Day: February 21, 2020

Investors in LatAm get bitten by the hotel investment bug as Ayenda raises $8.7 million

Some of Latin America’s leading venture capital investors are now backing hotel chains.

In fact, Ayenda, the largest hotel chain in Colombia, has raised $8.7 million in a new round of funding, according to the company.

Led by Kaszek Ventures, the round will support the continued expansion of Ayenda’s chain of hotels in Colombia and beyond. The hotel operator already has 150 hotels operating under its flag in Colombia and has recently expanded to Peru, according to a statement.

Financing came from Kaszek Ventures and strategic investors like Irelandia Aviation, Kairos, Altabix and BWG Ventures.

The company, which was founded in 2018, now has more than 4,500 rooms under its brand in Colombia and has become the biggest hotel chain in the country.

Investments in brick and mortar chains by venture firms are far more common in emerging markets than they are in North America. The investment in Ayenda mirrors big bets that SoftBank Group has made in the Indian hotel chain Oyo and an investment made by Tencent, Sequoia China, Baidu Capital and Goldman Sachs, in LvYue Group late last year, amounting to “several hundred million dollars”, according to a company statement.

“We’re seeking to invest in companies that are redefining the big industries and we found Ayenda, a team that is changing the hotel’s industry in an unprecedented way for the region”, said Nicolas Berman, Kaszek Ventures partner.

Ayenda works with independent hotels through a franchise system to help them increase their occupancy and services. The hotels have to apply to be part of the chain and go through an up to 30-day inspection process before they’re approved to open for business.

“With a broad supply of hotels with the best cost-benefit relationship, guests can travel more frequently, accelerating the economy,” says Declan Ryan, managing partner at Irelandia Aviation.

The company hopes to have more than 1 million guests in 2020 in their hotels. Rooms list at $20 per-night, including amenities and an around the clock customer support team.

Oyo’s story may be a cautionary tale for companies looking at expanding via venture investment for hotel chains. The once high-flying company has been the subject of some scathing criticism. As we wrote:

The New York Times  published an in-depth report on Oyo, a tech-enabled budget hotel chain and rising star in the Indian tech community. The NYT wrote that Oyo offers unlicensed rooms and has bribed police officials to deter trouble, among other toxic practices.

Whether Oyo, backed by billions from the SoftBank  Vision Fund, will become India’s WeWork is the real cause for concern. India’s startup ecosystem is likely to face a number of barriers as it grows to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley.

The Friday Buzz: The Better Butter Edition

Welcome to The Friday Buzz, our roundup of all good things, good advice, good feelings. It’s the happy hour of blog posts! Up this week I dish about BUTTER. 

For the longest time, I thought margarine was butter. I grew up as a child in the 90s, which meant I was raised on margarine. It came in the little plastic tub, and I thought it was great! Fast-forward to my adult years: I was hanging out with some girlfriends who were all talking about the price of butter and how expensive it had become. I didn’t understand what they were talking about, because the butter I was buying was so cheap.

It turns out I was still buying margarine… in stick form. That’s right, because it was in stick form, I assumed I had made the switch! Nope. But you butter believe (haha) that from that day forward, I started buying real butter and haven’t looked back.

So I thought it’d be fun to focus on some butter-related products I’ve enjoyed lately, because my life motto now is butter is better!

BUTTER FAVES

MEANWHILE ON INSTAGRAM

Y’all know how to cook your rice! We asked for your preferred technique and so many of you chimed in. Here’s what some of you said about cooking rice:

“In the oven. 2 cups of rice 3 cups of water. Cover with foil. Cook 25 minutes.”

“We use the microwave! Add butter, salt, and lemon. My son (13) makes it all the time. He takes it to school for lunch.”

“An electric rice cooker…have had the same one for 30+ years.”

“1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water… Boil water add salt, put in rice, let it come to boil and lower to simmer. I double fold some paper towels and put between pot & cover. Let simmer 20 minutes then take off flame and put on side. Fluff before eating.”

“I actually prefer to make my white rice with chicken broth. Comes out amazing with that an onion. Best part? I make it in the microwave!! Super easy!”

READER COMMENT OF THE WEEK

The memories that come with food are so strong and tender. Rob left this sweet comment on our Texas Sheet Cake. We’re so glad he has the recipe again!

My Mama made this for years and I loved it. When my mama died someone took her cookbook where she had this written in the back cover. Now I have it again. It’s one of the best cakes and so easy to make. Thank you!

Cheers to the weekend, Simply Friends!

Continue reading “The Friday Buzz: The Better Butter Edition” »

The Feeling of Being Ignored: What It Could Really Mean

Have you ever felt ignored?

Chances are you have – we all have at one time or another. Whether it’s being ignored by someone in particular or people in general looking past you, feeling ignored is isolating and painful. It can cause us to act out in destructive ways. This can be particularly true when you feel ignored or overlooked by someone you love.

So how should you handle the feeling of being ignored? And could it be possible that you’re making someone feel ignored without even realizing it?

Let’s take a look.

The Effects Of Being Ignored

being ignored

Being bullied is horrible, but being ignored can be worse. In fact, the silent treatment is a tactic often used by people who want to inflict pain without being outwardly confrontational. It’s manipulative and cruel.

See Also: The Most Important Tips For Dealing With Bullying At Work

People who make a point of ignoring others and using the silent treatment as a weapon may not realize the serious effects their behavior can have. They don’t know how devastating those effects can be. And some people may not even realize that is what they are doing at all.

While their indifferent behavior is selfish, it may very well be accidental.

Being ignored can cause emotional trauma. It can eventually lead to depression, anger, and low self-esteem. Because people are naturally social creatures, we crave acceptance, inclusion, and recognition.

For better or worse, we often use those around us as a mirror. Their reaction to us forms, or at least influences, our own opinion of ourselves. Being ignored by the people around us, especially a loved one, is like looking in a mirror and seeing nothing there. This can leave us questioning our self-worth and value.

But it’s not just psychological stress that we feel when we’re ignored. We can experience physical problems as well. Emotional pain can lead to headaches, digestive issues, disruptions in our sleeping or eating patterns and even diseases. All of them have serious consequences if left unchecked.

What You Can Do To Feel Seen

But what can you do if you feel ignored?

You can’t make someone pay attention to you, right? Well, you can. Unfortunately, the behaviors used by those who are demanding someone’s attention are often negative and destructive. They come from a desperate feeling that any kind of attention is better than no attention at all.

This really isn’t true, however.

If you feel like you’re being ignored, the best thing you can do is to remain calm. Allowing yourself to become so upset over it can drive people further away. The next thing you need to do is consider why you feel this way.

Ask yourself this:

Are you sure you are really being ignored? Could it be that people (or a person in particular) are just busy?

For instance, if you feel that people look right through you when you walk down the street, it may be time to examine your own behavior. People generally match the behavior of others in a public environment.

Could the indifference that you feel from others a response to your own indifferent behavior? Do you smile at others as you pass by? Do you make eye contact or hold a door when the opportunity presents itself?

If the answer is no, then it’s quite likely that those around you are responding to signals you are giving off that say, “Leave me alone.”

If you are being ignored by one person in particular, however, you need to look a little more closely at the possible reasons. Do so with an open mind. In today’s overly busy world, it’s entirely possible that the person ignoring you is actually just really distracted with their own problems and schedules. It may not have anything to do with you personally.

On the flip side, acting out our negative feelings with intentional silence, such as ghosting, has become more and more the norm, so there could be more to it. There is one surefire way to figure that out though – ask.

If you feel that someone may be purposefully ignoring you, then the best way to understand why is to ask them directly. Doing this in an inquisitive and friendly manner will give the other person the encouragement to answer honestly. And addressing the problem in this manner will show that person and others that you don’t accept being dismissed and ignored as an appropriate response.

How You May Be Ignoring People And Not Even Know It

feel of being ignored

What if you’re the one who is doing the ignoring? Would you even know it?

We all know that life can get a little crazy sometimes and we can become self-absorbed. But when you become so focused on your own world that you stop returning calls, answering emails or paying attention to those who are closest to you, it’s gone too far. Now you’ve become the one doing the ignoring and causing others to feel invisible. Not good.

The best advice is to take time once or twice a week to stop and take stock of your relationships and behavior. Give some thought as to what those around you may be experiencing as well. Nothing about our lives and relationships remains static or perpetually harmonious.

There are always ups and downs and back and forths. So, if you are feeling ignored, give some thought as to why and if your behavior is playing a part in that. Do a self-check.

Could you be the reason someone else is feeling overlooked and invisible?

The post The Feeling of Being Ignored: What It Could Really Mean appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Justin Bieber makes James Corden reveal how much he regrets being in ‘Cats’

Justin Bieber makes James Corden reveal how much he regrets being in 'Cats'

Give Justin Bieber a Pulitzer for this, the most hard-hitting interview of the year so far.

During the regular Late Late Show truth-or-icky-dare segment “Spill Your Guts Or Fill Your Guts” Bieber (or at least the producer who handed him the card) hit host James Corden with a tough question: on a scale of one to 10, how much does he regret doing Cats?

As always, it’s hard to know whether this question is genuinely a surprise to Corden, but he thinks about it hard, briefly considers opting to eat some cod sperm instead, then answers, it seems, truthfully. The number he gives is diplomatic, but his grimacing, umm-ing and aah-ing tells the real story.  Read more…

More about Justin Bieber, Late Late Show With James Corden, Cats Movie, Entertainment, and Celebrities

EV fleet management gets another venture-backed contender as Electriphi raises $3.5 million

Electriphi, a provider of charging management and fleet monitoring software for electric vehicles, has joined the scrum of startups looking to provide services to the growing number of electric vehicle fleets in the U.S.

The San Francisco-based company has just raised $3.5 million in seed funding from investors including Wireframe Ventures, the Urban Innovation Fund, and Blackhorn Ventures. Lemnos Labs and Acario Innovation also participated in the round.

Electriphi’s pitch has resonated with school districts. It counts the Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento, Calif. as one of its benchmark customers.

“Twin Rivers Unified School District has the largest fleet of electric school buses in North America, and our ambition is to transition to a fully electric fleet in the coming years,” said Tim Shannon, transportation services director, Twin Rivers Unified School District, in a statement. “This is a significant undertaking, and we needed a trusted partner that could provide us state-of-the-art charging management and help us with data collection and monitoring.”

There are several companies pursuing this market — all with either a bit of a head start, significant corporate backers, or more capital. Existing offerings from EVConnect, GreenLots,  GreenFlux, AmplyPower all compete with Electriphi.

The company is betting that the experience of co-founder, Muffi Ghadiali, a former senior director at ChargePoint who led hardware and software development for fast charging infrastructure, can sway customers. Joining Ghadiali is Sanjay Dayal, who previously worked at Agralogics, Tibco, Xamplify, Versata and Sybase

There’s also the sheer scale of the opportunity, which is likely to see multiple companies emerge as winners.

“There are millions of public and commercial fleet vehicles in the U.S. alone that we rely on daily for transportation, delivery and services, ” said Paul Straub, managing partner, Wireframe Ventures. “Many of these are beginning to consider electrification and the opportunity is tremendous.”