Author: Megan Rose Dickey

BloomThat pauses on-demand flower services

TECHCRUNCH Following an acquisition by FTD Companies earlier this year for a reportedly small amount of cash, on-demand flower service BloomThat is pausing its services as it works “to figure out how to best integrate BloomThat as part of the FTD portfolio of brands,” the founders wrote to its customers a few days ago. “Before we go, we want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of our loyal bloomers,” the founders wrote. “Over the last five years, you’ve brightened many lives with a simple, thoughtful gesture. Thank you for entrusting us with your most important moments –...

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Bird hits 10 million scooter rides

TECHCRUNCH Bird just announced 10 million scooter rides since launching about one year ago. If this story sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because Bird competitor Lime earlier today announced it surpassed 11.5 million rides across its shared bikes and scooters. Bird, which launched last September in Santa Monica, Calif., currently operates in 100 cities and has over two million unique riders, Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden told TechCrunch. But Bird’s first year of operations has been full of ups and downs. Many of the downs have been around regulatory issues. Bird faced, and overcame them, in Santa Monica but failed in San Francisco. “I think anytime you’re doing something new that the cities haven’t contemplated before, there always seems to be gray area on where you fit in in the regulatory environment,” VanderZanden said. “Cities hadn’t thought about electric scooters and electric scooter sharing. We collaborated very closely with the cities we’re in now.” Although San Francisco did not grant an operating permit to Bird — the city gave them to Scoot and Skip — VanderZanden stressed that “San Francisco is one city. We’re in 100 cities.” He also said Bird is not looking to appeal the decision in San Francisco. Lime, however, is in engaging in the appeals process. As Bird enters its second year of operations, the name of the game is to double down...

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Lime hits 11.5 million bike and scooter rides

TECHCRUNCH Bike and scooter company Lime recently hit 11.5 million rides, a couple of months after it surpassed six million rides. This milestone comes just 14 months after Lime deployed its first bikes. Today, Lime is in more than 100 markets throughout the U.S. and Europe. Last December, Lime brought its bikes to a number of European cities and in June, Lime brought its scooters to Paris. By the end of this year, Lime plans to launch in an additional 50 cities. The rise of shared personal electric vehicles has also led to a new type of side hustle for some people. Through Lime’s Juicer program, which enables anyone to make money from charging scooters overnight, the company has paid out millions of dollars to those workers. Lime has raised $467 million in funding, with its most recent round coming in at $335 million. The round, led by GV, included participation from...

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Lyft now integrates public transit info in app

TECHCRUNCH Lyft has officially entered the public transit space with the launch of Nearby Transit, a feature currently available just in Santa Monica, Calif. This comes just a couple of days after Lyft deployed electric scooters in the city. Today, Lyft customers in Santa Monica will see the Nearby Transit option, which includes route information and schedules for the Big Blue Bus, LA Metro and Metrolink. The feature is in partnership with Trafi, a transit information platform. “Building on the launch of Lyft Scooters in Santa Monica this week, it’s another step toward providing effective, equitable, and sustainable transportation...

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Twilio is working toward a 50% female workforce by 2023

TECHCRUNCH Diversity fatigue is a real thing, but that’s not news to Twilio Global Head of Culture & Inclusion LaFawn Davis. What that does mean for her, however, is less talk and more action. Since coming on board as Twilio’s diversity and inclusion leader about one and half years ago, Davis has been focused on creating a global approach, rather than one that is just U.S. – centric. That strategy is based on three pillars, Davis told TechCrunch. Those are having an equitable approach (i.e. hiring people without traditional backgrounds), equal promise (unbiased recruiting process, equal pay and promotion opportunities) and creating a sense of belonging. As part of that, Twilio is unveiling its first diversity report today and publicly setting a five-year goal to hit specific diversity targets. “We believe that the data is how we stay accountable and measure it but it’s really our actions that are going to speak for us,” Davis said. “We wanted to intentionally set goals publicly so that we can be transparent.” By 2023, Twilio aims for its workforce to be: 50 percent female 30 percent black, Latinx, two or more races, Pacific Islander or Native, LGTBQ+ By that time, Twilio also aims to have 100 percent of its employees report feeling like they belong, based on Twilio’s employee engagement survey around belonging and inclusion. Today, Twilio is: Twilio is 31 percent...

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Rent the Runway opens physical store in San Francisco

TECHCRUNCH Rent the Runway, the fashion startup that began as a rental service for special occasions and has since evolved over the last couple of years into a service for people also looking to spice up their everyday wear, just opened up its fifth physical, standalone location. The new location, in downtown San Francisco, enables Rent the Runway members to try on clothes, rent and return them. Rent the Runway’s launch of a standalone brick-and-mortar location in San Francisco comes after it first opened up a location inside Neiman Marcus. With a standalone location, the company is able to offer longer hours for its members. Instead of opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m., Rent the Runway can now stay open from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. It also, of course, has weekend hours. Thanks to some technology Rent the Runway developed within the last year, it has essentially “legalized shoplifting” for its members, Rent the Runway COO Maureen Sullivan told me yesterday ahead of the store’s launch. Toward the front of the store, there’s a self-return process that enables anyone to quickly return their items. A little farther back in the store, there’s a handful of self-checkout kiosks that let members quickly scan their items and leave. Since its launch about nine years ago, Rent the Runway has launched two additional product offerings. In...

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Lyft deploys electric scooters in Santa Monica

TECHCRUNCH Lyft has launched its electric scooters in Santa Monica, Calif. as part of the city’s pilot program, joining both Bird and Lime, CNET first reported. As part of the pilot program, Lyft can have up to 250 scooters on the streets at any one time. Riders must also be sure to stay within the service area of Santa Monica, and not venture out into the broader Los Angeles area. Otherwise, they’ll be fined. Lyft’s launch in Santa Monica comes just a couple of weeks after the company deployed scooters in Denver, Colo. Lyft’s scooters cost $1 to unlock...

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Lyft hits 1 billion rides a couple of months after Uber hit 10 billion trips

TECHCRUNCH Today marks a big milestone for Lyft — one billion rides. That’s a milestone Uber hit in December 2015. Uber has since grown to 10 billion trips completed — including Eats deliveries — as of this past July. Uber, of course, had a bit of head start given it launched in 2009 while Lyft first launched in 2012. This milestone for Lyft comes about a year after it announced it was completing one million rides a day. To celebrate it, Lyft employees are surprising 3,500 drives with a free tank of gas. Earlier this month, Lyft officially entered...

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