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Huge Paydays for C.E.O.s, as Gap With Workers Widened

Shareholders opposing the compensation won a say-on-pay vote at the company, and a majority also withheld votes from a director on the board’s compensation committee. Under Paycom’s governance guidelines, the director had to tender his resignation. The board’s nominating and corporate governance committee did not accept it, however, instead reaffirming his appointment, according to a company filing.“That’s highly unusual,” said Mr. Varner of CtW Investment.Asked whether Mr. Richison’s stock grant had fueled the shareholder discontent, Jason Clark, the chairman of Paycom’s compensation committee, said in statement: “This award is entirely dependent on …

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Farewell, Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy

A few years ago, while on a work trip in Los Angeles, I hailed an Uber for a crosstown ride during rush hour. I knew it would be a long trip, and I steeled myself to fork over $60 or $70.Instead, the app spit out a price that made my jaw drop: $16.Experiences like these were common during the golden era of the Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy, which is what I like to call the period from roughly 2012 through early 2020, when many of the daily activities of big-city 20- and 30-somethings were being quietly underwritten by Silicon Valley venture capitalists.For years, …

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Google’s Gradient Ventures leads $8.2M Series A for Vault Platform’s misconduct reporting SaaS

Fixing workplace misconduct reporting is a mission that’s snagged London-based Vault Platform backing from Google’s AI focused fund, Gradient Ventures, which is the lead investor in an $8.2 million Series A that’s being announced today.
Other investors joining the round are Illuminate Financial, along with existing investors including Kindred Capital and Angular Ventures. Its $4.2M seed round was closed back in 2019.
Vault sells a suite of SaaS tools to enterprise-sized or large/scale-up companies to support them to pro-actively manage internal ethics and integrity issues. As well as tools for staff to report issues, data and analytics is …

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Airbnb doubles down on flexible search, improves the host flow in preparation for summer 2021

As we head into the summer of vaccination, travel is bound to start bouncing back from the lows of 2020, and Airbnb is betting it will look very different than it did in the pre-COVID era.
The home-sharing platform has introduced some big changes, across a wide variety of feature sets, that focus on flexibility for the guests and simplicity for the hosts. The end goal, according to Airbnb Head of Guest Experience Sam Shank, is to increase both the volume and diversity of the supply side of the operation.
To start, Airbnb has streamlined the process of becoming a host, …

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Outdoor startups see supercharged growth during COVID-19 era

After years of sustained growth, the pandemic supercharged the outdoor recreation industry. Startups that provide services like camper vans, private campsites and trail-finding apps became relevant to millions of new users when COVID-19 shut down indoor recreation, building on an existing boom in outdoor recreation.
Startups like Outdoorsy, AllTrails, Cabana, Hipcamp, Kibbo and Lowergear Outdoors have seen significant growth, but to keep it going, consumers who discovered a fondness for the great outdoors during the pandemic must turn it into a lifelong interest.

Outdoorsy, AllTrails, Cabana, Hipcamp, Kibbo and Lowergear Outdoors have seen significant growth, but to keep it going, …

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Payments Start-Up Stripe Surges to $95 Billion Valuation

The payments company Stripe is worth $95 billion after a new round of funding, making it the most valuable start-up in the United States.The San Francisco and Dublin-based company said on Sunday that it had raised $600 million in new funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency. The investment nearly triples Stripe’s last valuation of $35 billion.The funding comes amid a surge in the adoption of digital tools and services in the pandemic as more people live, work and make purchases online. That has fueled a wave of investment into, and eye-popping …

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How Do Silicon Valley Techies Celebrate Getting Rich in a Pandemic?

Sprinter vansFor Palantir, a data analytics company that went public in September, Feb. 18 was “giraffe money” day. That was the first day that current and former employees could cash out all of their shares after the company went public.In a Slack channel for former employees called Giraffe Money — an apparent reference to wealth that can support casual giraffe ownership — many anticipated their windfalls by sharing links, mostly in jest, to absurdly expensive home listings and boats, one former employee said.But in reality, techies are spending in very different ways.Instead of fine art, they are buying NFTs, or …

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Airbnb Is Driving Hosts Elsewhere With Costly Pandemic Policies

Another host, Anthony Farmer, filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Airbnb in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in November. The suit, which is attempting to override Airbnb’s arbitration terms, accuses the company of breaching its contract and fiduciary duty and violating consumer protection laws.Christopher Nulty, an Airbnb spokesman, said the company’s policy put public health and safety first, which would ultimately help hosts “by maintaining high guest loyalty and demand for Airbnb listings.” He said Mr. Farmer’s suit was without merit.‘Back to our roots’In May, Airbnb announced that it …

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TikTok parent ByteDance joins patent troll protection group LOT Network

LOT Network, the non-profit that helps businesses of all sizes and across industries defend themselves against patent trolls by creating a shared pool of patents to immunize themselves against them, today announced that TikTik parent ByteDance is joining its group.
ByteDance has acquired its fair share of patents in recent years and is itself embroiled in a patent fight with its rival Triller. That’s not what joining the LOT Network is about, though. ByteDance is joining a group of companies here that includes the likes of IBM, the Coca-Cola Company, Cisco, Lyft, Microsoft, Oracle, Target, Tencent, Tesla, VW, Ford, …

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The Gig Economy Dipped Again in the Fall. But How Bad Was It?

In a year turned upside down by the pandemic, Roberto Moreno’s experience as a ride-hailing driver in San Diego reflected the fortunes of the companies for which he drove.In March, more worried about getting sick than losing money, he stopped picking up passengers. In June, as the pandemic receded in California, he went back on the road. But as the coronavirus case numbers started climbing again, he shut it down once more.This week, Lyft and Uber, the biggest ride-hailing companies, will announce their financial results for last year, and they are expected to look a lot like …

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