DoorDash subsidizes driver wages with tips

It’s true that DoorDash offsets the amount it pays its drivers with customer tip, according to an FAQ page on its own site.

“For each delivery, you will always receive at least $1 from DoorDash plus 100% of the customer tip,” DoorDash states on a Dasher FAQ page. “Where that sum is less than the guaranteed amount, DoorDash will provide a pay boost to make sure you receive the guaranteed amount. Where that sum is more than the guaranteed amount, you pocket the extra amount.”

To be clear, drivers see the guaranteed amount in the app before deciding to accept or reject the order. That amount is based on the size of the order, whether or not you have to place the order in person, distance away, traffic and other factors.

On another page, DoorDash describes its payment structure as follows: $1 plus customer tip plus pay boost, which varies based on the complexity of order, distance to restaurants and other factors. It’s only when a customer doesn’t tip at all, which DoorDash told Fast Company happens about 15 percent of the time, that DoorDash is on the hook to pay the entire guaranteed amount.

Here’s an example of what Dashers see:

“DoorDash doesn’t show workers what part of the ‘guarantee’ is from tip and what part is from DoorDash,” Sage Wilson of labor organization Working Washington told TechCrunch in an email. “(Instacart’s old policy did show this, which is why it was easier to demonstrate.) So that’s exactly where their “transparency” stops— at the point when it’s clear they’re taking tips.”

And just because DoorDash is upfront about parts of its practice, it doesn’t mean drivers are okay with it. There’s a webpage, Reddit and Subreddits that all describe DoorDash’s practices.

On the website, No Tip Doordash, it states:

While the tip may technically be going to the driver, it is only replacing the normal delivery pay. Your tip saves doordash money, and it is not increasing the drivers pay. Please tip in cash, if available.

In a statement to Bloomberg, DoorDash said it implemented this policy to “ensure that Dashers are more fairly compensated for every delivery.”

This comes shortly after Instacart apologized and announced it would stop engaging in that practice. In a blog post last week, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said all shoppers will now have a guaranteed higher base compensation, paid by Instacart. Depending on the region, Instacart says it will pay shoppers between $7 to $10 at a minimum for full-service orders (shopping, picking and delivering) and $5 at a minimum for delivery-only tasks. The company will also stop including tips in its base pay for shoppers.

Amazon also reportedly engages in this practice, according to The Los Angeles Times.

I’ve reached out to DoorDash and will update this story if I hear back.

This story has been updated to reflect comments from Working Washington organizer Sage Wilson.

DoorDash subsidizes driver wages with tips

It’s true that DoorDash offsets the amount it pays its drivers with customer tip, according to an FAQ page on its own site.

“For each delivery, you will always receive at least $1 from DoorDash plus 100% of the customer tip,” DoorDash states on a Dasher FAQ page. “Where that sum is less than the guaranteed amount, DoorDash will provide a pay boost to make sure you receive the guaranteed amount. Where that sum is more than the guaranteed amount, you pocket the extra amount.”

To be clear, drivers see the guaranteed amount in the app before deciding to accept or reject the order. That amount is based on the size of the order, whether or not you have to place the order in person, distance away, traffic and other factors.

On another page, DoorDash describes its payment structure as follows: $1 plus customer tip plus pay boost, which varies based on the complexity of order, distance to restaurants and other factors. It’s only when a customer doesn’t tip at all, which DoorDash told Fast Company happens about 15 percent of the time, that DoorDash is on the hook to pay the entire guaranteed amount.

Here’s an example of what Dashers see:

“DoorDash doesn’t show workers what part of the ‘guarantee’ is from tip and what part is from DoorDash,” Sage Wilson of labor organization Working Washington told TechCrunch in an email. “(Instacart’s old policy did show this, which is why it was easier to demonstrate.) So that’s exactly where their “transparency” stops— at the point when it’s clear they’re taking tips.”

And just because DoorDash is upfront about parts of its practice, it doesn’t mean drivers are okay with it. There’s a webpage, Reddit and Subreddits that all describe DoorDash’s practices.

On the website, No Tip Doordash, it states:

While the tip may technically be going to the driver, it is only replacing the normal delivery pay. Your tip saves doordash money, and it is not increasing the drivers pay. Please tip in cash, if available.

In a statement to Bloomberg, DoorDash said it implemented this policy to “ensure that Dashers are more fairly compensated for every delivery.”

This comes shortly after Instacart apologized and announced it would stop engaging in that practice. In a blog post last week, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said all shoppers will now have a guaranteed higher base compensation, paid by Instacart. Depending on the region, Instacart says it will pay shoppers between $7 to $10 at a minimum for full-service orders (shopping, picking and delivering) and $5 at a minimum for delivery-only tasks. The company will also stop including tips in its base pay for shoppers.

Amazon also reportedly engages in this practice, according to The Los Angeles Times.

I’ve reached out to DoorDash and will update this story if I hear back.

This story has been updated to reflect comments from Working Washington organizer Sage Wilson.

Investors are still failing to back founders from diverse backgrounds

The large majority of venture dollars are invested in companies run by white men with a university degree, according to a new report by RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC.

This new data reveals that despite the lip service investors have paid to backing founders from diverse backgrounds, much, much, more work needs to be done to actually achieve the industry’s stated goals. It also shows the vast gulf that separates the meritocratic myth that Silicon Valley has created for itself from the hard truths of its natural nepotistic state.

In 2017, venture capital investment reached $84.24 billion, a height not seen since the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s. The data from RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC covers a survey of the seed to Series D investments made during that year from what the two organizations selected as the top 135 firms by deal activity. Those firms invested in 4,475 companies, which collectively included 9,874 co-founders, according to the report.

Of those co-founders only 9 percent were women, while 17 percent identified as Asian American, 2.4 percent identified as Middle Eastern, 1.9 percent identified as Latinx and 1 percent identified as black.

“VCs should make more of a deliberate effort to spend quality time with communities of color that are otherwise unfamiliar,” said Suzy Ryoo, a venture partner and vice president of technology at Cross Culture Ventures . “Another tactical suggestion would be to co-host salon dinners community events with the growing group of early-stage venture funds managed by diverse investors, such as Cross Culture Ventures, Backstage Capital, Precursor Ventures, etc.”

The data compiled by Diversity VC and RateMyInvestor contains some other staggering statistics. Ivy League-educated founders captured 27 percent of all the dollars invested in venture capital startups, while all graduates from all other universities across the U.S. represented 50 percent of venture funding. Founders who graduated from international institutions had nearly 16 percent of venture funding. Founders without a university degree accounted for around 6 percent of the total capital invested.

Finally, investors are still wildly reluctant to leave Silicon Valley to look for new deals, according to the survey. This despite skyrocketing prices for real estate and talent and the emergence of big technology ecosystems in cities across the U.S.

“Silicon Valley has done a poor job of fostering diversity of all forms, especially diversity of thought,” said DCM partner Kyle Lui. “VCs and founders tend to back/hire people who are in their existing network who most likely share the same views as them, went to the same school as them, and shared similar life experiences as them.”

Investors are still failing to back founders from diverse backgrounds

The large majority of venture dollars are invested in companies run by white men with a university degree, according to a new report by RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC.

This new data reveals that despite the lip service investors have paid to backing founders from diverse backgrounds, much, much, more work needs to be done to actually achieve the industry’s stated goals. It also shows the vast gulf that separates the meritocratic myth that Silicon Valley has created for itself from the hard truths of its natural nepotistic state.

In 2017, venture capital investment reached $84.24 billion, a height not seen since the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s. The data from RateMyInvestor and Diversity VC covers a survey of the seed to Series D investments made during that year from what the two organizations selected as the top 135 firms by deal activity. Those firms invested in 4,475 companies, which collectively included 9,874 co-founders, according to the report.

Of those co-founders only 9 percent were women, while 17 percent identified as Asian American, 2.4 percent identified as Middle Eastern, 1.9 percent identified as Latinx and 1 percent identified as black.

“VCs should make more of a deliberate effort to spend quality time with communities of color that are otherwise unfamiliar,” said Suzy Ryoo, a venture partner and vice president of technology at Cross Culture Ventures . “Another tactical suggestion would be to co-host salon dinners community events with the growing group of early-stage venture funds managed by diverse investors, such as Cross Culture Ventures, Backstage Capital, Precursor Ventures, etc.”

The data compiled by Diversity VC and RateMyInvestor contains some other staggering statistics. Ivy League-educated founders captured 27 percent of all the dollars invested in venture capital startups, while all graduates from all other universities across the U.S. represented 50 percent of venture funding. Founders who graduated from international institutions had nearly 16 percent of venture funding. Founders without a university degree accounted for around 6 percent of the total capital invested.

Finally, investors are still wildly reluctant to leave Silicon Valley to look for new deals, according to the survey. This despite skyrocketing prices for real estate and talent and the emergence of big technology ecosystems in cities across the U.S.

“Silicon Valley has done a poor job of fostering diversity of all forms, especially diversity of thought,” said DCM partner Kyle Lui. “VCs and founders tend to back/hire people who are in their existing network who most likely share the same views as them, went to the same school as them, and shared similar life experiences as them.”

The Xbox Adaptive Controller goes on sale today and is also now part of the V&A museum’s collection

In an important move for inclusion in the gaming community, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, created for gamers with mobility issues, is now on sale. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) also announced today that it has acquired the Xbox Adaptive Controller for display in its Rapid Response gallery dedicated to current events and pop culture.

First introduced in May, the Xbox Adaptive Controller can now be purchased online for $99.99. To create the controller, Microsoft collaborated with gamers with disabilities and limited mobility, as well as partners from several organizations, including the AbleGamers Charity, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Special Effect and Warfighter Engaged.

According to Microsoft, the Xbox Adaptive Controller project first took root in 2014 when one of its engineers spotted a custom gaming controller made by Warfighter Engaged, a non-profit that provides gaming devices for wounded and disabled veterans. During several of Microsoft’s hackathons, teams of employees began working on gaming devices for people with limited mobility, which in turn gave momentum to the development of the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

In its announcement, the V&A said it added the Xbox Adaptive Controller to its collection because “as the first adaptive controller designed and manufactured at large-scale by a leading technology company, it represents a landmark moment in videogame play, and demonstrates how design can be harnessed to encourage inclusively and access.”

The Xbox Adaptive Controller features two large buttons that can be programmed to fit its user’s needs, as well as 19 jacks and two USB ports that are spread out in a single line on the back of the device to make them easier to access. Symbols embossed along the back of the controller’s top help identify ports so gamers don’t have to turn it around or lift it up to find the one they need, while grooves serve as guidelines to help them plug in devices. Based on gamer feedback, Microsoft moved controls including the D Pad to the side of the device and put the A and B buttons closer together, so users can easily move between them with one hand.

The controller slopes down toward the front, enabling gamers to slide their hands onto it without having to lift them (and also makes it easier to control with feet) and has rounded edges to reduce the change of injury if it’s dropped on a foot. The Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed to rest comfortably in laps and also has three threaded inserts so it can be mounted with hardware to wheelchairs, lap boards or desks.

In terms of visual design, the Xbox Adaptive Controller is sleek and unobtrusive, since Microsoft heard from many gamers with limited mobility that they dislike using adaptive devices because they often look like toys. The company’s attention to detail also extends into the controller’s packaging, which is very easy to unbox because gamers told Microsoft that they are often forced to open boxes and other product packages with their teeth.

Microsoft partners with Black Girls Code to help the organization launch Seattle chapter

Microsoft has partnered with Black Girls Code, led by Kimberly Bryant, to enable the organization to launch a chapter in Seattle, Microsoft announced on LinkedIn today. Since launching in 2011, Black Girls Code has introduced technology and computer science to young black girls in 13 cities throughout the country. Seattle marks Black Girls Code’s 14th chapter.

Microsoft also deepened its partnership with Technology Access Foundation, founded by Trish Millines Dziko. Across both partnerships, Microsoft invested $500,000.

Earlier this year, Black Girls Code teamed up with Lyft — after turning down a $125,000 donation from Uber last year —  to make the non-profit organization one of Lyft’s Round Up & Donate partners.

In a LinkedIn post, Microsoft Corporate VP and Lead Mary Snapp said she hopes the investments will “will help a lot more students find a passion for technology, the opportunity to pursue a STEM education and most importantly believe it is possible for them.

“As Satya has said in the past, Microsoft can only be successful if we have people of all backgrounds building our technology and we cannot build product and services for everyone unless everyone is represented in our engineering ranks,” Snapp wrote.

Meet with Greylock Partners for TechCrunch Include Office Hours this September

TechCrunch will partner with Greylock for Include Office Hours on September 4th from 2-4pm. The day before TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, Greylock investors Sarah Guo, Saam Motamedi, Matt Heiman, and Seth Rosenberg will meet with underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs to provide key feedback and advice. Founders, apply here!

Founded in 2014, TechCrunch launched the Include Program in an effort to leverage the extensive TechCrunch network to facilitate opportunities for underserved groups and founders. The Include Office Hours Program is one such initiative.

TechCrunch collaborates with investors to host private 20-minute sessions with startups, where founders can ask for guidance on critical business issues. During September’s Include Office Hours, Greylock will be meeting with 24 companies. To be considered for a session with these investors, fill out this application.

Unlike previous Office Hours, TechCrunch is looking for startups in the following verticals: Enterprise, B2B, Healthcare, Security, Infrastructure, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, SaaS, Fintech, Digital Commerce, Travel, Real Estate, Marketplaces, Messaging, E-commerce, Gaming and Crypto.

Underserved and underrepresented founders include but are not limited to female founders, black, Latino/a, Asian, LGBTQ, veteran, formerly incarcerated and people with disabilities.

Let’s meet our investors:

Sarah Guo – Enterprise, SaaS, B2B, Healthcare, Security and Infrastructure

Sarah’s mission is to partner with founders to productize disruptive ideas, get advantaged distribution and build dominant businesses. Sarah invests in enterprise-focused opportunities in SaaS, B2B, healthcare tech and infrastructure and security. Sarah has led Greylock’s investment in Cleo and is on the board of Cleo and Obsidian Security. She also works closely with Awake Security, Crew, Rhumbix and Skyhigh Networks. She is an advocate for STEM education for women and the underserved.

Saam Motamedi – Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and SaaS

Saam works with entrepreneurs building the next generation of enterprise companies with a focus on applications, big data, AI and vertical SaaS. He works closely with Blend, Spoke and Avi Networks. Prior to Greylock, Saam co-founded Guru Labs, a startup that uses machine learning to turn credit card transaction data into sales for offline merchants by predicting customer preferences.

Matt Heiman – Fintech, Digital Commerce, Travel, Real Estate and Marketplaces

Matt partners with entrepreneurs building companies around fintech, digital commerce, travel, real estate, and marketplaces. He sourced and works closely with Greylock’s investment in Coinbase and several more companies not yet announced. Prior to joining Greylock, Matt was a growth equity investor at Lee Equity Partners, and before that worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he managed teams advising Fortune 500 clients across a number of industries.

Seth Rosenberg – Messaging, E-commerce, Gaming, Crypto and Marketplaces

Seth partners with entrepreneurs who are building consumer products and platforms, including messaging, e-commerce, gaming, marketplaces and crypto. Seth works closely with Mammoth Media, DIRT Protocol and companies that are still in stealth. Prior to joining Greylock, Seth worked as a product manager at Facebook, where he led Product for the Messenger Developer Platform. Before Facebook, Seth worked at Goldman Sachs in New York doing tech and media investment banking.

If you are an investor, partner or managing director at a fund interested in hosting Include Office Hours, email neesha@techcrunch.com.

Apple emoji will soon include people with curly hair, white hair and superpowers

In honor of World Emoji Day (yes, that’s a thing), Apple is previewing some of its upcoming emoji. Later this year, Apple’s emoji set will feature people with a variety of hairstyles and colors, including curly hair, red hair and white hair. What you’re about to see are simply Apple’s take on emoji that were previously approved by the Unicode Consortium’s emoji subcommittee.

Folks with curly hair, rejoice!

Let’s hear it for the redheads

 

Like white on rice

 

No hair? No problem

Other fun emoji include a freezing face, peacock, mango, lobster, nazar amulet, superheroes and kangaroo.

Back in March, Apple proposed new emojis to represent people with disabilities in Unicode’s next batch of emoji. Then in May, Unicode announced some of the draft candidates for its next emoji release in Q1 2019 to include some of Apple’s proposed emoji, which featured a guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid and more. If you want to hear more about what goes into emoji approval, be sure to check out this interview with Jeremy Burge, vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee.