The accommodation platform’s quarterly figures beat analysts’ estimates. Also: Go Student has been accused of unfair practices and Microsoft’s chatbot technology has also made mistakes.
Good morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.
The top topics:
The shares of Airbnb are up about 9 percent in extended trading on Tuesday after the company reported strong fourth-quarter results. The numbers beat analysts’ estimates for both sales and earnings. Revenue climbed to $1.9 billion from $1.86 billion that analysts had been expecting. This was an increase of 24 percent year-on-year. Net income was also impressive: the bottom line was an increase of $319 million in the quarter compared to $55 million in the same quarter last year.
The company reported 88.2 million room nights and experiences booked in the fourth quarter, up 20 percent year over year, according to Streetaccount. A letter to investors said travelers are returning to major cities, which historically have been one of the “strongest areas” of the business. Domestic and short-haul travel remain popular, but the quarter also saw “further improvements” in long-haul and cross-border travel. [Mehr bei CNBC, Bloomberg und Techcrunch]
On Founder Scene: We found out in which startups the well-known founder Rolf Schrömgens invested. He started Trivago, a price comparison site for hotels, almost 20 years ago. In the meantime he is working on other projects such as the founding community Brafe Space, after leaving Trivago in 2019. He had previously taken the company public and accompanied it through a number of crises. [Mehr bei Gründerszene+]
And here are the other headlines of the night:
Go Student According to a report by the “Handelsblatt”, he was convicted of 17 out of 20 charges in a trial before the Cologne district court. The Austrian education start-up is said to have made “misleading” and “non-transparent information” on its website and thus “unjustifiably disadvantaged” its competitors. The tutoring platform has appealed against eight of the points. If the judgment becomes final, the company will have to change its marketing and several clauses in the general terms and conditions (GTC) in order to avoid penalties. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt]
After Google was heavily criticized for errors in its chatbot presentation, it has now come to light that the Microsoftpresentation last week also came with incorrect information. Some figures from the balance sheets of Gap and Lululemon, analyzed with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), are said to have been wrong. AI experts refer to such errors as “hallucinations”. What is meant by this is the tendency of tools based on language models to simply invent things. [Mehr bei CNBC]
Tiktok is currently pushing for an agreement with US officials to continue operating the short video app in the US. The Chinese parent company Bytedance is to isolate or sell Tiktok’s American activities under pressure from the USA. But according to a Wall Street Journal report, the Chinese government is an “unofficial force” at the negotiating table. The latter could confirm US concerns that US data could be shared with Beijing. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal]
Instacart is working on a version of its website tailored for small businesses, according to a media report. The new product wants Amazon and Walmart challenge. Instacart Business is said to stock a selection of items such as office supplies, cleaning products and snacks. In this way, the delivery service wants to diversify its earnings before a possible IPO. [Mehr bei The Information]
Investments: The Alphabet-Spinoff Sandbox AQ has raised $500 million in funding for cybersecurity and other quantum work. Sandbox AQ was spun off from Alphabet last year to help customers prepare for a quantum computing future. [Mehr bei Reuters]
Reddit According to a media report, plans to go public later this year, although the company is still far from being profitable. US media The Information cites people familiar with the matter as saying the social media company is likely to attempt an IPO in the second half of the year. The documents for the IPO are up to date, so that a quick reaction can be made as soon as market conditions improve. [Mehr bei The Information]
Our reading tips on Gründerszene: The delivery service startup reported two months ago Drip bankruptcy. A buyer was not found. Only arrival made a small deal. [Mehr bei Gründerszene]
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