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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Getaround early investor sues car-sharing startup for $1.79 million

Getaround is getting around the courthouse. One of the car-sharing startup’s early investors, Geoffrey Shmigelsky, is suing the company, alleging fraud and unfair conduct.

“Our client supported Getaround and Mr. Zaid from the very start, only to be swindled out of $1.785 million that went straight into the pockets of Mr. Zaid’s family and friends, as we allege,” Gaw | Poe LLP Partner Samuel Song said in a statement. “Our client deserved better than this from a person he had supported and trusted for years, and we’ll do what it takes to get what rightfully belongs to him.”

Getaround, however, says “these claims are totally unfounded and we’re looking to get the case dismissed,” Getaround Director of Marketing Communications Jacqueline Tanzella told TechCrunch over the phone.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Getaround executives tricked Shmigelsky into selling his shares to their friends and family for $1.79 million less “than what they knew they were worth.” Early last year, investors became interested in purchasing Shmigelsky’s shares, the lawsuit states. But because Getaround is still a private company with scarce public financial information, “they struggled to value Plaintiff’s shares.” That’s when Shmigelsky said he asked Getaround CEO Sam Zaid for the information.

The lawsuit alleges:

Mr. Zaid saw an opportunity and agreed to help. Getaround had a contractual right of refusal to purchase any shares Plaintiff tried to sell, under the same terms and conditions of any sales agreement that Plaintiff entered into with a prospective buyer. Thus, Mr. Zaid was in a position to provide information designed to drive down the value of Plaintiff’s shares, and if Plaintiff agreed to a transaction at a lower price, Mr. Zaid could cause Getaround to exercise its right of first refusal to buy Plaintiff’s shares at a large discount off its true value. Moreover, since Getaround also had the right to assign its right of first refusal to whoever it wanted, Mr. Zaid could cause Getaround to exercise its right to purchase Plaintiff’s shares (at a discounted price) and then gift that opportunity to Mr. Zaid’s friends and family.

Based on the information Zaid and Getaround CFO Adam Kosmicki provided him, Shmigelsky alleges he sold 300,000 shares at $1.80 per share. He also alleges Zaid and Kosmicki concealed the information that Getaround was on the verge of closing an $18 million funding round priced at $7.75 per share. After allegedly invoking its right of refusal, Getaround bought back Shmigelsky’s shares at $1.80 per share.

But since those deals were not yet finalized and still in discussions, Tanzella said, “we were legally bound not to disclose anything that wasn’t complete and to fruition.”

Getaround then allegedly allowed Zaid and Getaround CTO Elliot Kroo’s family and friends to buy those shares for $540,000. Had that stake been valued at $7.75 per share, Shmigelsky would’ve made $2.33 million.

“It’s a really unfortunate situation,” Tanzella said. “I know the team did the best they could.”

Getaround also pointed out that the company helped facilitate the sale of Shmigelsky’s shares on the secondary market five times.

“This complaint seems to be driven by seller’s remorse,” Tanzella said.

Shmigelsky seeks no less than $1.79 million for compensatory and special damages. Getaround, however, does “plan on having this fully dismissed in court,” Tanzella said.

You can read the full complaint below.


Source: TechCrunch

AWS makes another acquisition grabbing TSO Logic

AWS has been on a mini shopping spree since the first of the year. First it picked off Israeli disaster recovery startup CloudEndure last week. This week, it was TSO Logic, a Vancouver startup that helps companies make the most efficient use of cloud resources.

The companies did not share the purchase price.

Amazon confirmed the purchase by email and referred to the statement on the TSO Logic website from CEO Aaron Rallo. “We are very pleased to share the news that TSO Logic will be joining the AWS family,” Rallo wrote in the statement.

The company takes data about workloads and applications and helps customers find the most efficient place to run them by measuring requirements like resource needs against cost to find the right balance at any given time.

They can even balance workloads between public and private clouds, which could come in handy with Amazon’s new Outposts product, announced in November at AWS re:Invent, that enables companies to run AWS workloads on-prem, as well as in the cloud.

TSO Logic is part of a growing body of startups who use data to find ways to optimize cloud workloads, sometimes even using spot instances to move workloads to cheaper cloud options to save customers money.

As companies move increasing numbers of workloads to the cloud, it becomes more difficult to understand, manage and control costs. Tools like TSO Logic are designed to help customers  make more efficient use of cloud resources.

Microsoft bought Cloudyn, a startup that provides a similar service, in 2017. As the large cloud infrastructure vendors jockey for position, these types of services offerings should become more commonplace, and it’s far easier for companies like Microsoft and Amazon to simply open up the checkbook than it is to build it themselves.

An Amazon spokesperson indicated that the company will remain in place in Vancouver and all of the TSO Logic employees have been offered positions with Amazon.


Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft is getting ready for a coming wave of foldable Windows 10 devices

Windows 10 might soon have a new look. A leaked string for an internal Windows 10 19H1 build shows that Microsoft is getting ready to build Windows 10 for a future wave of foldable devices.

The post Microsoft is getting ready for a coming wave of foldable Windows 10 devices appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Netflix Raises Prices to Stockpile for the Streaming Wars

The company needs more cash for content and global expansion—and it’s still cheaper than a lot of streaming services.
Source: Wired

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple’s Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 

The post Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

VW says its EV offensive will launch at exactly the right time – Roadshow

VW will be neither first nor last to introduce mainstream electrics.
Source: CNET

Amazon upgrades its Fire TV Stick with the new Alexa Voice Remote

Amazon is giving its Fire TV Stick an upgrade. The company announced today it will now ship the Fire TV Stick with the new version of the Alexa Voice Remote launched last fall. The remote allows users to control other devices besides their Fire TV, thanks to its support for both Bluetooth and multi-directional infrared. However, the upgraded remote won’t impact the Fire TV Stick’s price, which remains $39.99.

The new Alexa remote was arrived alongside the $49.99 Fire TV Stick 4K in October. It’s capable of controlling the TV, soundbar and other AV equipment, and can do things like switch inputs or tune to a channel on your cable box. As a standalone purchase for older Amazon Fire TV devices, the remote was retailing yesterday for $29.99. But today, Amazon is slashing the price by 50 percent, it says.

The voice remote also includes the ability to speak to Alexa with a press of a button, which can help you find shows and movies, control smart home devices, get the news and weather, stream music and more.

Amazon notes the inclusion of the next-gen remote makes the Fire TV Stick the only streaming media player under $40 that includes a remote capable of controlling other AV equipment besides the TV. This could be a selling point for Fire TV Stick versus Roku, whose high-end voice remotes are focused on controlling power and volume on TVs, or its own Roku wireless speakers.

At CES this year, Amazon said its Fire TV platform as a whole had now topped over 30 million active users, which seemed to put it just ahead of Roku’s 27 million. By swapping in a better remote with the flagship Fire TV Stick device, Amazon is looking to solidify its lead gained by steep discounts on its devices over Black Friday and the larger 2018 holiday shopping season.

The updated Fire TV Stick will also be the first to ship with Amazon’s just launched, free streaming service IMDb Freedive included. Announced at CES, the service offers a range of free, ad-supported movies and TV shows – a challenge to its rival’s service, The Roku Channel. It will come to other Fire TV devices by way of a software update.

The Fire TV Stick with the new Alexa Voice Remote goes on pre-order today for $39.99 (or £39.99 in the U.K.), and will be available in a bundle with the Echo Dot for $69.98.


Source: TechCrunch

Spider-Man: Far From Home teaser trailer reveals Mysterio, Nick Fury – CNET

Tom Holland webslings back for Peter Parker’s European vacation, with new teammates.
Source: CNET

One of the best TVs you can buy is back at its Black Friday price – CNET

The 65-inch TCL 6 Series is tied for its all-time lowest price. Grab it before the big game!
Source: CNET

Ford and Volkswagen partner on midsize pickups, commercial vans – Roadshow

Ford will build a pickup truck for both brands by 2022.
Source: CNET

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