Bird’s chief legal & policy officer is leaving the company

Bird, the $2.5 billion electric scooter business, is losing its chief legal and policy officer. David Estrada, who was hired last year from Kitty Hawk, is joining another mobility company, SoftBank-backed Nuro. A spokesperson for Bird tells TechCrunch Estrada is leaving the Santa Monica-based company to be closer to his family. Nuro, for its part, is based in Mountain View, …

WeWork pulls thousands of phone booths out of service over formaldehyde scare

WeWork, the co-working empire once valued at $47BN before reality struck plunging the business and its investors into crisis, has another problem to add to its growing pile — one which doesn’t exactly reflect well on its core business of kitting out and maintaining modern working environments. The problem is a safety concern affecting users of WeWork co-working spaces in …

Founder’s guide to the pre-IPO secondary market

Ryan Conner Contributor Ryan Conner is a corporate attorney at Atrium part of the General Counsel Group representing early-stage startups. The increase in activity in the pre-IPO secondary market means that founders, early employees, and investors are receiving liquidity much sooner in a company’s lifecycle than ever before. For most startups and privately held companies, liquidity is often an issue …

Friday deadline alert: Apply to TC Top Picks @ Disrupt Berlin 2019

We dedicate this countdown post to all the early-stage startup founders who hunger for an opportunity to break new ground. This is the final week you can apply to be a TC Top Pick and exhibit your startup — for free — in Startup Alley at Disrupt Berlin 2019 on 11-12 December. The application window remains open until this Friday, 18 …

Why each Libra member’s mutiny hurts Facebook

There’s a strategic cost to the defection of Visa, Stripe, eBay, and more from the Facebook-led cryptocurrency Libra Association. They’re not just names dropping off a list. Each potentially made Libra more useful, ubiquitous, or reputable. Now they could become obstacles to the token’s launch or growth. Fearing regulators’ inquiries not just into their Libra involvement but the rest of …

Startups Weekly: YC grad Revel’s plan to connect women over 50

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy news pertaining to startups and venture capital. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. I’ve been on a bit of a startup profile kick as of late. Last week, I was tired from Disrupt. Before that, I wrote about up …

Source: Nike has picked up Russell Wilson’s Tally/TraceMe in a rare acquisition

Nike has long been synonymous with premium sneakers and other sports gear, but now it seems that the company could be extending its brand into another area — digital media — thanks to the rumored acquisition of a Seattle-based startup. TechCrunch has learned from a source that the multibillion-dollar sports giant has acquired TraceMe, which originally built an app to …

Instacart shoppers are organizing a nationwide protest

Instacart has long been at odds with its shoppers — the people who go to the grocery store on behalf of customers. From November 3-5, thousands of Instacart shoppers plan to protest with three demands. They want Instacart to change the default tip amount to at least 10%, ditch the service fee and commit to always giving 100% of the …

Polte raises $12.5 million to track devices using LTE signal

Polte has raised another $12.5 million. The company is building a service that leverages 4G (and potentially 5G) signal to track things around for commercial and industrial use cases. The main advantage of that is that using cellular signal uses a lot less battery than acquiring GPS location and transmitting it over cellular. Today’s funding round is an extension of …

Uber to acquire grocery delivery startup Cornershop

Uber will acquire Cornershop, a grocery delivery startup that began life serving the Latin American market and recently shifted to offer service in Toronto, its first North American city. Uber announced on Friday that it expects that its acquisition of a majority ownership stake in Cornershop in early 2020, once it receives all the necessary regulatory sign-off. Cornershop was founded …

Club Factory raises $100M to expand its lifestyle e-commerce platform in India

Club Factory, a Chinese e-commerce platform that sells fashion and beauty items and electronics accessories, has raised $100 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in India. The new financing round — Series D — was led by Qiming Venture Partners, Bertelsmann, IDG Capital “and  other Fortune 500 companies from the U.S. and Asia,” …

Autonomous trucking startup Einride eyes US market with $25 million in new funding

Einride, the Swedish autonomous vehicle startup known for its futuristic pods designed to haul freight, has raised $25 million in a Series A round that will be used to fund its expansion into the United States. The round was co-led by EQT Ventures and NordicNinja VC, a fund backed by Panasonic, Honda, Omron and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. …

Tiger Global values people management tool Lattice at ~$200M

The secretive New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management has led a $25 million Series C investment in Lattice, an employee performance and engagement management tool, with participation from the startup’s existing investors. The round, which values Lattice in the ballpark of $200 million, says co-founder and chief executive officer Jack Altman, comes just six months after the business closed …

3 days left to save on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

What does Disrupt Berlin 2019 have in common with the movie “Three Days of the Condor?” Frankly, not much except that there are only three days of the super early bird special left before prices go up. The analogy may be a stretch, but the facts are real. Right now, you can save up to €600 depending on the pass …

Tick-tock: Hurry and apply to TC Top Picks @ Disrupt Berlin 2019

Early-stage startup founders know that M&Ms are essential ingredients for startup success. We’re not talking about the melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand confection; we’re talking money and media. Apply to be TC Top Pick at Disrupt Berlin 2019 and — if you make the cut — you’ll receive a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package, the VIP treatment and plenty of exposure to both media and investors. …

MIT is reviewing its relationship with AI startup SenseTime, one of the Chinese tech firms blacklisted by the US

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology said it is reviewing the university’s relationship with SenseTime, one of eight Chinese tech companies placed on the U.S. Entity List yesterday for their alleged role in human rights abuses against Muslim minority groups in China. A MIT spokesperson told Bloomberg that “MIT has long had a robust export controls function that pays careful attention …

Report: WeWork expected to cut 500 tech roles

The WeWork saga continues this week with new reports the company may slash as many as 500 tech roles. The co-working business, who’s eccentric co-founder and chief executive officer Adam Neumann stepped down two weeks ago, is expected to let go of 350 employees within its corporate division, The Information reports. Initial cuts will be within the software engineering, product …

Robinhood revives checking with new debit card & 2% interest

This time it actually has insurance. Zero-fee stock trading app Robinhood is launching Cash Management, a new feature that earns users 2.05% APY interest on uninvested money in their account with the ability to spend it through a special Mastercard debit card. The waitlist opens today in the US with the first users to be admitted soon. “If you have …

Sequoia shares wisdom with Disrupt SF Battlefield competitors and Startup Alley Top Picks

Editor’s note: James Buckhouse is design partner at Sequoia.  Last Tuesday, the teams competing in Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF, as well as founders chosen as Top Picks in Startup Alley, visited Sequoia Capital’s office in San Francisco for a discussion with partners Jess Lee, Roelof Botha, Mike Vernal, Alfred Lin and James Buckhouse. The following is a partial transcript …

5 days left to save on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019

A show of hands, startuppers. Who’s ready to save some money on passes to Disrupt Berlin 2019, our premier tech conference that takes place on 11-12 December? Then listen up, because our super early bird pricing ends in just five days. Right now, passes start at €345 + VAT and, depending on which pass you choose, you can save up …

Miss out on Startup Battlefield? Apply to TC Top Picks at Disrupt Berlin 2019

Did you miss the deadline to apply for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2019? Well don’t despair, founders. There’s more than one way to place your early-stage startup in front of thousands of influential technologists, investors and global media. Apply to be considered for our TC Top Picks program and the opportunity to exhibit in Startup Alley for free. Deadline alert: You must …

And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2019 is… Render

At the very beginning, there were 20 startups. After two days of incredibly fierce competition, we now have a winner. Startups participating in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. They all presented in front of multiple groups of VCs and tech leaders serving as judges for a chance to win $100,000 …

$35M-funded Omni rentals in acqui-hire talks with Coinbase

Physical storage-turned-rentals startup Omni is dealing with layoffs today, two sources familiar with the situation tell TechCrunch. Omni just shed seven operations team members. The startup is in talks to sell its engineering team to Coinbase after also receiving interest from Thumbtack. Omni’s rental business was doing poorly without enough users paying a few bucks to borrow a tent, bike …

How ‘the Internet broke America’ with The New Yorker’s Andrew Marantz

When Elizabeth Warren took on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook earlier this week, it was a low moment for what New Yorker writer Andrew Marantz calls “techno-utopianism.” That the progressive, populist Massachusetts Senator and leading Democratic Presidential candidate wants to #BreakUpBigTech is not surprising. But Warren’s choice to spotlight regulating and trust-busting Facebook was nonetheless noteworthy, because of what it represents …

As Sinai Ventures returns first fund, partner Jordan Fudge talks new LA focus

At age 27, Jordan Fudge is quietly making a splash in the VC world. Fudge is the managing partner of Sinai Ventures, a multi-stage VC fund that manages $100 million and has more than 80 portfolio companies including Ro, Drivetime, Kapwing, and Luminary. His 2017 investment in Pinterest — a secondary shares deal from his prior firm that was rolled …

Stephen Curry invests in Guild Education

Stephen Curry, along with SC 30, Inc. President Bryant Barr, just announced an investment in Guild Education, which helps Fortune 1000 companies, like Disney and Loews, offer debt-free degrees to their employees. “We pioneered what we call education as a benefit,” Guild Education co-founder and CEO Rachel Carlson told TechCrunch. “We’re the tech platform and network of non-profit and public …

Why San Francisco is still the gold mine for tech startups

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where each week we discuss other people’s copious dollars and lacking sense. This week was special! Kate and Alex at Disrupt where they recorded live in front of an audience. Equity has recorded at Disrupt before. Equity has taped before an audience before. But this was the first time that we …