There are many unkind ways to end a working relationship, but leave it to Uber to show a true flourish of cruelty.
Uber cleaned out half of its Chicago-based support staff on Friday. In emails obtained by the Daily Dot, the employees were terminated by a representative of ZeroChaos, the third-party HR firm that managed the contractors. The emails were written in, of all things, Comic Sans—the world’s most reviled and visually offensive font.
Shrouded in a cloak of mystery, likely cloistered in a tricked-out Parisian garret, Donda — Kanye West’s startup to end all startups — exists.
That’s pretty much all we know, based on a passing mention of the “creative agency that oversees his nonmusical ventures” in a recent W profile of Mr. West.
After rumors swirled the past few days that food delivery companies GrubHub and Seamless were in talks to merge, the news is now official. Bloomberg reports that the companies are combining in an effort to out-deliver their competitors in the fast-growing online ordering sector.
Matt Maloney, CEO of Chicago-based GrubHub, will lead the merged entity while New York-based Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky will be its president. Financial details have not yet been released but neither company is paying to acquire the other. The company will be rebranded, although a new name hasn’t been selected.
Ride or Die
We’ve heard cops are pinning mugshots and sifting through social media for gang members. But this report from Chicago’s Fox 32 News might be the eeriest Internet use case yet: The local medical examiner is now publishing pictures of the faces and identifying markers of the unidentified dead. The goal is to put names to remains.
If that makes you a little uncomfortable, well, don’t expect the medical examiner to back down in the face of your squeamishness. As far as they’re concerned, the noble ends justify the gruesome means. Fox 32 reports:
A number of Chicago taxi and limousine companies filed a lawsuit (below) today against Uber, the request-a-ride company that lets you e-hail and pay for a car with your smartphone.
In April, the San Francisco startup expanded its service in Chicago from black cars to include taxis as well. (Uber’s recent attempt to expand from black cars to yellow taxis in New York City were swatted down last month by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.)
Although Uber’s brash tactics and outspoken CEO, Travis Kalanick, have rankled city governments and competitors–the complaint even features a screengrab of a contentious tweet from Mr. Kalanick and references his open criticism of “of any regulation in general”–this marks the first time a taxi or limousine company has filed a suit against Uber.
If venture funding from the likes of Yuri Milner and Jeff Bezos wasn’t enough to convince you that the outside world is picking up what General Assembly’s putting down, how about the most sincere form of flattery? Imitation. The Chicago Tribune reports that a billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker is leading a local team looking to replicate General Assembly’s urban tech campus/co-working space in Chicago.
Yes, that’s same bold-faced last name as O.G. General Assembly chairman Adam Pritzker, who emailed Betabeat to say he’s psyched about the prospects, “I am excited for J.B. Chicago is a great city and I am confident that his skills and experience will help develop the startup culture there.”