13th May 2021 | 3rd Edition
1. Food delivery: Spanish riders are on the brink of being told how the algorithms ranking them really work
Food delivery apps often work on a points-based system whereby riders have to earn points in order to gain the right to work more hours. Points are based on factors such as delivery speed, customer rating, or availability to take orders at any time, alongside other factors not shared with riders. These algorithms can be tweaked at any moment to be more beneficial to the companies that control them.
However, Spain is due to approve a new law forcing delivery app companies to open up their algorithmic black boxes to explain to their riders what variables they are using to determine their in-app scores.
2. Pitchbooking: Meet the team behind the platform disrupting the way we book sports facilities
Pitchbooking is a Belfast-based startup that provides scheduling and payment solutions to sports facilities. Founded in 2018, the company has already signed up more than 1,000 facilities in England and Northern Ireland — and has just taken on its first US-based customer.
Co-founder and COO, Fearghal Campbell, speaks to Sifted about how Pitchbooking works, and how Belfast’s close-knit startup community helped him leave his day job to found the startup.
3. Bitski raises a whopping $19 million from Jay Z an A16Z
You’ve probably never heard of Bilski but they’re quite a big deal in the NFT space. Essentially, they are an online marketplace enabling people to own, trade, and sell NFTs, without the complexity of cryptocurrencies.
Whilst their Series A round closed at $19 million, Bitski has raised some $23.4 million to date. Tech Crunch reports on their star-studded line-up of investors and how they plan to become the Shopify for NFTs.
P.S. For those not in the know, an NFT is a piece of digital media (e.g. an image) that can be owned, sold, and traded. Still confused? Me too!
4: How Instacart uses machine learning to find the most optimal routes for its shoppers
This a technical read from the engineering team at Instacart, the app that delivers groceries and household items from local stores.
In this blog, they reveal the sophisticated algorithm that how groups orders from multiple customers who live close to each other and suggests efficient routes to shoppers, ultimately reducing the number of miles traveled on a trip.
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