Vacation rental management service Guesty raises $19.75M

As the vacation rental sector heats up — with Airbnb making even more moves to expand its portfolio of services to include multiple tiers of rentals — there’s going to be more and more of a need for people who manage a large number of properties. Guesty is one service that aims to do that, and today a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission notes that it’s raised $19.75 million in a new Series B round of financing. While Airbnb may be the dominant home vacation rental service, there…

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Facebook shuts down custom feed-sharing prompts and 12 other APIs

Facebook is making good on Mark Zuckerberg’s promise to prioritize user safety and data privacy over its developer platform. Today Facebook and Instagram announced a slew of API shutdowns and changes designed to stop developers from being able to pull your data or your friends’ data without express permission, drag in public content or trick you into sharing. Some changes go into effect today, and others roll out on August 1 so developers have more than 90 days to fix their apps. They follow the big changes announced two weeks…

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DoorDash makes a big push into grocery delivery through a pilot program with Walmart

DoorDash is about to make a huge move into grocery delivery, but instead of going all out as a delivery service on its own, it’s instead going to be working behind the scenes to power delivery networks for larger companies — with Walmart as its first big partner. While Instacart looks to control the end-to-end customer experience for grocery delivery, and Amazon is off doing Amazon-y things with its Whole Foods delivery system, DoorDash is hoping it can build a network that any company that needs some delivery network can…

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Google beats expectations again with $31.15B in revenue

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, reported another pretty solid beat this afternoon for its first quarter as it more or less has continued to keep its business growing substantially — and is growing even faster than it was a year ago today. Google said its revenue grew 26% year-over-year to $31.16 billion in the first quarter this year. In the first quarter last year, Google said its revenue had grown 22% between Q1 of 2016 and Q1 of 2017. All this is a little convoluted, but the end result is that…

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German Supreme Court dismisses Axel Springer lawsuit, says ad blocking is legal

Germany’s Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit yesterday from Axel Springer against Eyeo, the company behind AdBlock Plus. The European publishing giant (which acquired Business Insider in 2015) argued that ad-blocking, as well as the business model where advertisers pay to be added to circumvent the white list, violated Germany’s competition law. Axel Springer won a partial victory in 2016, when a lower court ruled that it shouldn’t have to pay for white listing. However, the Supreme Court has now overturned that decision. In the process, it declared that ad-blocking and Eyeo’s…

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ZTE says export ban will ‘severely impact’ its survival

It’s been a hell of a week for ZTE. News Monday that it was being hit with a seven-year export ban sent the company scrambling. The Chinese handset maker suspended its earnings report and reportedly sent its lawyers to meet with Google to see if anything could be worked out about a punishment that could hamper its ability to utilize Android and various key services. Four days after we first reached out, ZTE has finally offered us an official reaction to the news. And it’s a doozy. The six-paragraph official…

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iOS 11’s new App Store boosts downloads by 800% for featured apps

When Apple launched its new App Store in iOS 11 back in September, it aimed to offer app developers better exposure, as well as a better app discovery experience for consumers. A new study from Sensor Tower out today takes a look at how well that’s been working in the months since. According to its findings, getting a featured spot on the new App Store can increase downloads by as much as 800 percent, with the “App of the Day” or “Game of the Day” spots offering the most impact.…

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AT&T CEO says a new $15-per-month, sports-free streaming service is launching in a few weeks

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson revealed on Thursday the carrier’s plans to launch another live TV service called “AT&T Watch,” which would offer a cheap, $15-per-month bundle of channels for customers, and be provided to AT&T Unlimited Wireless subscribers for free. At this price point, the service would be one of the lowest on the market — less than Sling TV’s entry-level, $20-per-month package, and just a bit less than Philo’s low-cost, sports-free offering, priced at $16 per month. Stephenson, who’s in court defending the proposed $85 billion merger with Time…

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MoviePass’s parent company is getting crushed after offering new stock

Helios and Matheson Analytics is looking to push additional capital into its prime and wildly popular asset, MoviePass, by raising money in a new stock sale that appears to be giving Wall Street fits. Looking to raise additional capital, Helios and Matheson said it would sell up to $150 million in a stock sale that essentially seems geared to fund MoviePass’s expansion. Helios and Matheson is the largest shareholder of MoviePass, which is an increasingly popular service for going to watch movies. MoviePass’s parent company saw a sharp decline in its…

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