Germany’s Optionspace wants to be an ‘Airbnb for office space’

a new Berlin-based startup, sees its official launch today with a service that is something akin to an “Airbnb for office space.”

Specifically, prospective tenants — which, of course, includes startups — are able via the online service to rent furnished and unfurnished office space for short durations, starting from a one month rental period.

It’s already rolled out in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt, but Optionspace says it plans to expand to further German cities “within the next weeks.”

“Most lease agreements in the office space are long-term and inflexible,” says Optionspace co-founder and CEO Moritz ten Eikelder, who was previously global head of finance at Rocket Internet’s home services company Helpling. “This, however, is not compatible with the planning horizon of most companies. For many companies, therefore, entering long-term rental contracts can pose a significant financial risk.”

In comparison, the Optionspace marketplace only offers office space that can be rented flexibly. This includes lease agreements that are open-ended but have short-notice periods. You also can specify desired office type, number of persons and minimum office size. The entire transaction takes place online, although there is still the option to have an in-person viewing beforehand.

 “On the supply side, we have two types of customers: We allow companies, that have excessive space, to monetize unused rooms. Also, we work with property owners or asset managers, who benefit from tenants’ increased willingness to pay for flexibility,” adds ten Eikelder.

Optionspace’s business model is quite traditional. Once a lease agreement has been signed, the startup receives a monthly 10 percent fee of the rent from the landlord, capped at a maximum of 12 months.

On competitors, the Optionspace CEO had this to say: “Looking at the current offer for flexible workspace, we primarily compete with business centers and co-working spaces for tenants. We have worked in such spaces for several months, but never felt like it was a real alternative for an office. Apart from the high costs, most business centers or co-working spaces do not meet the requirements of a company once it reaches a certain size.”

The company is backed by Vito One (the seed investment arm of the Viessmann Group), pre-seed investor Makers, Factory founder Udo Schloemer, Helpling founders Benedikt Franke and Philip Huffmann, Andrew Goldstein (co-founder of LMU Entrepreneurship Center) and Paul Bauwens-Adenauer and Dr. Patrick Adenauer (owners of BAUWENS Unternehmensgruppe).

New York City sues Verizon for not completing citywide fiber network

New York City has slapped Verizon with a lawsuit that claims the telecommunications conglomerate broke a 2008 contract to provide citywide fiber coverage, depriving residents of competitively priced options for better television and internet service.

In a statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Verizon must face the consequences for breaking the trust of 8.5 million New Yorkers. Verizon promised that every household in the city would have access to its fiber-optic FiOS service by 2014. It’s 2017 and we’re done waiting. No corporation — no matter how large or powerful — can break a promise to New Yorkers and get away with it.”

Verizon claims it is already capable of providing FiOS service to 2.2 million households in New York City. According to Ars Technica, however, this means that almost one million New York City households still do not have access to Verizon’s fiber network, as it has 3.1 million households.

In its complaint, which was filed in New York Supreme Court on Monday, New York City says that the agreement called for Verizon “to install fiber optic cable — in underground conduit, along above-group utility poles, or otherwise — in front of (or behind) each residential building” by 2014.

The city alleges that Verizon not only did not fulfill that agreement, but also “failed in many instances — believed to number at least in the tens of thousands — to timely complete installations as requested by potential subscribers, leaving such New Yorkers without the desired television service. Indeed, Verizon has failed even to accept many New Yorkers’ requests for FiOS service, although [its agreement with the city] requires it to do so.”

Not only does this inconvenience consumers, but Verizon “undermined one of the central goals of making FiOS available to every resident in the City: to expand New Yorkers’ options for receiving cable television service and thereby to create competition that would constrain prices and enhance quality,” the complaint continued.

 In a letter to Anne Roest, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Verizon hit back. The company said it had understood the agreement to mean that it would lay its fiber-optic network along the same route previously used for its copper line, and that the city’s interpretation was impractical.

“Digging up City streets and sidewalks on the scale that you are demanding would cause enormous and unnecessary disruptions to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and would impose immeasurable inconvenience and hardship on countless residents and businesses,” claimed Craig Silliman, Verizon’s executive vice president of public policy and general counsel.

In an email, a Verizon spokesman told TechCrunch, “Mayor De Blasio should read our agreement with the city. Then he could clearly conclude – as others have before him – that we have lived up to our obligation 100 percent. We’d appreciate his support in getting access to buildings where landlords resist allowing us to build fiber to people’s homes.”

The dispute dates back to 2015, when New York City released an audit of Verizon’s fiber coverage.

Athens gets a new venture fund

Raising money for a venture fund is almost never easy, but it’s a whole lot harder in certain places that are struggling economically, like Greece.

Thankfully for the country, a new seed-stage firm has formed, called Marathon VC, that’s currently investing $8.6 million and expects to close its debut fund with roughly $25 million in commitments later this year.

Its mission, broadly: to back Greek tech entrepreneurs, regardless of where they are based.

It’s one of the only funds in Athens — though its founders are hardly new to the startup scene.

One co-founder, George Tziralis, previously co-founded OpenFund, a seed-stage firm in Athens that’s currently investing a €15 million fund. (We talked with another partner, Georgios Kasselakis, last year.)

While Tziralis describes himself as someone who tried — and failed — twice at being a software entrepreneur, he also launched Open Coffee, a popular meeting series for founders who get together monthly to talk shop.

Marathon was also co-founded by Panos Papadopoulos, who first met Tziralis a decade ago when starting his first company — which he describes as an Airbnb for exchange students in Athens — and who went on to co-found BugSense. The mobile analytics company, which would eventually wind up in the Bay Area, was acquired in 2013, two years after its founding, by the publicly traded tech company Splunk.

The price wasn’t disclosed at the time, but Papadopoulos says Splunk paid roughly $9 million in cash — a good outcome for investors who had invested just $100,000 into the company.

 Apparently, the two had crossed paths various times over the past decade; they came together more recently when Tziralis told Papadopoulos that he was spinning out of OpenFund, and Papadopoulos — who was ready to return home from California — decided that he’d rather become an investor in Greece than start another company.

Explains Papadopoulos, “There aren’t these great enterprises in Greece [as in the U.S.] where college graduates want to work. A lot of people have moved abroad in the last four years and established experience and a network and are thinking more globally and who are interesting to us as investors.”

Papadopoulos says that the tech scene in Athens is maturing, too. “Ten years ago, there was very little capital and startups were practically non-existent. But that’s changed. The community has grown strong. Startups are now top of mind for a lot of college graduates. And Greece has a lot of talent. We don’t have product companies, so we don’t have product managers. But in Greece, they almost overemphasize education, so we have mathematics PhDs and biology PhDs. We have people who’ve done research and studies and who once might have wanted to research funded by the European Union but are now looking at startups as something they want to tap instead.”

So far, Marathon’s funding has come exclusively from individuals, including from numerous shipping families and other local industrialists who’ve grown more interested in Athens’s evolving tech scene.

Now, the duo is hoping their track record gets them past their $25 million goal by the end of the third quarter.

Among their collective investments is the cloud-based recruitment startup Workable, which is based in Boston and has raised roughly $34 million from investors so far; Resin.io, a Seattle-based startup that helps Linux-based developers more easily update the software in internet-connected devices and has raised more than $12 million to date; and TaxiBeat, a taxi-hailing smartphone app that sold just last month to the automotive giant Daimler. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Medium debuts its paid membership subscription program

Official platform of hot takes Medium has launched its new business model: paid subscriptions, which the company said it would debut sometime this quarter at Upfront Summit back in early February. Medium started the year with some tough times, including layoffs and a change in direction, so it’s got a lot riding on these subscriptions attracting some… well, subscribers.

Medium’s subscription model rewards those willing to pay with exclusive content, which is what you might expect from a site with a focus on content. This is something Medium’s subscription has in common with other publishers looking to derive direct revenue from readers, and also with other content businesses, including podcast networks, which might be a more direct parallel as they often go with the model of giving away the bulk of their stuff for free, and holding only a small selection of exclusive content for paying members.

Other benefits of joining up with Medium include getting early access to its new features as they arrive. You’ll help guide product direction, too — and it makes total sense that Medium would value the input of its paying subscribers above the freeloading rank and file.

Finally, members will get access to an offline reading queue, sort of like a Medium-exclusive Pocket, which they can take with them on whatever device.

 Medium founder and CEO Ev Williams detailed the subscription’s purpose and design in a Medium post (!), explaining that the first new feature people will get access to is a new reading experience that provides a “limited set of carefully curated stories, chosen by experts among topics we care about.” Williams says this alone is worth the $5 per month (introductory price only, take note) fee that Medium is asking.

Still, there’s also that exclusive content, and Medium will be putting 100 percent of the revenue it receives from those who sign up during “the first few months” toward writers directly. That’s because, Williams writes, Medium’s membership plans are intended specifically to ensure the platform can continue to fund the creation of quality content that isn’t created strictly in pursuit of clicks.

FYI, I tried to sign up, but received a note saying that the membership program is “currently in limited release,” with an option to receive a notification when it actually does become available.

Sport These Lip colors for These Occasions

We are sure you are all set with your summer dresses, fancy flats, hats, sunglasses and a strong sunscreen! But makeup?

Well, we are here to help you and take you out of the tricky situations of wearing which lipstick for which occasion this summer. The shades of summer need to be bright and right so that you flaunt them best. Mattes or glossy what should be your pick? Bright pink in office! Well, we walk you through these questions!

coral-2

Walking Professional –

Keep things summery and light in your work zone do not burst out with all bright painted lips in office. Office look is contained, prime and light. Focus on corals and peaches, not the bright ones, but the ones with a matte finish. If you aren’t a matte lover (well, we are wondering why?) then do not worry. Look for shades that are pigmented but not too bold!

Neutrals are always good options for office looks, but if you are looking for some chic experiments. Coral is your shade then!

beach

Get. Set. Ready For Party

Well, this party season does not hold you in flaunting those bold red lips. Picking a bright orange dress? Well, a bright orange lip paint will give your look a quirky edge this summer.

Matte lipsticks are on a roll, you cannot miss having a good red matte lip color in your makeup stash.

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Brunching Out

Nothing can beat the edge and perfection of a bright pink lip color! When casually hanging out with friends, go ahead and flaunt those vivacious fuchsia lips!

Sun. Sand. Winds

Summers aren’t complete until you get tanned on the beach!

While out on the beach, for a quick swim or just casually hanging out with friends, we do not put any rules out there. Go Bold. Go Bright!

But, hey! We mustn’t miss the SPF on your skin and on the lips!

Hope this helps in picking you the right round of lippies for this summer! Now go out bright and bold with the right lip colour for this summer season.

Chowbotics raises $5 million for salad-making robots named Sally, of course

Chowbotics Inc. has landed $5 million in a Series A round of venture funding to develop what it’s calling food service robots. These are machines designed to prepare food in restaurants, cafeterias and hotels, as well as food courts in airports, malls and hospitals. The company’s flagship product, Sally, is a salad-making robot that uses 20 different food canisters to prepare and serve more than 1,000 different types of salads.

According to Chowbotics CEO and founder Deepak Sekar, the company has finished pilot production of Sally and is ready to bring the robot to market this spring. Asked whether a version of Sally for home use is in the works, Sekar said not now — and likely not for another five or more years. The CEO explained:

“Back in the 60s you had computers the size of a room that were astronomically expensive. That was the main frame. Then you had the mini-computer which was more accessible for businesses in the 70s. It took another decade or so for the personal computer to come around. Right now, the food industry is facing a mini-computer phase where robots have come out of the factory and are going into commercial kitchens.”A number of pilot customers have agreed to trial Chowbotics’ salad-making robot. Sally will be used in pilots at the Campbell, Calif.-based Italian restaurant Mama Mia’s, and the co-working space Galvanize in San Francisco, as well as the corporate cafeteria at H-E-B Grocery Co. in Texas this spring.

While Sally can be used in the kitchen at a restaurant where servers might then walk salads out to customers, the company is also making a version of the device that can operate like an automat, with a touchscreen for ordering up a salad and a credit card reader. Sally should serve well in airports, gyms, hospitals and other venues that operate around the clock and want to offer healthy food at any time.

Because salads made by Chowbotics’ robot can be precisely measured, customers will know exactly how many calories are going into the food they order. Sekar is hoping that fast food and quick service restaurants will start using Sally to attract more health-conscious patrons. Most fast food chains can only offer a few different salad types, he said, and those tend to be over 400 calories each. Sally users can rely on Chowbotics-provided recipes, or key their own recipes into the robot.

Early employees of Chowbotics with salads made by Sally, the food service robot.

Chowbotics’ newly raised capital will go toward hiring, manufacturing and to develop new robots that can prep a range of other foods. Sekar said breakfast, burritos, tacos and certain other types of ethnic foods make sense. Investors in Chowbotics included Foundry Group, Techstars Ventures, Galvanize Ventures and the Geekdom Fund. The startup, which is moving to Redwood City, Calif. next month, is an alumnus of the TechStars Austin accelerator, where it was previously known as Casabots.

Chinese dating app Momo sees record revenue growth thanks to live streaming

Momo, China’s top location-based social networking app, has continued its impressive user growth from last year and added solid financial figures to back it up, according to its most recent earnings report. The company, which was previously backed by Alibaba, went public when it listed on Nasdaq in December 2014.

The firm’s revenue recorded a significant 524 percent year-on-year jump to $246.1 million in Q4 last year, while its annual revenue soared 313 percent to reach $553.1 million. Momo reported a non-GAAP earning per share of $0.44 in Q4 and $0.87 for the financial year.

Away from the financials, Momo’s monthly active users reached 81.1 million as of December 2016 from 69.8 million a year previous. That jump is rebounding to the kind of numbers it recorded in early 2015 when the service reached peak popularity. That’s an impressive comeback considering the company began seeing stagnant active user growth in H2 2015.

Momo previously said slowing smartphone sales and a lack of software updates were the reason for the stagnation, but its focus on new business areas — and particularly live streaming — have helped reinvent the company and its app among Chinese users.

From location-based dating to social entertainment

Momo is certainly not aiming to become a live-streaming company even though that side of its business now represents nearly 80 percent of its revenue. Rather, the company has evolved from a simple location-based feature that helps people discover new relationships to take on different kinds of entertainment.

Today, it is a platform that accommodates a variety of different social and entertainment use cases, including one-on-one communication, group chats, social postings of various formats and, of course, live broadcasting and short videos.

Live streaming drives growth

Momo has recorded profit for eight consecutive quarters, but 2016 was the real start point for its rocket-like growth. Like many other social networking services in China, live streaming was the significant boost for its business, generating $194.8 million revenue during Q4 alone. Since it was added to the Momo service in Q3 2015, live streaming has taken an increasingly larger share of Momo’s revenue stream, to the point that it is now dominant today.

Live streaming alone isn’t a money spinner — that’s where the business mode comes into play. Virtual gift-based live video streaming has become highly profitable in China — that’s to say that users buy small “virtual” items that they send to their favorite streamers to get attention, convey their gratitude, etc. Momo’s live video streaming business adopted a similar commercialization model in which the platform enables viewers to buy virtual gifts for singers, with the revenue split between the broadcaster and Momo.

For now, it has focused on its own user base, but there are grander plans to expand the platform’s reach.

“We believe we are still early in the monetization process and have many opportunities to drive further growth year… In 2016, we have primarily relied on converting existing Momo users onto the live streaming service. In December 2016, the service covered around 23 percent of the daily active users for the main application. In 2017, we plan to expand the user acquisition effort beyond the Momo platform,” said company CEO Tang Yan in the earnings conference call.


Momo 2016 revenue breakdown (unit: 10k USD) (Image credit: Sina Tech)

Social networking, marketing and gaming

The rest of the company’s annual revenue was primarily derived from membership fees on the dating side of its business, gifting on its social network and marketing and gaming income.

Value-added service revenues from their social network, which totaled $19.1 million in Q4 2016, mainly consisted of membership subscription revenues and virtual gift revenues. The firm cites the increase of premium VIP users and total users, as well as virtual gift service, as the reason.

Mobile marketing revenues recorded a 29 percent annual growth to $19.7 million in Q4 2016, mainly driven by more new customers and orders introduced by sales agents, as well as the increase of eCPM (effective cost per mille) of the in-feed advertisement service.

Momo’s mobile gaming unit has been growing quickly thanks to several big titles like hard-core game Momo Craft and Momo Fight the Landlord. Momo doubled down on this in 2016 as it retreated from a previous joint venture on game publishing in favor of in-house development. The effect of this strategy was evident, as its mobile game revenue surged 45 percent year-on-year to reach $11.3 million in Q4 2016.

An Engineering Degree can give you a High Flying Career

Engineering is one of the most prestigious as well as a profitable career option that offers a plethora of benefits.  Apart from the prestige factor associated with an engineering degree, the return on investment provided by this degree provided you obtain it frombest engineering institutes in Rajasthan and good career progression are some of the other positives of obtaining an engineering degree.  It is a charming profession which calls for high level of creativity and analytical skills.  Engineers do constructive work and they enjoy doing what they do best in the process getting handsomely paid for it.  There is never a dull moment and you get to earn some really good money doing what you do best. Another good thing about this course of study is that engineering contains a large number of specialities.  You can choose one that most closely meets your specific career goals, skill sets and aptitude.

Engineering jaipur

The abundance of lucrative career opportunities that an engineering degree from a well-established institute carries can be gauged from the huge number of engineering aspirants who sit take all important and revered engineering competitive exams to seek admission in prestigious engineering schools.

An engineering degree from a good institute is a golden ticket to a high flying career. This is in sharp contrast to an engineering degree whereas a degree from an inferior institute may not be worth the paper it is printed on. It is of utmost importance that you seek admission in an institute which carries an impeccable reputation of providing sound academic environment, top class faculty and high level placement opportunities. There is no dearth of low grade engineering schools in India who have set shop to make some seriously good money in real quick time.  A degree from these fly by night operators are devoid of any prestige and value and seeking them is just wastage of time and money.

Prior research is must

There is absolutely no point in taking admission in an engineering school and realising mid-way that you are simply not cut out for the job. It will save a lot of time, money and grief if you are clear about your priorities and interest. If you really think you want to be an engineer, it is strongly recommended that you carry out some prior research about various engineering streams and whether they sound good to you. There are dozens of engineering majors like Civil, Mechanical, Computer, Electrical, Agriculture, Chemical, Aeronautics, Industrial, Manufacturing, etc.

It is most likely for a well-established engineering school to offer all or at least majority of the above mentioned streams. You can visit a college or a university to find more about different majors that are offered, whether it sounds interesting to you and what the training teaches students to do among other things.

Expert mentors try to develop a sense of curiosity in their students about the latest trends and changes in the industry. This proves to be immensely beneficial to an engineer later in his career as it allows him to remain in touch with recently developed software programs, patches and other hardware components. This enables a computer engineer to advance at a fairly good pace in a company or other workplace.

Best engineering institutes in Jaipur prepare a student well for a challenging but lucrative profession in this discipline. Apart from quality teaching, they also provide internship opportunities with good firms to help them build their resumes and gain some valuable workplace exposure.

What all does python training have in store for you?

Education has gone through tremendous changes in past decades. All old method of teaching and learning are replaced with tabs and online learning. This new method has, no wonder facilitated hassle free learning and that too sitting at home. With endless courses governing various websites has further provided with more learning opportunities. The  new advancement in technology every hour, every minute, software developers have promising future to look forward. To help these avid learners, machine learning using python training is the most approached pathway.

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The training has emerged as one of the most sought after program because of its easy integration with technology. Software developers are switching to python training as it offers stability and productivity especially in larger projects. The course,designed in such a way thatit becomes easier to understand its concepts and further helpful in creating various codes. The learning and implementation of these codes at machine learning using python training in San Francisco is made easier through uninterrupted learning sessions. To further help those projects and assignments that are given to the students helps them in gaining mastery of the subject. When you decide to take up this Python Training you are taught-

  • During the entire course, there are many libraries and object oriented designs that provide a first hand info in the mentioned field. How to use these designs from the library and get best out of it, is taught here.
  • Python is loaded with many features and how you control them with the help of web technologies becomes easier to understand when you get enrolled in the training.

All those spirants who see their career in software programming can take this route-way to their successful career life. The training will help you designs different softwares. Any computer or laptop apart from hardware is mere a collection of softwares that govern your working on it.  So you can easily understand the importance of software with which the world is ruled out these days.

Depending on the utilities of the softwares, many of it is created to meet different purposes. To help your profession gets creative flare, the training does wonders. Almost all softwares facilitate easy working and it’s all because of the coding that it follows. With the help of this coding language you are able to create free flowing software that is easy to access and understand. Makes your work easier and provides you with opportunities of creating something new and unique.

With complete knowledge of Python training you will be able to take your creativity to the next level. The online learning allows you to study at your own comfort. Study after your working hours or at weekends, whatever you prefer. This is the golden opportunity available to all your students, software developers, architects, businessman and engineers and they should not miss it.

Gaining Confidence and Expertise as a Business Analyst

It is time that you get aware regarding the role and participation of the business analyst. He is the right person within the organization to cause evaluation and analysis of the data and he will also create solutions for the reason of communicating with people. In this aspect, you can know about the details of Business Analyst Training. This is the right training you can practice to become an expert in the field. As an analyst you can have a proper grasp in the genre of information technology and in the way you can enjoy the career of the perfect business analyst down the years.

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What can you do as an Analyst?

While playing the role of an analyst you are working within the organization and now you are responsible to manage and change the plans for the perfect attaining of the company goals. This can happen in a specific case of project management or when you are handling things at large within the organization. In the way, you get to understand the present organizational scenario and you can even identify the needs of the future. As an analyst you can even create the solutions that will help you well meet with the organizational necessities and these are needs having relation with the information and the sort of software systems.

Role Played by the Analyst

Once you play the role of a business analyst you can have a perfect demonstration of the excellent understanding of the ways of the organization. This way you can really comprehend the smooth functioning of the company wings and likewise you can take decisions and execute processes for the overall development of the organization. As an analyst you can help the organization develop the functions and even carry on with the services and the products to meet with the specific business goals and this can happen along with the external and even with the internal stakeholders.

Building Communication as an Analyst

As a business analyst you can even play the key role in building communication within the internal departments and there is also proper linking between the external parties. In this case, you are acting as the translator and now you feel the necessity to incorporate the details of information technology which can really support the needs of the organization. This way, you become linked with the working of the organizational processes and in the way you can make the company reach the zenith of success.

Various Roles of an Analyst

A business analyst has several identities. He is the apt business architect and the management consultant. The analyst even acts as the product manager and the product owner. He is the best man to play the role of the requirements engineer and there are more things you can expect out of the professional. However, to be a proper and complete business analyst it is essential that you take part in the Business Analyst Certification In Paris. In the way, you can acquire experience in the genre and perfectly deal with the organizational needs and processes.