Good morning! Big Tech is snapping up Manhattan real estate. Zoom launched new products and Adam Neumann is back. Meanwhile, the pandemic is decimating the movie industry.
Big Tech Snapped Up More Space In Manhattan
Big Tech — FYI, that’s Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — is snapping up Manhattan real estates amidst the pandemic.
As the pandemic ravaged New York and emptied out office buildings, Big Tech swooped in like the city’s famous pigeons:
FB has just leased enough new office space in Manhattan to nearly triple its current local workforce. This includes the James A. Farley building — an iconic 107-year-old former main post office complex near Penn station.
Apple has signed a lease for 220,000 square feet at 11 Penn Place, a 1923 Art Deco tower near Madison Square Garden.
Meanwhile, Google cobbled together a sizable corporate campus in and around the Chelsea neighborhood.
Amazon paid about $1 billion in March for the Lord & Taylor building — yet another icon on Fifth Avenue.
While the tech giants’ property portfolio and workforce are increasing substantially, most of their workers are still WFH.
Zoomtopia Brought New Launches
Zoomtopia — Zoom’s virtual user conference — zoomed in this week and the company came bearing a number of new products.
The company launched:
OnZoom – its events platform and marketplace that was previously only available as a private beta. OnZoom allows hosts to run one-time events or event series for up to 1,000 attendees and sell tickets for them. So, be sure to let your fav Pilates instructor know.
Zapps – brings apps from the company’s 35 launch partners into Zoom. This basically integrates these apps into Zoom so that you wouldn’t have to switch back and forth between multiple applications. The 35 launch partners include Asana, Dropbox, and Slack.
Ousted WeWork CEO Making A Comeback With Alfred
Adam Neumann — the controversial former CEO and co-founder of WeWork — isn’t one to stay down for long. A mere year after stepping down from WeWork after “a tumultuous week in which his eccentric behavior and drug use came to light” before a planned IPO, he’s making a comeback.
Neumann’s family office — 166 2nd LLC — has led a $42 million investment round in Alfred. Yes, Alfred is exactly what you think it is — a butler. OK, alright, it’s described as a startup that works with residential buildings to provide concierge-like services for residents.
According to Bloomberg, the company put $30 million into the round. This figure is confirmed by two other sources. Other investors include venture capital firms Spark Capital and New Enterprise Associates plus Greystar, a real estate company.
Alfred — we still think it’s a butler
Alfred, a.k.a Hello Alfred, was founded as a service to handle household chores. But, now, the company says it’s building “the future of living.”
In the past three years, the company has partnered with residential buildings to offer its platform to residents.
The Pandemic Has Decimated the Box Office
COVID-19 – the destroyer of lives, businesses, and box office? Apparently so, as the pandemic devastated the 2020 North America box office.
Just last year, the box office brought in a cool $11.5 million. In 2020, that number is reduced to just $2 billion — a 76% drop from the same point last year.
According to Comscore, 2020 at the box office is now known as the “year of the asterisk” where every previously-used measure and metric for performance is thrown out of the window and to be replaced with new ones.
A look at some of 2020 highest-grossing films — Bad Boys for Life ($206 million) and Sonic the Hedgehog ($146) — is all you need to understand how far the industry has fallen. Yes, that’s a dig at those two movies, ICYMI.
After all, the first two months of 2019 brought us heavy-hitters like Avengers: Endgame, Joker, and The Lion King. Then, the pandemic hit.
And, now, even with theaters reopening, people are still rightfully staying far away. And, with that lukewarm reception, studios have delayed sure-to-be-a-big-hit movies including Black Widow and No Time To Die.
The box office may be dead but drama is still very much alive: Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway is suing Jones Day for helping to trick Berkshire Hathaway into buying a German company for 5x what it was worth.
Jeff Bezos is sending cargo to space —no, not via Amazon Prime. Blue Origin, Bezos’ rocket company, launched and landed its rocket and capsule for the 13th time this week.
The hit just keeps coming for TikTok. Snapchat just launched its Sounds on Snapchat, a feature that lets users enhance their Snaps with music from artists.
Ain’t no pandemic gonna keep Goldman Sachs down. The investment banking giant reported nearly-doubled profits of $3.6 billion.
- Dream job alert: Top Ramen is seeking a Chief Noodle Officer to help develop and test new ramen noodle soup recipes. You have until October 30!