Friday, May 17, 2019

Amazon has invested in UK food delivery startup Deliveroo in a massive $575 million fundraise - Business Insider

Amazon has invested in UK food delivery startup Deliveroo in a massive $575 million fundraise - Business Insider

Amazon has invested in UK food delivery startup Deliveroo in a massive $575 million fundraise - Business Insider

Posted: 16 May 2019 11:49 PM PDT

Amazon has taken a stake in British food delivery startup Deliveroo, acting as the main investor in a major $575 million round of financing.

The new funding takes the total raised by Deliveroo to $1.35 billion to date, making it one of the best-funded startups in Europe.

Deliveroo has not confirmed its current valuation. The company was last valued at $2 billion in a previous funding round, and Business Insider understands the company has been targeting a new valuation of at least $4 billion.

It isn't clear how much Amazon paid for its share of Deliveroo, nor how big that stake is. Other investors in the round include T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Greenoaks.

Deliveroo CEO Will Shu said in a statement: "This new investment will help Deliveroo to grow and to offer customers even more choice, tailored to their personal tastes, offer restaurants greater opportunities to grow and expand their businesses, and to create more flexible, well-paid work for riders.

"Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organisation. This is great news for the tech and restaurant sectors, and it will help to create jobs in all of the countries in which we operate."

Read more: How Deliveroo went from being the idea of a hungry banker to a $2 billion food delivery giant with backing from Amazon

The deal gives one of the world's most valuable companies a stake in one of the hottest European startups, and also in the fast-growing food-delivery space. Deliveroo is one of the biggest rivals to Uber Eats outside the US, operating across 14 markets including the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and the UAE.

The company offers a slick app through which customers can order food for delivery from local restaurants. A Deliveroo "rider" on a bicycle or motorbike will deliver the food, saving restaurants from having to employ their own delivery drivers. The firm has been criticised for employing its riders on a casual basis, meaning they are not legally entitled to minimum pay or other benefits, but does offer free rider insurance and online learning courses.

The round also shores Deliveroo up against its main rival Uber Eats, Uber's food delivery arm. Bloomberg last year reported that Uber was considering buying Deliveroo. A deal never materialized, and Uber floated on the New York Stock Exchange days ago.

Doug Gurr, Amazon's country manager in the UK, said: "We're impressed with Deliveroo's approach, and their dedication to providing customers with an ever increasing selection of great restaurants along with convenient delivery options."

How WeWork's CEO manages his ego after going from broke to a billionaire in under 10 years - Business Insider

Posted: 16 May 2019 01:22 PM PDT

When WeWork reached a $5 billion valuation, CEO and cofounder Adam Neumann confronted one of his greatest challenges: his ego.

It's something he has battled and still battles today, as the hype around him and his company balloons.

Neumann built the coworking company WeWork, which is now a $47 billion unicorn that filed to go public in December.

He wasn't always a successful entrepreneur. He had at least two failed ventures and spent his early years admittedly partying too hard with his supermodel sister in a shoebox apartment.

When he met his wife and fellow cofounder, Rebekah Paltrow — cousin to Gwyneth Paltrow — she immediately called him out.

"You have a lot of potential, but you're full of shit," Paltrow told him. "You talk this big talk, and you're broke ... I can tell. Anybody who talks about money doesn't have any."

Paltrow challenged him to change his perspective on what it means to be successful from one of self-interest to one of helping others.

Neumann proposed within 30 days of that first date.

In 2011, he cofounded WeWork and the company's rapid rise has turned him into a billionaire. But even with Paltrow's help, it has at times gone to his head.

Read more: WeWork's CEO explains why he thinks his $47 billion company is recession-proof and how he keeps his ego in check as a young billionaire

After his financial situation changed so drastically, Neumann caught himself frequently thinking he was better than others. The thoughts were not only unflattering but also dangerous to his company.

"If I don't keep [myself] in check, you can't be the 'We' Company and a 'me' person," Neumann told Business Insider.

To help curb his ego, Neumann, who is Jewish, sought the advice of his rabbi. His rabbi suggested Neumann perform Shabbat, a practice that forbids the use of technology for 25 hours to spend time with your loved ones and become closer to God.

Neumann said the practice of disconnecting allowed him to get back on track. Technology, he said, is partially responsible for the record amounts of pain and loneliness people feel today.

"I do believe that because once a week I stop for 25 hours and really focus on what's most important, that stays in my head for the rest of the week and helps me, in a real way, manage myself and my behavior," Neumann told Business Insider.

Aside from Shabbat, Neumann credits Paltrow for keeping him grounded. Paltrow's "maniacal focus" on helping society as a whole brings him back when he feels his ego getting too big.

"I think her contribution to my life can not be overstated," he said.

Read Adam Neumann's full interview with Business Insider about WeWork's plan for growth and survival in an upcoming recession»

Facebook is reportedly having a tough time recruiting, which could be an ominous sign for the company - Business Insider

Posted: 16 May 2019 04:09 PM PDT

It sounds like Facebook might be having a tough time recruiting after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and its two years of crises.

On Thursday, CNBC reported that the Silicon Valley giant was running into difficulties in hiring new employees. Would-be workers are turning down job offers at significantly higher rates than those seen before the news broke in March 2018 that political research firm Cambridge Analytica misappropriated tens of millions of Facebook users' data, according to the report.

Facebook is disputing the report, and the spokesperson Anthony Harrison told Business Insider in an email that "these numbers are totally wrong." He did not immediately specify what was wrong about CNBC's figures. It's not clear whether Facebook is alleging that these figures are wildly inaccurate or that they are only slightly off. The CNBC reporter Sal Rodriguez told Business Insider that he stood by his reporting.

CNBC, citing unnamed sources, reported that software-engineer acceptance rates for the product team have dropped from around 90% to 50% between late 2016 and early 2019. Meanwhile, the acceptance rate from top universities "has fallen from an average of 85% for the 2017-2018 school year to between 35% and 55% as of December," the report said.

These figures would indicate that the historically prestigious tech giant is finding it significantly harder to hire fresh talent, which would likely increase the cost of recruiting and reflect the significant hit to Facebook's reputation that it has been taking over the past two years.

In addition to saddling the company with extra costs, trouble attracting top talent could have a damaging effect on morale internally — demotivating employees already with the company and potentially sparking other unpredictable consequences.

In an additional statement, Harrison said:

The assumption by unnamed sources that we are having challenges recruiting talent is completely inaccurate. The numbers speak for themselves. As a company, we grew 36% year over year from Q1-2018 to Q1-2019 ... Facebook regularly ranks high on industry lists of most attractive employers. For example, in the last year we were rated as #1 on Indeed's Top Rated Workplaces, #2 on LinkedIn's Top Companies, and #7 on Glassdoor's Best Places to Work. Our annual intern survey showed exceptionally strong sentiment and intent to return and we continue to see strong acceptance rates across University Recruiting.

He did not immediately answer a question on how the sentiment regarding Facebook's annual intern salary has changed over the past few years.

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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Taco Bell to open hotel in Palm Springs - Business Insider

Posted: 16 May 2019 05:00 AM PDT

Taco Bell is opening a hotel.

On Thursday, the fast-food chain announced it would open The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort in Palm Springs, California, on August 9.

Taco Bell said the hotel would be fully Taco Bell-themed, with new menu items, a gift shop, and a nail-art, fades, and braid bar inspired by the chain.

And executives want to be clear: This isn't a stunt, but part of Taco Bell's wider strategy of moving the brand beyond the traditional fast-food experience.

Read more: Taco Bell is selling a pool float shaped like a hot sauce packet that's perfect for spicy food lovers

The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort.
Taco Bell

"This idea of allowing people to kind of fully experience and embrace and immerse themselves in every aspect of the Taco Bell lifestyle led us to the idea of doing a hotel," Taco Bell's chief global brand officer, Marisa Thalberg, told Business Insider.

Thalberg said Taco Bell's experience with hosting weddings in Taco Bell's Las Vegas Cantina instructed the chain's thinking around the hotel. Since Taco Bell began hosting weddings there in 2017, more than 165 couples have gotten married at the festive location.

"We're really just creating experiences that feel like a reflection and extension of the essence of Taco Bell at its very best," Thalberg said. "Oftentimes they're born out of real consumer insights or behaviors. And I think that's what makes them very valid and very legitimate."

Taco Bell fans can book reservations at the hotel starting in June. Reservations are first come, first served, so be ready to book if you're looking for a Taco Bell-inspired vacation this August.

While The Bell is set to be open only for a limited time, Thalberg said she would "never say never" to a full-time Taco Bell-themed hotel.

How to make your Facebook profile as private as possible - Business Insider

Posted: 16 May 2019 01:35 PM PDT

Facebook is a one-stop shop when it comes to networking online. Not only can we connect with colleagues, classmates, friends, and family, we can also play games, cross-post to Instagram, join community groups with people who share similar interests, and more.

But how much of what you do on Facebook are you handling with appropriate discretion? You may not be doing anything embarrassing or illegal, but not everyone wants their every move tracked online.

While you can't control the advertisers and other outside companies Facebook choses to sell your information to, there are ways to ensure that your activity and profile information on Facebook is limited when it comes to the general public and even those on your friends list.

It only takes a few minutes to secure your account and may be worthwhile to do. Here's what you need to know.

How to make your Facebook private on desktop

1. Go to and log into your account using the email address and password associated with your account.

2. Once on your news feed, which acts as your home screen, navigate to the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and click on it to reveal a drop down menu of options.

3. Scroll down until you locate the "Settings" tab and click.

4. On the left-hand side of your screen, you'll see a long list of menu options. Locate "Privacy," which should appear as the fourth item down from the top, and click on it to launch your privacy settings on the right-hand side of the screen.

Navigate to the Privacy section of your Facebook settings.
Jennifer Still/Business Insider

5. Note that Facebook allows you to change your privacy settings for individual website features. This means you can adjust the level of privacy for specific elements of the site such as how you're found and contacted on the site, who can see your posts, and even retroactively limit the audience of your past posts.

6. To change a particular privacy element, click the "Edit" option to the far right of each section. This will expand the section and allow you to choose who, if anyone, sees the relevant information. To keep anyone from seeing it, click on "Only me" under "Who should see this?"

"Only me" is the most secure privacy setting available.
Jennifer Still/Business Insider

7. You can make your Facebook even more private by changing who can tag you in posts, who can post on your Timeline, and who can share the posts you make to their own profiles. The options for these can be changed as above, though they're found under the "Timeline and Tagging" section on the left-hand side of the screen, just below the "Security" option.

You can open the "Timeline and Tagging" section for even more privacy options.
Jennifer Still/Business Insider

How to make your Facebook private on mobile

1. Locate and tap the Facebook app icon on your phone's home screen.

2. Tap on the three stacked horizontal lines in the lower right-hand corner of your screen to launch a menu of options, scrolling until you reach the "Settings and Privacy" section.

3. Tap on "Settings and Privacy" and then "Privacy shortcuts," which will appear beneath it, to customize your privacy options.

Tap on "Privacy shortcuts."
Jennifer Still/Business Insider

4. On the "Privacy shortcuts" screen, you'll see a list of options underneath the "Privacy" header. Tap the bottom option, "See more privacy settings." This will launch the screen in which you can review and change your current settings.

5. To change who can see your activity including future posts, past posts, as well as people, pages, and lists you follow, tap on the relevant option under "Your activity." In the dropdown menu that appears, change your option to "Only me" so that it is completely private.

For the most privacy, change your visibility options to "Only me."
Jennifer Still/Business Insider

6. Repeat step 5 for each of the options under "How people can find and contact you" to complete the privatization of your Facebook information.

7. Note that you can also manage your profile to make your birthday, relationships, and other profile information private as well under the "Manage your profile" section on the "Privacy settings" screen.

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