Category Archives: Logistics

Meet Uber’s newly promoted chief product officer, Manik Gupta

Manik Gupta got his first taste of solving logistics nightmares when, fresh out of college, he was delivering Palm Pilots around Singapore. He’d started a precursor to Groupon called BuyItTogether. “We were a full-stack marketplace where we were also delivering the goods. That’s what caused us to not have good profit margins. Actually, zero profit margins,” he recalls with a laugh. His new gig isn’t earning profits either. Uber lost nearly $1 billion last quarter. But the company sees Gupta’s experience with delivery and maps as crucial […]

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Uber is developing an on-demand staffing business

Uber is reportedly developing a short-term staffing business to offer 1099 independent contractors for events and corporate functions, the Financial Times first reported. Dubbed Uber Works, the service would provide waiters, security guards and other temporary staffers to business partners, a source close to Uber told TechCrunch. Uber has been working on the project for several months in Chicago, after first trialing the project in Los Angeles. Uber already has a vast network of drivers — all of whom have become familiarized with the process of filing taxes […]

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Deliverr raises $7M to help e-commerce businesses compete with Amazon Prime

When Amazon rolled out its membership-based two-day shipping service in 2005, e-commerce and customer expectations around fulfillment speed changed forever. Today, more than 100 million people use Amazon Prime. That means, 100 million people are fully accustomed to two-day shipping and if they can’t have it, they shop elsewhere. As The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Mims recently put it: “Alongside life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you can now add another inalienable right: two-day shipping on practically everything.” Only recently have Amazon’s competitors begun to offer […]

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BloomThat pauses on-demand flower services

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. […]

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Logistics startup Freightos raises $44.4M Series C led by Singapore Exchange

Freightos, a marketplace for logistics providers, announced today that it has raised a $44.4 million Series C led by Singapore Exchange. Returning investors including General Electric Ventures (the lead investor of Freightos’ Series B extension last year), ICV and Aleph also participated in the round, which brings Freightos’ total funding so far to $94.4 million. Launched in 2016 as a price comparison service for freight forwarders—the agents that organize shipments from a supplier or manufacturer to their final destination—Freightos now also lets users book, manage and track […]

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Uber fires up its own traffic estimates to fuel demand beyond cars

If the whole map is red and it’s a short ride, maybe you’d prefer taking an Uber JUMP Bike instead of an UberX. Or at least if you do end up stuck bumper-to-bumper, the warning could make you less likely to get mad mid-ride and take it out on the driver’s rating. This week TechCrunch spotted Uber overlaying blue, yellow, and red traffic condition bars on your route map before you hail. Responding to TechCrunch’s inquiry, Uber confirmed that traffic estimates have been quietly testing for riders on […]

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Crater rebrands as Shyft to focus on helping global nomads move

After finally settling on a new apartment, packing your last box and rushing out to pick up your moving van for the measly three hours you could book it — have you ever taken a moment to think, “Wow, this is so easy?” Nope, and neither has anybody else. But Shyft, a logistics platform company based in San Francisco, is hoping to change that. Originally named Crater, the company announced today a re-brand of its name and mission to focus on helping improve the corporate relocation process […]

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Lowe’s Ventures backs Moved, a startup that makes moving less stressful

Adam Pittenger knows that moving is tough — after all, he said he’s moved eight times in the past seven years. Pittenger said that there are several reasons why the process can be stressful, like the fact that most people aren’t experts on moving, since they don’t do it as often as him (seriously, eight times is crazy). Plus, there’s just an enormous amount of planning and coordination required, whether it’s hiring movers, buying packing materials or putting your things into storage. So Pittenger decided to make […]

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‘Waze of Parking’ app SpotAngels raises $2.3 million

SpotAngels, an app that uses crowdsourced data to help drivers find parking and avoid tickets, has raised $2.3 million from a group of investors that includes Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen. Luc Vincent, the former head of Google Street View and vice president of engineering at Lyft, as well as Y Combinator, Streamlined Ventures and Via ID also invested in the round.  The startup plans to use the funding to expand to other U.S. cities and improve its free mobile app, including a new “predicted availability” feature that it hopes […]

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Shone wants to automate container ships

While everybody is focused on self-driving cars, Shone is working on autonomous technologies for container ships. The startup doesn’t want to turn those giant ships into unmanned vehicles, but it wants to help seafarers and make ships more efficient. After attending Y Combinator, Shone recently raised a $4 million round from Alven, Liquid 2, Paul Graham, David Marcus and D. Scott Phoenix. “The basic idea is that autonomous ships are coming. Overall, it seems unavoidable,” co-founder and CEO Ugo Vollmer told me. “And yet, there are still […]

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