In the battle of the browsers, the Facebook app takes an unlikely 3rd place
Facebook’s mobile app has gotten so popular that its in-app browser accounts for as much as 13% of mobile web browsing in some areas, according to data collected by mobile analytics platform Mixpanel.
And, if the data is anything to go by, in-app mobile browsers are becoming an important weapon in big-tech’s battle for attention.
Mobile browsing is a whole different ball game
While exact figures vary, analysts agree that Google’s Chrome browser -- a consumer favorite -- dominates desktop internet browsing with 57% market share (the next-most popular, Safari, has 14%; Firefox, 6%; Internet Explorer, 5.9%; and Opera, 3.7%).
But, Mixpanel’s research shows that mobile browser usage depends mostly on the phone’s default web browser, not consumer choice.
So, since more smartphones run on Apple’s iOS (65.5%) than Google’s Android (34.46%), use of Apple’s Safari browser tops Google’s Chrome on mobile with 58.06% market share compared to 32.48%.
But the bronze medal doesn’t go to Firefox or Opera...
It goes to Facebook, with 8.82% market share. That means that browsers run by Google, Apple and Facebook account for 99.36% of mobile browsing, and all other browsers combined account for less than 1%.
If you’re thinking, “Wow, I had no idea Facebook made its own browser,” you’re not crazy.
Facebook doesn’t make a standalone browser: It just runs an in-app browser for users to access the web via Facebook’s app.
So why does this matter?
Mobile internet browsing exceeded desktop browsing in 2016 and continues to increase. So as Google, Apple, and Facebook compete for attention, browsers are an important way to keep users engaged.
When Facebook keeps users in its app (and not in default browsers like Chrome or Safari) it collects more data, which helps it serve more ads, which brings Mark Zuckerberg one step closer to immortality.
The man runs on link juice
700k businesses of all shapes and sizes are fueling rapid growth of Airbnb for Work
Airbnb’s ‘for-work’ rentals have grown to account for 15% of the platform’s overall bookings. Although many users think of Airbnb as a platform for vacation, 700k businesses actually now book with Airbnb for Work (recently rebranded from Airbnb for Business, we assume because Airbnb4b doesn’t have a great ring to it).
Making things work for startups and corporate giants
Airbnb launched its Airbnb for Work program in 2014, hoping to capitalize on the $1T business-travel market.
To lure travelers away from traditional hotels, Airbnb allowed businesses to offer customized travel parameters on company-specific pages.
By offering perks geared toward companies of different sizes (collaborative workspaces for SMBs and locations close to subsidiary offices for Fortune 500s), Airbnb reels in 40% enterprise companies with 5k+ employees and 40% small businesses with fewer than 250 workers.
Not a bad spread…
Business is good business
Airbnb for Work’s popularity increased 3x from 2015 to 2016, then tripled again the next year -- helping the company reach its first full year of profitability last year.
With more listings than the world’s 5 largest hotel chains combined, Airbnb is now valued at more than $31B. But, as the company looks toward a planned IPO next year, it hopes to continue getting down to business by increasing the volume of corporate bookings.
Boston looks to surpass NYC as the 2nd-largest VC funding hub this year
Crunchbase reports that Boston is on pace to take back the number 2 spot on the list of the largest US startup funding hubs.
After years of trailing New York City in total annual venture investment, 2018 is shaping up to be Boston’s year, with VC funding totaling $5.2B in the Boston metro area so far this year (about 15% higher than NYC).
Investors are picking up what biotech is puttin’ down
Boston’s rich biotech industry deserves the majority of the credit, with companies like mRNA-drug developer Moderna Therapeutics bringing in in massive funding rounds ($625m across two rounds). And, of course, having MIT as a local never hurts…
Other Beantown success stories include online prescription service PillPack, recently acquired for $1B by Amazon, and CarGurus, which went public last October and is now valued around $4.7B.
Boston has also seen a massive influx of “supergiant” venture funds (raising $100m+) in 2018 -- 15 Massachusetts companies have raised supergiant rounds this year alone (compared to 12 in all of 2017).
And it ain’t just Boston feeling the influx
People are flat out gettin’ tired of the Silicon Valley grind, and firms and startups alike are looking elsewhere to set up shop.
According to Dylan Morris, a partner at the Boston and SV-based VC firm CRV, this “Midwest migration” is only sweetening the VC pot across the US.
Liquor and beer are in the CLEAR: biometrics firm now provides alcohol transactions
Clear, the relatively new biometrics company you may have seen (or used) at your local airport, is breaking the concessions industry wide open, implementing a simultaneous fingerprint ID verification and payment method for concessions at sports stadiums -- most importantly, booze.
For now, it’s only at Seattle’s CenturyLink football stadium, and Safeco Field, home to the Seattle Mariners, but, pending its success, there’s a good chance this 2-in-1 system starts clearing the path to all sports stadiums.
Sounds like a grand slam idea
Sports fans like to drink. And the only thing sports fans arguably like more than cheaper beer, is a faster way to get it.
According to a 2011 study, 48% of fans consumed alcohol at sporting events, and some 5k people at regular season NFL games left legally drunk by the end of them.
In other words, we give it one year before every sports fan enters a stadium wallet-free.
Breaking the glass bottle ceiling
Clear is available at 38 airports and stadiums nationwide, including 15 teams across the NFL, MLB, and MLS circuits, but the Seahawks and Mariners deal marks the first time in the US that biometrics have combined for age verification and payment.
Last year, the biometrics company raised $15m from T. Rowe Price for exactly this goal, and now they’re seeing it come to life.