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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

British Airways data breach put customers' financial info at risk – CNET

Customers who made bookings between Aug. 21 and Sept. 5 may have been affected.
Source: CNET

Education, housing are 'broken,' says Chan Zuckerberg's Priscilla Chan – CNET

The co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative says she wants to make the opportunities she had available to others.
Source: CNET

Uber wants to be 'the Amazon of transportation' – CNET

The ride-hailing service rolls out Mode Switch to toggle between car, bike and scooter rides.
Source: CNET

Brave ad-blocking browser gets Chrome's extensions with major new version – CNET

The ad-blocking browser looks a lot more like the newly redesigned Chrome, too.
Source: CNET

Whole Foods workers seek to unionize, says Amazon is ‘exploiting our dedication’

A group of workers at Whole Foods Market is leading an effort to establish a union for the Amazon-owned company’s 85,000+ workforce.

In a letter addressed to Whole Foods employees, the group — members of Whole Foods’ cross-regional committee — wrote that they are “concerned about the direction” of Whole Foods in an Amazon era. The letter outlines several demands, including a $15 minimum wage for all employees, 401k matching, paid maternity leave, lower health insurance deductibles and more.

“We cannot let Amazon remake the entire North American retail landscape without embracing the full value of its team members. The success of Amazon and [Whole Foods] should not come at the cost of exploiting our dedication and threatening our economic stability,” they wrote.

The grocery store chain was acquired by Amazon one year ago in a $13.7 billion deal that sent shock waves through the e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail industries. In that 12-month period, the e-commerce giant has implemented changes to the grocery chain’s nearly 500 stores. Amazon Echos have become part of the inventory in some locations and Amazon lockers have shown up to facilitate Amazon.com pick-ups and returns, for example.

The letter, which calls out both Jeff Bezos and Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey directly, says there will “continue to be layoffs in 2019 and beyond as Amazon aims to aggressively trim our labor force before it expands with new technology and labor models.”

Since the Amazon acquisition, several hundred Whole Foods workers have been laid-off as Amazon infuses “Whole Foods with its efficient, data-driven ethos,” per The Wall Street Journal. Shoppers, however, have saved millions as a result of the shake-up.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, a representative of Whole Foods said they respect the “individual rights of [their] team members.”

“[We] have an open-door policy that encourages team members to bring their comments, questions and concerns directly to their team leaders,” they said. “We believe this direct connection is the most effective way to understand and respond to the needs of our workforce and creates an atmosphere that fosters open communication and empowerment. We offer competitive wages and benefits and are committed to the growth and success of our team members.”

Amazon provided a virtually identical statement, adding that they encourage anyone concerned about employee treatment to take a tour of one of their fulfillment centers.

Here’s the full letter, obtained by New Food Economy.

 


Source: TechCrunch

Justice Department charges North Korean over WannaCry, Sony hack – CNET

The man has allegedly been behind massive cyberattacks for the last four years.
Source: CNET

DoJ Charges North Korean Hacker for Sony, WannaCry, and More

The Department of Justice has taken its first legal action against North Korea’s cybercrimes, in a massive complaint made public Thursday.
Source: Wired

Benchmark and Tiger double down on going public

In an ecosystem enthralled with private capital and delayed public debuts, Bill Gurley has been something of a maverick. The former dot-com equity analyst and long-time partner at Benchmark has pushed hard for companies to go public and “grow up,” including at his portfolio company Uber, where he was formerly a board member.

Earlier this year, he noted that “it’s cool to go public again,” and now we are starting to see the fruits of Benchmark’s labors. Over the past 24 hours, two companies – Elastic and Upwork – have submitted their S-1 registration statements to the SEC, and Benchmark is the largest shareholder in both. That follows last year’s IPO for Stitch Fix, where Gurley was the lead investor.

The story of these two public aspirants are certainly divergent. Upwork is the rebranded merger of two companies, Elance and oDesk, which merged in 2013. Benchmark got involved through oDesk, leading a Series B round of investment in the company in 2006, with founding partner Kevin Harvey joining the board. Considering oDesk was founded in 2003, and Elance in 1999, it has certainly been a circuitous route to the public markets for the company.

Elastic, on the other hand, is a relatively rare case of a company going public quite early in its evolution. The startup was founded just a few years ago in 2012 according to Crunchbase, and Benchmark’s Peter Fenton led a $10m series A into the company that same year. Only six years later, the company is heading to the public markets, with a projected unicorn valuation.

While Upwork has certainly been a journey, it’s Elastic that best exemplifies the startup trajectory that I think Gurley has been advocating for the past few years. Given its rapid revenue growth and key ownership of the search engine market, it is doubtful the company would have struggled to raise additional capital from the private markets. Indeed, six years from founding to IPO is more reminiscent of the 1990s, when the IPO was a key early milestone in the development of a startup since private investment was just not available.

The other interesting dynamic here is around capital efficiency. Elastic raised just $162 million in venture capital according to Crunchbase, a surprisingly low number considering its revenues, growth, and valuation. Enterprise startups have been raising more capital over time as sales and marketing costs have soared and the standards required to publicly debut have become more exacting. That capital efficiency is mirrored on the consumer side by Stitch Fix, which had raised just $42 million in venture capital before its IPO.

These are early data points, but it is clear that Gurley’s and Benchmark’s words around capital efficiency and public markets are influencing their advice to their startup boards and leading to very different actions from these founders. It’s a contrast to companies like Palantir and SpaceX, which have seemed to have committed to staying private for as long as possible.

Tiger Global and other crossover hedge funds are also pushing IPOs

Benchmark is not the only company that has had some good S-1 news this week. The lead investor in the other two prominent tech IPOs so far this season — Eventbrite and SurveyMonkey — is Tiger Global, the quiet but prolific crossover hedge fund. The fund owns 21.3% of Eventbrite and 29.3% of SurveyMonkey.

The rise of these crossover funds is driving renewed interest in early public liquidity. Unlike traditional venture firms, which typically have a decade investment horizon (plus frequent multi-year extensions), these hedge funds face greater pressure to get returns on a compressed timeline.

That’s indicative here with Tiger Global. It’s investments in Eventbrite and SurveyMonkey took place in 2013, so it is just roughly five years from investment to IPO. Certainly, the hedge fund targets growth-stage opportunities which have shorter liquidity times in general, yet, the speed of liquidity is still notable even for growth investors.

For an ecosystem that has in many ways avoided the public markets, these changing norms will not just increase the pressure to go public, but may also present challenges for boards where discordant voices may be simultaneously pushing the exec team to stay private or go public. It’s a dynamic that founders are going to have to increasingly think through as they select investors through each of their venture rounds, in order to ensure that every investor is on the same page regarding the timeline for the public markets.


Source: TechCrunch

U.S. set to charge North Korean spy with Sony hack and WannaCry cyberattack

The US government wants to bring the hacker behind WannaCry to justice. The Justice Department is set to announce charges against the North Korean spy responsible for the malware and an earlier hack that crippled Sony.

The post U.S. set to charge North Korean spy with Sony hack and WannaCry cyberattack appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

How a Master Domino Artist Builds 15,000-Piece Creations

Lily Hevesh sets ’em up to knock ’em down—in breathtakingly complicated arrangements.
Source: Wired

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