Home / Tag Archives: real-estate

Tag Archives: real-estate

Zillow surprises investors by buying up homes

Real estate platform  Zillow  changed up its business model this week, announcing that it plans to purchase and sell homes in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Zillow will be working with Berkshire Hathaway and Coldwell Banker to make offers on homes before it finds a buyer. Zillow will pay commissions and also “make necessary repairs and updates and list the home as quickly as possible.” Calling it “Instant Offers,” Zillow says, “the program gives real estate agents the opportunity to acquire new listings by connecting them with motivated sellers who have taken a direct action to sell their home. Across all testing, Zillow found the vast majority of sellers who requested an Instant Offer ended up selling their home with an agent, making Instant Offers an excellent source of seller leads for Premier Agents and brokerage partners.” Shares fell 7% on Friday , following the revelation. This is a marked business change for the website, which is mainly a hub of information about real estate properties. Buying up homes will provide added costs and risks, so some investors didn’t like it. Yet Zillow says it has been testing out this program for about a year and that it is optimistic about its future success. In an interview with CNBC , CEO Spencer Rascoff said, “we’re ready to be an investor in our own marketplace.” He believes Zillow has “huge advantages because we have access to this huge audience of sellers and huge audience of buyers.” Rascoff acknowledged that Zillow will be taking on debt to execute on its new mission. This will also put it in competition with Opendoor.  CEO Eric Wu provided us the following statement. “We are genuinely excited, having invented this new category in 2014, and it’s invigorating to see a host of others in the industry recognize the importance of removing hassle and time from the transaction.

Read More »

b8ta unveils Shopify-like solution for retail stores

b8ta, the store founded by Nest alums to sell trendy gadgets, is entering new territory. Today, the startup is launching “ Built by b8ta ,” which functions as a retail-as-a-service platform for brands that want a physical presence. Building off the success of its own retail stores, b8ta is confident it can provide an easy, cost-effective solution to brands wanting to launch physical stores of varying sizes. Since launching its first store in December 2015 in Palo Alto, b8ta has built and deployed an additional 78 stores across the country. “As our business grew, there started being a class of larger companies in apparel and beauty that wanted to bring products to stores but the product experience was misaligned with what they wanted to do,” b8ta CEO Vibhu Norby told TechCrunch. “With apparel, you don’t need a separate display for every shirt. So we started imagining creating a number of different brands for other categories.” Instead of creating those brands itself, b8ta figured it would be more scalable to open up its store building and infrastructure processes to other entrepreneurs looking to open their own stores. That’s how b8ta landed on selling its software and retail services for a flat, monthly fee. The monthly fee, of course, depends on the square footage required, as well as the cost of real estate in whichever market the customer decides to open the retail store. “For most brands we’re working with, the costs are quite reasonable,” Norby said.

Read More »

Selina raises $95M to create a boutique travel lodging experience built around communities

If you’re looking to travel abroad — and especially if you’re looking to work while doing so — it might be tough to convince yourself you can find a cool boutique hotel that caters to a lot of different price points, as well as surround yourself with people that will help you feel like you should still get your work done. That’s the goal of Selina , an emerging co-working and traveling hospitality service that opens up campuses geared toward fitting those niches across Central America. What started as originally just a real estate company has now turned into a venture-funded startup called Selina, which goes around the world creating a different kind of hotel product out of renovated older properties. Instead of just renting out a room in an Airbnb or paying for a hotel room in a boutique hotel, or some co-working space, Selina aims to be a more streamlined way to get that mixture of a community experience, a boutique hotel feel, and the ease of getting a consistent experience across multiple different properties. The company said today it’s raised $95 million from Abraaj Group and WeWork founder Adam Neumann. “There are lifestyle hotels, surf camps, co-working places, hostels, and all those kinds of properties, Yoav Gery, Selina’s president, said. “A lot of companies talk the same talk. What was different about us and what we were telling the world is we were doing something different in the hospitality world. We’re creating a much more holistic program for the traveler. It’s not just a hotel, or for co-working.

Read More »

betaworks VisionCamp introduces seven new AR/computer vision companies

More than ten years ago, betaworks launched to foster an ecosystem of startups focused on the intersection of media and consumer behavior. While the mission hasn’t changed, the structure has seen some tweaks. The company has introduced its own venture arm, led by Matt Hartman, as well as the more recent launch of betaworks Studios. But nestled gently between the two are betaworks Camps program. Camps are a sort of hyper-specific accelerator program, within which a small cohort of early-stage startups build out their products within a certain theme, complete with the full resources of betaworks (marketing, legal, space, etc.) as well as a small investment. Camps first launched with BotCamp, followed shortly by VoiceCamp, and today the graduates of VisionCamp are showing off their wares for the first time at Demo Day. Camera IQ Camera IQ calls itself a camera experience manager. The company works with brands and publishers to develop virtual worlds for customers, with partners including Spotify, Neiman Marcus and Viacom. The technology integrates AR toolkits and mobile OSes with brands native apps to offer different experiences for consumers. Camera IQ was founded by Allison Wood and Sonia Tsao. The founders say that the camera represents the next great consumption experience, as well as the next great transaction experience. The company hopes to sit at that intersection. Facemoji Livestreaming and FaceTime are now accessible to everyone, but not everyone wants to show their face on these platforms.

Read More »

betaworks VisionCamp introduces seven new AR/computer vision companies

More than ten years ago, betaworks launched to foster an ecosystem of startups focused on the intersection of media and consumer behavior. While the mission hasn’t changed, the structure has seen some tweaks. The company has introduced its own venture arm, led by Matt Hartman, as well as the more recent launch of betaworks Studios. But nestled gently between the two are betaworks Camps program. Camps are a sort of hyper-specific accelerator program, within which a small cohort of early-stage startups build out their products within a certain theme, complete with the full resources of betaworks (marketing, legal, space, etc.) as well as a small investment. Camps first launched with BotCamp, followed shortly by VoiceCamp, and today the graduates of VisionCamp are showing off their wares for the first time at Demo Day. Camera IQ Camera IQ calls itself a camera experience manager. The company works with brands and publishers to develop virtual worlds for customers, with partners including Spotify, Neiman Marcus and Viacom. The technology integrates AR toolkits and mobile OSes with brands native apps to offer different experiences for consumers. Camera IQ was founded by Allison Wood and Sonia Tsao. The founders say that the camera represents the next great consumption experience, as well as the next great transaction experience. The company hopes to sit at that intersection

Read More »

betaworks VisionCamp introduces seven new AR/computer vision companies

More than ten years ago, betaworks launched to foster an ecosystem of startups focused on the intersection of media and consumer behavior. While the mission hasn’t changed, the structure has seen some tweaks. The company has introduced its own venture arm, led by Matt Hartman, as well as the more recent launch of betaworks Studios. But nestled gently between the two are betaworks Camps program. Camps are a sort of hyper-specific accelerator program, within which a small cohort of early-stage startups build out their products within a certain theme, complete with the full resources of betaworks (marketing, legal, space, etc.) as well as a small investment. Camps first launched with BotCamp, followed shortly by VoiceCamp, and today the graduates of VisionCamp are showing off their wares for the first time at Demo Day. Camera IQ Camera IQ calls itself a camera experience manager. The company works with brands and publishers to develop virtual worlds for customers, with partners including Spotify, Neiman Marcus and Viacom. The technology integrates AR toolkits and mobile OSes with brands native apps to offer different experiences for consumers. Camera IQ was founded by Allison Wood and Sonia Tsao. The founders say that the camera represents the next great consumption experience, as well as the next great transaction experience. The company hopes to sit at that intersection. Facemoji Livestreaming and FaceTime are now accessible to everyone, but not everyone wants to show their face on these platforms.

Read More »

Travis Kalanick is already back running a company with a $150M investment

Travis Kalanick, the former Uber CEO who was shown the door in June last year amid a series of major controversies , has already found his next leading role following his announcement of a new investment fund just weeks ago . Kalanick said on Twitter that his fund would be investing $150 million to take a controlling interest in City Storage Systems, or CSS. He will also be running the company as CEO, according to Recode . It’s a holding company focused on redevelopment of distressed real estate. Kalanick resigned from Uber after facing a lawsuit with Waymo over trade secrets, an ongoing battle with existing shareholders Benchmark Capital, and the fallout from a harassment probe led by former attorney general Eric Holder . Uber brought on new CEO Dara Kosrowshahi in August last year . Travis announced that he would be starting a new fund with his windfall from Uber shares sold in its most recent major secondary round . At the time, Kalanick said the new fund — called 10100, or “ten one hundred” — would be geared toward “large-scale job creation,” with investments in real estate, ecommerce, and “emerging innovation in India and China.” CSS has two businesses, CloudKitchens and CloudRetail, which focus on redevelopment of distressed assets in those two areas. My new gig… pic.twitter.com/vpD528cdyf — travis kalanick (@travisk) March 20, 2018 The former is pretty interesting given that Uber has its own food delivery service, UberEats. Should Kalanick’s new venture find ways to acquire distressed food-related real estate — kitchens around a city, for example — there may be a natural overlap with his experience at Uber as it started to explore food. Having massive operating kitchens located in one area with a delivery fleet associated with it is one thing, but having an array of smaller kitchens redeveloped through a company like CSS could provide a kind of distributed network that might make it easier to get food from one kitchen to its delivery in a shorter period of time. It’s not that we know CSS is focusing on that explicitly, but Amazon also bought a bunch of buildings for $13.7 billion, and now it has a two-hour delivery service in major metropolitan areas . Of course, Travis was shown the door at Uber, so it remains to be seen how this one is going to play out. The Information notes that CSS was owned by a friend of Kalanick’s  as well as having a loose connection with Uber.

Read More »

Philips tests LiFi in a real office

This week, Philips announced that its LiFi, or Light Fidelity, tech is currently being tested at the offices of Icade, a French real estate investment company. LiFi provides broadband internet through lights, using LEDs to transmit a high-speed conne...

Read More »

Keyo modernizes housing with rent auto-pay that boosts your credit

 There’s nothing we spend more money on for a worse experience than housing. Keyo wants to fix all of it. The audacious startup envisions a world where a building’s other tenants get $20 to show you an available apartment on your schedule. Where you auto-pay your rent online. Where you get local business perks and can communicate maintenance requests through an app. And where… Read More

Read More »

This startup just raised $5 million to automate the clunky real estate appraisal process

 When Noah Isaacs and John Meadows were best friends, growing up in Berkeley, Ca., they dreamed of remaining friends for life. What they didn’t imagine was living together in New York and starting a company together, yet they have. It’s called Bowery Valuation, and it’s aiming to bring commercial real estate appraisals — currently an $8 billion market — into… Read More

Read More »

Rhino is getting rid of security deposits for rental apartments

 Arguably the most frustrating part of renting an apartment, especially in an expensive city like New York, is dealing with the security deposit. One startup wants to make renting easier by getting rid of security deposits, with a solution that is beneficial for both renters and landlords. Here’s how it works: For a monthly fee Rhino provides your landlord with an insurance policy which… Read More

Read More »

RICOH THETA V Partner Program

The RICOH THETA V Partner Program will launch in Spring 2018. The new program will support third-party developers interested in creating their own Android-based plug-ins for the RICOH THETA V, the top-of-the-line Ricoh 360-degree camera capable of capturing fully-spherical photos and 4K video. As part of the program, Ricoh is making available the RICOH THETA V's application program interface (API) and software development kit (SDK) and will provide tools and guidance to support plug-in development. It will also open an online RICOH THETA V partner marketplace, where plug-ins can be uploaded and shared.

Read More »

Insta360 Eight-Lens VR Camera and 6DOF Light Field Camera

Insta360 has unveiled an eight-lens professional VR camera and a new prototype for a light field camera at CES 2018. The eight-lens professional VR camera will be capable of shooting fully spherical, stereoscopic (3D) video at upwards of 10K resolution, with 4/3” image sensors giving the camera a high dynamic range. The 6DOF Light Field Camera uses128 cameras laid out in a rectangular grid array to create 180° video with 6 degrees of freedom (6DOF), meaning viewers can “move” throughout a piece of content along six directions.

Read More »