Over half of US business travellers in the third-quarter of this year used ride-hailing services, marking the first time that such offerings make up a majority of ground transport expenses, according to Certify metrics. Uber and Lyft snagged 52% of road transportation market share in the period, up from 49% in the previous quarter, and from 34% year-on-year.
What’s happening with Aquila, Facebook’s global connectivity play? asks Steve Mullins. The social network’s carbon fibre drone, which boasts an impressive 40-metre wingspan (think Boeing 737), took the air for the first time earlier this year for a 96-minute flight to great excitement, though the long-endurance craft has gone off the radar since and remains very much a Silicon Valley work-in-progress.
Co-working is transforming business real estate. Initially a trend that emerged along with the start-up phenomenon, co-working has been adopted by an increasing number of organisations. And more than two-thirds of space providers are looking to expand their co-working operations, while almost 80% expect the number of sharing members to increase this year, according to the Global Co-working Survey.
Fashion group Yoox Net-a-Porter is planning to unite its UK tech teams in a new innovation hub in West London’s White City Place close to the company’s HQ in the Westfield London shopping centre. The 70,000 square feet of office will boast flexible working spaces and be home to the Yoox Net-a-Porter focus on mobile technology.
The UK Local Government Association says 159 councils are joining the next phase of the One Public Estate initiative aimed at helping local authorities and public sector bodies utilise existing land and properties with a view to boosting economic growth, regeneration and integrated public services. The core idea behind the project is getting public sector partners to share buildings, reduce running costs and to release surplus and under-used land for development.
Barclays-backed Indian fintech programme Rise Mumbai Accelerator is rolling out with its first cohort of 10 start-ups. Onboard the initiative are entrepreneurial outfits from Bangalore (four), Mumbai and Delhi (two each), one based in Chennai and one in Hyderabad. The firms will develop their projects around the likes of predictive lending, Big Data and artificial intelligence for the banking and financial sectors.
Investors pumped over $6.2 billion into some 150 transportation-related companies around the world in the third-quarter, and that’s more the $6.1 billion invested in the segment during the whole of the previous year. This activity was fuelled by action in the autonomous driving and ride-hailing spaces, as well as the prospect of big acquisitions, with around a dozen companies picking $100 million-plus in venture funding, according to Crunchbase data.
Germany, in particular Berlin, has been trying to lure firms away from the UK since the Brexit vote, and now the French are taking a tilt at selling the commercial charms of Paris as the British government heads towards European isolation. The Gallic capital’s La Défense business district, home to a raft of financial institutions, is deploying billboard advertising at Heathrow Airport and London’s Eurostar train station featuring an amphibian wearing a tricolour tie and the tagline ‘Tired of the fog? Try the Frogs! Choose Paris La Défense’.