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Tag Archives: real-estate

Rent the Runway opens physical store in San Francisco

Rent the Runway, the fashion startup that began as a rental service for special occasions and has since evolved into a service for people also looking to spice up their everyday wear, just opened up its fifth physical, standalone location . The new location, in downtown San Francisco, enables Rent the Runway members to try on clothes, rent and return them. Rent the Runway’s launch of a standalone brick-and-mortar location in San Francisco comes after it first opened up a location inside Neiman Marcus. With a standalone location, the company is able to offer longer hours for its members. Instead of opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m., Rent the Runway can now stay open from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. It also, of course, has weekend hours. Thanks to some technology Rent the Runway developed within the last year, it has essentially “legalized shoplifting” for its members, Rent the Runway COO Maureen Sullivan told me yesterday ahead of the store’s launch.

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Blippar picks up $37 million hoping to become profitable in the next year

Blippar , the AR startup that launched in 2011, has today announced the close of a $37 million financing led by Candy Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. The company started out by offering AR experiences for brand marketers through publishers and other real-world products, letting users unlock AR content by scanning a tag called a “Blipp”. Blippar then transitioned to a number of different AR products, but took a particular focus on computer vision, launching a consumer-facing visual search engine that would let users identify cars, plants, and other real-world objects. Most recently, Blippar has introduced an indoor positioning system that lets commercial real estate owners implement AR mapping and other content from within their buildings. The AR industry has been in a state of evolution for the past few years, and Blippar has constantly reshifted and re-positioned to try and take advantage of the blossoming market. Unfortunately, several pivots have put the company in a tough spot financially. BI reports that Blippar posted revenue of £8.5 million ($11.2 million) in the 16-month period up to March 31 2016, with losses of £24 million ($31.5 million). These latest rounds have essentially let Blippar keep the lights on while trying to pick up the pace on revenues. The company says that this latest round is meant to fuel the company’s race to reach profitability in the next 12 months. Blippar has raised more than $137 million to date.

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Woman Sues Samsung Over Exploding Galaxy Note 9 – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Woman Sues Samsung Over Exploding Galaxy Note 9 Ubergizmo Diane Chung, a real estate agent based in Long Island, has filed a lawsuit against Samsung claiming that her Galaxy Note 9 caught fire. The ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 damaged Samsung's reputation quite a bit due to its battery defect that resulted in the ... and more »

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Aurora HDR 2019 Introduces AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine

Aurora HDR 2019 has Skylum’s new AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine with new tone mapping technology to create the most realistic, immersive high dynamic range photographs possible. Aurora HDR 2019 is a capable HDR editing software designed not only for professional, experienced and beginner photographers, but also as a solution for real estate marketing. Pre-orders for the Aurora HDR 2019 start September 12th. New users can purchase the new version for $89 and current users of Aurora HDR may upgrade for a limited time at a special price of $49.

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WeWork makes its third-biggest acquisition to date, shelling out $100 million for a software startup called Teem

WeWork, the eight-year-old, 800-pound gorilla in the co-working space, hasn’t been known for being terribly acquisitive, despite the billions of dollars it has raised and its valuation, which one of its biggest investors, SoftBank, apparently believes to be approaching $35 billion . To wit, it made just one small acquisition in 2015 ( Case ), and one other in 2016 ( Welkio ). Yet the company is clearly beefing up its efforts to, well, beef up. Last year, it acquired five companies, including Meetup, a site for organizing group trips and events for which WeWork paid a reported $200 million . It meanwhile acquired three companies earlier this year, including the Chinese co-working startup Naked Hub, for which it paid $400 million . Now, WeWork is announcing its fourth acquisition of 2018 — and its third-biggest purchase to date — with Teem , a maker of office management software for which a source says WeWork paid $100 million in cash. The six-year-old, Salt Lake City, Utah-based outfit had raised $21.5 million from investors, including Origin Ventures, Greycroft and NGP Capital. WeWork appears to have picked up the company for several reasons, beginning with its ongoing quest to provide its growing base of corporate customers with bells and whistles like “insights” to help make their spaces more productive. The two also share numerous customers, including GE, whose CTO of digital workplace technology, Jeff Monaco, went so far as to issue a statement about the tie-up, saying that Teem’s “suite of workplace software tools helps make our day-to-day more seamless, so our employees can focus on innovating new projects, not trying to find a conference room.” (GE, along with GM, Samsung, Salesforce, Bank of America and Bacardi are among a growing list of corporate giants to plunk their employees, or their portfolio companies, in WeWork locations.) The move also extends the general evolution of WeWork into more of a software company and not simply a real estate play. Another aspect of its business, for example, is helping design, construct and manage services on behalf of enterprises that want some of that WeWork  je ne sais quoi  but would rather lease their own offices. Either way, we’re told that Teem will continue to operate as an independent business, serving its current customers from its Salt Lake City offices while also providing its services as part of WeWork’s offerings — which, based on recent history, you can expect to expand even further, and fast.

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Behind the turnaround that netted Vinted €50 million

It was May 2016 when Thomas Plantenga got the call. He was living in New York and working on projects with Fabrice Grinda — the co-founder of classified juggernaut OLX and the founder of FJ Labs. Plantenga had worked with Grinda on expanding OLX and was ready for the next challenge — which came in the form of the used clothing marketplace, Vinted . The invitation came from Insight Venture Partners and it was an offer to help work with one of their portfolio companies — a former high flyer that had fallen on hard times. “They sold me on the story,” said Plantenga on a call from Vilnius, Lithuania, where he moved to take the reins at the used clothing startup. “The business was completely burning down and I was hanging out with them,” said Plantenga. “In those five weeks I connected with both the co-founders and wrote a very aggressive plan of how to completely change things and really change the direction…  I said ‘fuck it.’ If you’re going to be betting everything and everyone on this… let’s stick around.”  Plantenga proposed severe austerity measures for the used clothing exchange. The company shuttered its offices in San Francisco, London, Munich and Paris, and slashed headcount from 240 to 150 and automated the processes of content moderation. There was a strategic shift in product development, as well. The company focused on trust and safety between buyers and sellers and concentrated on two core markets: Germany and France. And, as Milda Mitkute, the company’s co-founder, told Forbes in an article earlier this year , the company shifted from a mandatory sales fee to a free product with additional paid services (like promotional marketing on the platform for sellers). Between January and December 2017, Vinted processed $360 million in sales. The turnaround not only saved the company but had investors come knocking at the door.

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Hating the wrong tech people for the right reasons

The slings and arrows aimed at tech’s titans these days are almost too numerous to count. Jeff Bezos: squandering money on space while exploiting warehouse employees. Mark Zuckerberg: complicit in everything from genocide to the death of democracy . Larry Page and Sergey Brin: in bed with China and the military . Elon Musk: where even to begin? Tim Cook has mostly escaped the brickbats, but if Steve Jobs were still with us, it seems plausible he’d be the biggest target of all. And the list goes on from there, of course. Let’s not kid ourselves: a lot of this criticism is warranted. Amazon should treat its warehouse workers better. Facebook should have seen the new form of information warfare coming from further away, recognized it when it was happening, and responded much faster and more decisively. Google shouldn’t have come as close as it did to implementing Project Maven. Tesla should … well … should basically be less of a mess. More generally, the tech sector is vastly more important than it used to be, both as a segment of the economy and as an intimate part of people’s lives, and the tech industry’s responsibilities are, accordingly, vastly greater than they were. People should be more critical of us, and more watchful.

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Amazon isn’t the only tech company getting tax breaks

Amazon has a big target on its back these days, and because of its size, scope and impact on local business, critics are right to look closely at tax breaks and other subsidies they receive. There is nothing wrong with digging into these breaks to see if they reach the goals governments set in terms of net new jobs. But Amazon isn’t alone here by any means. Many states have a big tech subsidy story to tell, and it isn’t always a tale that ends well for the subsidizing government. In fact, a recent study  by the watchdog group, Good Jobs First , found states are willing to throw millions at high tech companies to lure them into building in their communities. They cited three examples in the report including Tesla’s $1.25 billion 20-year deal to build a battery factory in Nevada, Foxconn’s $3 billion break to build a display factory  in Wisconsin and the Apple data center deal in Iowa , which resulted in a $214 million tax break. Good Jobs First executive director Greg LeRoy doesn’t think these subsidies are justifiable and they take away business development dollars from smaller businesses that tend to build more sustainable jobs in a community. “The “lots of eggs in one basket” strategy is especially ill-suited. But many public leaders haven’t switched gears yet, often putting taxpayers at great risk, especially because some tech companies have become very aggressive about demanding big tax breaks. Companies with famous names are even more irresistible to politicians who want to look active on jobs,” LeRoy and his colleague Maryann Feldman wrote in a Guardian commentary last month.

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Housing startup Bungalow raises $14 million Series A round led by Khosla Ventures

Moving to a new city can be tough for a number of reasons, but what’s arguably hardest about moving is a competitive and expensive housing market, and lack of a pre-existing social support network. That’s the problem startup Bungalow is trying to solve. Bungalow , which just raised a $14 million Series A round led by Khosla Ventures with participation from Founders Fund, Atomic VC, Cherubic Ventures and Wing Ventures, offers people relatively affordable places to live with others who have been vetted by Bungalow’s platform. As part of the round, Keith Rabois of Khosla will join Bungalow’s board of directors. Bungalow also raised a $50 million debt facility to fuel its home growth costs. Bungalow had previously raised a $7 million seed round. Bungalow, which joins the likes of WeLive , OpenDoor,   Common, Roam and so many others,  aims to be cheaper than getting your own studio or one bedroom apartment, and offer a better experience than finding a roommate via Craigslist. Bungalow works with homeowners to lease their homes as the master tenant for three years at time. From there, Bungalow rents out the property on a room-by-room basis while guaranteeing occupancy to the homeowners. “There aren’t as many families that are looking for these four, five, six-bedroom homes and so the incremental additional cost for those additional bedrooms is not commensurate with the individual rate at which we can lease out those individual bedrooms,” Bungalow co-founder and CEO Andrew Collins told me. “And so we were able to therefore basically create value out of that and then with scale that margin that we’re able to create within those given homes in an incredibly profitable and exciting coupling.” For the renter, Bungalow says it’s about 30-40 percent cheaper than a studio. Depending on the market, of course, the prices can vary. Bungalow also furnishes shared common spaces, provides utilities, Wi-Fi and housekeeping in the monthly rental cost. In addition to what’s provided inside the space, Bungalow hosts monthly events for members in its properties to meet each other within a given market

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Trulia crowdsources neighborhood reviews so you won’t regret your move

Trulia , the online real estate site owned by its former rival Zillow, wants to give you a better idea of what a certain neighborhood feels like before you move there. To do this, the company today launched Neighborhoods, a feature that brings together direct reviews and feedback from residents based on the existing What Locals Say  tool, data and images from Trulia’s own team (including drone shots), as well as more general information about other neighborhood highlights and safety info. This new feature is now available for 300 neighborhoods in  San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Austin and Chicago, with 1,100 more planned to go live throughout the rest of 2018. These new neighborhood guides are available in Trulia’s mobile apps and on the web . However, the feature is a bit hidden and will only pop up when you search for a neighborhood in Trulia. I also had no luck bringing it up on the web, but the mobile version is quite nice. It’d be nice to be able to pin a link to a neighborhood guide somewhere in the app, though. gallery ids="1691190,1691191,1691189" The overall idea is solid. The neighborhood you buy in matters, after all. Indeed, Trulia says 85 percent of homebuyers say that the neighborhood matters as much to them as the house itself. You’ll still want to spend a bit of time in the neighborhood you are looking at, but tools like this can give you an early feel for what’s right for you

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RiskRecon, a SaaS platform providing cybersecurity assessments of third-party vendors, raises $25M Series B led by Accel Partners (Jonathan…

Jonathan Shieber / TechCrunch : RiskRecon, a SaaS platform providing cybersecurity assessments of third-party vendors, raises $25M Series B led by Accel Partners   —  In June of this year, Chinese hackers managed to install software into the networks of a contractor for the U.S. Navy and steal information on a roughly $300 million top-secret submarine program.

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A look at the loose alliance between Russia’s criminal hackers and intelligence services that has been attacking Russia’s perceived enemies since…

Daniil Turovsky / Meduza.io : A look at the loose alliance between Russia's criminal hackers and intelligence services that has been attacking Russia's perceived enemies since around 2005   —  On the night of August 8, 2008, Georgian troops started shelling Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, and then began their assault on the city.

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