Read Later
Pertinent articles from across the web.
The Era Of “Move Fast And Break Things” Is Over (HBR): Investing in responsible innovation not only benefits society, it protects the viability of technological progress in a democratic system.
How Smart Cities Will Vacuum Up Data — And Attempt To Protect It (CB Insights)
Why SoftBank's Masayoshi Son Is Silicon Valley's Power Broker (Fast Company)

Blockchain Startup Aims To Cut Out Equifax From Loan Process (Bloomberg): Blockchain startup Spring Labs is partnering with 16 lenders and fintech firms to test a system to eliminate centralized entities like credit bureaus from their role in granting loans to individuals and companies.
Citizens Reserve Is Building A Supply Chain Platform On The Blockchain (TechCrunch)
A Technical Breakdown Of Google's New Blockchain Search Tools (Forbes)
How Blockchain Will Be A Game Changer For Real-Estate Industry (CIOReview)
Abra’s Blockchain App To Let Users Invest In Fractions of Stocks, ETFs (Coindesk)
Report: Facebook Acquires Blockchain Startup In Apparent First (Cointelegraph)

 Developers Woo Retail Tenants With Tallest-Ever Warehouses (WSJ): To bring tenants closer to urban consumers, developers in New York, North Carolina and Wisconsin are building four-story warehouses.
Berkeley's Robot "Picker" Hints At A New Future For Warehouses (Axios)
Mounting Costs Push Construction Industry Harder Toward Tech Solutions (Bisnow)
How Tech Giants Are Driving US Construction Trends (Construction Dive)
This New Solar Technology Means In Future All Buildings Could Be Energy Self-Sufficient (Bisnow)
Commercial Property Sales Hit Near Record-Breaking Total Of $562B Last Year (The Real Deal)

 WeWork Debuts Rent-By-The-Minute Space (Biz Women): At the new "Made by We" location in New York’s Flatiron District, customers can reserve a desk online for $6 for the first 30 minutes — slightly more than a Venti Cafe Latte at Starbucks, but with a guaranteed seat and power source.
Designing A New Social Contract For The Future Of Work (MIT Sloan News)
The Property Value Proposition Of Flexible Space (CBRE)
Tips On How To Create A Workplace That Appeals To Today's Workers (Forbes)
In Growth Mode, Knotel To Move HQ To Former New York Times Building (The Real Deal)
New York City Outranks San Francisco As World's Best City To Build A Tech Company (Forbes)

 Airbnb Sought To Buy Hotel Tonight (Curbed): Many of the lodging company’s recent moves, including Airbnb Plus, a luxury offering, an initiative to reach business travelers, and its Experiences program, have been efforts to mimic the services and standardization of traditional hotel chains.
Hotel Fires Half Its Robot Staff For Sucking At Their Jobs (CNET)
Pushed By Home-Sharing, Hotels Try Some New Tricks (NY Times)
Indian Hotel Startup OYO Is Planning To Be Bigger Than Marriott (CNN)
Equinox Debuts Campaign For New Hotels Biz (AdAge)
Hotel Direct Booking Efforts Create Lasting Loyalty: New Report (Skift)
Airbnb-Hotel Hybrids Offer More Homey Comfort With Less Risk (WIRED)

 So Uber Wants Self-Driving Bikes And Scooters. Why? And How? (WIRED): Self-driving e-scooters and bikes would be able to mosey themselves over to battery-charging stations, or wheel themselves into maintenance depots, or redistribute themselves to exactly where users need them to be.
China's Tests Drone Delivery In Indonesia In First Overseas Pilot (TechCrunch)
Waymo To Retrofit 200,000-Square-Foot Autonomous Vehicle Factory In Michigan (VentureBeat)
Amazon Seen Testing Autonomous Delivery Truck (PYMNTS.COM)
Days Before The Super Bowl, The FBI Goes Drone Hunting Around Atlanta (Fortune)
Ready Or Not, Here Comes The Micromobility Revolution (Citylab)


Why Pop-Up Warehousing Is The Way Forward For Retail’s Final-Mile Delivery (The News Funnel): A consumer insights survey conducted in 2018 by PwC reported that the majority of consumers—62%—expect their purchases to be delivered within two days of ordering.
From Dead Mall To Amazon Warehouse, Industrial Uses Take Over Retail (CNBC)
Former Uber CEO Plots China Comeback With ‘Shared Kitchen’ Business (SCMP)
How to Sell Amazon Liquidation Pallets (The Atlantic)
‘Non-Amazon’ Online Retail Strategies Attract Venture Funding (The Information)
In New York, A Glitzy New Mall Devotes A Floor To Online Retailers (WSJ)



A selection of relevant financing and M&A activity in our sector.

  • 2nd Address, an Airbnb-style platform for business travellers looking for home rentals that extend beyond 30 days, raised $10M of funding from GV and Foundation Capital
  • AutoCamp, a San Francisco-based developer of Airstream hotels, raised $115M in a round of funding led by Whitman Peterson
  • AppFolio, a provider of cloud-based business software, acquired Dynasty Marketplace, a provider of advanced A.I. solutions for the real estate market, for an undisclosed amount
  • Kinestral, a maker of smart-tinting glass for homes and commercial buildings, raised over $100M in Series D funding in a round led by SK Holdings
  • Cuyana, a San Francisco-based women's luxury lifestyle brand, raised $30M in a funding round led by H.I.G. Growth Partners
  • RealBlocks, a blockchain-based startup for real estate fundraising and investing, raised $3.1M in a seed funding round led by Science Inc.
  • Airbnb acquired Gaest, a Denmark-based startup that provides a marketplace-style platform for people to post and book venues for meetings and off-sites, for an undisclosed amount
  • REalyse, a UK-based provider of real estate data and analytics for institutional property investors and developers, raised €3.1M in a Series A round led by Anthemis Group and XTX Ventures
  • Fernish, a subscription-based furniture rental startup, raised $30M in a round of funding led by RET Ventures
  • Uplift, a fintech company aimed at making travel more affordable and accessible, raised $123M in a Series C equity financing round led by Madrone Capital Partners
  • GeoPhy, an A.I.-enabled, real estate valuation platform, raised $33M in a Series B funding round led by Index Ventures
  • Next, a transportation platform that connects shippers and carriers, raised $97M in a round of Series C funding led by Brookfield Ventures
  • Rex, a home buying and selling platform, raised $45M in Series C funding. Investors were not disclosed.
  • Knotel, a provider of flexible office spaces, acquired Deskeo, the largest office space rental operation in Paris, for an undisclosed amount
  •, a general contractor for the age of Uber and Prime Now, raised a $33M Series B round led by WestRiver Group, Goldman Sachs and Redfin
  • Measurabl, a data management startup that works with commercial real estate firms on sustainability goals, raised $18.7M in a Series B funding round led by Sway Ventures
  • Knock, a real estate startup that buys homes directly from homeowners, raised $400M in Series B equity and debt financing led by Foundry Group
  • Pretto, a Paris-based online mortgage broker, raised €8M in a Series A round co-led by Alven Capital and Blackfin Tech Fund

The latest from Fifth Wall and our portfolio

Fifth Wall Principal Roelof Opperman recently moderated a panel at VivaTech in San Francisco about how tech, specifically A.I., will shape future cities (pictured above). Roelof was also quoted in a CREtech article about multifamily-tech trends that are shaping the future, touching on trends such as co-living and micro units, as well as how tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook will increasingly aim to integrate themselves more into the lives of tenants. Read the article here.
  • After debuting Fifth Wall’s 2019 Retail Predictions, Part 1 in December, we decided to go straight to the source — the entrepreneurs and innovators in our portfolio who are on the front lines of the omnichannel transformation. Read our retail entrepreneurs' predictions for 2019 here.
  • Lime announced it raised a $310 million Series D round, led by Bain Capital Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity Ventures, GV and IVP.  The round now values Lime at $2.4 billion. Lime also announced two new hires this month, bringing on its first CMO and appointing its first CTO. Duke Stump, now CMO at Lime, is joining the company from Lululemon, where he served as EVP of Brand and Community and Li Fan, who served as Lime’s head of engineering, has now assumed the role of CTO. Read more about what these hires mean for Lime via TechCrunch.
  • Eden co-founder and CEO Joe Du Bey wrote a piece geared towards entrepreneurs on the art of the pivot, titled “10 Lessons from Pivoting to Product-Market Fit.” Read it here
  • Convene CEO and co-founder Ryan Simonetti offered up five predictions on what will happen in the flexible workspace industry in 2019, read his thoughts via Convene’s blog
  • Blend was the focus of a whitepaper by Boston Consulting Group titled “How Digital Mortgage Solutions Can Help Win The War Against Margin Compression."  Blend also announced the hire of former Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos as its new President. Mayopoulos will lead Blend's go-to market and corporate support functions and serve on the board of directors.
  • Assaf Wand, CEO and co-founder of Hippo, guest starred on an episode of the Twenty Minute VC Podcast, where he gave advice to entrepreneurs on the right way to think about investor selection and the mistakes not to make when building a company’s board. Download the episode here.
  • Interior Define announced a new collaboration with children’s apparel company and fellow digitally native brand Monica + Andy, which features child-sized furniture in Monica + Andy’s signature whimsical prints. Read more about the collaboration on TechCrunch.


Since releasing our 2019 Fifth Wall Retail Trends & Predictions, the one we’ve been most inundated with questions about from partners, LPs and media is Ghost Kitchens — both in terms of what they are, and how they tie into Fifth Wall’s overall vision of helping connecting the world’s largest owners and operators of real estate with entrepreneurs and innovators who are using technology to make a significant impact on the built world. We were excited to be included in The Wall Street Journal’s first major piece on the topic last week, “Food Delivery Startups Cook Up New Model That’s All About the Kitchen” by the very prescient Marc Vartabedian — and wanted to expand on our thoughts around what we view as a massive opportunity in a blog post. Read our thoughts here or click on the the graphic below, and if you have an incredible business that falls within the category, or a different perspective — Fifth Wall and our Anchor LP’s would love to get to know you better.

Curated by:
The Fifth Wall Team


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