FedEx Shutters Its Last-Mile Delivery Robot Program 🤖
Scott D. Clary | Daily Business, Tech & Finance Newsletter
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Here’s whats happening:
- FedEx Shutters its last-mile delivery robot program
- UK antitrust watchdog Directs Meta to sell Giphy
- Shopify joins hands with Web3 commerce platform Novel
- This AI content platform secures $125 million in funding
- Microsoft announces second round of job cuts
FedEx Shutters Its Last-Mile Delivery Robot Program 🤖
Logistics giant FedEx is calling it quits on its last-mile autonomous delivery robot, Roxo, a company that allowed the firm to make last-mile deliveries without hiring more people.
- Roxo was first announced in 2019 as a partnership with DEKA, makers of the iBot wheelchair.
- Roxo used multiple sets of wheels to climb steps and curbs, and it was designed to travel at a top speed of 10mph with a cargo capacity of 100lbs.
- The robot used AI and an array of sensors to make deliveries safely. It navigated sidewalks & roadsides and between pedestrians & parked cars to deliver its cargo to a customer’s door.
- Roxo was piloted in various locations, including in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan.
However, FedEx is now abandoning the project, saying that the company would shift focus away from the bot to more “nearer-term opportunities.
Meta Ordered to Sell Giphy From UK Antitrust Watchdog ⚖
UK’s competition regulator has ordered Meta to sell animated-images platform Giphy.
- Back in 2020, Meta acquired GIPHY in a deal reportedly worth $400 million to integrate Giphy’s network of GIF content into its various tools.
- In November 2021, the UK regulator blocked the deal over concerns that Meta could deny or limit competitors’ access to Giphy’s GIFs.
- The regulator was also concerned about the loss of a potential competitor in display advertising, even though Giphy had no presence in the sector in the UK.
- Now, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ordered to unwind the 2020 deal, citing the risk of a substantial lessening of competition in the social media and display advertising market.
Statement from Meta:
“We are disappointed by the CMA’s decision but accept today’s ruling as the final word on the matter,” said a Meta spokesperson.
“We will work closely with the CMA on divesting Giphy,” the spokesperson added.
Shopify Joins Hands With Web3 Commerce Platform Novel 🤝
E-commerce platform Shopify has announced a strategic partnership with Web3 commerce platform Novel to offer its merchant partners no-code Web3 technologies.
As part of the partnership, Novel launched an app on the Shopify App Store, enabling merchants on Shopify with tools to experience Web3 innovation in e-commerce without any technical knowledge at a lower cost.
Features of the app:
- The novel Shopify app helps create a non-fungible token (NFT) collection or import an existing one with the help of Novel Generator.
- The app can deploy smart contracts over the NFT collection and make them available to users for purchase on the Shopify storefront.
- After users make the purchase, the app automates the currency bridge by offering customers a corresponding crypto wallet.
What’s more? As an all-in-one Web3 tool on Shopify, the Novel app also powers token-gating for retailers to add use cases to their NFT collections.
This AI Content Platform Secures $125 Million in Funding 💰
Jasper, an AI content platform that helps businesses create high-quality content faster, has raised $125 million in its Series A funding round.
The funding was led by Insight Partners, along with participation from Coatue, Bessemer Venture Partners, IVP, Foundation Capital, Founders Circle Capital, and HubSpot Ventures, among others.
What will Jasper do with the funding?
Jasper will use the funding to further invest in its product, improve the customer experience, and bring itself to all the platforms creators use.
Founded in 2021, Jasper is an AI Content Platform that enables individuals and teams to leverage AI to scale their content strategies.
Using the platform, users can describe in natural language what they want Jasper to write, whether a keyword-rich piece designed to rank well in search engines or existing content repurposed with additional context.
The startup’s newest innovation is a browser extension that allows Jasper to power every textbox on virtually any site.
Microsoft Announces Second Round of Job Cuts ✂️
Tech giant Microsoft has confirmed the second tranche of job cuts at the company as nearly 1,000 staff are let go. The job cuts occurred across a variety of levels, teams, and parts of the world.
Earlier in July, the company announced job cuts affecting less than 1% of employees, which it described as part of an annual structural adjustment.
Why does it matter?
The move is yet another example of big tech companies slashing jobs or freezing hiring amid a worsening economic outlook.
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