Prices on U.S. commercial real estate deals showed signs of improvement in the third quarter, though the number of transactions tumbled as Covid-19 continued to hammer the economy, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc.
While investment volume fell 57% from a year earlier, prices climbed 1.4% on average, the research firm said in a report Wednesday. Deals picked up from the previous quarter, exceeding typical seasonal changes.
“Everything is not gloom and doom in the commercial property markets today,” analysts led by Senior Vice President Jim Costello said in the report. “Some properties are trading, and not just distressed sales.”
Disney, NBCUniversal, Viacom, Sony Pictures Entertainment, WarnerMedia, Lionsgate, MGM, ITV, Entertainment One — the list of Hollywood heavy hitters that poured money into Quibi is a veritable who’s who of entertainment industry giants. Now, with the closure of the mobile streaming startup led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, just six months after launching, so goes nearly $2 billion in investment dollars.
In a statement released Wednesday, Quibi announced plans to wind down operations and initiate the sale of its assets, after which “remaining funds will be returned to its investors as specified in the Company’s operating agreement.”
Whitman and Katzenberg wrote in an open letter to Quibi’s staff, investors and partners that “we feel that we’ve exhausted all our options.”
Throngs of wealthy New Yorkers who fled the city for the Hamptons during the COVID-19 lockdown and violent protests have decided to stay out East — and are fueling a massive real estate boom.
In just three short months — from July to September — almost 1 billion dollars worth of property was snapped up in the Hamptons, according to a new market report by Brown Harris Stevens.
There were 448 single family home sales in the Hamptons during the third quarter of 2020, which is up 51% from the same time last year, according to the report.
“The March mentality was to flee the city but now people want to stay. It’s a lifestyle choice. The pace is slower, there’s more space and it’s safe,” said broker Jennifer Friedberg, of Brown Harris Stevens.
One of her clients, a couple with one child who live in Tribeca, moved into a Hamptons rental in March. On Friday they closed on a $4.3 million, 10,000-square-foot home of their own that will be their primary residence.
In December 2018, Walmart announced it would partner with robotics software startup Brain Corp to bring autonomous floor scrubbers to some of its brick-and-mortar stores. In an expansion of that partnership, the companies today revealed that Walmart-owned Sam’s Club will add 372 robot floor scrubbers to the hundreds of units it has already deployed, covering every location in its U.S. chain (around 600 stores). The retailer will also expand its shelf analytics pilot with cleaning company Tennant (with whom Brain Corp has a partnership) and Brain Corp’s dual-function robot that combines cleaning and scanning capabilities.
Robots (and even drones) are coming for big box stores, promising to save time by autonomously inventorying stock and sweeping floors. Research and Markets anticipates that the global brick-and-mortar automation market will be worth close to $18.9 billion by 2023, which some analysts say could cut down on the billions of dollars in lost revenue traced to misplaced and erroneously priced items. Robots also have the benefit of promoting contactless, physically distant shopping and work environments. In a July survey, researchers at Pompeu Fabra University found that over 195 different kinds of robots have been piloted in public spaces since the start of the pandemic.
PayPal has partnered with cryptocurrency company Paxos to launch a new service. PayPal users in the U.S. will soon be able to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies. More countries are coming soon.
PayPal plans to support Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin at first. You’ll be able to connect to your PayPal account to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Behind the scenes, Paxos takes care of trading and custody.
In early 2021, PayPal wants to let you use your crypto assets as a funding source for your PayPal purchases. This could be a good way to use cryptocurrencies for everyday purchases without having to convert cryptocurrencies on an exchange first.
There are 26 million merchants that offer PayPal around the world. For those merchants, customers paying in crypto won’t have any impact. Everything will be converted to fiat currency when a transaction is settled.
The latest in real estate crowdfunding: an accelerator aimed at helping early-stage proptech startups.
Shadow Ventures, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm focused on real estate and construction tech, is raising money from individual investors for a new accelerator program that would help companies that are just starting out.
Founder and CEO K.P. Reddy said his goal is to be “the Robinhood of VC,” referring to the stock-trading app.
The crowdfunding aspect is rooted in his belief that not all investment decisions should be made at the C-suite level. “I want everyone to be able to access these investments,” he said, envisioning a scenario in which a property manager who ordinarily wouldn’t be qualified as an investor could participate.
Doorr, a Toronto-based proptech startup that offers a mortgage platform for brokers and financial institutions, has been acquired by Filogix, the Canadian mortgage business of FinTech company Finastra.
The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. As part of the deal, Doorr’s core technology will be integrated into Filogix, including its user interface. Doorr’s entire team will join Filogix, and CEO Muhammad Rashid will assume the role of director of business development at Filogix.
“We saw the perfect opportunity to join forces and collectively tackle the Canadian mortgage industry [by combining] our front-end broker and consumer-facing technology with the established infrastructure built by Filogix,” Rashid told BetaKit.
Founded in February 2018, Doorr’s platform allows brokers and financial institutions to connect and collaborate with their clients on pre-approvals, refinances, and purchases, through an entirely digital experience. The platform was created to streamline and provide visibility to consumers on the mortgage application and approval process.
Contrary to popular belief, more people headed to the New York metro region than moved out during the Covid-19 era, according to an analysis of cell-phone data.
A study of migration in the 30 largest U.S. metro areas during the pandemic showed the most popular cities for relocations from March to September were Tampa, Florida; Phoenix — and the New York City area, according to data from Orbital Insight, a California-based company that tracks the movement of goods and people. Miami and Orlando rounded out the top five.
“New York remains desirable for all the same reasons it ever was — the nexus of culture and commerce with a higher density of jobs-per-block than most other places in the world,” said Matt Larriva, vice president of research and data analytics at FCP, a real estate firm that studies Orbital Insight data to gain a deeper understanding of domestic migration.
9. Boston Dynamics’ dog-like robot can now recharge on its own and gains popularity in Covid era | CNBC
Boston Dynamics, the robotics firm once owned by Alphabet’s Google and now part of Japan’s tech heavyweight investor Softbank, just gave its dog-like robot Spot an upgrade.
Spot now features a recharging station that the robot can use to power up on its own, which Boston Dynamics CEO Robert Playter told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday allows the robot to cover a much broader range, and be located in more remote locations.
Spot also now has access to an arm that allows the robot to perform tasks such as opening doors or drawers, adjusting valves and flipping a power switch.
At a base price for the Spot Explorer of $74,500, the new enterprise version with these features will go higher, but Playter says the company has not yet set pricing for the upgraded robot, which will be available in early 2021.
The house-hunting bonanza that gripped many Americans along with the resilience of the real estate market has been one of the biggest surprises of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of millions of jobs, a weaker economy—none of it stopped millions of house hunters from flocking to Zillow, Redfin, and other online platforms to browse, plan their move, and, in many cases, purchase their first home.
Home prices have been climbing steadily over the past few months, and industry players are projecting they are likely to peak in some markets this fall, causing a tempering of the market driven by a decline in supply and a prolonged economic recovery.
Real estate companies are preparing for what comes next and what homebuying will look like in this new environment, as it will become more important to optimize their sales funnels, home in on high-value leads, and boost profitability as sales may peak in some markets.
“The more interesting thing [is] to sustain it. We can’t expect that kind of thing to continue,” Zillow CEO Richard Barton said of the market’s momentum on the company’s last earnings call. “So we have to move down the funnel to find the levers to drive the business in a sustainable way, and we have these levers all the way down the funnel that we are not yet maximizing or monetizing.”