Social media presents a new online tipping culture, connecting with angel investors on Clubhouse, and Toyota buys Lyft’s autonomous car division.
It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, April 28 and I’m your host Baneet Braich.
Restaurants, hair salons, hotels are no longer the only popular places to tip. Social media is providing more platforms for an online tipping culture. According to a recent report by Axios, Twitter, Spotify, Facebook and Clubhouse are incorporating online tip jars to allow content creators to monetize online fans and get extra cash to fund their entire livelihood. It’s the availability of companies like Venmo, CashApp and Stripe that make it easier for tech companies to allow direct peer-to-peer payments on their platforms. Online tipping has also been inspired by gaming sites like Twitch and Caffeine that have long used tip-like features to grow engagement between gamers and their fans.
Startup fundraising can be a challenge however, the audio chat platform Clubhouse is helping connect angel investors with eager entrepreneurs. One example is a channel called Angelhouse where a new handful of founders pitch to investors for funding. After the pitches, the angels use Slack to discuss where they want to invest and follow up with founders. So far, the investors have helped two startups from the show: Alpha’a, a blockchain marketplace for art, and Stack Influence, which connects micro-influencers to brands. Overall founders agree the audio chat platform is an efficient way to connect with angels which can normally feel like finding a needle in a haystack. We’ll see if the platform remains the go-to place for these connections in the future.
Toyota is buying Lyft’s autonomous car division for $550 million. The deal is an end to the past four years of Lyft’s journey to developing and deploying its own self-driving cars. Similarly, last year Uber sold its AV project to Aurora, which is founded by the former head of Google’s self-driving project. Lyft launched its Level 5 division in 2017 claiming that by 2021, “a majority” of its rides would take place in autonomous vehicles. However, this has not been the case as even today most AVs are still test vehicles and not many companies are committing to commercialization. Some users on social media are suggesting that companies like Uber and Lyft simply don’t have the right technology skills to take advantage of automation the same way auto manufacturers do. Toyota on the other hand has been very quiet about its AV progress so we will just have to wait and see what’s next for that.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!