Industry News Update – Week of 8/14/2017

Last week, WeWork, SoFi and Uber were involved in lawsuits pertaining to trademark infringement, termination of employees due to sexual harassment claims and management misconduct impacting the selection of board of directors respectively. WeWork pursued litigation against UrWork, Chinese company that provides co-working space for startups, for trademark infringement.  SoFi was sued by one of its employees claiming that he was fired from the company for reporting instances of sexual harassment. Uber is being sued by one of its early investors, Benchmark, since Benchmark claims that Travis Kalanick was erroneously given the power to select the Uber’s board seats given his actions of fraud and breach of contract.  

23andme is working with The Milkin Institute and Lundbeck to conduct a large online study to assess how genetics impacts depression and bipolar disorder. 

Didi Chuxing invested an undisclosed amount of funding into Careem, Uber of the Middle East, to expand its international presence. 

Lyft and WeWork both acquired companies to drive customer growth and promote sales initiatives. Lyft acquired DataScore, a marketing campaign strategy company, and YesGraph, a machine learning company that analyzes end-users to increase referrals, in order to increase customer acquisition by bolstering retention efforts and its referral program. WeWork bought Unomy, a sales and marketing platform, to increase its sales efforts with enterprise customers. 

Palantir’s platform is being used by police officials to identify traffic and parole violations and to analyze digital records databases to find connections between crimes.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.

23ANDME

"23andMe Launches Large Study on Depression, Bipolar Disorder"

DIDI CHUXING

"China’s Didi Backs Uber Rival Careem to Expand its Global Footprint Into the Middle East"

LYFT

“Lyft Acqui-hires DataScore and YesGraph to Fuel Customer and Driver Growth"

PALANTIR

"How Peter Thiel's Secretive Data Company Pushed Into Policing"

SOFI

"SoFi Is Being Sued by an Employee Claiming He Was Fired for Reporting Sexual Harassment"

UBER

"Benchmark Sues Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick"

WEWORK

"WeWork Acquires Israeli startup Unomy to Boost its Enterprise Sales Efforts"

“WeWork Starts Legal Action Against Rival UrWork Over Trademarks"