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Benchmark Sues To Have Uber Cofounder Removed From Board

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Benchmark the venture capital firm and the early investor in Uber, is suing the former Uber CEO and Cofounder Travis Kalanick for fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty and breaches of contractual obligations. The complaint was filed on Thursday in the Delaware Chancery Court.

In the complaint, Benchmark alleges Kalanick’s overreaching objective was to pack Uber’s Board with loyal allies to help him insulate his prior conduct from any scrutiny. This would also clear the path for his eventual return as CEO, which Benchmark claims would be detrimental to Uber’s stockholders, employees, driver partners and customers.

The lawsuit seeks to force Kalanick off the board, nullify a June 2016 agreement that created three additional board seats and rescind his ability to fill those three seats. The lawsuit also aims to permanently remove Kalanick from Uber’s board and ban the cofounder from participating in Uber’s CEO replacement process.

The June 2016 agreement allowed Kalanick to expand the size of Uber’s board with three additional seats, giving him the sole right to designate those seats. According to the lawsuit, Kalanick held the power to name one of those three seats for himself after his resignation, while the other two seats could remain unfulfilled. Benchmark’s argument hangs on the statement that they would never have granted Kalanick those extra seats had they known about Kalanick’s “gross mismanagement and other misconduct at Uber.” Benchmark argues Kalanick’s misconduct invalidates the board’s vote to enlarge the board. This misconduct, according to the lawsuit, includes pervasive gender discrimination and sexual harassment, hiding the existence of confidential findings and nondisclosure of material information.

Currently, Uber Technologies Inc., is also fighting another lawsuit from Alphabet Inc., for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Alphabet Inc., is claiming their former employee Anthony Levandowski stole 14,000 files from Alphabet before starting his self driving startup Otto, which was later acquired by Uber. According to the new lawsuit by Benchmark, Kalanick did not disclose to the board what he knew about Alphabet’s allegations of trade secret misappropriation before Uber acquired Otto. The lawsuit also states another  lawsuit from Waymo, presents significant legal, financial and reputational risks to Uber. It claims these risks could have been reduced or avoided if Kalanick had disclosed crucial facts about his own apparent knowledge at the time of the Otto acquisition.

Travis Kalanick, who was allegedly trying to ‘Steve Jobs his way back’ into the company, was forced to resign after Benchmark partner Bill Gurley, led the effort to oust the CEO from the company. Uber has declined to comment on the issue.
 

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Calmosis is revolutionizing healthcare in India with legal cannabis use! 

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An Indian Startup Pioneers the legal use of cannabis in Indian Healthcare

Forget everything you thought you knew about healthcare in India. A groundbreaking startup called Calmosis is making waves in Bengaluru with its unique approach to holistic wellness, led by a dynamic duo: Karan and Praveen.

 

Calmosis product.

 

Karan Naidu, a BMSCE graduate who calls Bangalore home, has poured his passion and resources into building Calmosis. By his side is Praveen Singh Rajput, a serial entrepreneur and author who helms the gifting marketplace startup FRINZA. Praveen brings his business acumen honed at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore, to the table.

Together, they’ve drawn inspiration from a personal quest – helping Karan’s mother overcome sleep issues. This led to the birth of Calmosis, offering meticulously crafted elixirs that blend the wisdom of Ayurveda with natural cannabis extracts.Vijaya, as cannabis extracts are known in ancient Indian medicine, has been revered for centuries for its medicinal properties. Calmosis harnesses this potential to promote restful sleep, alleviate stress and anxiety, and even ease migraines. 

Unlike traditional medications that often come with unwanted side effects, Calmosis’ Peace Mantra and Sleep Mantra elixirs provide a safe and natural alternative. But Calmosis’ mission extends beyond physical well-being. Their commitment to quality and transparency shines through rigorous product testing and personalized consultations with expert Ayurvedic doctors, ensuring each customer receives the perfect blend for their individual needs.

 

 

The company’s impact goes far beyond personal health. Calmosis champions social responsibility and sustainability by ethically sourcing ingredients and embracing eco-friendly practices, creating a positive ripple effect on local communities and the environment.

Embarking on a journey towards a healthier you with Calmosis is as easy as a few clicks. Visit their website, place an order, and have their transformative products delivered straight to your door. In a world obsessed with constant hustle,Calmosis offers a much-needed oasis of calm. Combining the wisdom of ancient practices with modern innovation,they’re helping individuals rediscover balance and tranquility in today’s fast-paced world. So, ditch the chemical concoctions and embrace the power of nature’s healing touch with Calmosis. They’re rewriting the healthcare narrative in India, and you can be part of the revolution.

 

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Mercedes Hits the Brakes on EVs: Profit Woes Lead to Focus on Gas-Powered Cars

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Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is experiencing a shift in gears, prioritizing gasoline-powered vehicles over its previously ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This comes after disappointing sales figures and shrinking profit margins for their electric offerings.

The Dream Runs out of Charge:

Mercedes, a leader in the luxury car market, had set a goal to be fully electric by 2030. However, sluggish sales of their electric vehicles, particularly the high-end EQS and EQE sedans, have forced a recalibration of their plans. The company’s profit margin dipped to a concerning 9% in the first quarter of 2024, falling below their long-term target range.

Why the Slow Charge?

Several factors are contributing to the lackluster performance of Mercedes’ EVs:

  •  Price Point Pinch: The high price tag of Mercedes’ electric cars, ranging from $70,000 to $120,000, limits their appeal compared to more affordable electric options. 
  •  Competition Heats Up: Other luxury carmakers like Tesla and BMW are offering strong competition, with some even surpassing Mercedes in EV sales growth. 
  •  Infrastructure Concerns: Gaps in charging infrastructure and anxieties about range remain significant deterrents for potential EV buyers.

Back to the Drawing Board:

In response to these challenges, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius announced a revised strategy. The company will:

  •  Extend Focus on Combustion Engines:  Production of gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles will continue well into the 2030s, catering to customer demand.
  •  Rethink EV Strategy: Mercedes will analyze consumer preferences and market trends to refine their electric car offerings. This may involve focusing on more affordable models or improving features to enhance range and charging efficiency.

The Road Ahead

The shift by Mercedes highlights the complexities of the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for car manufacturers to balance ambitious environmental goals with the realities of consumer behavior and market competition.

Is this a Permanent Pause?

While Mercedes is putting the brakes on its all-electric vision, it doesn’t necessarily signal a complete retreat from EVs. The company may leverage this time to strengthen its electric offerings and ensure they are competitive in the rapidly evolving market. Only time will tell if Mercedes can reclaim its position as a leader in the electric vehicle race.

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Reddit Soars After Strong Earnings and Upbeat Outlook

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Reddit, the social media platform known for its online communities and meme culture, saw its stock price jump significantly after releasing its first earnings report since going public in March. Investors were impressed by the company’s strong financial performance and optimistic forecasts for the future.

The report highlighted a surge in user engagement, with daily active users increasing by 37% to 82.7 million in the first quarter. This growth was accompanied by an 8% rise in average revenue per user, indicating Reddit’s success in monetizing its platform. 

Perhaps the most significant factor driving the stock price increase was Reddit’s forecast for the second quarter. The company projected revenue to fall between $240 million and $255 million, exceeding analyst expectations. Additionally, Reddit anticipates achieving break-even status or even generating a profit, surpassing predictions of a loss.

This positive outlook can be attributed in part to Reddit’s flourishing advertising business. The company is also capitalizing on a new revenue stream: content licensing deals with artificial intelligence (AI) firms. Reddit’s vast collection of user-generated content provides valuable data for training AI models, attracting companies like Google.

Analysts believe Reddit is still in its early stages of monetization and predict continued growth in the coming quarters, fueled by advancements in ad targeting and measurement tools. This optimism is reflected in the stock price surge, which has climbed roughly 70% since Reddit’s IPO.

Overall, Reddit’s first earnings report paints a bright picture for the company’s future. With a thriving user base, increasing revenue opportunities, and a promising outlook, Reddit appears well-positioned for continued success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

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