Ride-hailing firm Lyft is determined to go head-to-head with larger rival Uber in the US and is looking to add extra cities to its network to take coverage to 300 metros by the end of the year. The expansion, which kicked off last week with the addition of 40 cities, will give the firm access to over 70% of the US population.
Kenyan incubator m:lab is partnering with a number of East African tech hubs to host Traction Camp, a six-month accelerator initiative. Onboard the effort are Buni in Tanzania, Ugandan outfit Outbox, Rwanda-based kLab and iceaddis in Ethiopia. “The hubs will help to reach out and create opportunities to a larger group of growth-oriented digital entrepreneurs, so that the impact of the programme is felt across the region,” says m:lab.
Market access and digital trade, access to skills and the free flow of data are the key areas of Brexit risk for the UK technology sector. That’s because British digital sectors are heavily integrated with global markets, with 20% of digital goods and services exported, according to The UK Digital Sectors After Brexit report from techUK and Frontier Economics.
Forget Apple’s luxury smartwatch play – the company pulled its 18k gold Apple Watch Edition off the shelves last year – it’s TAG Heuer which is doing brisk business in at the high-end of the market. The Swiss watchmaker expected to move a mere 20,000 Connected smartwatches when it launched the wearable tech around 14 months ago, but plenty of consumers were willing to shell out $1,500 for the item, giving TAG 56,000 unit sales. So hot was demand for Connected, the firm pulled online distribution in favour of keeping it on show in physical stores.
Putting a new spin on the farm shop marketing mantra of ‘farm to fork’ is Northern Irish producer Mash Direct, writes Sally Ratcliffe. The farm and producer of convenience mash, traditional ‘Irish champ,’ to more exotic-sounding spicy baby potatoes, to name but a few in its ready-made range, has found that farm-to fork-via the air is the way forward to finding new influence with the consumer.
In light of current technologies, very few human occupations – under 5% – are candidates for full automation. But, pretty much every job does have partial automation potential, as some proportion of its activities could well be automated. According to McKinsey estimates, around half of all the activities people are right now paid to do in the workforce could be automated by adapting demonstrated technologies.
Last week the French government did its bit to lure technology entrepreneurs to set up shop in France with the launch of the French Tech Visa programme. Now the US is in the game with Barack Obama’s enticement. The outgoing president got the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to boost the use of the government’s so-called parole right to authorise immigration for overseas entrepreneurs able to show that they can deliver public benefit to the country in the form of economic growth or job creation.
Ridesharing companies have together raised more than $25 billion in capital since 2010, while the world’s top-five outfits – Uber, Didi-Chuxing, Lyft, Ola, and Grab – have a combined market cap of around $120 billion. And Sharespost reckons those firms are operating in what is a large and expandable addressable market, citing $650 billion-plus in opportunity today ‘and the potential to disrupt several industries involved in human and autonomous transportation’.