The weekly tech tl;dr -– 27th May 2016

The Big Stories

Uber and Toyota confirm a strategic deal that includes a big investment from Toyota and car financing for Uber drivers. “Rideshare wars just got even more interesting,” says Eric Alper.

Yesterday we announced Gigster Fund. It gives freelancers upside in the platform and top clients. Simon Dempsey comments: “Very, very smart move from Gigster, I salute you @rogerdickey and team!”

Top News

Microsoft announces more layoffs that are mostly a result of its failed Nokia acquisition. Over 1,300 Finnish employees are among the former Microsoft employees thrown into the job market. “Sad day,” Tomi Ahonen calls it.

“Can gig economy workers receive benefits & protection without having to unionize?” asks Kavi Guppta concerning Uber’s recent labor deal. The deal with The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers included the formation of an Independent Driver’s Guild for rideshare drivers.

IBM announces up to 14,000 layoffs but says it has 20,000 open positions. Alan Creek comments: “Changing times, it’s easier to layoff and then hire instead of retrain your work force!”

Tech Drama

Google is beating Yahoo in the war for the internet. Marc Hemeon attributes Google’s dominance to its ability to “build fast to last.”

Facebook says its skewed trending news results from individual judgement, not an institutional bias. Patrick Laforge comments: “It should be no surprise that inexperienced people making news judgments led to trouble for Facebook.”

“Do you always feel like somebody’s watching you? That somebody is Google, Twitter and Facebook,” Dan Muse says of a recent study on how big tech companies track users.

Funding news

The sales enablement platform Seismic raises $40m in a Series C round. Growth equity firm General Atlantic led the round. Erin Hegarty says “Congrats to a stellar team & great partnership.”

Home router maker eero raises $50m and plans to sell its routers in Best Buy starting this summer. Daniel Brusilovsky tweets: “No one has quite cracked consumer WiFi, and I think eero has the best shot at turning something complex and making it simple.”

TransferWise, a money transfer startup based in London, just raised $26 million in a round led by investment management firm Baillie Gifford. Joonas Wallenius tweets “The fintech unicorn club has a new member.”


eBay ramped up its ticket sales game by purchasing Ticketbis, a ticketing platform that operates in 47 markets and is based in Spain. Javier Capapé tweets: “And… the #fiesta goes on in #Spain

Michael Dell talks about how his company is about to pull off the biggest tech acquisition in history. Steve Duplessie comments: “The more I hear from the combined Dell/EMC (VCE today) the more I realize they are actually thinking things through. Hard to find flaws.”

Facebook moves further into virtual reality by purchasing Two Big Ears, a VR startup that specializes in immersive audio. “Immersive design is not only about the graphics,” Jean-Marc Denis says.


Wondering how to get press coverage as founder? Gigster lets you in on the secrets of successful founders. Here’s one for starters: “Be creative,” says Lori Cheek of Cheek’d.

Founder stress is real. Gigster tweets: “Starting a company is stressful. Here’s how top founders, including @dezigal handle the pressure.”

Adrian Aoun is reinventing healthcare with his new startup Forward. The company will use new technology to change the way we do medical diagnosis and treatment. Katie Jacobs Stanton offers her congrats: “Love seeing brilliant entrepreneurs invent ways to improve health care.”

IT Professionals

“How do you convince your investors that outsourcing your company’s tech will save money and time?” asks Gigster. For one, tell them outsourcing will save time and money.

“More CIOs report to the CEO,” tweets Mitch Betts. A new study reveals the rising importance of the CIO role.

Do you measure your employees’ productivity with wearables? Should you? Karl Meier comments: “#Wearables at work allow employers to track #productivity & #health indicators—and pose tricky #privacy issues.”