Peloton prices IPO at $29 per share

Exercise bike and treadmill company Peloton priced its initial public offering this evening at $29 per share. As part of the IPO, Peloton is offering 40 million Class A common stock to the public.

Peloton was expected to price its IPO between $26 to $29 per share, so this falls on the higher end. With Peloton selling 40 million Class A shares, it is looking to raise $1.16 billion with a valuation of more than $8 billion.

Peloton filed to go public back in August, reporting $915 million in total revenue for the year ending June 30, 2019. That was an increase of 110% from the fiscal year prior. Prior to this upcoming IPO, Peloton had raised $994 million at a private market valuation of $4.15 billion.

Shares of “PTON” will start trading tomorrow on the Nasdaq.

JUMP, Lime, Scoot and Spin receive permits to operate scooters in SF

Electric scooter providers JUMP, Lime, Scoot and Spin have just been granted permits to operate their respective services in San Francisco beginning October 15, 2019 *. This is part of the city’s longer-term permitting program for electric scooters.

Each scooter provider will initially be able to deploy 1,000 scooters, with the potential to deploy up to 2,500. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says this should double the number of service areas covered.

As part of the program, the SFMTA is requiring all scooters to be lock-to and each company said they will use W-2 workers, both full-time and part-time, for operations.

“We look forward to honoring the commitments we feel are imperative to creating a strong partnership, including hiring locally, investing in the community, and ensuring our transportation services are equitably spread throughout the city,” Spin wrote in a blog post.

In total, 11 operators applied for permits. The SFMTA scored them across device standards and safety, pricing, operations, plan for safe riding and parking, experience and qualifications and more.

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Skip, which was previously granted the rights to operate shared scooters in San Francisco, did not receive a permit this time around.

“As set forth in the permit application, Evaluation Scoresheet and Policy Directive, applicants were required to receive an average score of 2 or greater for each of the eight sections in the application, or would be disqualified from further evaluation,” the SFMTA wrote in its rejection letter to Skip. “Staff thoroughly reviewed all 11 applications received, including Skip Transport, Inc.’s. Skip Transport, Inc.’s permit application is denied because it received an average score below the required threshold of 2 on Section A of the application, and therefore was disqualified from further evaluation.”

In a statement to TechCrunch, Skip said, “We respect SFMTA’s process and feedback. We look forward to addressing areas of improvement with SFMTA per their review process and timeline. We’re proud to have helped make the first scooter sharing pilot in San Francisco a success and to see the program expanding in the coming year.”

Notably, Lyft was also denied a permit to operate shared electric scooters. While Lyft scored quite well overall, the SFMTA said it determined four was the right number of operators.

*An earlier version of this story said 2020. My bad.

Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden to talk scooters, unit economics and multibillion-dollar valuation

Travis VanderZanden is perhaps one of the best known electric scooter startup founders in the business. Although his business, Bird, competes with the likes of Uber and Lyft these days, VanderZanden has been all-in on micromobility since 2017, when Bird deployed its first batch of scooters on the streets of Santa Monica.

Since then, the scooter industry has taken off with many new entrants to the space, and Bird hitting a ~$2 billion valuation. The rise of electric scooters is often compared to the rise of ride-hailing, but there are some key differences at play. For one, cities are in charge of regulation — not the states. And since these are much smaller vehicles, cities can easily pick them up and throw them in the back of a truck if they become a nuisance. Meanwhile, as part of city regulation, data-sharing is not optional — it’s a requirement in order for companies to receive permission to deploy scooters on city streets.

Bird has also made waves with its alternative business models. In addition to running a shared electric scooter business, Bird now sells scooters direct-to-consumers, operates a monthly rental program and enables entrepreneurs to run their own shared scooter businesses through Bird Platform. Most recently, Bird unveiled a two-seater electric vehicle to become more than just a kick scooter company.

This has all happened under the leadership of VanderZanden. Before VanderZanden started Bird, he spent time at both Uber and Lyft. At Uber, VanderZanden was VP of growth and was COO at Lyft, which had acquired his on-demand car wash business, Cherry, in 2013.

At TechCrunch Disrupt SF, I’ll be chatting with VanderZanden about the rise of micromobility, the challenges that come with running a business in the space and what lies ahead for Bird.

If you still need a ticket, be sure to snag one here.

Lyft revamps app to focus on multimodal transportation

Lyft is rolling out an update that makes it possible to access bikes, scooters, transit and car rentals within the app. Uber, however, did something similar more than one year ago. With Lyft’s update, customers can more easily see all of the transportation modes available to them.

“At Lyft, we’re working toward a future where cities are centered around people, not cars,” Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer said in a statement. “The changes we’re making today will unlock better transportation solutions — whether that’s a trip on public transit, a bike ride or a shared Lyft — for people in cities around the country. ”

Lyft began testing car rentals in San Francisco earlier this year. As part of the offering, Lyft will give renters a free ride to and from the car rental location. Currently, there are just three car rental locations in California, including one in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. Uber launched a rental program in 2018, but it shut down after just seven months.

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While app updates are nice and all, I’d be remiss not to mention California gig worker bill AB-5, which Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law. The bill effectively makes it harder for the likes of Lyft and Uber to classify their drivers as independent contractors.

Before the bill even passed, Lyft and Uber announced they were both putting $30 million toward a 2020 campaign initiative that would enable them to continue classifying their drivers as independent contractors.

The cynical view on Lyft’s update is that it’s looking to move people away from its ride-hail business, which is now under more threat than it has been in the past, and into other modes of transportation that rely less on working humans. A more neutral take is that this update is simply a way for Lyft to increase profits and better compete against Uber.

Hear about being ethical in tech with Ellen Pao, Tracy Chou and Harry Glaser

Running an ethical tech company is underrated. From fostering a diverse and inclusive company to examining your technology’s impact on society, it all comes down to ethics.

Ellen Pao, who previously served as CEO at Reddit and sued her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination, has made it her life’s work to foster diversity, inclusion and ethics in the tech industry.

The same goes for Tracy Chou, who first hit the spotlight when she provoked tech companies to release their data around employee demographics by setting up a database to track such information in 2013. Now, Chou, who is also a co-founder at Project Include, is focused on tackling the problem of online abuse and harassment at her startup, Block Party.

Through Chou and Pao’s work at Project Include, the two have worked with a number of startups that wish to foster diversity and inclusion at their own startups. Sisense, a business intelligence platform led by Harry Glaser, is one of those startups.

While the diversity and inclusion movement has made some gains in the last few years, it has still suffered severe setbacks. On one hand, tech employees are recognizing their immense power when they speak up and organize. On the other hand, those accused of sexual harassment and misconduct are too often facing too few consequences. Meanwhile, people of color and women still receive too little venture funding, and tech companies are inching along at a glacial pace toward diverse representation and inclusion.

Tech workers at Salesforce, Microsoft and Amazon have spoken out against their employers for having contracts with military and government agencies, and Twitter and Facebook continue to thrive as platforms where harassment and abuse is prevalent. Meanwhile, gig economy workers for the likes of Instacart, DoorDash, Uber and Lyft have also organized around low wages, wage theft and lack of benefits.

Clearly, there’s still a lot of work to be done. At TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, you’ll hear from Pao, Chou and Glaser about how they grapple with ethics, and how focusing on diversity can positively impact a company’s bottom line.

Still need tickets? Head over here.

Zoox CEO Aicha Evans to talk self-driving cars at Disrupt SF 2019

Aicha Evans, CEO of self-driving startup Zoox, is joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco in just two short weeks.

Evans came on board to Zoox earlier this year following the unexpected firing of co-founder and former CEO Tim Kentley-Klay in August. At the time of the announcement, Zoox co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson told TechCrunch he and the board of directors believed “that to take the company through the next stage and to scale the company, we thought finding someone with executive and operational experience would be helpful to the company.”

That’s where Evans came in. Before joining Zoox, Evans served as Intel’s chief strategy officer. Evans spent 12 years at Intel, where she was responsible for leading the company’s transition from a PC-centric business to a data-centric one. She also served as a general manager in the communication and devices group. Her first day at Zoox was February 26.

In California, Zoox has a permit to participate in the state’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot, which means Zoox can transport passengers with a safety driver behind the wheel, but not charge those passengers.

Zoox’s plan is to publicly deploy autonomous vehicles by 2020 in the form of its own ride-hailing service. The cars themselves will be all-electric and fully autonomous.

Evans joins other notable speakers including Will Smith and Ang Lee, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, Snap’s Evan Spiegel, and Marc Benioff. You can check out the agenda here.

Hear more about Zoox’s plan from the CEO herself at Disrupt SF. You can snag your tickets here.

Lime is shutting down car rental service, LimePod

Transportation startup Lime is shutting down LimePod, its car-sharing service that it launched last November in Seattle. Lime plans to start removing its vehicles from the streets of Seattle next month and will completely shut down the service by the end of the year. The news was first reported by GeekWire.

Lime has operated a pilot program in Seattle since last year and is set to conclude at the end of the year. Throughout the program, more than 18,000 people took more than 200,000 trips in LimePods, according to a Lime spokesperson. At launch, the plan was to explore carsharing for short distances and eventually replace its vehicles with an all-electric fleet. Lime, however, is not looking to make LimePods a permanent fixture of the city at this point.

“While the program was a great learning experience,  at our core, we are an electric mobility company first,” Lime wrote in an email to LimePod users. “We are committed — like Seattle is —  to sustainability, lower carbon emissions, and to make cities more livable, all of which require reduced car travel.”

Additionally, Lime said it was not able to find the right partner for its LimePod’s electric fleet, which led to the decision to end the program at the end of the pilot period.

“We deeply appreciate our partnership with the Seattle community and the opportunity to collaborate on our LimePod Pilot Program,” a Lime spokesperson told TechCrunch. “The experience is a testament to the city’s forward-looking position on the future of transportation and the necessity of sustainable options for citizens. We are similarly committed to that goal and the information gained during our pilot will support the work necessary should we decide to expand and improve this service with an all-electric fleet in the future.”

Lime, which got its beginnings as a bike-share company, has deployed its scooters and bikes in more than 100 cities in the U.S. and more than 20 international cities. Recently, Lime hit 100 million rides across its micromobility vehicles. Clearly, Lime sees more a future with shared bikes and scooters than it does with cars.

Earlier this year, Lime raised a $310 million Series D round led by Bain Capital Ventures and others. That round valued the startup at $2.4 billion.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signs gig worker bill AB5 into law

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law gig worker protections bill AB5. This comes shortly after AB5 passed in the California State Assembly and Senate.

“Today, we are disrupting the status quo and taking a bold step forward to rebuild our middle class and reshape the future of workers as we know it,” bill author and Assemblyperson Lorena Gonzalez said in a statement. “As one of the strongest economies in the world, California is now setting the global standard for worker protections for other states and countries to follow.”

AB5 will help to ensure gig economy workers are entitled to minimum wage, workers’ compensation and other benefits by requiring employers to apply the ABC test. The bill, first introduced in December 2018, aims to codify the ruling established in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v Superior Court of Los Angeles. In that case, the court applied the ABC test and decided Dynamex wrongfully classified its workers as independent contractors.

According to the ABC test, in order for a hiring entity to legally classify a worker as an independent contractor, it must prove the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity, performs work outside the scope of the entity’s business and is regularly engaged in an “independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.”

Last week, Uber made it clear it plans to do whatever it takes to keep its drivers independent contractors.

“We will continue to advocate for a compromise agreement,” Uber Chief Legal Officer Tony West said on a press call last week.

As Uber outlined last month, the company is pushing for a framework that would establish a guaranteed earnings minimum while on a trip, offer portable benefits and enable drivers to “have a collective voice.”

He went on to say that Uber is continuing to explore several legal and political options to lay the groundwork for a statewide ballot initiative in 2020. Uber and Lyft announced a $60 million joint initiative last month, and now, West is saying Uber is open to investing even more money in that committee account.

“This is not our first choice,” West said. “At the same time, we need to make sure we are exploring all options and all alternatives to put forward a framework that works for the 21st-century economy and we believe we have a framework that does that.”

Despite opposition from Uber and other gig economy companies, the law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Stephen Curry Brings SC30 Inc. to Disrupt SF

Startup founders are hard-pressed to find the right investors — not only to fund their businesses but to help their businesses grow. These days, investors represent a variety of backgrounds and industries — traditional venture capital, Hollywood even the NBA.

When Golden State Warriors point guard and two-time MVP Stephen Curry isn’t playing basketball, he’s working with his business partner and former college basketball teammate Bryant Barr. Together, Barr and Curry run SC30 Inc, which manages Curry’s investment, media, philanthropy and brand partnership interests.

SC30 Inc.’s third investment came in December 2018, when the fund participated in hotel-booking platform SnapTravel’s $21.2 million Series A round.

Curry’s foray into the tech ecosystem started when he co-founded marketing automation platform Slyce. Since then, Stephen has taken a more structured approach to investing through SC30 Inc., where the portfolio has grown to eight investments in companies such as TSM and Palm.

It’s worth noting Curry is not the only baller in the tech investment game. There are his former teammates Andre Igoudala, an investor in Lime and board member of Jumia, and Kevin Durant, an investor in a number of startups through his fund Thirty Five Ventures.

At Disrupt SF 2019, listen as the three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry and SC30 Inc. President Bryant Barr discuss SC30 Inc. Investments, featuring SnapTravel CEO Hussein Fazal as he shares how he determined SC30 Inc. would make a good strategic investor. We’ll also talk to Curry about his general investment strategy and overall ambitions in tech.

Disrupt SF runs October 2 – 4 at the Moscone Center in the heart of San Francisco. Passes are available here.

Lyft faces lawsuit that alleges kidnapping at gunpoint and rape

Lyft is facing another lawsuit pertaining to its handling of alleged sexual assaults at the hands of drivers on its platform. In a suit filed today in the San Franciso Superior Court, Alison Turkos accuses Lyft of eleven counts, including general negligence, vicarious liability for assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault, and sexual battery, and breach of contract.

The lawsuit describes how the plaintiff’s Lyft driver allegedly kidnapped her at gunpoint and took her across state lines, where the driver and other men took turns raping her, the lawsuits states.

“Alison remembers the men cheering and high fiving each other as they continued to rape her,” the lawsuit alleges. “Their attack was so brutal that the next day Alison experienced severe vaginal pain and bleeding. Her body was so exhausted from the attack and resulting trauma that Alison could not even leave her bed or raise her arms.”

When the plaintiff reported it to Lyft, the lawsuit alleges Lyft simply apologized for “inconvenience” and gave her a partial refund for the ride. The plaintiff says she reported the crime to the police, who performed a rape kit that found evidence of semen from at least two men on the clothing she wore that night.

The New York Police Department then transferred the case to the FBI, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit states the FBI is now investigating the incident as a human trafficking case. However, Lyft “has been wholly uncooperative” throughout the NYPD and FBI’s investigation, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit seeks special damages, including economic restitution to cover past and future hospital expenses, as well as expenses relating to her profession and loss of earning capacity.

“By failing to take reasonable steps to confront the problem of multiple rapes and sexual assaults of LYFT passengers by LYFT drivers, LYFT has acted in conscious disregard of the safety of its passengers,” the lawsuit alleges.

This suit comes just weeks after fourteen women filed suit against Lyft alleging the company has not addressed complaints pertaining to sexual assault. Both suits recommended Lyft adopt new policies, such as the addition of a surveillance camera to the app that can record audio and video of all rides.

Meanwhile, Lyft recently announced new safety features, including trip check-ins if a ride seems to be taking longer than it should and in-app 911 calling.

“We’re committed to playing a significant role in connecting our communities with transportation, and we understand the responsibilities that come along with that,” Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer wrote in a blog post. “We’ve known since the beginning that as part of our mission, we must heavily invest in safety. We continue to welcome accountability and partnership to best protect our rider and driver community.”

It’s no coincidence that Lyft announced these safety features in light of the lawsuit on behalf of those fourteen women. The company had previously taken some steps to address safety, but at a much slower pace than competitor Uber, which has also faced a number of sexual assault and abuse lawsuits. Between 2014-2018, CNN found 103 Uber drivers who had been accused of sexual assault or abuse of passengers.

Over the years, both companies have taken steps to ramp up their respective safety procedures. In April, Uber launched a campus safety initiative while Lyft implemented continuous background checks and enhanced its identity verification process for drivers. Uber, however, implemented continuous background checks about a full year before Lyft, and added an in-app 911 calling feature more than a year before Lyft.

“We don’t take lightly any instances where someone’s safety is compromised, especially in the rideshare industry, including the allegations of assault in the news last week,” Zimmer said earlier this month in that same blog post. “The reality is that certain populations carry a disproportionate burden simply trying to get to work or back home after a night out — in the U.S., one in six women will face some form of sexual violence in their lives. The onus is on all of us to learn from any incident, whether it occurs on our platform or not, and then work to help prevent them.”

TechCrunch is awaiting comment from Lyft regarding this lawsuit. We’ll update this story if we hear back.