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Showing posts from April, 2018

Xiaomi prepares for $10 Billion IPO

image credit: Xiaomi

Let's brace up! Another public offering is on the way, Xiaomi, The popular Chinese electronics brand led by Kingsoft co-founder and chairman Lei Jun is going public, Guess what? They're raising a whooping $10 Billion on the Hong Kong IPO market.

Xiaomi as a company has very awesome and innovative perks which include the company's recent promise to distribute cash back to its customer (Yes they said that) if the profit gets too high.

The company said it'll forever limit its profit margins after tax on smartphones, Home devices and other hardware to just 5%.

This upcoming IPO will be the current biggest of this year with marketers saying the company is very expectant of a valuation of well above $100 Billion, Ahead of the public offering two of its eight co-founders recently resigned from the company which comes during the company's re-structuring in preparation for its IPO.

Xiaomi's IPO will be the biggest since Alibaba's $25 Billion IPO…

Walmart may join hands with Alphabet to purchase huge Flipkart stake

As of recent, The news that Walmart is preparing to buy a 51% stake in Flipkart has been everywhere but right now, Information has been released that Walmart may get Alphabet to join in its bid in addition to four board seats in the company if the deal goes through.

This comes as the company wants to compete fiercely with major e-commerce competitor Amazon through every way possible, Targeting India which is a very good market for huge growth is  very unique and good strategy for the company.

Walmart has reportedly offered to buy up a huge (85 - 86)% of Flipkart through a combination of different investments which will involve current shareholders including Tencent, Softbank, Naspers, ebay inc, US based hedge fund Tiger Global Management and other shareholders partly or fully sell its stakes at choice.

Walmart is also reportedly negotiating with Flipkart founders, Binny and Sachin Bansal for the entire purchase of their stakes in the company.

This acquisition will be the biggest in t…

God of War sells high!

According to analysts GFK Chart-Track, Far Cry 5 released just a month ago which is the current best selling game of the year has been pushed to no 2 in the UK by the recently released "God of War" when beaing measured by physical game sales only.

Also coming to the top 5 include Fifa 18, Mario Kart Deluxe and the awesome console 'The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit' which comes in at number 3 best selling entertainment item on the list.

It's very amazing that  God of War retains its first position despite it only being released for the PS4 currently.



The gaming industry is a very competitive one so we can always watch and use the above linked analysis to monitor the battle for sales between video games and its consoles.


The top ten from the list include;


God of WarFar Cry 5Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety KitFIFA 18Mario Kart 8 DeluxeFallout 4Call of Duty WW2Super Mario OdysseyPlayerUnknown's BattlegroundsGrand Theft Auto V





Watch Dogs 3 might be on the way!

Well, If you're a Watch Dogs fan, You better be very happy, Your fellow fans have been trailing a series of clues and guess where it headed to? The fact that Watch Dogs 3 might be dropping very soon! Where did the information come from? well blame an April fool's joke, a deleted tweet and an AI bot who talks too much.

Watch Dogs publisher Ubisoft's recent April fool's joke allowed its users to hack into an admin part of its website, yeah you get that....We're always hacking in Watch Dogs....Users were able to access some pieces of information and Easter eggs on its site...then came a tweet by the company saying "This is Everything" in reference to Watch Dogs' popular phrase "Everything is Connected" The tweet was immediately deleted....Then came its AI bot Sam which when asked about the Wath Dogs sequel, responds saying ""Watch Dogs 3 is not finished yet, but from the last early build I tried it's very solid. The Dev team work…

The Zozosuit will now be doled out to consumers!

Start Today Co.

In what we term as wonderful innovation in fashion, Japanese founder/tech billionaire Yusaku  Maezawa has made it known that Start Today Co. The company he runs which operates popular fashion site Zozotown will begin doling out its Zozosuit, A piece of tight clothing which will measure every proprtion of the buyer's body and don out his/her exact size of choice and clothing, Zozosuit is advertised on its official website using the catchphrase 'Welcome to a Size Free World'.




Clothes of the perfect fit will now be delivered to customers which will bring with it a wonderful shopping experience and a swath of consumer recommendations, The Zozosuit contains over 150 integrated sensors which in turn captures 15,000 accurate body measurements to enable delivery of clothing of the perfect size.

Pre-orders for the Zozosuit was launched last year with the company now fulfilling its promise of delivering the body measurement suit to its buyers.





Infinity War makes history!

Courtesy : Marvel

Recently released blockbuster Avengers : Infinity War has broken box office records with the movie grossing a huge $630 million global gross in its debut weekend, This is highest weekend gross recorded of any movie in history.

Statistics also shows that the movie raked in a huge $250 million in North  America alone, It's calculated international weekend take of $380 million beats that of  The Fate of the Furious, Star Wars and other very notable movies.

The movie which carried a production budget of about $300 - $400 million was directed by the notable Russo brothers (Joe and Anthony Russo), The same Russo brothers were also the top directors two years ago by box office gross with their' Captain America : Civil War scoring $1.15 billion in total at the global box office.

Marvel has surely been winning as of recently with its recent Black Panther movie having grossed $1.3 Billion worldwide in addition to its new' Infinity War.

Marvel, which is in turn owne…

The Red Magic sells out within 37 seconds!

Courtesy : Red Magic

ZTE subsidiary Nubia recently held a huge flash sale on Jingdong Mall (JD.com), Part of this sale involved the Red Magic gaming phone, The new phone was part of three devices selected for the flash sale and guess what? The entire inventory consisting of 10,000 phones sold put within 37 seconds!

The smartphone was previously put up on Indiegogo (more of a publicity stunt than actual need for funding) so users couldn't just wait to get their hands on it causing the entire inventory to sell out so fast......we mean so fast the sale ended as soon as it started.

The smartphone starts with a price of about $500 with another flash sale coming 2 days from now, Nubia is likely going to make available a whole lot of the gaming phones! given its extremely swift sale.

We have witnessed a recent comeback of awesome gaming smartphones as of recent starting with the Razer Phone and the Black Shark which comes from a startup backed by tech giant Xiaomi.

You should now get rea…

ServiceNow Founder Fred Luddy Is Now a Billionaire!

Image credit : WBIW

It seems Forbes is so good at predicting their future well.......Billionaires....It did that for ServiceNow founder Fred Luddy way back in 2012 and guess what? He is now a billionaire! This is according to a recent report from Bloomberg, Fred currently has a stake of $240 millio in the firm and has in total sold shares worth $900 million plus which brings his net worth to a whooping $1.1 Billion.

Since ServiceNow went public, Iit's market capitalization has grown to 8 times its debut value with the company now being valued at $29 Billion.

The company which had revenues north of $200 million in 2012 has grown to $1.93 Billion in revenue for 2017.

It looks very nice with extreme innovation and wealth popping up so fast from the technology sector, We should now sit up and achieve more of awesome things like this.




Report: Apple is working on an Insane VR headset

Apple

A recent report has suggested that Apple is not just working on the development of its own AR glasses, The company currently has set its sights on the release of a very powerful VR headset in two years time.

This new move will push the company further into competition with its peers of  Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

The project code-named T288 involves the production of a super VR headset with 8K display for each eye with a wireless connection for its stand-alone box which will be powered by a processor coming from Apple which would be the main brain behind the VR sysem.

Apple didn't comment on this report but let's hope the company will deliver the best headset for its customers.




The Essential is now available in much more countries!

Essential 

Essential, The Smartphone company lead by Android creator Andy Rubin has opened up its online store to more countries which include Canada, France, Japan, The UK and Germany, The Essential could actually be purchased in other countries through services like Amazon but as of now, Tthe company now officially sells it through its own online store.

Essential announced this move via Twitter yesterday;

Starting today, we’re opening the https://t.co/5XqZeQu9cW store to orders from more countries, including Canada, France, Japan and UK. Special terms and conditions apply to these orders, so please read the information carefully: https://t.co/uZK8sLvUA5pic.twitter.com/QXEWf8OEnE — Essential (@essential) April 27, 2018
The phones will sell at its price of $499 with customers paying in their local exchange rates.

This latest step makes the Essential PH-1 which currently is distributed in the US through Amazon, Best Buy and Sprint much more available to consumers with Essential obviously…

Nintendo is giving us a new game

Image credit: Nintendo/RPG site

It has been recently announced that Nintendo will now collaborate with Cygames on a mobile Role-Playing Game called 'Dragalia Lost'.

This new release is coming this summer to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau after which follows various regions in North America and Europe.

Nintendo is purchasing a 5% stake in Cygames as part of the collaboration, Cygames is well known for its extremely popular game 'Granblue Fantasy' which has grossed over 10 million downloads in Japan.



This new game comes as Nintendo announced over 500% year-on-year increase in profit.

Nintendo will surely impress players with this new mobile RPG whilst we wait for the release.








Snapchat outs a new version of its Spectacles

Snapchat has released a new version of its Spectacles, This is the second attempt at its smart glasses after its first attempt didn't really come off as a spectacular success even after selling 220,000 units.

The new version of its Spectacles will be more comfortable to wear and comes with more features.

The new smart glasses will be available through Snapchat's own Spectacles.com instead of its previous vending machines and other online retailers, This comes in as a method of solving inventory problems the company encountered in the process of getting its first version into the hands of consumers.

This new model takes both photos and videos in comparison with the first version which only made room for video capturing.



The new Spectacles are also water resistant which is why as shown in the video above, Snapchat encourages its buyers to make use of the smart glasses in shallow water.

Different companies have dabbled into the same of connected glasses but the market hasn;t pro…

The OnePlus 6 is coming May 16th

OnePlus

Well, it was worth the wait....The OnePlus 6 released date has been announced - May 16 ; Location : London, The launch event is termed 'The Speed you need' this reportedly shows what we expect from the phone - Huge Speed.

The launch event ticket costs $22 for a while, By 8pm on Friday the price shoots up to $42.

Over one thousand tickets for the London launch event are available with the Chinese and Indian event coming up a day after on the 17th of May.



The tickets to the London event can be purchased at OnePlus' website while the tickets for the Indian event will be available at oneplus.in.

OnePlus promises that its new smartphone will be bigger and better therefore the customers should expect an awesome! product.








Udacity comes in with a cyber-security program

Sebastian Thrun, Udacity co-founder
Udacity, the educational start-up co-founded by self -driving vehicle pioneer Sebastian Thrun has launched a new nanodegree - guess where? This time, they're dabbling in cyber-security.

According to Udacity's post, this new course involves Training the Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals, Addressing the Talent Gap, World-class AI and Data training and also an Invitation to the industry.


Udacity


Given that Udacity was involved in the training about 10,000 of just 300,000 AI engineers currently in the world today who innovate excessively and rake in huge salaries, Udacity will be very good to go on their new cyber-security program.

The new nanodegree was officially launched at the RSA conference which ended 3 days ago which came with a call for partners with its new cyber-security program.

This is a good time for a cyber-security program given that Udacity is one of the best (if not the best) learning platforms available and with all…

Discord is now a Unicorn!

Discord Inc, the creator of the extremely popular chat app for gamers has grabbed an extra $50 million in funding, this time at a $1.65 Billion valuation.

This new round of funding is reportedly led by Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Tencent Holdings, IVP and Spark Capital.

Discord had previously raised $129.3 million in total at a most recent valuation of $775 million.


Discord

Discord's online communication software had 90 million users at the beginning of this year, With this huge statistics Discord just joined the line of messaging tools gaining very huge valuations, Recent huge gainers include Whatsapp, Telegram and Slack.

The huge rise of online multiplayer games have heavily contributed to Discord gaining its huge number of users, Notably the rapper Drake created a Discord account while live-streaming with Fortnite's awesome player Ninja to make room for better and clearer communication.

The fact that Discord just launched roughly three years ago and has gained thi…

Boosted outs new boards

Boosted

Boosted first showed up with an electric board about six years ago then a while after that which translates to now, The company has come up with a new shorter and cheaper board for its customers.

The new electric boards are named the 'Boosted Mini', 'Boosted Mini S', 'Boosted Mini X' and the 'Mini X' .

The Boosted Mini S comes at a price of $749 which makes it Boosted's cheapest electric board ever, the Mini X also comes at a price of $999.

In addition to that, Boosted also announced new third generation versions of its boards which is the 'Boosted Plus' and 'Boosted Stealth', The new boards are available for purchase through Boosted's website except for the Plus and the Stealth which will start shipping late next month/early June.

The new boards can be paid for in 12 month installments in order to ease the cost for Boosted's buyers.






Amazon increased R&D Budget by 41% year on year to nearly $23 Billion

Amazon C.E.O Jeff Bezos credit: Wademy

The top five spots in the US for R&D expenditure last year was grabbed by tech companies with Amazon claiming the top spot with a huge $23 Billion R&D budget coming from the company.

The top five companies spent a cool $76 Billion with Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft and Apple grabbing the remaining five spots respectively.

IBM also spent $5.8 Billion on R&D last year.

Facebook came ninth place with the company spending $7.8 Billion on its R&D for the year.

Amazon comes first with its long term strategy of putting back nearly all of its profits into its new businesses and technologies, a strategy which was paid off very much with its cloud computing arm becoming a major profit generator along with Amazon Prime and its main online marketplace business.

Microsoft also filed 2,558 patents last year with Amazon coming second place with 1,972 patent applications and 2,704 patent awards.


Apple has released a new RED iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

Today, Apple has announced a new special edition RED iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, This new edition gives customers a very beautiful form of the new generation iPhone with an awesome red and black color combo.

The Product is now available to order online and will pop up in retail stores 3 days from now.

Also adding to this, Apple has released a new iPhone X Leather Folio which is crafted from unique European Leather for an amazing luxurious look for the consumers.



The new edition iPhone will be available in 64GB and 256GB versions coming at a retail price of $699 from Apple's website, The new iPhone X Leather Folio will also be available at the same web location.

Every customer who buys the new Edition from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup online or in-store, The new phone can also be gotten through Apple's iPhone upgrade program.


Brief - World's most valuable AI startup Sensetime raises $600 Million

Sensetime C.E.O Li Xu


World's most valuable Artificial Intelligence company Sensetime has grabbed a Series C round of $600 Million at a valuation of over $4.5 billion which is a $3 Billion dollar jump from its most recent $1.5 Billion dollar valuation.

Tech giant Alibaba which is now Sensetime's largest investor led the massive round of investment into the company.

Qualcomm, Electronics company Suning and Singapore's Temasek Holdings also participated in this round.

The worlds most valuable company plans to use this capital to expand its overseas presence and widen its industrial scope according to its C.E.O Li Xu.


Robotics company 6 River Systems grabs $25 million

credit : CNBC

The e-commerce industry is booming! booming so well with so much innovation, investment and effort being put into it, 6 River Systems is a company which makes robots to speed up production in different warehouses and collaborates with humans to out more efficiency, This company right now has benefitted from this boom.

6 River Systems has announced it's grabbed a $25 million Series B round with this investment coming with the aim of helping the company expand and break into more markets, The Start-up which was founded by former Kiva (acquired by amazon) executives has now raised a total of $46.6 million with the current round being led by Menlo ventures.

As of current, 6 River Systems has delivered 600 of its robots to 30 sites which have aided in the packaging of various products, medical supplies and other general warehouse jobs.



Also as of recent, two other warehouse robotics companies have grabbed (maybe co-incidentally) the same amount ($25 million) in their most…

Ed-tech company Pluralsight files to go public

photo credit : CNN Money


Pluralsight, the ed-tech company which has been a unicorn for a few years now has announced it's confidentially filed for a public offering.

Pluralsight, a company created 14 years ago by its current C.E.O Aaron Skonnard along with Keith Brown, Fritz Onion, and Bill Williams deals with online education offering a variety of online education courses for software developers, creative professionals and IT administrators through its website bootstrapped for 9 years before raising different rounds of investment totaling $200 million starting from 2013.

Companies and small businesses pay for their employees to be trained by the company which has given it a very good source of revenue with individuals also subscribing to its services, As of its most recent report, the company had revenues of over $100 million.

Pluralsight now joins its peer of tech companies going public this year, Dropbox went public about two weeks ago, DocuSign publicly filed for IPO last wee…

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Meet goPuff, A Low-key Delivery Company Worth $1 Billion

The food-delivery market is one with intense competition. The likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Deliveroo, Swiggy, Just Eat, Yelp Eat 24, and more are steadily competing for global market share while also raising huge funding. Just recently, Deliveroo raised $575 million in a round led by Amazon. DoorDash has also raised $600 million Series G funding at a $12.6 billion valuation.

Amid the intense battle, it turns out there's one hot startup that has stayed low key to avoid the eye of rivals, but it seems word is getting out. That low-key hot startup is goPuff, an on-demand delivery service that was valued at $1 billion last November (after an investment), according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Information. goPuff ships products to customers from centrally located facilities -- as opposed to direct pickup from stores -- in 81 U.S. cities.


The company -- based in Philadelphia -- stocks more than 3,000 products at its facilities which it then ships to customers who o…

Amazon Starts Shipping Echo Auto After More Than 1 Million Pre-orders

Amazon has began shipping the Echo Auto, one of the several new Alexa-enabled devices the company announced last year September. Alongside the Echo Auto, Amazon also unveiled several other Alexa-enabled gadgets including a microwave, clock, security camera and a smart plug.

Amazon tells TechCrunch over 1 million pre-orders were placed for the Echo Auto, signalling high interest in the device, which is basically a digital assistant for automobiles. Using the Echo Auto, car owners can link Amazon Alexa to their smartphones, and then perform several auto-related tasks such as playing music via car speakers, opening the garage door, finding the nearest gas station, and listening to the news while on the go, all via voice command.


Before now, the Echo Auto had only been available on an invite-only basis, with a few users having already set their hands on the device just in time for Christmas, according to Amazon VP Steve Rabuchin. Why the Echo Auto remained open only for pre-orders for so…

Big VC Wins From Slack's Public Debut

Slack filed to go public late April and has just achieved that with a direct listing that saw its stock jump nearly 50% on its first day of trading. Slack's prior SEC filing showed significant stakes held by VC firms, including Accel (24%), Andreessen Horowitz (roughly 13%), the Softbank Vision Fund (7.3%) and Social Capital (more than 5%).

With Slack's valuation on the public markets hitting $20 billion, investors that backed Slack have reaped major wins, including those that participated in the company's most previous $427 million round that came with a $7.1 billion post-money valuation. To name a few, Accel which poured in $200 million into Slack now commands a stake worth $4.6 billion. Softbank which got in quite late by leading a $250 million round at a $5.1 billion valuation now commands a stake worth roughly $1.5 billion.


Even Andreessen Horowitz whose co-founder Ben Horowitz termed Slack as an "accidental" investment now commands a stake worth roughly $2…

Facebook Unveils Digital Currency

After several reports of Facebook working on a digital currency, the company has officially unveiled just that. Today, Facebook divulged details of a new cryptocurrency, Libra, that'll let people purchase things or transfer money to people with close to zero fees. Users will be able to buy or cash out their Libra online at local exchange points, and spend it using third-party wallet apps or Facebook's newly announced wallet, Calibra. Calibra will be offered as both a standalone app, and within the WhatsApp and Messenger apps.

 Facebook won't exert full control of Libra, but has instead assembled a team of founding members that'll each get a single vote (including Facebook itself) in the governance of the new digital currency. The partners (a quite reputable list) have each invested at least $10 million into Libra's operations. They include:
StripePayPal CoinbaseVisaMastercard PayU UberLyftSpotifyBooking Holdings Farfetch Andreessen Horowitz Vodafone Thrive Capital …

Magic Leap Said To Be Raising More Funding

Magic Leap, a Florida-based augmented reality startup that's already garnered some $2.6 billion in funding, is raising even more funding according to a report from Variety. A spokesperson for the company further confirmed Variety's report, stating that Magic Leap "is in the midst of a significant financing round". “We have already closed a major portion of this round, some as equity and some as convertible debt that will become equity when the round is complete. The participants in this round include existing investors, new investors, and strategic partners.” The spokesperson said.

Initial signs of Magic Leap seeking more funding surfaced in August, when the company assigned all of its patents to JPMorgan Chase as collateral. Reports of the transfer recently surfaced on Hacker News, a popular technology-focused social news website/forum, where several commenters evinced that such arrangement could be an indicator of financial struggles. However, such arrangement isn…

AT&T set to acquire Digital ad-tech unicorn AppNexus for over $1.6 Billion

image credit : AppNexus

Telecom giant AT&T which provides a vast range of digital services to a huge number of customers around the world has now been confirmed to be acquiring NY based programmatic online advertising company AppNexus for a huge price between the range of $1.6 Billion -$2 Billion.

AT&T is making this huge acquisition of the company which provides a cloud based advertisement marketplace and raised over $300 million from various investors in order to add to AT&T's growing list of digital services with AppNexus being added to the company's advertising and analytics division.

This will also represent a huge addition to AppNexus's ecosystem as AT&T currently counts over 170 million direct to consumer relationships which AppNexus can hugely tap into and leverage for the expansion of its ad technology services.





AppNexus is notable for raising over $300 million from various investors including Khosla Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners, Yahoo! Japan…

Facebook Reportedly Working On Cryptocurrency For WhatsApp Transfers

According to a Bloomberg report, Facebook is working on a cryptocurrency that will enable users transfer cash on its WhatsApp messaging app with a first focus on the Indian remittances market. The report says the company is developing a stablecoin - crypto pegged to a currency or exchange traded commodities to minimize volatility - for this.

"Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology," a company spokesman said in a statement. "This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share."


Former PayPal president David Marcus currently leads the company's blockchain initiatives so moves like this to take stand in the payments market are likely. Going by employee titles on LinkedIn, Facebook currently has about 40 people on its blockchain group signaling a hiring spree for the unit.

India has over 200 million users and counts as the world's largest remittances…

Magic Leap, Microsoft and others said to be bidding on AR army combat contract

Florida based Magic Leap, The AR hardware manufacturer valued at $6.3 billion from a most recent funding round and also known for a release of its first developer focused AR hardware of its first Creator's Edition augmented reality headset just last month has now been reported to be pushing to land a contract with the U.S. Army for development of AR  devices for soldiers to make use of in combat missions.

As per Bloomberg, The contract which could see the military purchasing up to 100,000 headsets as part of an initiative whose total cost could exceed $500 million is also being talked up with tech giant Microsoft.

The program currently known as HUD 3.0 (HUD standing for “heads up device”) is said to have been stirred for years in the armed forces with preparations being made for what entails a construction of a physical headset made to overlay digital images in the physical world in addition to a software platform to be used for both training and live combat.

Details concerning t…

Microsoft Hires Former U.S. AG To Probe AnyVision

Microsoft has said it has hired Eric Holder, a famed lawyer who served as the Attorney General of the U.S. from 2009 to 2015, to investigate if AnyVision, an Israeli AI company it invested in, violated Microsoft's ethics regarding use of facial recognition technology. Quoting a Microsoft spokesperson, Holder's team of former federal prosecutors "will move quickly, reviewing documents and conducting on the ground interviews with AnyVision employees and others to ensure a full and thorough investigation."


NBC News earlier reported Holder's hire. The news outlet previously reported that facial recognition technology developed by AnyVision had powered a secret military surveillance project for the Israel army that monitored Palestinians in the West Bank. According to NBC News, the project was so successful that AnyVision won Israel's top defense prize in 2018 for preventing "hundreds of terror attacks" using "large amounts of data." AnyVision…

Airbnb Seals Nine-Year Olympics Sponsorship Deal

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced it has sealed an agreement with Airbnb that entails the online accommodation marketplace joining The Olympic Partner Programme (TOP), the highest level of sponsorship offered by the Olympic Committee. Under the program, Airbnb will be a sponsor for the Olympic Games, with a contract that runs for a nine-year period. According to The Financial Times, Airbnb's sponsorship deal is valued at $500 million.


As a global partner, Airbnb will be a sponsor for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028. The partnership also covers Paralympic Games from 2020 through 2028.

Such partnership, centered mainly on marketing and brand awareness, is conventionally bound to bring in more business for Airbnb. Airbnb said the partnership will generate "hundreds of thousands of new hosts" on its plat…