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Coronavirus live updates: Small town businesses face uncertain restarts; doctors issue a warning

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As many U.S. states continue to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions, some are pausing their reopenings in the face of worrisome data around new cases and hospitalizations. States like Texas, Arizona and Arkansas have seen a surge in infections, calling into question aggressive reopening strategies. 

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday additional lockdowns may be needed if rising infection data doesn’t improve, and some researchers are warning the resurgences in some states isn’t even the “second wave” that many feared — it’s still just the first. 

This is CNBC’s live blog covering all the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak. This blog will be updated throughout the day as the news breaks. 

  • Global cases: More than 7.67 million
  • Global deaths: At least 426,268
  • U.S. cases: More than 2.04 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 114,669

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Italy, Germany, France and Netherlands sign contract with Astrazeneca for Covid-19 vaccine

9:21 a.m. ET — Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands have signed a contract with Astrazeneca to provide European citizens with a coronavirus vaccine, Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza said, according to a Reuters report. The contract will supply 400 million doses of the vaccine.

Astrazeneca’s vaccine is currently in development with the University of Oxford and its experimentation phase is expected to be completed in the fall. Speranza said the first batch of doses would be available at the end of the year, Reuters reported.

EU governments issued a mandate on Friday instructing the European Commission to negotiate advance purchases of promising Covid-19 vaccines. However, it’s unclear if there would be enough money available for these purchases. —Sarah Whitten

San Francisco doctors, back from volunteering in NY, issue a warning

9:15 a.m. ET — San Francisco doctors who risked their lives and volunteered to help coronavirus patients in New York have now returned home – and they are urging people to follow public safety guidelines, CNBC’s Christina Farr reports.

“A lot of people are feeling done with this pandemic,” said Dr. Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist based in San Francisco. “They don’t understand this is how it is going to be for a while.”

As states begin to re-open, people are itching to resume life after months of lockdowns. However, the virus is still spreading across the country and public health experts are concerned about the reported increase in diagnosed cases and hospitalizations in some states. —Emma Newburger

Your guide to coronavirus testing

Shalonda Williams-Hampton, 32, has her blood taken by Northwell Health medical workers for the antibody tests that detect whether a person has developed immunity to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury in Westbury, New York, May 13, 2020.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

How one New Jersey Main St. is preparing to reopen

Village Brewing in Somerville, New Jersey, closed on March 16. Since then it’s been surviving on takeout and delivery orders, which are about 10% of usual business.

Will Feuer

9:04 a.m. ET — With New Jersey set to shift into its next phase of reopening on Monday, business owners in Somerville are getting ready to salvage what remains of the usually bustling summer season.

Businesses on Somerville’s popular Main St. like Village Brewing and Verve Restaurant have endured more than 12 weeks of closure already, but on Monday, they’ll be able to partially open for outdoor service. Town officials and business owners are petitioning the state to close Main St., a state highway, to traffic so that retailers and restaurants can bring their business entirely outdoors, where the virus appears to spread less easily.

For Somerville, the pandemic hit right in the middle of something of an upswing for the town, which was attracting new businesses and younger residents in recent years. Depending on the severity of the pandemic’s economic impact and the speed of the rebound, the threat could be existential for many on Main St.

“We would be naive to think that any of us, or any district, no matter where you are in the country, is going to come out of this situation completely unscathed,” Natalie Pinero, executive director of the Downtown Somerville Alliance, said. “I think that there is a genuine concern for our businesses.” —Will Feuer

Small town businesses face uncertain restarts

8:31 a.m. ET — As local economies reopen and lockdown restrictions lift, small town businesses face uncertainty around a restart to operations. 

The pandemic issued a swift, clean halt to business for many. But returning isn’t as cleanly laid out for business owners like Russ Loub, who runs a steakhouse in the college town of Manhattan, Kansas. Loub estimates coronavirus shutdowns resulted in 4,000 canceled reservations almost instantaneously, and he now wonders what the fall football season will look like with a modified college semester. 

“There’s so much unknown. That’s really the most difficult part of it,” Loub told CNBC’s Jesse Pound. “I’m sure if you talk to anyone else, they’ll tell you the same thing. It’s the unknown things that are the scariest.” —Sara Salinas

India reports record daily new cases

A medical worker in PPE coveralls seen outside the emergency ward at AIIMS, on June 11, 2020 in New Delhi, India.

Sanjeev Verma | Hindustan Times | Getty Images

8:07 a.m. ET — India reported 11,458 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, the highest single-day increase for the country to date, the Associated Press reports. The jump pushes the nation’s total infections past 300,000 to 308,993. 

The Health Ministry recorded 386 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total to 8,884, according to the AP. 

The nation of 1.3 billion people instituted a strict lockdown in late March, but last week began reopening shopping malls, houses of worship and restaurants, the AP reports. Since reopening, the country has recorded close to 100,000 new cases of Covid-19.

India now holds the fourth highest infection total in the world, behind the U.S., Brazil and Russia, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. —Sara Salinas

Read CNBC’s previous coronavirus live coverage here: Food market shut in Beijing after 45 cases; hospitalizations rise in some U.S. states

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/13/coronavirus-live-updates.html

Publications

Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020

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Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.

Register

Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

[email protected]

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/63564-2/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Crunchbase

Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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