EMAILED ON September 3, 2019 BY Conor Grant

Happy Back-to-Labor Day!

Just because you haven’t gone in to work in days doesn’t mean business news took a vacation. Here are some highlights you may have missed: 

Cooks on demand are the newest members of the gig economy

Food delivery workers were original members of the on-demand workforce, but now startups — including Pared and Instawork — are connecting line cooks with gigs at restaurants that need skilled chefs at the last minute. 

There’s a tourism boom in Georgia 

No, not that Georgia — we’re talking about the tiny European country, where tourism increased from 100k visitors in 1996 to 6.5m in 2016. How? The post-Soviet government attracted English teachers, issued more travel visas, and secured World Bank funding.

As high-flying expectations crash, investors say: ‘Hold the drone’

In the past decade, 25 drone startups have closed their doors — despite the fact that VCs invested more than $2.6B in drone startups between 2012 and 2019. What went wrong? Supply chain issues and stiff regulation grounded most companies before they could take off.

Well-to-do parents are giving rise to Slumber Party Inc.

More than 20 different companies across the US sell high-end slumber party packages to parents. Companies with names like “WonderTent” provide everything from personalized eye masks to organic cotton bedding and charge from $300 to thousands of dollars. 

Manny Pacquiao launches a cryptocurrency 

The Filipino boxer-politician-entrepreneur’s new cryptocurrency, the “pac,” will enable fans to buy merchandise by exchanging secure digital tokens. Pacquiao isn’t the first celebrity to try something strange to monetize his fanbase: See the Kylie Jenner app or the Jeremy Renner app

Google will pay at least $150m to settle an FTC investigation

The Federal Trade Commission found that YouTube (which is owned by Google’s parent, Alphabet) was guilty of violating children’s privacy law by targeting minors with manipulative ads. 

‘Worker deserts’ are popping up across the US

With unemployment rates across America at historic lows, businesses in areas of low population growth — like Iowa and New Hampshire — are struggling to find enough employees to continue operating. Some Iowa businesses are moving operations out of state where it’s easier to hire.

Kid-focused ride-sharing companies are entering the fast lane

Zum, which raised $44m in February, is expanding to 6 new cities (San Diego, Miami, DC, Phoenix, Dallas, and Chicago) as competition heats up between startups such as Kango, HopSkipDrive, Bubbl, and GoKart to become parents’ first choice for carpooling.