Redesigning a new way to do business | Calamatta Cuschieri

Dow Jones close higher, but financial and health-care sector slide into negative territory. Airbnb Inc. expands into hotel and luxury hotel, whilst Nissan and DeNa will begin testing a self-driving taxi service.

Airbnb Inc.  is adding more hotels to its site, along with a loyalty program and new tiers of listings that include luxury and more budget-friendly offerings.
Airbnb Inc. is adding more hotels to its site, along with a loyalty program and new tiers of listings that include luxury and more budget-friendly offerings.

Dow Jones closes higher, but financial and health-care sector slide into negative territory

The Dow and the S&P 500 closed higher on Thursday following upbeat data on the labor market which may have momentarily offset investor jitters over climbing inflation and rising bond yields. But stocks ended the session well off their intraday highs as financial and health-care shares slid into negative territory in the afternoon.

Dow Jones rose 0.7% after being up more than 300 points earlier. The S&P 500 added 2.63 points, or 0.1%, to 2,703.96.  The Nasdaq Composite Index was the lone loser, falling 0.1%, to 7,210.09.

Airbnb seeks to adds more hotel listings, loyalty program

Airbnb Inc., looking to solidify sales ahead of an initial public offering expected as soon as next year, is adding more hotels to its site, along with a loyalty program and new tiers of listings that include luxury and more budget-friendly offerings.

At an event in San Francisco on Thursday, co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said that the start-up is making it easier for more hotels to list by expanding the type and quality of its listings. The company is also introducing four new rental categories, hiring people to vet higher-end listings and launching a loyalty program later in the year. Airbnb said in a release, the four new categories of listings will give hosts "an unprecedented level of detail in the travel industry" to showcase their properties.

In August of last year, Chesky tweeted that Airbnb had listings for 15,000 boutique hotels, about 10 months after introducing them to the platform. Earlier this month, Airbnb announced a partnership with SiteMinder, a hotel distribution platform used by more than 28,000 hotels around the world.

By expanding its listings and breaking out categories, Airbnb is taking a page from major hotel companies and online travel agencies that offer different brands and price points. In turn, that could expand the start-up's customer base as it heads toward an IPO in the next few years.

"We want to have tighter host standards. Groups that provide mass-produced hospitality, who don't offer belonging, who don't' care about what we care about — they don't meet our standards, and they find somewhere else to do their business” said Brian Chesky.

Nissan and DeNa look to launch their autonomous taxi services

Automaker Nissan and tech firm DeNA will test out a self-driving taxi service in Japan.

The automaker will begin public field tests of its Easy Ride service in Yokohama next month, becoming among the first major automakers anywhere to test ride-hailing software developed in-house, using its own fleet of self-driving electric cars.

The cars will contain a tablet that shows a list of recommended destinations and the test participants can communicate through text or voice with Easy Ride's mobile app to choose where they want to go.

Nissan and DeNA look to launch their autonomous taxi service to the wider public in the early 2020s. Prior to a wider release, Nissan said both firms would look to develop expanded service routes and the provision of support for multiple languages.

Uber has tried to roll out its own self-driving taxi in the U.S. The company struck a deal to buy up to 24,000 autonomous cars from Volvo in November last year.

According to research, driverless "robotaxis" such as Uber's could slash fares by as much as 80% compared to today's prices.

But the nascent autonomous vehicle space has become competitive. Asian ride-hailing competitors like China's Didi Chuxing, Singapore's Grab and India's Ola have intensified competition with the Silicon Valley firm. Many are exploring their own versions of a driverless taxi service.

On Tuesday, Sony announced its own push into the ride-hailing market with its own artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform in Japan. The Japanese tech conglomerate said it would partner with Daiwa Motor Transportation and five other local taxi firms to build the AI-based service.

Uber CEO Khosrowshahi meanwhile met with regulators in Tokyo earlier this week, signaling plans to strike partnerships in the Japanese taxi industry.

Earlier this month, Didi Chuxing and Japanese tech giant SoftBank said they would launch a ride-hailing service, highlighting the former's ambition to expand across global markets.


This article was issued by Linda De Luca, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.