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jerryking : urbanization   15

IKEA Jumps Into ‘Gig Economy’ With Deal for TaskRabbit
Sept. 28, 2017 | WSJ | By Saabira Chaudhuri and Eliot Brown.

IKEA agreed to acquire Silicon Valley startup TaskRabbit—the online marketplace that connects people with freelancers willing to run errands and do odd jobs—combining the pioneer of the flat pack with a trailblazer of the so-called gig economy.
....Documents related to a financing round from 2015 suggest TaskRabbit then had a valuation of about $50 million....the deal represents a bigger strategic tack at the furniture company. It also underscores a broader shift at many large companies grappling with big changes brought on by digitization. Many established corporations are increasingly turning to Silicon Valley to help their business grow, or slow their declines—sometimes spending heavily on small venture capital-backed startups that have strong traction with young consumers.

Especially where older industries are shifting rapidly, deals have piled up. Auto makers have become prolific investors and buyers of self-driving startups. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has become one of the more active buyers of startups as it grapples with a shift to e-commerce, including a June deal to buy men’s online clothier Bonobos.

Several large firms have launched small Silicon Valley outposts and venture capital arms of their own. Often, though, they say it makes more sense to buy these startups than build a new brand or operation themselves.

The TaskRabbit deal is IKEA’s first foray anywhere near Silicon Valley. The privately held company—when it has bought anything at all—has tended to focus on forestry and manufacturing firm purchases..... IKEA intends to also learn from TaskRabbit’s digital expertise. Retailers and brands globally have been racing to capture shopper data in a bid to personalize their offerings and build customer loyalty.......The bulk of IKEA’s sales are still made in its sprawling out-of-town superstores that house everything from plants to beds. It has 357 stores across 29 countries. But it has worked to adapt to a rise in online shopping, rolling out home delivery and click-and-collect options. IKEA has also been opening small, centrally located stores situated near public transport that stock a limited range of offerings and are also used as collection points.

The company’s website had 2.1 billion visits in fiscal 2016, up 9% from the prior year. Earlier in September, it launched an augmented reality app that lets people place IKEA furniture in their homes. It has also souped up its product range, offering tables and lamps that double up as wireless phone chargers and bulbs that can be controlled wirelessly.

“As urbanization and digital transformation continue to challenge retail concepts we need to develop the business faster and in a more flexible way,” Mr. Brodin said. “An acquisition of TaskRabbit would be an exciting leap in this transformation.”
IKEA  TaskRabbit  gig_economy  home-assembly  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  Silicon_Valley  large_companies  brands  Fortune_500  start_ups  e-commerce  home-delivery  BOPIS  augmented_reality  urbanization  digital_strategies  retailers  product_launches 
september 2017 by jerryking
Toronto has finally found the confidence to act like a big city - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Mar. 18 2015

Toronto has finally found the confidence to act like a big city.

Back in the 1970s, Toronto was so fearful about density and development that city hall slapped a temporary 45-foot (13.7-metre) height restriction on new construction in the downtown core. Over time, planners have come to understand that if the region is going to absorb hundreds of thousands of newcomers without succumbing to endless urban sprawl, it will have to grow up rather than out. Now the boom in condo construction and the vogue for downtown living has made it possible to build a denser, livelier urban core. If central Toronto is starting to feel even a bit like Manhattan, it can only be a good thing.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  densification  downtown_core  urban  urbanization  urban_intensification  urban_planning  skyscrapers  building_codes 
march 2015 by jerryking
Livable, booming core stirs envy, but raises infrastructure worries - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, May. 14 2014

Young people are flocking to inhabit the lively, walkable neighbourhoods springing up downtown. In some, such as King-Spadina and Waterfront West, seven out of 10 residents are ‘echo boomers,’ 20 to 39 years old.

The number of people working downtown has been soaring, too. Downtown gained more than 43,000 office jobs in the five years to 2011. A host of big companies, from Google to Telus to Coca-Cola, have moved into new downtown offices. Although downtown contains just 3 per cent of the city’s land area, it accounts for half of its GDP, a third of its jobs and a quarter of its tax base. More than a quarter of a million people commute into downtown each morning by public transit.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  urban  urbanization  urban_intensification  urban_planning  downtown_core  Big_Tech  millennials  neighbourhoods  King-Spadina  Port_Lands  livability  walkability 
june 2014 by jerryking
'Big Mick' returns to mining - and he's hungry for acquisitions
October 1, 2013 | Globe & Mail | ERIC REGULY.

Mick Davis is back in the mining game....Mr. Davis, older, leaner but still hungry, along with a few former Xstrata executives, has launched X2 Resources, a private company that has raised $1-billion (U.S.) and plans to raise more. The goal is to give it the firepower to pounce on mining assets that the X2 executives consider undervalued in a market that has lost its love for commodities....Mr. Davis is bullish on commodities and thinks the selloff that sent mining company values plummeting is overdone, although he does not see a return to the "explosive" demand that turned mining companies such as Xstrata into some of the biggest wealth generators of the pre-2008 era. "We still have a lot of conviction about the resources industry," he said. "We're seeing ongoing demand in the developing world and the rise of consumer markets there."

Mr. Davis built his career on this "stronger-for-longer" theory that was centred on he belief that urbanization in China, India and some parts of sub-Saharan African would send the prices soaring for the copper used in everything from plumbing to the coal burned in electricity plants....In a statement, Jim Coulter, TPG's founding partner, said it invested because "the X2 team has an impressive track record of building metals and mining platforms around the world."
Eric_Reguly  Mick_Davis  Second_Acts  Glencore  staying_hungry  mining  commodities  private_equity  mergers_&_acquisitions  TPG  natural_resources  X2  Xstrata  entrepreneur  privately_held_companies  urbanization  China  India  sub-Saharan_Africa  investment_thesis  undervalued  developing_countries 
october 2013 by jerryking
Swallowing Rain Forest, Brazilian Cities Surge in Amazon - NYTimes.com
November 24, 2012 | NYT | By SIMON ROMERO.

The Amazon has been viewed for ages as a vast quilt of rain forest interspersed by remote river outposts. But the surging population growth of cities in the jungle is turning that rural vision on its head and alarming scientists, as an array of new industrial projects transforms the Amazon into Brazil’s fastest-growing region....Of the 19 Brazilian cities that the latest census indicates have doubled in population over the past decade, 10 are in the Amazon. Altogether, the region’s population climbed 23 percent from 2000 to 2010, while Brazil as a whole grew just 12 percent....The soaring population growth in some cities in the Amazon — called the “world’s last great settlement frontier” by Brian J. Godfrey, a geography professor at Vassar College who is the co-author of “Rainforest Cities” — is intensifying an urbanization that has been advancing for decades.
Brazil  Amazon_forest  cities  urban  urbanization  deforestation  population_growth  economic_development  inland  affluence  internal_migration 
november 2012 by jerryking
How to Build a Greener City - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 | WSJ | By MICHAEL TOTTY. .Bike lanes,
micro wind turbines, pneumatic garbage collection—and other ways to make
urban areas more environmentally friendly.
howto  cities  urban  urbanization  green  green_roofs 
september 2011 by jerryking
Shining the spotlight on people who shape world’s cities -
Sep. 09, 2011 | Globe &Mail | Siri Agrell. What is good
for cities will be the focus of The Atlantic Cities site, which will
boast the tagline “Place Matters” and cover a range of topics including
urban economics, sustainability, architecture, & arts & culture.

Prof. Florida, who also teaches at the U of T's Rotman School, pitched
the idea of a city-specific site to The Atlantic’s owner David Bradley,
who said yes.

“Cities are the social and economic organizing unit of our time,”
Florida said. “It’s finally dawning on people that what the corporation
was to our parents or grandparents – structuring our lives and making
sure we had economic security – that is what cities have become.” Prof.
Florida plans to contribute about 3 or 4 posts/week and said the site
will be updated daily and feature Canadian content. In the future, he
hopes to host urban-themed events in Toronto as well. “I think this
city is one of the key laboratories for, good and bad, what’s happening
in urbanism.”
Richard_Florida  urban  urbanization  websites  cities  Siri_Agrell 
september 2011 by jerryking
The ‘Manhattanization’ of downtown Toronto - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Tuesday's Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 11, 2011
Toronto  urbanization  transit  Marcus_Gee  urban_intensification  densification 
april 2011 by jerryking
Do Believe the Hype - NYTimes.com
Nov. 2, 2010 |NYT| Tom FRIEDMAN..."the single most important
trend in the world today: globalization — the distn of cheap tools of
comm. & innovation that are wiring together the world’s citizens,
govts., biz, terrorists — is going to a whole new level."....EKO India
Fin Services' founders, Abhishek & Abhinav Sinha , began with an
insight — that low-wage migrant workers flocking to Delhi from poorer
states like Bihar had no place to put their savings & no secure way
to remit $ home to their families. India has relatively few bank
branches for a country its size, so many migrants stuff $ in their
mattresses or send $ home through traditional “hawala,” or hand-to-hand
networks...The brothers' idea: In every neighborhood there’s a
mom-and-pop kiosk selling drinks, cigs, candy & groceries. Why not
turn each one into a virtual bank? They created a s/ware prgrm allowing
a migrant in Delhi using his cellphone, & proof of identity, to
open a bank acct. registered on his cellphone txt system.
India  entrepreneurship  start_ups  Tom_Friedman  banking  mobile_phones  low-wage  globalization  flat_world  insights  text_messages  urbanization  remittances  microfinance  fin-tech  underserved  unbanked  kiosks  neighbourhoods  internal_migration  mom-and-pop  the_single_most_important 
november 2010 by jerryking

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