Uber dips toes in London waters, partners with Thames Clippers to launch ‘Uber Boat’

Uber has been in headlines often quite lately for numerous reasons! In the recent one, the San-Francisco-based ride-hailing app signed a partnership with Thames Clippers to launch boat service. 

Uber Boat by Thames Clippers

According to the partnership, Thames Clippers vessels – a 20-strong fleet of boats and 23 piers between Putney and Woolwich will be branded as “Uber Boat by Thames Clippers”. But the service will continue to be fully operated by Thames Clippers. 

This move comes as a desperate attempt to revive and diversify its business after being hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. Uber reported $ 2.9 billion (approx €2.6 billion) loss in the first quarter of 2020 and laid off thousands of employees as well. 

Tickets on Uber app

According to Thames Clippers, the partnership between the company and Uber encourages more people to travel by boat around the city and supports the ongoing expansion of the river network across London. Uber users can purchase tickets in advance through the Uber app and then use QR technology to board the boats. 

Jamie Heywood, Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Uber, said: “Londoners are looking for new ways to travel around the city, particularly when they start commuting back to work. Later this summer we will launch the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers partnership in London as a means for people to travel into the City by water, which will be fully integrated through the Uber app.

Linking river and road

It’s worth mentioning that the payment will be processed using the user’s Uber account details. On the other hand, Londoners will continue to be able to purchase tickets via the existing channels, including contactless cards and Oyster. 

Sean Collins, co-founder, and CEO, Thames Clippers, said: “In our 22nd year of operation it is key that we continue to support London and its commuters with the ease of lockdown and return to work. The new partnership sees Thames Clippers and Uber, who both pride themselves on safety, reliability, and comfort, come together. It will allow us to link the two travel modes of river and road, providing Londoners and visitors with even more options to commute, visit, explore, and enjoy our city by the river. Watch this space; the partnership will support the ongoing expansion of our network, opening up more of London to fast, reliable journeys by water.”

Wearing mask is compulsory

A couple of years back, Uber announced an island-hopping option on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. But this is the first time Uber has offered fix-scheduled commuter boats. As per Transport for London (TfL) guidance passengers will be required to wear masks, while staff will have PPE. 

Uber & London – Not a great story

To reiterate, Uber’s relationship with London’s transport authority has not been great over the few months. Back in November, Uber lost its licence due to several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk. 

The TfL also said 14,000 trips taken involved unauthorised drivers who had faked their identity on the Uber app. However, Uber appealed that decision and was later granted permission to operate for 15 months.

Thames Clippers

Thames Clippers operates a fleet of 20 vessels and now carries over 4 million passengers a year. The riverboat services stretch from Putney to Royal Arsenal Woolwich.

Main image credits: Thames Clippers

The post Uber dips toes in London waters, partners with Thames Clippers to launch ‘Uber Boat’ appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

CALA Raises $3M to Help Influencers and Creators Launch Fashion Brands From Scratch

CALA is a full-stack managed solution for people looking to launch their own fashion and clothing line. Design, sourcing, sales, and fulfillment are all handled on the platform, which is also supported by a network of experts. Newbie fashion entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed with all the moving parts and CALA makes it easy all for a monthly subscription fee and percentage of sales. CEO Andrew Wyatt shes some light about the company’s traction which includes clients like NFL player Travis Kelce, rapper A$ AP Ferg, and model Tatiana Ringsby. The company, founded in 2016, also just closed its seed round from investors that include Maersk Growth and Real Ventures.

How to Launch When The App Store Rejects You

I shared some steps I took to launching my startup (initially rejected by the Slack app store) in a blog post:


Hopefully it helps someone!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Is this ready to launch, or not?

There's a natural tension between wanting to be proud of what you release into the world vs. learning quickly.

Here are some lessons on striking the delicate balance that I wish I learned earlier.

  1. The real meaning of “minimum” and “viable”: The first two letters of MVP is commonly interpreted as fewer jobs done well. But a job goes beyond just functionality. A product is a muti-layered cake that starts with users and leads into functionality, reliability, usability and delight. By anchoring on someone else’s problem, you get two important things in return: 1) A focused feature set that still has the power to build trust and be delightful; 2) A path to shedding your own pride and biases
  2. Where do you draw the line on expectations? This is a two-sided equation. First, you talk to customers to identify what they care about most in search of your killer feature. Second, you figure out what you need to prove to make a go/no-go decision on investing beyond the MVP.
  3. Overcoming the last mile: The devil is always in the details, and there’s never a shortage of details that can trip up a product launch. It’s easy to fall into the perfectionist trap and refuse to ship until every last pixel is built to spec. Steve Jobs was notorious for this. But the beauty of software products is that you can always touch up a blemish, often before people even notice.
  4. The trap of the big release: By keeping everything you’re building hidden behind a big launch date, you run into three issues: 1. Loss of time to validate and learn; 2. Undue pressure for demand on launch day; 3. Belief that users who don’t know what you’re making will bestow significance on launch day

Hope this is helpful! You can read about more examples here.

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Harvard biomedical engineering professor to launch nasal spray that could reduce COVID-19 transmission risk

A new product developed by Harvard professor of the Pracice of Biomedical Engineering David A. Edwards is set to launch this fall, and claims to be able to provide a nearly 100 percent reduction in the particles present in exhaled air – thus reducing the potential transmission of SARS-CoV-2 both into, and out of, the lungs while breathing. That could mean a significantly reduced risk of contracting COVID-19, particularly for frontline healthcare workers when used in combination with other PPE like face masks.

The product, called FEND, and produced by Edwards’ tech startup Sensory Cloud, is set to be available from September. It’s a saline mixture (essentially a “salty mist”) that contains no drugs, and is instead directed from naturally-occurring salts that are most often found in sea water. The mist, when delivered via deep nasal inhalation in misted form, has been shown in peer-reviewed research published on Tuesday by Sensory Cloud in medical journal QRB Discovery to clean upper human airways of particles that are less than a micron in size that aren’t typically filtered out by most conventional mask designs.

The study conducted by the company is based on a small-scale sample population of 10 volunteers, including five who are above 65, and five who are below that age, so it’s worth taking that into account when considering the results. Still, cross the sample group, the researchers found that it reduced transmitted particles per liter of air by around 99 percent – with most of those particles blocked being ones that would’ve been too small to be filtered by conventional masks.

Sensory Cloud contends that FEND could provide “anyone at risk of SARS-CoV-2” with additional protection – in terms of scrubbing the airways of both inhaled particles for those who don’t yet have the virus, and also for preventing the expulsion of viral particles for those that do. Accordingly, while the company plans to launch it to get general public through its online sales platform, it is also “committing to facilitating access” of FEND once it becomes available to “needy at-risk populations” including frontline workers around the world. Sensory Cloud is also debuting a number of clinical trials this summer, the results of which should go a long way in terms of supporting their early small-scale study results, if positive.

The startup plans to price Fend, including the mister delivery device, at $ 49 for a two-pack – with individual refill bottles priced at $ 6 each afterwards, with each refill providing around 250 total uses (each use provides the cleaning benefits described above for roughly 6 hours based on the company’s research).

Startups – TechCrunch

Do I need a team or help to launch a MVP?

Hello, I am developing on my own an fitness app with a different approach to the existing ones. Currently, I'm struggling a lot because there are some decisions I need to make that I dont have experience with. I come to realise that maybe I need a team but now I need to take care a lot of my budget, so I don't know what to do.

It exists some guide or something that can help me doing my app step my step?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Zurich-based Oper secures €500K pre-seed funding to expand its digital credit launch pad across Europe

Zurich-based fintech Oper has raised €500K in a pre-seed funding round. The round was participated in by Barclays and Pitchdrive, as well as three angel investors, and will be used to scale up the startup’s solution across Europe.

Digitalisation is a huge trend currently across all sectors, with the current COVID-19 crisis has reinforced further the need for digital banking processes. Consumers expect quick turnarounds and transparency in decision-making processes, all from the comfort of their own homes. Traditional banks are competing with online ones, and all are looking for ways to accelerate adoption of cloud-based SaaS solutions to meet changing consumer needs.

Oper, founded in 2018, describes itself as a launch pad for digital credit products. Their main customers are credit providers, who they help to launch digital credit products in a matter of days, using ‘out-of-the-box’ modules. They also provide their customers with integrations with functionalities from their Fintech partner app store. 

So far, the startup has already digitized the mortgage processes of lenders in three European countries, having helped an Austrian bank to reduce their credit decision processing time from days to minutes.

The fresh funds raised will be used to build up the team from its already solid number of 20+, further the solution’s product development, and expand across more countries in Europe.


Think You Need a Technical Background to Launch a Tech Startup? Think Again

There are countless myths and misconceptions in the world of entrepreneurship, just waiting to be busted. One that still holds sway amongst many budding business leaders is that to be a founder of a tech startup, you have to actually be technical.

Surely, if you’re going to create a product or service built on software, you should know exactly what goes into making that software, right? Not necessarily. That’s not to say that developers can’t successfully become company founders, but rather, there are other more important aspects to have as a tech entrepreneur than product knowledge itself.

Let’s take a look into the reasons why it doesn’t take a technical background to build a successful product, and what tech founders should focus on instead.

StartupNation exclusive discounts and savings on Dell products and accessories: Learn more here

Succeeding with a non-technical background

While having a knowledge of how to code and build software has its many benefits when building a business, there are certain aspects that can often prevent developers-turned-founders from seeing the big picture.

For example, developers often don’t have the business skills to understand how to sell and market their product. So, you can make a seamlessly-functioning app, but if you don’t know how to get people to use it, what’s the point?

Founders from a software background also often place too much importance on product specs and features, forgetting that solving a customer pain point is the most important part. In reality, even if the product is one-of-a-kind or has an impressive technical protocol, if it’s not being regularly used by consumers, it’s not going to succeed.

While focus on the product is always important, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse of the market around you, as well as consumer demands and competitor activity.

Related: 5 Startup Tech Trends to Watch During the Pandemic

Industry-specific knowledge is vital

After 14 years working in the tech world and dealing with many startup clients, I’ve seen countless companies succeed with founders who might not have possessed a technical background, but did have years of experience and knowledge of the industry they were breaking into.

For example, I’ve seen founders from industries such as drivers’ education, construction and car sales all build successful products without the technical knowledge of coding or software development.

We can see this in action in some of the most successful tech startups in their space: Brian Chesky of AirBnB, Evan Sharp of Pinterest, and even Steve Jobs did not come from a background of coding and engineering. But, they were experts in the industry sector they were jumping into. Having this industry knowledge is vital to startup success, as viability in the market is widely considered the biggest determining factor of whether or not a company will sink or swim.

Hire when the time is right

When first starting out, many non-technical founders think they need to hire a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) straight out of the gate to help them with technical decisions. This isn’t the case, and can actually be a hindrance to company growth. Startups often do better by hiring a senior developer to head up their product development, along with other developers as needed. You can then get to know these team members as they grow with you.

If you do decide to hire externally, make sure your existing team is involved in the hiring process: they’ll be able to guide you on whether the candidates are a good fit.

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All of this is not to say that just anyone can go ahead and build a successful tech company, whatever their experience. In fact, quite the opposite: when it comes to startup success, entrepreneurial intuition and a balance of industry knowledge, product quality and attention to the changing market landscape is crucial.

And don’t forget: while a smart leader is vital to head up the business, without a dedicated and passionate team around you, you won’t cross that finish line.

The post Think You Need a Technical Background to Launch a Tech Startup? Think Again appeared first on StartupNation.


US-based micro-mobility startup LINK to launch soon in Europe: Should Bird and Lime be worried?

The coronavirus has impacted businesses in different ways. Many businesses that relied on customers walking in saw a significant drop in revenue during the lockdown. On the other hand, cloud-based companies observed a significant increase in the demand for their services. But with the lockdown now easing up, travel and micro-mobility is another section, which is expected to grow significantly. LINK is a new entrant in the micro-mobility scene that is backed up by well-known names and is looking to make a mark in the EU’s micro-mobility scene. 

LINK to launch advanced e-scooters in Europe and UK

LINK is a shared micro-mobility division of the company Superpedestrian, a Boston-based micro-mobility startup. The former was launched last month after Superpedestrian acquired a Boston-based micro-mobility startup Zagster’s fleet operations business. The company is all set to expand its services to the EU. 

While the company has not revealed the exact cities and launch dates, Silicon Canals has learned that it is currently in discussion with 15 cities across the UK, Spain, and Italy, and expects to launch in at least 10 cities by the end of 2020.

“LINK’s scooters are built for city riding, and you can feel the difference,” says Assaf Biderman, CEO of Superpedestrian. “We see LINK as part of a new era of micro-mobility. We’ve custom engineered our vehicles to increase rider safety and enhance compliance, and we’re committed to building long-term partnerships with cities.”

Rapid hiring hints at a big upcoming launch

Most new companies are going slow amid the coronavirus but this doesn’t seem to be the case with LINK. The company is making a slew of strategic hires with the aim of leveraging their expertise for a successful commercial launch of its operations across Europe. It has recruited Haya Verwoord Douidri – Bird’s former Head of Policy for Southern Europe, Benelux, and the Middle East – to join as Vice President for EMEA.

Additionally, to support its anticipated UK expansion, LINK has also hired Bird alum Francisco Madaleno as Senior Operations Manager, and JUMP alum Joanna Jacob as Senior Manager for City Partnerships and Proposals. Manuel Ortiz Lázaro, Lime’s former Director of Policy for Spain & Portugal, and micro-mobility veteran Tim Caswell are also brought onboard on advisers.

LINK; The first self-diagnostic micro-mobility scooter

Superpedestrian is well-known for developing the Copenhagen Wheel. The company has also developed a self-assessing system that is said to aid in the longevity of a vehicle. LINK’s vehicle fleet comes equipped with the same proprietary “Vehicle Intelligence System (VIS)”. This system is said to offer self-protection technology that performs real-time analysis on a vehicle and resolves potential issues in real-time, minimising risk to the rider and the vehicle.

LINK claims its vehicles are highly-resilient and can last for over 2500 rides and travel up to 90km on a single charge. These numbers notably above the current industry standard, but it remains to be seen how the company will perform in the European market. The company also aims to distinguish itself by collaborating with cities, offering advanced e-scooters equipped with new technologies, and following compliance with regulations such as speed limits and no-ride zones. 

The post US-based micro-mobility startup LINK to launch soon in Europe: Should Bird and Lime be worried? appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

Announcement Boards for PH launch

Hello all

Looking for advice on where we can post links to our Product Hunt release in a few weeks. Would love to drum up some interest pre-, during and post launch.

We have a consultant who will be giving us a list as well, but I would really love to hear from people active in startup groups and of course people who have launched on Product Hunt before. (experience is of course highly sought after 😀 )

Any active sub-reddits you can recommend? Facebook Groups? Forums?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!