Instacart, Valve, Vacasa: Andreessen Horowitz shares its top pandemic-era startup picks

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The list of fast-growing companies paints a clear picture of a world transformed during the pandemic era. Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, reputed for having a finger on the pulse of the new and next, just released its annual ranking of the largest, fastest-growing marketplace startups during the year 2020. Read Full Story

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Airbnb lays off 25% of its workforce in a dramatic retrenchment for the COVID-19 era

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In a memo to staff today, CEO Brian Chesky said Airbnb’s 2020 revenue is expected to be less than half of what it was last year. Refocusing its efforts for a travel ecosphere that will be dramatically and permanently reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic, Airbnb plans to lay off almost 1,900 employees, or about 25% of its workforce—a substantial downsizing for what was seen as one of the world’s most valuable startups only a few short months ago. Read Full Story

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Away’s new holiday luggage collection is designed for our stay-at-home era

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Travel has changed during the pandemic. Away’s latest collection works for when you’re staying close to home—and will come in handy after the pandemic, too. The winter holidays are nearly here, but this year, they’re probably going to look a bit different than year’s past. With the pandemic still raging, some of us will not be traveling at all, while others might decide to take road trips closer to home. Away, the luggage startup, is closely observing these trends. The company’s design team has created a collection of new products perfectly designed for our travel needs today but also versatile enough to be used in the future, if and when travel returns to normal. Read Full Story

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This automated checkout app tries to make shopping feel safe again

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As the immersive retail startup Showfields reopens its doors in New York City, it is launching a contactless in-store app to help customers feel comfortable shopping during the pandemic. As late as March, customers at the four-story shop of Soho-based retailer Showfields were lining up to take a slide into inventive physical installations (think artificial forests and shiny discos) where they could touch and test products on offer, like premium haircare from Act and Acre, olive oil from startup Brightland , and art from independent artists like Azuki Furuya. Read Full Story

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These 3 lessons from the triathlon steeled me for the C-Suite—and the pandemic

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The chief revenue officer of Amazon-backed startup SmartRent breaks down how completing the rigorous Ironman course translates to enduring leadership in the boardroom. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced social and economic challenges few people saw coming. And while it spurred a scramble to keep up with demand for some and hardships for more, business leaders remain uncertain for what the next six months, let alone the next year, hold. Leaning into the discomfort, though, has potential to drive progress. And as chief revenue officer at a growing startup during tumultuous times, I’m tapping into my athletic training for advice on powering through. Read Full Story

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