Avestar Capital LLC Makes New Investment in Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER)

Foundation Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Uber Technologies during the second quarter valued at approximately $34,801,000.

Uber Technologies logoAvestar Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor acquired 629 shares of the ride-sharing company’s stock, valued at approximately $27,000.

A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the business. Enlightenment Research LLC purchased a new stake in Uber Technologies during the second quarter valued at about $543,000. Burleson & Company LLC bought a new position in Uber Technologies in the second quarter worth about $289,000. National Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Uber Technologies during the second quarter valued at approximately $642,000. Foundation Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Uber Technologies during the second quarter valued at approximately $34,801,000. Finally, State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System bought a new position in shares of Uber Technologies during the second quarter valued at approximately $864,000. 45.32% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Uber Technologies stock traded down $0.82 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $33.25. 9,206,427 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 8,745,539. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $36.41. The company has a current ratio of 2.57, a quick ratio of 2.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36. Uber Technologies Inc has a fifty-two week low of $30.67 and a fifty-two week high of $47.08.

Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 8th. The ride-sharing company reported ($4.72) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($3.33) by ($1.39). The company had revenue of $3.17 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.39 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($2.01) EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 14.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts forecast that Uber Technologies Inc will post -7.2 EPS for the current year.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on UBER shares. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of Uber Technologies in a research report on Tuesday, June 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Stifel Nicolaus began coverage on shares of Uber Technologies in a report on Tuesday, July 2nd. They issued a “hold” rating and a $50.00 target price on the stock. Needham & Company LLC set a $52.00 price target on shares of Uber Technologies and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of Uber Technologies from $57.00 to $53.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Canaccord Genuity started coverage on shares of Uber Technologies in a report on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $55.00 target price on the stock. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $53.50.

Uber Technologies Profile

Uber Technologies, Inc develops and supports proprietary technology applications that enable independent providers of ridesharing, and meal preparation and delivery services to transact with end-users worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Core Platform and Other Bets. Its driver partners provide ridesharing services through a range of vehicles, such as cars, auto rickshaws, motorbikes, minibuses, or taxis, as well as based on the number of riders under the UberBLACK, UberX, UberPOOL, Express POOL, and Uber Bus names; and restaurant and delivery partners provide meal preparation and delivery services under the Uber Eats name.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER)

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The assault on ‘contract employees’ isn’t about helping workers at all

California’s new law aims to force the likes of Uber, Lyft and Postmates to classify workers as employees, not independent contractors. But the main …

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is talking about “protecting” New Yorkers from employment as independent contractors. He’d be wise to see how it works out in California, first.

“More people should be considered employees because what has been happening is companies have been going out of their way to hire independent contractors to get out” of offering them benefits, the gov said recently. Really?

California’s new law aims to force the likes of Uber, Lyft and Postmates to classify workers as employees, not independent contractors. But the main force pushing for the law is organized labor, because these arrangements make unionizing difficult.

Sure, advocates claim the idea is to make companies to offer benefits like health insurance and end exemptions from minimum-wage and overtime laws. Yet everyone working as an independent contractor knows the deal before they sign up. They take it because they see other benefits, from the ability to work for many different “bosses” to the power to control their own work schedules.

And the California law already has lots of happy workers worried: Travel agents, for example, see their livelihood threatened. Freelance journalists would also be panicking if the law hadn’t specifically exempted them, along with other professions that mobilized in time, such as doctors, securities dealers, insurers and real estate agents.

Uber and Lyft, meanwhile, will fight the law in court — so it may only hit much smaller businesses, with far tighter profit margins.

If Cuomo really means to stand up for workers, rather than do another favor for unions, he’ll at least put this idea on hold until a lot more evidence rolls in.

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Lyft driver accused of groping Charlotte woman

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A former Lyft driver, Adnan Razzak Mohammed, has been charged with sexual battery after a passenger accused him of groping …
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    Lyft driver accused of groping Charlotte woman

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A former Lyft driver, Adnan Razzak Mohammed, has been charged with sexual battery after a passenger accused him of groping her while he was driving her home.

[Lyft expands safety measures after USC student’s death]

“It was the most uncomfortable feeling in the world,” said the woman, who did not want to be identified.

The trip, which lasted about 30 minutes, was from SouthPark to a grocery store and then to her home.

“He was talking about how pretty I was,” the Charlotte woman said.

She said Mohammed touched her leg and rubbed it.

He asked to touch her chest, and she told him, “No.”

Her daughter was in the back seat, and she was sitting in the passenger seat.

The woman felt like she had to sit still as he continued to touch her.

(Mohammed)

“I was like, I just want to get out of this car,” she told Channel 9. “I was literally two or three minutes from my house.”

They arrived at her home, got out and she called the police.

“The suspect touched her stomach, buttocks and attempted to touch her breasts while driving her home,” according to the police report.

The woman contacted Lyft.

“I never got a response from them until you guys contacted them,” she told Channel 9.

Lyft released this statement: “The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft, and the behavior described is unacceptable. Immediately upon identifying the driver, we permanently removed the individual’s access to Lyft and have been in touch with law enforcement to assist with their investigation.”

She hopes Lyft goes a step further and wants the ride-share company to add an option to choose between a male or female driver.

Mohammed is due in court Sept. 25.


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Uber, Bolt, others have caused us untold hardship, suffering — Omolekan, Lagos Yellow Taxi …

So when Uber, Bolt, Oga Taxi all came in, there were issues. The most painful part is that they were running taxi business in a coded way. We believe …

General Secretary of the Lagos State Taxi Drivers and Cab Operators Association, popularly known as Yellow Taxis or traditional taxis, Mr Taiwo Omolekan, tells GBENRO ADEOYE about the challenges being faced by the members of the association with the advent of e-cab hailing services like Uber and Bolt

What has been your experience since the advent of e-cab hailing services like Uber and Bolt in Lagos?

We have not been finding it easy at all. When they came in, we thought that they would also be made to pass through the process we passed through to get a franchise. We thought they would be given certificates and that colours would be allocated to them.

If you look at the Lagos State Traffic Law, it is stated clearly that anyone that wants to operate taxi service must obtain franchise certificate. After you must have done that, a distinctive colour will be allocated to you. During the administration of former Governor Babatunde Fashola, about nine franchisees were licenced, including the Lagos State Taxi Drivers and Cab Operators Association (Yellow Taxis).

We were allocated yellow colour; C&I Limited was allocated red; and Cooperate Cabs was allocated navy blue. That was how it was done. But the e-cab hailing services came in towards the end of Fashola’s administration. During his time, he accorded us a lot of respect. If the government wanted to make any law, he ensured that we were carried along. So we thought that when Akinwunmi Ambode came in, we would enjoy the same preference that Fashola gave to us. We thought he would also deal with us the way Fashola did but Ambode was very different entirely.

During Fashola’s administration, I met with him more than five times. In his office or his house, we would sit and discuss how to move Lagos forward in the area of traffic management. When Ambode came in, he didn’t even give us any attention. We wrote several letters to him to say that we would like to meet with him but throughout his tenure, we were unable to meet with him let alone talk about the problems in the transport sector. He didn’t give us any audience.

So when Uber, Bolt, Oga Taxi all came in, there were issues. The most painful part is that they were running taxi business in a coded way. We believe that if you’re a taxi driver, people should know that you’re a taxi driver. You should not be ashamed of your work. That is why some countries have driven them away.

How is that a problem?

Yellow is the colour associated with Lagos, so if a taxi from Lagos drives to any part of the country, people will know it is a Lagos taxi. But now, that has changed. You will notice that yellow taxis are gradually going into extinction. Some of our members are now changing their colour from yellow to others to appear like private vehicles because estates and hotels are not helping matters.

They are treating yellow taxis like they are anathema to them. Now, yellow taxis are not granted access to some hotels again. When Fashola was in government and the estates wanted to do something like that, the Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, warned against it and told them that yellow was Lagos’ colour.

But now, many of the estates in Lagos have started restricting yellow taxis from entering. They will even place a signpost to inform yellow taxi drivers that there is ‘no entry’.

Why?

They are treating us as if we are using our taxis to rob. But the e-cab hailing services that do not have marked colours, how do you know what they are doing with their vehicles? And some of them are used to commit crime. But hardly will that happen with our taxis because we have stickers and emblem that can make them identifiable.

The vehicle particulars (documents) that taxis operating in Lagos are expecting to get are nine. Body tag is compulsory for yellow taxis to have; we pay N3,500 annually to get it. Apart from that, we must get driver’s certification and renew it every year; it costs N3,000. It is called LASDRI certificate. If you don’t have it, you will pay N20,000 as fine to the Vehicle Inspection Office. Apart from that, we must obtain driver’s badge, which is N6,500.

Ask all the drivers registered with any of the e-cab-hailing services if they have these things. What they would have is vehicle licence, roadworthiness certificate and insurance certificate.

We don’t have any other job; this is the only job we have. And in our communities, people know it is our job. But imagine somebody working in an insurance company or elsewhere still driving a cab after work and competing with us.

And the police, VIO officials and even estate managers that harass us or do not allow us to have access to certain areas will not know that they are using it for commercial transportation, so they will enter freely.

Have you lost some of your members?

We used to have about 12,000 members but now it will be hard for us to have up to 5,000 members. We have lost a lot of members. Some of our members have left to join the e-cab hailing services, saying if you cannot beat them, you join them.

Yes, because of all these things, we decided that it would be better to launch our own hailing service like the one Uber and others have.

Does it mean that you will not be using the yellow colour again?

No, we will continue to use it; it is our traditional colour but people can use our application also hail our cabs electronically.

Who is funding that?

A company came to us and said because of our suffering, they would deploy the application for us.

But many of your members are old and might struggle to understand the use of the smart phones or the application?

They have trained our members. Yes, the majority of our members are old but they have been trained so we have the intention of launching it on October 24, 2019.

So the development has forced you to innovate too…

Exactly, and we will be launching it at the Lagos State secretariat so that we can take it to the government. It needs to do something so that the traditional taxis will not go into extinction. We will call it Ekocab.

How badly has the advent of e-cab hailing services affected your members?

Honestly, it has caused great hardship for us. Those that got their vehicles from banks under a hire purchase agreement were unable to meet up.

Do you have examples of how this has affected families or challenges that some of your members have faced?

Many of us face a lot of challenges like I said; many people took loans from banks to buy vehicles which they are using as taxis. Many were unable to pay back and the banks have been running after them. Then many homes have crises. People even call us from everywhere to tell us to find a solution to the problem and embrace technology.

But the most painful thing is that the government has been dealing with them with kid gloves. We are not saying that they should not be operating but they should also be mandated to collect all the documents that we are mandated to get.

Recently, I received a letter from Lagos State Internal Revenue Service. They said the tax they got from us this year was not encouraging. I asked them where the expected us to get money to pay for tax from when our people didn’t even have money to feed?

In 2015, we were the best taxpayers in the transport sector and the state government even gave us a certificate and a plaque in appreciation of efforts that year. It was because we compelled all our members to pay tax. Imagine getting 12,000 of our members to obtain tax clearance certificates.

Ask drivers of those e-cab hailing services how many of them pay tax. They don’t pay. From the calculation we did recently, the amount the Lagos Government was losing every month through the activities of these e-cab hailing services was about N1.2m. They have about 33,000 vehicles in their fleets. Imagine if all those 33,000 drivers obtain tax clearance certificates, you can guess how much that will be.

And if they obtain LASDRI, body tag and other documents that we are compelled to have, do you know how much the state government will make. But this is Lagos State; they get money from other sources so they are not even looking at that side. The state government is losing a lot of money while these people just sit in their offices and make millions of naira.

Even when you launch your app, it may also be tough for you to compete with others as some of your vehicles are rickety while theirs are in good condition. Don’t you think so?

Before, they were saying that they wanted 2012 models but now they accept 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 vehicle models in their fleet. We are talking to a company now that wants to give us vehicles. During Fashola’s administration, Union Bank gave us a loan of N523m, which we used to buy brand new Nissan cars. First Bank also gave us N350m, which we used to buy brand new Toyota Corolla cars. Now, we are talking to two companies who want to buy us brand new cars. We are planning to launch it with the application.

So how much of the loans have you paid back?

We are no longer indebted to Union Bank or First Bank, we have paid everything back. The money was running into about N1bn and we have paid it. There is a letter to that effect.

There was a time your association complained about police harassment and molestation; how bad is it now?

The major problem we have is now comes from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority. There is no bus-stop for taxis; bus-stops are only considered to be for buses and BRT. If we park anywhere, they will get into your car and say you have parked in an unauthorised place.

So where are you expected to drop off your passengers?

I have told them that there is no bus-stop for taxis, it is only buses and BRTs that have bus-stops, taxis can pick and drop passengers anywhere provided that they are not blocking the road. If you park well, within two or three minutes, you would have picked up your passenger or dropped them off. But LASTMA officials have been arresting our members, especially on the Lagos Island.

If you dare to pick up a passenger, it is a problem. LASTMA officials are not allowing our members to rest; police problem is even minimal.

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Jaguar Reveals Electric Car With Built-In Iota Wallet

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that personal mobility is transitioning to electric vehicles, and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will almost certainly …

The Iota Foundation’s push to move their platform into the mainstream is clearly making progress, as partnerships with major institutions continue to grow. Perhaps the most notable is with Jaguar Land Rover. Earlier this year the automaker announced that it would be incorporating Iota technology into its future vehicles. Now it has released more details on the venture, and the results are very promising for Iota as well as for the entire blockchain space.

The Jaguar I-Pace will be the first car to have the Iota integration. The all-electric crossover will have a built-in Iota wallet that will enable owners to receive payments for sharing road data such as weather and traffic conditions. What is truly exciting, however, is that the I-Pace will also use the Iota Tangle for charging. In cooperation with Engie Lab Crigen, the development arm of French energy giant Engie Group, the car will have a “Green Charging” mode that gives owners the opportunity to recharge the batteries with renewable energy, tracing the electricity to its source.

The long-term intent is for Iota to become the protocol layer for the smart energy revolution. By using the Tangle for both transactions and communication, cars can become linked to decentralized electric grids that tie consumers and producers across vast areas. For example, solar panels on individual homes could sell electricity, and car batteries could use their stored power to stabilize the grid during peak demands. The I-Pace’s ability to use Iota for tasks such as charging and paying tolls is thus one small part of a vastly more ambitious vision.

Jaguar Land Rover’s embrace of Iota is certainly a major step toward mass adoption, yet obstacles to long-term success remain. Most notably, Iota still has a centralized “coordinator” that must be removed before the platform can reach its true potential. Also, it is safe to assume that few I-Pace owners will use its Iota-based features in the near term, as there is currently no automotive infrastructure, such as toll booths or chargers, that link to the Tangle. There are also many regulatory and tax issues regarding crypto use that have yet to be defined that could cause major headaches for I-Pace owners.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that personal mobility is transitioning to electric vehicles, and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will almost certainly be used by the cars of the future. If Iota can gain a foothold as the standard network for the automotive industry, many other industrial sectors will certainly follow.

Crypto advocates continue to debate the extent to which Iota’s unique architecture is superior to competing DLT platforms. For Jaguar Land Rover, and a number of other large companies, the matter is settled. It is now reasonable to assume that, barring any significant technical flaws, as the blockchain revolution enters the next phase of adoption Iota will be a major player in the space.

Featured Image via BigStock.

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