One day, a 3,700-trail may stretch across the United States, between the bustle of Washington, DC, and wide, quiet lakes of Washington State.It might traverse 12 states—Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington, plus the District of Columbia—and more than 125 existing trails.It might be the sort of thing someone takes a few months to complete.Which should be easy enough for a lot of people: As it’s envisioned right now, the Great American Rail Trail should be within 50 miles of 50 million American’s homes.Belanger is a trail planner at the Rails to Trails Conservancy, a DC nonprofit whose goal is to transform unused rail corridors into trails, where people can bike or walk or stroll.(The release was accompanied by parties in places like Chadron, Nebraska’s section of the Cowboy Trail, McDonald, Pennsylvania’s slice of the Panhandle Trail, and Casper, Wyoming’s Casper Rail Trail.)
We've recently had some odd conversations in the CNET offices.Laura Hautala, our privacy reporter, blurted out an assessment of the cost of skydiving lessons.Abrar Al-Heeti, a general assignment reporter, described getting kicked out of a Casper mattress store in a suburb of Chicago after her brother's kids went wild in it.They were part of an informal study CNET conducted to see if we could get Facebook to deliver ads based on discussions we had when our phones were in earshot.The reason for our test: The long-running and hard-to-kill conspiracy theory that Facebook is listening to your conversations through the mic on your phone and then using this overheard dialogue to send you targeted ads.But it turned out the reporter getting the Casper ad had visited a medical website after a back ache caused by a poor night's sleep.
Latest development in long-running lawsuit over electronic device slurpingCivil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have pushed this week for a US judge to declare the search of mobile phones at America's borders to be unconstitutional.In a request for summary judgment [PDF] in a case that was launched back in 2017, the organizations have asked Massachusetts federal judge Denise Casper to agree that border agents must first get a warrant before they are allowed to take away someone's electronic device and search it."The Supreme Court's border-related decisions support the conclusion that border searches of electronic devices require a warrant," argues the filing.The case has been brought by 11 individuals – 10 US citizens and one permanent resident – who represent a diverse group of Americans including journalists, artists, engineers, students, a business owner and a military vet.Several are Muslim; others are people of color.
Online mattress seller Casper made a notable entrance into the smart home market earlier this year with the Glow, a smartphone-controlled bedside light with some nifty dimming features and gesture controls.For a company that had never made a consumer electronics device before, it was a surprisingly high-quality gadget.Casper has quietly raised the price of the Glow by nearly 50 percent: it’s now $129 for a single unit, up from $89.“Maintaining the highest quality product and experience for our customers remains our priority.This meant having to increase the price on Glow as the costs associated with making the product have gone up since our last production run,” a Casper spokesperson told The Verge in a statement.In other words, Casper appears to have priced the Glow incorrectly at the outset, or something unexpected must have occurred in its production process that is pushing up its manufacturing costs.
The online mattress company Casper has expanded its sleep-centric product line to include everything from bedside lights to duvets to multiple types of mattresses.Instead of having to visit a mattress store in-person and negotiate with aggressive salespeople, those in the market for a new bed could simply order one on Casper's website and have it shipped (in a compact cardboard box) right to their front doorsteps.However, as Casper's co-founder and Chief Product Officer Jeff Chapin told Business Insider in a recent interview, the mattress world caught on quickly to the experience the startup was offering, and many copied its playbook."Now there's like 50 companies that sell one mattress online," Chapin said.We have to adapt to that and find a new value proposition.A focus on better sleep has broadened the possibilities for Casper, beyond selling the one, standard mattress it offered when it first launched.
This Saturday, April 20, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is making its debut with the first UFC match ever to be hosted in St. Petersburg, Russia.UFC Fight Night 149 will be the first event of its kind in this historic city and the second such event in the whole of Russia, with veteran heavyweights Alistair Overeem (44-17-0) and Alexey Oleynik (57-11-1) going toe to toe in the octagon.If you know where to look, and the timing is right, you can actually watch this fight online for free .If you’re looking for a way to stream it online, then ESPN Plus is where you’ll find it, and new subscribers can sign up for a 7-day trial and watch the event for free.The ESPN Plus streaming service was rolled out last year and ESPN now holds the exclusive broadcasting rights for UFC, so this is the new home for all the intense and bloody MMA action of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.Russian native Alexey Oleynik (who also fought in the UFC’s first event in the country last year), one of the strongest grapplers in the world of MMA, is entering this Fight Night event after two successive wins.
Ex-Facebook employees started Slow Ventures with personal funds in 2011 to invest in promising seed-stage companies.Today the firm announced its $165 million fourth fund in addition to its first $55 million fund for later stage investments.According to a blog post announcing the news, partners Dave Morin and Scott Marlette will not invest further but will continue to support the firm's existing portfolio companies.The firm's previous investments include Casper, Postmates, Brandless, and Wag.Slow Ventures, the venture capital firm started by Facebook alumni, is spreading its bets with a new fund to invest in larger companies even as it slims down its roster of dealmakers.Slow also said it has raised its fourth fund focusing on seed stage startups for $165 million — the firm's largest to date.
In 2011, a group of early Facebook employees pooled together some capital, $1.25 million to be exact, and created a venture firm based on the idea that developing ideas and forming successful companies takes time.Slow Ventures, they called it, went on to back some of the buzziest unicorns at the seed-stage, including Slack, Casper, Postmates and Airtable.Today, Slow is announcing its fourth big fundraise: $220 million for two funds.Specifically, the firm has attracted $165 million for its fourth flagship seed fund and an additional $55 million for its first follow-on fund.“With our first Opportunity Fund, we’re excited to be able to invest additional capital in existing Slow portfolio companies as they scale, while also now being able to invest for the first time in more mature growth-stage companies that we missed earlier on,” the partners wrote in the fund announcement.Slow co-founder Dave Morin, who helped build the Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect during his tenure at the social media giant, and Scott Marlette, who joined Slow in 2016 after co-founding GoodRx, will be taking a step back from the fund.
In 2007, Emily Heyward, JB Osborne, and Simon Endres began their own entrepreneurial journey began and they left their corporate jobs to start a brand design agency called Red Antler.They not only believed in the power of branding to drive growth and scale, but they also wanted to work exclusively with startups.Since then, Red Antler has become an industry powerhouse designing and launching brand identities for companies, like Casper and Brandless, into the world.We spoke with Emily, Red Antler’s Chief Brand Officer, to learn more about why they love collaborating with founders, what entrepreneurs can expect from partnering with them, and more.Plus: Read Emily’s guest post about how branding drives success for early-stage companies.Why Emily and her co-founders started Red Antler:
A total of 147 companies were deemed unicorns, named after the mythical creature because of their rarity, in the first quarter of 2019, according to a MoneyTree report from PwC and industry watcher CB Insights released on Tuesday.Ten new companies entered the list of firms with valuations of a $1 billion or more, according to the report, including mattress startup Casper and cosmetics company Glossier.Unicorns reached a combined value of $582 billion in the first quarter, the highest aggregate value ever recorded.The growing population of unicorns comes as a wave of tech companies are expected to go public.Lyft, a ride-sharing company, went public last month.The report found that IPO activity dipped in the first quarter.
The dating app maker today announced the launch of Bumble Mag, a lifestyle publication it produced in partnership with Hearst that offers stories and advice about dating, careers, friendship and more to Bumble’s over 50 million users.On the cover of the 100-page premiere issue is Lauren Chan, a fashion entrepreneur behind the plus-size workwear line called Henning.Inside, the magazine is organized into four sections that align with the Bumble app’s different modes: “You First,” “You + BFFs,” “You + Dating” and “You + Bizz.” Here, readers will find celebrity interviews, features, advice, product guides, “daily mantras,” and more.Contributors in this month’s debut issue include Bumble advisor and the star of the brand’s first Super Bowl campaign, Serena Williams; writers, actresses and Bumble Creative Directors Erin and Sara Foster; Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine; jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer; and Away luggage co-founder Jen Rubio.Airbnb has Airbnb Magazine, which arrives in the mail; Unilever’s Dollar Shave Club runs Mel Magazine; mattress brand Casper created Woolly Magazine in partnership with McSweeney’s; luggage brand Away has Here Magazine; Uber has rolled out several print magazines, including Vehicle, Arriving Now, and Momentum; and even Facebook launched a print magazine, Grow, aimed at business leaders.For Bumble, the magazine offers the company a way to introduce its brand to new customers as well as extend its relationship with existing users out in the real world.
They come from a variety of backgrounds, but the CMOs of Kraft Heinz, Hulu and Casper stay current on industry trends with Adweek at their side.As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, we’re talking with brand marketers about what Adweek has meant to them in their careers.
This week, direct-to-consumer mattress brand Casper reached unicorn status (with a valuation of $1.1 billion) with a $100 million round of funding, making it the third DTC brand this month to do so.The investment is going toward more brick-and-mortar stores—the company currently has 23 stores—and expanding internationally, particularly in Asia, Bloomberg reported.According to a statement from the company, Casper reached $400 million in revenue in 2018.The funding news came a day after Reuters reported that Casper was reportedly looking for underwriters for an IPO.“We are in the very early chapters of our growth story as demand for Casper products continues to expand across the globe,” said Philip Krim, Casper co-founder and CEO in a statement.“Today’s financing accelerates Casper’s vision to become the world’s largest end-to-end sleep company.”
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This week we had the full gang around, with Connie Loizos in the studio with Kate Clark and our guest Barrett Cohn from Scenic Advisement.That shook things up a bit, but it was far better to have it break as we were getting our notes together rather than after we kicked off.Lyft is going out at $72 per share, the top-end of its boosted range.The firms fully diluted $24 billion valuation (give or take) will be supported by around $2.4 billion in new capital, giving Lyft fresh runway to continue its expensive growth strategy.Next, we turned to podcast industry stalwart Casper.
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We’ve seen some amazing Airbnb rentals over the years, from the wallet-challenging luxurious to the jaw-droppingly cool.The accommodation site’s most popular listing globally slips neatly into the latter category, offering guests a comfy stay in a quirky dome-topped cabin.Airbnb revealed its most popular listing this week as the company celebrated half a billion guest arrivals globally since its launch in 2008.The Dome has actually been Airbnb’s most visited listing for a number of years now, with guests attracted by its offbeat design, cosy interior, and secluded location.The semi-rustic cabin features a loft beneath the geodesic dome, inside which you’ll find a queen-size Casper mattress that should ensure a decent slumber.A second couch/bed on the main floor means the place can sleep three guests.
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Direct-to-consumer mattress business Casper has secured a $100 million Series D investment from existing investors Target, NEA and Norwest Venture Partners.The fresh infusion of capital values Casper at $1.1 billion, Bloomberg reports.We’ve reached out to Casper to confirm the numbers.Casper posted $373 million in net revenue in 2018, according to leaked financials published by The Information this week.The company, of course, isn’t profitable, with losses reaching $64 million last year.According to its projections, Casper will become profitable on an EBITDA basis in 2019 and is expecting revenues of $556 million this year.