Blog article

Marriott International announces partnership with Grab in six Southeast Asian countries – TechCrunch

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the hospitality industry especially hard, and hotels around the world are looking for ways to regain revenue. Today, Marriott International and Grab announced a partnership that will cover the hospitality giant’s dining businesses in six Southeast Asian countries: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Instead of room bookings, Marriott International deal with Grab focuses on about 600 restaurants and bars at its properties in the six Southeast Asian countries, which will start being added to GrabFood’s on-demand delivery platform in November. A joint announcement from the companies said the deal represents Marriott International’s “first extensive integration with a super app platform in Southeast Asia and Grab’s most comprehensive agreement with a hospitality group to date.”

Marriott International is the world’s largest hotel company. During the second quarter, as the pandemic curtailed travel and in-person events, it reported a loss of $234 million

Read more

Streetbees raises $39M in a Series B round as brands race to interrogate Pandemic-hit consumers – TechCrunch

Streetbees started out as an app for consumers to snap pictures of supermarket shelf layouts and get paid. Consumer brands wanted to know if the supermarkets really had put them at eye level or not. Quickly, the startup realized it could interrogate consumers about how they felt about the brands themselves, turning their app into a new way to track consumer attitudes. With the pandemic hitting, brands now need tools like this to find out about consumer attitudes while they are stuck at home.

Today it announces a £30 million Series B round to accelerate its survey platform. It now has 3.5 million consumers capturing emotion and context ‘in the moment’ when they engage with brands on the app, and get paid small amounts to do so. Since the vast majority of decisions are made offline instead of online, Streetbees says it has a unique way to make the offline

Read more

Video creation and editing platform InVideo raises $15 million – TechCrunch

InVideo, a Mumbai-based startup that has built a video creation and editing platform, has raised $15 million as it looks to court more users and customers worldwide.

The startup offers a freemium web-based editing tool that allows users to create videos that are fit to be published on popular social media platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). It has amassed over 800,000 users in a year since its launch who have created videos in over 75 languages.

It has also courted several high-profile customers including Reuters, AT&T, Dropbox, and P&G, Sanket Shah, co-founder and chief executive of InVideo, told TechCrunch in an interview earlier this week. Some of these customers are white-labeling InVideo platform to their own clients.

InVideo’s $15 million Series A financing round was led by Sequoia Capital India. Tiger Global, Hummingbird, RTP Global, and Base also participated in the round.

Prateek Sharma, VP at Sequoia Capital

Read more

TravelPerk launches an API for COVID-19 restrictions – TechCrunch

About a month after outting an open API platform for its customers to augment their apps, business trip SaaS startup TravelPerk has launched a standalone API product aimed at helping the wider travel industry provide up-to-date information on travel restrictions and risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TravelSafe API is a monthly subscription product that lets travel providers integrate pandemic-related information on point to point restrictions between destinations during the booking process — with the service pulling data from official sources and local governmental websites that TravelPerk says is cross referenced by its own customer care agents.

It’s also calculating the risk level for travel to a particular country which it says is based on real-time analysis of the reproductive rate of the epidemic (R0).

The API launch follows TravelPerk’s acquisition of risk management startup Albatross in July, as the pandemic has pushed it to build out its

Read more

Samsung chairman dies at age 78 – TechCrunch

Lee Kun-hee, the long-time chairman of Samsung Group who transformed the conglomerate into one of the world’s largest business empires, died today at the age of 78, according to reports from South Korean leading news agency Yonhap.

The story of Samsung is deeply intertwined with the history of its home country, which is sometimes dubbed “The Republic of Samsung.” Lee, the son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul, came to power in the late 1980s just as South Korea transitioned from dictatorship to democracy with the political handover from military strongman Chun Doo-hwan to Roh Tae-woo. Under his management, Samsung spearheaded initiatives across a number of areas in electronics, including semiconductors, memory chips, displays, and other components that are the backbone of today’s digital devices.

Lee navigated the challenging economic troubles of the 1990s, including the 1998 Asian financial crisis, which saw a near collapse of the economies of

Read more

Yale may have just turned institutional investing on its head with a new diversity edict – TechCrunch

It could be the long-awaited turning point in the world of venture capital and beyond. Yale, whose $32 billion endowment has been led since 1985 by the legendary investor David Swensen, just let its 70 U.S. money managers across a variety of asset classes know that for the school, diversity has now moved front and center.

According to the WSJ, Swensen has told the firms that from here on out, they will be measured annually on their progress in increasing the diversity of their investment staff, from hiring to training to mentoring to their retention of women and minorities.

Those that show little improvement may see the prestigious university pull its money, Swensen tells the outlet.

It’s hard to overstate the move’s significance. Though Yale’s endowment saw atypically poor performance last year, Swensen, at 66, is among the most highly regarded money managers in the world, growing Yale’s endowment

Read more