EMAILED ON February 19, 2019 BY Conor Grant

Back to the grind: It’s the return of the workweek, and you missed some news

We hope you enjoyed the long weekend. Here are some headlines you may have missed while doing literally anything else with your day off.

Another one bites the dust: RIP Payless

It’s been a little over 2 months since Payless ShoeSource punked a bunch of influencers. But now the company has succumbed to retail-pocalypse, announcing it will close all 2,100 of its locations across the US. 

Welcome to the -1%: Amazon paid no federal taxes 2 years in a row 

Amazon paid no federal taxes on profit of $11.2B last year, according to the company’s corporate filings. As a matter of fact, the company received a variety of tax credits that culminated in a tax rebate of $129m, giving it a federal tax rate of roughly -1% — its 2nd year in a row enjoying that luxury.

Electric truck startup, Rivian, hauls $700m in funding

The electric truck market is quickly becoming the holy grail of technological anticipation. But that hasn’t stopped electric truck startup Rivian from trying to pull away from the traffic jam of hype with a $700m funding round led by Amazon.

Alan raises $45m more for its health insurance platform

10 months after raising a $28m funding round, Paris-based startup Alan has raised a $45m Series B funding round. The software-as-a-service health insurance company plans to expand its product across Europe with the new cash.

The other side of subscription: GoCardless raises $75m

London-based startup, GoCardless, raised $75m in a series E funding round led by Alphabet’s investment arm. The company helps collect subscriptions and other forms of recurring payments from the customers of subscription companies, and has raised $122m to date.

Alibaba partners with Walgreens to expand in the US

Alibaba partnered with Walgreens to bring Alipay to 7k US pharmacies. Ali-B has no plans to target American shoppers; instead, Alibaba just doesn’t want to miss out on the growing market of Chinese nationals who visit the US as students, temporary workers, and tourists.

Siri is sick of Alexa doing all the talking

Apple acquired a voice app startup called Pullstring, which was most recently valued at $160m, for an undisclosed amount. Both Amazon and Google have been vocal about their commitment to voice tech, but until now Apple has been quiet about its ambitions for Siri.

Onward offers ‘breakups-as-a-service’ 

A startup called Onward offers a white-glove breakup service. Ranging from the $99 “10-day reboot” to the $500 “3-month recalibrate,” Onward “post-breakup concierge” packages provide assistance with everything from packing to finding a therapist. 

Investment in ‘construction tech’ is sturdier than ever

Compared to many nonsense-as-a-service tech startups, construction may seem low-tech and old-school. But last year investment in tech companies aimed at improving construction increased 324% to $3.1B. 

Uber got tired of waiting so now it’s suing NYC

Last August, New York became the first US city to cap the number of rideshare drivers it would allow in order to “assess” their impact. But now, 6 months later, it seems the city may try to make the cap permanent. So, arguing that it’s unfair to “ban first, study later,” Uber is suing to kill the cap.