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June 22, 2019

Equity transcribed: Slack’s IPO, the VCs behind Facebook Libra, founder salaries and trouble in scooter-land

Welcome back to this week’s transcribed edition of Equity.

This week, TechCrunch’s Danny Crichton filled in for co-host Alex Wilhelm – who was out in preparation for his wedding this weekend – joining Kate to cover the big news of the week.

Kate and Danny dive straight into Slack’s IPO and the implications of its direct listing strategy, before shifting gears to discuss the launch of Facebook’s new ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency and the VCs backing the initiative.

The duo then took a look at Lime’s latest fundraising efforts and the potential headwinds facing scooter companies with an appetite for capital. Lastly, [...]

 
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June 21, 2019

Airbus-owned Voom will compete with Uber Copter in the U.S. in 2019

The U.S. air taxi market is heating up: Aeronautics industry giant Airbus will be among the companies operating on-demand air travel service in 2019 in American skies, FastCompany reports. Airbus’ Voom on-demand helicopter shuttle operation will set up shop in the U.S. starting this fall, after previously providing service exclusively in Latin America.

Uber announced its own Uber Copter service earlier this month, which will provide service from Manhattan to JFK airport starting in July, and Blade also already offers similar service between New York City and its three area airports, as well as Bay Area air shuttle routes. Airbus’ Voom is also going to [...]

 
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June 20, 2019

California has let two Chinese startups offer robotaxis to the public

China’s driverless cars are coming for passengers in the United States. AutoX and Pony.ai just became the first Chinese companies allowed to offer fully self-driving cars in the state of California, according to notices posted on the website of the California Public Utilities Commission this week.

Started in 2016 by Princeton University professor Jianxiong Xiao, called “Professor X” by his students, AutoX is now one of China’s most well-funded autonomous driving startups alongside Pony.ai, which was co-founded in 2016 by two former executives at Baidu’s self-driving department.

AutoX said in January that it was in talks with investors to raise a [...]

 
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June 19, 2019

Still in stealth mode, Duffel raises $21.5m in Series A from Benchmark for its travel platform

Ten months ago London startup hinted that it would be “a new way to book travel online, aiming at the booking experience ‘end to end’”, announced a healthy $4.7M funding round, but not much else.

Today it goes further, announcing a $21.5m in Series A funding from VC giant Benchmark, which also backed Snap, Twitter and Uber. Benchmark is joined by Blossom Capital and Index Ventures, who participated in Duffel’s $4.7m seed round last year.

With this news, we at least get a little more detail. It will be a B2B offering, allowing individual travel agents to large online travel management companies and tour operators to offer a “seamless travel [...]

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