Uber changes driver classification following a legal defeat in the U.K., Facebook says it will crack down on rule-breaking Groups and Snap makes an e-commerce acquisition. This is your Daily Crunch for March 17, 2021.
The big story: Uber to classify UK drivers as workers
Following a Supreme Court ruling, Uber said it will classify all drivers in the United Kingdom as workers — a category between self-employed and employed that entitles those designated to a minimum wage and holiday pay.
That doesn’t mean the dispute is fully resolved, however. Uber said that it will calculate working time starting when drivers accept a trip, excluding the time after they’ve signed into the app and are waiting for a ride. A statement by the App Drivers and Couriers Union described the company’s new approach as “a day late and a dollar short, literally.”
The tech giants
In expanded crackdown, Facebook increases penalties for rule-breaking groups and their members — The changes follow what has been a steady, but slow and sometimes ineffective crackdown on Facebook Groups that produce and share harmful, polarizing or even dangerous content.
Snap acquires Fit Analytics, a fitting technology startup, to double down on fashion and e-commerce — Fit Analytics has built technology to help shoppers find the right-sized apparel and footwear from online retailers.
Apple Maps updated with COVID-19 vaccination locations in the US — To access this information through a voice command, users can ask Siri something like “where can I get a COVID vaccination?” which will direct them to Maps.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Incredibuild gets $140M to speed up games and other software development with distributed processing tech — Incredibuild is a private tech company, but it has been around since 2000, and it counts Epic, Microsoft and Nintendo as clients.
SoftBank-backed Indian insurance platform Policybazaar raises $75M — Policybazaar is among a handful of startups that is attempting to upend India’s insurance market, which is largely commanded by state and bank-backed insurers.
The Robinhood competitor landscape intensifies as Invstr raises $20M — Via social gamification, Invstr has set out to make the financial educational process fun.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Dear Sophie: What type of visa should we get to fundraise in Silicon Valley? — The latest edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.
How to recruit data scientists without paying top dollar — When it comes to building a data science team, many companies fail at the first step: creating a job posting.
Olo prices IPO sharply above its target, valuing company as high as $4.6B — We’re checking in on the price investors paid for a block of Olo shares before it began trading.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
The Voter Formation Project puts an experimental spin on reaching Black and brown first-time voters — This new group is a 501(c)3 laser-focused on reaching Black and brown first-time voters using every trick in the digital toolbox.
On Friday the EU will put startup-friendly legislation to member states — will they sign up? — The EU Startup Nations Standard aims to make the European Union the most attractive place to create a startup.
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