1. NY Votes to Limit Uber and Lyft
New York is the first city in the U.S. to set a limit on the number of ridesharing vehicle licenses and require that drivers be paid a minimum rate. The New York City Council hopes to limit the amount of traffic congestion in the city while ensuring that rideshare drivers earn a minimum of $17.22/hr. This is bad timing for Uber and Lyft prior to their IPOs (initial public offerings). Uber and Lyft claim the bill will complicate access to transportation in underserved boroughs and New Yorkers will likely pay more and wait longer for rides. It will be like going back in time. Since the cap only applies to vehicle licenses, not drivers, Uber reportedly plans to get around the bill by asking current drivers to share their vehicles with new drivers. Only time will tell if this bill will set a precedent for other rideshare-using cities.
2. Magic Leap’s First Ever Commercial AI Product
After 7 years of waiting and $2B+ in investments since 2011, the virtual reality startup company, Magic Leap, has finally released their first commercial product. If you remember, they first made “waves” with this blue whale jumping inside a high school gymnasium video. The company was previously criticized for their lack of technology in October, but Magic Leap believes the launch of the Magic Leap One Creator Edition AR headset will “bring digital content to life here in the real world.” For now, the headset will only be available for purchase in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. Test users of the product have raved about the realness of the computer-generated world which will hopefully make up for its $2,295+ price tag.
3. Tinder on the Rise
As more and more people begin swiping right on the social search mobile app, Tinder is set to double their revenue this year to total more than $800M. According to the company’s CFO, Gary Swidler, Tinder’s revenue comes almost exclusively from their premium subscription service, Tinder Gold, which provides users with lots of features for $14.99. Their subscribers have now totaled almost 3.8M and the app is reportedly growing as fast as Snapchat’s business last year.
(Source: The Hustle)