Startup de micromobilidade de Cingapura, Beam, levanta US $ 26 milhões

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A Beam, uma empresa de micromobilidade com sede em Cingapura que oferece scooters eletrônicas compartilhadas, levantou US $ 26 milhões em uma nova rodada de financiamento, com o objetivo de expandir sua presença na Coréia, Austrália, Malásia, Nova Zelândia e Taiwan.

A Sequoia India e a Hana Ventures lideraram a rodada de financiamento da Série A da startup de dois anos e meio, enquanto vários outros investidores da região Ásia-Pacífico participaram, disse a Beam, sem divulgar seus nomes. A startup levantou US $ 32,4 milhões até o momento, disse um porta-voz ao TechCrunch.

Feixe, gostar Bounce e Yulu na Índia, oferece scooters elétricos nos cinco mercados mencionados. As scooters elétricas e a gasolina tornaram-se popular em várias nações asiáticas e em outros lugares, enquanto as pessoas procuram meios de transporte alternativos para se movimentar mais rápido e com menos custo.

Embora esses veículos façam incursões em vários mercados, também não é incomum encontrar essas scooters abandonadas descuidadamente nas ruas. A Beam disse que, ao contrário de outras startups, incentiva seus pilotos através de ofertas no aplicativo a estacionar as scooters em locais predeterminados.

"Estou realmente empolgado com a nova tecnologia e sua capacidade de reduzir os problemas associados às scooters espalhadas aleatoriamente pela cidade. Isso nos ajuda a melhorar ainda mais nossas taxas de retenção de veículos líderes do setor, reduzir custos operacionais e, mais importante, beneficiar as comunidades, mantendo as ruas da cidade mais limpas ”, disse o co-fundador e executivo-chefe da Beam Alan Jiang.

A Beam, que não divulgou quantos clientes conquistou, usará o novo capital para aumentar seu foco operacional e de engenharia e se aprofundar em seus mercados existentes, afirmou o executivo. Ele também "acelerará" o lançamento do seu e-scooter de terceira geração, o Beam Saturn, que possui baterias trocáveis, construção aprimorada, para mais mercados, afirmou o comunicado.

Abheek Anand, diretor administrativo da Sequoia Capital A Índia disse que a colaboração da Beam com reguladores, tecnologia e insights sobre o cenário dos transportes é uma vantagem na região Ásia-Pacífico.

A captação de recursos da startup ocorre no momento em que muitas empresas jovens, especialmente as que operam na categoria de transporte, na Ásia lutam para obter capital. A Beam disse que implementou práticas rigorosas de limpeza e operação para limitar a possibilidade de transmissão de vírus a todas as preocupações dos passageiros.

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Esta foi uma semana incrivelmente difícil, depois de uma série de semanas difíceis. O assassinato de George Floyd mostrou mais uma vez que…

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postado por Mark Zuckerberg em Sexta-feira, 29 de maio de 2020

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Em um comunicado divulgado no Facebook no final da tarde de sexta-feira, Mark Zuckerberg ofereceu uma explicação de por que sua empresa não contextualizou ou removeu postagens das contas associadas ao presidente Donald Trump que pareciam incitar a violência contra cidadãos americanos. “Observamos com muita atenção o post que discutiu os protestos em Minnesota para (…)

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Depois de aplicar um rótulo de verificação de fatos u00a0terça Para um tweet enganoso de voto por e-mail feito pelo presidente dos EUA, Donald Trump, o Twitter está em um rolo e rotulou outro dos tweets do presidente - desta vez exibindo suas palavras de vista casual com o que chama de "aviso de interesse público" que afirma o tweet violou suas regras sobre a glorificação da violência. u00a0

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Veja como o tweet aparece sem interação adicional (segundo tweet na captura de tela abaixo):

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O aviso de interesse público substitui a substância do que Trump escreveu, o que significa que um usuário precisa clicar ativamente para visualizar o tweet ofensivo.

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Como resultado, as opções de engajamento também são limitadas por esse rótulo, o que significa que os usuários só podem retuitar o tweet ofensivo com um comentário; eles não podem gostar, responder ou retweetar baunilha.

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O aviso do Twitter continua explicando por que ele não removeu completamente o tweet ofensivo - e é aqui que o elemento de interesse público da política entra em ação - com a empresa escrevendo: “O Twitter determinou que pode ser do interesse do público pelo Tweet para permanecer acessível. ” u00a0

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Twitter parece estar ignorando a decisão do presidente ontem assinar uma ordem executiva visando o escudo legal em que as empresas de internet dependem para protegê-las da responsabilidade por conteúdo criado pelo usuário - dobrando a desagradação de Trump, que acusou as plataformas de mídia social em geral de suprimir deliberadamente as visões conservadoras, apesar de muita evidência que os algoritmos da plataforma de segmentação de anúncios realmente aumentam o conteúdo e as visualizações alimentadas por indignação - o que tende, inversamente, a ampliar pontos de vista conservadores.

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No último confronto, Trump twittou em referência às manifestações violentas ocorridas em Minneapolis, provocadas pela morte de um homem negro, George Floyd, por um policial branco - com o presidente alegando que "OS BANDIDOS estão desonrando a memória de George Floyd" antes de ameaçar enviar as "Forças Armadas".

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“Qualquer dificuldade e assumiremos o controle, mas, quando o saque começar, o tiroteio começará. Obrigado!" Trump acrescentou - fazendo uma ameaça careca ao uso da força militar contra civis.

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O Twitter lutou com a questão de como lidar com líderes mundiais que quebram suas regras de conteúdo há anos. Na maioria das vezes, como resultado de Trump, que rotineiramente usa sua plataforma para intimidar todos os tipos de objetivos - de políticos rivais a jornalistas odiados, líderes empresariais desobedientes e até atores que o desagradam -, bem como dispensar ameaças diretas e às vezes violentas.

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Desde que foi eleito, Trump também usou a plataforma global do Twitter como arma de política externa, disparando ameaças militares como Coreia do Norte e Irã na forma de tuítes.

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Em 2018, por exemplo, ele provocou o líder norte-coreano Kim Jong Un com a destruição nuclear de pressionar botões (veja o tweet abaixo) - antes de passar para "Apaixonar-se”Com o ditador quando o conheceu pessoalmente.

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A principal defesa do Twitter por não ter desrespeitado os tweets de Trump no passado foi que, como presidente dos EUA, a substância do que o homem tweets - por mais louco, ruim e perigoso - é inerentemente digna de nota.

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No entanto, mais recentemente, a empresa criou uma ferramenta de política que lhe permite intervir - definindo termos no último verão sobre conteúdo de "interesse público" no Twitter.

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Ele alertou então (quase um ano inteiro, em junho de 2019) que poderia colocar um aviso de interesse público nos tweets que, de outra forma, violariam suas regras (e, portanto, mereceriam uma remoção) - para "fornecer contexto e clareza adicionais", em vez de remover o tweet ofensivo.

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Avancemos um ano e a gigante da tecnologia começou a aplicar etiquetas aos tweets de Trump - começando com uma etiqueta de verificação de fatos no início desta semana, relacionada às próximas eleições nos EUA, e seguindo agora com um aviso de interesse público relacionado a Trump glorificando a violência.

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Então, finalmente, a gigante da tecnologia parece estar avançando para traçar uma linha-limite em torno de Trump quase em tempo real.

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Explicando sua decisão de classificar a ameaça do presidente dos EUA de ordenar que os militares atirem em saqueadores em Minneapolis, a empresa escreve: “Este Tweet viola nossas políticas sobre a glorificação da violência com base no contexto histórico da última linha, sua conexão com a violência e o risco de inspirar ações semelhantes hoje ”.

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“Agimos no interesse de impedir que outros se inspirassem a cometer atos violentos, mas mantivemos o Tweet no Twitter porque é importante que o público ainda possa vê-lo, devido à sua relevância para assuntos de importância pública em andamento. , ”O Twitter continua.

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Também vincula à sua política contra tweets que glorificam a violência - que declara inequivocamente (em negrito): "Você não pode ameaçar a violência contra um indivíduo ou um grupo de pessoas. ”

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De volta em junho, quando o Twitter anunciou o rótulo de "comportamento abusivo", também alertou que os tweets exibidos com um aviso de interesse público não se beneficiariam de nenhuma aceleração algorítmica, escrevendo: "Também tomaremos medidas para garantir que o Tweet não seja elevado por algoritmo em nosso serviço, para encontrar o equilíbrio certo entre permitir a liberdade de expressão, promover a responsabilidade e reduzir o dano potencial causado por esses Tweets".

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No entanto, a notoriedade da decisão do Twitter de finalmente aplicar suas próprias regras em relação a Trump garantirá que haja muita amplificação não algorítmica (e sem pouca ironia)

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Entramos em contato com a empresa com perguntas sobre sua decisão de aplicar uma tela de interesse público no último tweet de Trump, mas no momento da redação deste documento não havia respondido.

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Em quarta à noite, O CEO e cofundador do Twitter, Jack Dorsey, divulgou uma série de tweets defendendo sua decisão de aplicar um rótulo de verificação de fatos aos tweets enganosos anteriores de Trump sobre voto por e-mail.

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"Isso não nos torna um árbitro da verdade", escreveu Dorsey. “Nossa intenção é conectar os pontos de declarações conflitantes e mostrar as informações em disputa para que as pessoas possam julgar por si mesmas. Mais transparência de nós é fundamental para que as pessoas possam ver claramente o porquê de nossas ações. ”

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As observações de Dorsey seguiram comentários apontados feitos por Facebook O CEO Mark Zuckerberg e a Fox News, buscando contrastar a alegada "neutralidade" do Facebook ao policiar sua plataforma com a política do Twitter de adotar uma postura em questões como publicidade política (que o Twitter não permite)

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Só acredito firmemente que o Facebook não deve ser o árbitro da verdade de tudo o que as pessoas dizem online, disse Zuckerberg à conservadora estação de notícias. u201cEmpresas privadas u2026, especialmente essas empresas de plataforma, não devem estar na posição de fazer isso. u201d

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É notável que Dorsey tenha usado a expressão exata de Zuckerberg - u201carbiter of truth u201d - para rejeitar o ataque do Facebook à política do Twitter como argumento.

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Atualização I, Trump reage: Em reação inicial à ação do Twitter, o governo Trump agora retweetou o tweet ofensivo da conta oficial do Twitter da Casa Branca - reforçando novamente a violenta ameaça do presidente.

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Trump também reiterou sua ameaça de regular a mídia social, revogando a Seção 230 da Lei de Decência das Comunicações em uma nova série de tweets nesta manhã - acusando o Twitter de ignorar "mentiras e propaganda sendo lançadas pela China ou pelo Partido Democrata da Esquerda Radical".

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Atualização II, Whack-a-mole: O Twitter agora exibiu a cópia com tweet de citação do tweet de Trump que o governo enviou da conta do Twitter da Casa Branca.

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Depois de aplicar um rótulo de verificação de fatos u00a0Tuesday a um tweet enganoso de voto por e-mail feito pelo presidente dos EUA, Donald Trump, o Twitter está em um rolo e rotulou outro tuíte do presidente - desta vez exibindo suas palavras de vista casual com o que chama um "aviso de interesse público" que declara que o tweet violou suas regras sobre a glorificação (…)

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Natasha é repórter sênior do TechCrunch, ingressando em setembro de 2012, com sede na Europa. Ela ingressou na TC depois de analisar os smartphones da CNET UK e, antes disso, mais de cinco anos cobrindo a tecnologia comercial do silicon.com (agora incorporada ao TechRepublic), onde se concentrou nas habilidades móveis e sem fio, telecomunicações e redes e TI. problemas. Ela também trabalhou como freelancer para organizações como The Guardian e BBC. Natasha é formada em inglês pela Universidade de Cambridge e possui mestrado em jornalismo pela Goldsmiths College da Universidade de Londres.

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WASHINGTON, DC - 30 DE JANEIRO: O presidente dos EUA, Donald Trump, discursa no início de uma reunião com pequenos empresários na sala Roosevelt, na Casa Branca, em 30 de janeiro de 2017, em Washington, DC. During the meeting, Trump said he will announce his ‘unbelievably highly respected’ pick to replace the late Supreme Court Antonin Scalia on Tuesday evening. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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When news brokeu00a0Friday morning that Britain is looking to propose an alliance of democracies to build a 5G alternative to Huawei, you might think that that was the worst thing to happen to the controversial Chinese telecoms giant this week. In fact, it just caps off a series of fast-moving events that surely makes this one of the most decisive weeks yet in the global fight over next-generation 5G networks.

n

So letu2019s go back a step. After all, readers who have been following the Huawei debate might recall that not long ago the UK had controversially agreed to allow Huawei to attain up to 35% market share in u201cnon-core areasu201d of its 5G network. So what was behind Londonu2019s sudden about-face?

n

The answer is politics. There was always a loud group of China-skeptic dissenters in Parliament, but anger over Chinau2019s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic pushed more MPs from Prime Minister Boris Johnsonu2019s own Conservative Party into the anti-Huawei camp and made the governmentu2019s position untenable. Rather than face a large parliamentary rebellion and possible legislative defeat later this year, Johnson instead gave in and anunciado plans earlier this week to phase out Huawei’s participation in Britainu2019s 5G network by 2023.

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Now, Johnson seems to be going a step further. Reports indicate that he is seeking to organize fellow G7 countries Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United States, as well as Australia, South Korea, and India on the issue. Skeptics of the U.S. campaign against Huawei have long lamented that Washington is asking governments to oppose Huawei without proposing a viable alternative. Londonu2019s so-called D10 alliance is the first attempt to explicitly try to answer that question.

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Meanwhile on the legal front, British Columbia’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that proceedings to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou to the United States could go ahead. Instead of being released and on her way back to China, Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is now one step closer to facing trial in the U.S. on fraud charges relating to Huaweiu2019s circumvention of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

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Huawei is used to geopolitical maneuvering, of course. After all, its plans to build an underseas cable last year connecting Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with high speed internet were preempted when Australia, wary of growing Chinese influence in its South Pacific backyard, offered to pay for it instead.

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When the Chinese ambassador to Denmark threatened to scuttle a trade deal with the Faroe Islands, a semi-autonomous Danish region, if Denmark didnu2019t choose it for its 5G network, Copenhagen responded by issuing tough new security requirements that Huawei has disse would give it no choice but to leave the country entirely. And as I wrote in March, the question of Huawei has been increasingly debated at the highest levels of government around the world.

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Yet, this week does seem to mark a dramatic turning point in the global 5G battle.

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First, even limited access to the UK market had been a coup for Huawei. With its well-regarded Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre, Britain’s seal of approval was a valuable signal to other governments on the fence about whether or not Huawei is worth the security risk. For Britain to not only reverse itself but then take the lead on coordinating an international alternative just a few days later marks a remarkable course correction.

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A former British diplomat told me in March that the Westu2019s lack of cooperation on the issue was u201ca striking failureu201d of political coordination. Thatu2019s certainly not the case anymore u2013u00a0and as other NATO, EU, and Five Eye intelligence allies consider whether or not to permit Huawei themselves, the existence of a democratic anti-Huawei consortium (should it truly develop) would make it that much harder for them to justify going against the U.S.

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Second, the Meng case might be soundly based in international law, but to paraphrase Clausewitz: itu2019s international relations by other means. After all, U.S. investigators, concerned that Huawei was acting as an arm of the Chinese government, had been looking for an excuse to file charges against the company for years. Fittingly enough, the charges against Meng were linked to an unrelated geopolitical issue: violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

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A defeat for the U.S. in the British Columbia Supreme Court would have struck a blow to the U.S. governmentu2019s attempts to extend its legal reach around the globe. Instead, its victory solidifies an already escalating global sanctions regime that is proving devastating for any company caught in its dragnet. As if the Meng case werenu2019t enough, TSMC, one of the worldu2019s largest semiconductors contractors, also anunciado that it would no longer sell to Huawei in order to comply with new US export controls.

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The question is thus: if this does mark a turning point in the US-China global tech rivalry, what will the next stage look like?

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Given its history, thereu2019s not much suspense in what the Trump administration will likely do next. Certainly it will keep pursuing Huawei’s Meng in court. And count on a new round of pressure in Europe as the EU deadline for members to stake out their 5G security protocols fast approaches this summer. Butu00a0Americau2019s 5G diplomatic push has been seen as tone deaf in European capitalsu00a0u2013 now that Britain is onside, Washington would be smart to let London take the lead.

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How China responds is the more important question. Its continued strong and vocal support for Huawei should be assumed, but what form will it take? Huaweiu2019s conciliatory approach in the UK has now clearly failed. But so too did its attempts to strong-arm Denmark. Will the gloves now come off? Or will Beijing be forced to distance itself from its national champion for Huaweiu2019s own good?

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Huawei has tried to have it both ways, benefiting from the support it draws from the Chinese government while assuring foreign governments of its independence at the same time. But as global public opinionu00a0harden against Beijing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Western nations take stronger actions against his company, Huawei CEO Ren might consider just how hazardous being yoked to a superpower can be.

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

When news brokeu00a0Friday morning that Britain is looking to propose an alliance of democracies to build a 5G alternative to Huawei, you might think that that was the worst thing to happen to the controversial Chinese telecoms giant this week. In fact, it just caps off a series of fast-moving events that surely makes this (…)

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Danny is Managing Editor at TechCrunch, where he covers technology, power, and startup growth. Previously, he was a foreign correspondent at TechCrunch based in Seoul, South Korea as well as a venture capitalist with General Catalyst in Palo Alto and Charles River Ventures in Boston and New York. He was awarded a Fulbright research scholarship to South Korea, where he researched the development of Koreau2019s startup ecosystem. He is a PhD dropout from Harvard where he studied public policy and an honors graduate of Stanford, where he studied mathematical and computational sciences. Danny is based in Brooklyn.

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His ethics statement is located at https://www.dannycrichton.com/ethics/

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Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co., center left, leaves the Supreme Court following an extradition hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Meng failed to persuade a Canadian judge to end extradition proceedings, keeping her under house arrest in Vancouver as the fight against U.S. efforts to prosecute her moves forward. Photographer: Darryl Dyck/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Welcome back to Thisu00a0Weeku00a0in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, withu00a0a recordu00a0204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are nowu00a0spendingu00a0three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps arenu2019t just a way to pass idle hours u2014 theyu2019re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had au00a0combinedu00a0$544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

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In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

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This week weu2019re continuing to look at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting the world of mobile applications, with fresh data from App Annie about trends playing out across app categories benefiting from the pandemic, lockdowns and societal changes. We’re also keeping up with the COVID-19 contact-tracing apps making headlines, and delving into the week’s other news.

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We saw a few notable new apps launch this week, including HBO’s new streaming service HBO Max, plus three new app experiments from Facebook’s R&D group. Android Studio 4.0 also launched this week. Instagram is getting better AR tools and IGTV is getting ads. TikTok got spammed in India.

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Meanwhile, what is going on with app review? A shady app rises to the top of the iPhone App Store. Google cracks down on conspiracy theory-spreading apps. And a TikTok clone uses a pyramid scheme-powered invite system to rise up the charts.

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COVID-19 contact-tracing apps in the newsu00a0

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  • Letônia: Reuters this week reported that Latvia aims to become one of the first countries to launch a smartphone app, Stop Covid, using the new toolkit created by Apple and Alphabetu2019s Google to help trace coronavirus infections.
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  • Austrália: The role of the country’s Covidsafe app in the recovery appears to be marginal, The Guardian reports. In the month since its launch, only one person has been reported to have been identified using data from it. A survey even found that Australians were more supportive of using telecommunications metadata to track close contacts (79%) than they were of downloading an app (69.8%). In a second survey, their support for the app dropped to 64%. The app has been maligned by the public debate over it and technical issues.
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  • França: The country’s data protection watchdog, CNIL, reviewed its contact-tracing app StopCovid, finding there were no major issues with the technical implementation and legal framework around StopCovid, with some caveats. France isn’t using Google and Apple’s contact-tracing API, but instead uses a controversial centralized contact-tracing protocol called ROBERT. This relies on a central server to assign a permanent ID and generate ephemeral IDs attached to this permanent ID. CNIL says the app will eventually be open-sourced and it will create a bug bounty. On Wednesday, the app passed its first vote in favor of its release.
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  • Catar: Serious security vulnerabilities in Qataru2019s mandatory contact-tracing app were uncovered by Amnesty International. An investigation by Amnestyu2019s Security Lab discovered a critical weakness in the configuration of Qataru2019s EHTERAZ contact-tracing app. Now fixed, the vulnerability would have allowed cyberattackers to access highly sensitive personal information, including the name, national ID, health status and location data of more than one million users.
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  • Índia: India’s contact-tracing app, Aarogya Setu, is going open-source, according to Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney on Tuesday. The code is being published on GitHub. Nearly 98% of the app’s more than 114 million users are on Android. The government will also offer a cash bounty of $1,325 to security experts who find bugs or vulnerabilities.
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  • Suíça: Several thousand people are now testing a pilot version of Switzerland’s contact-tracing app, SwissCovid. Like Lativia, the app is one of the first to use Apple and Google’s contact-tracing API. Employees at EPFL, ETH Zurich, the Army and select hospitals and government agencies will be the first to test the Swiss app before its public launch planned for mid-June.
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  • China: Chinau2019s health-tracking QR codes, embedded in popular WeChat and Alipay smartphone apps, are raising privacy concerns, Reuters reports. To walk around freely, people must have a green rating. They also now have to present their health QR codes to gain entry into restaurants, parks and other venues. These efforts have been met with little resistance. But the eastern city of Hangzhou has since proposed that users are given a color-coded health badge based on their medical records and lifestyle habits, including how much they exercised, their eating and drinking habits, whether they smoked and how much they slept the night before. This suggestion set off a storm of criticism on China’s Weibo, a Twitter-like platform.
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We continue to look at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting the world of mobile apps, with fresh data from App Annie about trends playing out across app categories benefiting from the pandemic.

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VCs share their bets on the future of work"},"content":{"rendered":"

As tech companies gostar Twitter e Facebook gear up for longer-term remote work solutions, the future of work is becoming one of the more exciting opportunities in venture capital, Charles River Ventures general partner Saar Gur told TechCrunch.

n

And as loneliness mounts with shelter-in-place orders implemented in various forms across the world, investors are looking for products and services that foster true connection among a distributed workforce, as well as a distributed society.

n

But the future of work doesn’t just entail spinning up home offices. It also involves gig workers, freelancers, hiring tools, tools for workplace organizing and automation. The last couple of years have particularly brought tech organizing to the forefront. Whether it was the Google walkout in 2018 or gig workers’ ongoing actions against companies like Uber, Lyft and Instacart for better pay and protections, there are many opportunities to help workers better organize and achieve their goals.

n

Below, we’ve gathered insights from:

n

n

Saar Gur, Charles River Venturesu00a0

n

What are you most excited about in the future of work?

n

Future of work is one of the most exciting opportunities in venture.u00a0u00a0

n

Pre-COVID, few tech companies were fully remote. While it seems obvious in retrospect, the building blocks for fully remote technology companies now exist (e.g. high-speed internet, SaaS and the cloud, reliable video streaming, real-time documents, etc.). And while SIP may be temporary, we feel the TAM of fully remote companies will grow significantly and produce a number of exciting investment opportunities.

n

I donu2019t think we have fully grokked what it means to run a company digitally. Today, most processes like interviewing, meetings and performance/activity tracking still live in the world of atoms versus bits. As an example, imagine every meeting is recorded, transcribed and searchable — how would that transform how we work?u00a0u00a0u00a0

n

There is an opportunity to re-imagine how we work. And we are excited about products that solve meaningful problems in the areas of productivity, brainstorming, communication tools, workflows and more. We also see a lot of potential in infrastructure required to facilitate remote and global teams.

n

We are also excited by companies that are enabling new types of work. Companies like Etsy (founded 2005), Shopify (2004), TaskTabbit (2008), Uber (2009), DoorDash (2013) and Patreon (2013) have helped create a new workforce of entrepreneurs. But many of these companies are over a decade old and we fully expect a new wave of companies that give more power to the individual.

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As tech companies like Twitter and Facebook gear up for longer-term remote work solutions, the future of work is becoming one of the more exciting opportunities in venture capital, Charles River Ventures general partner Saar Gur told TechCrunch. And as loneliness mounts with shelter-in-place orders implemented in various forms across the world, investors are looking (…)

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Intuitively, stores that sell online should be making a killing during the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, everyone is stuck at home u2014 and understandably more willing to shop online instead of at a traditional retailer to avoid putting themselves and others at medical risk. But the truth is, most smaller online stores have seen better days.

n

The primary challenge is that smaller shops often donu2019t have the logistics networks that companies like Amazon do. Consequently, theyu2019re seeing substantially delayed delivery timelines, especially if they ship internationally. Customers obviously arenu2019t thrilled about that reality. And in many cases, theyu2019re requesting refunds at a staggering rate.

n

I saw this play out firsthand in April. At that point, my stores were down 20% or in some cases even 30% in revenue. Needless to say, my team was freaking out. But thereu2019s one thing we did that helped us increase our revenue over 200% since the pandemic, decrease refund requests and even strengthen our existing customer relationships.

n

We implemented a 24-hour live chat in all of our stores. Hereu2019s why it worked for us and why every digital brand should be doing it too.

n

Avoid the common u2018unreachabilityu2019 frustration

n

When I started my first online store in 2006, challenges that bogged my team down often meant that my teamu2019s first priority became resolving those challenges so that we could serve our customers faster. But admittedly, when these challenges came up, it became more difficult to balance communicating with our customers and resolving the issues that prevented us from fulfilling their orders quickly.

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Customers donu2019t just forget about the companies that treated them well u2014 and post-crisis, theyu2019ll be more likely to return to the vendors who gave them a good experience.

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Due to COVID-19, business continuity has been put to the test for many companies in the manufacturing, agriculture, transport, hospitality, energy and retail sectors. Cost reduction is the primary focus of companies in these sectors due to massive losses in revenue caused by this pandemic. The other side of the crisis is, however, significantly different.

n

Companies in industries such as medical, government and financial services, as well as cloud-native tech startups that are providing essential services, have experienced a considerable increase in their operational demands — leading to rising operational costs. Irrespective of the industry your company belongs to, and whether your company is experiencing reduced or increased operations, cost optimization is a reality for all companies to ensure a sustained existence.

n

One of the most reliable measures for cost optimization at this stage is to leverage elastic services designed to grow or shrink according to demand, such as cloud and managed services. A modern product with a cloud-native architecture can auto-scale cloud consumption to mitigate lost operational demand. What may not have been obvious to startup leaders is a strategy often employed by incumbent, mature enterprises — achieving cost optimization by leveraging managed services providers (MSPs). MSPs enable organizations to repurpose full-time staff members from impacted operations to more strategic product lines or initiatives.

n

Why companies need cost optimization in the long run

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The landscape shifts quickly, but managed services providers enable organizations to repurpose full-time staff members from impacted operations to more strategic product lines or initiatives.

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views on the future of retail and the shopping experience"},"content":{"rendered":"

The global spread of COVID-19 and resulting orders to shelter in place have hit retailers hard.

n

As the pandemic drags on, temporary halts are becoming permanent closures, whether itu2019s the coffee shop next door, a historic bar ou a well-known lifestyle brand.

n

But while the present is largely bleak, preparing for the future has retailers adopting technologies faster than ever. Their resilience and innovation means retail will look and fee different when the world reopens.

n

We gathered four views on the future of retail from the TechCrunch team:

n

    n

  • Natasha Mascarenhas says retailers will need to find new ways to sell aspirational products u2014 and what was once cringe-worthy might now be considered innovative.
  • n

  • Devin Coldewey sees businesses adopting a slew of creative digital services to prepare for the future and empower them without Amazonu2019s platform.
  • n

  • Greg Kumparak thinks the delivery and curbside pickup trends will move from pandemic-essentials to everyday occurrences. He thinks that retailers will need to find new ways to appeal to consumers in a u201cshopping-by-proxyu201d world.
  • n

  • Lucas Matney views a revitalized interest in technology around the checkout process, as retailers look for ways to make the purchasing experience more seamless (and less high-touch).
  • n

n

Alexa, how do I look?

n

Natasha Mascarenhas

n

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

While the present is largely bleak, preparing for the future has retailers adopting technologies faster than ever. Their resilience and innovation means retail will look and fee different when the world reopens.

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Natasha Mascarenhas is a reporter at TechCrunch covering early stage startups and venture capital trends. She also tracks the different networks that play into founder success, from loneliness to immigration. Before TechCrunch, Natasha reported on the same beat for Crunchbase News. She also has bylines in the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, BostInno, and is proudly from New Jersey.

nn

Reach Natasha via e-mail at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or through DM on Twitter @nmasc_.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/x9fberhwpqwxusvvlxfj","twitter":"nmasc_","_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574362"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"})}},{"id":12084691,"name":"Devin Coldewey","url":"https://coldewey.cc","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/devin-coldewey/","slug":"devin-coldewey","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/69fae9a8a3933fa91e81c086b8eee14a?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"homepage":"http://techcrunch.com/author/tcdevin","twitter":"http://twitter.com/techcrunch","linkedin":"http://www.linkedin.com/company/techcrunch","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/devin-coldewey"},"position":"Writer & Photographer","cbDescription":"

Devin Coldewey is a Seattle-based writer and photographer. He first wrote for TechCrunch in 2007. He has also written for MSNBC.com, NBC News, DPReview, The Economist/GE's Look Ahead, and others.

nn

His personal website is coldewey.cc.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1458774381/r4iwkrm6qsw3n2ximghe.jpg","twitter":"techcrunch","_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/12084691"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"})}},{"id":5188242,"name":"Greg Kumparak","url":"","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/greg-kumparak/","slug":"greg-kumparak","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9b107c9f9a43a21d8c93fcdefcc97dcd?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"homepage":"http://www.kumparak.com","twitter":"https://twitter.com/grg","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/greg-kumparak"},"position":"Editor","cbDescription":"

Greg Kumparak is an editor at TechCrunch.

nn

Greg started at TechCrunch in May of 2008. He led TechCrunch's sister site MobileCrunch as editor until AOL acquired the company in 2010, at which point the editors of TechCrunch's four main sites (TechCrunch, CrunchGear, MobileCrunch, TechCrunch UK) merged the sites under one domain.

nn

Best known for his gadget coverage, Kumparak has broken hundreds of stories within the space u2014 unearthing details on everything from abandoned Samsung smartphone prototypes to new Apple devices. He's also one of the Internet's most prolific "live bloggers", having reported from the scene at dozens of international events for live audiences in the hundreds of thousands.

nn

He was one of the earliest writers to highlight and report on a number of companies that have since become "unicorns" (reaching a valuation of $1B or more), including Zenefits and Twilio.

nn

Kumparak is a frequent guest on TechCrunch's Gadget, Apple, and Android podcasts, and often appears on stage as an interviewer or judge at TechCrunch's meetups and Disrupt conferences.

nn

In 2012, Greg was featured on the BBC, Wired, Mashable, Engadget and many other outlets for a side project he called the "tARdis", or the Augmented Reality TARDIS. By combining augmented reality with a handmade physical model, Greg was able to replicate the otherwise physically impossible "bigger on the inside" visual effect that commonly appears on television's Doctor Who series.

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Lucas Matney is a reporter at TechCrunch and has been covering emerging technologies and startups since 2015. He lives in San Francisco and can be reached via email at lucas@techcrunch.com

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/h5eslbyb5f1hwstm1wrt","twitter":"lucasmtny","_links":{"self":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/89192944"}),"collection":({"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"})}}),"author":({"id":133574362,"name":"Natasha Mascarenhas","url":"","description":"","link":"https://techcrunch.com/author/natasha-mascarenhas/","slug":"natasha-mascarenhas","avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/2f10add080685bb138750d850afec5b4?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"links":{"twitter":"https://twitter.com/nmasc_","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/natasha-mascarenhas-734f"},"position":null,"cbDescription":"

Natasha Mascarenhas is a reporter at TechCrunch covering early stage startups and venture capital trends. She also tracks the different networks that play into founder success, from loneliness to immigration. Before TechCrunch, Natasha reported on the same beat for Crunchbase News. She also has bylines in the Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, BostInno, and is proudly from New Jersey.

nn

Reach Natasha via e-mail at natasha.m@techcrunch.com or through DM on Twitter @nmasc_.

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Beam, a Singapore-headquartered micromobility firm that offers shared e-scooters, has raised $26 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

n

Sequoia India and Hana Ventures led the two-and-a-half-year-old startupu2019s Series A financing round, while several more investors from Asia Pacific region participated, Beam said without disclosing their names. The startup has raised $32.4 million to date, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

n

Beam, like Bounce and Yulu in India, offers electric scooters in the aforementioned five markets. Electric and gasoline scooters have become popular in several Asian nations and elsewhere as people look for alternative transportation mediums to move around faster and at less cost.

n

While these vehicles make inroads into various markets, itu2019s also not uncommon to find these scooters abandoned carelessly in the streets. Beam said unlike other startups, it incentivizes its riders through in-app offers to park the scooters at predetermined spots.

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u201cI’m really excited about our new technology and its ability to reduce the problems associated with randomly scattered scooters around a city. This helps us to further improve our industry-leading vehicle retention rates, reduce operational costs, and most importantly, benefits communities by keeping city streets neater,u201d said Beam co-founder and chief executive Alan Jiang.

n

Beam, which did not disclose how many customers it has amassed, will use the fresh capital to grow its operational and engineering focus and grow deeper in its existing markets, it said. It will also u201caccelerateu201d the launch of its third-generation e-scooter, the Beam Saturn, which features swappable batteries, improved build, to more markets, it said.

n

Abheek Anand, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital India, said Beamu2019s collaboration with regulators, technology, and insights into the transportation landscape stand to give it an edge in the Asia Pacific region.

n

The startup’s fundraising comes at a time when many young firms, especially those operating in transportation category, in Asia are struggling to raise capital. Beam said it had implemented stringent cleaning and operations practices to limit the possibility of virus transmission to allay riders’ concern.

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Beam, a Singapore-headquartered micromobility firm that offers shared e-scooters, has raised $26 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. Sequoia India and Hana Ventures led the two-and-a-half-year-old startupu2019s Series A financing round, while several more investors from Asia Pacific region participated, (…)

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