Odds and Ends 

Zeus raises $24M to make you a living-as-a-service landlord

Cookie-cutter corporate housing turns people into worker drones. When an employee needs to move to a new city for a few months, they’re either stuck in bland, giant apartment complexes or Airbnbs meant for shorter stays. But Zeus lets any homeowner get paid to host white-collar transient labor. Through its managed ownership model, Zeus takes on all the furnishing, upkeep, and risk of filling the home while its landlords sit back earning cash. Zeus has quietly risen to a $45 million revenue run rate from renting out 900 homes in…

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Headlines 

Your Facebook Password Isnt Safe. Neither Is Your Android Phone

Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less: Change your Facebook password Facebook acknowledged a bug that caused hundreds of millions of user passwords (dating back to 2012) for both Facebook and Instagram to be stored as readable text internally. This basically means that thousands of Facebook employees could have searched for and found them. Facebook says they weren't accessible outside of the company, and that there's no evidence employees did in fact abuse or improperly access them. We say, change it anyway. Airbnb may be beloved by…

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Odds and Ends 

Court dismisses Paris lawsuit against Airbnb for illegal listings

A court in Paris has dismissed a case against Airbnb, as Le Monde reported. Last month, the City of Paris sued Airbnb for 1,010 illegal listings. According to the mayor’s office, Airbnb failed to comply with regulation in Paris. Paris has been trying to limit the effect of Airbnb on the housing market in Paris. Paris is one of the top cities for Airbnb in the world. A few years ago, many people stopped renting their apartments the traditional way in favor of Airbnb. The average rental price in some…

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Odds and Ends 

If Youre Going to New York You Can Rent This Van in Soho on Airbnb

via Meng on Airbnb If you’re visiting the Big Apple anytime soon and you’re: on a shoestring budget, about that van life, or just feeling adventurous—check out this Airbnb listing for a Vintage Custom Van in Soho. At $69 USD a night (plus airbnb service fees) you get: Soho Vintage custom van with cozy sofa-bed and lots of natural light. Perfect for international travelers, backpackers and the #vanlife experience. Pillows and blankets provided. Great location. Perfect for an affordable place to sleep in the best NY neighborhood. Van is for…

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Odds and Ends 

Sick of managing your Airbnb? Vacasa raises $64M to do it for you

Airbnbing can be a ton of work. Between key pickups, tidying, and maintenance emergencies, renting out your place isn’t such a passive revenue source. But Vacasa equips owners with full-service vacation home management, including listings on top rental platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway, as well as local cleaners who come between guests. It now manages 10,600 vacation rental properties in over 16 countries. With the peer-to-peer housing market maturing and Airbnb looking to go public, private equity firms see an opportunity in who controls the end relationship with home owners like…

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Odds and Ends 

These are the most successful companies to emerge from Y Combinator

The round was impressive for a couple of reasons: The founders are a pair of 22-year-olds that had set out to build a virtual reality company before pivoting to payments, and they had only completed Y Combinator, a well-known Silicon Valley startup accelerator, the year prior. Today, YC has released the latest list of its most successful companies since it began backing startups in 2005. Ranked by valuation and/or market cap, Brex, sure enough, is the youngest company to crack the top 20: Airbnb: An online travel community and room-sharing…

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Headlines 

Bad Actors Are Using Social Media Exactly As Designed

When Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller announced criminal charges against Russian operatives for interfering with the 2016 presidential election, descriptions of how the Russians used modern communications technologies were all too familiar. Journalists referred to the ways in which Russia “manipulated social-media platforms,” and tech company executives like Facebook’s Rob Goldman decried “how the Russians abused our system.” WIRED OPINION ABOUT Joshua Geltzer is executive director and visiting professor of law at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection as well as an ASU Future of War fellow at New America writing a…

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Odds and Ends 

Seattle study puts down some common criticisms of Airbnb-style renting as regulations loom

Airbnb may have put its foot in its mouth before when it comes to communicating the benefits it brings to cities, but its hard to argue with raw, uncut science. A new study from the Internet Association, a trade group comprising many online properties including Airbnb, takes a hard look at housing stats in Seattle and bats away a few issues commonly brought up regarding the service. One criticism that appears repeatedly, especially in fast-growing cities where gentrification and developers are roundly resented, is that people are buying up housing…

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Odds and Ends 

VCs determined to replace your job keep AIs funding surge rolling in Q2

Joanna Glasner is a reporter for Crunchbase. More posts by this contributor: Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items The state of the unicorn These are good times for AI entrepreneurs. Recent analysis of venture data shows that funding for artificial intelligence startups continues its upward trend in 2017, with investment hitting new highs. (For deep dives into aggregate Q2 venture performance, headherefor the world, andherefor just the U.S.) Venture, corporate and seed investors have put an estimated $3.6 billion into AI and machine learning companies this…

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Odds and Ends 

With autonomy, commercial real-estate could go mobile

Cyrus Radfar is a founding engineer of AddThis, which was acquired by Oracle. More posts by this contributor: Autonomous cars will bring a moveable feast of products and services Transport’s coming upheaval The coming years could see the next great land rush across the US and many other countries worldwide, but it might not even involve land. Instead, the next trend for savvy investors could be fleets of autonomous vehicles. A previous article posited the idea that the retail industry may be about to experience its greatest disruption since the rise…

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Odds and Ends 

Airbnb settles lawsuit with San Francisco

Airbnb Head of Global Policy Chris Lehane announced today that the company has settled its lawsuit with the city of San Francisco. Last year, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement. This agreement helps protect the citys precious housing supply by obligating these companies to ensure that all their listings are legal and properly registered. This is a game changer. The settlement will also make it easier for residents who follow the rules to supplement their income by renting out a spare room or their home while…

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Odds and Ends 

Seattle grapples with Airbnb in proposal to limit hosts to two properties

Seattle will move forward with plans to restrict how many units its residents can list on short-term rental platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. Keeping things a little more lax than cities that have adopted a Seattles proposal would allow each short-term rental host to list their own place of residence coupled with one extra housing unit. The city has issued a revised set of short-term rental regulations that aim to strike a balance between keeping long-term renters and short-term hosts happy. In Seattle as in many cities, short-term rental services…

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