Reap what you sowOn the heels of a $69 million funding, Orchard is adding insurance and warranty services to a platform that offers home-buying and selling services.“We’re radically simplifying the way people buy their homes,” CEO Court Cunningham said in a statement.The New York City-based company has said it wants to be the Amazon of real estate. It already offers home loans, title insurance and search tools to customers in Colorado, Georgia and Texas. FSBO gets an overhaulWhile Covid wreaked havoc on traditional residential brokerages, a digital, do-it-yourself platform for homesellers is in growth mode.HomeLister, a platform for homeowners that pushes listings out to local multiple-listing systems for a flat fee, raised $4.5 million this summer from MetaProp and Homebrew. Now, it claims it has saved clients $17 million in commissions since the onset of the pandemic.Co-founded by Lindsay McLean and Jennifer Stein in 2015, HomeLister only represents sellers and charges a flat fee starting at $599. Sellers choose how much (or little) help they want from HomeLister. With the most basic package, listing is free and sellers only pay when their home sells.Zach Aarons, a MetaProp co-founder, called the platform “intuitive” and said MetaProp invested, in part, because it saw the business as “scalable.”Small bytes? French home insurance startup Luko raised €50 million from EQT Ventures, Accel, Founders Fund and Speedinvest.? Canada-based virtual brokerage Real raised $20M from Insight Partners.? Metechi, an AI-powered debt trading platform, raised $5M led by Brack Capital Group’s Shimon Weintraub.? iBuyer Opendoor will start trading on Nasdaq on Dec. 21, under the ticker “OPEN.”? Facebook earmarked $150M of its $1B investment in housing to the lowest-income tier in San Francisco.? Co-living startup Quarters opened its fourth NYC location, a 41K-sf space in Williamsburg with 160 bedrooms.⚒AppFolio, a property management software company, will pay $4.25M to settle an FTC complaint that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Click here to join the thousands of knowledgeable readers who subscribe to Future City. Sequoia Capital’s huge returns this year, according to Bloomberg Cherry on topSundae — a marketplace to sell distressed properties online — just raised $36 million. The Series B was led by QED Investors, Founders Fund, Susa Ventures, Navitas Capital and Prudence Holdings. It comes less than six months after the company raised a $16.55 million round, also led by QED.Launched in 2019, Sundae purchases homes directly and offers $10,000 cash advances to all sellers. It also gives investors a platform to purchase “homes that need love,” CEO Josh Stech told TechCrunch. Sundae claims it has annualized run rate revenue of $400 million.Hooking investors on ConTechConstruction tech startup Versatile just raised $20 million to add AI to its core product: a crane-mounted piece of hardware that captures video and analyzes data from construction sites.The Series A brings the company’s total funding to $34 million. The round was led by Insight Partners and Entree Capital, with Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, Root Ventures and Conductive Ventures. Based in San Francisco, Versatile gives users a picture of construction progress, and specifically aims to eliminate redundancies. “We are just scratching the surface of what we can do,” CEO Meirav Oren said in a statement.STAT OF THE WEEK11x “If you can survive a global pandemic that shuts down global travel, you can survive anything.”— Alfred Lin, partner at Sequoia Capital and Airbnb board member After mega rounds, SoFi eyes SPACOnline lender SoFi is the latest SoftBank-backed startup to eye a public offering through a blank-check company.The San Francisco-based company has held talks with several special-purpose acquisition companies about an IPO, reported CNBC. SoFi did not comment.SoFi appears to be capitalizing on a hot IPO market, along with SoftBank-backed companies including Lemonade, Opendoor, View and Compass. Some 208 blank-check companies have raised $70 billion so far this year, according to SPAC Research. Rocket Companies, the parent company of Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans, also went public in August.Founded in 2011, SoFi has raised $3 billion from investors (including $1 billion from SoftBank in 2015). It was valued at $4.3 billion in a 2017 funding round. Last year, it raised $500 million at the same valuation. We’re all Brian CheskyEyebrows raised and stammering.That’s how the Airbnb CEO reacted on live TV when he found out the company’s shares had skyrocketed 113 percent to $144.7 during its stock market debut Thursday. “That’s the first time I’ve heard the number,” he managed to say. “Um, that is, that’s … I … I don’t know what else to say.”Ahead of its IPO, which raised $3.5 billion, Airbnb priced shares at $68. Even without a pop, that was already a remarkable feat given a volatile year that saw major layoffs and a $2 billion funding lifeline. The 12-year-old hospitality startup now has a market cap of $100.7 billion — more than Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt combined. And that’s without any physical assets. By comparison, Booking.com and Expedia have market caps of $86 billion and $18 billion, respectively.That said, expect scrutiny over money left on the table in the coming days. That’s what fueled a mad dash toward blank-check deals — for companies like Opendoor — in the first place. In Airbnb’s case, had bankers priced shares at $146, it could have raised an additional $4 billion. TagsAirbnb Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink
The weight loss of incubating Black-browed Albatrosses (Diomedea melanophris) and Grey-headed Albatrosses (D. chrysostoma) was measured at Bird Island, South Georgia. The rate of weight loss did not differ significantly either between the sexes or between the species. The results suggest that these two species have the same metabolic requirements. The difference in the quality of their diet leads to estimates of daily food intake considerably higher for the Grey-headed than for the Black-browed albatross. This may have been a factor in the evolution of biennial breeding in the Grey-headed Albatross.
1. The relationship between heart ventricle weight and body weight has been determined for three species of Antarctic fish with respiratory pigments (Notothenia gibberifrons, Notothenia neglecta and Notothenia rossii) and the haemoglobin-less icefish Chaenocephulus aceratus.2.2. Relative heart weights of Notothenidae are similar to those of other teleosts whilst those of Channichthyidae are similar to those reported for tuna and small mammals.3.3. The volume densities of mitochondria and myofibrils for ventricular myocytes were 0.47 and 0.25 respectively. The values for mitochondrial volume density are higher and those for myofibrillar volume density lower than for most vertebrate hearts.4.4. Some unusual characteristics of these mitochondria are reported and discussed in relation to the unique constraints characterizing this type of heart.
Travelling ionospheric disturbances with periods in the range 10 < τ < 30 min were observed by an HF Doppier network on the Antarctic Peninsula. A distinction was made between TIDs associated with geomagnetically quiet and active intervals, in the expectation that their morphology might depend on the degree of magnetic activity. During quiet times the short period TIDs have speeds less than 300 m s−1 and may be classified as Medium Scale TIDs. An anticlockwise diurnal azimuth rotation is established, with waves tending to propagate in the (modelled) antiwindward direction. Waves associated with magnetically active intervals often have high speeds and do not generally conform to the simple azimuth variation described above. These differences are explained in terms of perturbed neutral wind patterns and the existence of different wave sources during active times. These observations are presented in the context of previous morphological wave studies. The geomagnetic dependence observed in Antarctica may explain some of the conflicting or ambiguous conclusions resulting from investigations at other locations.
Data from the 37 μm channel of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) are contaminated by interference which appears in the images as a herring-bone pattern. This interference has been present, to a greater or lesser extent, in the data from all six of the instruments which have flown to date. A measure of the quality of the imagery, estimated from the NOAA-7 and NOAA-9 instruments’ calibration data, is used to gain an idea of their progressive deterioration over each satellite’s lifetime. The spectral properties of the Fourier transform of the data are examined and used to attenuate the unwanted components of the signal to an acceptable level. Two simple restoration algorithms are applied to a particularly severely contaminated NOAA-7 image and the resulting images presented.
The movements of two wandering albatrosses, one of each sex, breeding at South Georgia, were tracked using satellite telemetry, particularly to assess whether such birds could be at risk from longline fishing operations in the subtropics. Full details of the performance (number and quality of uplinks) of the Toyocom transmitters are provided, together with data on flight speeds and night and daytime travel by the albatrosses. The female, tracked for seventeen days—covering three foraging trips totalling 13951 km – had a much more northerly distribution than the male, which made two trips to sea during the same period and travelled a minimum distance of 9280 km. On one trip the female frequented the area off Brazil known to be used for longline fisheries. The distributional differences between the sexes support earlier suggestions, based on at-sea observations, that the observed high mortality rates of South Georgian females could be due to a greater likelihood of incidental mortality in longline fishing. These results also show that the presence of females off Brazil can include birds still rearing chicks, rather than simply representing post-breeding dispersal.
Summer and winter growth rates were assessed separately for a population of the Antarctic brachiopod Liothyrella uva between early January 1992 and December 1993. Annual shell growth rates (1.6–2.3 mm yr−1 for a 5 mm individual; 0.96–1.44 mm −1 for a 20 mm specimen) were two to six times slower than those reported for temperate species. Growth in specimens less than 20 mm in length was faster in 1992 than in 1993, although differences between years over the whole size range were not significant. Surprisingly, growth was much faster in winter periods than during the summers. A 5 mm long individual grew five times faster in winter than in summer, and for a 20 mm long specimen the difference was 13 times. This runs contrary to current ideas on the effects of seasonality on the biology of polar marine invertebrates, but may be an effect of maximizing the efficiency of resource utilization. Comparisons with previous work showed shell growth to be decoupled from periods of tissue mass increase, and also from the main period of phytoplankton productivity. Oxygen consumption of 75 of the specimens used in the growth study was measured to test the hypothesis that basal metabolic rates should be inversely correlated with growth rates. Unexpectedly, an analysis of residuals produced no significant relationship, positive or negative, between growth rate and basal metabolism (F = 1.37, p=0.25, n = 75).
Antarctic shallow-water and deep-sea echinoderms are known to have seasonal gametogenic cycles linked to seasonal pulses of phytodetritus produced in surface waters. We suggest that phytodetritus reaching the Antarctic continental shelf may persist for longer timescales than in shallow OF deep waters as a result of the low temperatures, low flow velocities, and the relatively short descent. If this food source remains available for extended periods throughout the year, Antarctic continental shelf megabenthos may not entrain seasonal gametogenic periodicity. To explore the reproductive response of the elpidiid holothurians, Protelpidia murrayi and Peniagone vignoni, a seasonal series of samples were taken on the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) at depths of 550-600 m between November 1999 and March 2001. Gonad indices were measured, and gonad tissues were analysed using histological and image analysis techniques. Oocyte size-frequency distributions were constructed from measurements of oocyte diameter, and analysed to describe reproductive patterns. Histological analyses of gonads tissue from P. murrayi suggest that gametogenesis is synchronised and seasonal, with spawning occurring between March and June. The onset of vitellogenesis appears to be initiated and synchronised by the arrival of the phytodetritus pulse. While, oocyte size-frequency distributions of P. vignoni suggest that oogenesis is synchronous between individuals, and infer a seasonal variation in gametogenic intensity, with an increase in production of vitellogenic oocytes that may be associated with an increase in food supply. The seasonal series of oocyte size-frequency distributions suggests that spawning commenced during October and November. We propose that both P. murrayi and P. vignoni have opportunistic reproductive patterns. In P. murrayi, the distinct gametogenic response to the summer Antarctic-shelf food pulse may be well adapted to any trophic regime with a pulsed food supply. In contrast P. vignoni produces mature gametes all year round but capitalises on higher summer food flux by increasing the intensity of gamete production during this time. Therefore, although these species continue to feed during the austral winter and may gain sufficient energy to maintain basal metabolism and limited reproductive development, energetically more costly activities, such as high rates of vitellogenesis, may be reserved for the summer months when higher quality of food is available.
The marine environment is known to be a source of CHBr3 and CH2Br2 and hence ozone-depleting inorganic bromine to the troposphere but, to date, the dominant processes controlling their concentrations in seawater remain poorly understood. Here results are reported from a series of laboratory experiments designed to investigate bromocarbon dynamics in cultures of marine diatoms and bacteria isolated recently from the Rothera Time-Series (RaTS) site located in coastal waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula. The main focus of this work was an isolate of the centric diatom Thalassiosira sp. Different processes were found to control the concentrations of CHBr3 and CH2Br2 in this culture. The production of CHBr3 was restricted to the exponential phase of growth suggesting a link with a primary metabolic process and was a factor of 5–6 higher in cultures treated with antibiotics to reduce bacterial activity. 13CHBr3 additions confirmed that CHBr3 was not subject to significant bacterial breakdown and hence bacteria are likely to be inhibiting the production of this compound. The rate of 13CH2Br2 appearance in the cultures observed following 13CHBr3 addition suggests that the major source of CH2Br2 in the diatom culture was transformation from CHBr3. CD2Br2 additions revealed that CH2Br2 was subject to significant breakdown in cultures of both Thalassiosira sp. and a bacterial isolate with apparent loss rate constants ranging from 0.21 to 0.78 day− 1. These findings are used to produce an empirical scheme describing bromocarbon cycling in natural waters which is validated against measured concentration data from the RaTS site. The detailed process information and schemes presented provide a major step forward towards the development of biogeochemical modules that could be coupled to ecosystem models. These could then be used to predict how sea-to-air biogenic bromine emissions will change under future scenarios.
Recent decadal changes in Southern Hemisphere climate have driven strong responses from the cryosphere. Concurrently, there has been a marked freshening of the shelf and bottom waters across a wide sector of the Southern Ocean, hypothesised to be caused by accelerated glacial melt in response to a greater flux of warm waters from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current onto the shelves of West Antarctica. However, the circumpolar pattern of changes has been incomplete: no decadal freshening in the deep layers of the Atlantic sector had been observed. In this study, we document a significant freshening of the Antarctic Bottom Water exported from the Weddell Sea, which is the source for the abyssal layer of the Atlantic overturning circulation, and we trace its possible origin to atmospheric-forced changes in the ice shelves and sea ice on the eastern flank of the Antarctic Peninsula that include an anthropogenic component. These findings suggest that the expansive and relatively cool Weddell gyre does not insulate the bottom water formation regions in the Atlantic sector from the ongoing changes in climatic forcing over the Antarctic region.