Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

Natasha Lomas



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Recent articles by Natasha:

Uber co-founder Garrett Camp steps back from board director role –

Uber co-founder Garrett Camp is relinquishing his role as a board director and switching to board observer — where he says he’ll focus on product strategy for the ride hailing giant. Camp made the announcement in a short Medium post in which he writes of his decade at Uber: “I’ve learned a lot, and realized […] → Read More

Muzmatch adds a button to video chat with a match’s dad –

Muslim matchmaking app Muzmatch is getting (slightly) involved with video: It’s adding a button to enable users to request a video chat with a prospective match’s father. If the user impresses on camera, the dad can grant a ‘Dad Verified’ badge to add to their profile — as an added layer of parental vetting for […] → Read More

Online tutoring marketplace Preply banks $10M to fuel growth in North America, Europe –

Online learning looks likely to be a key beneficiary of the social distancing and quarantine measures that are being applied around the world as countries grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, this looks set to buoy some relative veterans of the space. To wit: Preply, a 2013-founded tutoring marketplace, is today announcing a $10 […] → Read More

Telco metadata grab is for modelling COVID-19 spread, not tracking citizens, says EC –

As part of its response to the public health emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission has been leaning on Europe’s telcos to share aggregate location data on their users. “The Commission kick-started a discussion with mobile phone operators about the provision of aggregated and anonymised mobile phone location data,” it said today. […] → Read More

It’s still easy to find coronavirus mask ads on Facebook –

Ads for face masks are still appearing on Facebook, Instagram and Google, according to a review of the platforms carried out by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP). This despite pledges by the platforms that they would stamp out ads which seek to profit from the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook said on March 6 that it would […] → Read More

Delivery Hero urges users to go cashless, no contact for food deliveries –

Delivery Hero has switched to cash-less, non-contact for deliveries in areas it defines as “high risk” for the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to reduce personal contact between couriers and customers during the coronavirus pandemic. But it’s encouraging all customers to make the switch. “By introducing contactless delivery, we can ensure that our service is […] → Read More

Oxford Uni academics launch a tracker for COVID-19 policy interventions –

Oxford University academics have launched a project to track government responses to the coronavirus pandemic. The tool, called the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT), tracks 11 indicators to generate an index that compares the stringency of policy responses around the world. Nation state responses to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to vary widely, both in […] → Read More

TripActions reportedly lays off hundreds amid COVID-19 travel freeze –

The coronavirus demand crunch has taken another bite: Palo Alto-based corporate travel-focused unicorn, TripActions, reportedly laid off hundreds of staff yesterday. Per this post on Blind — written by someone with a verified TripActions email address — the company fired 350 people. Business Insider reported the same figure yesterday. While the Wall Street Journal said […] → Read More

Kry launches free service for doctors to do video consultations during COVID-19 crisis –

Swedish telehealth startup Kry has launched a tool for healthcare professionals to conduct remote consultations during the coronavirus pandemic. Calls for EU citizens to self isolate to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is driving major demand for video appointments, it said. The platform — Care Connect by Kry — is launching in Europe, with ten […] → Read More

EU parliament moves to email voting during COVID-19 –

The European Parliament will temporarily allow electronic voting by email as MEPs are forced to work remotely during the coronavirus crisis. A spokeswoman for the parliament confirmed today that an “alternative electronic voting procedure” has been agree for the plenary session that will take place on March 26. “This voting procedure is temporary and valid […] → Read More

One neat plug-in to join a Zoom call from your browser –

Want to join a Zoom meeting in the browser without having to download its app to do so? Check out this browser plug-in — which short-cuts the needless friction the videoconferencing company has baked into the process of availing yourself of its web client. As we noted last week Zoom does have a zero download […] → Read More

Facebook and Disney to downgrade streaming quality in Europe due to COVID-19 –

Facebook is temporarily downgrading the quality of video streaming in Europe on its social platforms Facebook and Instagram in response to a call for action from the European Commission, per Reuters. Disney has also said it will work to shrink bandwidth used by its streaming service, Disney+, which is due to begin launching in Europe […] → Read More

Uber Eats UK waives fees during the coronavirus crisis –

Uber Eats is waiving delivery and activations fees in the UK to support restaurants hit by decreasing demand during the coronavirus crisis. The measure will apply until March 31 when it says it will review it. On Monday the on-demand food delivery giant announced a similar waiver of delivery fees in the US. The announcement […] → Read More

What are the rules wrapping privacy during COVID-19? –

In a public health emergency that relies on people keeping an anti-social distance from each other to avoid spreading a highly contagious virus for which humans have no pre-existing immunity governments around the world have been quick to look to technology companies for help. Background tracking is, after all, what many Internet giants’ ad-targeting business […] → Read More

YouTube goes SD streaming by default in Europe due to COVID-19 –

YouTube has switched to standard definition streaming by default in Europe. We asked the company if it planned to do this yesterday — today a spokeswoman confirmed the step. The move was reported earlier by Reuters. It’s a temporary measure in response to calls by the European Commission for streaming platforms to help ease demand […] → Read More

PSA: Yes you can join a Zoom meeting in the browser –

Work in the time of coronavirus is driving huge growth in videoconferencing, as scores of office workers go remote and log on to meetings from home. Zoom — which offers a range of slick features like auto-transcription and virtual backgrounds — has been a key beneficiary of this viral boom. Back in February research analysts […] → Read More

Just Eat cuts its take for 30-days to help restaurants during the COVID-19 crisis –

UK takeout marketplace Just Eat has announced a 30-day emergency support package for restaurants on its platform to help them through disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis. From tomorrow (March 20) until April 19 the package — which Just Eat says is worth £10M+ — will see funds directed back to UK partner restaurants in […] → Read More

Netflix and other streaming platforms urged to switch to SD during COVID-19 crisis –

The European Commission is putting pressure on Netflix and other streaming platforms to switch to standard definition during periods of peak demand as the coronavirus crisis puts unprecedented load on Internet infrastructure. Across the European Union — a region with around 445M citizens — it’s likely many millions of office workers will switch to teleworking, […] → Read More

Mya Systems gets $18.75M to keep scaling its recruitment chatbot –

Hiring chatbot Mya Systems — which uses a conversational AI to grease the recruitment pipeline by automating sourcing for agencies and large enterprises needing to fill lots of vacancies in areas such as retail and warehouse jobs — has closed an $18.75 million Series C. The funding round was led by Notion Capital with participation […] → Read More

Deliveroo riders can’t access coronavirus hardship fund, warns union –

UK on-demand food delivery startup Deliveroo has been accused of setting up an inaccessible hardship fund for couriers in the midst of the coronavirus crisis that leaves gig economy workers on its platform unable to access claimed financial support if they become ill or are self isolating. Gig economy delivery workers are one of the […] → Read More