Happy Friday. Hope you are hungry.
Illustration of sandwiches being prepared for a box lunch, 1931. Screen print. Photo: GraphicaArtis/Getty Images
The latest craze in Silicon Valley’s effort to turn every basic human need into a subscription service is MealPal, which lets urban workers pre-order lunch for about $6, typically a $2–$3 savings.
The bottom line: MealPal, based in New York, is far from the first startup to try to improve the lunch experience, notes Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva. There are apps like Allset, which allows participants to skip the line at restaurants along with a range of different digital loyalty services.
How it works: Every day, participating restaurants select a meal to be for the app’s customers.
For restaurants, this is an efficient way to prepare a large number of meals quickly and easily as they receive the day’s orders in the morning, Biggins says.
What’s next: MealPal, which raised $35 million in funding since its 2016 founding, is quietly working on ways to let entrepreneurs sell lunches via its service without needing all the expensive trappings of a conventional restaurant, like a store front.
Our thought bubble: It's unclear just how long MealPlan's appeal will last or whether it will broadly scale. It's part of a class of startup ideas that my old boss, Kara Swisher, has dubbed "assisted living for millennials."
While some had larger issues with Kanye West meeting with the president in the Oval Office on Thursday, many techies were hung up on the fact West revealed his iPhone passcode — and it's a weak one.
Video from the White House meeting shows West pressing a bunch of zeroes to unlock his phone, a bad practice that some suggest indicates that perhaps West's other online accounts might also be easily hacked.
Why it matters: Celebrities are even more likely to be victims of targeted attacks, making the need for strong passwords even higher.
What they're saying: Besides CNET's tweet shown above, several others had something to say.
Meanwhile, West also suggested to President Trump that he have Apple build a hydrogen-powered replacement for Air Force One. His proposed design turned out to be a Detroit student's graduate thesis.
Uber sent a letter to federal securities regulators yesterday, asking for rule changes that would let it provide company stock to its drivers, Axios' Dan Primack reports.
Why it matters: This could become an important new type of compensation for millions of "gig economy" workers.
The U.S. share of global venture capital investment has fallen as European and Asian growth in the sector far outstripped American increases, according to a new report from the Center for American Entrepreneurship.
The big picture: CAE cautions that U.S. dominance in the startup business is now being challenged. Per the report...
[T]he world’s high-tech entrepreneurs are able to stay in their home city or nation and raise venture capital — a pattern that may accelerate if the U.S. government fails to create an entrepreneur visa or attempts to limit the immigration of highly-skilled individuals.
As late as the mid-1990s, the U.S. was home to roughly 95% of all venture capital investment in the world, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports. Today, its share has dropped to just over 50%.
Countries in Europe and Asia are providing lures for people with capital in hand to do business on their turf. Fast-tracked permanent residency and five-figure relocation bonuses are among the perks some countries are offering immigrant startup founders, Bloomberg writes.
Go deeper: Marisa has more here.
It turns out moons can have their own moons. And they are called moonmoons.