Weekly Refresh: SF Tech Talent Still No. 1, Companies Ditching Offices, and More

Twitter just weathered its biggest security breach in its 14-year history. This, and more San Francisco tech news you may have missed.

Written by Joe Erbentraut
Published on Jul. 20, 2020
Weekly Refresh: SF Tech Talent Still No. 1, Companies Ditching Offices, and More
san francisco tech news twitter
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FBI joins probe of Twitter hack. More than 130 verified Twitter accounts were hacked last week, including those belonging to Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian and more. The hack promoted a cryptocurrency scam that appeared to have netted the hackers at least $100,000 in cryptocurrency. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now part of an investigation into the security breach, while the social platform says it is still assessing long-term solutions to the vulnerability, which resulted in the biggest security breach in the company’s history. [Pymnts]

SF’s tech talent leads the nation. A new report scoring the talent in North America’s most prominent tech hubs ranked San Francisco first, followed by Washington, D.C., and Seattle. The markets’ scores are the culmination of 13 metrics that assess each hub’s depth, vitality and attractiveness to tech companies. [CBRE]

Related12 Bay Area Startups, Led by Robinhood, Raised $970M+ Last Week

Some SF tech companies are letting their office leases expire. SF-based Credit Karma is one example of a trend of SF startups either closing their local offices or consolidating their space in preparation for an extended period of their employees working remotely. Other Bay Area companies like Box and Okta have also been early adopters of a remote-friendly approach to business that could continue beyond the pandemic. This trend is happening in other hubs like Seattle and NYC too. [CNBC]

Launching a responsible tech toolkit. The Redwood City-based Omidyar Network just came out with its new Ethical Explorer Pack, a free tool meant to help product managers and engineers make more ethical decisions with the tech they create. We spoke with Google alum Sarah Drinkwater, the company’s director of beneficial technology, about trends in responsible tech and the direction she believes the tech industry needs to move in. [Built In SF]

Apple expanding HBCU partnerships. As part of the company’s $100 million commitment to racial justice and equity, Apple is partnering with 10 historically Black colleges to offer online-only learn-to-code hubs for students, teachers and the community. [Axios]

African founders face unique challenges. Venture capital from Silicon Valley plays a big role in African entrepreneurs working to get their startups off the ground, but these founders say they are often humiliated by how they are treated by U.S.-based investors. Research also shows that major investors are more likely to fund African startups with white founders than Black-founded African startups. [The Guardian]

Remember Xfire? The SF-based gaming app was a precursor to Discord, but shut down in 2015. We spoke with Dennis Fong, Mike Cassidy and Chris Kirmse and others to learn what happened. [Built In SF]

Uber acquires Routematch. The Atlanta-based Routematch provides transit agencies with software handling data management, ticketing and more. This appears to be a push from Uber to continue to expand its services related to public transit operations at a time when its primary revenue driver has slowed significantly due to the pandemic. [TechCrunch]

Revel’s electric mopeds are coming to SF. Beginning in August, Revel will be offering some 400 rentable e-mopeds in San Francisco, and will also be hiring locally soon. The mopeds are already available in Oakland and have ruffled some feathers there. [SFist]

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