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The race to digitize Indonesian street vendors is on, and Warung Pintar just raised $27.5m
Warung Pintar, an Indonesian startup on a mission to help street vendors digitize their roadside kiosks, just raised $27.5m.
Founded just 18 months ago, Warung Pintar (which literally means ‘smart kiosk’) is one of several Indonesian tech companies competing to capitalize on carts.
Food carts are a BIG deal in Indonesia
In Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta (the 2nd-largest urban area on the planet), informal streetside food carts provide an affordable and delicious dining option for a population on the go.
A 2015 government survey tallied 56k food vendors across Jakarta — but the actual number is likely much higher. And, while these kiosks make up a significant chunk of Indonesia’s economy, many are still built on small push-carts or modified bicycles.
It all started with an office remodeling
When an investment fund called East Ventures renovated its Jakarta office in 2017, a local street vendor worried that the fancy new building would overshadow his business. So, East Ventures offered to renovate his cart.
Soon, the vendor was earning 5x as much, and East Ventures realized it was on to something. The investment firm spun off its cart venture, which it called Warung Pintar, and raised a $4m seed round to start selling smart kiosks all over Jakarta.
Today, Warung Pintar offers fully stocked carts for a single upfront fee of $5k, which includes a bright yellow kiosk, free Wi-Fi, a digital point-of-sale system, a surveillance system, and other high-tech bells and whistles.
Now, everyone’s hopping on the smart-wagon
In the past year, Warung Pintar grew from 12 to 1,150 carts — and it hopes to expand to 5k by year’s end. By subsidizing its tech-enabled carts, Warung Pintar is betting it will be able to monetize them down the road.
“Once we have built enough, we can manage the supply chain and then figure out how to make money,” Warung Pintar co-founder Willson Cuaca explained in a recent interview with TechCrunch.
But other Indonesian companies want a part of the cart: Billion-dollar Indonesian e-commerce giant Bukalapak raised $50m just last week to expand its offerings for street vendors.
Uber opens a robotics division to build autonomous bikes and scooters
TechCrunch reports that Uber wants to develop autonomous technology for its JUMP group, responsible for its bike and scooter-share programs.
A big JUMP in micromobility
Aptly named “Micromobility Robotics,” Uber’s new unit will integrate driving and sensory tech into its vehicles to be less reliant on humans to charge them. Instead, the scooters and bikes will drive themselves to charging stations or relocate to locations with higher demand.
Back in December, Uber rolled out its next generation of JUMP bikes, equipped with self-diagnostic capacity and interchangeable batteries.
All of these additions will work together to improve the economics of Uber’s micromobility business.
Time to sit back and enjoy the ride
As with all autonomous vehicles, logistics will be one of Uber’s biggest hurdles. And, as Electrek points out, scooters and bikes are far less stable than cars.
Uber will also have to deal with local laws and, more importantly, the public. When Lime and Bird first hit the streets, people all but lost their damn minds. What’s going to happen when they see scooters bunny hop off curbs with no passenger aboard?
|»||Still holding out for Razor|
Meredith Golden will be your dating app ghostwriter for the price of an arm and a heart
It takes time to learn the ropes of dating apps. And, tricks of the trade like putting a puppy in your main photo, subtly hinting that you own a yacht, and striking a tasteful balance in your bio between wit and sensitivity make you a billion percent more likely to match with someone.
But, if you don’t have time for trial and error, it’s time to call in a professional. Someone like Meredith Golden: Dating app ghostwriter.
Now hiring: Your love life’s editor-in-chief
Hailed by The Cut as New York City’s “Tinder Whisperer,” Golden began charging for her services in 2015, after gaining a reputation for being a real dating profile wiz.
Now, she spends her days swiping, “liking,” and flirting in the voice of her female and male clients — most of whom are busy Manhattan professionals in their mid-30s.
She works with no more than 10 clients at a time, and charges up to $2k a month. Of course, for individuals merely looking for tips, Golden offers a $500/month diagnosis and consultation package.
But this one’s fer freeee…
Golden has 2 lists of people women should stay away from: One titled “we don’t date them,” highlighting deal breakers like flossing at the table during a first date, and another titled, “creeps,” AKA racists, people who joke about pedophilia — that sorta thing.
Wait. So don’t date creeps now? Sheesh. First they tell ya breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then they say it’ll kill you — is nothing sacred??
| Wes Schlagenhauf, News Writer at The Hustle
This is ‘busy culture’ at its worst. If you’re too “busy” to use literally the most accessible form of dating ever invented, what is your Meredith Golden-endorsed relationship gonna look like in 6 months to a year?
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|»||*Walks into ocean*|
Who’s there? Knock, with a $400m funding round for its ‘home trade-in’ platform
Knock, a real estate startup and self-described ‘home trade-in’ platform, raised a $400m Series B to expand its service across the US.
The massive round of funding mirrors other huge investments in real estate tech. Last year, competitors Compass and Opendoor both separately raised the exact same amount: $400m.
So, how does a ‘home trade-in’ work, exactly?
The company helps customers find new homes and then buys them outright in cash (often at a discount), allowing customers to move into new homes without months of double-paying and keeping their houses clean for showings.
Once customers move, Knock helps sell the old houses by “aggressively using MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Facebook, Google, yard-signs and many other sites to get you the most offers and best offer in the shortest period of time” (according to its website).
Knock makes its money the same way a normal real estate agent would, by charging a 3% commission from both the buyers and the sellers of the old houses.
Things are gettin’ real in the real estate market
Knock is far from the only company trying to update the real estate industry: Last year, investors pumped $4.65B into a record 351 real estate tech startups.
But despite its funding, Knock still faces some real competition: Opendoor and Compass both raised rounds from SoftBank’s Vision Fund at valuations of $2B+ and $4.4B, respectively.
|»||Don’t knock Knock|
Life insurance ownership is at a 50-year low — Policygenius figured out why
It’s because shopping for life insurance is intimidating and buying is, well, like taking a time machine to 1988.
(Nothing makes you feel older — or more like you’re being scammed — than using a fax machine to send an application.)
Even though the need for life insurance hasn’t changed, more and more people are taking the ‘ostrich’ approach (AKA, if I don’t think about it, it will go away).
Fortunately, Policygenius has made it easy to get your head out of the sand and find the coverage you need.
Getting life insurance doesn’t have to be so hard
Policygenius lets users vet policies and get quotes in a couple of minutes, all without having to fax a dang thing — just hop online, compare quotes side-by-side, then let Policygenius handle the application for you.
Since launching in 2014, they’ve helped 4m people compare policies and placed over $20B in coverage. Plus, they also compare disability insurance — which is basically “income insurance” so you can still pay rent if you’re injured or ill.
Policygenius allows you to compare policies from over 15 insurance carriers online. And it’s free. Frankly, it’s genius.
Take 2 minutes today to compare your life insurance options with Policygenius.
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