The Daily Ten – Trump bans Chinese firms, Home prices soar, JetBlue is getting into short term rentals, Deutsche Bank wants to charge 5% tax on WFH…
The Daily Ten
1.Trump Bars Investment in Chinese Firms With Military Ties | The New York Times
The ban, which affects companies including Huawei, China Mobile and China Telecom, is the administration’s first major move toward decoupling American financial markets from China.
WASHINGTON — President Trump issued an executive order Thursday barring Americans from investing in a list of companies with ties to the Chinese military, arguing that such investments pose a risk to national security.
The order applies to 31 Chinese companies previously identified by the Defense Department as having links to China’s military. The list includes prominent Chinese technology, manufacturing and infrastructure companies, such as China Mobile Communications Group, China Telecommunications Corporation, Huawei, Sinochem Group, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, China Railway Construction Corporation, Inspur Group and Aviation Industry Corporation of China.
2. Home Prices Are Rising Everywhere in the U.S. | WSJ
The pandemic has boosted housing-market activity in a way not seen in recent history
Home prices rose in every corner of the U.S. during the third quarter, as the pandemic boosted activity in a way not seen in recent history.
The median price for existing homes in each of the 181 metro areas tracked by the National Association of Realtors was higher in the third quarter from a year earlier, the association said Thursday.
3. SL Green taps Sharry to install advanced digital platform in 23 NY skyscrapers | Connected Real Estate Magazine
SL Green, New York’s largest office landlord, recently selected Czech Republic-based property technology (proptech) company Sharry to deploy its digital platform in 23 of its high-rise buildings. SL Green chose Sharry’s solution so it could quickly help protect the thousands of people working these buildings, while also offering a higher standard for offices in the future and be better prepared in the post-COVID-19 era.
The One Vanderbilt office tower, the fifth-highest building in the United States, was the companies’ initial cooperation.
“It is one of the fastest and largest reactions of the proptech sector to the current situation related to the epidemic of the new type of coronavirus, which of course has also impacted the commercial real estate sector,” Sharry CEO and co-founder Joseph Sachta said in a statement. “We’re proud that our solution has proven its worth in these times.”
4. Funnel raises $14.1M as demand surges for online leasing | The Real Deal
Essex Property, Cortland joined platform in August
Funnel, a startup that helps landlords manage their rental portfolios, has raised $14.1 million to meet a surge in demand for online leasing tools.
The company, formerly known as Nestio, said the Series AA round was led by RET Ventures, with participation from prior backers Camber Creek and Trinity Ventures. Trinity led the startup’s $8 million Series A in 2015.
CEO Tyler Christiansen said Funnel initially raised $8 million before Covid, but reopened the round after bringing 250,000 new units onto its platform. The round brings Funnel’s total funding to $32 million.
In 2018, the company raised a $4.5 million strategic round from a group of real estate heavy-hitters, including Rudin Ventures, the Durst Organization, LeFrak Ventures, Moinian Group’s Currency M and Lightstone Group affiliate Torch Venture Capital.
5. JetBlue to Debut Short-Term Rentals as Part of Its Growing Non-Air Offerings| Skift
JetBlue has a strong brand and plans to curate the short-term rental inventory it offers with the backing of its own customer service abilities rather than relegating that to a partner. This expansion is worth a try, but will come with brand risks.
JetBlue plans to offer short-term rentals with the help of a partner not named yet, possibly by the end of the year. The airline plans on offering the accommodations under its own brand, and would handle the customer service in-house instead of leaving that to the partner.
Andres Barry, president of JetBlue Travel Products, a subsidiary of the airline, detailed the plans Tuesday at a Morgan Stanley conference for the carrier to expand beyond its current non-air portfolio of JetBlue Vacations, travel insurance, car rentals, ridesharing and cruises, and into short-term rentals.
Barry said the pandemic slowed JetBlue’s plans after announcing at its 2018 investor day that the airline’s incremental operating income from products beyond flights could be $100 million in 2022.
6. The pandemic may be the greatest environment for business fraud in decades | Fortune
Trying to defraud the president of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners was probably never going to work, and it didn’t. When Bruce Dorris got an email saying, “Your antivirus software is not up to date!” he knew it was a scam. But he was still impressed. “I’m looking at it like, wow, that looks really, really good,” he says. “I know what to look for, so I didn’t bite, but I can think of someone who may look at it and think, ‘I wonder if it’s true?’”
Brace for plenty more scams—many of them far more sophisticated. The pandemic has been great for Amazon, Netflix, Peloton, and Zoom and also for a group of entrepreneurs seeking far less attention: corporate fraudsters. We may not know their names yet—except for a few—but we can be certain they’re hard at work, because the pandemic may be the greatest environment for business fraud in decades.
We’re not talking about defrauding individuals, though that business is booming also as bad guys prey upon fearful consumers with scams involving bogus COVID-19 treatments, worthless PPE, and nonexistent charities. Rather, we’re talking about defrauding businesses, investors, and governments. For that line of work, the pandemic is uniquely wonderful, creating a rare conjunction of factors that produce an especially fraud-friendly climate.
7. Manhattan apartment vacancies hit highest number in over a decade | New York Post
New Yorkers are still fleeing the city during the COVID-19 crisis — with a record 16,000 apartments sitting empty despite some of the lowest rent prices in years, a new report has found.
The listing inventory in Manhattan peaked at 16,145 last month, more than three times higher than a year ago and a slight uptick from the 15,923 vacancies recorded in September, according to the Elliman Report. The staggering amount of vacancies is also the highest in 14 years.
Data shows the number of vacant units has only increased in the past months. In July, that number was 13,117.
Nearly all of the states in the US, including New York, are seeing a spike in COVID-19 infections — the driving force behind the mass exodus of Big Apple residents at the start of the pandemic that’s continued throughout the year.
8. Deutsche Bank proposes a 5% tax for people still working from home after the pandemic | CNBC
A research team at Deutsche Bank proposed that people pay a 5% tax for the “privilege” of working from home, if they continue to do so after the pandemic, as this could subsidize income lost by lower-earners due to the coronavirus crisis.
Deutsche Bank thematic strategist Luke Templeman said in the investment bank’s Konzept research report, published Tuesday, that a tax on remote workers had been needed for years but “Covid has just made it obvious.”
Working from home meant that many people were saving on everyday costs such as travel, lunch, clothes and cleaning, as well as possibly spending less on socializing. However, the report also said it meant remote workers were “contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits.”
9. Danish Co-Living Startup LifeX raises €6 million for European expansion | All Work
Danish proptech startup LifeX, currently operating in 6 European cities, has just announced a new funding round of 6million euros.
The recent funding round was organised through Founders, a Copenhagen-based startup studio together with Cherry Ventures, a Berlin-based VC fund, with the goal of strengthening their partnership with the proptech and co-living company.
Supplementary funds were also sourced through Væksttfonden. The funds will be used to strengthen LifeX’s presence in existing and new markets, fuel product development, and accelerate the company’s vision to “make anyone feel at home, anywhere in the world”.
Founded in 2017 by Sune Theodorsen and Ritu Jain, LifeX helps young professionals overcome the many challenges of finding housing and growing a social network.
The company achieves this through a family-style approach to co-living, featuring shared living spaces filled with high-quality designer furniture, allowing individuals to thrive in a hassle-free environment by removing common points of conflict such as chores, house maintenance and bills.
10. Investors Flock to SPACs, Where Risks Lurk and Track Records Are Poor | WSJ
Backers tout blank-check companies for their potential to grow quickly through acquisitions, but investor protections are limited
Startups in buzzy sectors such as cannabis, electric vehicles, online gambling and space travel are going public using a structure that offers outsize potential rewards to backers while bypassing some safeguards of a traditional initial public offering.
Special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, are publicly traded shell companies formed to pursue deals. After such a firm merges with a target company, that company gets the SPAC’s spot on a stock exchange, enabling it to sell shares to the public—including to mom-and-pop…