Today In Uber: New COO, EU Troubles, Rivals On The Move

Morning Report: Here’s the pace of news at Uber—a firm in transition.

Each work day, these short morning reports are supposed to convey a thought or two around a news item. They are short meditations, really. We then append the blurbs from the Daily newsletter into the posts and press publish. The goal is simple and easy.

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Then there’s Uber, a company that generates so much news that it’s nigh impossible to cover any single item. This morning, as a classic example, the firm has generated headlines in several directions:

  • Blow to Uber in Europe as top court rules it’s a transport service, via TechCrunch.
  • Uber Names Ex-Orbitz CEO Barney Harford Chief Operating Officer, via Bloomberg.
  • Uber rival Ola buys Foodpanda India to get into food deliveries, via TechCrunch.

What does all that mean?

Starting at the top, Uber lost a court case in Europe that, according to TechCrunch’s Natasha Lomas, “means Uber must comply with individual Member States’ transportation regulations, and cannot claim its p2p ride-hailing services are only governed by less restrictive EU-wide ecommerce rules.” Uber noted that it already does in some EU countries, but was otherwise on the other side of the bar in this case. For Uber, the decision may bring unwelcome friction.

The second item details that Uber’s new CEO is managing to attract the sort of talent he needs to help run Uber, a company still mired in controversy stretching from relations with its own drivers to how it handled corporate intelligence gathering. More, better leadership is what the company needs, so the COO news is likely welcome to Uber’s shareholders.

Finally, an Uber rival is investing in food delivery, an activity that Uber is already involved with. The firm’s UberEats product has been hailed as both a surprising success and cost center.

That’s just since yesterday, really. Uber’s simply insane press run is truly something to behold. Call it a theme of the year.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

Juul draws big money for e-cigarettes

  • Juul Labs, a San Francisco-based developer of high-tech e-cigarettes that spun out of vaping company PAX Labs, has raised $115 million in fresh funding, according to a securities filing. The massive round breaks a long dry spell for VC funding of e-cigarette companies.

Insurer BIMA raises $97M

  • BIMA, a micro-insurer that sells policies by mobile phone in Africa, Asia and Latin America, has raised $97 million from insurance giant Allianz. The new financing reportedly values the seven-year-old company at nearly $300 million.

EU court rules against Uber

  • Uber will be regulated in European Union countries as a transport company after the bloc’s top court rejected its claim to be a digital service provider.

What futures mean for bitcoin

  • New futures markets allow institutional investors to hold something that looks like bitcoin, without having to hold the actual cryptocurrency. This has opened up bitcoin to a new set of very deep-pocketed investors who previously faced regulatory roadblocks to accessing the asset class, Crunchbase News reports.

iStockPhoto / Cameris


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