Daily Crunch: Airbnb offers housing for healthcare workers

Airbnb says it will subsidize housing for 100,000 workers at the front lines of COVID-19 care, Groupon gets a new CEO and Stripe invests in a universal checkout startup. Here’s your Daily Crunch for March 26, 2020.

1. Airbnb to provide free or subsidized housing for 100,000 COVID-19 healthcare workers

Airbnb’s effort will work by allowing Hosts on its platform to opt-in to making their space available, with any fees that Airbnb would normally charge for using its platform waived for those who participate. The program will include new protocols around cleanliness that are designed to keep spaces safe for those workers who use it, and Airbnb will be working with the Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, the International Medical Corps and other non-profit groups to help allocate space where it’s needed most.

Airbnb also has a fund established for those who want to provide monetary support, with 100 percent of all proceeds going to nonprofits working on COVID-19 relief.

2. Groupon axes CEO and COO as company looks to mount a recovery during a crisis

While plenty of tech stocks have seen their market caps dive in the past month, Groupon has taken a harder hit than most — the company’s share price has dropped more than 70 percent in the past five weeks.

3. Stripe leads $20M Series A into Fast, which is building a universal checkout service for e-commerce

Fast, per its name, wants to make logging in far quicker, and also wants to help you check out at online stores more simply and rapidly. In an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Domm Holland said he wants Fast “to be the intermediary for all consumer interactions,” which he broke down as a “fancy way of saying we want to give you one-click login, one-click payments, one-click data everywhere.”

4. Huawei announces the P40 and tries to stay relevant without Google

Last year, the U.S. government restricted U.S. firms from maintaining a business relationship with Huawei. Even though Huawei can only release Google-free phones, the company isn’t standing still and is releasing flagship phones at a normal pace.

5. The future of collectibles is digital

With an increase in digital adoption, a step-function innovation is emerging: digital collectibles. MakersPlace co-founder Ryoma Ito writes that the new medium is gaining in popularity. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Plastiq raises $75M to help small businesses use credit cards more

When Eliot Buchanan tried to use his credit card to pay his Harvard tuition bill, the payment was rejected because the university said it doesn’t accept credit. Realizing the same problem exists for thousands of different transactions like board, rent and vendor payments, he launched Plastiq.

7. Meri Williams steps down as CTO of UK challenger bank Monzo

According to multiple sources, Meri Williams — who joined fast-growing fintech startup Monzo in September 2018 to much fanfare — announced internally that she was departing, saying that she wanted to voluntarily help with cost-cutting measures. (Williams had already cut back her involvement with Monzo and had been consulting for other tech companies.)

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