The Daily Ten – Making Billions with Airbnb, Amazon is going “big” in Brooklyn, Google wants to “cool” down your city…
The Daily Ten
1. Airbnb is offering hosts company shares. But millions may miss out | The Real Deal
“I’m curious to see how effective it is and if it actually works”
Airbnb is inviting hosts to enjoy in its success following a bumpy year of breakups and makeups.
The startup is offering a portion of its shares to people who rent homes on its platform through a directed-share program, a rare move that means those eligible could reap rewards when Airbnb goes public.
But Airbnb has not said how many shares it will offer and the criteria is narrow. Only U.S. hosts are eligible — 86 percent of its 4 million hosts are based outside the US, according to the company’s S-1 — and the offer is only being extended to those who were active within the past two years.
Airbnb, which has changed the hospitality landscape since its founding in 2008, disclosed the program in its Monday filing ahead of the company’s long-awaited IPO. The home-share startup is looking to raise as much as $3 billion, with a valuation of up to $30 billion.
Keeping hosts happy is crucial to the company’s growth because Airbnb relies on their homes.
“Airbnb is a truly asset-light company but it is still in the real estate business,” Dror Peleg, an industry observer and author of “Rethinking Real Estate,” said in an email. “Having exclusive inventory in key locations is still critical.”
2. The Future of Kitchen Design Is Hands-Free and Smartphone-Activated | WSJ
Touchless technology, voice automation and app-controlled appliances are bringing kitchens into the digital age
Douglas Gilman put a new designer kitchen in his Manhattan apartment last year with entertaining in mind. He placed the sleek marble-accented Dada kitchen, from Italy’s Molteni&C, at the center of the airy 2,800-square-foot home that he created from combining two adjacent units in a former West Village printing house. He figured it would give him easier access to his guests.
But the arrival of Covid-19 restrictions has meant much more cooking, and next to no entertaining, and it’s his high-tech German appliances that have…
3. Welcome launches to help companies stage Apple keynote-style virtual events | Venture Beat
Welcome is throwing its hat into the virtual events ring today, further evidence that the global pandemic may leave an indelible mark on the trillion-dollar business event and conference market.
Welcome emerges from stealth after just seven months in development and three months testing with beta customers. Welcome CEO and cofounder Roberto Ortiz said the company aims to allow anyone to “throw an experience that feels like an Apple keynote.”
“We saw that there was a big gap in the market, especially looking at high-end events, high-end experiences, and high-end production,” Ortiz told VentureBeat.
In the run-up to its public launch, Welcome has secured $12 million in funding from notable investors that include Kleiner Perkins, Y Combinator, Kapor Capital, and WIN (Webb Investor Network).
4. African fintech startup Chipper Cash raises $30M backed by Jeff Bezos | TechCrunch
African cross-border fintech startup Chipper Cash has raised a $30 million Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital with participation of Bezos Expeditions — the personal VC fund of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Chipper Cash was founded in San Francisco in 2018 by Ugandan Ham Serunjogi and Ghanaian Maijid Moujaled. The company offers mobile-based, no fee, P2P payment services in seven countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya.
Parallel to its P2P app, the startup also runs Chipper Checkout — a merchant-focused, fee-based payment product that generates the revenue to support Chipper Cash’s free mobile-money business. The company has scaled to 3 million users on its platform and processes an average of 80,000 transactions daily. In June 2020, Chipper Cash reached a monthly payments value of $100 million, according to CEO Ham Serunjogi.
5. Amazon to lease giant NYC warehouse space for delivery center | New York Post
Tech giant Amazon has inked a deal to lease another massive warehouse space for a delivery center in Brooklyn, the company said Wednesday.
The online delivery service said they will open the center at the 211,000 square foot building at 12555 Flatlands Avenue, near Erskine Street, in East New York in 2021.
The company’s delivery centers act as a last stop for packages, where they are sorted and then loaded onto trucks and delivered to customers.
The site will join another Amazon facility in the neighborhood at 2300 Linden Boulevard, which will open in the beginning of 2021, the company said.
“We are excited to continue to invest in New York State with a new delivery station that will provide efficient delivery for customers and create job opportunities for the talented workforce,” Amazon spokesperson Emily Hawkins said in a statement.
6. Google launches new tool to help cities stay cool | The Verge
It’s starting with Los Angeles
Google unveiled a tool today that could help cities keep their residents cool by mapping out where trees are needed most. Cities tend to be warmer than surrounding areas because buildings and asphalt trap heat. An easy way to cool metropolitan areas down is to plant more trees in neighborhoods where they’re sparse.
Google’s new Tree Canopy Lab uses aerial imagery and Google’s AI to figure out where every tree is in a city. Tree Canopy Lab puts that information on an interactive map along with additional data on which neighborhoods are more densely populated and are more vulnerable to high temperatures. The hope is that planting new trees in these areas could help cities adapt to a warming world and save lives during heat waves.
Google piloted Tree Canopy Lab in Los Angeles. Data on hundreds more cities is on the way, the company says. City planners interested in using the tool in the future can reach out to Google through a form it posted along with today’s announcement.
7. Why Europe Is Slowing Down | Bloomberg
Health, safety and environmental concerns — plus the pandemic — appear to be hastening the movement to drop speed limits in the E.U. and U.K.
This season, numerous European countries and regions are bringing in measures to slash speeds on the roads. In November, Spain agreed to reduce the speed limit on all two-lane urban roads to 30 kilometers per hour — or less than 20 miles per hour — from the current 50 km/h — a policy that will affect 80% of Madrid’s streets. The Dutch are close on their heels, giving preliminary approval (prior to a bill) to a 30 km/h speed limit in all built-up areas. Paris, which already has a 30 km/h speed limit across 60% of its surface area, is also currently conducting a public consultation on making that limit universal throughout the city.
It’s not just urban roads that are slowing down. This September the U.K. began a pilot project on three major highways that drops the maximum speed on some sections from 70 mph to 60, a try-out for a possible nationwide limit reduction. The Netherlands has already gone yet further, introducing a 100 km/h daytime speed limit on highways in March 2020.
8. A Los Angeles Mall Gets Snarled in Charged Debate Over Local Ownership | WSJ
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza has long been a center for Black-owned business. Now local residents want new buyers to have more of a stake in the community.
The once-grand Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall in Los Angeles seemed like a prime target for investors. That was before it got caught up in a combustible debate over local ownership, race and economic development.
The surrounding neighborhoods offered a potential redevelopment gold mine, including one of the nation’s largest concentrations of affluent and middle-class Black households. In late April, private-equity company CIM Group agreed to pay around $130 million for the property, which fronts on West Martin Luther King…
9. Kitchens Centre, a Shared Kitchen Proptech Startup Raises Pre Series A | Techiexpert
Delhi-based Shared Kitchen startup Kitchens Centre has raised an undisclosed Pre Series A from US-based Village Global. The Company raised a seed round of $500,000 in April this year from AngelList India.
Village Global is an early-stage venture capital firm backed by the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Disney’s Bob Iger and more.
Founded in 2019 by Lakshay Jain, Kitchens Centre is a Shared kitchen startup that provides infrastructure & technology solutions and more, for Online Food & FMCG brands. With the approach of building ready to move-in-kitchens, Kitchens Centre offers key benefits for brand partners with the fully fitted kitchen making it easier for brands to launch operations and/ or penetrate the market faster.
10. Proptech Startup NestEgg Raises $7M, Plans to Hire 40 Software Engineers | Built in Chicago
On Wednesday, proptech startup NestEgg announced it raised $7 million.
CEO Eachan Fletcher said the Chicago company originally planned on raising its Series A round next year, but added that the heightened demand for its digital financing and property management services during the COVID-19 pandemic convinced the team to push their fundraising forward.
“We’re giving landlords and tenants tons of tools to align their expenses with their incomes,” Fletcher told Built In. “That’s always good business — who doesn’t want to get their income earlier, and pay their bills later, right? But, that’s quadruple good right now, when people are under additional financial pressure.”