Airbnb makes service more accessible to people with disabilities

Airbnb has made some changes to its platform in order to make it easier for people with disabilities to find accommodations that suit their needs. The 21 new accessibility filters Airbnb has added enable people to find homes and apartments that have step-free entry to rooms, entryways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, elevators, roll-in […]

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Grab, Uber’s Southeast Asia rival, now offers micro-loans and other financial services

 Ride-hailing service Grab is being heavily linked with a deal to buy out Uber’s business in Southeast Asia, but those rumors aren’t stopping it from building its fintech platform after announced a financial services unit. The Singapore-based company has been pushing itself into fintech for some time, with the most visible moment being the launch of its mobile payments service… Read More

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India’s Ola takes its Uber rivalry to Australia with launch in Sydney

 Ola, Uber’s key rival in India, has taken its first step overseas after its service officially went live in Australia via a launch in Sydney. The company announced its plans to go Down Under at the end of January and in Sydney, which is its first full launch, Ola said it has signed up over 7,000 registered drivers. Initially, passengers will be able to enjoy free rides for a limited… Read More

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Grab launches a bike-sharing service in Southeast Asia

After much speculation, Southeast Asian Uber rival Grab has jumped into the bike-sharing space after it launched a service in Singapore.
GrabCycle Beta will offer services from a range of services, including bike-sharing services oBike — which includes Grab as an investor — GBikes and Anywheel, plus electric scooter rental Popscoot. The project is the first to launch… Read More

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MIT study shows how much driving for Uber or Lyft sucks

 Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are delivering pitiful levels of take-home pay to the hundreds of thousands of US independent contractors providing their own vehicles and driving skills to deliver the core service, according to an MIT CEEPR study examining the economics of the two app platforms. The report catalyses the debate about conditions for workers on gig economy platforms, and… Read More

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GoBee Bike throws in the towel in France

 Bike-sharing startup GoBee Bike is giving up and shutting down in all French cities where it operates. GoBee Bike operates just like Chinese giants Ofo and Mobike. You open the app, you find a bike on the map and you unlock it by scanning a QR code. Once you’re done, you lock it again and leave it there — there’s no dock. And yet, the startup is blaming vandalism and says… Read More

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Is Uber selling its Southeast Asia business to Grab?

 If you read the tech press, you might have seen reports that Uber is pursuing a sale in Southeast Asia that would see Grab, its Singapore-headquartered rival valued at $6 billion, acquire Uber’s business in the region. Rumors of such a tie-in have been rife for a while. Uber sold its China business in exactly such an arrangement in 2016, and it made a similar exit from Russia last year.… Read More

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H-E-B acquires Texas-based on-demand company Favor

 H-E-B has acquired Favor, the on-demand delivery service out of Texas. Favor will continue to operate as an independent wholly-owned subsidiary of the grocery chain. The company first launched in 2014 at SXSW, bringing a Texas-tailored approach to on-demand delivery. While many on-demand services, such as Postmates, focus on high-density areas like NYC and San Francisco, Favor built a product… Read More

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India’s Zoomcar raises $40M led by automotive giant Mahindra & Mahindra

 India’s Zoomcar — which operates an on-demand car rental service — has raised a $40 million Series C round led by Mahindra & Mahindra, the 70-year-old Indian corporation that specializes in automotive. Ford and other existing investors also took part in the round, Zoomcar confirmed. CEO and co-founder Greg Moran added that the round is still open and may be extended… Read More

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Uber launches a new lower-priced service called Chap Chap in Nairobi

 Uber has launched a new, lower-cost service in Nairobi called Uber Chap Chap. Made possible by using a fleet of fuel-efficient budget sedans, Uber Chap Chap (Swahili slang for “hurry, hurry”) is currently available in several areas of the Kenyan capital, including its central business district. Read More

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