Over the last three years, L.A. Lyft driver Nicole Moore has watched her paychecks shrink as her hours have grown. Frustrated, she's ready to leave her part-time gig, but until now there have been few options. That's about to change.
This year, two Texas-based companies are going after one of rideshare giants Uber and Lyft's biggest markets: Los Angeles.
Dallas-based Alto plans to begin their services by the end of October. And the Austin collective Arcade City will start marketing its ride-hailing app in Los Angeles Tuesday. They will be joining other apps already trying to steal away market share such as Wingz and Swoop.
Arcade City, Another Side Gig?<p>Part of David's pitch to would-be drivers is that current Uber and Lyft drivers can start building networks even before the co-ops are fully functioning. Half of Arcade's Austin drivers still work part-time for other ridesharing companies, and drivers are promised 1% from every credit card purchase their referrals make for three years.</p><p>"Our model is like beautifully parasitic on the other," he said.</p><p>While prices depend on the city and co-op rules, an Arcade City ride will typically run you a couple dollars more than one from Uber or Lyft. Riders can also pay by cash or barter with drivers for rides. In some cases, drivers let riders pay them back days later.</p><p>Arcade, which emerged in the heat of a battle between gig workers and the two ridesharing companies in Austin, has not been shy about taking a stance against his competitors.</p><p>In an open letter to Californians, Arcade's David <a href="https://arcade.city/dear-california" target="_blank">encouraged drivers</a> to vote no on Proposition 22 "because Uber and Lyft's years of mistreating drivers and bullying local governments should be punished, not rewarded."</p>
Alto's Ride Hailing Model<p>Alto is a membership-based service, although non-members can hail rides. Half of Alto employees come from Uber and Lyft, Coleman said, and each one is interviewed and background checked before being hired. He said the company "attracts the most professional drivers," meaning ones who consider Alto a job rather than a gig to make extra cash.</p><p>It's expensive to absorb the costs of hiring employees, Coleman told dot.LA, but if companies don't pay into unemployment and workers compensation, taxpayers will. Indeed <a href="https://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/press-release-what-would-uber-and-lyft-owe-to-the-state-unemployment-insurance-fund/" target="_blank">researchers at UC Berkeley found </a>that Uber and Lyft would have paid $413 million to California's Unemployment Insurance Fund had they classified their workers as employees.</p><p>The company offsets the cost by charging more. Coleman told the <a href="https://www.dallasnews.com/business/entrepreneurs/2020/01/31/dallas-based-ride-hailing-company-alto-raises-6-million-to-expand-in-dallas-start-driving-in-two-new-cities/" target="_blank">Dallas Morning News</a> earlier this year that Alto customers come from more affluent households with incomes of $100,000 or higher.</p><p>Alto has plans to begin operations in L.A. by late October, just around the corner from Election Day when voters will decide the fate of Prop 22.</p>
- Uber and Lyft Hit a Stretch of Pre-Election Bumps - dot.LA ›
- Ride-Hailing Service Alto Debuts in Los Angeles - dot.LA ›
- Ride-Hailing Service Alto Debuts in Los Angeles - dot.LA ›
LA Tech Updates: Techstars Music Accelerator Seeks Startups; Wrapbook Gets $3.6M in Seed Funding; PatientPop Raises $50M
- Applications Are Open for Techstars Music Accelerator Program
- Wrapbook, Provider of Payroll for Productions, Unwraps $3.6 million in Seed Funding
- PatientPop, a Digital Health Marketing Firm, Raises $50 million
PatientPop Raises $50M as Demand for Online Healthcare Rises<img class="rm-shortcode" lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzE4MDE0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MzE4OTQ0OX0.wJwNz-HrIONbuhfSBaEv6hdEVrtiUxxpbfvQvLix2UY/image.jpg?width=980" id="86024" data-rm-shortcode-id="cc24dc4d6e3efc22b076a80afd800022" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>As doctors and hospitals are scrambling to get their services online, PatientPop, a company that does just that has raised $50 million as investors bet heavily on new forms of delivering healthcare.</p><p>The Series C funding is led by HLM Venture Partners with participation from previous investors Toba Capital, Transformation Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. And it includes new investors like Commonfund and Vivo Capital.</p><p>"This is more important than ever as providers quickly adapt their digital strategy and presence to attract and retain patients, and seek the technology and tools they need to successfully operate their practice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic," said co-founder and co-CEO of the Santa Monica-based company, Luke Kervin.</p><p>PatientPop works with the patient's electronic medical record and electronic health record to connect them to doctors that best fit their needs. It also allows patients to track and book their appointments.</p><p>According to FairHealth's monthly telehealth tracker in May calls went up 9.19% compared to last year.</p><p>The platform also works with doctors to use SEO in order to have them grow their online presence and increase bookings. It also offers PatientPop Pro to make it easier for doctors to manage their marketing efforts. </p><p>"PatientPop will no doubt continue to help doctors adopt new technologies that are critical to practice success," said principal of Vivo Capital, Nathan Dau in announcing the raise.</p>
Techstars Music Accelerator Aims for Diversity in 2021<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU4MjI0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1ODEyNTEzMn0.CyMwaQnB7_ZnL18XwBLnYjldj0KuwIGDJjQjfk3kQ70/image.jpg?width=980" id="6f12c" width="926" height="521" data-rm-shortcode-id="10ff927cdf33d8217bcb5b7941d45792" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
By Nadya C/ Shutterstock<p>Applications for the 2021 Techstars Music Accelerator open today. </p><p>The L.A.-based program will begin on February 16th, 2021 and culminate in a demo day in mid-May. It will accept applications until November 13th. </p> <p>"Now, more than ever, we need to do our part to support incredible entrepreneurs, regardless of their cultural background, economic status or physical location," wrote program director Bob Moczydlowsky in <a href="https://medium.com/@bobmoz/techstars-music-2021-unprecedented-challenge-and-opportunity-fa939f9d207f" target="_blank">a blog post</a>.</p> <p>Techstars Music 2021 will be virtual, meaning participating startups don't have to relocate to L.A. The entire selection process will be conducted by video conference. </p> <p>"As investors," Moczydlowsky's post continues, "we think this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a gigantic business in music and live events. We also think it is the perfect opportunity to build a more equitable and diverse music business."</p> <p>To that end, the program is committing to having 50% of its CEOs be "diverse," with a focus on Black, LGBTQ+ and female founders. This benchmark will remain in place for future cohorts as well. </p> <p>The Techstars Music program is a collaboration between Techstars and several groups in the music business. This year, partner companies include Warner Music Group, Sony, Peloton and Amazon Music. Such members provide capital to the program and also help run it. Participants also get access to many other mentors from the music, tech and venture capital worlds.</p> <p>Prior program participants have collectively raised over $90 million after the program, Moczydlowsky wrote.</p><p>The application portal can be found <a href="https://www.f6s.com/musicaccelerator-2021/apply" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
Wrapbook, Provider of Payroll for Productions, Unwraps $3.6 million in Seed Funding<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://dot.la/media-library/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzU3ODgzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTM5MjkzOH0.V6atS0zD42fGSSGuRiqnE7GHs5YygbWuk9vPUg41gcc/image.png?width=980" id="cb7f9" width="968" height="930" data-rm-shortcode-id="d48dff6266039e9a1894ca6500bc58dd" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Wrapbook is seeking to be the leading payroll processing platform for the entertainment industry.<p><a href="https://www.wrapbook.com/" target="_blank">Wrapbook,</a> which is seeking to be the leading payroll processing platform for the entertainment industry, announced Tuesday it has raised $3.6 million in seed funding. <a href="https://www.equal.vc/approach/" target="_blank">Equal Ventures</a> led the round with participation from Uncork Capital and 4S Bay Partners.</p><p>"Wrapbook is the easiest way for employers to compliantly pay employees for a week of work," Wrapbook co-founder and CEO Ali Javid said in a written statement. "We are here to help employers and employees be paperless to assist with COVID-19 and be compliant [with] AB5 in entertainment and across project based industries."</p><p>The company previously raised from One Planet Ops and NYU Innovation Venture Fund in March on a SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) at a $5.5 million valuation that converted during this seed round, according to Pitchbook.</p>
Venture-backed NEXT Trucking has laid off nearly 20 percent of its workforce as trade tensions have put pressure on the Southern California ports where it is concentrated.
The company had been on a fast track for growth as it sought to bring a sleek tech-sensibility to the grimier port logistics industry. Layoffs of 65 of its 300 workers will take effect on March 17, according to a document filed with state's Employment Development Department.
- transportation - dot.LA ›
- Next Trucking Lays Off 20 Percent of Workforce - dot.LA ›
- Here's How Bird Laid Off 406 People in Two Minutes - dot.LA ›