Headlines 

Airbnb to ban party houses in wake of Halloween shooting in California

Airbnbs CEO said the company must do better after five people were killed at a party in San Francisco Airbnbs chief executive has said the company will ban party houses following a November 2, 2019 The four-bedroom home had been rented on Airbnb by a woman who told the owner her dozen family members had asthma and needed to escape smoke from a wildfire, a person with knowledge of the transaction told the Associated Press. A fire burning in Sonoma County about 97km (60 miles) north of Orinda earlier in…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Why were still waiting on the Postmates S-1

In a wide-ranging conversation at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco last week, Postmates co-founder and chief executive officer Bastian Lehmann made light of the company’s lack of IPO documents. The San Francisco-based on-demand delivery business was expected to publicly file its IPO prospectus in September in preparation for a fall exit, sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch this summer. September, however, has come and gone, and we’re still waiting on Postmates to release the critical document. “The reality is that we will IPO when we believe we find the right…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Sources: Lilium is looking to raise up to $500M for its electric flying taxis

“Flying cars” — airborne vehicles designed for urban and other short-distance commutes to replace conventional private automobiles — are (at best) still years away from being a reality, with significant safety, technology and business model hurdles to clear before they ever hit the sky. Now, sources tell us that one of the more promising startups in the field, the German startup Lilium, wants to put itself into pole position by ramping up its financial position. Lilium has been talking to investors to raise a big round of funding, between $400…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

How parking app SpotHero is preparing for an era of driverless cars

On-demand parking app SpotHero wants to be ready for the day when autonomous vehicles are ubiquitous. Its strategy: target the human-driven car-sharing fleets today. The Chicago-based company, which has operations in San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle, has launched a new service dubbed SpotHero for Fleets that targets shared mobility and on-demand services. The service aims to be a one-stop shop for car-sharing and commercial fleets to handle all that goes into ensuring there is access and the right number of designated parking areas on any given day…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has reportedly cashed out of over $700 million ahead of its IPO

Adam Neumann, the co-founder and chief executive of the international real estate co-working startup WeWork has reportedly cashed out of more than $700 million from his company ahead of its initial public offering. The size and timing of the payouts, made through a mix of stock sales and loans secured by his equity in the company, is unusual, considering that founders typically wait until after a company holds its public offering to liquidate their holdings. Despite the loans and sales of stock, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Neumann remains…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

‘While the city burns’: San Francisco just took a big crap on people trying to quit smoking (but heroin users can rest easy)

San Francisco’s government has really got its priorities in order: BREAKING: San Francisco has banned the sale of Juuls and other e-cigarettes, becoming the first U.S. city to do so https://t.co/IRENFT5GBV pic.twitter.com/wpKMYahkqM — Bloomberg (@business) June 25, 2019 More from Bloomberg: The city voted Tuesday to ban sales of e-cigarettes, making it illegal to sell nicotine vaporizer products in stores or for online retailers to ship the goods to San Francisco addresses. The ban will be the first of its kind to go into effect in the U.S. The ordinance will now go…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Startups Weekly: The Peloton IPO (bull vs. bear)

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a newsletter published every Saturday that dives into the week’s noteworthy venture capital deals, funds and trends. Before I dive into this week’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about the proliferation of billion-dollar companies. Before that, I noted the uptick in beverage startup rounds. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. A bullish perspective: Peloton, an early player in the fitness tech space, has garnered a cult following since its founding in…

Read More
Headlines 

A school’s mural removal: should kids be shielded from brutal US history?

Every day at a San Francisco high school, students pass artwork depicting slavery and violence against Native Americans Depending on whom you ask, a 1,600-sq-ft art installation at George Washington high school in San Francisco is either an unflinching look at American history, a stark depiction of violence against oppressed minorities or both. In New Deal-era murals spanning the staircase and lobby, the Russian emigre Victor Arnautoff depicted Washington in 13 scenes. Two in particular have generated student complaints for more than 50 years, and in April, an ad hoc…

Read More
Headlines 

San Francisco politicians champion civil liberties – but back police raid on journalist

After authorities seize reporters notes, Democratic leaders say they support the raid and decline to address press freedom concerns San Francisco politicians pride themselves on defending civil liberties in the face of unprecedented attacks by the White House. But when a Donald Trump-style crackdown on citizens rights took place in their own backyard, the citys Democratic leaders had a different kind of response. They supported it. San Francisco police (SFPD) uncover a police leak to the reporter. The states newspapers, along with first amendment advocates across the US, have decried…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Africa Roundup: Kenyas BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigerias TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and 200,000 active customers…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Resolved: San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer Responds to Viral Video of Incident With Wife

In a series of public responses over the past 24 hours, Larry Baer and Pamela Baer have cast video of San Fransisco Giants CEO lunging at his wife as an argument gone wrong as the incident stirred outcry on social media. In the video, San Francisco Chronicle they saw the couple arguing for about 20 minutes in a public plaza before the incident, and added that Pamela seemed seemed pretty terrified afterward. They said Baer only calmed down after two bystanders intervened. He knocks her down off her chair and…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Why Silicon Valley needs more visas

Henrique Dubugras Photo courtesy of Flickr/jvoves While it might sound counterintuitive, immigrants create more jobs and make our economy stronger. Research from the National Foundation of American Policy (NFAP) has shown that immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies doubled their number of employees over the past two years. According to the research, “WeWork went from 1,200 to 6,000 employees between 2016 and 2018, Houzz increased from 800 to 1,800 employees the last two years, while Cloudflare went from 225 to 715 employees.” We’ve seen the same growth at Brex. In just one year…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Contentful raises $33.5M for its headless CMS platform

Contentful, a Berlin- and San Francisco-based startup that provides content management infrastructure for companies like Spotify, Nike, Lyft and others, today announced that it has raised a $33.5 million Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from OMERS Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors General Catalyst, Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Hercules. In total, the company has now raised $78.3 million. Contentful, a Stripe for content management, raises $28M led by General Catalyst Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/06/contentful-raises-33-5m-for-its-headless-cms-platform/

Read More
Headlines 

Salesforce CEO: tech billionaires ‘hoard their money’ and won’t help homeless

In Guardian interview, Marc Benioff calls out Twitters Jack Dorsey and others for failing to give back to city where they got rich Marc Benioff, the Salesforce CEO, has escalated his attacks on fellow San Francisco billionaires, saying they are hoarding money and dont want to help the homeless. In an interview with the Guardian on Tuesday, the tech entrepreneur intensified his efforts to call out ultra-wealthy business leaders has caused divides in the tech industry, which has typically been resistance to taxes that could income inequality. The CEOs unusual…

Read More
Headlines 

Protest and parade on the streets of San Francisco

The 80s were a decade of demonstration for California photographer Janet Delaney. As her photos are collected in a book and the city stirs again she talks about her work In 1981, at the start of the Reagan years, photographer Janet Delaney decamped from the South of Market or SoMa neighbourhood in her beloved San Francisco, where she had lived since her teens, to a new home in the Mission district. Aged just 29, she had spent the previous few years documenting social change and gentrification in SoMa. I was…

Read More