Members-only social club Soho House files for US IPO at $3 billion valuation, report says

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City

  • Soho House, a network of private social clubs, filed confidential IPO paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sky News reported.
  • The company could be valued at more than $3 billion, creating a windfall for founder Nick Jones.
  • The London-based company is part-owned by American billionaire Ron Burkle.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Soho House, a London-based network of private social clubs located worldwide, has filed to go public in the US, Sky News reported Friday.

The company this week filed confidential IPO paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Soho House could be valued at more than $3 billion (£2.1 billion), the report said, citing banking sources.

Soho House is aiming for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, eschewing a listing in London with Sky News noting that the company is majority-owned by Ron Burkle, a billionaire from California who is the part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and co-founder of private investment firm Yucaipa Companies.

Soho House’s founder is Nick Jones, who opened the original location in the west end of London in 1995.

The company two years ago decided to raise capital privately instead of filing for an IPO, the report said.

The network includes 27 houses in 10 countries including the US, Germany, India, and in Hong Kong. It opened its first US-based house in 2003 in the Meatpacking District in New York City.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A hotel owner who was one of the wealthiest men in the UK was reportedly found stabbed to death at his $2 million country house

london street
The streets of London were empty on Monday with the city and parts of southeast England under new coronavirus restrictions to stem the spread of a new strain of the virus.

  • Sir Richard Lexington Sutton was reportedly stabbed to death at his country house in Dorset.
  • The hotel owner was listed as one of the richest men in Great Britain.
  • Sutton is believed to have known his attacker, according to the Dorset Police Department.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, one of the richest men in Great Britain, was found stabbed to death on Wednesday night, according to the local newspaper Dorset Echo.

The Dorset Police Department launched a murder investigation on Wednesday after finding the 83-year-old Baronet at his country estate, according to multiple reports from the media, including BBC News. Police were called to the scene by a concerned member of the public, according to the local newspaper.

Sutton was pronounced dead on the scene due to the stab wounds and an unidentified woman in her 60s, who is believed to be his wife, was airlifted to a local hospital. The police reported she remains in critical condition.

The police tracked a vehicle believed to be connected to the scene of the crime and arrested an unidentified 34-year-old man who authorities suspect is connected to the incident, according to a press release. The police said the suspect was known to the Sutton family.

Sutton was a high-profile hotel owner, known for his five-star hotels on Park Lane and Piccadilly in London.

The hotelier is listed as one of the country’s richest men on The Sunday Times Rich List. His net worth was valued at about $400 million and he placed No. 435 on the list of the nation’s 1,000 wealthiest residents, ranking above Mick Jagger and George Clooney.

Sutton was the 9th Baronet in the Sutton family and responsible for 7,000 acres of land across the country, according to the Dorset Echo.

A spokesman for the hotel chain Sir Richard Sutton Limited told the publication Sutton would be deeply missed.

“Sir Richard was passionately devoted to both his company and its people, setting the highest and standards for quality in the hotels, farming and property interests within the group,” the spokesperson said. “His loss will be felt by everyone within the company, those who worked with him, and his family who have lost an incredible individual. Our thoughts are with the Sutton family at this tragic time.”

The Dorset Police Department and Sir Richard Sutton Limited did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Read the full story at the Dorset Echo.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Deliveroo’s share price tumble dents CEO Will Shu’s fortune by $144 million during opening hours of trading

Will Shu, Deliveroo CEO and Founder, inaugurates its first Deliveroo kitchen site in France, called Deliveroo Editions on July 3, 2018 in Saint-Ouen, France.
Will Shu, Deliveroo CEO and cofounder, inaugurates its first Deliveroo kitchen site in France, called Deliveroo Editions on July 3, 2018 in Saint-Ouen, France.

  • Deliveroo CEO Will Shu saw the value of his stake in the firm fall to $474 million on its stock market debut.
  • His stake was worth $618 million at the opening share price, but fell as investors shunned the IPO.
  • Shu is also thought to have sold shares worth around $36 million when the firm listed.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Deliveroo CEO Will Shu is a wealthy man after the food delivery firm he cofounded floated on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Shu, the largest individual shareholder at Deliveroo, is thought to have sold around 6.7 million shares when the market opened, at the opening price of £3.90 ($5.35), making $36 million from that transaction.

The value of his remaining 6.3% stake is not currently as high as anticipated, after shares in the firm tumbled as much as 30% on its debut.

At the time of writing, the drop has seen Shu’s stake in the firm plummet to a value of $474 million in the opening hours of trading, down $144 million from $618 million at open.

The company’s listing price range for the IPO was between 390 pence ($5.35) and 460 pence ($6.33). At the higher end of the range, Shu’s stake would have been worth as much as $729 million.

Shu’s stake will fluctuate throughout the day and its value could end up being higher or lower by market close.

Read more: Here’s the 5 things investors need to know ahead of the Deliveroo IPO

Deliveroo’s IPO gave it an opening valuation of about $10.5 billion but it shed more than $2.7 billion in market value in its first hours as a public firm under the ticker “ROO.”

The company, founded in 2013 by Shu and his friend Greg Orlowski, has faced criticism from large investors and activists in the run-up to its IPO over its business model.

Deliveroo’s app allows consumers to order grocery and food on demand, and the firm relies on a network of gig-economy riders to ferry the goods out.

At least six investment firms, including Aviva Investors, Rathbones, Legal & General, and Standard Life Aberdeen, announced they wouldn’t invest in Deliveroo. Some cited both its lack of full-year profitability, and the threat posed to future profitability by its ongoing reliance on gig-economy riders.

“Deliveroo has gone from hero to zero as the much-hyped stock market debut falls flat on its face,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould on Wednesday. “It had better get used to the nickname ‘Flopperoo’.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

London recorded zero COVID-19 deaths for the first time in 6 months

London coronavirus
A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks across Westminster Bridge in central London.

  • London recorded zero COVID-19 deaths on Sunday – the first time it’s done so in six months.
  • The figures are always lower on Sundays, but it’s a win for the city after three months of lockdown.
  • The UK is also aggressively vaccinating citizens: More than 30 million people have received at least one shot.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

London recorded zero deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday – the first time in six months.

The last time the UK capital saw a day with no such deaths – meaning deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – was September 14, 2020.

The number of deaths recorded on Sundays is typically lower, which means that the daily death toll is likely to be higher again over the following days.

But it still demonstrates the change in the spread of the virus after a three-month-long lockdown and the UK’s aggressive vaccination campaign.

London was put into a new lockdown in December, after a new, more-contagious variant of the virus was detected as infections there started to surge.

The rest of the UK soon followed. Restrictions in the UK are now slowly easing, and groups of six people were allowed to meet outdoors in England from Monday.

The UK has also been one of the world leaders in vaccinations: More than 30 million people have now received at least one dose of a vaccine. The British government said on March 20 that half of all UK adults had received at least one shot.

The country’s vaccination strategy is targeting the oldest and most vulnerable first, with the intention of reducing the number of deaths as quickly as possible.

Both London’s mayor and the UK’s prime minister are warning people to be careful as restrictions ease, cautioning that the situation could still turn worse again.

Read the original article on Business Insider

As virtual reality’s popularity grows, sex-tech companies are making plans for increased online intimacy

Raspberry Dream Labs Haptic Cyber Sex
People wearing Raspberry Dream Labs prototypes in London.

  • The founder of sex-tech company Raspberry Dream Labs said the pandemic may lead to a cybersex boom.
  • “The time is so ripe for it,” Angelina Aleksandrovich told Insider in an interview.
  • Her company is testing a VR cybersex experience with immersive sounds, scents, and haptic pulses.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Has COVID-19 changed the way the world will hook up?

It seems that way, according to Angelina Aleksandrovich, founder and creative director of Raspberry Dream Labs. Her company’s been busy building a rig and software so people who are apart can still enjoy intimacy. The time is right, she told Insider.

Companies like Aleksandrovich’s are positioning themselves for a future with rising remote intimacy, even with the end of lockdowns visible on the horizon. It’s one of a few competing visions of the post-vaccine future. Suitsupply, for example, launched an ad campaign this year featuring zero social distancing, with the tagline “The new normal is coming.”

Raspberry Dream Labs Founder Angelina Aleksandrovich.JPG
Raspberry Dream Labs founder Angelina Aleksandrovich wearing a VR headset she gives volunteers for her cyber-sex experience using XR, a combination of virtual and augmented reality, haptic stimulators, sounds and scent.

In the future envisioned by Raspberry Dream Labs, some people may still be skittish about meeting new partners in person, even as the pandemic fades.The company’s rig is meant to give users who are apart a sense of being intimate, with immersive sounds, visuals, and scents. It also places haptic pulses on their bodies, giving them the sense of being touched. It’s still a prototype but eventually, users will be able to wear the rig and enter the company’s virtual platform, Raspberry Dream Land, to meet others, Aleksandrovich said.

The London-based company recently demoed the experience, hosting a weeklong event that celebrated sexuality, identity, gender, body, technology and futurism. It included talks given by artists and sex-tech proponents, who attempted to demystify cybersex, said its founder.

Now, Aleksandrovich said the company’s prepping for a public launch of Raspberry Dream’s platform. The company tested virtual reality hosting sites, but “faced enormous oppression” and censorship from the companies that ran them, Aleksandrovich said. So it’s building its own platform instead.

Aleksandrovich continued: “As in what the future hold for us: It holds total independence from censoring corporations and freedom of radical expression as we build our own social webXR platform – Raspberry Dream Land – where people can meet in the virtual world, go on the dates, attend events that would be censored elsewhere online, get playful and build meaning connections over the distance.”

Raspberry Dream Labs colored prototype
A Raspberry Dream Labs prototype.

Aleksandrovich said Raspberry Dream Labs was created as a hybrid of her formal training as an artist and her work at creative agencies, where she pitched VR experiences to big brands.

She hadn’t intended to start a company; her plan for the rig was just to create it as a one-off project. But she quickly found that she felt “better about myself doing something meaningful.”

“I’ve been interested in sex since my early childhood. But the lack of early age sex education and growing up in post-soviet eastern Ukraine didn’t help my curiosity,” Aleksandrovich told Insider.

Raspberry Dream prototype backpack haptic rig cybersex
A woman wearing Raspberry Dream Labs haptic rig.

After graduating from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, she built VR and immersive productions for brands. She mostly followed creative briefs, but also started pitching ideas about multisensory experiences, including scents and temperature control.

“But something that would’ve sounded like a great career was actually eating me from the inside,” she said. “I wasn’t feeling happy creating ‘brand experiences’ for brands I didn’t care for, just for the sake of being able to keep up with that life.”

In 2018, she was poking around through files on her computer, when she found a folder filled with stuff she’d made at art school. It was then that Raspberry Dream Labs was born.

“They made me feel very nostalgic and reminded me that I already found my passion, the subject of human sexuality,” she said. “All I had to do was act upon it.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

I went to the first Amazon Fresh store in the UK and felt like a shoplifter. Take a look inside.

Insider's Kate Duffy outside the first Amazon Fresh store in the UK
Insider’s Kate Duffy outside the first Amazon Fresh store in the UK.

  • Amazon has just opened its first cashierless Amazon Fresh store in the UK so I went to check it out.
  • Cameras and shelf sensors monitor what you’re putting in your bag and you’re billed after you leave.
  • The trip was hassle-free, but I wasn’t a fan of the hundreds of cameras dangling from the ceiling.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The Amazon Fresh store in the borough of Ealing, west London, is no ordinary supermarket.

Retail giant Amazon opened its first physical store in the UK on March 4 so I decided to go along to see what all the fuss was about.

It operates in the same way as the cashierless 20 Amazon Go stores in the US – you go in, put the items in your bag, and wander back out.

I felt like the world’s biggest shoplifter, even when carrying Amazon’s green bag with “Just Walk Out” slapped on the side.

The whole shopping experience was hassle-free. There’s no dodging trolleys, speed-packing at the till or faffing with credit cards. You get billed after you exit the shop, although my receipt took two hours to come through so I didn’t know exactly how much I’d spent until then.

The location is only 2,500 square feet so it’s much smaller than a supermarket and it would be a struggle to do a weekly shop in there.

Overall, I was impressed at the organisation, cleanliness and efficiency of the store. What I didn’t like was the hundreds of cameras hanging from the ceiling, checking what was going into my bag. It had a dystopian feel.

The food wasn’t anything special, but what makes this store pop is its futuristic technology that means an effortless shopping trip.

Here’s what happened during my shopping trip to London’s new Amazon Fresh and what I bought:

The UK’s first Amazon Fresh store is located in Ealing Broadway shopping centre, West London.

Amazon Fresh UK store
Amazon Fresh store in Ealing, west London.

My first thought when approaching Amazon Fresh was: why Ealing? 

It takes over an hour on the tube to get from central London to Ealing. But the high street is home to some popular household names — the newest being Amazon Fresh.

The doors in the photo above are the exit to the store. The entrance is around the corner where I joined a line, downloaded the Amazon app and got directed by assistants in green jackets.

I visited around 14:00 p.m., just after the lunchtime rush, so the queue wasn’t very long. Considering the store has no tills, it noticeably cut down the waiting time.

As soon as you scan the QR code on the Amazon app, you’re timed. The receipt showed I was inside the store for a total of 17 minutes and 12 seconds.

To get into the store, you have to scan the QR code on the Amazon app, which opens the green barrier.

Amazon Fresh start
Shoppers’ first glimpse inside Amazon Fresh.

Amazon Fresh didn’t fail to give a good first impression. As long as you have the Amazon App downloaded, it’s a simple scan of the QR code and you’re in. 

Customers can take their own bags or pick up the medium-sized, reusable Amazon Fresh bags for £1 ($1.40). There are no trolleys or baskets, which made the whole experience much smoother.

But as a pedantic trolley-stacker, shoving things into a bag and not visually having my food in front of me to organise proved a little difficult.

 

If you look up, you’ll see loads of cameras pointing at the shelves. They track every item that goes into your bag.

Cameras hanging from the ceiling
Cameras hanging from the ceiling.

The main visual difference between Amazon Fresh and other supermarkets were the hundreds of cameras dangling from the ceiling. I felt like I was being watched, even though the cameras were just monitoring what was going into my bag.

On the flip side, it felt safe and secure. If the tech remains reliable, then shoplifting shouldn’t be a concern, as customers are tracked as soon as they enter the store via their Amazon account.

 

The cameras work in conjunction with weight sensors on the shelves to determine which items you’ve picked up.

In the bag it goes
Amazon’s own aubergine masala.

Halfway around the store, I realised I was putting items into the bag in a very exaggerated manner to prove I was set on buying the product and had nothing to hide. 

The aubergine masala was part of a takeaway deal of two mains and two sides for £10 ($14). 

You can’t hand items to other people to put in their basket. You have to pick them up yourself.

Shopping at Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh aisle.

It’s a solo shopping experience. If you pick up an item and pass it to another customer, the weight sensors and cameras will think you put the product in your bag so you’ll be charged. 

 

Amazon Fresh sells a range of its own branded food, including pizzas, ready meals and fresh fruit and vegetables at competitive prices.

Amazon's own food
Amazon’s own food.

The retail giant sources its food from British suppliers. Unexpectedly, around one third of the store was taken up by Amazon’s own branded products. And it all looks great!

Prices are average but competitive. It’s £4 ($5.60) for a medium-sized pizza, similar to other UK supermarkets such as Tescos and Sainsbury’s. But Amazon Fresh offered good deals. For the two chicken breasts in the photo above and a side, it’s £5 ($7). 

The store also had free-from, organic and vegan ranges, as well as lots of popular food brands.

 

Amongst all the Amazon food, there’s an Amazon Hub.

Amazon hub at Amazon Fresh
Amazon Hub.

At the back of the store, you’ll find the Amazon Hub where you can pick up and return items that you’ve bought online from the retail company.

In the pharmacy section, there are coasters that you can take to the Amazon Hub to exchange for medicine.

Drugs at Amazon Fresh
Medicine at Amazon.

What is usually a pointing game with a cashier behind a till, is now a case of picking up a coaster and handing it into the Amazon Hub to get drugs.

 

The alcohol is enclosed in a corner with a ‘booze bouncer’ checking people’s ID as they walk out.

Alcohol section at Amazon Fresh
Alcohol section.

The ‘booze bouncer’ welcomed me into the alcohol corner and proceeded to watch what I put into my bag — on top of cameras watching me. I picked up a beer and on my way out, she asked to check my ID. 

When I asked her if I could take a picture of the alcohol section, she told me: “Of course, lots of people are doing that at the moment.”

Given that attractions are shut due to COVID-19, the store has become a tourist magnet. There were certainly more tourists than genuine shoppers roaming around in there.

It was also noticeable that everybody in Amazon Fresh was young. This begs the question of whether older people will have the technology to shop there.

You can even get an Amazon Fresh meal deal.

Meal Deals at Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh meal deal.

The meal deal section was huge. There’s a wide variety of meals, snacks and drinks on offer. 

The meal comes at its standard price, then you add any drink and snack on top for £1. Some of the meals were really fancy, such as the lemongrass chicken and edamame mixed grain salad.

Behold Amazon’s ready-to-go hot food and bakery with fresh bread baked on site.

Hot section and bakery at Amazon Fresh
Hot counter and bakery.

Amazon Fresh is ideal for that lunchtime food dash. There was a lot of ready-prepared food, perfect for city workers on the run.

Customers can make a cup of coffee for £2.30. Oat milk was also an option.

Hot coffee at Amazon Fresh
Hot coffee section.

At the front of the store, there were two separate coffee machines, one for normal milk and one for oat milk.

The store itself was bright and vibrant with pop music. It felt exclusive.

Amazon Fresh aisle
The cold aisle at Amazon Fresh.

Amazon Fresh was comparable to a high-quality UK convenience store, such as Waitrose. It was clean, tidy and there was lots to choose from. 

The strangest bit was walking out without having to scan the items.

My receipt was emailed to me two hours after I left the store, which I became impatient for because I was eager to know whether the technology had charged me correctly.

It did — it logged every item in the order I put them into my bag.

The total cost for 13 items came to £20 ($28).

What I bought at Amazon Fresh
My Amazon Fresh treats.

Amazon Fresh makes it too easy to buy things…

Read the original article on Business Insider

See inside the first JetBlue plane with all-new Mint business class suites which are set to impress on upcoming flights to London

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo’s with new Mint business class.

  • JetBlue Airways has taken delivery of its first aircraft with the new Mint business class cabin.
  • The private suites offer new fan-favorite amenities like direct aisle access and wireless charging.
  • The long-awaited flights to London from the East Coast are slated to begin in the third quarter of 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JetBlue Airways’ swanky new business class suites have landed.

The New York-based carrier marked another milestone towards launching flights to London having taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo with the upgraded business class seats that flyers will enjoy on transatlantic flights later this year.

Even casual Mint flyers will immediately notice the difference in the new product. Every seat offers fan favorites like direct aisle access and closeable doors that offer the utmost privacy, all in a residential-style designed suite.

The A321neo is one of JetBlue’s newest aircraft and can be found flying JetBlue’s longest routes including New York-Guayaquil, Ecuador thanks to its increased range and cost-saving economics. It’s also known for its quiet cabin and ultra-modern features like mood lighting.

The jet that will take JetBlue to Europe, however, has yet to arrive. The Airbus A321neoLR offers an even greater amount of range and JetBlue plans to pack it with even more business class suites to accommodate the near-endless supply of premium flyers on the route.

And before London flights takeoff, the suites will first make a West Coast debut on the New York-Los Angeles route this summer. JetBlue’s long-awaited transatlantic flights have been delayed due to the pandemic but are set to launch in the third quarter.

Here’s a sneak peek at the business class suites that will soon take JetBlue flyers to Los Angeles, London, and beyond.

The new Mint cabin on the A321neo is comprised of 16 business class suites arranged in a 1-1 configuration.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each seat is angled in what’s known as a herringbone configuration, allowing the airline to fit more seats in the cabin while maintaining privacy. It’s an upgrade from the current Mint product as there are no paired seats in any row.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue offers two types of seats in the cabin. There’s the standard “Mint Suite…”.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And the larger “Mint Studio,” the cabin’s flagship seat.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The cabin has 14 Mint Suites spanning seven rows while the first row has the only Mint Studios, and they come at an additional premium.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Those that pay extra for the Mint Studio get an entire 22.7-square-foot cabin to themselves.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

There’s more room to spread out, especially when the seat is in the lie-flat position.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue even installed a separate cushioned seat here so a companion can share the space.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Other amenities exclusive to the seat include a personal closet that can be used to store anything from a purse to shoes or a jacket. A small mirror is there to help freshen up after, say, an overnight flight to London

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The in-flight entertainment screens in these enclaves are also the largest on the plane at 22 inches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

An additional tray table is built-in so companions can share a meal or get work done together. And if traveling solo, the table can also be used as simply an additional countertop to hold papers, a laptop, or food items.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The screen doesn’t extend all the way, however, so watching a movie together might difficult.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Standard seat amenities are also included like a tethered remote to control the in-flight entertainment…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A large countertop with individually-controlled lighting…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Wireless charging capabilities…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And a laptop holder under the screen, among other unique touches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The regular suites are narrower but still comfortable and spacious when seated thanks to the suite’s curved walls.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

For those that love looking out of the window, however, the angle of the seat makes doing that a bit harder as it requires turning one’s head at least 90 degrees.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Placed on each seat will be the standard business class amenities for the flight. A new service offering was just rolled out in November that includes a new partnership with the Delicious Hospitality Group, Tuft & Needle, Wanderfuel, and Master & Dynamic.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: JetBlue is revitalizing its popular Mint business class as the airline prepares for its European debut — here’s what to expect from Mint 2.0

Among other items, passengers will get a pair of JetBlue-specific Master & Dynamic noise-isolating headphones…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Bedding kit from Tuft & Needle…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And a wellness kit from Wanderfuel.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Privacy-minded travelers at each seat can close the suite door for additional exclusivity.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A blue “do not disturb” sign can also be activated to let flight attendants know to skip certain passengers for the meal service.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

All seats in the cabin were developed by Tuft & Needle, JetBlue’s new sleep partner, and double as mattress pads for when it’s time to sleep. Tuft & Needle also created the bedding that includes a “foot nook.”

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: JetBlue is revitalizing its popular Mint business class as the airline prepares for its European debut — here’s what to expect from Mint 2.0

Screens in the suites are slightly smaller at 17 inches.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A fun fact about the in-flight entertainment screens is that they can be extended away from the wall during takeoff and landing, something most other airlines haven’t been able to offer.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

This A321neo only has eight rows of Mint but the London-bound aircraft will have at least four more rows for a total of 24 seats.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Those riding in the back won’t have their own suites but will still get to experience some of JetBlue’s latest products.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The rest of the cabin is split between extra legroom seats, known as “Even More Space” seats…

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And regular economy seats, known as “Core” seats.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

True to name, Even More Space seats on this aircraft offer between 35 and 38 inches of seat pitch, depending on seat location, and 18 inches of width.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Source: SeatGuru

Regular economy seats, alternatively, offer 32 inches of seat pitch and the same amount of width.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Source: SeatGuru

As for entertainment, JetBlue installed the latest in-flight entertainment product complete with movies, television shows, games, device pairing, and a moving map, among other features.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read More: I flew on a newly upgraded JetBlue plane and despite less legroom and slimmer seats, the refresh is exactly what the airline needed

These screens clock in at 10.1 inches and offer high-definition content.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

A cool feature of economy is the “pantry,” a self-serve snack and beverage bar where flyers can take food items as they please without bugging the flight attendants.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Flyers can also connect to JetBlue’s complimentary satellite WiFI onboard the aircraft, even while over the ocean or above a foreign country.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Mood lighting is a key feature of the aircraft, especially on long-haul flights.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each lighting profile coincides with a specific phase of flight, whether it be the daytime meal service or cruising at altitude at night.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Mood lighting is also intended to link up with a traveler’s circadian rhythm to help adjust to each phase of flight.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Warm colors induce relaxation for when it’s time to sleep and cool colors wake the body up.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Each suite has its own lamp with different mood lights controlled by the occupant.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And the Mint Studios are the only seats that come with two lamps.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

The lighting extends through the entire aircraft, not just business class.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

On the outside of the plane, keen flyers will also notice a new tail design on the back of the plane. Called “ribbons,” the design uses optical art to create the illusion of movement.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

And powering the aircraft are two Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Piloting the A321neo requires minor additional training and pilots will be able to fly it interchangeably with other Airbus A320 family aircraft in JetBlue’s fleet.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

JetBlue flyers can expect to see this aircraft flying this summer, first between New York and Los Angeles before expanding across JetBlue’s route network.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Transatlantic travelers will then be enjoying this cabin by the end of the year.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways’ first Airbus A321neo aircraft with new Mint business class seats.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Reviews company Trustpilot plans to raise $50 million in a London IPO – handing the UK capital a tech listing

trustpilot
Trustpilot is looking to take advantage of a boom in online retailing

  • Trustpilot has chosen London for its upcoming IPO, giving the UK capital a sizable tech listing.
  • The reviews company is seeking to take advantage of a boom in online retailing and investor demand.
  • Trustpilot is targeting a $1.4 billion valuation, according to a person familiar with the matter.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Online reviews company Trustpilot has announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange and raise $50 million, giving the UK capital a sizable technology listing as it competes with New York and Amsterdam for initial public offerings.

Trustpilot is seeking to take advantage of both strong demand for tech companies from investors and a boom in online retailing driven by the pandemic.

The Copenhagen-based company has already been boosted by the surge in online retailing, with revenues jumping 25% in 2020 to $102 million, narrowing its pre-tax losses to $12.9 million. Around 121 million reviews had been submitted through Trustpilot by the end of 2020, while the company had close to 20,000 subscribers using its paid service.

Trustpilot hopes its stock-market debut will give it a valuation of around £1 billion ($1.4 billion), according to a person familiar with the matter.

“With ecommerce making it more difficult for consumers to know where to place their trust and for businesses to earn it, Trustpilot is well positioned to facilitate the growth of the trust economy for years to come,” the company’s chairman Timothy Weller said in the statement announcing the intended IPO.

Chief executive Peter Holten Mühlmann said: “Today is a significant landmark in our development. We believe that an IPO of the business will allow us to continue the momentum of recent years, providing a platform to deliver new products to more geographies, and succeed in our vision to become a universal symbol of trust.”

Trustpilot’s plan to IPO in London is a boost for the UK’s main stock exchange, which has lost out in recent months to New York and Amsterdam when it comes to fashionable new listings.

New York has been at the centre of the boom in special-purpose acquisition companies – or SPACs – and is where the world’s biggest tech stocks are traded. Amsterdam has also attracted SPACs and has taken a growing share of European stock trading after Brexit.

Trustpilot plans a free float of at least 25% of shares. An over-allotment option could make another 15% available.

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Rising remote work is upping job inequality in European capitals and ‘scarring’ some sectors, says OECD report

Paris
The expansion of remote working has led to labor inequalities in major European capitals.

  • An report by the OECD and Indeed warned that remote working may aggravate labor inequality. 
  • Analyzing job postings for major European capitals, experts said the service sector may be scarred.
  • The percentage of remote job postings is increasing but the job market has still not recovered.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Remote working options have allowed many companies to keep going during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies even thriving as a result. However, this hasn’t been possible in all sectors with retail, hospitality, and healthcare among the most affected.

The expansion of remote working has led to labor inequalities in major European capitals including London, Paris, Madrid, and Berlin. Unemployment in the UK hit its highest level in five years last month and job offers have been harder to come by in all the cities and their countries. Meanwhile, remote jobs have thrived.

Sundar Pichai
Google plans to try and accommodate remote working indefinitely.

This is one of the major findings published in a report on remote working in European capitals, co-authored by OECD economist Lukas Kleine-Rueschkamp and the Indeed job portal’s chief research economist for the MENA area Pawel Adrjan.

Using data from the Indeed portal, they said: “Labour markets in these cities are being pulled apart in early 2021, with postings for higher-paid jobs performing better than those for lower-paid service jobs.”

Remote working as a factor of inequality

“The move to remote work is greater and more persistent in these cities than in other places and may be long-lasting,” the report said.

A survey conducted in January by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) found that just one in 10 companies expected their employees to return to the office after the pandemic.

Major companies have recently extended their remote working policies, with Google planning to try and accommodate remote working indefinitely.

“Cities such as London have already experienced population declines,” Kleine-Rueschkamp and Adrjan added. They said that although it was unlikely that living in a major European capital would not have its perks after the pandemic, “the trends COVID-19 has initiated might weaken their appeal.”

Remote working does appear to be much more prevalent in major cities than in the rest of the country. Remote work increased 7.3% higher in Berlin than in the rest of Germany, and 5.4% more in Madrid than the rest of Spain.

london street
The report warned of the consequences of further decline in European capitals.

Paris and London had smaller disparities but they were still notable. Remote working growth was 4% higher in Paris than in the whole of France, and 2.4% higher in London than the rest of the UK.

Remote job offers previously constituted 5% of the overall workforce in Madrid in 2020 but stood at 15.7% a year later. In the rest of Spain, the rate has increased from 4% to 10.4%.

The report attributes this phenomenon to the fact that “postings in occupations suitable for working at home, like tech, finance, law, and marketing, are most prevalent in big cities.” In comparison, the service sector is heavily affected by remote working and could be “scarred for a long time,” especially in London and Paris.

Fewer jobs available than before the pandemic

The OECD report revealed that job markets in European capitals had been seriously hit by the pandemic. London was the worst affected, with 41% fewer vacancies at the end of January 2021 compared to February 2020.

Paris and Madrid both had around 25% fewer vacancies than before the pandemic, while Berlin had 8% fewer. Paris was the only instance where the capital was worse affected than the rest of the country.

The report warned of the consequences of further decline in European capitals, as their economic growth tended to outstrip the rest of the country. In the years prior to the pandemic, “GDP per capita jumped more than 12% in these cities, almost 3 percentage points faster than national growth.”

At the height of the pandemic-related job market contractions, however, capitals were affected more than the rest of the country.

Job openings in London were 57% lower than before the pandemic, 48% lower in Madrid, 42% lower in Paris, and 26% lower in Berlin. The report noted that “for much of 2020, job openings in these cities were between five and 15 percentage points lower” than the rest of the country.

The report said large cities would “a difficult adjustment period for some urban workers,” adding that “the pandemic’s labor market effects may be temporary for some sectors, but, for others, they may last.”

Policymakers should support displaced workers and those at risk of redundancy by offering comprehensive skills development strategies tailored to local conditions,” the researchers concluded.

Read the original article on Business Insider

British Airways has reportedly sent its most iconic jet since the Concorde to be scrapped. See inside the plane that shuttled VIP flyers between New York and London.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
A British Airways Airbus A318 aircraft.

  • British Airways is scrapping the all-business class jet that only served the London-New York route.
  • The Airbus A318 stretched only eight rows and was fitted with luxurious lie-flat seats. 
  • The flight used London’s smaller City Airport to directly connect the Big Apple with London’s financial district. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

British Airways just dealt a blow to its premium customers as the airline is scrapping the all-business class aircraft formerly offered on the billion-dollar London-New York flagship route, Aviation Week reported.

The VIP-configured Airbus A318 aircraft was the only one of its kind in the British Airways fleet when its retirement was announced in July. The service boasted enhanced convenience and luxury to the business travelers that frequented the route and, with capacity for only 32 passengers, it was among the closest to a private jet in the airline world. 

British Airways used the service to solidify its place as the route’s go-to premium carrier, replacing the Concorde as the crown jewel of the airline’s transatlantic offering. The smaller and more exclusive A318 service catered to the airline’s top spenders with a direct link between New York City and London’s financial district. 

It was also a bucket list flight for many aviation enthusiasts since the A318 was already itself a rare aircraft on which to fly, let alone on a transatlantic journey and in an all-business class configuration. But the aircraft is no longer in British Airways’ fleet after being sent to be dismantled in the Netherlands, according to Aviation Week.

Take a look inside the most exclusive aircraft to connect New York and London since the Concorde.

Most people traveling between New York and London on British Airways before the pandemic found themselves either flying on a Boeing 747-400…

British Airways Boeing 747
A British Airways Boeing 747-400 at JFK Airport.

Or Boeing 777-200.

British Airways Boeing 777
A British Airways Boeing 777.

The two make up the majority of flights flying the $1 billion route between the two economic hubs but most don’t know about the third aircraft that flew British Airways’ top clients: the Airbus A318.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
A British Airways Airbus A318 aircraft.

Read More: These 10 global flight routes are where airlines made the most money in 2018 and 2019

The smallest member of the Airbus A320 family, the A318 was a commercial flop for Airbus that only saw a handful of customers, mostly in Europe.

Airbus A318
An Airbus A318 aircraft in house colors.

The aircraft is out of production and though British Airways was among the last and smallest operators of the type, it made the aircraft an icon in transatlantic aviation by flying it between New York and London.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
A British Airways Airbus A318 aircraft.

While the thought of flying on a short-haul aircraft across the Atlantic may seem unappealing, there’s a catch to this aircraft in that it’s configured in an all-business class configuration.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Only 32 seats make up that sole premium cabin that’s spread out across eight rows.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

And though small in size, this A318 had no shortage of comfort as all rows featured business class seats with fully lie-flat capabilities. These seats are not found on similar aircraft.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Amenities and features at each seat standard for business class included a plush pillow and blanket kit from The White Company….

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Amenity kit from The White Company…

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Foldable tray table…

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Personal reading lamp…

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Literature holder…

British Airways A318 Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

110v AC power outlet…

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Coat hangar…

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

And adjustable headrest.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Apple iPads were also distributed in lieu of seat-back entertainment screens.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Each row also had multiple windows for better views of the crossing during the day.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

Though the standard in business class is now enclosed private suites which the A318 didn’t offer, a small divider separated the paired seats for an additional morsel of privacy.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour

Only three flight attendants serviced the passengers, providing a full business class meal service and drinks for the 3,000-nautical mile journey.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

The seats were controlled via the armrest, with numerous customizable positions.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour

The lie-flat capability of the seats was ideal for the evening red-eye flight from New York to London, allowing business travelers to get a comfortable full night’s rest and head straight to work or meetings the next morning.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

British Airways frequently saw passengers arriving in New York and London only to return within the next 24 hours, with the near downtown-to-downtown service allowing for a quick and luxurious in-and-out of the world’s top business centers.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

While not the most modern business class product, the service as a whole made the Airbus A318 the aircraft of choice for those who could afford it when flying between London and New York.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour

And with only eight rows and 32 seats, the aircraft felt more like a private jet than a commercial airliner. Case in point, the flight before my visit in March 2020 only had five passengers on board.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Inside a British Airways Airbus A318.

As the aircraft couldn’t make it from London to New York nonstop – even with the reduced passenger load – it made a stop in Shannon, Ireland for fuel, where it also cleared US Customs and Border Protection.

US Customs and Border Patrol immigration terrorism refugees
A US Customs and Border Protection agent.

Upon landing in New York, passengers onboard BA1 arrived in the terminal as they would if it were a domestic flight, with no further passport checks required.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
Terminal 7 at JFK International Airport.

British Airways only had one A318 in its fleet, G-EUNA, which solely flew this route.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
A British Airways Airbus A318 aircraft.

Designed with business travelers in mind, the aircraft flew every day of the week except Saturdays.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
A British Airways Airbus A318 aircraft.

It was intended to fill the gap left by the Concorde in 2003, with the A318’s first flight occurring in 2009.

Concorde
A British Airways Concorde aircraft.

G-EUNA flew the flag on British Airways’ flagship route wearing either the flight number BA1 or BA2 – depending on which direction it was flying – for 11 years before the coronavirus pandemic ended its tenure permanently in July.

British Airways Airbus A318 JFK Tour
A British Airways Airbus A318 aircraft.

Though not as fast as Concorde, the service was nearly every bit as exclusive, earning the nickname “Concorde’s baby sister.”

British Airways Airbus A318 Tour
A British Airways Airbus A318 aircraft.

Read the original article on Business Insider