Record demand for online grocery shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic has sent the apps for grocery pickup and delivery services up the charts. Walmart Grocery, as a result, has now hit an all-time high in downloads -- grabbing the No. 1 ranking position across all Shopping apps in the U.S. on April 5, 2020, and surpassing Amazon by 20%, according to a new analysis from app intelligence firm App Annie. The Walmart Grocery application retained that No. 1 position for at least two days, the firm said, citing data from both the Google Play store and the Apple App Store, combined.
In what appears to be a u-turn, it has been decided that the 41 staff who were going to be put on furlough, under the U.K. government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, are now able to continue working, meaning that Starling will not be applying for government furlough support. It was originally communicated that the reason for furloughing staff was that they hadn't completed their full training, and to do so would require being on premise (ie at Starling's offices), which wasn't possible once the coronavirus-related lockdown began.
The latest Apple Watch, the Series 5, is on sale at Best Buy today. Apple debuted the Series 5 in September, and we gave it a score of 88. At first glance, it looks nearly identical to the Series 4, but it has a couple features the previous Apple Watch models didn’t, including an always-on display, built-in compass and international emergency calling.
With some help from Apple, Stanford Medicine has released an app that can connect first responders in California with COVID-19 testing.
Yelp co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced in an internal email that the company is going through difficult times. Yelp has to cut expenses, which means a large round of layoffs and some additional measures. 1,000 employees have been laid off.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated, interim guidance for "critical infrastructure" employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that could have big implications for labor groups, gig economy workers, and tech company employees. The CDC's updated guidelines, which were adapted in order "to ensure continuity of essential functions" according to the agency, state that someone working in an essential capacity who has been potentially exposed (either through contact with a household member with COVID-19, or having come within 6 feet of someone who has a confirmed or suspected case) should remain at work, provided they don't show any symptoms.
Startups are preparing for fundraising to become even harder to secure, due to a venture market slow down caused by COVID-19. The pandemic has led to less market activity, which means fewer liquidity deals for investors, which translates into less fresh capital (or dry powder) to put into startups. As a result investors have told already-funded startups that they need to extend their runway until deal flow bubbles back up.
With restaurants closed, these suppliers — who still have access to tons upon tons of food — no longer have customers. Meanwhile, end consumers are dealing with their own stresses around securing food, deciding between venturing out to the grocery store and ordering food through increasingly unreliable grocery delivery services.
Paidy, a Japanese fintech startup that allows customers to make online purchases without credit cards, announced today that it has raised a $48 million Series C extension from ITOCHU. Its latest investment from ITOCHU, one of the largest Japanese trading companies, was equity funding. ITOCHU previously participated in Paidy’s Series B and C rounds, and this brings the total it has invested into the startup to $91 million (the company said it did an extension round instead of moving onto a Series D so it could issue the same type of preferred shares).
10-year old Bilibili started as an animation site, but has expanded to other categories including e-sports, user-generated music videos, documentaries, and games. The announcement pushed Bilibili’s share up by 7.6% in pre-market trading. In a statement, Sony said the company believes China is a key strategic region in the entertainment business.
Facebook started as a platform to connect Harvard students. Now, it's experimenting with a new feature that could bring back a similar vibe.
France's competition authority has ordered Google to negotiate with publishers to pay for reuse of snippets of their content -- such as can be displayed in its News aggregation service or surfaced via Google Search. The country was the first of the European Union Member States to transpose the neighbouring right for news into national law, following the passing of a pan-EU copyright reform last year. Among various controversial measures the reform included a provision to extend copyright to cover content such as the ledes of news stories which aggregators such as Google News scrape and display.
The global internet continues to disintegrate into regional internets. Yesterday, the FCC authorized a Google subsidiary, GU Holdings, to open a submarine fiber optic link between the U.S. and Taiwan, while continuing to block the company’s expansion of the cable to Hong Kong. The cable, operated by Pacific Light Data Communication, has faced years of delays over its ties to the Chinese mainland.
Bug bounty and vulnerability disclosure platform Bugcrowd has raised $30 million in its Series D funding round. This latest round was led by Rally Ventures, which previously invested in the startup. Bugcrowd acts as an intermediary between security researchers that find bugs and security flaws and the companies with products and services that need to be fixed.
One of the efforts that's been proposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 is a contact trace and track program that would allow health officials to keep better tabs on individuals who have been infected and alert them to potential spread. Contract tracing has already seemingly proven effective in some parts of the world that have managed to curb the coronavirus spread, but privacy advocates have big reservations about any such system's implementation in the U.S. There are a number of proposals of how to implement a contact tracing system that preserves privacy, including a decentralization proposal for a group of European experts.
Earlier this year Microsoft shared its plans to integrate a full Linux kernel in Windows 10 — now it’s introducing Linux file access into the File Explorer