When Joanna McFarland co-founded HopSkipDrive in 2014, she thought she had discovered the perfect low-risk business model – contracting with school districts to provide safe and reliable ridesharing for students.

"I always said this is the most recession-proof business there is because it's schools and schools don't close," McFarland recalls. "But apparently it's not pandemic proof."

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An appeals court granted Uber and Lyft a reprieve on Thursday, hours before the California rideshare giants were poised to make good on their threats to suspend operations in their home state.

The move would have left hundreds of thousands of drivers in one of their largest markets without employment during a global pandemic and passengers stranded. Alternative ridesharing operations are ready to roll, but before we get to that here's a run down of what happened.

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The L.A. tech and startup community was active as ever this week. dot.LA chief host and correspondent Kelly O'Grady takes you through the key points of the top five headlines:

  • Green Rush: The Incredible Rise and Fall of L.A.'s Genius Fund
  • How the WeChat Ban Could Ripple Through California Tech
  • Ridesharing App HopSkipDrive Announces Layoffs
  • Watertower Ventures Closes $50M Second Fund
  • With $5.25M Boost, Valence Aims to Redefine How Black Professionals Connect
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