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Uber, Lyft per-driver costs in California could jump 30% under gig work law

on September 17, 2019

Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, said if costs go up for Uber and Lyft and the ride-hailing companies have to pay for employee benefits, they will hire fewer drivers but those drivers will work longer hours.

Flexibility is key with gig economy companies, Rao added, since otherwise it might as well be a traditional job.

“It’s not about economic stability. It’s about flexibility with economic incentives,” Rao said in an interview. “People like flexibility.”

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WeWork and Saudi Aramco Pose Big Tests for JPMorgan’s Resurgent Underwriting Business

on September 13, 2019

“There is a public relations situation that needs to be managed; the last thing [JPMorgan] wants is to be called greedy and a mercenary,” says Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, a boutique merchant bank focused on pre-IPO companies. “But they will definitely make it work, because the stakes are very high and there is the chance of repeat business.”

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New Venture Studio Aims To Put DraftKings In The Driver’s Seat For Sports Tech Innovation

on September 13, 2019

DraftKings tabbed their former Chief Marketing Officer, Janet Holian and veteran venture capitalist and athlete/celebrity investment adviser, Rashaun Williams to spearhead the new venture. Williams, who manages a $300 million-dollar fund for Manhattan Venture Partners and who was also an integral part in hip hop legend, Nas’ Queensbridge Venture Partners has been amassing a massive network of current and former athletes interested in tech and venture capital for a number of years. As he puts it, “DraftKings and I were running on two parallel tracks, me on the athlete network side and of course DraftKings being one of the biggest and most successful sports tech companies of all time. We ended up meeting during NBA All-Star Weekend in February and came to the realization that 1+1=5, which is how DRIVE was born.”

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The startups that hack your devices, WeWon’t, and Goldman Sachs ruffles feathers

on September 9, 2019

Graham Rapier talked to Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, who explained why he thought WeWork’s original valuation was way too high.

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A venture-capital insider dishes on why WeWork’s original valuation was way too high

on September 9, 2019

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Boston Tech Watch: DraftKings Drives, The Engine Revs, NuTonomy Swaps

on September 3, 2019

DraftKings says it has launched a sports tech matchmaking venture and athlete-entrepreneur network both under the brand DRIVE. While DraftKings says the venture itself doesn’t plan on investing in the sports tech startups, it plans to match early stage companies with its network of current and former athletes and other investors. The venture is “partially owned” by DraftKings and has funding from General Catalyst, Accomplice, and Boston Seed. Janet Holian, a sports tech veteran and DraftKing’s former marketing head, is co-founding DRIVE with venture investor Rashaun Williams. Holian will be CEO and Williams will be president of DRIVE.

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DraftKings spinoff aims to make Boston a ‘Title Town’ for sports tech

on September 3, 2019

Janet Holian and Rashaun Williams sure hope so. They have joined forces to launch a new venture here called Drive by DraftKings that aims to build a support system for sports tech entrepreneurs as well as pro athletes interested in investing and working in the field.

Drive’s launch, unveiled Thursday, has been in the works for months. DraftKings, the Boston-based tech company best known for its fantasy sports competitions, had wanted to launch a “venture studio” to foster the next generation of sports tech firms. Holian stepped down as chief marketing officer at DraftKings, which employs more than 700 people in Boston, to help make that happen. Holian connected with Williams, an Atlanta-based venture capitalist and DraftKings investor who also coaches pro athletes about investing and entrepreneurship. Together, they decided to fold his work into this new venture, offering classes and other kinds of support to athletes and startups.

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DraftKings announces new initiative aimed at sports startups, athletes

on September 3, 2019

Williams said that the impetus to create Drive came from DraftKings’ interest in supporting budding sports technology firms and building a support network of sorts.

“They kept thinking, ‘What can we do to foster this community and build this community here in Boston,’” Williams said. Williams, who has previously acted as a “coach” for athletes and entertainers looking to make investments, also indicated that Drive could provide opportunities to athletes who might otherwise be locked into sports-adjacent careers.

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DraftKings Announces Initiative That Is Aiming To Be An Ecosystem For The Sports Technology Intersection

on September 3, 2019

“The DRIVE Athlete Network puts athletes at the center of everything we do, providing them with rare, real-world opportunities to embed with leading VC firms and cutting-edge tech companies,” said Rashaun Williams, DRIVE co-founder and president. “DRIVE fills a resource gap for current and former professional athletes, who despite their wealth and public fame, are often stuck on the outside looking in at the tech companies revolutionizing their own sports.”

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DraftKings bets on sports tech firms and athletes’ off-field careers with new venture

on September 3, 2019

The venture, called “Drive” launched Thursday at DraftKings’ headquarters in Boston. It will consist of an athlete network, complete with internships and residency programs designed to boost their business acumen. It will also feature the Drive Venture Studio which will provide sports tech entrepreneurs with access to key figures and executives across the U.S. sports landscape. Former DraftKings executive Janet Holian and venture capitalist Rashaun Williams co-founded the initiative, which counts venture firms Boston Seed, Accomplice, General Catalyst and DraftKings itself as financial backers.

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