Uber loses UK legal challenge – TechCrunch

Uber loses a lawsuit over driver classification, we survey mobility investors, and new data suggests a COVID-19 vaccine should be easier to transport. This is your daily crisis for February 19, 2021.

The big story: Uber loses the UK legal challenge

The UK Supreme Court has reiterated previous rulings that the Uber drivers who brought the case – which dates back to 2016 – are workers, not independent contractors.

“Drivers are in a position of submission and dependency with respect to Uber such that they have little or no ability to improve their economic position through professional or business skills,” the court said in a statement. “In practice, the only way to increase their income is to work longer hours while always following Uber’s performance standards.”

Uber upheld the decision but stressed that it applies to the specific group of drivers who brought the case, many of whom no longer drive on the app.

Startups, Finance and Venture Capital

Ex-General Catalyst and General Atlantic VC Announce $ 68M Debut Fund – New York-based Avid Ventures to Launch $ 68M Debut Venture Capital Fund.

With a $ 20 million round, Promise brings financial flexibility to obsolete government and utility payment systems – Promise integrates with official payment systems to provide more forgiving terms on fees and debts that cannot be processed all at once.

Acast acquires the podcasting startup RadioPublic – RadioPublic was spun off from the public radio market PRX in 2016.

Advice and analysis of extra crunch

Ten investors predict that MaaS, on-demand delivery, and electric vehicles will dominate the future of mobility after the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only put a strain on the transportation industry, it has also exposed its weaknesses and uncovered potential opportunities.

A fraction of Robinhood users are driving runaway growth – A closer look at paying for order flow, a controversial practice where Robinhood is paid by market makers to run client trades.

Three Strategies to Increase Brand Authority in 2021 – Advised by Amanda Milligan, Fractl’s Marketing Director.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is now much easier to transport and distribute. Pfizer and BioNTech have collected new stability data that have been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration.

The dizzying prospect of perseverance during the descent makes the “Seven Minutes of Terror” seem very real – NASA just shared a hair-raising image of the rover as it dangled from its jetpack over the Martian landscape.

Will the Texas winter disaster prevent another tech migration? – It is too early to determine the exact toll the storm will have in deaths, property damage and economic activity.

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