Alibaba reshuffles management, says CFO Wu to oversee strategic investment unit

China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Tuesday said its chief financial officer, Maggie Wu, will move to oversee the firm’s strategic acquisitions and investments unit, as part of a business and management reshuffle at the e-commerce giant.

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/1wO6NWU46_s/alibaba-reshuffles-management-says-cfo-wu-to-oversee-strategic-investment-unit-idUSKCN1TJ0AH

Sprint is the latest telecom to offer a tracking device that uses LTE

Following in the footsteps of AT&T and Verizon*, Sprint is now offering an LTE tracker. The matchbook-sized device, simply called Tracker, provides real-time location tracking on Safe + Found app.

Sprint Tracker

Sprint’s new Tracker

The Tracker competes with Tile, but instead of Bluetooth, Sprint’s device uses 4G LTE, GPS and Wi-Fi location services, so it can be used to track things, people or pets that might travel a significant distance away, compared to a range of 100 ft to 300 ft for Tile (depending on the version). The Tracker is manufactured by Coolpad and users need to pay $2.50 per month for 24 months to cover the cost of the device, plus an additional $5 per month to connect it.

AT&T and Verizon both launched LTE trackers over the past year and Apple is also rumored to be working on a tracking device that connects to iPhones, based on an asset package for pairing devices by proximity spotted in the first beta of iOS 13 by 9to5Mac.

*Disclosure: TechCrunch is part of Verizon Media, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

Neighbours want better for centenarian

Neighbours want better for centenarian

A FAMILY MEMBER and a few neighbours were the only people who turned up at Colin Layne’s humble abode yesterday to greet him on his 100th birthday. And while Barbados’ latest centenarian was in a jovial…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240332/neighbours-centenarianhttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240332/neighbours-centenarian

Neighbours want better for centenarian

A FAMILY MEMBER and a few neighbours were the only people who turned up at Colin Layne’s humble abode yesterday to greet him on his 100th birthday. And while Barbados’ latest centenarian was in a jovial…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240332/neighbours-centenarianhttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240332/neighbours-centenarian

Chairman Smith quits CBC

Chairman Smith quits CBC

LESS THAN A YEAR after Melba Smith took over the chairmanship of the beleaguered Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), she has called it quits. Smith, a former general manager and director of news…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240331/chairman-smith-quits-cbchttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240331/chairman-smith-quits-cbc

Chairman Smith quits CBC

LESS THAN A YEAR after Melba Smith took over the chairmanship of the beleaguered Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), she has called it quits. Smith, a former general manager and director of news…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240331/chairman-smith-quits-cbchttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240331/chairman-smith-quits-cbc

Beijing-backed candidate announces bid to lead casino hub of Macau

The head of the legislature
in Macau, the world’s biggest gambling hub, formally declared
his candidacy on Tuesday in the race to run the
Chinese-controlled territory for the next five years.

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/companyNews/~3/Xrmnu99cM5I/beijing-backed-candidate-announces-bid-to-lead-casino-hub-of-macau-idUSL4N23P0UU

Tighter security

Tighter security

POLICE PRESENCE on pleasure boats will have to be beefed up, says Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith. During a press conference at the police headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City, yesterday,…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240330/tighter-securityhttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240330/tighter-security

Tighter security

POLICE PRESENCE on pleasure boats will have to be beefed up, says Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith. During a press conference at the police headquarters on Roebuck Street, The City, yesterday,…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240330/tighter-securityhttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240330/tighter-security

GuestReady raises $6M to help hosts on Airbnb and other services manage their property

GuestReady, a three-year-old service that lets shared-economy hosts manage their business on Airbnb and other rental sites, has announced a $6 million Series A round.

The investment was led by existing backer Impulse VC — the Russian fund that is backed by billionaire Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich — and new addition VentureSouq from Dubai. Other past backers also took part, including Boost Heroes, Aria Group and 808 Tech Ventures. GuestReady raised $3 million in 2017 and this round takes it to nearly $10 million from investors to date.

GuestReady’s property management platform helps owners manage the intricacies of operating a shared-economy house, such as cleaning, laundry, and check-in and out services. It claims to cover over 2,000 properties across six countries: the UK, France, Portugal, UAE, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Airbnb is the obvious platform to work with, but a sizeable volume of business comes from Expedia’s HomeAway business and Booking.com, GuestReady CEO Alexander Limpert told TechCrunch in an interview.

Limpert added that GuestReady’s annual booking volume is close to reaching $50 million on an annualized basis. Over the last year, the company’s take-home revenue has tripled with a lower burn rate, he added, although he declined to provide specific figures.

The GuestReady Team

That growth has come courtesy of a series of M&A deals.

Indeed, this new infusion of cash comes months after the company completed its fourth acquisition to date, snapping up France-based rival BnbLord, a startup that it claims is the largest Airbnb host platform in France and Portugal.

That deal, which Limpert said is the company’s largest to date, was a “strategic play to become the market leader in Europe” — and it could be followed by others.

The GuestReady CEO said the company is engaged in “quite a few conversations right now” over potential acquisitions, with this new capital potentially fuelling those moves.

“We believe the market [for guest services] will consolidate,” he said, explaining that many young companies start out with promise but struggle to scale successfully once they hit 50-100 properties under management.

“They realize this is an intensive business without good processes and technology,” he added.

Still, the company is likely to retain the focus on its current markets with the potential to add “one or two” new cities further down the line.

“For now, we’re seeing so much potential in our current markets,” explained Limpert. “London and Paris are two of Airbnb’s biggest markets globally, for example, with 60,000 properties… we manage a couple of hundred of them.”

‘Great’ results

‘Great’ results

MINISTER OF EDUCATION Santia Bradshaw has described this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination results as “particularly exceptional”. But while those returns were being trumpeted,…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240329/-resultshttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240329/-results

‘Great’ results

MINISTER OF EDUCATION Santia Bradshaw has described this year’s Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination results as “particularly exceptional”. But while those returns were being trumpeted,…

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240329/-resultshttp://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/240329/-results

Advertisers, agencies and social media combine to tackle online threat

Sixteen of the world’s biggest
advertisers have joined together to push platforms such as
Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube
to do more to tackle dangerous and fake content online.

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/companyNews/~3/u3g5sD1bAW8/advertisers-agencies-and-social-media-combine-to-tackle-online-threat-idUSL8N23O5CV

U.S. solar installation outlook brightens on falling costs -report

The U.S. solar energy industry lifted
its installation outlook for this year and beyond thanks to
robust demand for large-scale projects by utilities buying the
clean energy source for its low cost, according to a report
published on Tuesday.

JEFFREY LIPTON in BARBADOS – http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/companyNews/~3/gwNHbXeKFDM/u-s-solar-installation-outlook-brightens-on-falling-costs-report-idUSL2N23O153