Airbnb takes on new debt as it adapts to a world without tourism, Apple announces a new entry-level iPhone and Google lowers Nest camera quality.
Here’s your Daily Crunch for April 15, 2020.
Airbnb has secured commitments of $1 billion for a syndicated term loan from institutional investors. The emergency cash injection comes as the coronavirus travel freeze continues to hammer vacation rentals, with holidaymakers locked down at home and global travel banned or heavily discouraged for public health reasons.
Earlier this month, Airbnb announced an additional $1 billion raise in debt and equity. At the time it said the funds would support its ongoing work to invest over the long term, while this new loan looks more clearly targeted at dealing with immediate negative impacts caused by COVID-19.
With a $399 starting price point, the new SE is aimed squarely at new iPhone users or first time smartphone buyers, but it could appeal to those who just want the smallest iPhone model currently available.
If you’re looking at footage from your Nest Cam and the quality seems a bit lower than normal: it’s not your eyes. The quality adjustment is rolling out over the next few days, and Google says anyone affected will get a notification in the Nest app.
Onfido uses AI to “read” a person’s identity documents, then uses facial recognition and other datapoints to verify that a person is who she or he says they are online. Customers for its tech include major banks, government bodies and businesses doing recruitment — any organization running parts of its processes virtually.
Yesterday, we discussed the state of affairs for private companies with Jason Pressman of Shasta Ventures. From his perspective — and that of other investors who we’ve spoken to recently — it’s hard to understand the level of optimism that public markets are signaling. (Extra Crunch membership required.)
Today’s launch lines up with the schedule that the company announced in January, which pointed to a broader release on July 15. NBCUniversal says that’s still happening, though the timing will no longer coincide with the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
The messaging startup raised a $40 million Series B last summer, followed by a $70 million Series C at the beginning of this year. Today it’s announcing that it’s extended the Series C by another $40 million, bringing the total round size to $110 million.
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