Employees of the online review site Yelp at the East Coast headquarters of the tech company on October 26, 2011 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Yelp is bringing back “nearly all” of its 1,100 furloughed employees and restoring employee pay and work hours starting in August, the company announced Monday.
The company will also extend its office closures into 2021, resulting in the layoff of 63 more employees.
Yelp in April laid off 1,000 employees and furloughed roughly 1,100 more, as the coronavirus pandemic dramatically decreased consumer interest in going out due to social distancing mandates.
“As local economies begin their recovery, we remain cautious but optimistic in the face of continued uncertainty,” Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote in an email to employees that was shared with CNBC.
“We expect to see a continued fluctuation in business openings and closures during the course of the pandemic as communities respond to local outbreaks. While the pacing and duration of the recovery are still unknown, the executive team and board feel confident in our ability to withstand the challenges and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead,” he added.
Workers across the nation are slowly returning to their jobs, though Covid-19 cases are still rising. Weekly jobless claims for the week that ended July 4 totaled 1.314 million, while continuing claims came in at 18.06 million, according to the Labor Department.
The vast majority of Apple stores closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic are located in the U.S., Morgan Stanley says
A staff member checks a customer’s temperature at an Apple Store entrance during phase one of reopening after lockdown from the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City, New York, U.S. June 17, 2020.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
The vast majority of Apple stores closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic are located in the United States, according to a new analysis from Morgan Stanley.
100 Apple retail stores were closed around the world at the end of last week, and 92 were located in the United States, according to the note. Apple has 510 stores worldwide and 271 stores in the United States.
Apple was one of the first major companies to close its retail stores during the pandemic, and the company says it monitors the Covid-19 situation to determine whether it is safe to operate its stores.
Apple stores are often in major malls or business districts, making it a key indicator of how smoothly and where retail operations can restart amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The ratio of closures in the U.S. suggests Apple sees a significantly riskier environment for retail in its home country versus the rest of the world.
Overall, closures are picking up again. Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote that last week saw the first net increase in Apple Store closures since March, when Apple first shut down all stores outside China.
“As of July 7th, 410 of 510 Apple retail stores, or 80% of all stores, are reopened, down from 457 the week prior.”
Last week, Apple said that it has reclosed 77 stores in the United States because of rising Covid-19 cases in many regions. Previously, it had been reopening many locations with social distancing, mandatory masking and curb-side pickup or service appointment options.
An Apple spokesman said at the time in a statement: “Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”
Apple has continued to reclose stores, including one location in Georgia and one location in California this week. It also said on its website that it will close four additional stores in the Melbourne, Australia area as the city goes on lockdown because of Covid-19.
Efforts to restart the United States economy are faltering as states are increasingly pausing plans to ease restrictions on businesses. On Wednesday, there was a record single-day spike of 60,000 new coronavirus cases reported in the U.S. over a 24 hour period.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018.
Anushree Fadnavis | Reuters
The company revealed little about the new platform, though said it will work with its Payments and Twitter.com teams.
“We are building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by other teams in the future. This is a first for Twitter! Gryphon is a team of web engineers who are closely collaborating with the Payments team and the Twitter.com team,” Twitter said on the job posting.
The move could help diversify Twitter’s revenue beyond advertising, which accounts for more than 80% of the company’s revenue. In Q4 2019 — before the coronavirus shut down large swaths of the economy and advertisers began to draw back on spending — Twitter’s ad revenue was up 12% from the year-ago quarter. In Q1 2020, it was essentially flat from the previous year’s quarter.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The stock could also be boosted by Monday’s comments from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the U.S. government was looking at banning TikTok, a rival social media platform. It’s already been banned in India.
The banning of TikTok could provide some competitive relief to social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Facebook, Morgan Stanley’s sales team wrote Tuesday morning.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield speaks at his company’s Frontiers conference at Pier 27 & 29 in San Francisco on April 24, 2019
NOAH BERGER | AFP) (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP via Getty Images)
Slack has acquired software as a service company Rimeto, the company announced Wednesday. Slack did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Rimeto, which has raised $10 million in venture funding, builds a detailed employee dictionary for companies. That allows employers and fellow employees to see employees’ skills, experience and current projects.
Slack said the acquisition will help its users fell more “connected,” especially as several offices continue to work at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Rimeto’s advanced profile and directory features will be integrated into Slack directly, but we will also continue to offer Rimeto as a standalone product and support their existing enterprise customers,” Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said in a release.
“We’re very confident we’re going to get to profitability next year and we have enough of a diversified portfolio to make that statement with quite a bit of confidence,” Khosrowshahi said in a “Squawk on the Street” interview.
The company announced its plans to buy Postmates for $2.65 billion in an all-stock deal on Monday.
Uber had said in January that it would turn a profit on an EBITDA basis by Q4 2020, then withdrew its guidance in May as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to upend daily life. In Q1, the company lost $2.94 billion on revenue of $3.54 billion.
But its bet on the food delivery business could push it forward.
The deal brings together the fourth-largest U.S. food delivery service with Uber Eats, which trails only DoorDash in market share, according to Second Measure and Edison Trends. Uber said it will also bolster its Uber Eats delivery unit, bringing in key markets like Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas and 10 million active customers.
“We want to get bigger in the category, and really scale is how you bring the category into profitability,” Khosrowshahi said.
While the company’s food-delivery business is thriving in the pandemic, its core Rides business has slowed down significantly from last year. But that slowdown is moderating — Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a call with investors after the Postmates transaction that gross bookings in the Rides business were down 75% from last year in the second quarter, but are now down only 60%.
Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, speaks during the Wall Street Journal D.Live global technology conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Oct. 17, 2017.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Johnson joins the augmented reality start-up after leading Microsoft’s M&A strategy and launching its venture fund as executive vice president of business development. She was hired by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in 2014 after a 24-year career at Qualcomm, where she worked in several roles, including running the internet services unit. At Microsoft, Johnson has served as a member of the company’s senior leadership team and navigated Microsoft through major partnership deals and acquisitions, including its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016.
Magic Leap’s announcement comes after its founder and CEO Rony Abovitz announced in May he would step down from the role, saying in a statement that with changes at the company, “it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step.”
Founded in 2011, Magic Leap was the subject of extensive hype in its early days, and managed to raise about $3 billion from Alphabet’s Google and other investors. But the company’s first product, released in 2018 for over $2,000, showed lowered ambitions since the company’s early demonstrations and did not sell well, and Magic Leap recently pivoted to focus on business scenarios. During the coronavirus pandemic, Magic Leap announced in April it would lay off staff as part of a structure overhaul. The New York Times reported that about 600 of its 1,900 workers were impacted.
Johnson told the New York Times that she was driven to take the job because she wanted to be a chief executive.
Here are some of the tech start-ups that took government payroll loans during the coronavirus crisis
People wearing face masks are seen shopping at a supermarket in Foster City, California, on April 22, 2020.
Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
A number of venture-backed tech start-ups were among the companies that received loans under a program intended to blunt the economic damage from Covid-19, according to data released Monday by the Trump Administration.
The data follows demands from Democrats for more transparency around the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, funds established as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, which President Donald Trump signed this spring.
The PPP’s goal is to offer forgivable loans to smaller businesses, helping them to stay afloat and employees to maintain their jobs as the coronavirus puts the U.S. economy on hold. Companies that maintain most of their payroll through the span of the loan may convert those funds into a grant.
While the aim of the program was to aid ailing companies with less than 500 employees, its effectiveness has remained unclear. Larger and public companies initially took advantage of loosely written language to tap the funds for themselves.
CNBC compiled a list of the tech-related startups and venture capital firms that received Paycheck Protection Program funding, according to the government list.
- AllTurtles, an artificial intelligence startup, received between $350,000 to $1 million in loans.
- Bird Rides, an electric scooter start-up, received between $5 million and $10 million in loans.
- Bitmovin, an online video software and infrastructure company, received between $350,000 and $1 million in loans.
- Byton, an electric vehicle startup, received between $5 million and $10 million in loans.
- Canoo, an electric vehicle startup, received between $5 million and $10 million in loans.
- Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating application, received between $1 million and $2 million in loans.
- Entelo, a source-to-hire recruitment automation platform, received between $1 million and $2 million in loans.
- Fyusion, a 3D computer vision and machine learning company, received between $1 million and $2 million in loans.
- Grindr, location-based social and dating app, received $1 million to $2 million in loans.
- Karma Automotive, an electric vehicle startup, received between $5 million and $10 million in loans.
- Massdrop, an e-commerce company now known by Drop, received between $2 million and $5 million in loans.
- Mixpanel, which provides business analytics, received $5 million to $10 million in loans.
- Mode Analytics, a data platform, received between $2 million and $5 million in loans.
- Nylas, a communications platform built for software developers, received between $1 million and $2 million in loans.
- Omnisci, a software company, received between $2 million and $5 million in loans.
- Quantcast, which helps brands advertise with its artificial intelligence technology, received between $5 million to $10 million in loans.
- Reputation.com, a business-to-business online reputation management company, received between $5 million and $10 million in loans.
- Rescale, a cloud simulation platform, received between $2 million and $5 million in loans.
- Splice Machine, a data platform, received between $350,000 to $1 million in loans.
- Survata, a brand intelligence platform, received between $1 million and $2 million in loans.
- Talkdesk, a cloud-based call center hub, received $5 million to $10 million in loans.
- Taulia, a financial technology business, received between $2 million and $5 million in loans.
- Turo, a car sharing marketplace, received $5 million to $10 million in loans.
- Zendrive, which uses mobile sensor data to provide insights that improve safety, received between $1 million and $2 million in loans.
Index Ventures is also listed as having taken a loan between $2 million and $5 million for its fund VIII. However, a company spokesperson said the data was wrong.
“I can confirm that Index Ventures VIII did not apply for a PPP loan at any point,” said the spokesperson. “The entry listed is in error, as although it lists us as a business name, it is not our address or correct information about our fund. Our legal team is looking into why our name is listed and look to correct it ASAP.”[The full list is available on the Small Business Administration website, which you can access here.]
Lauren Hirsch and Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.
The four biggest tech companies are each worth more than $1 trillion, a landmark last reached before Covid-19
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2020.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
The four biggest tech companies are each worth more than $1 trillion, a landmark that was last reached before the Covid-19 pandemic struck the U.S.
The landmark shows the resilience of the tech industry in the face of a global pandemic, recession and record unemployment.
Alphabet was the latest to re-enter the trillion-dollar club, reaching $1.02 trillion in market value during trading on Monday. Apple was valued at $1.63 trillion, followed by Microsoft at $1.61 trillion. Amazon, which has largely benefited from stay-at-home orders that battered most companies, was valued at $1.48 trillion in early trading.
The valuations were boosted by a strong morning for U.S. markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.7%, while the S&P 500 gained 1.4%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.6% to an all-time high.
The technology giants first reached the milestone in late January and held onto gains into February, before the pandemic caused markets to plummet.
Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, speaks at the 2019 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco on November 19, 2019.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
CEOs from four tech giants, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, have all agreed to testify before the House Antitrust Subcommittee, a spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee Democrats confirmed to CNBC on Wednesday.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had appeared to be the last to confirm his attendance at the hearing, according to a recent report from Politico. According to the report, Facebook and Google both agreed to make their top executives available if the other companies did the same. Amazon said in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee that CEO Jeff Bezos would be willing to testify, according to a copy obtained by CNBC last month.
New York Times Opinion columnist Kara Swisher first reported the news that the CEOs agreed to testify.
The hearing would mark the first time all four executives testified together in front of Congress, though it’s not yet clear if the event would take place in person or virtually given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Swisher reported the hearing would occur in late July, though the Judiciary spokesperson could not yet share details on the date and format of the testimony. Though Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook are all veterans of congressional testimony, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has never before appeared before Congress.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment and deferred to the committee. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment and referred to the letter the company sent to the committee confirming Bezos’ testimony. Representatives from Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The House Judiciary Committee announced its antitrust investigation into the four tech companies in June 2019. Testimony from the CEOs would mark one of the final steps before completing the probe, which is expected to produce new legislative proposals to reform and regulate the digital market. In a January interview, Cicilline told CNBC it’s “clear” to him that the digital marketplace is “not functioning properly, that there’s not robust competition there.” He said effective legislation would need to reinvigorate competition and enable a new class of start-ups to grow.
While the House probe will not result in enforcement actions against the company, investigations by federal and state regulators could. The Justice Department is reportedly nearing a potential lawsuit against Google over alleged anticompetitive practices while the Federal Trade Commission has been investigating Facebook. Apple and Amazon have also attracted antitrust scrutiny from enforcers both in the U.S. and abroad.
The House antitrust probe has represented a rare bipartisan effort in the Judiciary Committee. But as the panel nears the legislative phase, some Republican members have threatened to fracture that united front. Several members wrote to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. in February that they “will not participate in an investigation with pre-conceived conclusions that America’s large tech companies are inherently bad, cannot be allowed to exist in society, and must be broken up.”
The charge came after a video of Nadler at a fundraising event surfaced online where he could be heard talking about “changing the distribution of power” and “breaking up all the large companies.” Politico reported that Nadler did not call specifically to break up the tech companies, and was speaking generally about changes needed to tackle the issue of concentrated market power.
Though their incentives may differ, there still appears to be an appetite from both sides of Congress to tamp down tech’s wide-reaching power. Republican complaints of tech platforms alleged bias against conservatives have been emboldened by President Donald Trump’s recent executive order seeking to strip tech companies of liability protection for their moderation protocols. And Democrats have called on the companies to more strictly enforce hate speech violations in light of recent protests for racial justice.
But the question remains of how to regulate the industry and whether antitrust is the appropriate tool to do so. Members of Congress have introduced bills aiming to restrict tech’s powers in other ways, by limiting the amount of data they’re able to collect and store and limiting their ability to target potential voters with ads.
-CNBC’s Annie Palmer and Salvador Rodriguez contributed to this report.