Grab is talking to Ant Financial and PayPal about spinning out its financial services business

Grab is talking to Ant Financial and PayPal about spinning out its financial services business

Grab, the $16 billion-valued ride-hailing firm that acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business last year, is in talks with Alibaba’s Ant Financial and PayPal as it considers spinning out of its financial services unit to double down on its non-transportation business, TechCrunch has learned. The seven-year-old company’s coming-of-age moment was a deal to buy Uber’s regional […]…

Microsoft gives 500 patents to startups

Microsoft gives 500 patents to startups

Microsoft today announced a major expansion of its Azure IP Advantage program, which provides its Azure users with protection against patent trolls. This program now also provides customers who are building IoT solutions that connect to Azure with access to 10,000 patents to defend themselves against intellectual property lawsuits. What’s maybe most interesting here, though, […]…

To improve Uber’s driver app, he hits the road as an Uber driver

To improve Uber’s driver app, he hits the road as an Uber driver

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Uber’s head of driver product is proud of his 96 rides (and no tickets … so far). 

Daniel Danker knows they’re nothing compared to the thousands of rides some drivers have under their belts. But every rider he drops off helps him understand the Uber service — and provides more insight than anything he’d get from a feedback survey or second-hand notes. 

So a few times a month, he opens the separate Uber driver app and cruises around San Francisco for a few hours, picking up passengers, earning tips, and making chitchat with riders in the backseat of his Mazda station wagon. (He lets them know he’s an Uber employee and not a regular driver.) Read more…

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Uber just made the largest tech deal in Middle East history

Uber just made the largest tech deal in Middle East history

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Uber spent $3.1 billion to dominate competition in the Middle East. 

It announced Tuesday that it reached an agreement to buy Dubai-based Careem, which operates in 15 countries including Morocco, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The deal was for $1.4 billion in cash, $1.7 billion in loans — and marks the biggest tech industry deal in the region outside of Israel, according to the Associated Press

The company will operate with its two co-founders under Uber as its own brand — for now. On Careem’s website, the company wrote, “We are still Careem.” Read more…

More about Uber, Middle East, Ride Hailing Apps, Careem, and Tech

Flipkart ranked highly for ‘fairness’ of working conditions in India gig platform study

Flipkart ranked highly for ‘fairness’ of working conditions in India gig platform study

The Oxford Internet Institute has published what it bills as the world’s first rating system for working conditions on gig economy platforms. The Fairwork academic research project is a collaboration with the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, the University of Cape Town, the University of Manchester, and the University of the Western Cape. As […]…

Two years after a first close, 500 Startups wraps its Middle East fund with $33 million

Two years after a first close, 500 Startups wraps its Middle East fund with $33 million

When 500 Startups partner Hasan Haider announced the $15 million first close for the accelerator and investment firm’s Middle Eastern focused fund, 500 Falcons, Dave McClure was still at the helm of Silicon Valley’s second most famous accelerator. Within a month, McClure was removed from the accelerator after admitting to sexual misconduct and 500 Startups […]…

Transportation weekly: Nuro dreams of autonomous lattes, what is a metamaterial, Volvo takes the wheel

Transportation weekly: Nuro dreams of autonomous lattes, what is a metamaterial, Volvo takes the wheel

Welcome back to Transportation Weekly; I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. We love the reader feedback. Keep it coming. Never heard of TechCrunch’s Transportation Weekly? Read the first edition here.  As I’ve written before, consider this a soft launch. Follow me on Twitter @kirstenkorosec to ensure you see it each week. […]…