Author: Megan Rose Dickey

Shopkick lays off about 10 percent of staff

TECHCRUNCH Shopkick, a shopping rewards app owned by SK Telecom, laid off a little over 10 percent of its staff (about 30 people) yesterday, TechCrunch has learned. Shopkick CEO Bill Demas confirmed the layoffs to TechCrunch, saying the layoffs were part of a broader restructuring of the business. Shopkick, which was founded seven years ago, initially focused on physical retail stores and increasing foot traffic. Now, Shopkick is trying to focus more on e-commerce and mobile commerce. As part of that focus, Demas told TechCrunch, Shopkick needs to invest in engineers, salespeople, data scientists and business development people. “Folks...

Read More

Commuter shuttle bus Chariot halts services in SF

TECHCRUNCH Chariot, the commuter shuttle bus network that Ford Smart Mobility acquired in 2016, has halted its services in San Francisco, the San Francisco Business Times first reported. On Wednesday, the California Public Utilities Commission suspended Chariot’s operating permit after the service didn’t pass three consecutive California Highway Patrol inspections. “On three separate inspections of Chariot Transportation, Inc. it was discovered drivers without valid Class B California Driver Licenses were driving passenger buses which required a Class B license,” CHP Public Information Officer John D. Fransen told TechCrunch. “This resulted in an unsatisfactory rating for each inspection. The carrier...

Read More

Women of color at tech companies are few and far between

TECHCRUNCH Thanks to an analysis of EEO-1 data by Reveal News, we have a clear picture of just how many women of color (Native American, black, Latina, Pacific Islander, or two or more races) work at major tech companies. When tech companies release their diversity reports, they rarely, if ever, report intersectional data such as the percentage of women of color they employ. In early 2016, Slack became the first tech company to do that. Apple, likely because its numbers encompass everyone ranging from top executives to retail employees, employs the highest percentage of women of color, according to...

Read More

Snap is selling a dancing hot dog costume on Amazon

TECHCRUNCH This might perhaps be the most random thing I ever write, but here goes nothing. Snap, the maker of Snapchat and Spectacles, is selling the dancing hot dog costume on Amazon for $79.99.If you’re a Snapchat or Bitmoji user, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. The dancing hot dog first emerged earlier this year when Snapchat rolled out an augmented reality dancing hot-dog filter. Snapchat users began posting videos with the dancing hot dog getting run over by an incoming BART train and doing other random things. The dancing hot dog has since made its way...

Read More

Twitter is done with hate symbols and violent groups

TECHCRUNCH Twitter, a platform infested with trolls, hate and abuse, can be one of the worst places on the Internet. As a followup to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s tweetstorm last week, in which he promised to crack down on hate and abuse by implementing more aggressive rules, Twitter is gearing up to roll out some updates in the coming weeks, Wired reported earlier today. In an email to members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, Twitter’s head of safety policy outlined some of the company’s new approaches to abuse. Twitter’s policies have not specifically addressed hate symbols and imagery,...

Read More

Magic Leap confirms $502 million Series D round

TECHCRUNCH Mixed reality slash augmented reality startup Magic Leap announced today that it raised a $502 million Series D round led by Temasek with participation from EDBI, Grupo Globo, Janus Henderson, Alibaba Group, Fidelity Management and others. Just last week, a Delaware filing confirmed that Magic Leap authorized up to $1 billion in new shares. “We’re excited to welcome Temasek and the other new investors in this round to the Magic Leap family,” Magic Leap Founder and President Rony Abovitz said in a release. “We also greatly appreciate the strong support and partnership from our existing shareholders.” It’s still not...

Read More

HandUp, the startup that helps homeless people, has been acquired

TECHCRUNCH In slightly bittersweet news, startup HandUp is selling itself to the Detroit-based South Oakland Shelter for an undisclosed amount. This isn’t your typical Silicon Valley exit where the founders and investors made a bunch of money. HandUp CEO Rose Broome described it to me as a “primary philanthropic acquisition.” But it’s still a solid outcome for a startup that operates as a public benefit corporation. SOS has been one of HandUp’s non-profit partners for years. When the two organizations first started discussing working together, SOS at the time communicated that the organization had been wanting to build something...

Read More

Waggit launches a smart collar to track your pup’s health

TECHCRUNCH Waggit, a smart collar for dogs, aims to help improve your pup’s quality of life and help humans better care for their dog companions. Like other smart dog collars — think Whistle, which sold to Mars for over $100 million — Waggit offers tracking, but it’s core value proposition is health. “No one has truly tackled health for dogs,” Waggit CEO Susan Sierota told me. “Right now, it’s all about activity or tracking.” The collar learns your pup’s baseline and then tracks things like changes in vitals, body position (if your dog suddenly starts sleeping on its right...

Read More

Right Now in Politics