Author: Megan Rose Dickey

Mindspace raises $20 million to launch co-working spaces in the U.S.

TECHCRUNCH Co-working startup Mindspace recently raised $20 million as it gears up to launch its first two locations in the U.S. While Mindspace is looking to go big or go home in the U.S., it’s starting off slow with its first two locations in San Francisco and Washington D.C. Mindspace started in Tel Aviv about four years ago and has since expanded to Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. Mindspace, in addition to physical office space, offers fully-furnished spaces, Internet, cleaning services, a fully-stocked kitchen, a gym, community lounges, and support configuring VPNs and private servers, While Mindspace considers itself to be a premium co-working space provider, its pricing is competitive with other spaces. “We offer a much more flexible model than the traditional leasing market,” Mindspace co-founder Dan Zakai told me over the phone. “Flexibility is a big component.” What makes Mindspace different from the likes of WeWork and others, Zakai said, is its emphasis on design and attention to detail. “Each and every one of the spaces is unique and well-designed,” Zakai said. “There’s a lot of soul put into every one of our locations.” When Mindspace started a few years ago, those seeking co-working spaces were mostly startups and freelancers from a variety of industries, he said. Over the past couple of years, Zakai says he’s seen more enterprise companies moving into Mindspace locations. Microsoft, for example, took...

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Instagram hires Twitter’s former VP of revenue product

TECHCRUNCH Instagram made a big hire last week when it brought on board Ameet Ranadive, Twitter’s former VP of revenue product. At Instagram, Ranadive is working as director of product overseeing the Wellbeing team, “which helps promote positive behavior on Instagram and protects the community from bad behavior and content,” he posted on Twitter on Friday. As head of the Wellbeing team, Ranadive will be tasked with building products that foster better behavior within the Instagram community. Quick fun/sad fact is that Instagram was ranked as being the worst social media app for young people’s mental health, according to...

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Lyft partners with Guild Education to offer drivers tuition discounts

TECHCRUNCH Lyft is going to start offering its drivers access to college advising and tuition discounts for classes, certificates and degrees through Guild Education. The discounts for Lyft drivers will range between five to 20 percent off, with the average Lyft driver working to earn a degree saving $4,220 per year. The majority of Lyft drivers are part-time, with 93 percent driving less than 20 hours a week, and looking to achieve long-term goals, the company said in a press release. “We know that many Lyft drivers are working to achieve personal or professional goals, which often include continued...

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Uber settles lawsuit with woman who accused executives of obtaining medical records after she was raped

TECHCRUNCH Uber has settled its lawsuit with a woman (Jane Doe) who accused its now-former CEO Travis Kalanick, president of business in Asia Eric Alexander and SVP of business Emil Michael of improperly obtaining her medical records after she was raped by an Uber driver in Delhi, India. “A settlement has been reached and the Parties anticipate the case will be dismissed on or around January 2018,” the document states. Specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed in the filing. In the lawsuit, Doe’s attorneys said “Uber executives violated her a second time by unlawfully obtaining and sharing...

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Andy Rubin is back at Essential after leave of absence following reports of improper behavior

TECHCRUNCH Essential smartphone startup founder Andy Rubin, who took a leave of absence last month in light of allegations of an improper relationship at his previous employer, has returned to work, Recode reports. Citing sources, Recode reports Rubin’s personal leave ended Friday. At the time of his leave, Rubin said he was taking time off to “deal with personal matters.” His decision to do so came shortly after The Information revealed Google, Rubin’s former employer, investigated an allegation from a woman who used to work with Rubin. That investigation found Rubin’s relationship with the woman was “improper and showed bad judgment.” Rubin left Google in 2014. Rubin’s spokesperson, Mike Sitrick, said in November that Rubin’s relationship was consensual and “did not involve any person who reported directly to him.” “Mr. Rubin was never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct while at Google and he did not, either while at Google or since,” he added. I’ve reached out to Essential and will update this story if I hear back. Featured Image: Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired/Getty...

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These are Facebook’s internal policies on harassment and bullying

TECHCRUNCH Facebook, in a similar manner to what it did with its internal policies around Managing Bias, is making its policies on harassment and bullying publicly available. Facebook has also outlined its investigation process as a result of harassment or bullying allegations. Facebook says it is doing this now because “lots of really brave women have raised their hands recently to take a stand to begin the process of changing culture and raising awareness,” Facebook VP of People Lori Goler told me over the phone.”I think this a moment where, together, companies can create lasting change. It seems like...

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Women’s lifestyle startup Tara&Co brings on board advisory council

TECHCRUNCH Despite a belief that women don’t support each other, Tara&Co. is bringing on three female leaders in the tech industry to serve on the lifestyle startup’s advisory council. Hearsay Systems CEO Clara Shih, Google GM of small and medium business ads Kim Spalding and Etsy COO Linda Kozlowski are all coming on board to advise Tara&Co. “There’s a common meme that women don’t support each other and that’s why they don’t rise,” Tara&Co CEO Julia Lam told TechCrunch. “I don’t think that’s true.” As an example, Lam noted the recent launch of Female Founder Office Hours, led by Sequoia...

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Lyft hires first-ever VP of corporate development and investor relations

TECHCRUNCH Following Lyft’s recent $1.5 billion funding round, the company has decided to bring on board Kristina Omari as its first-ever vice president of corporate development and investor relations as it continues to grow. Omari also happens to now be the highest ranking black female executive at Lyft. Lyft, according to its June 2017 diversity report, has a leadership team that is just one percent black. Leadership includes managers who have direct reports. In taking a closer look at its EEO-1 report from 2016, Lyft had zero black women in management roles. Of the 54 black women Lyft employed...

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