Connect with us

International

South Korea’s OHouse lands $182M to add AR to home improvement app

During the worst days of the pandemic, when people were stuck at home and starving for some form of entertainment beyond streaming yet another TV series,…

Published

on

During the worst days of the pandemic, when people were stuck at home and starving for some form of entertainment beyond streaming yet another TV series, many turned to DIY home improvement projects. With the home now a place for work, school and leisure all at once, the DIY home improvement market has grown so significantly that globally, it’s expected to reach $514.9 billion by 2028-end, up from $333.7 billion in 2021.

South Korean startup Bucketplace, which operates a home decorating and interior app OHouse, is looking to continue capitalizing on that trend with its most recent $182 million Series D round, the startup’s co-founder and CEO Jay Lee said on Monday in an interview with TechCrunch.

As a later-stage company, Bucketplace will use the new injection of funding to accelerate its growth in South Korea and enter into new markets, such as Japan, Southeast Asia and the U.S., Lee told TechCrunch. Bucketplace also intends to hire more tech specialists to help develop an augmented reality (AR) feature to its platform to help consumers visualize products like furniture or décor in their own homes, Bucketplace says.

The funding comes just a few months after Bucketplace acquired Singapore-based online furniture platform HipVan, and Lee said that the company will continue to seek acquisition opportunities and strategic partnerships both in Korea and overseas markets.

Image Credits: OHouse app

“Eight years ago, OHouse was simply a community of people sharing interior design content,” Lee said.

When the app launched in 2016, interior designers and home improvement hobbyists could post photos of their homes to share their remodeling experiences. Users would then peruse a wide selection of posts and purchase items they liked directly from the app. Its business model is similar to Houzz, which also have a slew of online showrooms.

Now the startup aims to offer a variety of services that encompass almost everything involved in the residential space, ranging from home improvement, home repairs and maintenance to furniture delivery, moving services and even a laundry pickup service, Lee told TechCrunch.

Last June, OHouse launched a next-day furniture delivery service, enabling users to choose the date and time they want to receive the furniture. Additionally, it provides services that help users to connect with more than 5,000 home remodeling firms.

Lee didn’t say when he hopes to release OHouse’s AR feature, but it will involve users uploading photos of their homes to see how a piece of furniture would look within the space. If users want to buy the furniture, then they will be able to just click on it, which will bring them to the sellers’ website, said Lee.

The startup appears to be growing rapidly, with 10 million users visiting the platform each month across the app and website, the company says. Bucketplace also claims that OHouse has been downloaded more than 20 million times in South Korea.

Lee declined to comment on Bucketplace’s valuation, but according to sources familiar with the situation, Bucketplace raised the Series D round at a post-money valuation of around $1.4 billion. The latest round, which brings its total raised to about $261 million, nearly doubled the eight-year-old company’s valuation. Bucketplace last raised $70 million in November 2020, at a valuation of approximately $890 million, as reported.

Investors in the Series D round include SoftBank Ventures Asia, Singapore’s Vertex Growth, a VC backed by sovereign wealth fund Temasek, Bond Capital, BRV Capital Management, Korea Development Bank, IMM Investment and Mirae Asset Capital.

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Sex work is real work: Global COVID-19 recovery needs to include sex workers

Societally, we need to recognize that sex workers have agency and deserve the same respect, dignity and aid as any other person selling their labour.

Published

on

Globally, sex workers have been left to fend for themselves during the pandemic with little to no support from the government. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

During the pandemic, business shifted from in person to work-from-home, which quickly became the new normal. However, it left many workers high and dry, especially those with less “socially acceptable” occupations.

The pandemic has adversely impacted sex workers globally and substantially increased the precariousness of their profession. And public health measures put in place made it almost impossible for sex workers to provide any in-person service.

Although many people depend on sex work for survival, its criminalization and policing stigmatizes sex workers.

Research shows that globally, sex workers have been left behind and in most cases excluded from government economic support initiatives and social policies. There needs to be an intersectional approach to global COVID-19 recovery that considers everyone’s lived realities. We propose policy recommendations that treat sex work as decent work and that centre around the lived experiences and rights of those in the profession.

Sex work and the pandemic

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently reported that apart from income-loss, the pandemic has increased pre-existing inequalities for sex workers.

In a survey conducted in Eastern and Southern Africa, the UNFPA found that during the pandemic, 49 per cent of sex workers experienced police violence (including sexual violence) while 36 per cent reported arbitrary arrests. The same survey reported that more than 50 per cent of respondents experienced food and housing crises.

Lockdowns and border closures adversely impacted Thailand’s tourism industry which relies partially on the labour of sex workers.


Read more: Sex workers are criminalized and left without government support during the coronavirus pandemic


In the Asia Pacific, sex workers reported having limited access to contraceptives and lubricants along with reduced access to harm reduction resources. Lockdowns also disrupted STI or HIV testing services, limiting sex workers’ access to necessary healthcare.

In North America, sex workers have been excluded from the government’s recovery response. And many began offering online services to sustain themselves.

A woman stands backlit next to a dimly lit bus that reads 'Thailand' with green lighting.
Sex workers stand in a largely shut-down red light area in Bangkok, Thailand on March 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Government vs. community response

Globally, sex workers have been left to fend for themselves during the pandemic with little to no support from the government. But communities themselves have been rallying.

Elene Lam, founder of Butterfly, an Asian migrant sex organization in Canada, talks about the resilience of sex wokers during the pandemic.

She says organizations like the Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform are working in collaboration with Amnesty International to mobilize income support and resources to help sex workers in Canada.

Organizations in the United Kingdom, Germany, India and Spain have also set up emergency support funds. And some sex worker organizations have developed community-specific resources for providing services both in person and online during the pandemic.

Global recovery needs to include sex workers

The International Labour Organization’s “Decent Work Agenda” emphasizes productive employment and decent working conditions as being the driving force behind poverty reduction.

Sociologist Cecilia Benoit explains that sex work often becomes a “livelihood strategy” in the face of income and employment instability. She says that like other personal service workers, sex workers also should be able to practice without any interference or violence.

In order to have an inclusive COVID-19 recovery for all, governments need to work to extend social guarantees to sex workers — so far they haven’t.

As pandemic restrictions disappear, it is crucial to ensure that everyone involved in sex work is protected under the law and has access to accountability measures.

A woman stands wearing a mask with a safety vest on in front of a collage of scantily clad women and a sign that reads 'nude women non stop'
A volunteer helps out at Zanzibar strip club during a low-barrier vaccination clinic for sex workers in Toronto in June 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Recommendations

As feminist researchers, we propose that sex work be brought under the broader agenda of decent work so that the people offering services are protected.

  1. Governments need to have a legal mandate for preventing sexual exploitation.

  2. Law enforcement staff need to be trained in better responding to the needs of sex workers. To intervene in and address situations of abuse or violence is critical to ensure workplace safety and harm reduction.

  3. Awareness and educational campaigns need to focus on destigmatizing sex work.

  4. Policy-makers need to incorporate intersectionality as a working principle in identifying and responding to the different axes of oppression and marginalization impacting LGBTQ+ and racialized sex workers.

  5. Engagement with sex workers and human rights organizations need to happen when designing aid support to ensure that an inclusive pathway for recovery is created.

  6. Globally, there needs to be a steady commitment towards destigmatizing sex workers and their services.

Despite the gradual waning of pandemic restrictions, sex workers continue to face the dual insecurity of social discrimination and loss of income support. Many are still finding it difficult to stay afloat and sustain themselves.

Societally, we need to recognize that sex workers have agency and deserve the same respect, dignity and aid as any other person selling their labour.

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

OU researchers award two NSF pandemic prediction and prevention projects

Two groups of researchers at the University of Oklahoma have each received nearly $1 million grants from the National Science Foundation as part of its…

Published

on

Two groups of researchers at the University of Oklahoma have each received nearly $1 million grants from the National Science Foundation as part of its Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention initiative, which focuses on fundamental research and capabilities needed to tackle grand challenges in infectious disease pandemics through prediction and prevention.

Credit: Photo provided by the University of Oklahoma.

Two groups of researchers at the University of Oklahoma have each received nearly $1 million grants from the National Science Foundation as part of its Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention initiative, which focuses on fundamental research and capabilities needed to tackle grand challenges in infectious disease pandemics through prediction and prevention.

To date, researchers from 20 institutions nationwide were selected to receive an NSF PIPP Award. OU is the only university to receive two grants to the same institution.

“The next pandemic isn’t a question of ‘if,’ but ‘when,’” said OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia. “Research at the University of Oklahoma is going to help society be better prepared and responsive to future health challenges.”

Next-Generation Surveillance

David Ebert, Ph.D., professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering in the Gallogly College of Engineering, is the principal investigator on one of the projects, which explores new ways of sharing, integrating and analyzing data using new and traditional data sources. Ebert is also the director of the Data Institute for Societal Challenges at OU, which applies OU expertise in data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data-enabled research to solving societal challenges.

While emerging pathogens can circulate among wild or domestic animals before crossing over to humans, the delayed response to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for new early detection methods, more effective data management, and integration and information sharing between officials in both public and animal health.

Ebert’s team, composed of experts in data science, computer engineering, public health, veterinary sciences, microbiology and other areas, will look to examine data from multiple sources, such as veterinarians, agriculture, wastewater, health departments, and outpatient and inpatient clinics, to potentially build algorithms to detect the spread of signals from one source to another. The team will develop a comprehensive animal and public health surveillance, planning and response roadmap that can be tailored to the unique needs of communities.

“Integrating and developing new sources of data with existing data sources combined with new tools for detection, localization and response planning using a One Health approach could enable local and state public health partners to respond more quickly and effectively to reduce illness and death,” Ebert said. “This planning grant will develop proof-of-concept techniques and systems in partnership with local, state and regional public health officials and create a multistate partner network and design for a center to prevent the next pandemic.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes One Health as an approach that bridges the interconnections between people, animals, plants and their shared environment to achieve optimal health outcomes.

Co-principal investigators on the project include Michael Wimberly, Ph.D., professor in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences; Jason Vogel, Ph.D., director of the Oklahoma Water Survey and professor in the Gallogly College of Engineering School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science; Thirumalai Venkatesan, director of the Center for Quantum Research and Technology in the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences; and Aaron Wendelboe, Ph.D., professor in the Hudson College of Public Health at the OU Health Sciences Center.

Predicting and Preventing the Next Avian Influenza Pandemic

Several countries have experienced deadly outbreaks of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu, that have resulted in the loss of billions of poultry, thousands of wild waterfowl and hundreds of humans. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma are taking a unique approach to predicting and preventing the next avian influenza pandemic.

Xiangming Xiao, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology and director of the Center for Earth Observation and Modeling in the Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences, is leading a project to assemble a multi-institutional team that will explore pathways for establishing an International Center for Avian Influenza Pandemic Prediction and Prevention.

The goal of the project is to incorporate and understand the status and major challenges of data, models and decision support tools for preventing pandemics. Researchers hope to identify future possible research and pathways that will help to strengthen and improve the capability and capacity to predict and prevent avian influenza pandemics.

“This grant is a milestone in our long-term effort for interdisciplinary and convergent research in the areas of One Health (human-animal-environment health) and big data science,” Xiao said. “This is an international project with geographical coverage from North America, Europe and Asia; thus, it will enable OU faculty and students to develop greater ability, capability, capacity and leaderships in prediction and prevention of global avian influenza pandemic.”

Other researchers on Xiao’s project include co-principal investigators A. Townsend Peterson, Ph.D., professor at the University of Kansas; Diann Prosser, Ph.D., research wildlife ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey; and Richard Webby, Ph.D., director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza in Animals and Birds with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Wayne Marcus Getz, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is also assisting on the project.

The National Science Foundation grant for Ebert’s research is set to end Jan. 31, 2024, while Xiao’s grant will end Dec. 31, 2023.


Read More

Continue Reading

Stocks

Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now

Penny stocks to buy: Here’s what short interest traders think
The post Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now appeared first on…

Published

on

Penny Stocks To Buy: What To Look For

This article will discuss a handful of penny stocks to buy according to those looking for short squeeze stocks. If you’ve seen our other articles about cheap stocks with high short interest, you know that there are a lot of risks that go along with potential rewards. A quick yield means everything to traders looking to catch a short squeeze. The moves up can be legendary, but the moves lower can bring crushing blows to anyway caught on the wrong side of the trade.

The last few weeks have shown the market exactly how massive short squeezes can grow. AMTD Digital (NYSE:HKD) was the fuse that sparked the snowball effect for these trading trends. This week that continued with the latest penny stock to squeeze: Intelligent Living (NASDAQ:ILAG).

In most cases, there is very little news, if any, to act as a fundamental catalyst. With the majority of short-interest stocks, technical aspects of trading take precedence. Case in point, ILAG stock exploded 260% within about a day’s worth of time and the company didn’t release a shred of news or a single corporate filing. But it does have a tiny float and bullish momentum heading into the Monday session, which set the stage for the latest move.

Penny Stocks To Buy With High Short Interest

Does this mean all penny stocks with high short interest are destined for massive breakouts? No, and there’s usually a reason for high short interest. It usually doesn’t coincide with companies doing record revenues or experiencing ongoing growth.

Short interest grows based on traders betting the stock will fail. They’ll short it by borrowing shares from a broker, selling them, then repurchasing them later when prices are lower to return the borrow.

How To Find Short Squeeze Stocks

When a short squeeze triggers, prices move in the opposite direction, forcing shorts to cover their positions early and either break even or take a loss. This short covering, paired with high levels of retail buying, triggers a more significant move in the stock.

Let’s look at a handful of penny stocks with higher short interest. Data we’ve found using resources like TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool.

  1. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:KPTI)
  2. Helbiz Inc. (NASDAQ:HLBZ)
  3. Purple Innovation Inc. (NASDAQ:PRPL)
  4. Ostin Technology Group (NASDAQ:OST)

1. Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KPTI)

KPTI Stock Price as of this Article: $4.85

What Does Karyopharm Therapeutics Do?

The commercial stage pharmaceutical company develops cancer therapies, including multiple myeloma, endometrial cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes and myelofibrosis. Its lead SINE compound and XPOVIO platform is approved in the US in three oncology indications. Last quarter, the company achieved net product revenue 44% higher than Q2 2021 at $29 million. It also received full marketing authorization by the European Commission Expanding Indication for NEXPOVIO (trade name in Europe) for adults with multiple myeloma.

[Read More] Best Penny Stocks To Buy In August According To Insiders, 1 Bet Over $2 Million

A sales and earnings beat has helped build back some optimism that was lost over the last few months. It was also enough to raise the eyebrows of HC Wainwright analysts, who reiterated a Buy on KPTI stock and paired it with an $18 target.

KPTI Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on KPTI stock is 25.11%.

2. Helbiz Inc. (NASDAQ: HLBZ)

HLBZ Stock Price as of this Article: $1.31

What Does Helbiz Do?

Another one of the names on this list of penny stocks is Helbiz Inc. The company specializes in “micro-mobility,” which is a fancy word for things like eScooters, eBikes, and eMopeds. Its fleet management technology uses artificial intelligence and environmental mapping to sustainably scale and manage its assets.

A recent partnership with Logan City Council in Australia will see Helbiz operate up to 400 eScooters and 400 eBikes later this month. “This latest partnership marks a significant step towards bringing safe, sustainable transportation alternatives to Australia. This announcement follows the plan to introduce 500 e-bikes in Sydney and 100 e-scooters in Alloggio resorts later this year,” said Mitchell Price, Helbiz Australia Managing Director.

HLBZ Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on HLBZ stock is 32.64%.

3. Purple Innovation Inc. (NASDAQ: PRPL)

PRPL Stock Price as of this Article: $4.22

What Does Purple Innovation Do?

Purple Innovation is a slower and steadier mover compared to other names on this list of penny stocks. Shares have climbed from lows of $2.90 to highs of $4.40 over the last few weeks as PRPL stock attempts to reclaim some of this year’s losses.

[Read More] Best Penny Stocks To Buy? 3 To Watch After MEGL Stock Hits 5798%

You may have seen Purple advertised on social media for its “no pressure mattress” technology. The company offers “comfort solutions” ranging from mattresses and pillows to bedding and frames. This week investors are likely waiting to see if Purple can turn things around. The next round of earnings comes on August 9th, and guidance will probably be on the menu. Last quarter, Purple management cut its guidance.

Chief Executive Officer Rob DeMartini explained, “We remain in the early stages of creating the framework for strong operational execution. While we are making progress and believe we will see sequential improvements, including second-half profitability during this year, evolving economic and post-pandemic headwinds such as a shift in consumer buying behavior from online to in-stores and away from home related categories toward experiences and travel, has caused us to adopt a more conservative view on the remainder of 2022.”

PRPL Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current short float on PRPL stock is 25.24%.

4. Ostin Technology Group (NASDAQ:OST)

OST Stock Price as of this Article: $3.12

What Does Ostin Technology Do?

Ostin Technology supplies display modules and polarizers in China. It recently secured a $2.6 million deal for a purchase order of LCD/TP display modules expected for use in iGame G-ONE Plus gaming PCs.

CEO Tao Ling said in a July update, “We believe our products are able to power the iGame G-ONE Plus AIO gaming PC and provide an unrivaled gaming experience for gamers. We are dedicated to meet our customers’ evolving needs and have focused on establishing and maintaining long term relationships with our customers, in an effort to ensure our sustained development and improved profitability.”

OST Stock: A Short Squeeze Stock To Watch?

Other than the short float percentage, the borrow fee rate is something that traders look at. This is a fee that a broker charges for borrowing shares. Typically, the higher the fee, the more difficult it is to borrow the stock. According to data from TrueTradingGroup.com’s Unusual Options & Short Data Tool, the current borrow fee rate on OST stock is 56.71%.

Penny Stocks To Buy For Beginners

If you’re brand new to trading penny stocks in 2022, here are a few good articles to check out and some extra info on the best way to learn how to day trade, swing trade, or invest for the long-term:

If you’re interested in learning more about penny stocks, the stock market, and how to trade, check out True Trading Group, the fastest growing & highest-rated online premium educational platform available today. True Trading Group offers a 7-day Trial of its platform for $3 (non-autorenewing, nonrecurring): To Learn More Click Here.

If you enjoyed this article and you’re interested in learning how to trade so you can have the best chance to profit consistently then you need to checkout this YouTube channel. CLICK HERE RIGHT NOW!!

The post Best Penny Stocks To Buy: 4 Short Squeeze Stocks To Watch Now appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending