GoPro Lays Off 105, Stock Tanks | Crunch Report


The US government is ready to spend billions
on self-driving cars, GoPro is in deep doo doo, how to make a Skype call from inside
a Slack channel, and more… It’s Thursday January 14th and this is Crunch
Report. Self-driving car technology is exciting, but
autonomous driving programs won’t get very far without regulatory approvals in place.
And so far, we don’t have many of those, so the U.S. government is taking the next step
by introducing a national policy for autonomous cars, and promising to invest $4 billion over
the next 10 years help development of safe vehicle automation through a series of pilot
projects. This is part of President Obama’s 2017 budget proposal, which he won’t personally
be overseeing since we’ll have a new president by then, so it could still get shot down,
but I hope it doesn’t – if the government understands the technology industry and auto
manufacturers then there’s a better chance we’ll all be following laws that make sense.
The Department of Transportation (or DOT) today said it wants to develop a model state
policy on automated driving within the next six months. In the long run, this state policy
could lead to a consistent national policy for everyone. The DOT and National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration are also looking at rules for cars that were “designed without
a human driver in mind.” That’s a big potential step forward, since states that have policies
around self-driving vehicles now still always require a human driver behind a steering wheel
who can take over. It is not a good time to be GoPro. The company’s
stock dropped over 23% percent yesterday, after the company announced its fourth quarter
earnings were worse than expected. The stock was already trading at an all-time low, so
the drop was an extra blow. GoPro still has a market cap of about $2 billion, but with
pressure from investors to sell more cameras and find new revenue streams, the company
running low on ideas, and also announced it’s laying off 7% of its 1,500 people — that’s
about 105 people. This is a really quite an about-face, as GoPro had been growing at a
50 percent rate over the last two years. GoPro went public in 2014 at $35 per share, and
shot up to $89 pretty quick. But since that high, the stock has gradually dropped, then
in the summer of 2015 it lost over half of its value over several weeks. And GoPro’s
latest camera, the Hero 4 Session, failed to outsell previous models. On a related note,
GoPro’s CEO and founder Nick Woodman was the fifth-highest paid CEO among U.S. public
companies in 2015 with a total compensation package of $77 million, an increase over the
previous year of 4,079 percent. It’s been a big week for Skype, which announced
group calling on mobile, integration with Outlook mobile, and today… a beta Slack
integration! This means now you can start either a voice or video Skype call from within
Slack. Slack users have to click on the “Add to Slack” button from Skype’s website,
then confirm which team they want to integrate with. This is just one of many integration
Slack now supports, last month the company even rolled out a new App Directory that organizes
and highlights its growing list of applications, now up to about 150. Skype calling will work
for Slack users via the web, Windows, Mac, iOS or Android apps. Slack now has 2 million
daily active users, and as of the end of 2015, 570,000 paid seats. Along with the directory,
it also launched an $80 million fund to support Slack app developers, and is valued around
$2.8 billion. Uber is doubling down on India, the country
it sees as its eventual second largest market, after China, in the coming years. On that
front, Uber has plans to establish its first dedicated engineering team in the Indian city
of Bangalore in the coming months. This will go a step beyond Uber team members based in
San Francisco that are already dedicated to Indian consumers, for example they’ve already
rolled out new features like an SOS button you can press mid-journey if you need help…
but a local team will be able to deploy more features more quickly. Uber says the new team
will be up and running in the first quarter of 2016, so that’s sometime before the end
of March. Uber declined to be specific on headcount numbers, but a source tells TechCrunch
the Indian growth product engineering team will be between 20-25 people to start. Uber’s
currently in 26 Indian cities, completing about 250,000 rides a day, but it has some
catching up to do… Indian rival Ola already operates in 102 cities and does almost one
million rides per day, according to an Ola company source. Do you want to find love? Check your heart
rate. Today, a European dating app called Once which has grabbed 600,000 users in four
months across the UK, France, and Spain, announced an integration with Fitbit and Android Wear.
It works like this – each day, Once will offer you a single potential match, which is chosen
by an actual person – one of 120 matchmakers – behind the scenes who look at your profile
and who you’ve liked in the past. So with this FitBit integration users can now sync
the fitness tracker to Once’s app to see their heart rate in real-time when they first see
that day’s match. Once says in the next version of the app, users will be able to
also send their heart rate to their match once it’s recorded. If you don’t have FitBit
or an Android Wear fitness tracker, you can still use Once… you’ll just have to monitor
your heart flutters on your own. That’s the report for today from our New
York studio, I’m Sarah Lane and this episode of Crunch Report was presented by Go90. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. See you
tomorrow!

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