Vroom IPO, Hertz Bankruptcy, Joe Rogan Goes to Spotify, and Big Tech Censorship [VIDEO]

Stacey Ellison and Sean Welsh on the Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show

This week on the Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show we are back with the “2-Minute Drill Down” where two guests face off in a round of retorts limited to two minutes each in response to select current events happening in the world with your hosts Jay and Ryan.

News Items and Talking Points Include…

Meet the Boxers

Stacey Ellison, CRM Queen [LinkedIn]

Giving back, improving the quality of life for dealership employees, and sharing success are Ellison’s top priorities. More than anything, Stacey wants to help and lead others to the same success level I have been blessed with over the past decade.

Sean Welsh, Car Biz Done Better [LinkedIn]

Sean is CEO and Co-founder of Car Biz Done Better, a vendor agnostic dealership advocate whose sole purpose is to work with dealers to understand their digital marketing while avoiding waste and overspending.

The Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show

Airs Live Wednesday May 27th at 2 o’clock CST (US & Canada)

Join Live ‘Backstage on the Zoom’

To make the show exciting, we welcome live audience members to join us ‘Backstage on the Zoom’ with microphones on to capture live audience reactions. To be part of the live audience, follow the link below to register for your Zoom access now. This one-time registration grants you Zoom access to this and all future sessions of the MTC Show. Signing up is free and there is no cost or obligation to attend.

> Go here now for sign up details

In the News…

Official Coronavirus updates, plus…

Hertz files for bankruptcy

Car rental giant Hertz has filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S., becoming the latest iconic American brand to collapse during the pandemic. Hertz issued a statement blaming “an abrupt decline in the company’s revenue and future bookings” due to the coronavirus, but says it intends to stay in business as it restructures. According to CNBC, Hertz’s international operations in Europe, Australia and New Zealand were not included in the filing.

[Read more…]

Used car e-commerce company Vroom files for IPO

Vroom, has filed for its initial public offering Monday, seeking to list on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol VRM. The New York-based e-commerce company lets people buy and sell used vehicles.

Vroom reported a first-quarter net loss of $27.1 million, narrowing from $41.1 million in the year-ago period. Vroom’s revenue rose to $375.8 million from $235.1 million a year ago. Vroom’s revenue is primarily from its retail vehicle sales, which accounted for $308.7 million in the first quarter.

The SEC filing says the company plans to raise $100 million, but that number is often a placeholder that Vroom will update as it gets closer to listing its shares.

The company said that the COVID-19 pandemic hurt sales in March and the company reduced its inventory, among other defense measures, as a result. Vroom said it had furloughed roughly a third of its staff and reduced salaries for the remaining workers, including executives. The company said it had $156.4 million in cash and equivalents at the end of April.

[Read more…]

Spotify Keeps Focusing on Podcasts with Joe Rogan Deal

Spotify Technology has seen how podcasts benefit its platform. The company decided to strike while the iron is hot and signed a deal with comedian Joe Rogan to bring his popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast series to its platform.

The Joe Rogan Experience podcasts will debut on Spotify in September. Eventually, Spotify will be the podcast series’ exclusive home.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Spotify agreed to pay more than $100 million for the Joe Rogan Experience podcasts. The amount is almost one-fifth of the $517 million gross profit the company generated in the first quarter of 2020.

Last year, Spotify set out to spend as much as $500 million on podcast-related acquisitions. The company purchased several podcast startups.

[Continue Reading…]

Human rights groups object after man in Singapore sentenced to death via Zoom

A man charged with drug trafficking offenses was sentenced to death by Singapore’s Supreme Court over a Zoom video call last week, leading to criticism from international human rights groups.
The move marks the first death sentence in Singapore issued via a remote video conference call and is only the second known case of capital punishment being handed down remotely, Reuters reported on Wednesday

Punithan Genasan, a 37-year-old Malaysian, was informed via the remote video call he would be hanged for orchestrating an illegal heroin sale in 2011, according to court documents seen by Reuters.

[Read more…]

Restaurants rebel against delivery apps as cities crack down on fees

Restaurant owners are trying to figure out ways to stay in business during the coronavirus pandemic, which has hammered their industry. Many restaurants have had to close their doors to customers, while others have turned to food delivery apps such as Uber Eats and Grubhub to fill the void.

But few of these app services have figured out how to make much money. Amazon, a company that many would consider an expert in e-commerce and logistics, tested the market and left about a year ago.

Stamos said that 90 percent of his online orders come from Grubhub and that the company has been forcing him to pay “extraordinary commissions.” He said that he’s been trying to get off the delivery apps since he started his restaurant five years ago but that the pandemic has dramatically tightened the squeeze.
Other restaurateurs have also complained — and attracted the attention of city politicians.

Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Seattle recently capped fees from delivery companies at 15 percent. New York City capped delivery commissions at 20 percent.

[Continue Reading…]

Twitter Deletes Michelle Malkin’s “Censorship” Video

On May 16, Twitter deleted a video that American conservative blogger and political commentator Michelle Malkin had shared of her speaking about censorship by Big Tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

In response, President Trump tweeted, “The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google. The Administration is working to remedy this illegal situation. Stay tuned, and send names & events. Thank you Michelle!”

Here is Malkin’s video.


Is Big Tech going too far with censorship?

Here’s what one citizen pundit has to say about it…

About the Author

Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi
Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi is Chief Editor of AutoConverse Magazine and Executive Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Podcast and Live Weekly Webcast called the Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show, or MTC Show. He is also Founder & President of AutoConversion with nearly 20 years experience in the transportation space. Ryan concentrates his efforts today on exploring people, ideas, and technologies related to how we get around and how we are connected, being a father and studying Taoism and Wu Wei.