Food delivery firm Deliveroo raises $385m for expansion

Deliveroo has been criticized by unions who say it is exploiting its staff by not offering basic protections. (Reuters)
Updated 24 September 2017
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Food delivery firm Deliveroo raises $385m for expansion

LONDON: British takeaway food delivery firm Deliveroo has raised $385 million in new funding, the firm said in a statement on Sunday which set out that the money would help establish operations in new areas of the country and overseas.
The firm said the funding round brought its total valuation to more than $2 billion and would allow it to expand into new “towns, cities and countries,” enlarge its technology team, and work with restaurants to develop delivery-only kitchens.
Deliveroo operates in over 150 cities across 12 countries.
The funding is led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and Fidelity Management & Research Company, the company said.
“We are excited to see this capital put to use to build out their Editions concept and expand their geographic footprint,” said Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund.
Like taxi app Uber, which was stripped of its London operating license on Friday, Deliveroo has been criticized by unions who say it is exploiting its staff by not offering basic protections and some riders are pursuing legal action to push for workers’ rights.
Deliveroo has previously said it would give its self-employed riders insurance and sick pay if the government changed the law so it could offer some, rather than all, the entitlements enjoyed by workers.
—  REUTERS


Aston Martin unveils ‘sports car for the skies’ at Farnborough Airshow

Updated 18 July 2018
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Aston Martin unveils ‘sports car for the skies’ at Farnborough Airshow

  • The Volante Vision Concept design has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities and will be able to hit speeds of around 200mph
  • Aston Martin believes it could corner the market for luxury flying vehicles in the future

FARNBOROUGH: James Bond would love it. Aston Martin, maker of the luxury sports cars favored by the fictional British spy, has now come up with a futuristic personal aircraft it has dubbed “a sports car for the skies.”
Aston Martin unveiled the three-seater hybrid-electric vehicle this week at the Farnborough Airshow and, though the concept remains for now the stuff of science fiction, believes it could help one day to revolutionize travel.
The Volante Vision Concept design has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities and will be able to hit speeds of around 200 miles per hour (322 kph), “so you can go from the center of Birmingham to the center of London in about 30 minutes,” Aston Martin’s Simon Sproule told Reuters.
Aviation and technology leaders are working to make electric-powered flying taxis a reality, including Airbus, US ride-sharing firm Uber and a range of start-ups including one backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, called Kitty Hawk.
Aston Martin believes it could corner the market for luxury flying vehicles in the future.
“The same way that you have Uber and you have an Aston Martin, you’ll have ‘Uber in the skies’ and you’ll have ‘Aston Martin in the skies’,” said Sproule, adding that such an aircraft won’t come cheap.
“This is clearly a luxury object — it’s a sports car for the skies — so pricing is going to be commensurate with that, so certainly into the seven figures.”

“FEELS LIKE A FIGHTER JET”
The company has partnered with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and British jet engine maker Rolls-Royce to develop the concept vehicle, including artificial intelligence-powered autonomous capabilities.
“It feels like a fighter jet but at the same time it has the Aston Martin luxury,” said David Debney, chief of future aircraft concepts at Rolls-Royce.
Commenting on how to pilot the vehicle, Cranfield’s Helen Atkinson said: “You’ve got to detect what’s going on in the external environment and then turn that around incredibly quickly in the computer system with the artificial intelligence built in to actually achieve the necessary level of autonomy.”
Separately at Farnborough, Rolls-Royce unveiled plans for a flying taxi — an electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicle which could carry four to five people at speeds of up to 250 miles (400 km) per hour for approximately 500 miles.
The company said it was starting a search for partners to help develop a project it hopes could take to the skies as soon as early next decade.