Watch TC Session: Enterprise livestream right here

 

TechCrunch is live from San Francisco’s YBCA’s Blue Shield of California Theater where we’re hosting our first event dedicated to the enterprise. Throughout the day, attendees and viewers can expect to hear from industry experts and partake in discussions about the potential of new technologies like quantum computing and AI, how to deal with the onslaught of security threats, investing in early-stage startups and plenty more

We’ll be joined by some of the biggest names and the smartest and most prescient people in the industry, including Bill McDermott at SAP, Scott Farquhar at Atlassian, Julie Larson-Green at Qualtrics, Wendy Nather at Duo Security, Aaron Levie at Box and Andrew Ng at Landing AI.

Our agenda showcases some of the powerhouses in the space, but also plenty of smaller teams that are building and debunking fundamental technologies in the industry. We still have a few tricks up our sleeves and will be adding some new names to the agenda over the next month, so keep your eyes open.

AGENDA

Investing with an Eye to the Future
Jason Green (Emergence Capital), Maha Ibrahim (Canaan Partners) and Rebecca Lynn (Canvas Ventures)
9:35 AM – 10:00 AM

In an ever-changing technological landscape, it’s not easy for VCs to know what’s coming next and how to place their bets. Yet, it’s the job of investors to peer around the corner and find the next big thing, whether that’s in AI, serverless, blockchain, edge computing or other emerging technologies. Our panel will look at the challenges of enterprise investing, what they look for in enterprise startups and how they decide where to put their money.


Talking Shop
Scott Farquhar (Atlassian)
10:00 AM – 10:20 AM

With tools like Jira, Bitbucket and Confluence, few companies influence how developers work as much as Atlassian. The company’s co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar will join us to talk about growing his company, how it is bringing its tools to enterprises and what the future of software development in and for the enterprise will look like.


Q&A with Investors 
10:10 AM – 10:40 AM

Your chance to ask questions of some of the greatest investors in enterprise.


Innovation Break: Deliver Innovation to the Enterprise
Monty Gray (Okta), DJ Paoni (
SAP), Sanjay Poonen (VMware) and Shruti Tournatory (Sapphire Ventures)
10:20 AM – 10:40 AM

For startups, the appeal of enterprise clients is not surprising — signing even one or two customers can make an entire business, and it can take just a few hundred to build a $1 billion unicorn company. But while corporate counterparts increasingly look to the startup community for partnership opportunities, making the jump to enterprise sales is far more complicated than scaling up the strategy startups already use to sell to SMBs or consumers. Hear from leaders who have experienced successes and pitfalls through the process as they address how startups can adapt their strategy with the needs of the enterprise in mind. Sponsored by SAP.


Apple in the Enterprise

Susan Prescott (Apple)

10:40 AM – 11:00 AM

Apple’s Susan Prescott has been at the company since the early days of the iPhone, and she has seen the company make a strong push into the enterprise, whether through tooling or via strategic partnerships with companies like IBM, SAP and Cisco.


Box’s Enterprise Journey
Aaron Levie (Box)
11:15 AM – 11:35 AM

Box started life as a consumer file-storage company and transformed early on into a successful enterprise SaaS company, focused on content management in the cloud. Levie will talk about what it’s like to travel the entire startup journey — and what the future holds for data platforms.


Bringing the Cloud to the Enterprise
Mark Russinovich (Microsoft) 

11:35 AM – 12:00 PM

Cloud computing may now seem like the default, but that’s far from true for most enterprises, which often still have tons of legacy software that runs in their own data centers. What does it mean to be all-in on the cloud, which is what Capital One recently accomplished. We’ll talk about how companies can make the move to the cloud easier, what not to do and how to develop a cloud strategy with an eye to the future.


Keeping the Enterprise Secure
Martin Casado (Andreessen Horowitz), Emily Heath (United Airlines), and Wendy Nather (Duo Security)
1:00 PM – 1:25 PM

Enterprises face a litany of threats from both inside and outside the firewall. Now more than ever, companies — especially startups — have to put security first. From preventing data from leaking to keeping bad actors out of your network, enterprises have it tough. How can you secure the enterprise without slowing growth? We’ll discuss the role of a modern CSO and how to move fast… without breaking things.


Keeping an Enterprise Behemoth on Course
Bill McDermott (SAP)

1:25 PM – 1:45 PM

With over $166 billion is market cap, Germany-based SAP is one of the most valuable tech companies in the world today. Bill McDermott took the leadership in 2014, becoming the first American to hold this position. Since then, he has quickly grown the company, in part thanks to a number of $1 billion-plus acquisitions. We’ll talk to him about his approach to these acquisitions, his strategy for growing the company in a quickly changing market and the state of enterprise software in general.


How Kubernetes Changed Everything
Brendan Burns (Microsoft), Tim Hockin (Google Cloud), Craig McLuckie (VMware)
and Aparna Sinha (Google)
1:45 PM – 2:15 PM

You can’t go to an enterprise conference and not talk about Kubernetes, the incredibly popular open-source container orchestration project that was incubated at Google. For this panel, we brought together three of the founding members of the Kubernetes team and the current director of product management for the project at Google to talk about the past, present and future of the project and how it has changed how enterprises think about moving to the cloud and developing software.


Innovation Break: The Future of Data in an Evolving Landscape
Alisa Bergman (Adobe Systems), Jai Das (Sapphire Ventures), Sanjay Kumar (Geospatial Media) moderated by: Nikki Helmer (SAP)

2:15 PM – 2:35 PM

Companies have historically competed by having data in their toolbox, and gleaning insights to make key business decisions. However, increased regulatory and societal scrutiny is requiring companies to rethink this approach. In this session, we explore the challenges and opportunities that businesses will experience as these conversations evolve. Sponsored by SAP.


AI Stakes its Place in the Enterprise
Marco Casalaina (Salesforce)
, Jocelyn Goldfein (Zetta Venture Partners), and Bindu Reddy (Reality Engines)

2:35 PM – 3:00 PM

AI is becoming table stakes for enterprise software as companies increasingly build AI into their tools to help process data faster or make more efficient use of resources. Our panel will talk about the growing role of AI in enterprise for companies big and small.


Q&A with Founders
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Your chance to ask questions of some of the greatest startup minds in enterprise technology.


The Trials and Tribulations of Experience Management
Amit Ahuja (Adobe), Julie Larson-Green (Qualtrics), Peter Reinhardt (Segment)
3:15 PM – 3:40 PM

As companies gather more data about their customers, it should theoretically improve the customer experience, buy myriad challenges face companies as they try to pull together information from a variety of vendors across disparate systems, both in the cloud and on prem. How do you pull together a coherent picture of your customers, while respecting their privacy and overcoming the technical challenges? We’ll ask a team of experts to find out.


Innovation Break: Identifying Overhyped Technology Trends
James Allworth (
Cloudflare), George Mathew (Kespry) and Max Wessel (SAP)
3:40 PM – 4:00 PM

For innovation-focused businesses, deciding which technology trends are worth immediate investment, which trends are worth keeping on the radar and which are simply buzzworthy can be a challenging gray area to navigate and may ultimately make or break the future of a business. Hear from these innovation juggernauts as they provide their divergent perspectives on today’s hottest trends, including Blockchain, 5G, AI, VR and more. Sponsored by SAP.


Fireside Chat
Andrew Ng (Landing AI)
4:00 PM – 4:20 PM

Few technologists have been more central to the development of AI in the enterprise than Andrew Ng. With Landing AI and the backing of many top venture firms, Ng has the foundation to develop and launch the AI companies he thinks will be winners. We will talk about where Ng expects to see AI’s biggest impacts across the enterprise.


The Quantum Enterprise
Jim Clarke (Intel), Jay Gambetta (IBM)
and Krysta Svore (Microsoft)
4:20 PM – 4:45 PM

While we’re still a few years away from having quantum computers that will fulfill the full promise of this technology, many companies are already starting to experiment with what’s available today. We’ll talk about what startups and enterprises should know about quantum computing today to prepare for tomorrow.


Overcoming the Data Glut
Benoit Dageville (Snowflake), Ali Ghodsi (Databricks) and Murli Thirumale (Portworx)
4:45 PM – 5:10 PM

There is certainly no shortage of data in the enterprise these days. The question is how do you process it and put it in shape to understand it and make better decisions? Our panel will discuss the challenges of data management and visualization in a shifting technological landscape where the term “big data” doesn’t begin to do the growing volume justice.


Porsche Taycan vs Tesla Model S: Spec for spec, price for price

The Porsche Taycan is a missile aimed straight at Tesla. The German electric sedan packs everything needed to give the Model S its first real fight. The Porsche is just as fast, is sleeker thanks to a lower drag coefficient, and packs several technical goodies missing from Tesla’s sedan. However, the Tesla Model S has a longer range is much less expensive.

Specs alone cannot properly illustrate a vehicle’s worth but they’re a good starting point. What follows are several key areas comparing the two trim levels of the Porsche Taycan against the two versions of the Model S currently available.

The chart here does not list self-driving features or capabilities, a key feature to the Tesla Model S. As of writing Porsche has yet to revel any self-driving capabilities of the Taycan besides the standard driver assistance features found on all Porsche vehicles.

Please note, the EPA has yet to release official range numbers for the Porsche Taycan. Currently, Porsche is only noting that the new European rating system, (WLTP), rates the sedan with the max range of 279 miles. The EPA says the Model S Long Range has a range of 370 miles.

Acer announces a $14,000 gaming chair because why not

This isn’t a chair. This is a rig. It’s a throne. It’s gaming monster. The Acer Predator Thronos Air Gaming Chair is a $13,999 device has everything including a massage function.

The Predator Thronos Air is a massive steel structure that encases gamers in an immersive experience. There are three monitor mounts, an adjustable keyboard and mouse tray, a footrest and a complex cable management system to hide all wires connecting everything together. If that’s not enough, Acer has several available accessories like a cup holder, cameras and hubs.

The only thing missing are the gaming computer, monitors, keyboards, and, well, you.

This is Acer’s second gaming chair and this one is half the price of the original. Announced at IFA 2018, the $30,000 Predator Thrones Gaming Chair packs even more goodies including a powered recline mode to tilt the entire rig 140 degrees. This version requires a ground floor location and a floor that can support 715 pounds.

These sort of gaming rigs have been available for several years and provide a unique vantage point for gamers and flight sim operators. Many can be had for less than these Acer examples but few have a more imposing name than Thronos.

predator

The Pad & Quill Gladstone Briefcase offers plenty of storage in a beautiful design

Pad & Quill makes some of the most handsome leather goods for the modern world, and its Gladstone Leather Briefcase is no different. This bag harkens back to the day of gentlemen with newspapers tucked under their arms and an Ascot on their head. This bag has an air of permanence and longevity, and yet it’s designed for people with modern needs.

The bag features a smooth, hinged top that spreads to reveal a large opening. The bag doesn’t collapse inward when it’s empty or open; it retains its shape thanks to its sturdy structure, making it easy to sort through the contents. The inside is lined with a tough herringbone fabric that seems like it will hold up well.

For me, the bag is heavy. It weighs more than four pounds, and that’s a lot for an empty bag. But with the weight comes confidence that it’s constructed out of durable leather.

[gallery ids="1873155,1873160,1873159,1873158,1873157,1873154,1873162"]

I’ve always been a big fan of Pad & Quill’s leather goods. I reviewed one of the company’s roll-top messenger bags last year and still use it. The leather has aged nicely, with light scrapes and scuffs adding to the character.

This bag has a traditional look thanks to the contrasting stitching. It might not be for everyone. It looks Western more than most modern leather goods. For me, I dig it, as the stitches convey a sense of confidence in the quality. It looks the part.

Pad & Quill’s Gladstone bag has all the right organizational pockets. There’s a small exterior pocket on one side and a large, open pocket on the opposing side. Inside there’s a padded laptop pocket, a zippered pocket and several small spots, including a few spots for pens and pencils. This amount of organization is rare in most leather bags. I’ve found most leather bags offer just a few compartments and instead look to the user to bring their own small bags to hold cables, cameras and the like.

This is a good-size bag and able to easily hold a full-size laptop, DSLR and a lens or two. It’s thicker than a water bottle and has ample room to hold everything a person needs for a day.

The top is secured with a looping strap that feels a bit superficial. The hinges are tough enough to keep the top closed and the strap is a bit tough to secure. Maybe I need to use the bag a bit more. Over the couple of weeks I carried this bag, I never used this strap nor felt like the top would accidentally open without it. Maybe this strap should be detachable?

The Gladstone costs $500 (though it’s on sale for $420 at time of publication) and it feels like it should last. It’s a lovely leather bag that uses a proven hinged opening. The leather is thick and durable. For me, that’s a winning combination.

Hear THX’s new Deep Note right here

The THX Deep Note is changing and it can be heard here first. The iconic audio track has long proceeded movies certified by THX and features the now familiar crescendo that showcases the movie’s audio capability. This time around THX built the intro to feature 4k video as much as audio as it will be available to theaters that are THX Certified Cinema partners.

To make the trailer immersive online, THX utilized its THX Spatial Audio post-production mixing tools that enables online users to experience the multidimensional sound using headphones. It’s special. Don some headphones and turn up your volume before pressing play. THX says in a press release it “applied advanced objects and ambisonics-based engineering, essentially spherical harmonics, for full-sphere audio.” I’m not sure what that means, but the trailer sounds great.

The original THX Deep Note debuted at the premiere of Return of the Jedi in Los Angeles.

“Our aim with this piece is to extend the legacy that inspired us as young people in the movie theater,” said Ben Rosenblatt in a released statement, the trailer’s executive producer and co-founder of American Meme. “As a kid, I was blown away by the THX Deep Note trailer and would go back to the movie theater again and again just to see it, which inspired me to pursue the career I have in Hollywood today. We hope we’ve taken this a step beyond the originals to open up young minds and inspire an entirely new generation.”

WP Standard’s Weekender leather duffel is built for life

Have you heard? It’s Bag Week! It’s the most wonderful week of the year at TechCrunch. Just in time for back to school, we’re bringing you reviews of bags of all varieties: from backpacks to rollers to messengers to fanny packs.

WP Standard makes exceptional leather goods, and the company’s new leather duffel is no different. It’s fantastic and my go-to travel bag. There are downsides — it’s heavy and the shoulder strap slips on my boney shoulders — but the good outweighs the bad.

I travel a lot. Airplanes, bikes, cars and pretty much everything but trains — because I live in the Midwest and not because I don’t like trains. A few years back I got a lovely, low-cost leather duffel from Amazon and started using it instead of a roller bag. It’s fun and forces me to pack smarter. Besides, the duffel always fits in overhead spaces, in taxi cabs and is easier to handle on a busy subway.

But you don’t care about my life. You’re here for this bag.

WP Standard built the Weekender duffel for people like me. It’s a great size and I have no issue packing away a bunch of shirts, a few pairs of pants and an extra pair of shoes. This isn’t a bag built to hold suits, but rather a weekend’s worth of clothes — hence the name.

The full-grain leather is thick and tough and has so far held up nicely to the rigors of travel. There are scratches and scuffs, but those are souvenirs and badges of honor. It has ridden in the back of my pickup in downpours and down dusty lanes. It has survived several transatlantic flights and still looks like it has decades of life to give.

In the end, this isn’t a Patagonia or The North Face duffel constructed out of space-age fabric designed to survive the tallest peaks or the deepest valleys. WP Standard doesn’t play that game. This company makes goods out of full-grain leather that are naturally tough and will age gracefully.

The bag is constructed in a way to give the leather the best chance at survival. The hand straps wrap the bag to give it extra strength. The bottom is constructed out of two layers of stiff leather. The zipper is beefy. The shoulder strap is tough and hasn’t shown any sign of stretching.

A few years ago I reviewed WP Standard’s messenger bag. The Weekender duffel is just as lovely, but these two bags share the same downside: The shoulder strap’s pad is too slippery. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing a t-shirt, jacket or parka, the shoulder strap doesn’t stay in place. To compensate, I often forgo using the pad and use the strap itself, which is thinner and can be uncomfortable after several minutes. To me, this isn’t a deal killer, but you, dear reader, should know about this downside.

The WP Standard Weekender costs $375. It’s a great price considering the thickness of the leather and quality of construction. Similar bags can be had from Wills, Shinola or Saddleback, but for nearly twice the price. Pad & Quill makes quality leather goods and sells a leather duffel that’s similar to the Weekend for $545; it’s also worth a consideration.

Hear Hans Vestberg talk about the 5G opportunity at Disrupt SF 2019

The promise of 5G is staggering. With its ultra-high bandwidth and low latency, it has the potential to alter how consumers interact with technology. However, questions remain around its deployment, use cases, and marketing.

We’re excited to have Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg sit down for a fireside chat at Disrupt SF to talk about the telecom’s 5G efforts. Vestberg took over Verizon on the eve of 5G.

Here’s the thing: Hans Vestberg is my boss. (Technically, he’s my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss.) TechCrunch is owned by Verizon, operating under the Verizon Media Group, yet we remain editorially independent. Verizon doesn’t tell us what to write or not to write. Likewise, nothing is off-limits for this interview.

Verizon and other telecoms began rolling out the next-generation network to their subscribers this year. And the company has announced plans to launch 5G in at least 30 U.S. cities by the end of this year even though there are limited hardware options and few marketable use cases.

How will consumers use 5G? When should startups begin building for 5G? How will Verizon educate consumers about real 5G versus fake 5G? We have questions, and we hope Vestberg has answers.

Vestberg became CEO of Verizon in August 2018, succeeding Lowell McAdam. Vestberg joined Verizon in 2017 as its CTO and VP of Network and Technology. Previously, he worked at Ericsson for 25 years, six of which he spent as CEO until he was ousted in 2016 following poor financial results.

Under McAdam, Verizon looked to media companies for additional channels for growth, notably acquiring Aol and Yahoo and merging the two into an ad-serving giant called Oath. Earlier this year Oath was renamed Verizon Media. Its future remains in question as rumors persist about Verizon wanting to spin out the division en masse or by dumping various brands like Huffpo or even TechCrunch.

Vestberg is joining Disrupt SF’s long list of speakers that includes other chief executives, such as Sebastian Thrun, Evan Spiegel, Rachel Haurwitz and many more. The three-day conference is shaping up to feature a fantastic speaker lineup covering all aspects of the startup world.

Tickets to the show, which runs October 2 to October 4 in SF, are available now.

The PureCam Connected Car Security System is a dashcam with extras

Thanks to a rash of YouTube videos of traffic stops, wild crashes, and wacky antics, dashcams are becoming more and more popular with drivers. But does the world need one that shoots at 1080p and beams every minute of your drive back to a central storage device and can work as a Wi-Fi hotspot?

PureGear thinks so.

Their latest camera, the PureCam Connected Car Security System, shown at CES 2019, features front and back-facing cameras and 4G LTE connected. In the unit we tested, it used T-Mobile for data transfer.

The device connects to your car’s OBD port, a diagnostics port that sends data to the camera and powers it. It has a full 1080p camera in front, a small VGA screen, and a 720p rear-facing camera. It mounts to the window via a suction cup. It also can shoot in the dark and will sense when someone is breaking into your vehicle and begin recording.

This last part is critical. Because it is always connected, the PureCam will send footage of crashes and break-ins to the cloud. In this way, you have a video record inside and outside of the car.

The system requires a data plan so you’ll have to head down to the cellphone shop to pick up a spare SIM card, but it can also record footage to the included 16GB card.

The kit costs $249.99 and includes three months of wireless data and 7GB of cloud storage for 12 months. Because it has its data provider, you can connect up to three devices to the Purecam’s hotspot.

This camera is mostly designed for peace of mind. Because the screen is relatively small and automatically dims while driving, you won’t notice the system until you need it. Because it uses the OBD port you don’t have to run cables to a cigarette lighter power port or USB port, thereby freeing things up for phones and the like. Finally, because it wakes up when your car is parked, it adds an extra layer of security.

The PureCam is surprisingly easy to install – you have to find your OBD port – but you do need a modern car and be willing to spend a bit on the data plan. While it’s not a perfect system, it’s one of the cleverest and most useful dashcams we’ve tried.

BMW 2019 i8 Review: Driving yesterday’s car of tomorrow, today

The BMW i8 is a lovely vehicle to drive even though it’s lacking. It hugs the road and commands attention. It’s thrilling in a way that few cars can achieve without speed. Sure, it’s quick, but it won’t set track records or quarter mile times. It just feels great to drive.

By the numbers, there’s little reason to buy a $164,000 BMW i8 Roadster. Want speed? Buy a Porsche 911 Turbo for $161k or Corvette ZR1 for $123k or Nissan GT-R for $112k. Supercar aesthetics? Get an Acura NSX for $157k. Want all electric? Get a Tesla Model S. All are faster and cheaper than the BMW i8.

The BMW i8 is just a stepping stone in BMW’s history. An oddball. It’s a limited edition vehicle to try out new technology. From what I can tell, BMW never positioned the i8 as a top seller or market leader. It was an engineer’s playground. I love it.

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Review

BMW released the first i8 in 2014 when the automotive scene looked different. Tesla was still a fledgling startup with only the Model S in its lineup. GM was working on the second generation Chevy Volt. Hybrid powertrains seemed to be the answer, and BMW followed suit with the dual-power in the i8.

In 2015 I took the just-launched i8 from Vegas to LA in an epic, one-day adventure that took me through the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park. It was a great way to appreciate the i8, and now that the model is on its way out, I wanted another go in the car.

This time, I had an i8 tester for a week. I took my kids to school in it, I got groceries with it, and in between rain storms, I lived my best life with the top down on in this $164,000 droptop.

It’s a lovely car and garners attention like nothing else in its price range. I noted this several years back when driving the i8 down the Vegas strip. The i8 is stunning and always draws a crowd. For my money, there isn’t a car that gets more attention.

The sheet metal flows as if a master glassmaker made it. It’s beautiful. The front end is aggressive and direct. The sides flow with precision to a back-end with some of the most unique tail lights available. The exhaust — remember, this is a hybrid — exits behind the rear window through a metal grate.

Don’t let its go-fast exterior oversell the capabilities though. The i8 is not as fast as it looks.

The i8 isn’t a quarter mile racer. This is a hybrid sports car with the heart of a grand tourer. This isn’t a car you want to take to a drag strip, but it could be fun at a track day. It’s a carver. Its low center of gravity lets it embrace the road. It’s silky through flowing corners.

Behind the wheel, the i8 is easy to love. The hybrid powertrain is smooth and free of drama. Hit the gas and go. Click the transmission to sport mode and its quick, but not fast. And that’s okay with me.

BMW got the inside of the i8 right. For a two-seat exotic, the i8 is comfortable and functional as long as the driver doesn’t need to transport golf clubs. The scissor doors open with little effort and offer enough room to enter and exit the car. The seats are supportive and comfortable. This 2019 version is equipped with BMW’s latest infotainment system which is among the best offered in the industry. There is very little storage available in the Roadster variant that ditches the back seats for the droptop storage. The trunk can hold four six-packs and nothing else.

When I drove the i8 in 2015, I stated that this was a car someone should buy only after they have their Porsche 911. That’s still true. While the i8 is easy to love, there are other vehicles available that offer more thrills and functionality.

The i8 is easy. Drivers shouldn’t fear to push the powertrain. It won’t bite, but it will provide plenty of excitement in the sport mode. The i8 doesn’t require the skill of other vehicles in its price range. If a Porsche 911 Turbo or Corvette ZR-1 is too much car, look at the i8. Or the Audi R8 — another sports car I found easy to boss around.

After a week of living with the i8, its performance was secondary to the experience. I’m convinced that the i8 doesn’t need raw speed to be enjoyable.

In 2014 BMW proclaimed the i8 to be the car of tomorrow, available today. And in some regards it was. The i8 was one of the first mass-production vehicles to pair an electric powertrain to a gas engine in the name of performance. Since then, nearly every exotic automaker is doing the same in various formats.

The i8 still feels like it’s a different type of vehicle than anything else available. It feels green. It feels healthy. But in the end, the i8 still relies on a dirty internal combustion engine while there are faster, better-equipped vehicles available that run on just electric motors.

Rumor is BMW is not making a direct successor to the i8, but the automaker will likely make an all-electric sports car. Eventually. And that would change everything. With just electric motors, a BMW coupe could offer serious speed while being more friendly to the environment. A pure electric i8 could be a game changer and a legitimate speed demon.

The 2019 i8 is a lovely vehicle and could bring serious enjoyment to the right person with its easy powertrain and stunning looks.


Video Review of BMW i8 (filmed in 2015)

The future of car ownership: Cars-as-a-service

Car shoppers now have several new options to avoid long-term debt and commitments. Automakers and startups alike are increasingly offering services that give buyers new opportunities and greater flexibility around owning and using vehicles.

Cars-as-a-Service

In the first part of this feature, we explored the different startups attempting to change car buying. But not everyone wants to buy a car. After all, a vehicle traditionally loses its value at a dramatic rate.

Some startups are attempting to reinvent car ownership rather than car buying.

Don’t buy, lease

My favorite car blog Jalopnik said it best: “Cars Sales Could Be Heading Straight Into the Toilet.” Citing a Bloomberg report, the site explains automakers may have had the worst first half for new-vehicle retail sales since 2013. Car sales are tanking, but people still need cars.

Companies like Fair are offering new types of leases combining a traditional auto financing option with modern conveniences. Even car makers are looking at different ways to move vehicles from dealer lots.

Fair was founded in 2016 by an all-star team made up of automotive, retail and banking executives including Scott Painter, former founder and CEO of TrueCar.