Tech roundup: L train updates, WeWork’s new name, and more

by Katie Fustich
January 10, 2019
L train
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Full L train shutdown halted, but questions linger for tech

Since 2012, New York City has been bracing itself for an inevitable L train shutdown, as much-needed repairs are made to the tunnel connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. Local tech innovators and entrepreneurs sprang into action, formulating alternative transportation strategies for the 300,000 commuters who rely on L train service each day.

Then, in a surprise announcement, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new initiative that would prevent a total shut-down of the vital train line, but opt instead for a highly-limited schedule. Yet, being the city that never sleeps and all, a nights-and-weekends shutdown is still certain to affect thousands. What’s more, questions remain for the many tech-based think tanks, coalitions and competitions that have cropped up in response to the potential shutdown. Built In NYC will be following this developing story. [AM New York]


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ClassPass acquires competitor GuavaPass for undisclosed amount

Just like that, ClassPass is up and running in 80 cities across 11 countries. The expansion comes off the news that the company, now in its sixth year, has acquired GuavaPass. The latter, founded in 2013, boasts a similar model to ClassPass, but operates largely in East Asia. While financial terms of the deal are to remain under wraps, ClassPass CEO Fritz Lanman revealed in an interview with TechCrunch that the acquisition was actually the brainchild of the GuavaPass founders. Once the dust settles on the deal, ClassPass plans to retain approximately half of the GuavaPass staff, in addition to assuming GuavaPass’s more than 840 unique partnerships. [TechCrunch]


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WeWork adopts new name as SoftBank funding shifts

WeWork has become one of the most recognizable brands in the modern tech landscape, and even topped our list of the biggest fundings rounds of 2018. Now, another shift in the winds: on Tuesday morning, WeWork CEO Adam Neumann revealed that WeWork would be rebranding as The We Company. The name change is the result of a shift in the multi-billion-dollar deal with Japan’s SoftBank. Due to market ups and downs, SoftBank informed WeWork that the investment was no longer viable, and the companies would need to move into 2019 while still reevaluating their partnership. Still, voices behind The We Company remain optimistic that, in the coming months, we won’t be hearing any less about this tech legend in the making. [Fast Company]


Managed by Q
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Managed by Q raises $25M in Series C round

Yesterday, good news befell the folks at Managed by Q, the office management platform that’s been keeping businesses in working order since 2013. The company seemed to close its Series C round in late 2018, but it turns out an additional $25 million investment will bring the round to an total of $55 million. RRE and Google Ventures led the round, with DivCo West and Oxford Properties also participating. According to TechCrunch, the company will spend 2019 (and the fresh funds) investing in collaboration based tools. [TechCrunch]


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Plaid set to acquire Quovo in $200M deal

San Francisco-based Plaid is expanding its platform’s financial capabilities with the acquisition of New York City’s Quovo. The $200 million deal is set to see the two concepts fuse into a single platform, with Plaid providing the tech to link bank accounts to apps like Venmo, and Quovo supplying the ability to parse investment and brokerage data. The deal is Plaid’s first acquisition, as well as their first major business move following a $250 million funding round in December 2018. As of now, it remains unclear how Quovo’s structure will shift as a result of the deal. [CNBC]


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Olo receives $18M investment from Tiger Global

Olo, founded in 2005, has managed to outlive many of its competitors while remaining more or less out of the spotlight. That resolve has now earned the online food-ordering platform an $18 million equity investment from Tiger Global. A rising interest in food delivery prompted stellar numbers for Olo in 2018, and Tiger Global believes that trend is bound to continue. “We have invested heavily in the restaurant technology industry as part of our focus on e-commerce and are very impressed with the work Olo has done [...]. We believe Olo has a long runway ahead,” said Scott Shleifer, a partner at Tiger Global, in a press release. [Business Wire]

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