Q&A Tech

‘We’ve developed a culture of speed’: Q&A with Jason Goldberg

Jason Goldberg is founder and CEO of Pepo, a social platform that connects people with similar interests, with a focus on travel. It officially launched in November last year and, like Goldberg’s previous businesses, it’s been released at rapid speed. In the past decade, he’s also founded Social Median (a social news aggregator), (third party e-commerce) and Hem (own-brand …


Tech Workshop

Vrumi lets people hire out their homes from 9 to 5

‘Airbnb for office space’ is the easiest way to describe Vrumi, a daytime-only property rental platform. Unexpectedly, the startup has found itself a hit with corporate middle managers. Riffing on the success of Airbnb, Vrumi has added its own twist to the model: renting homes left empty while owners are at work. By adapting a now-well-known concept – short-term lets – Vrumi …


Retail Tech

The speccie startups taking on the giants in the glasses business

Cheaper and cleverer machines have inspired a new generation of ambitious founders to make and sell their own glasses. In a warehouse in Hackney Wick, Brian McGinn shapes a pair of spectacles from a sheet of Italian acetate using tools he says anyone could buy from B&Q. The self-taught maker has come to understand the inner workings of the eyewear industry …



Making sense of chatbots

‘Chatbots’ have popped up all over the internet this year. Applications have varied from customer service to a chatbot lawyer that offers to resolve parking disputes. Victor Trokoudes, co-founder of Plum, spoke to Courier about his savings platform that deploys its particular mascot, the Plumbot.   How did Plum get started? Alex [Plum’s co-founder] was downloading his bank statements and …



Why do all the big tech brands look so similar?

A weirdly familiar look seems to characterise the logos of digital companies. It’s almost impossible not to notice that internet companies appear to be following a fixed manual on their visual style: the play school primary colours and inoffensive sans serif type style have become ubiquitous. That’s before the chirpy tone of voice which is similarly universally employed. Google, Airbnb, …