjamin Barnett told TechCrunch.

In June, Lyft sued the city, claiming San Francisco was in violation of its 10-year contract with Lyft that would give the company exclusive rights to operate bike-share programs. The lawsuit was in light of SF announcing it would take applications for operators seeking permits to deploy additional stationless bikes.

San Francisco, however, said the contract does not apply to dockless bike-share, but only station-based bike-share. In its lawsuit, Lyft is seeking a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order to prevent the city from issuing permits to operators for stationless bike-share rentals.

“We opened up the stationless e-bikes permit process, but legal action by Lyft/Motivate has put that process on the hold,” Barnett said.

The court order could happen as early as July 11 and as late as October 11, Barnett said. Additionally, the SFMTA is not able to issue permits until at least five days after the order.

I’ve reached out to Lyft and will update this story if I hear back. Lyft previously told TechCrunch it did try to avoid litigation, but that the SFMTA refused to participate in its dispute process.

“We are eager to continue investing in the regional bikeshare system with the MTC and San Francisco,” a Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch back in June. “We need San Francisco to honor its contractual commitments to this regional program — not change the rules in the middle of the game. We are eager to quickly resolve this, so that we can deliver on our plans to bring bikes to every neighborhood in San Francisco.”

Meituan, Alibaba, and the new landscape of ride-hailing in China

By Rita Liao

Instead of switching between apps to secure a ride during rush hour, people in China can now hail from different companies using a single app. Some of the country’s largest internet companies — including ride-hailing giant Didi itself — are placing bets on this type of aggregation service.

The nascent model is reminiscent of a feature Google Maps added in early 2017 allowing users to hail Uber, Lyft, Gett and Hailo straight from its navigation app. A few months later, AutoNavi, a maps app owned by Alibaba, debuted a similar feature in China. Other big names like Baidu, Hellobike, Meituan and Didi subsequently joined forces with third-party ride-booking services rather than building their own.

The trend underscores changes in China’s massive ride-hailing industry of 330 million users (in Chinese). The government is tightening rules around vehicle and driver accreditation, leading to a widescale driver shortage. Meanwhile, established carmakers including BMW and state-owned Shouqi are entering the fray, offering premium rides with better-trained fleet drivers, but they face an uphill battle with Didi, which gobbled up Uber China in 2016.

By corraling various ride-booking services, an aggregator can shorten wait time for users. For new ride-hailing players, riding on a billion-user platform like Meituan opens up wider user acquisition channels.

These ride-hailing marketplaces let users request rides from any number of third-party services available. At the end of the trip, users pay directly through the aggregator, which normally takes a commission of about 10%, although none of the players have disclosed how revenue is exactly divided with their mobility partners.

In comparison, a ride-hailing operator such as Didi charges about 20% from each trip since they take care of driver management, customer support and other dirty work which, to a great extent, helps build the moat around their business.

Here’s a look at who the aggregators are.

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