Airbnb's China foe is said in talks to raise over US$200 mil

(Sept 28): One of Airbnb’s biggest Chinese rivals is in talks with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and other investors for more than US$200 million ($274 million) in new funding to take on the American home-sharing giant, according to people familiar with the deal.

Airbnb up against regulatory hurdles as sharing economy sees challenges

SINGAPORE (Apr 16): On April 3, two former property agents were fined $60,000 each for short-term rentals they had posted on Airbnb. The two men had collected $19,000 from four listings at the d’Leedon condominium over five weeks last year. The action was taken after residents at d’Leedon lodged complaints. Local regulations prohibit rental agreements of less than three months for private properties and less than six months for HDB flats. The fines are likely to send a strong signal to the 1.4 million registered users of Airbnb.

2 Airbnb hosts fined $80,000 each for illegal rentals

SINGAPORE (Feb 27): Two men were found guilty for running a business that provides unauthorised short-term stays for less than six months, the Singapore district court heard on Tuesday.

Terence Tan En Wei and Yao Songliang earned at least $25,000 over a period of five weeks and rented the units via lodging renting platforms such as Airbnb, Craigslist and Homeaway.

The apartments drew rates of $150 to $441 per night.

Two Singapore Airbnb hosts to plead guilty to illegal letting charges: lawyer

SINGAPORE (Jan 16): Two Airbnb hosts charged in Singapore with unauthorised short-term letting of four apartments are expected to plead guilty next month, their lawyer said on Tuesday.

The two men face four charges under the city-state’s Planning Act for renting out four units in a condominium for less than six months without permission from Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, according to court documents last month.

They are liable to a fine of up to $200,000 per offence if found guilty.

3 reasons why US firms are taking longer to go public

SINGAPORE (Jan 9): It was an encouraging 2017 for the S&P 500, booking a full year of monthly total gains for the first time ever. But the elephant in the room still remains about the shrinking pool US companies going public.

According to data from Dealogic in a Dec 2017 report, the past year had been a record one for US-listed IPO volume and activity since 2014 – with issuance on the US exchanges totaling US$47.8 billion ($63.6 billion) via 179 IPOs.

Thiel's Founders Fund has been quietly buying bitcoin since 2012

(Jan 3): Bitcoin has gained global fame in the past year, but it’s been popular at Peter Thiel’s venture firm since at least 2012.

Banyan Tree takes asset-light path to profitability

SINGAPORE (Oct 13): Palm trees, soft white sand on endless beaches and blue seas on the west coast of Phuket conjure up images of the Banyan Tree brand and its luxury spas and mouthwatering Thai cuisine.

But don’t let the peace and tranquility fool you. The past three years have been difficult, however, with Banyan Tree notching up losses.

Hospitality REITs to face increased competition from private residences offering short-term rental

Village Residence Hougang SR by Far East Hospitality Trust

SINGAPORE (July 4): OCBC continues to remain “neutral” on Singapore’s hospitality sector given the recent compression in yields, while highlighting OUE Hospitality Trust (OUEHT) as its top and only “buy” pick with a fair value estimate of 75 cents.

This comes after the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) last Friday passed a new legislation that reduces the minimum stay duration for private residential properties to three months from six months previously, with immediate effect.

Airbnb valued at US$31 bil in new funding round


SAN FRANCISCO (March 10): Airbnb raised more than a billion dollars in a fresh funding round that valued the home-sharing startup at US$31 billion ($44 billion), a source close to the company told AFP Thursday.

Airbnb added US$448 million to the US$555 million in funding it took in last year, according to a filing Thursday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Airbnb became profitable in the second half of last year before accounting for interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, according to the source.

Singapore rattles sharing economy with rule change

SINGAPORE (Feb 23): Singapore, a keen early adopter of the sharing economy, has fired a warning shot across the bow of Airbnb and Uber with tighter rules that could shake up their business models and growth ambitions in Asia.

The rules, some say, are a sign that even governments sympathetic to companies that allow citizens to rent out their expertise or property have a hard time striking the right balance between encouraging disruptive technologies and keeping them in line.

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