PR pitch to Ola reveals the inner workings of UK ride-hailing politics

A UK PR firm pitching to run an account for Ola has proposed running a campaign to politicize ride-hailing as a tactic to shift regulations in its favor. The approach suggests that, despite the appearance of ride-hailing platforms taking a more conciliatory position with regulators that are now wise to earlier startup tactics in this space, there remains a calculus involving realpolitik, propaganda and high-level lobbying between companies that want to enter or expand in markets, and those who hold the golden tickets to do so. In 2017 Estonia-based ride-hailing startup Taxify tried to launch in London ahead of regulatory approval, for example, but city authorities clamped down straight away. It was only able to return to the UK capital …

Despite Brexit, UK startups can compete with Silicon Valley to win tech talent

Mehul Patel 500 million times a day, in 92 million conversationsWhile innovation endures in the midst of Brexit, data reveals that innovative companies are losing the ability to attract people from all over the world and are suffering from a substantial leak.  The shortage of available tech talent has already created a by 2028, stifling innovatio60% of London businessesSo, how can UK-based companies proactively attract and retain top tech talent to prevent a Brexit brain drain? UK businesses must ensure that their hiring funnels are a top priority and focus on understanding what matters most to tech talent beyond salary, so that they don’t lose out to US tech hubs.  Brexit aside, why is San Francisco more appealing than the …

Pound Off Lows But Still Under Pressure as Brexit Showdown Looms

Photographer: Miles Willis/Bloomberg wouldn’t delay the country’s exit from the European Union, and left the The pound may not have much room to recover for now, according to Valentin Marinov, head of G-10 currency strategy at Credit Agricole CIB, who says Johnson is laying the groundwork for a confrontation with the House on Tuesday. “Risks of an early vote are still on the table,” Marinov wrote in an email, noting that the prime minister’s speech hadn’t sustained the pound’s rally. Sterling remains 0.78% lower on the day versus the dollar, and around 90.92 pence versus the euro. The currency may drop as low as $1.10 if a mandate is secured for a no-deal departure from the EU, according to Lee …

Boris Johnson Adopts Cute PuppyDog in Crucial Brexit Week

Boris Johnson welcomed his newly adopted Jack Russell puppy to his London home as the U.K. prime minister called an emergency meeting of his Cabinet, prompting fresh speculation there will be a general election. Just weeks ago the 15-week-old dog, named Dilyn according to a post on Twitter by Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds, faced death after being abandoned by a south Wales puppy farmer as his misaligned jaw meant he would be difficult to sell. He was saved by a volunteer-run rescue charity in south Wales. Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, was encouraged to get a dog to increase her appeal to voters, but refused because she was concerned about who would look after it. Published on Updated on Original Article …

Africa Roundup: Jumias post-IPO earnings, Gokadas $5.3M raise, Facebooks fake-news purge, Joe Montanas fintech investment

Jumia held its first post-IPO earnings call and weathered a short-sell assault in May, with Wall Street showing confidence in the Pan-African e-commerce company. On the numbers, key takeaways were that Jumia’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) — the total amount of goods sold over the period — grew by 58% to €240 million. Marketplace revenue grew 102% to €16 million, and gross profits as a percentage of GMV grew by 6.5% in Q1 2019. Overall, Jumia’s operating losses for the period widened to €45.4 million from €34.3, and negative EBITDA increased to €39.5 million from €30.2. So the startup’s still losing money — see the big losses reported in the IPO filing — but is improving its ability to earn. …

Amazon sellers to hit UK high streets in year-long pop-up pilot

Internet shopping has been blamed for boarding up high streets across the UK. So it looks politically judicious for Amazon, the original ecommerce behemoth, to now be attaching its brand name to a pilot project aimed at sparking a little commercial life in denuded UK towns and cities by parachuting online SMEs into pop-up shops around the country. The year-long Amazon pop-up pilot program — which is couched as an exploration of “a new model to help up-and-coming online brands grow their high street presence” — will see more than 100 small online businesses selling on the UK high street for the first time via time-slots in ten pop-up shops which will each be open for between six and eight …

When it comes to elections, Facebook moves slow, may still break things

This week, Facebook invited a small group of journalists — which didn’t include TechCrunch — to look at the “war room” it has set up in Dublin, Ireland, to help monitor its products for election-related content that violates its policies. (“Time and space constraints” limited the numbers, a spokesperson told us when he asked why we weren’t invited.) Facebook announced it would be setting up this Dublin hub — which will bring together data scientists, researchers, legal and community team members, and others in the organization to tackle issues like fake news, hate speech and voter suppression — back in January. The company has said it has What is not at all clear is how quickly Facebook acted to removed …