Uber ride-hailing service wins appeal and granted a fresh licence to operate in London

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 28th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Uber to get London licence as court rules it ‘no longer poses a risk'

Ride-hailing service wins appeal a year after TfL refused extension over safety concerns

Uber has been granted the right to a fresh licence in London after an appeal found it was a “fit and proper” firm to run private hire car services.

Westminster magistrates court ruled in favour of Uber almost a year after Transport for London refused the ride-hailing firm a licence extension over safety concerns.

The deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram said he had “sufficient confidence that Uber London Ltd no longer poses a risk to public safety … despite historical failings,” after hearing three days of arguments this month.

He said Uber had tightened up review processes to tackle document and insurance fraud and it now “seems to be at the forefront of tackling an industry-wide challenge”.

TfL’s safety concerns included the discovery that up to 14,000 trips by Uber passengers had been served by non-licensed drivers fraudulently logging on to the app using other people’s IDs.

Before the hearing, Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager, said: “We have worked hard to address TfL’s concerns over the last few months, rolled out real-time ID checks for drivers, and are committed to keeping people moving safely around the city.”

The firm argued that it had fundamentally changed in the three years since TfL first refused it a licence, in September 2017, when TfL deemed it not “fit or proper” to operate in the capital. On that occasion Uber won a provisional extension on appeal, but it was again refused a licence last November over the identity concerns.

The exact length of Uber’s next licence and any conditions attached are yet to be decided. Uber had been allowed to continue to run services in London pending the appeal.

Steve McNamara, the general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, which represents black-cab drivers, called the decision “a disaster for London”.

He said: “Uber has demonstrated time and time again that it simply can’t be trusted to put the safety of Londoners, its drivers and other road users above profit. Sadly, it seems that Uber is too big to regulate effectively, but too big to fail.”

15 Ways to Invest $1 MILLION

Source: Alux

This Alux video will answer the following questions: What are the best ways to invest $1 Million How to invest $1 Million in 2020? How to invest $1 MILLION in 2021? Best investments you can make with $1 Million? How would you make 1 million dollars into 10 million dollars? How to invest money? How to invest if you're a millionaire? How to invest like millionaires? How rich people invest money? What do millionaires invest in? What is the best way to invest 1 million dollars so you never go broke? What are the best future proof investments? How to invest $1 million in real estate? How to invest $1 Million in the stock market? How to invest $1 Million in Crypto? How to invest $1 Million in an index fund? How to invest $1 Million Gold & Silver?

How Palantir Built Data-Mining Empire

Source: CNBC

After 17 years, data analytics company Palantir is making its public market debut. Best known for its sometimes controversial work with U.S. government agencies like the CIA, the DoD and ICE, Palantir has increasingly been working with commercial customers as well, which investors hope will put it on a path to profitability.

Nike sportswear giant expects permanent shift to online sales

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 23rd Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Sportswear firm Nike has seen a huge rise in online sales as it bounces back from a coronavirus slump.

The US company saw digital sales rocket 82% during the June to August quarter, offsetting falling revenue in its stores.

On Tuesday, Nike posted revenue of $10.6bn (£8.3bn) as many of its key markets recovered including China.

For its previous quarter revenues were down by more than a third as it tackled store closures and lockdowns globally.

Nike chief executive John Donahoe said the shift to online sales could be a permanent trend.

“We know that digital is the new normal. The consumer today is digitally grounded and simply will not revert back,” Mr Donahoe said.

Sales are growing in its major markets including China, Japan, South Korea and the UK, while its core North American market is declining.

Nike's shares rose more than 10% in late trading in the US, as the results were better than Wall Street had expected.

Direct selling

Nike has been using its website and shopping apps to release limited edition footwear.

The sportswear giant has been transforming itself to sell directly to customers over the past few years, reducing its store presence and retail partners.

While many gyms have been closed during the pandemic, sportswear makers have reported strong demand for more casual attire as more people work and exercise at home.

Rival Adidas said last month that it was seeing improving sales trends while yoga pants maker Lululemon posted a 157% jump in its online business.

Like many other retailers, Nike is still limiting the number of people who can come into its stores at once to try to help curb the spread of the virus.

But when people do visit, they're coming with the intent to buy, Nike said.

Premier Inn owner Whitbread to cut 6,000 jobs

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 22nd Sept 2020) London, UK —

(Reuters) – Premier Inn owner Whitbread WTB.L plans to cut up to 6,000 jobs at its hotels and restaurants as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the travel and hospitality industries and the British government winds down a job support scheme.

The company said on Tuesday it had begun formal consultations on the cuts, which equate to 18% of its workforce, and expected a large proportion of them to be voluntary.

“We expect demand to remain subdued in the short to medium-term and the UK Government’s furlough scheme to come to an end in October,” Whitbread said in a statement, explaining the cuts.

Its shares were down 2.9% to 2,047 pence at 0709 GMT.

Travel and leisure businesses have been among the worst hit by the pandemic, with billions of dollars in business trips and holidays cancelled.

Britain’s pubs and restaurants are also bracing for a new round of restrictions to tackle a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

The owner of the Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Bar + Block chains, Whitbread had already said last month it would cut around 15%-20% of head office roles.

Holiday-Inn owner InterContinental Hotels IHG.L announced a 10% reduction in jobs at the corporate level last month, while Pret A Manger and PizzaExpress are among food chains to have announced layoffs.

Total sales for Whitbread’s UK and international businesses plunged 76.8% in the six months ended Aug. 27, as it closed hotels and restaurants during national lockdowns.

Since reopening, the company said its UK accommodation sales had been ahead of the market and it had seen strong demand in tourist spots, although demand had remained subdued in metropolitan areas and London.

It added its UK restaurants were boosted by the government’s Eat Out To Help Out subsidy scheme and hotel occupancy rates had recovered from March lows to average 51% in August, still far short of industry norms from before the crisis.

Whitbread, which sold its Costa Coffee chain to Coca-Cola KO.N in 2018, expects one-off costs from the layoffs to be about 12-15 million pounds.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru

US Richest Zip Code In Miami’s Exclusive Members-Only Island

Source: BI

Just three miles from Miami sits an exclusive, members-only island that's home to millionaires and celebrities. Here, residents drive around in golf carts, lounge on beaches with sand imported from the Bahamas, and easily get COVID-19 antibody tests. Business Insider tours the richest zip code in America, where condos can cost up to $40 million.

Why Eye-catching car colors are still mainly found on sports cars

Source: CNBC

A common complaint in today's automotive press, and often among buyers, is that all cars these days look the same. A few colors are trendy both in the United States and around the world, and they are, well, not colorful. Eye-catching car colors are still found on sports cars, halo vehicles, and limited editions. But they are vastly outnumbered by sober, conservative, achromatic colors. So how did these colors get popular? It has to do with practicality, human psychology, and technology.

Tui UK committed to paying outstanding refunds by October

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 16th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Thousands said company was not paying refunds within required 14 days, says CMA

Tui UK has committed to paying any outstanding refunds for package holidays cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic by 30 September after the regulator received a deluge of complaints that the travel company was breaching consumer law.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said thousands of people had complained that Tui UK was not paying refunds within the 14 days mandated by consumer protection law.

Tui, Europe’s biggest holiday company and the biggest tour operator in the UK, will also write to all customers who have accepted credit notes in place of a refund to give them the option of converting it into a cash refund.

Tui has committed to regularly reporting the time it has taken to make refunds to customers over the coming year. The measures apply to all of Tui’s brands, including First Choice, Marella Cruises, Crystal and Skytours.

The pandemic has caused chaos for the global travel industry and has put severe financial pressures on companies as they struggled to refund customers for holidays that were no longer possible.

Tui last month reported a loss of €2bn (£1.8bn) in the first nine months of its financial year after revenues crashed by 98% between April and June, the period of the most intense lockdown restrictions in its main markets. It is cutting 8,000 jobs and has closed 166 UK and Ireland stores to cut costs.

However, the CMA has insisted that companies must abide by consumer protection laws.

Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, said: “It’s absolutely essential that people have trust and confidence when booking package holidays and know that if a cancellation is necessary as a result of coronavirus, businesses will give them a full, prompt refund.”

Coscelli also raised the prospect of further action against the package holiday industry as the CMA investigates its response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The regulator has written to more than 100 package holiday businesses to remind them of their obligations to comply with consumer protection law and has opened investigations into a number of operators, it said.

A Tui spokeswoman said: “We remain sorry that holiday refunds took longer to process during the height of Covid-19. The volume of cancellations and customer contacts was unprecedented and at a time when retail stores, contact centres and offices were closed because of the nationwide lockdown.”

By Jasper Jolly

Domino’s Pizza to hire an additional 5,000 staff after virus sales boost

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Tue, 15th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Domino's is benefiting from its takeaway business model as dine-in rivals continue to reel from the lockdown earlier this year.

Domino's Pizza says it is hiring an additional 5,000 staff following the surge in demand for takeaway meals during the coronavirus crisis.

The chain, which reported a 5% leap in sales over the first half of its financial year covering the full UK lockdown, said its ability to remain open in that time meant more people had an opportunity to join the business.

The new jobs, which include chef and delivery driver roles, are on top of 6,000 positions previously announced by Domino's during the pandemic as its franchisees continue to open more outlets.

It builds on the recent trend of services with lockdown immunity, such as supermarkets and delivery firms, taking people on at a time when the wider economy is gearing up for a jobs crisis as the government's furlough scheme winds down.

The Bank of England has forecast that three million could be out of work by the year's end, given the damage that COVID-19 has inflicted on livelihoods.

Analysis by Sky News shows hospitality to be the third worst-hit part of the economy despite the lift from the government's Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Domino's, as a takeaway venture, was not able to take part but had previously said sales growth was not damaged by the discount offering during August because demand was boosted by staycationers.

Its fortunes are in stark contrast to those of dine-in rivals Pizza Express and Pizza Hut Restaurants which are cutting outlets as a result of the lockdown damage and collectively placing more than 1,500 jobs at risk.

In its announcement on Tuesday, Domino's said it would also create 1,000 apprenticeships under the government's Kickstart scheme aimed at helping young people find careers.

Chief executive Dominic Paul said: “Together, these over 6,000 new roles will help Domino's continue to safely
serve our local communities as we head towards the busy festive period.”

By James Sillars

How Etsy Became A $14 Billion Hand-Made Empire

Source: CNBC

When Etsy launched in 2005, it reported $1 million in gross merchandise sales. By 2019, that number had grown to $5 billion. But the company has also gone through a massive evolution as it transitioned from a private business to a publicly traded behemo

Morrisons reported a £155m hit to profits

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Thur, 10th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

The chain moves to reward staff and investors as it slaps itself on the back for its response to the coronavirus crisis to date.

Morrisons has reported a £155m hit to profits from costs related to the coronavirus crisis.

The UK's fourth-largest supermarket chain said – like rivals – it had seen a surge in sales during the first half of its financial year in the run-up to – and during – the COVID-19 lockdown that began in March, which saw all non-essential retail shuttered.

It revealed an 8.7% increase in like-for-like sales, when fuel sales were excluded, in the six months to 2 August compared to the same period last year.Where jobs are being lost in UK economyWhere jobs are being lost in UK economy

But it said total revenues were down 1.1% to £8.73bn, reflecting the loss of fuel sales during the period as roads remained largely empty.

Morrisons reported profit before tax and exceptional items of £148m – down 25.3%.

It blamed the coronavirus costs bill but said the net hit came in at £62m because of business rates relief of £93m.

The chain took on an additional 45,000 staff to cope with demand as the crisis gathered pace – with in-store customers stripping aisles of essentials such as toilet roll ahead of the lockdown itself.

It reported that online and home delivery order capacity rose five-fold to help meet demand, with five new growth channels – Morrisons.com store pick, food boxes, doorstep, Morrisons on Amazon and Deliveroo – now operating.

Its results statement said: “The mix of the very strong first-half sales growth was weighted towards online channels and lower margin categories. In addition, fuel sales growth was very negative, our cafes were temporarily closed, and we invested in supporting our colleagues, NHS workers and farmers with extra discounts.”

Morrisons said it was to reward staff with a guaranteed annual bonus of 6%.

It raised its interim dividend by 5.7% and forecast continued sales momentum in the second half of the year, part-aided by fuel sales starting to build.

Listed supermarket chains have largely been spared the bloodbath for share values witnessed by many during the COVID crisis.

Morrisons – down almost 3% in the year to date – saw its stock fall by 4% in early trading on Thursday.

Arlene Ewing, investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said of the company's update: “Morrisons' results are indicative of the wider challenge facing supermarkets – while many expected them to thrive in the current environment, buoyed by business rates relief among other things, that hasn't quite turned out to be the case.”

She added: “There are, nevertheless, positives to be taken in the form of expectations that COVID-19 costs will fall significantly in the second half, an increase to the dividend, and a relatively bullish outlook from management in this latest update.”

Chief executive David Potts said of the performance: “From the start of the pandemic we stepped up and put the company's assets at the disposal of the country to help feed the nation.

“Morrisons is at the heart of local communities and responded quickly when it mattered most, and we are very grateful for the British public's appreciation of all the vital work our colleagues are doing.

“I believe we are seeing the renaissance of British supermarkets.”

IAG owner of British Airways to cut more flights

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Thur, 10th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

British Airways owner IAG is cutting more flights over the next three months as it adjusts to the continuing collapse in demand for air travel.

IAG, which also runs Aer Lingus and Iberia, said quarantine restrictions meant capacity this autumn would be 60% below 2019 levels.

The group said it had seen a “delayed recovery”, and did not expect business to return to 2019 levels until 2023.

IAG also said BA had reached the outline of a jobs agreement with Unite.

The union has been in a bitter dispute with BA over redundancies and pay cuts.

The airline, which is aiming to shed up to 13,000 jobs, said that by the end of August some 8,236 employees had left the business, “mostly as a result of voluntary redundancy”.

Unite is expected to hold a ballot on the agreement soon.

Bookings slow

IAG's decision to cut more flights than planned follows its previous forecast of a 46% reduction for the October-to-December period compared with the same quarter last year.

It said it had seen an “almost complete cessation of new booking activity” in April and May due to the pandemic, but the easing of country lockdowns boosted ticket sales in June.

However, since July there had been an “overall levelling off in bookings” as the UK and other European countries re-imposed quarantine requirements for travellers returning from countries such as Spain.

On Tuesday, EasyJet revealed it will have flown “slightly less” than the 40% of pre-coronavirus pandemic capacity it previously said it would operate between July and September following the government's decision to impose quarantine restrictions for seven Greek islands.

Boris Johnson appeal

Airlines are among the firms hardest hit by the impact of the pandemic. British Airways plans to cut up to 13,000 jobs due to the crisis, while EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic are slashing 4,500 roles each.

Operators say the UK's travel quarantine policy – which requires visitors to high risk countries to isolate on their return – is crushing demand and want the government to back testing at airports instead.

UK government sources have indicated that they are looking at system where the two tests would be eight days apart to further minimise the risk of “false negative” results.

They are yet to approve the idea, however, while the prime minister last week warned testing at airports could give a “false sense of security”.

In a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday, Airlines UK, whose members include BA, Virgin, Ryanair and EasyJet, called for an extensions of the jobs furlough scheme and air passenger duty waiver.

“Our industry is in crisis,” the letter said. “In sum, we ask you to act urgently to implement a programme of recovery for our sector.”

Raising money

IAG also announced on Thursday that it was tapping shareholders for €2.7bn (£2.5bn) to help shore up its finances.

The company said the money would be used to reduce debt and help it withstand a prolonged downturn in travel.

Under the fundraising, existing investors will buy new shares at a deeply discounted price – 36% below the closing price on Wednesday.

The group's largest shareholder, Qatar Airways, which has a 25.1% holding, has said it will buy its full entitlement.

Details of the rights issue, which was announced in July, come two days after new chief executive Luis Gallego took over from long-time boss Willie Walsh.

Oxford vaccine trial volunteer suffers suspected serious adverse reaction

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Wed, 9th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Researchers are investigating whether the unexplained illness is linked to the vaccine.

The Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial is facing a “challenge”, the health secretary has admitted, after it was put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in one of its volunteers.

Researchers have paused the trial while they investigate the reaction in one of the participants in the UK, it was announced on Tuesday night.

“As part of the ongoing randomised, controlled global trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine, our standard review process was triggered and we voluntarily paused vaccination to allow review of safety data by an independent committee,” a spokesperson for AstraZeneca – the drugmaker working with Oxford University – said.

They explained it was a “routine action” and that it is speeding up the investigation to minimise any potential impact on the trial's timeline.

“We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials,” they added.Advertisement

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News' Kay Burley programme the pause is not necessarily cause for concern and that it has already overcome one such delay.

“It is obviously a challenge to this particular vaccine,” he says.

“It's not actually the first time it has happened to the Oxford vaccine and it's a standard process in clinical trials.”

Asked if it is a setback, Mr Hancock replied: “Not necessarily, it depends on what they find when they do the investigation.

“There was a pause earlier in the summer and that was resolved without a problem.”

The nature of the adverse reaction and when it happened are not currently known.

Clinical holds usually mean there is a pause in recruiting new participants and dosing current ones.

It is not uncommon for trials to be put on hold, but scientists are under pressure to develop a vaccine to help curb the pandemic.

Most serious adverse reactions that occur after vaccination are not related to the injection and are coincidental health problems, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

When a vaccine is given to a large number of people, it is likely that a few people will experience a medical problem around the time of vaccination – but this does not prove any cause and effect.

Even so, researchers will need to investigate if there is any link.

In July, early results from the trial showed the vaccine was safe and produced strong immune responses in volunteers.

No unexpected adverse reactions were recorded at the time, although more than half of 1,000 participants reported mild or moderate side effects including fever, headaches, muscle pain and soreness at the injection site.

Phase three trials of the Oxford vaccine had recently expanded to the US, recruiting up to 30,000 adults.

Trials were also underway in South Africa and Brazil.

Experts believe finding a vaccine is the only way for the world to return to normal in the future and there are currently nine vaccine candidates in larger phase three trials.

But it is not known how well a vaccine will work, and the top US infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci recently warned the chances of it being almost 100% effective are “not great”.

“We don't know yet what the efficacy might be. We don't know if it will be 50% or 60%. I'd like it to be 75% or more,” he said.

By Emily Mee

David Beckham’s Guild Esports to float on London stock market

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 9th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

An e-sports company in which David Beckham owns a significant stake is seeking to raise £20m by listing its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Guild Esports will be the first in the UK to offer fans the chance to put money into backing its teams of gamers.

Esports, where spectators watch players video gaming, has seen its popularity rise even further during lockdown.

The company plans to field teams in the global online games Fortnite, CS:Go, Rocket League and Fifa.

It wants to build up its teams' skills using systems similar to the Premier League's talent academics.

Prize and sponsorship money for e-sports run in the millions and audiences run to more than 100 million for some events, outstripping those for major sporting events such as Wimbledon and the Tour de France.

Guild Esports said that by 2019, e-sports had a total of 443 million viewers, and the market is projected to grow to 646 million viewers by 2023.

‘Global influence'

The shares will initially be offered to large investors next month, but afterwards will trade freely on the stock market where anyone can buy them.

Money raised from the initial share placing will be used to expand the business, including recruiting new players.

The investment further extends David Beckham's wide-ranging business interests, which include fashion, fragrances, whisky and a football club in Florida that he co-owns.

Guild Esports said he would use his “global influence and following to support the development of the company's brand and business”.

Beckham is one of the founding shareholders in the business, holding what is described as a “significant minority stake”, although the exact investment is undisclosed.

He is not the first footballer to spot the potential opportunities in e-sports. Wales and Real Madrid player Gareth Bale launched his e-sports organisation, Ellevens Esports, earlier this year.

Carleton Curtis, the executive chairman of Guild Esports, said: “Guild will be the first e-sports franchise to join the London stock market.

“It will provide us with the cache, credibility and capital to fulfil our ambition to become one of the world's top 10 e-sports franchises within three years.”

By Rebecca Marston


Napster sold to Uk’s Melody VR for $70m

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Mon, 7th Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

MelodyVR’s £52m purchase of the infamous disruptor turned heads, but investors are liking what they see (and hear)

“Going up against a Spotify, I don’t think anyone wants to be doing that,” says Anthony Matchett, the new owner of Napster. Last month, the 32-year-old’s London-based music tech startup, MelodyVR, made waves by announcing a surprise $70m (£52m) reverse takeover of the music streaming pioneer of the streaming revolution. Matchett is hoping that a marriage of MelodyVR, which films and streams gigs, with the 21-year-old Napster will be music to the ears, and eyes, of fans and investors alike.

“There is something very apt about a disruptive company that works with technology like MelodyVR and the original music industry disrupter,” he says. “We see synergies for a service that combines music streaming, immersive content, live events. Something that an Apple Music, a Spotify, or any other service doesn’t provide. Everything a music fan might really want.”

For the time being, the two companies will operate separately, although Matchett doesn’t rule out a potential renaming of his AIM-listed company in line with the well-known Napster brand in future. 

It is the fourth incarnation of Napster, founded in 1999 when Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys topped the charts, and it is now a relative minnow among the global music streamers. Napster, with 3 million subscribers, delivered 10.8bn streams and made $113m in revenue last year. “It is a shame, because a lot of people don’t realise they have a thriving business,” says an undeterred Matchett. “Although it is not the scale of a Spotify, it is growing and it is profitable. We are delighted to acquire it.”

Matchett is right to be confident. After more than a decade of plummeting CD sales and rampant piracy, the streaming revolution has put the music business back at the top of the charts for investors. Last year, global music sales grew for a fifth consecutive year, to $20.2bn, driven by a 23% growth in streaming (which accounted for $11.4bn of the total), having hit a low of $14bn in 2013.

Another British success is Hipgnosis, a London-listed company offering the chance to make money from the royalties of songs by artists from Beyoncé to Bon Jovi. Investors have been happy to front up more than £230m during the pandemic to allow it to continue its music catalogue-buying spree.

The music majors are also faring well. Earlier this summer, Warner Music, the world’s third largest music company and home to artists including Ed Sheeran, floated in the US, selling $1.9bn worth shares and achieving a market value of more than $12bn. Owner Len Blavatnik paid just $3.3bn for the company in 2011. And Universal Music, the biggest label home of stars including Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and the Beatles, sold a 10% stake to Chinese tech giant Tencent that valued the business at €30bn (£26.7bn). 

And while the live music industry has ground to a halt, streaming has proved to be coronavirus-proof. Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming service, reported a jump in paying subscribers of more than 27% year-on-year to 138m in the second quarter.

The lockdown has also proved to be the best thing to have happened to MelodyVR, which has raised almost $30m from investors in recent months. “I probably wouldn’t phrase it in that way, but that said, naturally, as a virtual events company, we are one business that is continuing to grow,” says Matchett. “Since the start of coronavirus, our app installs and our usage has gone through the roof. We have seen a lot more people looking for live music. Our app installs are up 1,000% since the start of quarantine. And our month-on-month usage is growing at 36%.”

As the pandemic took hold, the company set up safe studios in London and Los Angeles to enable artists to perform gigs, with fans paying to watch via its app. The gigs can also be watched on virtual reality headsets, an experience that allows fans to choose what part of the auditorium they watch the performance from. The company has had 100 artists perform virtual gigs during lockdown, including Emeli Sandé, Liam Payne, The Chainsmokers and Cypress Hill. It also has a back catalogue of gigs performed in front of live audiences. To date, the company has charged on a per-gig basis, the average price being £9.99, but is now belatedly adding a monthly subscription option, the preferred model for digital content services from Netflix and Spotify to pay-

“When we launched, no one had really seen immersive or VR content and no one knew what it was worth,” says Matchett. “We didn’t want to overprice or underprice. Now we are in a place we feel confident about launching a monthly fee.”

While swallowing Napster has transformed the scale of its business, the Soho-based company has some way to go to reach profitability. Last year it made a loss of £16m and revenues plunged to £200,000, while Napster’s thin margins meant the streaming firm made just $1.8m in profits.

“[Profitability] is not something we are worried about,” says Matchett. “For a company like us, growth and investment is key, which is why we are buying Napster.”

• The image on this article was changed on 7 September 2020. A previous photograph purporting to show the group Cypress Hill was of the late rap artist Ty performing as support act for that band in 2018.

By Mark Sweney

Astronaut Jeanette Epps To Become The First African American Onboard The International Space Station

Source: TDIB

NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps will join astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada as a crew member on the first operational flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), announced NASA. The six-month expedition, which is planned to launch in 2021, will make Epps the first Black woman to live and work in space for an extended period of time. Epps responded to her new assignment in a Twitter video, saying she’s “looking forward to the mission” alongside Williams and Cassada. NASA assigned Williams and Cassada to the Starliner-1 mission in August 2018. The spaceflight will be the first for Cassada and third for Williams, who spent long-duration stays aboard the space station on Expeditions 14/15 and 32/33.

Amazon to create a further 7,000 permanent UK jobs

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Thur, 3rd Sept 2020) London, UK —

LONDON (Reuters) – Amazon brought a little cheer to Britain’s troubled labour market on Thursday, saying it will create a further 7,000 permanent jobs in 2020, taking total new hires this year to 10,000.

Last month the number of people in work in Britain suffered the biggest drop since 2009 and the coronavirus is expected to take a much heavier toll on unemployment when the government winds down its huge job-protection scheme.

The one bright spot however has come from online retail and logistics as orders surged during lockdown. Amazon’s latest recruitment will take its total UK workforce to over 40,000 by the end of the year.

The U.S. internet giant said the 7,000 new roles will be for warehouse workers, as well as engineers, HR and IT professionals and health and safety and finance specialists.

The jobs will be in over 50 sites, including two new distribution centres in the north east and central England and at corporate offices.

It said it needed more staff to meet growing customer demand for its services and to enable small and medium sized enterprises selling on Amazon to scale their businesses.

Amazon has also started recruiting for more than 20,000 seasonal positions across the UK for the festive period.

Last month the Confederation of British Industry said British retailers had cut the most jobs since the depths of the financial crisis and expected the pace of losses to accelerate.

Well-known British retailers Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Debenhams, WH Smith and Dixons Carphone have all announced job cuts in recent weeks, reflecting the rapid shift in demand to online sales.

Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, said it would create 16,000 permanent roles to meet the surge in home deliveries.

Reporting by James Davey

Unilever aims to remove oil-based ingredients from all cleaning products by 2030

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Wed, 2nd Sept 2020) London, Uk – –

Consumer goods giant aims to develop renewable or recycled alternatives by 2030

The owner of Persil, Domestos and Cif is to invest €1bn in eliminating fossil fuel-based ingredients from its cleaning products by 2030.

Unilever’s “clean future” initiative aims to develop renewable or recycled alternatives to chemicals derived from the oil industry as part of the company’s pledge to eliminate carbon emissions from its products by 2039.

The investment in research and development for eco-products comes on top of €1bn Unilever has already committed over the next decade for environmental projects that will improve the “health of the planet”.

The company, which owns more than 400 brands including Marmite, Dove, Comfort and Sure, has also pledged to reduce the mountain of plastic rubbish that its products generate.

With nearly half of the carbon footprint of the consumer goods giant’s cleaning products coming from oil-based ingredients, reformulating with eco-friendly alternatives is expected to reduce their environmental impact by up to a fifth.

A whole “rainbow” of alternatives, varying from well-established palm oil-based chemicals to those derived from algae, plastic waste and carbon captured from energy production, is being investigated.

Peter ter Kulve, Unilever’s president of home care, said it was essential to investigate a diverse range of alternatives to “grow within the limits of our planet”.

He said that Unilever hoped that by sharing details of its “carbon rainbow” – outlining the different possible alternatives for sourcing fossil fuel-based ingredients – Unilever was “calling on an economy-wide transformation”.

“A new bioeconomy is rising from the ashes of fossil fuels,” he said.

“We’ve heard time and time again that people want more affordable sustainable products that are just as good as conventional ones. Rapid developments in science and technology are allowing us to do this, with the promise of exciting new benefits for the people who use our products, from ultra-mild cleaning ingredients to self-cleaning clothes and surfaces.”

This week, one of the first innovations will hit shelves in the UK: a Persil washing liquid including a stain remover derived from sugar cane. The Persil bottle will also now be made with 50% recycled plastic and has been redesigned to use less plastic, reducing the total virgin plastic by 1,000 tonnes per year.

Cif cleaning liquid on sale in the UK is also to be reformulated with a cleaning agent derived from recycled plastic bottles.

Meanwhile in southern India, Unilever is sourcing soda ash – an ingredient in laundry powders – made using a pioneering technology that captures carbon from energy production.

Madhu Rao, head of home cleaning products at Unilever, said that the company intended to transform existing well-established brands around the world to make them more sustainable, bringing lower carbon alternatives into the mainstream.

“We are on a big journey and this is the starting point,” he said.

Rao said Unilever continued to see an “unprecedented level of demand” for health and hygiene products around the world during the pandemic as families spend more time cleaning and disinfecting their homes as they try to fend off the virus.

But he said: “The heightened awareness around cleanness doesn’t take away the crisis everybody feels today – the climate crisis. The battle of our lifetime is climate change and consumers are very focused on this. Two-thirds of consumers want to buy more sustainable products and packaging that is sustainable.”

By Sarah Butler

Zoom shares hit record high fueled by the increase of remote work during the pandemic

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 1st September 2020) London, Uk – –

Company sees explosive growth in 2020, fueled by the increase of remote work during the pandemic

Zoom reported adjusted earnings of $0.92 per share, above the $0.45 per share predicted. 

Zoom shares hit a record high on Monday as the company announced blowout earnings for the second quarter of 2020.

The video conferencing platform has seen explosive growth in 2020, fueled by the increase of remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic. It made as much money in the past three months as it did in the entirety of 2019, beating the already-optimistic predictions of analysts.

The company reported adjusted earnings of $0.92 per share, above the $0.45 per share predicted. Revenue rose 355% from the same time last year to $663.5m, above analysts’ average estimate of $500.5m.

In remarks on an earnings call following the report, chief executive officer and founder Eric Yuan said Zoom has taken on a number of large businesses as customers, including oil and gas firm ExxonMobil and software firm ServiceNow in quarter two.

Zoom has seen an increase in paying customers this quarter, according to the report, with approximately 370,200 customers of businesses with more than 10 employees, up approximately 458% from the same quarter last fiscal year.

Shares of the company, which have surged almost four-fold this year, rose 9% after the bell and hit a record high in regular trading.

Zoom saw a massive increase in users as countries around the world instituted lockdowns to slow the spread of Covid-19. It has become nearly synonymous with the concept of video hangouts, being used for casual happy hours, teaching in schools, and events.

But in the immediate aftermath of its skyrocketing popularity, the app also faced intense criticism over privacy and security practices, causing some companies and institutions to pull back.

Since then, the company has released a number of updates to enhance security. However, it continues to face problems with “zoom bombing,” a practice in which pranksters terrorize people in Zoom events with racist language and other hate speech.

In light of the tremendous report on Monday, Zoom has raised its annual revenue target for fiscal year 2021 to the range of $2.37bn and $2.39bn, from $1.78bn to $1.80bn earlier.

By Kari Paul

How The Global Elite, Ultra-Wealthy and Billionaires Travel Through Heathrow Airport

Source: Venture Giants

A review on how the Global elite, ultra-wealthy and billionaires, travel through Heathrow Airport. The Heathrow VIP service was bought to our attention by our investors and we thought it would be a good idea to tag along and find out more about how the service operated and how the richest people around the World traveled when flying from Heathrow Airport. Yes you can go from Luton via your private jet – but this level of luxury is really second to none.