What Uber drivers make and the weekly roundup in tech and retail

News and commentaries

I hardly use Facebook for posting these days but I still keep up because of friends scattered all over the world. Also, every once in a while, I see some insight that one can seldom get from the news. One such insight came today. The post is about an Uber driver in the Philippines formerly making $200/month to $1,000/month as an Uber driver. He does own the car which is a big advantage. This is of course an anecdote and may not reflect the full reality but in light of Uber’s data release showing Uber drives earning $6/hour more than conventional drivers, we can safely assume that Uber drivers can do well for themselves.

No matter what you think of Uber’s scandals and ridiculously high valuation (see new Uber round below), I still think this is a great story of the upheaval of the old guard – in this case, the taxi industry. Following my anecdote about living in China last week, I would like to share another one. My very first taxi ride was from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to downtown Shanghai in the Xuhui District around midnight after more than 24 hours of traveling. The taxi rank of cigarette smoke and something else I couldn’t identify. I wasn’t clear if he knew where exactly to go – I showed him my address in Chinese characters. He stopped by a gas station to refuel and I could only sit mutely in frustration. He did drop me off the correct address but learning of Uber, how much easier and nicer the experience would have been?

Can banking please be the next old guard to be disrupted by technology? Enough of the ridiculous fees and the long “hold” of certain transfers.

Here are this week’s weekly roundup in tech and retail:

In tech:

  1. Google and Fidelity invests $1B in Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
  2. Cloud storage firm Box, Inc. IPOs at $14 at the NYSE, shares jump to 57%; company raises $175M
  3. Uber closes $1.6B funding round in convertible debt from Goldman Sachs, current valuation at $41.2B
  4. Acquisitions: Apple buys  Musicmetric, a British music analytics service startup; Dropbox buys CloudOn, an Israeli mobile document editing startup;
  5. Microsoft unveils Windows 10 and HoloLens, a headset allowing for interaction with holographic images

In retail:

  1. EBay, Inc. sheds 2,400 jobs ahead of eBay and PayPal split
  2. Adidas AG to sell Rockport shoe business to New Balance, Berkshire Partners LLC for $280M
  3. Gucci appoints Alessandro Michele as new creative director after Frida Giannini’s departure
  4. Toronto-based startup Rubikloud raises $7M in Series A to help online retailers use big data to boost sales
  5. Online tuxedo rental startup The Black Tux raises $10M in new financing

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