Entrepreneurship & Startups

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Fintech unicorn TransferWise rebranded to Wise
Wise logo
Wise logo Credit: Wise

Founded in 2011 by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, the Estonian fintech unicorn company Transferwise announced on Monday the rebranding to Wise. The company has around 10 million international customers at present.

"The core experience of using Wise will remain faster, cheaper, and more convenient than anything else. Our mission remains the same. We’re still making — and always will be making — money work without borders," said Käärmann in a blog post

With offices initially in Tallinn later joined by London, where the company is headquartered, and other locations, including the United Arab Emirates.

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Gorillas, the on-demand grocery delivery startup, has raised $44M in Series A
Gorillas, the on-demand grocery delivery startup, has raised $44M in Series A
Credit: Instagram / gorillasapp

Gorillas, a grocery delivery startup that operates its own hyperlocal fulfilment centres and operates in Berlin and Cologne, has raised $44 million in Series A funding round led by hedge fund Coatue.

Founded by Kağan Sümer and Jörg Kattner in May this year, Gorillas delivers groceries within an average of ten minutes. Unlike gig economy models, it employs riders directly. It is emphasising its ability to get fresh groceries, along with other household items, to shoppers at very short notice and at "retail prices".

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Uber has sold Uber Elevate, its air taxi business
Uber Elevate
Uber Elevate Credit: Uber

After selling its self-driving taxi technology to autonomous vehicle startup Aurora earlier this week, Uber has now sold its air taxi business Uber Elevate to California-based Joby Aviation.

Joby will be able to use Uber's app infrastructure to offer air taxi rides once the service enters the market and is FAA certified, most likely in 2023.

“We were proud to partner with Uber Elevate last year, and we’re even prouder to be welcoming them into the Joby team today while deepening our cooperation with Uber. The team at Uber Elevate has not only played an important role in our industry, but they have also developed a remarkable set of software tools that build on more than a decade of experience enabling on-demand mobility," so JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO, Joby Aviation in a statement.

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Pharrell Williams launches "Black Ambition" – a non-profit to help Black and Latinx entrepreneurs
Pharrell Williams launches "Black Ambition" – a non-profit to help Black and Latinx entrepreneurs
Credit: Black Ambition

Pharrell Williams has launched "Black Ambition", a non-profit initiative to support Black and Latinx startups in design, tech, healthcare and consumer products. The initiative has launched a call for applications on December 2 and is offering both seed capital and pitch feedback and mentorship.

"Recent events and tragedies have illustrated the always existent stark divisions in the American experience, and while entrepreneurship has long been a tenet of the American dream, marginalized people have faced long-standing barriers to success," so Williams. With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources."

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
The We Company reverts back to WeWork name
The We Company reverts back to WeWork name
Credit: unsplash.com/Eloise Ambursley

The We Company, once known as WeWork, will revert its name back to WeWork.

"We want to be strategic. We want to be innovative. We want to be impactful. We want to be WeWork," so the new CEO of the once and future WeWork, Sandeep Mathrani in the internal memo seen by Reuters.

The "We" brand was first introduced in January 2019 as the parent company of shared office provider WeWork to broaden its brand from shared office spaces to a lifestyle company.

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
N26 founder apologizes for blocking employee efforts to form a works council
N26 founder apologizes for blocking employee efforts to form a works council
Credit: Valentin Stalf via Twitter

The founder and CEO of the startup bank N26 Valentin Stalf has publicly apologized on LinkedIn for the events of the past days as the management team around him has tried to prevent employees from moving forward with the process of forming a works council.

He stated that "As a founder, it has been hard to see how the discussion has evolved in the last days. This doesn’t reflect how we usually work together as a team. But ultimately, myself and my leadership team at N26 feel responsible for the way this debate has escalated. And we would like to apologize for the last couple of days" and adds later that he would prefer an "alternative to a traditional Works Council".

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Workers at startup bank N26 proceed with process of forming works council despite legal action from management
Workers at startup bank N26 proceed with process of forming works council despite legal action from management
Credit: Works Council @ N26 via Twitter

Despite the management obtaining to temporary injunctions to prevent two meetings on Thursday and Friday, a number of N26 employees have managed to legally gather and select and electoral board.

The management first had obtained a temporary injunction against the employee that planned on hosting the Thursday meeting. In order to circumvent this, the labor union Verdi stepped in as hosting party. For the second temporary injunction against Verdi to prevent the meeting on Friday, the labor union IG Metall stepped in as host.

The police showed up as an unknown person had called them on Friday "to check the safety measures of the meeting", according to the Twitter account of the works council. They added that the police "found no issue and have left the premises".

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Founders of German N26 startup bank obtain temporary injunction to prevent election of works council
Founders of German N26 startup bank obtain temporary injunction to prevent election of works council
Credit: N26

The founders of the German startup bank N26 have previously stated that a works council would be "against almost all the values in which we at N26 believe" while a group of employees has stated that the trust in the management of the company is "at an all-time low".

This group of employees had intended to elect a works council this week but the management has obtained a temporary injunction from the Berlin labour court on the grounds of a missing hygiene concept during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The workers union Verdi has criticized the actions of the management while an N26 spokesperson has stated that "we would like to make it clear once again that neither the founders nor the management team of N26 are against employee representation and participation - in whatever form - or are taking action against them".