April 30 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By April 29, 2019 Insight

1. Latin America Has ‘Arrived’ Among Global VCs

  • VC funding into the region nearly doubled in 2018 to a record $1.98 billion…quadruple the $500 million invested in 2016
  • co-investments between global and Latin American investors are on the rise
  • fintech has historically been the sector receiving the largest amount of investment dollars in Latin America, 2018 saw a shift with more money going into logistics and distribution startups

2. Marriott plans to take on Airbnb with its own home-rental service

  • recently completed a pilot, in which it rented 340 properties in Paris, Rome, Lisbon and London
  • With about 1.3 million guest rooms globally, Marriott is the world’s largest hotel operator
  • Airbnb, the world’s largest home-rental platform, boasts as many as 6 million rentals globally

3. Jaguar Land Rover planning to allow helpful car drivers to earn cryptocurrency

  • Britain’s largest auto manufacturer…testing software that will allow drivers of its cars to earn the IOTA cryptocurrency as a reward for sharing data
  • overall goal was to “achieve zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion,”
  • IOTA wants to enable interoperability with all these different players…no Jaguar coin, no BMW coin, but one universal token for this machine economy

4. Cellphones now outnumber the world’s population

  • number of active cellphone subscriptions grew larger than the number of actual people on this planet
  • estimates there to be roughly 5.28 billion “mobile broadband” subscriptions as of the end of 2018
  • about 45% of that group—2.38 billion users—check Facebook on their smartphones each month

5. Uber adds public transportation directions and schedules to its app in London

  • part of Uber’s broader effort to become a one-stop shop for all modes of transportation
  • goal to help people replace their car with their phone by offering a range of mobility options
  • benefits from training its customers to use its app over all the other apps that purport to be one-stop shops for transportation