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See Water Street condo with historic Milwaukee charm listed at $1.5M: Open House

A newly renovated condo unit in the Gallun Tannery Row building on Water Street hit the market for $1.5 million. Get a look inside the 4,629-square-foot condo, which has three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a steam shower and a separate sauna......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 14th, 2022

26 of the best beach houses on Airbnb in the US where the sand is just steps away

These are the best Airbnb beach house rentals in the US, from an oceanfront Malibu home in California to a condo on the water with a pool in Florida. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Airbnb Beach vacations are always top of mind for a relaxing, warm-weather getaway. Many Airbnbs are found along the best beaches in the US, with direct beachfront or private access. From Malibu to Cape Cod, these are the best beach homes on Airbnb, from $100 to $650 per night. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyAirbnbs with beachfront access continue to rank among the most searched for filters on the vacation rental platform.After all, who doesn't want to wake up to the sound of waves crashing right outside their back porch, or take a moonlit stroll along the sand after the sun goes down? Though, if you'd prefer to cool off in an Airbnb with a private pool instead, we have plenty of options for that, too. And if hotels are more your thing, here are the best beach hotels in the US.If a beach vacation is on your mind, from sea to shining blue sea there's no shortage of beautiful Airbnb beach houses across the US.Browse all Airbnb beach houses below, or jump to a specific area here:The best Airbnb beach houses in the NortheastThe best Airbnb beach houses in the SouthThe best Airbnb beach houses in the WestFAQ: Airbnb beach housesHow we selected the best beach houses on AirbnbFind more great beach house rentalsThese are the best Airbnb beach houses, sorted by region and price from low to high. BI Charming beachfront cottage on the Jersey Shore This cottage's private back deck leads straight to the beach. Airbnb Book this New Jersey beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $270Town: Cape MaySleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.93Set along one of the Jersey Shore's most charming seaside towns, Cape May, this cozy bayfront cottage with one bedroom is best suited for couples and solo travelers, though it is also pet-friendly.It's important to note, this is a two-family home and while this space is completely private and uses a separate entrance, the other side of the house is occupied, which might not work for some guests. You are also required to bring your own linens to fit the Queen-sized bed.The location, however, is unparalleled and you'll love spending time on the private back deck, which includes a hammock and leads directly out to the beach. The front porch with chairs and an umbrella adds additional space for enjoying the sea breeze.Inside, the decor is simple but includes a red leather couch, an all-white kitchen with a dining table for two, and ocean photos in the bedroom.  Beach suite in Massachusetts This lovely beachfront suite includes beach passes and options for in-house massages and whale watching excursions. Airbnb Book this Massachusetts beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $299Town: GloucesterSleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.98The charming seaside town of Gloucester, pronounced Glah-Sta, in coastal New England comes alive in the summertime. From long walks on a private beach to romantic dinners on the deck, this one-bedroom beachside retreat will make a great getaway for couples. Not only does the property come with a beachfront location, but beach passes are included, which would otherwise run between $25 to $30 per day. You may also book add-ons like in-house massages and whale watching expeditions directly with the host.While this is a separate guest suite with its own private entrance, the entire cottage consists of three units that are each rented separately. Though, you can combine listings to book the entire property.  Home by the sea in Maine Take in over 175 feet of mesmerizing oceanfront views from the roof deck. Airbnb Book this Maine beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $350Town: YorkSleeps: 4 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.94Just one hour north of Boston and one hour south of Portland, Maine, the Little Sea Star Castle is tucked away along Nubble Point in York Beach, Maine. One of 12 oceanside cottages within the LightHouse Village Colony, the house is set on nearly two acres with over 175 feet of oceanfront splendor with sunny, southern exposure and rugged rocky coastlines.The cottage offers plenty of space to lounge. A roof deck has panoramic views over the ocean, and the lawn has Adirondack chairs and a picnic table for outdoor dining. The kitchen has everything needed to make yourself at home, and beachy accents like starfish pillows and mini sailboats on the dressers keep the home on theme.The location is stellar, among scenic walking trails along the water. Bayfront oasis in Maryland Bayfront views are a captivating sight, and available throughout the home. Airbnb Book this Ocean City beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $395Town: Ocean CitySleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.92Offering uninterrupted bayfront views, this cozy townhome in Ocean City, Maryland is the ideal locale for your beach vacation. Sip morning coffee on the private balcony, enjoy steamed crabs on the large bayfront deck, or kick back with a cocktail and watch the sunset from the living room. The layout is an open-living concept with a master bedroom upstairs with a private balcony and a King-size bed. The second bedroom has a Queen bed and there's also a beige striped sectional couch that converts to a bed in the living room. Wicker furniture and deep blue quilts give this home a subtle beach vibe.Located on a corner lot of the bay, the owner is explicit that this is not meant for partiers or large group gatherings. If you're looking for a chill and relaxing beach getaway, this is the place for you. Beachfront home with bay views in Delaware Each room in this coastal home features scenic water views. Airbnb Book this Delaware beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $425Town: MiltonSleeps: 6 guests/4 bedroomsRating: 5.0Featuring both beachfront and bay views, this spacious four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the quiet community of Broadkill Beach in Milton, Delaware offers unobstructed water views from almost every room. The home features a coastal design with plenty of natural light and soft tones. The well-equipped kitchen has unique tiling, a large island, and turquoise bar stools for grabbing a quick bite or enjoying a cup of coffee.One room includes bunk beds decked out in comforters with a cute whale pattern for kids. The location is peacefully quiet and primed to enjoy beautiful sunrises over the bay. Large oceanfront house with great views in Maine Luxury finishes couple with panoramic ocean views at this delightful property. Airbnb Book this Maine beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $613Town: SacoSleeps: 8 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.71If luxury finishes and panoramic views of the ocean sounds like your kind of vibe, then consider this oceanfront haunt in Saco, Maine. Enjoy coffee or wine from the upstairs balcony before taking a walk along Ferry Beach or Camp Ellis Pier.Ideal for bigger groups, the listing has two bedrooms and common spaces that sleep up to eight people. Though, the standout draw is no doubt the beachfront location and gorgeous water views, along with the surrounding quiet community. The home offers the chance to catch particularly stunning sunrises and sunsets.Other perks include a Smart TV with Netflix, beach chairs, and free parking included in the stay, as well as a digital guidebook handy for helping guests explore the area. Chic beachfront cottage in New York's North Fork of Long Island A minimalist interior style creates a tranquil ambiance. Airbnb Book this North Fork beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $650Town: RiverheadSleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.96Set on a secluded stretch of Long Island's illustrious North Fork, this two-bedroom beachfront cottage is a great place to hang by the beach or go wine tasting at one of the area's many charming vineyards.Wander along the private beach path or open up the floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that lead to a picturesque deck to dine at the picnic-style outdoor table, or relax on the plush lounger. An Airbnb Plus listing, the cottage's chic palette features crisp, minimalist whites and neutrals, creating a sense of serene seaside solitude for a quiet getaway. After a walk on the sand, rinse off in the outdoor shower while savoring water views. BI Cozy home on the North Carolina shore The nautical-themed living room has a picturesque balcony overlooking the ocean. Airbnb Book this North Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $100Town: North Topsail BeachSleeps: 6 guests/1 bedroomsRating: 4.91A cute condo directly on North Topsail Beach in North Carolina, this is a great option for couples or small families looking for a low-key beach getaway. The bedroom has a Queen bed and there are also Twin bunk beds built directly into the hallway.Completely renovated in 2020, the apartment has a nautical-beach theme with soft blue and yellow hues, and big living room windows frame beach views. You can also head out to the balcony for a closer look. Bright colors and floral decor give this home a warm, welcoming vibe, and a seashell bed quilt and striped bar stools at the eating nook add additional beach flair. Oceanfront condo with a pool in Florida Beachy accents like a mermaid statue and marine-inspired colors set a scene that creates a real sense of place. Airbnb Book this Florida beach home with a pool on AirbnbTypical starting price: $132Town: Cape CanaveralSleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.95Serenity awaits at this casual oceanfront condo in Florida's Cape Canaveral. Set on a beautiful private beach, this Airbnb Plus stands out for its whimsical decor and thoughtful amenities, which include blues of every hue from the turquoise velvet armchair to the robin's egg backsplash in the kitchen. A mirror made out of oars, a mermaid statue, and an octopus painting over the couch are all fun touches for a beach home.This is also a great place to spend your time kayaking, paddle boarding, or enjoying some much-needed downtime just lounging on the beach or pool, which are both just a few steps away. Within minutes of downtown Port Canaveral and the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier, there's plenty to do right nearby. Ocean and bay view beach house in Texas The Bolivar Flats, Anahuac national wildlife refuge, and the Smith Oak sanctuary are all nearby and great for birdwatching. Airbnb Book this Texas beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $130Town: Bolivar PeninsulaSleeps: 6 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Located on the bayside of the Bolivar Peninsula on Texas' Gulf Coast, this home offers one bedroom and a lofted room, plus plenty of views of both the Gulf of Mexico and East Bay. It's also just a few miles away from popular bird-watching areas including Bolivar Flats, Anahuac national wildlife refuge, and the Smith Oak sanctuary.Bright and airy, this house is perched on stilts, and underneath, you'll have a grill and a private sitting area. However, the wraparound porch is likely where you'll spend the bulk of your time, soaking in the view from the wooden Adirondack chairs.Inside isn't bad either, with soaring pitched ceilings, a big blue sectional sofa, and marble countertops and bar stools in the kitchen. Waterfront beach bungalow in North Carolina This homey bungalow has its own private beach. Airbnb Book this North Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $145Town: JarvisburgSleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.94Relax on your own private beach or hop in a kayak and explore miles of pristine, undeveloped beaches and cypress tree-filled coves from this bungalow in Jarvisburg, North Carolina set at the confluence of the North River and the Albemarle Sound.The home is pet-friendly, and the bedroom offers a Queen sized bed as well as a futon for extra guests if you don't mind the squeeze.While not exactly modern, the bungalow has a homey vibe with string lights along the ceiling, a bright desk and bookcase, and purple cushions on the futon. The location is tranquil and fun amenities include a charcoal grill and outdoor fire pit. The house is only 15-minutes away from unspoiled shorelines and the beaches of the Outer Banks. Home overlooking the sound in North Carolina The spacious home's dock makes it easy to get out on the water. Airbnb Book this North Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $157Town: HertfordSleeps: 10 guests/4 bedroomsRating: 4.69Step into the backyard of this spacious home on the Albemarle Sound and you'll find nothing but peace and tranquility. Located in a quiet neighborhood in Hertford, North Carolina, the house is nice for bigger families or groups of friends.Start and end your day on the dock, which comes with a bench to sit and watch the sunrise. Apart from the views directly overlooking the sound, highlights include the coffee bar in the kitchen, a gas log fireplace in the living room, and a fully covered and screened-in porch for enjoying home-cooked barbecue from the grill.The house also comes with a washer/dryer and high-speed Wi-Fi. Chesapeake Bay beach cabin in Virginia The decor is simple with a subtle ocean theme. Airbnb Book this Virginia beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $199Town: NorfolkSleeps: 6 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.95A brand new beach cabin on the Chesapeake Bay, this spacious home is steps from the beach.During the warm months, watch the sailing regattas from the balcony on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, or walk to nearby Ocean View Beach Park to listen to live music.The decor is simple but useful, with wicker furniture accents, ocean-themed artwork, wood floors, and a big kitchen. A plaid couch and floral armchair are comfy spots to relax, though they may feel a bit dated. A patio out back adds additional hangout space. A rustic cottage in Florida This cottage has a large outdoor deck with a fire pit and access to a secluded beach. Airbnb Book this Florida cottage on AirbnbTypical starting price: $275Town: St.Augustine Sleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroom Rating: 4.90The pinewood interior and absence of electronic appliances bring an old-fashioned feel to this cottage. The cottage was originally built in 1946, but each room has been remodeled since except for the corner kitchen. The master bedroom has a plush Queen-size bed where you can fall asleep to the sounds of nearby waves crashing. Although you won't find a TV or phone, there are various ways to indulge in this home's rustic charm. A large outdoor deck overlooks an uncrowded beach and has a fire pit for chilly nights. Visit in summer and you may catch a glimpse of the sea turtles that dwell by the deck. Waterfront nest cottage in Mississippi Lounge on the spacious front porch for stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Airbnb Book this Mississippi beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $279Town: Long BeachSleeps: 4 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast on ever-popular Long Beach, this waterfront cottage features breathtaking views over the Gulf of Mexico from its spacious front porch and has direct beach access.The two bedrooms can easily accommodate up to six people and inviting outdoor wicker furniture is framed by idyllic views.Inside, modern interiors include a spacious kitchen with marble countertops, soaking tubs in the bathrooms, and living room couches that face the water.  Pet-friendly oceanfront condo with pool access in South Carolina Staying here comes with access to a community pool, beaches, and bike rentals. Airbnb Book this South Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $261Town: Saint Helena IslandSleeps: 6 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Watch dolphins from the private balcony, walk to the beach, or laze the day away by the pool —  this oceanfront condo in South Carolina offers it all.Located in a private community just a stone's throw from one of the state's most beguiling beaches at Hunting Island State Park, the area offers miles of unspoiled beaches and is frequented by birders and nature lovers for some of the best animal sightings in the area.This second-floor condo offers one Queen bedroom and a second bedroom with a Twin bed. Guests have access to the community pool, beach, and two bikes. The unit also comes with a washer and dryer and is great for families with pets looking for a low-country getaway. Oceanfront condo in South Carolina Enjoy access to a private fishing pier, a community pool, and a pretty South Carolina beach. Airbnb Book this South Carolina beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $291Town: Isle of PalmsSleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroomsRating: 4.98Watch the waves roll in as you enjoy your morning coffee on the private terrace from this modern Isle of Palms condo in South Carolina. Newly renovated, this third-floor condo is especially nice for families with young children since it offers a King-size bed in the master and a bunk bed in the hallway. The decor is tasteful but beachy with coral pillows, a gray sofa, velvet armchairs, and a modern kitchen has a funky blue stone backsplash.The building has easy access to the beach and a private fishing pier, as well as a community pool and coin laundry facility.  Spacious beach house in South Carolina This expansive home is perched on half an acre on Port Royal Sound with private beach access. Airbnb Book this Hilton Head beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $332Town: Hilton HeadSleeps: 10 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.85Located on half an acre along Port Royal Sound, this three-bed, four-bath manse is capable of sleeping up to 10 people. Adjacent to a 40-acre nature preserve, staying here comes with direct views over the sound, plus private access to the beach. With an expansive, well-groomed yard for playing or relaxing under large oak trees covered in Spanish Moss, the house is also open to those looking to host a small, picture-perfect wedding or retreat with the beach and ocean as the backdrop.If this home is booked up, consider our other picks for the best vacation homes on Hilton Head Island. Beach house on a private island in South Carolina Escape to your very own private island off of Hilton Head with a beach all to yourself. Airbnb Book this private island beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $589Town: Hilton HeadSleeps: 6 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.94Instead of renting a regular old cottage on the beach, opt to claim your own private island here on Old House Cay. Accessible only by boat, this is as secluded and off-the-grid as it gets.Just a 10-minute ride away from neighboring Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, the home is part of a series of private islands that you'll have all to yourself over your stay. Experience everything from boating, fishing, and kayaking to simply lounging around the island and going for long beach walks. As far as getting around, the owners will take you and your guests back and forth from Hilton Head on their private boat as needed.Accommodations include a large, multi-story home with gorgeous wood floors, high ceilings, a modern kitchen, and a big blue dining table with room for the whole crew. All wood walls give it a hint of a cabin feel, while bright pillows and quilts add pops of color. A wooden deck with a fire pit out front is a lovely place to relax or make s'mores into the evening.  BI Beachfront condo in Southern California The beach is only a few steps away from this quaint second-floor condo. Airbnb Book this California beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $283Town: CarlsbadSleeps: 3 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.90Open your door and step directly onto the sand at this charming beachfront condo in Carlsbad, California, near San Diego. Within walking distance to Carlsbad Village, this home is close to restaurants and boutiques, with a cozy set-up that is best suited to solo travelers and couples. The two-story condo unit is on the ground floor and features a brick fireplace, a small dining table and kitchen, a blue sofa with colorful pillows, and a private balcony with a table and chairs that overlook the ocean, which is just a few feet away. Beach house on a cove in Oregon A backyard trail leads to Shelter Cove where orcas often reside. Airbnb Book this Oregon beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $275Town: Port OrfordSleeps: 6 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.91Set on a cul-de-sac in the quiet neighborhood of Port Orford along the Oregon coast, this three-bedroom beach house is protected by old-growth forest and faces a cove where orcas are known to stay and take shelter.With gorgeous bay windows and total privacy within the neighborhood, along with private beach access and unobstructed views of the Lighthouse at Cape Blanco, it's tough to beat the spectacular setting. A private trail off the backyard takes you directly to Shelter Cove.The house itself offers big windows for a light and airy feel, with neutral colors of grays and creams, huge bedrooms, and a porch with a dining table, as well as a small fire pit in the yard. Cozy ocean view cabin in Northern California Breathe in the ocean air and spend time whale watching from this cliffside cabin. Airbnb Book this California beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $300Town: TrinidadSleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Tucked away in verdant Patrick Point State Park in northern California, this rustic two-bedroom cabin has incredible ocean views amid a lush forest. Top-rated features include the oversized hot tub, a picnic area overlooking the ocean, and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows after a long day. The yard offers ample space and lucky guests might even spot whales from the Adirondack chairs perched atop the lawn.The house is set on steep cliffs, which means you'll have phenomenal views, but won't be able to walk right out onto the beach. Instead, you will have to wind your way down to the shores below. Oceanview apartment in Northern California This cliffside home offers romantic views of the Pacific Ocean and Black Sands Beach. Airbnb Book this Northern California beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $348Town: WhitethornSleeps: 3 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.92Overlooking the Pacific and Black Sands Beach, this one-bedroom cliffside home is lovely for a romantic trip.Inside, you'll find a private entrance and a wrap-around deck. The bedroom has a California King bed, plus a modern kitchen, bathroom, and a living room with a fireplace. There is even a private hot tub that directly faces the ocean.Take the trail from the home leading to the beach or walk or bike to any of the nearby beaches, restaurants, cafes, bars, and golf courses. The owner notes that you will need a car to get around and this home has a strict no pets policy and isn't suitable for young children. Posh beachfront apartment in Malibu This charming home has a sun-drenched interior, airy open-plan layout. Airbnb Book this Malibu beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $514Town: MalibuSleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.99This sweet one-bedroom Airbnb Plus listing is well-placed on the iconic shores of Malibu for sweeping, dramatic views that feel plucked from a Nicholas Sparks novel.Light and airy, this seaside haven is impeccably decorated with pristine white fixtures that stand out against natural wood floors and beams. Unique details like a small, wire Eiffel Tower perched on an antique desk and old framed letters and clippings add whimsical charm.Fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves after enjoying drinks on the deck as you catch a sunset. Just know that this home is incredibly popular and tends to book almost a year in advance. Pacific Ocean beachfront home in Encinitas, California Pacific Ocean views abound from every room. Airbnb Book this Californian beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $516Town: EncinitasSleeps: 4 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.90This beach home wows right away with its stunning panoramic ocean views, available throughout the house. However, they're especially impressive from the open plan living room thanks to its arched beam ceilings that make the space feel airy and breezy.The unobstructed views are also sure to dazzle from the multiple patios, which come with a grill, lounge chairs, an outdoor shower, and a private stairway leading to the sand.The amenities are also nicely appointed, with a  fireplace, full kitchen with a wine fridge, and multiple bedrooms, some of which lead directly to the terrace.  Pet-friendly beach cottage with amazing views in Oregon This contemporary home has an outdoor shower, a gas fireplace, and a great balcony. Airbnb Book this Oregon beach cottage on AirbnbTypical starting price: $599Town: Cannon BeachSleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.98This modern beachfront home in beautiful, iconic Cannon Beach, Oregon has easy beach access just 100 feet from the front door. Inside, large picture windows offer unobstructed ocean views and a gas fireplace makes for a cozy spot. The outdoor shower is a nice way to rinse away sand after a beach day and the outdoor balcony is a great place to savor the sweeping views. At night, have a bonfire with s'mores in the yard.The pet-friendly home is located on a quiet residential street with free street parking and is within easy access of plenty of shops, grocery stores, and restaurants. FAQ: Airbnb beach houses Where is the best place to rent a beach house?The best place to rent a beach house depends on the type of beach and vacation you prefer. For year-round warm weather, look to places like Florida or Southern California.For the classic New England look of windswept beach grass, large dunes, and shingled cottages, you'll find great homes in places like Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the Jersey Shore. For something posh, try the Hamptons.Bluer waters and warmer temps of course will be found within the South or West Coast, and the West Coast offers stunning scenery from California up to Oregon and Washington.How do I search for a beach house on Airbnb?You can specifically search for a beach house on Airbnb. First, input your preferred location and dates, then select More Filters, and refine results to only show beachfront homes by selecting the box that says Beachfront under Amenities.What should I look for in an Airbnb?Sorting through the vast array of homes available on Airbnb can be tough. Consider using criteria similar to what we use, which includes looking at the average rating, as well as reading up on recent reviews to ensure the home is still in top shape. Look for Superhosts and consider sorting by Airbnb Plus or Airbnb Luxe if you want a higher-end stay that's been vetted for exceptional amenities, decor, and hosting. Of course, for a beach getaway, location will be key. Be sure to look on the map and ensure before booking that the home is actually close to the beach. You don't want to arrive only to find out you actually need to take a 30-minute car ride before your toes can hit the sand. Is Airbnb safe?We strongly encourage following guidelines and advice from leading health organizations including the CDC and following local and state laws before planning a vacation of any kind. You should also be proactive when it comes to wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and maintaining social distancing no matter where you go.However, the CDC now recommends domestic travel as safe for fully vaccinated individuals.Experts also say that booking an entire home rental is one of the safest options for travelers right now because they eliminate encounters with others outside your traveling party, and because Airbnb mandates Enhanced Clean protocols that all hosts must now follow. What is Airbnb's cancellation policy?Cancellation policies on Airbnb differ from home to home and are set by each individual host. You can find a full breakdown of Airbnb's cancellation policies here. How we selected the best beach houses on Airbnb Every Airbnb listing is for the entire home, per current expert recommendation.All Airbnb homes are highly-rated listings with a rating of 4.7 or higher.All beach houses are located right on, or next to the beach.All take part in Airbnb's Enhanced Clean protocol program for added peace of mind.The homes offer strong value in terms of price, offerings, amenities, and location and are priced between $100 and $650 per night to start.Homes are available to book in the coming weeks and months, as of publishing. However, some homes are quite popular and book fast. Consider booking for a future vacation in a few months or next year. Find more great beach house rentals Airbnb The best Airbnbs on the Jersey ShoreThe best Airbnbs in the HamptonsThe best Airbnbs in Cape CodThe best Airbnbs in Hilton HeadThe best Airbnbs in FloridaThe best Airbnbs in Myrtle Beach The best Airbnbs in Virginia BeachThe best vacation rentals in the Outer BanksThe best vacation rentals in Ocean City  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 23rd, 2021

Millennials, Remote Work Are Upending Cities—What It Means for Real Estate

Location is, and has always been, everything in real estate. The truism that where a property sits must be its most important characteristic remains undisputed. But what is location, really? What does it mean to homebuyers, and what are the consequences when changes come? The truth is, street layouts, public transportation systems, commuting routes, open […] The post Millennials, Remote Work Are Upending Cities—What It Means for Real Estate appeared first on RISMedia. Location is, and has always been, everything in real estate. The truism that where a property sits must be its most important characteristic remains undisputed. But what is location, really? What does it mean to homebuyers, and what are the consequences when changes come? The truth is, street layouts, public transportation systems, commuting routes, open space, walking paths, restaurants or shopping, parks, schools and scenic views are malleable both in how they are valued and how they come to be. While location might seem like a relatively static feature when talking about properties, shifting priorities from policymakers as well as evolving consumer preferences can quickly cool off a hot neighborhood or revitalize a lagging market. Both these processes are happening all the time, but the current shift is maybe more dramatic and moving more rapidly than at any time in recent memory as Americans completely reevaluate exactly where they want to live—and why. Dr. Sam Chandan is a professor at NYU and Academic Dean of the school’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. He says a multitude of changes are manifesting now that could impact both city planning and real estate for decades to come. “Millennials are not necessarily looking for something that looks like Levittown,” says Chandan, referring to the hyper-planned suburban Long Island community that is often cited as a model of postwar housing philosophy. “It’s not sort of a ‘Leave it to Beaver’ scenario.” With people born in the 1980s and 1990s becoming the largest segment of homebuyers, understanding that demographic’s needs and preferences is a holy grail for real estate professionals. But how is that information guiding the growth of towns and cities, and what does it mean for the housing market? Chandan says that like most things real-estate related, the answers are always going to be local. But as the temporary supply constraints currently preventing the housing market from reaching its full potential fade, Chandan predicts that areas that allow higher densities through zoning reforms and follow a more centralized, community-oriented plan of development will be best positioned to capitalize and grow. “We’re talking about wanting to be in easy reach of a set of cultural and social amenities, and I think that is quite different from what we would have seen as the profile of a comparably-aged young family 30 years ago,” he says. Waiting on the World to Change Manhattan Beach nestles in the southwest corner of Los Angeles. The median sale price for a home exceeds $2 million, according to U.S. census data, with a mostly white and Asian population in a county that is almost 45% Hispanic. Most residential areas are composed of close-set, adobe-roofed single-family constructions on narrow streets, bisected with a commercial thoroughfare that feeds into the city’s bustling beach-adjacent downtown—a spread of health food stores, cafes and boutique retail shopping pressed right up against the water. Kristi Ramirez-Knowles is a team leader for Your Home Sold Guaranteed Realty and a long-time Manhattan Beach resident, though she works in many of the surrounding southwest LA cities. In an area that is historically resistant to change, COVID has potentially provided a kick-start for generational changes in living preferences. “Now, post COVID—though we’re still in COVID—we still have a mix. We still have people that are willing to go almost anywhere,” she says. “ it’s a safe community.” Woburn, Massachusetts is a sprawling suburb about 25 minutes outside of Boston. It can trace its European colonization back to the mid 1600s, and is now characterized by its rustic winding streets and big colonials with plenty of forested areas and parks filling the margins. The town offers a wider range of price points, from $150,000 ranch fixer-uppers to a handful of multi-million-dollar estates. Eileen Dohtery is a ninth-generation resident of Woburn with 40 years of real estate experience, currently working for Lamacchia Realty. She says even as homebuyer preferences have evolved rapidly, change in policy and infrastructure often creeps up more gradually. “ are beside themselves because there’s so much development—if anything they’d like to restrict it and make it less per acre,” she says. Dan Forsman is President & CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties. Overseeing the Atlanta region, he says dozens of thriving suburbs—many of which were originally vacation or resort communities—have begun “revitalization” efforts to begin serving changing needs and desires of longer-term residents. “Eclectic, farm to table restaurants—people are looking for that, access to that, and looking to where they can get that when they’re away from what I call ‘white noise,’” he says. Though these three disparate regions will certainly evolve along different lines at a more granular level, Chandan says that broadly the narrative of mass migration to different states or cities is overblown. People—especially young people—are looking to live within or near traditional metros like New York or Boston, but specifically for towns that can offer them a specific index of amenities. “What the data actually tells us is the dominant trend is greater dispersion in the metropolitan area,” he says. “They’re able to sort of optimize in a way that also accounts for all these other things that they care about.” What’s My Age Again? One of the most direct methods of addressing these needs is “upzoning” to allow for more density around what Chandan describes as the “quasi-urban core” of smaller towns and suburban cities. This has proved effective in combating land scarcity, affordability and transportation access, and often allows for developments of mid-rise condo complexes, townhomes or repurposed mixed-used construction that previously might have been disallowed or heavily regulated. These changes are also becoming more politically viable in many places as a new generation arrives—a generation that is more comfortable with diversity and living close to others, according to Chandan. In Woburn, this is only partly true, as Dohtery says she has observed some attitudes changing while others have not—starting with acceptance of racial diversity. “In the older parts of the center…it was more mixed nationalities. The older people wouldn’t walk down there. Younger people are that much more liberal, they don’t care, they like it. That’s where you see changing,” she reflects. In recent years there has been a big push to tear down old buildings in Woburn’s centuries-old central hub, putting up some multifamily living units and opening restaurants and retail stores. Doherty herself owns a multi-family home right in the city center, where her niece currently lives with some younger roommates. “They absolutely love being there, they walk downtown—literally in their backyard—to a different restaurant every night,” she laughs. At the other extreme, some neighborhoods in towns abutting Woburn can only be reached by unpaved, pothole-ridden streets—not because the town cannot afford to fix or pave them, but because people who live there have lobbied against it, according to Doherty. The idea, she says, is to discourage anyone who doesn’t live there from even driving past, keeping noise and nuisance to an absolute minimum. “That’s old Yankee money,” Doherty says. “It keeps the people out of their neighborhood.” Some of these folks are likely fighting a losing battle if they’re hoping to prevent development to that extreme (Doherty is currently involved with a 147-unit townhome development in Woburn). While resistance from locals can certainly slow down the evolution of a city, eventually both policymakers and developers are going to find ways to meet consumers with what they want. One thing that is changing in Los Angeles is at least a partial removal of one of the biggest barriers there: commuting. In the past, Ramirez-Knowles says she would tell potential homebuyers to rent a hotel for a night near a neighborhood they were considering and see if they could endure the level traffic and smog on a day’s commute before deciding to live there. But now with remote work, as well as a renewed emphasis on transportation and now-ubiquitous electric cars, Ramirez-Knowles says that areas that used to be defined by their freeway access and distance to business centers are trying to become self-sustaining. “So many millennials are doing a lot of their jobs—-they can work from home,” she says. “They don’t want to get out and drive. It’s important for them to walk or if they have to drive, drive a very short distance.” That is not to say that traffic does not matter anymore—commuters still end up driving as much as four hours a day to go a handful of miles cross-town, Ramirez-Knowles says. But areas that have more space, better views and nice schools are now options for many more families who do not have to worry about prohibitively lengthy drives. Another offset of the millennial lifestyle and work-from-home opportunities that is influencing city layouts is loneliness. Starting with the pandemic isolation, Ramirez-Knowles says people began seeking out “community amenities” where they could at least encounter another friendly (even mask-wearing) face. That has continued as people who work from home have limited excuses to just get outside, meet neighbors and learn about their town. “They want to be able to go walk their dogs, walk with their kids, get outside and get vitamin D,” she says. “You’re not getting out very much…you need places to go walk, you need a walkway—a green belt, if you will—a park, a pier.” In the Atlanta area, several towns are realizing that they can provide a lot more for their changing communities, according to Forsman. People who have second homes in the suburbs are spending more and more time away from the white noise of their working lives, he says, and are beginning to look for the same amenities in these areas as they have in their primary homes. Though this trend is hardly analogous to what is happening in Woburn or Los Angeles, the effect is the same: cities are re-developing downtowns and shifting the kind of access and amenities they provide. “They’ve had a face lift and an upgrade, because people aren’t going to malls the way they used to,” Forsman says. This applies even to areas in the north that historically have been made up of mostly seasonal resort towns in the mountains. As flexible work allows residents to spend more time here, businesses move in to provide more grocery shopping, entertainment and year-round services, which in turn draws even more people to make those towns their permanent—or semi-permanent—homes. Stop, Collaborate and Listen There are many other barriers and unintended consequences stemming from the types of changes happening right now as well, he adds. Cities that are too successful with these tactics will quickly see the price of land and homes balloon, slowing real estate growth and creating more racial and economic segregation. In places like Woburn, there is also the possibility of political backlash, and policymakers must balance the often-powerful backlash from residents and other stakeholders who fear loss of so-called community character or outsides. Real estate professionals can make a big difference in these situations. Doherty says that as a longtime resident she is trusted by even the most stalwart Woburnites and can navigate the complicated landscape of local politics and land use laws, where trust and experience make all the difference. Doherty speaks of being contacted by a local politician one time, who invited her to attend a campaign event emphasizing that she was maybe the most well-known public figure in the area. “I said to him, ‘I have to go, I sold you your house!’” she laughs. In Woburn, developments, zoning tweaks and infrastructure investments happen gradually, and becomes much easier with any local support, according to Doherty, with projects eeking through the approval process one by one. On the other side of the country, Ramirez-Knowles says the overpricing and lack of homes has pushed people to settle in areas where the schools or neighborhoods maybe aren’t what they had originally hoped for. Developers are building brand new, more affordable condos inland in cities that haven’t historically been “family friendly” like Torrance and Gardena, and people are snatching them up, she says. “I would say that’s attracting families even though the school district may not be that great. I think it’s the appeal of brand new and something they can afford,” she posits. Many of these units are selling out before they are even framed, she adds, during the current inventory crunch. If cities approve the kind of housing units people are looking for— which Ramirez-Knowles describes as narrow, multi-floored condo communities with built-in recreation centers, pools and gyms—even more business investment and development often follows. The result of all this movement and new development, of offering wider varieties of housing types and densities in different parts of a given city creates demographic diversity, according to Chandan. A place that can accommodate young and old, wealthy and lower income folks, families and retirees is much healthier for everyone, and especially for the real estate market. Though convincing some people of these benefits will be difficult—and sometimes impossible— Chandan argues that even those who prefer their “Leave it to Beaver” lifestyle will eventually benefit from this type of change. “The person who is a young family right now in a two or three-bedroom rental unit in that quasi-urban core—in five years, that person is a potential buyer for your home,” Chandan says. Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Please email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Millennials, Remote Work Are Upending Cities—What It Means for Real Estate appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaNov 22nd, 2021

Visiting the gulag where my grandfather was tortured, but didn"t officially exist

My grandfather was held at Bulgaria's most notorious gulag. This summer, I saw it for the first time. A Belene survivor crosses the bridge across the Danube that connects the town of Belene and Persin island in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) This summer, Tana Ganeva traveled to Belene, Bulgaria's most notorious prison camp, where her grandfather was held in the 1950s. Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its Communist-era gulags, where thousands were starved, tortured, and killed. Ganeva's grandfather attempted to escape Bulgaria four times, before making it to California. See more stories on Insider's business page. The island of Persin is a bird-watcher's paradise. Set on the Danube River, which divides Bulgaria and Romania, it's a nature park covered in wetlands and home to hundreds of rare bird species: the spoonbill, the pygmy cormorant, the corncrake, as well as herons, eagles, storks, and pelicans. Amid the natural beauty, it's jarring to consider that this was the location of a concentration camp where thousands of Bulgarian political prisoners were brutalized and killed from 1949 to 1953 - and in some cases for years after that. Though it's officially known as Belene after the quiet Bulgarian village that sits 750 feet away on the mainland, old-timers here call it by another name: the Island of Death.My stepgrandfather, Georgi Tutunjiev, was sent here at age 24 and spent four years and three months interred at Belene after someone (he suspected his ex-wife) told the authorities of his plan to escape the country. In his notebooks - he had planned to write a memoir about Belene but never did before he died in 2011 at 87 - he remembered the place as "brutal facilities for re-education," where he'd endured "indescribable physical and psychological abuse." He finally managed to escape Bulgaria in 1966 and settle with my grandma in California. In 1989, my parents and I left Bulgaria and joined my grandparents in California, thanks to the family-reunification policy. While many survivors of trauma shut down, my grandfather never stopped talking about the gulag. He seemed to have an unending loop of stories about Belene. For my immediate family, it could be exhausting, and we were alarmed to discover his extensive gun collection, which my grandmother gamely dismissed as a coping mechanism. But guests who came to the house were often riveted by his dark tales, which he mixed with his sense of humor. "Jeko! The Communistie shot you!" he'd shout at his terrier mix, and the dog would sprawl on his back, playing dead. An aerial view of Persin island. The gulag was known as Belene, after the nearby town. Tsvetomir Nikolaev I've come to the town of Belene on a brutally hot day in August for a tour of the Island of Death. I meet Nedyalka Toncheva, who works for the Belene Island Foundation, a nonprofit that organizes tours of the island, close to the bank of the Danube.We cross a rickety water bridge on foot and then jump aboard a Jeep driven by a 24-year-old Belene native named Peter. Toncheva, who is 35, is passionate and knowledgeable about the island's flora and fauna. Every few minutes, she tells Peter to stop the car to point out a roosting stork or a water eagle. She talks about her plans to make Persin a tourist destination comparable to Borovets, a ski resort with luxury hotels in the Rila mountains; or Koprivchitsa, a living museum honoring the Bulgarian rebels who mounted an uprising in 1876 against the Ottoman Empire.In the three decades since the fall of communism, Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its many gulags, which operated mostly in the 1950s during the early, and most violent, days of Communist rule in the country. In Belene itself, many lower-level guards came from the village and a former mayor was also the gulag's first superintendent. It's not surprising that the village doesn't advertise its history.After 1989, survivors who had been forced to sign documents promising to never talk about the camps started speaking out. For a brief time, they became the subjects of documentaries and newspaper profiles. But soon, the consensus was that it was better to move on. An interior minister tasked with investigating the camps instead secretly ordered a purge of thousands of pages of documents - 40% of the government record. While Bulgaria's defeat of the Ottomans is central to the national identity, and much is made of the fact that Bulgaria saved its Jews during the Holocaust, the memory of the Communist era is more fraught. Georgi Tutunjiev, the author's grandfather, in around 1977. Tana Ganeva Peculiar for a tour, most of our stops lead us to what's not left of the camp. The shacks where prisoners slept have been razed - there's no trace of them.At the entrance, in what is now an open field, an inscription says, "To be human is to have dignity." From inside the camp - what would have been visible to the internees - the engraving says, "If the enemy doesn't surrender, he is destroyed." But no one I've talked to knows whether it's the original or has been recreated. There are a few abandoned, falling-apart buildings, but those were built in 1959, six years after the camp's official (but not real) closing, when it was converted into a prison, in part to kill rumors that it had operated as a secret gulag. Todor Zhivkov, the Communist premier who took power in 1954 and stayed on until 1989, reopened it in the 1980s to detain Muslims who refused to take on Slavic names in place of their own - a disastrous bid to assimilate them. I ask Toncheva whether there's a list of everyone who was held in the camp. I'm thinking of my grandfather and wondering whether there's any documentation. She tells me everyone who comes here for the camp asks the same question."There's no way to know, no list," Toncheva says, apologetic. "There's almost no proof the camp even existed."'Perfectly calculated by Satan himself'The first contingent of 300 men arrived at the Belene camp in the summer of 1949, five years after the 1944 Communist coup. My grandfather, then 24, arrived that first winter. A camp for women was founded on an adjacent island soon after.It was modeled after Josef Stalin's gulags in Siberia. Most of the prisoners had been dragged from their homes by the military police and sent here without trial. (Estimates vary, but 20,000 to 40,000 people were thought to be murdered by the Bulgarian Communist Party.) Even Stalin eventually warned them to scale down the killing of prominent oppositional figures or risk creating martyrs.The first wave of prisoners had to hack through the unpopulated island and build small shacks that were so crowded the prisoners didn't have room to lie down. In his history of the camp, Borislav Skotchev wrote that the island was dotted with towers manned by guards with machine guns. A survivor of Belene during a commemoration ceremony in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) The men held here included the former leader of the Social Democrats, Orthodox priests (many in their 70s), and the mayor of Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. Tsveti Ivanov, the editor of the newspaper Svoboden Narod, or Free People, was sent to Belene after serving 10 months in prison. He was beaten so brutally that he got tetanus from his wounds and died in the compound. Much of what we know about the place comes from survivors' memoirs. They were fed a thin soup, sometimes with a handful of beans thrown in. Their bread ration - moldy or stale when it made its way to them - was small, and could be withheld by the guards as punishment. Sometimes they got tea. My grandfather told me that, in the winter, both the soup and the tea were given to them already frozen.When Toncheva takes us on a brief walk to go look at storks, the ground gives off wet heat, and brambles and thorns claw at us, as if the island is alive and doesn't want us there. I think of the people who had to work days and nights, in sweltering summers, devoured by mosquitoes. It's unbelievable that anyone survived.An internal CIA document described the grim situation of starving prisoners. "A frequent sight is that of a prisoner eating raw green leaves and roots," it said. "To be caught doing this, however, would result in 10 days in detention in a dungeon for such an offense." The lucky ones got packages from family, though those were often taken by guards. Many had little choice but to choke down the rotting carcasses of wild cats, killed and skinned for their fur by the villagers, or pick through horse dung for undigested barley. According to a CIA information report from March 13, 1952, during one brutal winter 30 prisoners died of cold or starvation."It was an Inferno circle, perfectly calculated by Satan himself," Liliana Pirinchiva, one of the female survivors of Belene, wrote in her memoir. "We were reduced to skeletons." A group of Bulgarian anarchists. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Then there were the guards, who brought an especially sadistic approach to their work. Some would chase packs of prisoners on horseback, letting their rifles off "as if we were a flock of sheep," wrote Stefan Botchev, a survivor. When he got a severe case of scabies, the mites burrowing into his skin, he was locked up in a shed alone because the guards didn't want him to infect the cows. He recalled seeing a beating so severe that a prisoner's spine was broken, turning him into a "reptile crawling on the ground."Kouni Genchev Kounev, the chairman of the Bulgarian Youth Agrarian Union who also survived Belene, recalled one especially brutal punishment, in which the guards would pull back a prisoner's head and strike him in the trachea. They called it the "sword stroke."Years later, Krum Horozov, a survivor, would draw water colors of the camp from memory - it's virtually the only visual documentation that exists. In 2011, six years before his death, Horozov wrote: "And when we die, which will be soon, who will remember what happened on that island in the 1950s, and will they know that people were sent there without a trial and sentence?"Lilia Topouzova, a historian in Toronto who writes about the history and the memory of the camps, recalls meeting Horozov at an academic conference; he was trying to give away copies of his drawings of Belene to university students, but they avoided him as if he were a pesky street vendor.The CricketAt 93, Tsvetana Dzhermanova is the last known survivor of the women's camp, which was known as Shturets, or Cricket. We're sitting outside her home in the mountain village of Leskovets, and she's talking so fast I wonder how she manages to breathe.She smiles and laughs a lot, and she reminds me of my grandfather, who also spoke with the speed of a motorboat, frantic to tell his story."I promised to outlive the Communistie, and here I am!" she boasts. (My grandfather also took an understandable delight at outliving the Communistie. "I survived the Communistie, but I won't survive old age," he once told me, when I was 25 and had no idea about either.) Tsvetana Dzhermanova. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Dzhermanova was an anarchist in the 1950s, and still is today. "That's my personal ideology," she says. "I'm not sure humans are evolved enough to make either anarchism or socialism work the way they should, but for me, anarchism is it. Because I value freedom, family, friendship, and love."When she first heard about anarchism as a teenager, she asked her mother what it meant. "Anarchists are the people all regimes persecute," her mother had replied. That sold her. Dzhermanova joined a village group. She had no designs on power (detesting it) and mostly spent her time reading anarchist literature and working on a community vegetable garden. She estimates that 800 anarchists from the town were swept up in a night and sent to the gulags."We sang songs while we worked," Dzhermanova tells me. "That helped." Last spring the sprightly nonagenarian made the three-hour trip to Belene to speak with a group of students about the camps. "They had no idea about this. They were really surprised," she says. "No one had ever talked to them about it, and they don't learn about it in school."'Out of Fashion'Toncheva and our driver, Peter, walk through a falling-down building that was constructed in 1959, in part to hide evidence of the camp. It's covered in bird shit. Plant life is taking over its rotted remnants, and old decayed furniture has been abandoned here and there. We talk about how nobody talks about the camp.Peter tells us that despite having spent almost his entire life roughly 750 feet from Persin, in Belene village, he learned about the camp only two weeks earlier, when Toncheva hired him as a driver for her tours."To think they only gave them bread and water, and made them work so hard," he says, shaking his head in disbelief. A crumbling building built on the site of Belene. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters As far as Toncheva knows, no one from her family was held here, but she remembers asking her grandmother about the island when she was a teenager and again after reading the memoirs of survivors. "Shhh. Don't talk so much about this," her grandmother would say. "You don't want to bring trouble."There are rumors of a mass grave near Persin. Mikhail Mikailev, the head of the Belene Island Foundation, wants to find it. But money for the equipment required to find and dig up the remains eludes this two-person staff.Unlike Peter and Toncheva, my parents, who were born in the mid-1950s and grew up in Bulgaria, tell me that in the 1970s and 1980s, all their friends in Sofia knew about Belene. "We all heard the stories," my mother says.But for the authorities, maintaining official denial was worth murder.In 1969, the celebrated Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov defected to the West, where he wrote about the regime's abuses. In one essay, Markov described traveling on a boat down the Danube and approaching Belene. "I remembered how, feet dangling over the edge of the boat, a youth with a guitar once sang a strange song: Danube, white river, how quiet you flow / Danube, black river, what anguish you know." A view of Persin island. Tsvetomir Nikolaev On a rainy afternoon in London, a man jabbed the tip of his umbrella into Markov's leg. Later, Markov noticed what looked like a small bug bite but didn't think much of it. A few days later he was dead, most likely poisoned by the Bulgarian secret service.Before my visit to Belene, I met Topouzova, the historian, over Zoom to talk about the erasure of the camps in Bulgaria's consciousness. While former generals wrote best-sellers, the owner of a prominent bookstore dismissed any interest in survivors' memoirs - they were "out of fashion," he had told her.It was gaslighting in its purest form. And it showed how we're all so prone to the "just world" fallacy, a phenomenon where if something is too horribly unjust, the human brain just kind of moves on. It's not all that hard to bury inconvenient truths."It turned out that aging men and women with fragmented memories of bygone violence did not make for the faces of change," Topouzova wrote in a recent paper titled "On Silence and History" for the American Historical Association. "The interned were rendered nonexistent - their experiences and memories fated to vanish along with the files." A pile of stonesNations define themselves by their monuments. The memorial in downtown Manhattan demands that we never forget the victims of 9/11. In the past few years, American activists have torn Confederate statues from their perches, signaling a break with the passive acceptance of the history of slavery. Yet grappling with unpleasant history isn't easy. It was only in 2018 when a museum honoring the Black victims of lynching opened in Alabama. The 1619 Project, which posits that the history of the United States is rooted in slavery, has spurred a massive backlash. School districts have banned children's books about Rosa Parks. Vaunted democracies are as likely to try to bury inconvenient truths as former communist states. At an exhibition in Sofia in 2009, Belene survivors look at images of the gulag's victims. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters In Bulgaria, there are monuments everywhere. From the smallest village to Sofia, the heroes of Bulgaria's uprising against the Ottoman Empire are eternalized in stone. In Plovdiv, a giant sculpture overlooks Bulgaria's second-largest city that honors "Alyosha," an everyman Soviet soldier who helped "liberate" Bulgaria in the 1940s - even though many Bulgarians see that period as Soviet imperialism, much like the Ottoman Empire's 500 years of occupation.The victims of Belene and the other camps have no such honor. The Belene foundation does the best it can. They helped organize an art exhibit, where Korozov's pencil drawings were tacked onto the walls of the decaying structures that had been erected to mask evidence of the gulag. A man places photos of famous victims of Soviet policy in front of the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014. Hristo Vladev/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images There is one modest monument on the island. It's an abstract stone structure, and you'd have no idea what it was if you didn't already know the history. The original idea was to build a monument that listed the names of all the known internees, something like the Vietnam wall on the Mall in Washington. But the survivors and their families who pooled their resources to build it ran out of money, and no one, including the Bulgarian government, stepped in to help. (The survivors also hoped to open a museum and to recreate the shacks where they were held, but that hasn't happened either.)My grandfather's escape Dzhermanova, the 93-year-old anarchist - and eternal optimist, apparently - has hope that younger people will dig up the buried history.As for my grandfather, his ex-wife (or whoever it was who betrayed him to the authorities) was right that he wanted to escape Bulgaria.After his release from Belene in 1953, that resolve was so much stronger. "After 4 years and three months in the Island of Death, I became determined to go to my real home: America," he explained in his notebooks. The author with her grandfather and grandmother, Tsvetana Tutunjieva. Tana Ganeva As he detailed it, it would take four harrowing attempts. Soon after his release from Belene, he managed to make it into Yugoslavia during a "sabor" - a temporary loosening of borders so family and friends in the two countries could see each other. But he got caught and was thrown into a Yugoslavian jail.From there, he organized an inmate breakout after bribing the guard dog, Jeko, with his dinner. But he and the other prisoners were caught in the woods, and the Yugoslavian authorities gave them up to the Bulgarian authorities in exchange for 10 cows. "They weren't even very good cows - scrawny," he wrote.Several years later, he tried to cross Bulgaria's mountainous border into Greece, but he was caught once again.Finally, he made it into Austria and then Germany by clinging to the underside of a freight train. And then on to California, where he gave his new dog a familiar name: Jeko.Tana Ganeva writes about policing, prisons and criminal justice. She's currently working on a book about escapees from the Soviet bloc. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 27th, 2021

The Island of Death: Visiting the gulag where my grandfather was tortured, but didn"t officially exist

My grandfather was held at Bulgaria's most notorious gulag. This summer, I saw it for the first time. A Belene survivor crosses the bridge across the Danube that connects the town of Belene and Persin island in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) This summer, Tana Ganeva traveled to Belene, Bulgaria's most notorious prison camp, where her grandfather was held in the 1950s. Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its Communist-era gulags, where thousands were starved, tortured, and killed. Ganeva's grandfather attempted to escape Bulgaria four times, before making it to California. See more stories on Insider's business page. The island of Persin is a bird-watcher's paradise. Set on the Danube River, which divides Bulgaria and Romania, it's a nature park covered in wetlands and home to hundreds of rare bird species: the spoonbill, the pygmy cormorant, the corncrake, as well as herons, eagles, storks, and pelicans. Amid the natural beauty, it's jarring to consider that this was the location of a concentration camp where thousands of Bulgarian political prisoners were brutalized and killed from 1949 to 1953 - and in some cases for years after that. Though it's officially known as Belene after the quiet Bulgarian village that sits 750 feet away on the mainland, old-timers here call it by another name: the Island of Death.My stepgrandfather, Georgi Tutunjiev, was sent here at age 24 and spent four years and three months interred at Belene after someone (he suspected his ex-wife) told the authorities of his plan to escape the country. In his notebooks - he had planned to write a memoir about Belene but never did before he died in 2011 at 87 - he remembered the place as "brutal facilities for re-education," where he'd endured "indescribable physical and psychological abuse." He finally managed to escape Bulgaria in 1966 and settle with my grandma in California. In 1989, my parents and I left Bulgaria and joined my grandparents in California, thanks to the family-reunification policy. While many survivors of trauma shut down, my grandfather never stopped talking about the gulag. He seemed to have an unending loop of stories about Belene. For my immediate family, it could be exhausting, and we were alarmed to discover his extensive gun collection, which my grandmother gamely dismissed as a coping mechanism. But guests who came to the house were often riveted by his dark tales, which he mixed with his sense of humor. "Jeko! The Communistie shot you!" he'd shout at his terrier mix, and the dog would sprawl on his back, playing dead. An aerial view of Persin island. The gulag was known as Belene, after the nearby town. Tsvetomir Nikolaev I've come to the town of Belene on a brutally hot day in August for a tour of the Island of Death. I meet Nedyalka Toncheva, who works for the Belene Island Foundation, a nonprofit that organizes tours of the island, close to the bank of the Danube.We cross a rickety water bridge on foot and then jump aboard a Jeep driven by a 24-year-old Belene native named Peter. Toncheva, who is 35, is passionate and knowledgeable about the island's flora and fauna. Every few minutes, she tells Peter to stop the car to point out a roosting stork or a water eagle. She talks about her plans to make Persin a tourist destination comparable to Borovets, a ski resort with luxury hotels in the Rila mountains; or Koprivchitsa, a living museum honoring the Bulgarian rebels who mounted an uprising in 1876 against the Ottoman Empire.In the three decades since the fall of communism, Bulgaria has effectively buried the history of its many gulags, which operated mostly in the 1950s during the early, and most violent, days of Communist rule in the country. In Belene itself, many lower-level guards came from the village and a former mayor was also the gulag's first superintendent. It's not surprising that the village doesn't advertise its history.After 1989, survivors who had been forced to sign documents promising to never talk about the camps started speaking out. For a brief time, they became the subjects of documentaries and newspaper profiles. But soon, the consensus was that it was better to move on. An interior minister tasked with investigating the camps instead secretly ordered a purge of thousands of pages of documents - 40% of the government record. While Bulgaria's defeat of the Ottomans is central to the national identity, and much is made of the fact that Bulgaria saved its Jews during the Holocaust, the memory of the Communist era is more fraught. Georgi Tutunjiev, the author's grandfather, in around 1977. Tana Ganeva Peculiar for a tour, most of our stops lead us to what's not left of the camp. The shacks where prisoners slept have been razed - there's no trace of them.At the entrance, in what is now an open field, an inscription says, "To be human is to have dignity." From inside the camp - what would have been visible to the internees - the engraving says, "If the enemy doesn't surrender, he is destroyed." But no one I've talked to knows whether it's the original or has been recreated. There are a few abandoned, falling-apart buildings, but those were built in 1959, six years after the camp's official (but not real) closing, when it was converted into a prison, in part to kill rumors that it had operated as a secret gulag. Todor Zhivkov, the Communist premier who took power in 1954 and stayed on until 1989, reopened it in the 1980s to detain Muslims who refused to take on Slavic names in place of their own - a disastrous bid to assimilate them. I ask Toncheva whether there's a list of everyone who was held in the camp. I'm thinking of my grandfather and wondering whether there's any documentation. She tells me everyone who comes here for the camp asks the same question."There's no way to know, no list," Toncheva says, apologetic. "There's almost no proof the camp even existed."'Perfectly calculated by Satan himself'The first contingent of 300 men arrived at the Belene camp in the summer of 1949, five years after the 1944 Communist coup. My grandfather, then 24, arrived that first winter. A camp for women was founded on an adjacent island soon after.It was modeled after Josef Stalin's gulags in Siberia. Most of the prisoners had been dragged from their homes by the military police and sent here without trial. (Estimates vary, but 20,000 to 40,000 people were thought to be murdered by the Bulgarian Communist Party.) Even Stalin eventually warned them to scale down the killing of prominent oppositional figures or risk creating martyrs.The first wave of prisoners had to hack through the unpopulated island and build small shacks that were so crowded the prisoners didn't have room to lie down. In his history of the camp, Borislav Skotchev wrote that the island was dotted with towers manned by guards with machine guns. A survivor of Belene during a commemoration ceremony in 2015. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images) The men held here included the former leader of the Social Democrats, Orthodox priests (many in their 70s), and the mayor of Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. Tsveti Ivanov, the editor of the newspaper Svoboden Narod, or Free People, was sent to Belene after serving 10 months in prison. He was beaten so brutally that he got tetanus from his wounds and died in the compound. Much of what we know about the place comes from survivors' memoirs. They were fed a thin soup, sometimes with a handful of beans thrown in. Their bread ration - moldy or stale when it made its way to them - was small, and could be withheld by the guards as punishment. Sometimes they got tea. My grandfather told me that, in the winter, both the soup and the tea were given to them already frozen.When Toncheva takes us on a brief walk to go look at storks, the ground gives off wet heat, and brambles and thorns claw at us, as if the island is alive and doesn't want us there. I think of the people who had to work days and nights, in sweltering summers, devoured by mosquitoes. It's unbelievable that anyone survived.An internal CIA document described the grim situation of starving prisoners. "A frequent sight is that of a prisoner eating raw green leaves and roots," it said. "To be caught doing this, however, would result in 10 days in detention in a dungeon for such an offense." The lucky ones got packages from family, though those were often taken by guards. Many had little choice but to choke down the rotting carcasses of wild cats, killed and skinned for their fur by the villagers, or pick through horse dung for undigested barley. According to a CIA information report from March 13, 1952, during one brutal winter 30 prisoners died of cold or starvation."It was an Inferno circle, perfectly calculated by Satan himself," Liliana Pirinchiva, one of the female survivors of Belene, wrote in her memoir. "We were reduced to skeletons." A group of Bulgarian anarchists. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Then there were the guards, who brought an especially sadistic approach to their work. Some would chase packs of prisoners on horseback, letting their rifles off "as if we were a flock of sheep," wrote Stefan Botchev, a survivor. When he got a severe case of scabies, the mites burrowing into his skin, he was locked up in a shed alone because the guards didn't want him to infect the cows. He recalled seeing a beating so severe that a prisoner's spine was broken, turning him into a "reptile crawling on the ground."Kouni Genchev Kounev, the chairman of the Bulgarian Youth Agrarian Union who also survived Belene, recalled one especially brutal punishment, in which the guards would pull back a prisoner's head and strike him in the trachea. They called it the "sword stroke."Years later, Krum Horozov, a survivor, would draw water colors of the camp from memory - it's virtually the only visual documentation that exists. In 2011, six years before his death, Horozov wrote: "And when we die, which will be soon, who will remember what happened on that island in the 1950s, and will they know that people were sent there without a trial and sentence?"Lilia Topouzova, a historian in Toronto who writes about the history and the memory of the camps, recalls meeting Horozov at an academic conference; he was trying to give away copies of his drawings of Belene to university students, but they avoided him as if he were a pesky street vendor.The CricketAt 93, Tsvetana Dzhermanova is the last known survivor of the women's camp, which was known as Shturets, or Cricket. We're sitting outside her home in the mountain village of Leskovets, and she's talking so fast I wonder how she manages to breathe.She smiles and laughs a lot, and she reminds me of my grandfather, who also spoke with the speed of a motorboat, frantic to tell his story."I promised to outlive the Communistie, and here I am!" she boasts. (My grandfather also took an understandable delight at outliving the Communistie. "I survived the Communistie, but I won't survive old age," he once told me, when I was 25 and had no idea about either.) Tsvetana Dzhermanova. Tsvetana Dzhermanova Dzhermanova was an anarchist in the 1950s, and still is today. "That's my personal ideology," she says. "I'm not sure humans are evolved enough to make either anarchism or socialism work the way they should, but for me, anarchism is it. Because I value freedom, family, friendship, and love."When she first heard about anarchism as a teenager, she asked her mother what it meant. "Anarchists are the people all regimes persecute," her mother had replied. That sold her. Dzhermanova joined a village group. She had no designs on power (detesting it) and mostly spent her time reading anarchist literature and working on a community vegetable garden. She estimates that 800 anarchists from the town were swept up in a night and sent to the gulags."We sang songs while we worked," Dzhermanova tells me. "That helped." Last spring the sprightly nonagenarian made the three-hour trip to Belene to speak with a group of students about the camps. "They had no idea about this. They were really surprised," she says. "No one had ever talked to them about it, and they don't learn about it in school."'Out of Fashion'Toncheva and our driver, Peter, walk through a falling-down building that was constructed in 1959, in part to hide evidence of the camp. It's covered in bird shit. Plant life is taking over its rotted remnants, and old decayed furniture has been abandoned here and there. We talk about how nobody talks about the camp.Peter tells us that despite having spent almost his entire life roughly 750 feet from Persin, in Belene village, he learned about the camp only two weeks earlier, when Toncheva hired him as a driver for her tours."To think they only gave them bread and water, and made them work so hard," he says, shaking his head in disbelief. A crumbling building built on the site of Belene. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters As far as Toncheva knows, no one from her family was held here, but she remembers asking her grandmother about the island when she was a teenager and again after reading the memoirs of survivors. "Shhh. Don't talk so much about this," her grandmother would say. "You don't want to bring trouble."There are rumors of a mass grave near Persin. Mikhail Mikailev, the head of the Belene Island Foundation, wants to find it. But money for the equipment required to find and dig up the remains eludes this two-person staff.Unlike Peter and Toncheva, my parents, who were born in the mid-1950s and grew up in Bulgaria, tell me that in the 1970s and 1980s, all their friends in Sofia knew about Belene. "We all heard the stories," my mother says.But for the authorities, maintaining official denial was worth murder.In 1969, the celebrated Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov defected to the West, where he wrote about the regime's abuses. In one essay, Markov described traveling on a boat down the Danube and approaching Belene. "I remembered how, feet dangling over the edge of the boat, a youth with a guitar once sang a strange song: Danube, white river, how quiet you flow / Danube, black river, what anguish you know." A view of Persin island. Tsvetomir Nikolaev On a rainy afternoon in London, a man jabbed the tip of his umbrella into Markov's leg. Later, Markov noticed what looked like a small bug bite but didn't think much of it. A few days later he was dead, most likely poisoned by the Bulgarian secret service.Before my visit to Belene, I met Topouzova, the historian, over Zoom to talk about the erasure of the camps in Bulgaria's consciousness. While former generals wrote best-sellers, the owner of a prominent bookstore dismissed any interest in survivors' memoirs - they were "out of fashion," he had told her.It was gaslighting in its purest form. And it showed how we're all so prone to the "just world" fallacy, a phenomenon where if something is too horribly unjust, the human brain just kind of moves on. It's not all that hard to bury inconvenient truths."It turned out that aging men and women with fragmented memories of bygone violence did not make for the faces of change," Topouzova wrote in a recent paper titled "On Silence and History" for the American Historical Association. "The interned were rendered nonexistent - their experiences and memories fated to vanish along with the files." A pile of stonesNations define themselves by their monuments. The memorial in downtown Manhattan demands that we never forget the victims of 9/11. In the past few years, American activists have torn Confederate statues from their perches, signaling a break with the passive acceptance of the history of slavery. Yet grappling with unpleasant history isn't easy. It was only in 2018 when a museum honoring the Black victims of lynching opened in Alabama. The 1619 Project, which posits that the history of the United States is rooted in slavery, has spurred a massive backlash. School districts have banned children's books about Rosa Parks. Vaunted democracies are as likely to try to bury inconvenient truths as former communist states. At an exhibition in Sofia in 2009, Belene survivors look at images of the gulag's victims. Stoyan Nenov/Reuters In Bulgaria, there are monuments everywhere. From the smallest village to Sofia, the heroes of Bulgaria's uprising against the Ottoman Empire are eternalized in stone. In Plovdiv, a giant sculpture overlooks Bulgaria's second-largest city that honors "Alyosha," an everyman Soviet soldier who helped "liberate" Bulgaria in the 1940s - even though many Bulgarians see that period as Soviet imperialism, much like the Ottoman Empire's 500 years of occupation.The victims of Belene and the other camps have no such honor. The Belene foundation does the best it can. They helped organize an art exhibit, where Korozov's pencil drawings were tacked onto the walls of the decaying structures that had been erected to mask evidence of the gulag. A man places photos of famous victims of Soviet policy in front of the Monument to the Soviet Army in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014. Hristo Vladev/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images There is one modest monument on the island. It's an abstract stone structure, and you'd have no idea what it was if you didn't already know the history. The original idea was to build a monument that listed the names of all the known internees, something like the Vietnam wall on the Mall in Washington. But the survivors and their families who pooled their resources to build it ran out of money, and no one, including the Bulgarian government, stepped in to help. (The survivors also hoped to open a museum and to recreate the shacks where they were held, but that hasn't happened either.)My grandfather's escape Dzhermanova, the 93-year-old anarchist - and eternal optimist, apparently - has hope that younger people will dig up the buried history.As for my grandfather, his ex-wife (or whoever it was who betrayed him to the authorities) was right that he wanted to escape Bulgaria.After his release from Belene in 1953, that resolve was so much stronger. "After 4 years and three months in the Island of Death, I became determined to go to my real home: America," he explained in his notebooks. The author with her grandfather and grandmother, Tsvetana Tutunjieva. Tana Ganeva As he detailed it, it would take four harrowing attempts. Soon after his release from Belene, he managed to make it into Yugoslavia during a "sabor" - a temporary loosening of borders so family and friends in the two countries could see each other. But he got caught and was thrown into a Yugoslavian jail.From there, he organized an inmate breakout after bribing the guard dog, Jeko, with his dinner. But he and the other prisoners were caught in the woods, and the Yugoslavian authorities gave them up to the Bulgarian authorities in exchange for 10 cows. "They weren't even very good cows - scrawny," he wrote.Several years later, he tried to cross Bulgaria's mountainous border into Greece, but he was caught once again.Finally, he made it into Austria and then Germany by clinging to the underside of a freight train. And then on to California, where he gave his new dog a familiar name: Jeko.Tana Ganeva writes about policing, prisons and criminal justice. She's currently working on a book about escapees from the Soviet bloc. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2021

Asheville boasts one of the longest foliage seasons in the US - these 10 central hotels offer striking views

These are the best hotels in Asheville, NC including Grand Bohemian, the Biltmore, Cambria, the Renaissance, Kimpton, and Omni Grove Park Inn. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Omni Hotels Asheville is a big city with a small-town feel in North Carolina. Asheville is near national parks and is known for vibrant dining, breweries, art, and music. Asheville's best hotels are also varied, from boutique inns to B&Bs and brand name luxury. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWith unbelievable mountain views, a thriving food and drink scene, an emphasis on nature, and a penchant for the arts, Asheville is a must-visit destination. Sitting on "America's Prettiest Drive," the Blue Ridge Parkway, it has mild seasons year-round and one of the longest, most vibrant fall foliage seaons in the US.I've been visiting Asheville for the past decade, and throughout the pandemic, it made it my go-to road trip for its accessible location, outdoor activities, and how safely it's handled COVID-19. Follow my lead and plan a trip to Asheville with a stay at one of the following standout hotels that range from cozy bed and breakfast in a historic neighborhood to trendy downtown high rise, and the lap of luxury at a five-star spa hotel. Browse the best Asheville hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area here:The best hotels in AshevilleFAQ: Asheville, NC hotelsHow we selected the best hotels in AshevilleMore of the best hotels on the East CoastThese are the best hotels in Asheville, sorted by price from low to high. Cambria Downtown Ashville Floor-to-ceiling windows offer direct views of Pisgah Mountain. Booking.com Book Cambria Downtown AshevilleCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak prices: $128/$515Best for: Couples, friends, families, solo travelers, business travelers On-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, fitness room, convenience store, meeting roomsPros: Every room is thoughtfully designed with wide foyers, Bluetooth mirrors in the bathroom, and desks and beds facing floor-to-ceiling windows with mountain views.Cons: TVs only have a few channels and don't connect to streaming services, so don't count on a lot of in-room entertainment.Located next to historic Grove Arcade, the Cambria Downtown Asheville places you in an ideal location to explore Downtown's revered restaurants, bars, breweries, and galleries on foot.The rooms are loft-style, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering direct views of Pisgah Mountain and more space to spread out than most standard hotel rooms. As you walk in, a foyer gradually widens, opening up to a space marked by crisp white beds, a desk, plenty of electrical outlets and USB ports, wood floors, and exposed red brick walls with eye-catching splashes of blue. The bathroom is spacious with a large vanity, walk-in showers, bathtubs in some rooms, and the coolest part, Bluetooth mirrors that can play your music while you get ready.A sundry in the lobby is packed with healthy meals to prepare in your in-room microwave, or head to Hemingway's, a Cuban restaurant and bar on the fourth-floor with a terrace and fire pits. Locals pack this rooftop on weekend nights, so make a reservation to grab a seat. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Renaissance Asheville Hotel Rooms are comfortable, clean, and have mountain views. Marriott Book Renaissance Asheville HotelCategory: Mid-rangeNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak prices: $131/$512Best for: Couples, solo travelers, business travelers, Marriott loyalistsOn-site amenities: Restaurant, fitness room, pool, meeting rooms, marketPros: This Renaissance has the largest Junior Olympic saltwater swimming pool in Asheville.Cons: The restaurant is only open for breakfast, and the only other food served at the hotel are the snacks and packaged meals available at the on-site market. When you need a nice, but moderate Downtown Asheville hotel with a full list of modern amenities from a trusted brand, choose the Renaissance.I stayed here on a whim as I was passing through Asheville in the height of COVID-19 in 2020, and wanted a hotel brand I knew I could trust to handle the pandemic safely. The Renaissance, a Marriott Bonvoy property, did this exceptionally well and impressed me with their levels of safety and cleanliness.The Renaissance is on the edge of Downtown Asheville and every room has floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to wake up to see the sunrise over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rooms are spacious and comfortable with plush beds, textured black headboards, a desk, and a sitting area.Asheville was nicknamed "Bee City USA" in 2012 for its honey bee population and commitment to educating the public about how important bees are for the environment. Staying true to this oath, this hotel houses "bee boxes" from the Bee Institute on its roof to promote sustainability.COVID-19 procedures are available here. 1900 Inn on Montford The lavish, spa-like Cloisters Suite is a top pick for romance and relaxation. Booking.com Book 1900 Inn On MontfordCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: Montford Historic DistrictTypical starting/peak prices: $145/$605Best for: Couples, luxury travelers, solo travelers, foodiesOn-site amenities: Dining room, daily breakfast and social hour, live music, games, all-day snacksPros: Book the luxurious 1,300-square-foot Cloisters suite, which has a private garden and a large spa room with a two-person Whirlpool, shiatsu massage, air bath, and walk-in shower.Cons: This hotel is not great for families as children under the age of 12 are not permitted.Perched on a hill in a historic residential neighborhood, just eight blocks from the edge of Downtown Asheville, the Inn on Montford is charming, cozy, and well-placed.This Arts and Crafts style bed and breakfast has eight rooms, each with King beds, gas fireplaces, bathrooms with fiber-optic starry floors, Roman baths, and color-changing, LED-lit vanities.Don't miss the daily cookie selection; one of the innkeepers, Shawnie, makes them herself and prepares a mix of mouthwatering flavors like salted chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, or chocolate-orange.If you're on vacation with your special someone, make it extra romantic and book the Cloisters suite, in the Carriage House, which has 1,300 square feet of space, a private garden, a huge living room, a kitchenette, a bar, a fireplace, and a luxurious 68-square-foot spa room with a two-person Whirlpool tub, shiatsu massage, air bath, and a huge walk-in shower. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph Collection Art and design feature prominently, with statement decor in guest rooms. Marriott Book Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph CollectionCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: Biltmore VillageTypical starting/peak prices: $158 /$600Best for: Couples, families, solo travelers, business travelers, Marriott loyalistsOn-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, art gallery, spa, fitness room, meeting roomsPros: Grand Bohemian Asheville is located directly across the street from the entrance to the famed Biltmore Estate, and the on-site art gallery has local and regional art and jewelry for sale.Cons: In some room categories, the bathroom is separated from the bedroom by a thin curtain rather than an actual door, which isn't ideal for privacy or modesty. Request one with a door if you're traveling with mixed company.This art-driven hotel is the best hotel in Biltmore Village, directly across the street from the entrance to famous Biltmore Estate, known as "America's Largest Home," which was built by George Vanderbilt in 1889 and has a world-class winery, historic gardens, popular restaurants, a farm and over 20 miles of nature trails.Like all Kessler boutique properties, this hotel is innately luxurious, but with a vibe that's creative, relaxing, and comfortable enough to make you feel at home. Art also features prominently, with an on-site art gallery filled with paintings, sculptures, glass art, and jewelry by local artists that are also available for sale.As such, the atmosphere is rich and enticing, with an entrance flanked by a Tudor-style driveway, dramatic candelabras, and heavy burgundy drapes.Inside, stylish, but quirky rooms and common areas juxtapose oil and contemporary paintings and historic busts with surprising sculptures, like a wild hog wearing a tacky tourist hat, and bright purple low lighting that matches velvet chairs alongside fixtures that look like antlers. The rooms are big and enticing, with tufted teal headboards, lamps with tree branch bases, brown and teal-patterned carpeting, and sleek bathrooms with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the soaking tub.COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville Village Hotel Village Hotel is one of three accommodation options housed within the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate. Booking.com Book Village HotelCategory: Mid-RangeNeighborhood: Biltmore VillageTypical starting/peak prices: $170 /$705Best for: Families, couples, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, pool, spa, fitness room, meeting roomsPros: Village Hotel is located in Antler Hill Village, on Biltmore Estate, right next to a slew of family-friendly restaurants, activities, a petting zoo, a winery, and over 20 miles of nature trails. Cons: Transportation around the estate is currently unavailable due to COVID-19, so guests will need to factor a rental car into the cost of their trip.Village Hotel is one of three accommodation options housed within the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate, and it's the best pick for families. Located in Antler Hill Village, just steps from the winery, the famed Cedric's Tavern (named after the Vanderbilt family dog), a petting zoo, the outdoor adventure center, and over 20 miles of nature trails, the hotel offers tons to do.The entry-level Village Double Rooms are simple, without fancy bells and whistles, but are modern and spacious with a minimalist black, white and gray color scheme, comfortable double beds, a walk-in shower, and a charming window seat for a vantage point over the beautiful grounds.In addition to all of the aforementioned perks of staying at Biltmore Estate, guests can also dine at Village Social for kid-friendly breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, or go to The Creamery for "Winky Bar sundaes," which is a waffle cone filled with black cherry ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Kimpton Hotel Arras Kimpton Hotel Arras has a prime downtown location and impressive perks, especially for pets. Booking.com Book Kimpton Hotel Arras Category: Boutique Neighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak prices: $171/$760Best for: Couples, solo travelers, business travelers, travelers with pets, IHG loyalistsOn-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, fitness center, seasonal book program, free essential toiletriesPros: This hotel boasts a super central location in downtown Asheville, right on Pack Square. Animals may stay at no extra charge and receive special pet amenities.Cons: With its prime downtown location and resident and local foot traffic, this hotel can be loud and crowded.When in Downtown Asheville, look up and you'll spot the Kimpton Hotel Arras; it's the tallest building in all of Asheville.The 128 rooms, suites, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom luxury condos are bright, airy, and filled with natural woods, white and neutral fabrics, textured walls, art by local Asheville artist Catherine Murphy, a desk, and floor-to-ceiling windows facing Downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.In even the most basic Queen Room, the vanity and bathroom area feels luxurious with a huge walk-in glass shower, marble accents, warm lighting, a dark wood vanity, a large mirror, and a separate toilet.Indulge in drinks and a Mediterranean meal at District 42, and when the sun goes down on a pretty evening, grab a seat by the glass fire pits on the terrace and watch life in Downtown Asheville buzz by. All Kimpton hotels are pet-friendly, too, so bring your dog, cat, bird, iguana or any other animal for no charge. All pet companions are also pampered with perks like stylish feeding bowls, pet beds, treat bags, a ball, and more for free.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Foundry Hotel Asheville Exposed brick and contemporary furnishings give off an industrial-chic vibe. Hilton Book The Foundry Hotel AshevilleCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak prices: $182/$684Best for: Couples, luxury travelers, solo travelers, families, Hilton loyalistsOn-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, fitness room, meeting rooms, courtyard with fire pitsPros: It's just two blocks walking distance from the heart of downtown Asheville, and offers Tesla car service and a Southern soul food restaurant by a six-time James Beard Award nominee.Cons: The internet connection was unreliable when I visited, which is hard for business travelers or those who like to be overly connected.Once the foundry and warehouse that forged steel for Asheville's famous Biltmore Estate, The Foundry Hotel Asheville is now a luxury boutique Hilton property next to Pack Square Park.An ode to the city's Black history, it's located in a historical enclave called "The Block," that was once a hub of African American community and business in the late 19th and 20th centuries.After sipping a glass of Champagne at check-in, make your way up to your room, which feels industrially luxe with exposed brick walls, all-white beds with cream tufted leather headboards, floor-to-ceiling mountain views, and eclectic wall art featuring period paintings and newspaper clippings in mixed oval and rectangular frames.Paying homage to its Black heritage, the on-site Benne on Eagle is a Southern soul food restaurant led by six-time James Beard Award nominee John Fleer. The hotel is just a five-minute walk from Downtown Asheville, but if you'd rather drive, The Foundry's Tesla car service can drop you off. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Abbington Green This charming B&B feels plucked from the English countryside. Booking.com Book Abbington GreenCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: Montford Historic DistrictTypical starting/peak prices: $229/$469Best for: Couples, luxury travelers, solo travelers, foodiesOn-site amenities: Dining room, spa, English gardens, daily breakfast and social hour, games, all-day snacksPros: Every room has a King bed (which is unique for most historic bed and breakfasts in Asheville) and TVs you can watch from the bathtub.Cons: Children under the age of 12 are not permitted, which isn't ideal for young families.The English-inspired Abbington Green is an award-winning bed and breakfast, sitting atop a hill with whimsical landscaping and prize-winning manicured gardens.The property has both a main and carriage house, seven rooms, one two-bedroom suite, a spa room, a dining room, and a living room with games, a piano, and a guitar.Every guest room has a King bed, which is unique for historic homes like these, as well as towel warmers, a fireplace, and luxury bathtubs with a view of the TV — perfect for a bubble bath with a glass of wine and your favorite movie.There's an on-site charging station for electric cars, daily breakfast, a social hour, and a beautiful veranda where you can watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge mountains. The warmth of innkeepers Dean and Cherie brings it all together, as they love to talk to their guests, swap travel stories, and make everyone feel right at home.For COVID-19 procedures, call (828) 251-2454. Sourwood Inn The owners spent more than 25 years in the wine industry, and their knowledge filters down to the overall experience of staying here. Booking.com Book Sourwood InnCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: Greater AshevilleTypical starting/peak prices: $235/$390Best for: Couples, luxury travelers, solo travelers, nature lovers, foodies, oenophilesOn-site amenities: Dining room, library, loop trails, wine and flower packages, gamesPros: The owners spent more than 25 years in the wine industry and brought that culinary experience to the hotel, giving guests farm-to-table dining, curated wine lists, in-room wine programs, and pairing dinners.Cons: The inn is a 20-minute drive from downtown Asheville on remote mountain roads, so you'll have to factor a rental car into your trip.This romantic bed and breakfast is a true hidden gem that sits largely under the radar in Asheville. Located right off the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, it's just 20 minutes from downtown, positioned on 100 acres of hilly landscapes that make it feel as if you're staying in a national park.There are 12 guest rooms in the cedar and stone-trimmed main house, with a separate Sassafras Cabin, all of which underwent a recent head-to-toe renovation. Rooms are airy and bright, welcoming sunlight through tall windows, plus light-colored walls, wood-burning fireplaces, balconies overlooking Reems Creek Valley, and soaking tubs with scenic Bullhead Mountain views.The owners spent a combined 25+ years in the wine industry, and brought that culinary knowledge to the inn through well-executed farm-to-table cuisine, curated wine lists, food pairings, as well as wine of the month and wine and dine packages that add value for serious oenophiles. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Omni Grove Park Inn Sprawling grounds feel regal and are exceedingly beautiful. Tripadvisor Book The Omni Grove Park InnCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: Grove ParkTypical starting/peak prices: $239/$1,049Best for: Couples, luxury travelers, business travelers, families On-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, fitness room, pools, spa, meeting rooms, sports complex, outdoor center, golf course, tennis courts, food foraging experiencesPros: Perfect for a honeymoon or couples getaway, this romantic hotel guarantees five-star service, a renowned subterranean spa, and an iconic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunset from its restaurant, Sunset Terrace.Cons: As this is a luxury property, expect to pay premium prices for everything.Few resorts can say they've hosted 10 US presidents and every celebrity you can think of, from Gene Hackman and Helen Carter to Nick Carter and Barack Obama, but The Omni Grove Park Inn is one of them. Additionally, this historic resort, which opened in 1913 is famous for being a World War II internment camp for German diplomats, and served as the hotel and inspiration of choice for author F. Scott Fitzgerald over the course of two summers. Five-star service is unparalleled, with an exterior resembling a majestic stone palace that appears as if it's built right into the mountains. Overlooking 300 acres of hills, woodlands, and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the hotel also sits on a Donald Ross-designed championship golf course.From its famous terrace viewpoint, wander down the stone steps to the subterranean spa (it's so popular that you have to book six or eight weeks in advance to get an appointment) and discover hidden waterfalls along the way. Be sure to drink a glass of wine by one of two huge lobby fireplaces, and look up to see original light fixtures from the first day it opened.You'll likely pinch yourself watching the sunset over the mountains from dinner at Sunset Terrace. It's such an iconic view that, whether you stay at the Omni or not, everyone will ask if you saw it.COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Asheville, NC hotels What is the best area to stay in Asheville?Asheville is a revered food and drink destination and staying in downtown Asheville puts you within walking distance from many award-winning restaurants and breweries.If you're only in town to visit Biltmore Estate, you could stay in Biltmore Village, which is right across the street from the estate entrance, or at the Biltmore itself. Biltmore Village and Downtown Asheville are the two main attraction areas in Asheville and, luckily for visitors, they are only a 10-minute drive apart.Don't worry about not having a car; Uber and Lyft are everywhere in Asheville's popular areas, and it's easy to catch one to get to and from each. When is the best time of year to visit Asheville?Ask the locals, and they'll tell you there's no such thing as a "low season" in Asheville anymore. As such, the best time of year to visit Asheville is anytime. The award-winning restaurant and brewery scene is always available and the famous Biltmore Estate is a top attraction.If you're planning a fall visit, Asheville's 100+ deciduous trees give it one of the nation's longest fall foliage seaons, making it truly spectacular to visit in September and October. At this time of year, the leaves start to change along the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, apple-picking season is in full swing, and temperatures drop to the 40s and 50s.Prices get slightly cheaper in January and February when snow and ice make driving in the mountains less appealing, and in March when it's cold and rainy. What are COVID-19 protocols in Asheville?Asheville has been very proactive about COVID-19 risk since the beginning of the pandemic, and stores, restaurants, and businesses strictly enforce local mandates. Currently, there are no restrictions on capacity and social distancing in restaurants, bars, and meeting spaces. Masks are required in all indoor locations in Buncombe County based on advice from medical experts and scientists. What is the best hotel in Asheville?I believe that The Omni Grove Park Inn is by far the best hotel in Asheville. It feels like staying in a palace built into the mountain, right on a championship golf course, with five-star service, a subterranean spa, and unbelievable views of 300+ acres of rolling green hills and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. Staying here is the ultimate getaway, whether you're on your honeymoon, planning a girls spa weekend, or looking for a memorable place to spend the holidays. But with rooms hitting peak prices at $1,049 a night, it might not be an option for everyone. However, Asheville is filled with a range of wonderful boutique properties and larger hotels. For the best boutique hotel in Asheville, stay at the Abbington Green, an England-inspired bed and breakfast in the Montford Historic District with large and modern King rooms, daily breakfast, social hours, and beautiful English gardens.For the best hotels in downtown Asheville, the Kimpton Hotel Arras is a dog-friendly hotel right on Pack Square with beautiful and spacious rooms. And across from Grove Arcade, the Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville offers stylish loft-style rooms with panoramic mountain views, Bluetooth bathroom mirrors, and a terrific terrace restaurant serving authentic Cuban food. What is better in Asheville—a boutique inn or bed and breakfast, or a larger hotel or resort?Both options are wonderful, and the one you choose depends on what your group needs or prefers. Boutique inns or bed and breakfasts are usually in historic residential neighborhoods and offer a cozy and comfortable feel of staying in someone's house. They typically have between six and 16 rooms, so if you're traveling with a small or mid-sized group, you could even rent the entire property.A larger hotel comes with more amenities and usually a more central location within walking distance of great restaurants, bars, breweries, shopping, and entertainment. There are also no age restrictions at larger hotels in Asheville, while most bed and breakfasts don't allow children under the age of 12 so as not to disturb other guests. What is the most romantic hotel in Asheville?With its beautiful stone building, iconic views, luxury service, and intimate feel, there is nowhere more romantic in Asheville than The Omni Grove Park Inn. Make your honeymoon extra special by booking a couples massage at the spa, ordering a tasty steak dinner and a bottle of wine at Sunset Terrace, book a Premium Club Floor Room on the adults-only Club Floor, and end each night with a drink by the lobby fireplace. What is the best hotel for families in Asheville?Village Hotel in Biltmore Estate's Antler Hill Village is great for families. Its basic Village Room starts at $170 and comes with two double beds. If you need more room, upgrade to the Village Double with Living Room, which starts at $320 per night and comes with a bedroom with two double beds, a separate living room with a couch, two twin sleeper sofas, and two full bathrooms.The location is also a huge benefit for families as it is steps away from family-friendly restaurants, the Farmyard petting zoo, 20+ miles of easy nature trails, falconry, and the Biltmore Gardens Railway, which has model trains that kids will love.How cheap or expensive is it to plan a trip to Asheville?Asheville is definitely a top tourist destination in the United States, so prices are constantly rising. That said, there is so much to do and see in Asheville, from hiking, biking, and kayaking to award-winning restaurants, breweries, and the Biltmore. These activities run from free or cheap to quite expensive. Hotels and resorts also run the gamut from $128 to $1,049 per night, and there are also tons of Airbnbs at a variety of price points. If you'd prefer one, we rounded up the best vacation rentals in Asheville as well. How we selected the best hotels in Asheville I chose the properties on this list based on my own deep knowledge of Asheville, supplemented by the research points listed below. I extensively researched and visited each hotel and selected properties with excellent recent reviews and ratings of 4 or higher on trusted traveler sites like Tripadvisor or Booking.com.All properties offer a variety of accommodation types, from boutique bed and breakfasts to brand-name hotels and luxury resorts.They range in starting price from $128 to $1,049 per night to suit a range of budgets. Hotels are located in Asheville's top neighborhoods and historic districts, and are near popular restaurants, breweries, shops, and attractions.All hotels offer COVID-19 safety policies, which we've linked for each property, or provided contact information where you can find out more. More of the best hotels on the East Coast Tripadvisor The best hotels in BostonThe best hotels in New York CityThe best hotels in PhiladelphiaThe best hotels in Washington, DCThe best hotels in Ocean City, MarylandThe best hotels on Hilton Head IslandThe best hotels in Myrtle BeachThe best hotels in CharlestonThe best hotels in SavannahThe best hotels on Tybee IslandThe best hotels in Florida Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 24th, 2021

Some of the best hotels in Las Vegas aren"t on the Strip - here"s where to find a great stay starting at $30

Here's where to stay off the Strip in Las Vegas, including cheap and luxury hotels near Downtown, Fremont Street, Summerlin, Henderson, and Red Rocks. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tripadvisor The Las Vegas Strip draws millions, but locals know that's not the real heart of the city. Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street, and suburbs are more authentic with cheaper casinos and hotels. Some of the best Las Vegas hotels are off-Strip, from retro motels to luxury amid the Red Rocks. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyThe Las Vegas Strip is the city's glitzy, showy draw, luring millions of tourists each year. But it's hardly the sole attraction.As a Las Vegas local, I want you to know there's much more to this wonderful city than just what you'll find along Las Vegas Boulevard. And while you can (and should) enjoy time on the Strip, going off-Strip will show you a part of the city you've never experienced, one that's neighborhood-centric, artsy, outdoorsy, and filled with character.As such, the next time you're looking for a Las Vegas hotel, consider an off-Strip hotel. From historic Fremont Street hotels that lean into a vintage Vegas aesthetic to luxurious desert escapes with spas and pools, these off-Strip hotels also boast lower prices and gaming minimums than their Las Vegas Boulevard counterparts. Browse all the best off-Strip Las Vegas hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area:The best off-Strip hotels in Las VegasFAQ: Las Vegas hotelsHow we selected the best off-Strip hotels in Las VegasMore of the best places to stay in Las VegasThese are the best off-Strip hotels in Las Vegas, sorted by price from low to high. El Cortez Hotel & Casino This property dating back to 1941 is the longest continuously-running casino in Las Vegas. Tripadvisor Book El Cortez Hotel & CasinoCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: Downtown Typical starting/peak price: $30/$125Best for: Groups of friends, solo travelers, couplesOn-site amenities: 24-restaurant known for its shrimp cocktail and prime rib, bars with live entertainment, spa, beauty salon, old-school barbershop, casino, sportsbookPros: This is a very budget-friendly option in the heart of the trendy Fremont East District that will be enticing to history buffs. The 1941 era property is the longest continuously-running casino in Las Vegas.Cons: This is an older property that is showing its age. You will either find it charming or hopelessly dated. There's also no pool.Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the El Cortez and its pink neon cursive sign harken back to the early days of Las Vegas. The Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture stands out in a city increasingly defined by steel and glass.Step inside and find a dimly lit casino, a lobby bar with a live piano, and no-frills rooms. Amenities are limited. There's no pool and the retail space is just a small general store.Most people who appreciate the El Cortez do so because they either like the history or the low prices. For something more modern, book a room at the El Cortez Cabana Suites, the 64-room sister property across the street with tufted white headboards, green walls, marble bathrooms, and a fitness center.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino Vibrant, bright colors create a tropical look on the aptly named Citrus Pool Deck. Tripadvisor Book Downtown Grand Hotel & CasinoCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $33/$217Best for: Couples, groups of friends, locals On-site amenities: Lively rooftop pool, bars, restaurants, live entertainment, meeting and event spacePros: The 3rd Street location gives easy access to stellar restaurants and the Mob Museum is just across the street. Also, the hotel's rooftop pool has dreamy views come sunset.Cons: The on-site Art Bar, which has paintings hanging from the ceiling, used to be an under-the-radar cocktail lounge, but in recent years, the resort has served continental breakfast there, which feels like a downgrade.Can't decide between the raucous Fremont Street Experience and the slightly more chill East Fremont District? Then try the Downtown Grand, which expertly straddles that line.The recently expanded property (the hotel's 495-room Gallery Tower opened in September 2020) still feels boutique despite the budget price tag. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with white walls, geometric accents, and floor-to-ceiling windows.The real highlight is the Citrus Grand Pool Deck, which was voted the best of Las Vegas' best Downtown hotel pool in 2020. When I first moved to Vegas, I whiled away many a desert afternoon at this rooftop oasis; I love the cocktail program and the city views. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Oasis at Gold Spike Known for its party scene, the pool at Gold Spike is a lively one. Booking.com Book Oasis at Gold SpikeCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $35/$149Best for: Groups of friends, solo travelers, young professionalsOn-site amenities: Pool, bike rentals, restaurant, bar, coworking space, fitness center, backyard area with gamesPros: This hotel is vibrant and social. It's not just close to the party; this is the party. Plus, unique rooms include a solar-powered trailer and the penthouse where the 31st season of The Real World was filmed.Cons: This hotel can be very loud (especially on weekends) and rooms are small.Like a lot of things in Downtown Las Vegas, the Oasis at Gold Spike (formerly the Gold Spike Hotel & Casino) used to be a little bit seedy. Now, it's a millennial/Gen Z hangout with a vinyl soundtrack, a coworking space that turns into a house party at night, and 130 hotel rooms. Notably absent: a casino.Staying here is like staying at a deliberately cool hostel, minus the bunk beds. You'll have your own room, but it'll be small and basic, simply a place to crash after staying out all night. Then you'll wake up, grab a cocktail from the 24-hour bar, and hit the pool.The Oasis at Gold Spike is also steps from all of the bars and restaurants on Fremont Street, so there's much to explore within walking distance, although to be honest, on most nights, the best party is right here.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Plaza Hotel & Casino An iconic mural keeps watch over the pool at this equally iconic hotel. Tripadvisor Book The Plaza Hotel & CasinoCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $39/$145Best for: Groups of friends, couplesOn-site amenities: Rooftop pool with pickleball court, an outdoor equestrian center that hosts rodeos, bingo, bars, restaurants including a steakhouse that was seen in the movie "Casino"Pros: This budget-friendly hotel has a prime Fremont Street location with unique amenities (name another Downtown hotel that hosts the National Finals Rodeo; you can't) and great views.Cons: The Plaza opened in 1971 and despite a $35 million renovation in 2010, the property still shows signs of wear, particularly in guest hallways and rooms. Nearly every Las Vegas local (and many a visitor) has taken a photo beneath the twinkling gold lights at the entrance to The Plaza. This backdrop, like the hotel itself, is classic Las Vegas.The 995-room property excels by leaning into the 70's vintage vibe hard. From the banana-leaf wallpaper at the coffee shop to the retro Palm Springs-inspired rooftop pool lounge, The Plaza will feel like a Killers music video if you're a young traveler (Spoiler: It was actually in a Killers music video) and you will unironically enjoy the bingo, smoky casino, and showgirl-bespeckled carpet.In some places, The Plaza feels retro in all the right ways — the steakhouse overlooking Fremont Street, the colorful pool area — in other places, such as the 325-square-foot Deluxe rooms, it feels dated and spartan. Spring for a renovated room (especially one of the Pool Patio rooms which includes a private covered patio) or request one of the newer Luxe rooms, which come with voice-activated Amazon Echoes.COVID-19 procedures are available here. M Resort Spa & Casino The 100,000 square-foot pool complex has two infinity pools including a family-friendly pool and a separate day club pool that hosts parties. Tripadvisor Book M Resort Spa & CasinoCategory: Luxury Neighborhood: HendersonTypical starting/peak price: $78/$345Best for: Families, localsOn-site amenities: Pool with summer parties, spa, fitness center, restaurants including a steakhouse and artisan bakery, lounge with UFC viewing partiesPros: M Resort has a locally-loved pool and a location that is convenient for activities in the Henderson area. Rooms are quiet and have unique views.Cons: The surrounding area isn't much of a destination — think suburban sprawl.A staycation favorite among locals, M Resort has a 100,000 square-foot pool complex with two infinity pools. There's a family-friendly pool and a separate day club pool that hosts parties that allow guests to have the option of both a party environment and a more mellow one.Because the property is located south of the Strip in the Henderson area, rooms feature unique views. They're modern and luxe, outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, power blinds, and raw wooden decor. On-site restaurants are also a bright spot; find everything from a deli to a steakhouse, and a Raiders-themed bar and grill, which is a popular recent addition.The M Resort is not a place to stay if you want to be close to the action of the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, but odds are if you're choosing this hotel, a respite from the mayhem is what you're seeking.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino The pool complex here is expansive, with restaurants, bars, and even a 200,000-gallon shark tank. Tripadvisor Book Golden Nugget Hotel & CasinoCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $79/$179Best for: Couples, familiesOn-site amenities: Expansive pool complex with a 200,000-gallon shark tank, wide selection of restaurants and bars, nightclub with patio overlooking Fremont Street, spa, salon, fitness center, retail shopsPros: Multiple fine dining options and comfortable rooms make this a great base, and it's also dog-friendly (not as common Downtown as it is on the Strip). Plus, the shark tank with a slide going through it in the pool area is a fun perk.Cons: Golden Nugget is not as budget-friendly as other Fremont Street hotels and the nightclub may not dazzle guests who are used to the Strip's more opulent ones.Before Circa, the Golden Nugget was the correct answer to, "where can I stay Downtown if I like the vibe of the Strip?" The property, which is in the center of the Fremont Street Experience, has marble floors, upscale restaurants, and a large casino.A large number of the rooms were recently renovated (the Carson Tower and Gold Tower rooms were renovated in 2018 and 2015 respectively) and feature neutral decor, comfortable mattresses, and lots of space. The Rush Tower rooms with California King beds and 439-square feet of space are an excellent value (expect to pay $109-$229 approximately). The pool complex is huge, and even has a shark tank with an adjacent water slide.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Signature at MGM Grand Every room here is a suite with apartment-like features. Tripadvisor Book The Signature at MGM GrandCategory: Luxury Neighborhood: Near StripTypical starting/peak price: $99/$599Best for: Business travelers, couplesOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, fitness center, lounge, cafePros: All rooms are suites with balconies, which is a real rarity in Las Vegas. It's also slightly removed from the Strip while offering easy access to it.Cons: There are very limited on-site food and drink options unless you walk to the adjacent MGM Grand.If you want to be near the Strip without being directly on the Strip, the Signature at MGM Grand is one of the best options you'll find. This non-gaming property, which is less than a mile from the Strip, is connected to the massive playground that is the MGM Grand (you won't even have to go outside to walk to it) but still feels completely separate.The lobby is tranquil and elegant, and rooms come with kitchenettes, separate living room areas, and in some cases, balconies. Upgrade to a Deluxe Balcony Suite to secure one. They also have spacious spa bathrooms with a rainfall shower, a deep soaking tub, and a TV.While sunning on your balcony, don't be surprised if the view is of a rowdy pool party at the nearby Wet Republic Ultra Pool.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino This family-friendly resort is located in one of Las Vegas' most desirable suburbs. Tripadvisor Book Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and CasinoCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: HendersonTypical starting/peak price: $99/$500Best for: Families, locals, foodiesOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, salon, arcade, restaurants, bars, fitness center, concert, event spacePros: Family-friendly and Vegas don't always go hand-in-hand, so the kid-friendly amenities such as the Cyber Quest arcade are a nice touch. Also, locally-acclaimed restaurant Pizza Rock has a location here, which is not to be missed.Cons: Guests complain about long check-in times and long distances between parking areas and rooms. The Las Vegas neighborhood of Green Valley is attractive with locals due to its safety, proximity to the Strip (about a 15-20 minute drive), and The District at Green Valley Ranch, an open-air shopping and dining area. Travelers staying at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino, which is just a five-minute walk from The District at Green Valley Ranch, will appreciate these same things.The well-manicured property feels as big as some Strip resorts and has a similar scope of amenities too, including high-end restaurants. Italian restaurant Bottiglia offers a lively brunch with bottomless mimosas, Borracha Mexican Cantina has fresh fish tacos, and Tides Oyster Bar has an outstanding fresh seafood selection.The rooms at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino are nothing out of the ordinary, with beige and chocolate brown accents and flat-screen televisions, but they're a good value. Just expect to pay more on weekends.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton Bright, bold rooms are stylish and new and suites are especially spacious. Virgin Hotels Book Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by HiltonCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: Near StripTypical starting/peak price: $111/$500Best for: Groups of friends, couples, Hilton loyalistsOn-site amenities: Live music venue, beach club, pool, spa, fitness center, meeting and event space, sportsbook with interactive games, bars, restaurantsPros: The aesthetic throughout the property aims to please, and rooms are bright and modern with just a bit of quirkiness.Cons: Near Strip is definitely not on-Strip. Expect a 25-minute walk to Las Vegas Boulevard if you dare to go on foot. The brand new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas emerged on former the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino site in 2021 and has made a strong case for a pilgrimage away from the Strip. Though, it is a solid mile away from Las Vegas Boulevard.The hotel is colorful and inviting with jewel-toned furniture and bold accent walls. Rooms are white with pops of color and interesting, modern light fixtures. The property also scores major points for embracing its desert location. You'll be greeted with cacti at the entrance, and once inside, you're met with an infusion of color.Dining and drinking feature venues from Todd English and Nobu Matsuhisa, and as long as you aren't counting on an easy stroll to the Strip, this property will impress. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Circa Resort & Casino The epic pool complex dubbed Stadium Swim is a sight to behold. Tripadvisor Book Circa Resort & CasinoCategory: Luxury Neighborhood: Downtown Las VegasTypical starting/peak price: $139/$639Best for: Groups of friends, couples, locals on staycationOn-site amenities: Year-round pool deck with a massive outdoor screen that broadcasts live sports games, swanky 60th-floor rooftop lounge, three-story sportsbook, the longest outdoor bar on Fremont Street, restaurantsPros: Circa opened in 2020 as the first newly-built hotel-casino in Downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, and it shows. Everything feels fresh, from the art installations in the parking garage (which the resort calls Garage Mahal) to sapphire and gold accents in guest rooms. This is a hotel for people who want a luxury Strip resort but in Downtown Las Vegas.Cons: This hotel still comes with a Strip resort price tag; Circa can be pricier than nearby Fremont Street properties.Located on the former site of the Las Vegas Club, Circa dominates the Downtown Las Vegas skyline with an angular design that looks distinctly modern compared to neighboring hotels.The property, owned by locally famous Derek Stevens who also runs the nearby The D Casino and Hotel, is flashy and upscale. For example, there's a display case containing 1,000 ounces of gold on the rooftop lounge and suites come with Balmain products in the bathroom.Instead of one rooftop pool, there are six spread across three levels. Dubbed Stadium Swim, it features six temperature-controlled pools, two swim-up bars, and a 143-foot diagonal, 14-million-megapixel LED screen, always playing the day's biggest sports games and events. Like most Vegas locals, I am partial to Vegas Vickie's, the casino bar that features Vegas Vickie herself, a beloved neon cowgirl who stood watch over Fremont Street for more than three decades. In a hotel that's so intensely modern, it's nice to see this nod to the neighborhood's past. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Red Rock Casino Resort Spa Red Rock's pool complex is serene and lush, lined with palms for ample shade. Hotels.com Book Red Rock Casino Resort SpaCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: SummerlinTypical starting/peak price: $139/$600Best for: Couples, familiesOn-site amenities: lush pool, upscale restaurants, movie theater, bowling alley, spaPros: This hotel is a convenient jumping-off point for outdoor adventures in Red Rock Canyon, and is within walking distance from shops and restaurants in Downtown Summerlin. Plus, the pool is beautiful.Cons: Red Rock Resort is far from the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas. It can also be expensive.Red Rock Resort and Hotel is a true desert escape, located on the western edge of the city near the soaring cliffs of Red Rock Canyon. One could easily spend a day hiking, rock climbing, or mountain biking in the desert and then return to Red Rock for a spa treatment, a margarita by the palm-shaded pool, or fresh pasta from Osteria Fiorella.Conversely, this is also the kind of upscale hotel that makes it easy to spend an entire weekend without leaving the property. It has everything: great room service, cloud-like beds, views of the desert and the Strip, a nice selection of restaurants, and even a bowling alley and movie theater.The pool, in particular, is one of the best in the city and if you're looking for the opposite of a wild Strip pool party, this tranquil oasis is it. Should you feel inclined to wander, shops, restaurants, and even a weekly farmers market are steps away in Downtown Summerlin. COVID-19 procedures are available here. JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa The JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa offers a respite from the desert landscape with abundant greenery. Marriott Book JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & SpaCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: SummerlinTypical starting/peak price: $163/$311Best for: Couples, business travelers, golfersOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, fitness center, golf course, restaurants, business services, meeting spacePros: The Mediterranean-inspired landscaping with trees and waterfalls is beautiful and there is a shuttle to a nearby award-winning golf course.Cons: The on-site Rampart Casino feels notably shabby compared to the high-end feel of the resort.Every time I set foot in the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, it's an immediate escape from the harsh desert landscape. The greenery and water features are abundant, making the resort feel like a haven.I also love the restaurants, especially Jade Asian Kitchen which is great for sushi and cocktails, and Hawthorn Grill, which has an amazing waterside patio shrouded with trees.The rooms are simple and elegant with jetted tubs and large workspace areas, making this a good hotel for business travelers. The concierge can help arrange golf reservations and the surrounding Summerlin area is similarly upscale. The nearby Italian-inspired Tivoli Village offers open-air shopping and dining. Red Rock Canyon is also close. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Las Vegas hotels What is the best time of year to visit Las Vegas?The shoulder seasons — fall and spring — bring perfect desert weather and are the best time to visit Las Vegas. Expect pleasant, sunny days with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Of these two seasons, fall tends to be quieter, with spring bringing spring break crowds.Despite the very hot weather, summer is very busy and you may see higher room rates during this time. Winter is the least busy season in Las Vegas (except for New Year's Eve) and it can also be surprisingly chilly, so you might not get that pool day.Which off-Strip neighborhood should I choose?Stay Downtown or near the Strip if you want to still experience the casinos, restaurants, bars, and delightful mayhem that makes the city so special. Or choose Downtown if you want to experience historic Las Vegas, Fremont Street, and go where the locals go. Choose near-Strip if you want access to Las Vegas Boulevard without the noise and traffic.If you are traveling for business or with young children (or are sensitive to loud noise) consider the suburbs of Henderson or Summerlin. Henderson has outdoor shopping malls, big box stores, quiet neighborhoods, and nice city parks where families picnic. Summerlin will speak to you if you're the outdoorsy type, as Red Rock Canyon is just a stone's throw away. What is there to do off-Strip in Las Vegas?There's a whole world outside of the Las Vegas Strip (not to mention a couple of million people who call Clark County home). You can browse the shops at the Downtown Container Park, catch an intimate live concert at an East Fremont Street bar, or check out First Friday in the Arts District.Dine at a neighborhood restaurant that rivals the ones on the Strip and hit the trails at Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Lake Mead, or Valley of Fire. From art galleries, museums, boutiques and craft cocktail bars to hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking, there's much to explore in Southern Nevada.Why should I stay off-Strip?If you've visited Las Vegas a million times and only ever experience one street, you owe it yourself to see another part of the city at least once. You might also find lower rates, though not at every property. Don't expect to pay less for a room at Red Rock Casino than you would for a room at a budget Strip property like Excalibur.You may also find fewer crowds, less vehicle traffic, less noise, and less price-gouging when you shop, eat, and drink. Whether it's your first or tenth time to Vegas, if any of that appeals to you, consider going off the beaten path.Staying off Strip also balances the experience of Las Vegas Boulevard.  Hike through the stark, wild beauty of the desert complemented by a fancy dinner at a sleek steakhouse. An intimate cocktail bar in the Arts District can serve as a prelude to a crowded evening at a nightclub. Is it worth staying off-Strip in Las Vegas?You can still find all of the classic Las Vegas amenities you love such as pools and poolside bars, spas, casinos, buffets, and sportsbooks, plus other surprising extras, like movie theaters, bowling alleys, kid-focused amenities, and community events.And if you miss the Strip, it's not hard to get there. You can be as close as a half-mile away if you stay near Strip, or as far as 12-15 miles away if you stay in Henderson or Summerlin.Do off-Strip hotels have resort fees?Sadly, you would be hard-pressed to find a hotel in Las Vegas without a resort fee. Every hotel on this list with the exception of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas charges one. Some properties may waive these fees for special promotions (M Resorts is currently offering a no resort fee stay to locals on staycation), but for the most part, you can expect to shell out an extra $20 to $40 on average per night. What are current Las Vegas COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols? Las Vegas is open, without restrictions involving capacity limits and large gatherings.However, the State of Nevada has mandated that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor settings, including resorts and casinos, restaurants, bars, showrooms, and meeting spaces. Masks are also required on public transportation.Large indoor events also have masks, testing, and vaccination requirements so check before arriving both with local Las Vegas mandates, the Nevada Health Response updates, as well as your individual hotel and destination. How we selected the best off-Strip hotels in Las Vegas As a Las Vegas local travel writer, I'm personally familiar with every hotel on this list and stand behind all of these hotels. I have either stayed at the hotel or have spent significant time exploring the property and the surrounding neighborhood. Hotels are located in desirable Las Vegas neighborhoods, including near-Strip, Downtown, Summerlin, and Henderson. Each hotel holds a TripAdvisor rating of between 3 to 4.5 (the average rating on this list is 4 out of 5) with a high volume of recent honest, unbiased reviews.Rates range between $30 and $163 to start and do not include resort fees. Las Vegas room rates fluctuate based on the season and major events usually drive up prices. Las Vegas room rates tend to fluctuate wildly. On one night a room might be below a hundred dollars, on another night it might be approaching a thousand. This is why value is so key.Standard hotel rooms at each property are known to be comfortable with classic or unique Vegas views.    The hotel features must-have Vegas amenities, such as a pool, great on-site restaurants and bars, a casino, spa, fitness center, plus entertainment offerings, and events.You don't want to stay in a quiet, spa-like environment if you've come to Vegas to party, and you don't want to stay in the middle of a party if you're traveling with small kids. We've noted who we think would enjoy each hotel, such as solo travelers, groups of friends, couples, families, business travelers, and locals on staycations.The hotel keeps guests safe by instituting COVID-19 policies in accordance with the most recent CDC guidelines. More of the best places to stay in Las Vegas Prayitno/Flickr The best Las Vegas luxury hotels on or near the StripThe best cheap hotels in Las VegasThe most incredible hotel suites in Las Vegas for every budgetThe best Las Vegas Airbnbs Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Check out these 45 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingDeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

See Water Street condo with historic Milwaukee charm listed at $1.5M: Open House

A newly renovated condo unit in the Gallun Tannery Row building on Water Street hit the market for $1.5 million. Get a look inside the 4,629-square-foot condo, which has three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a steam shower and a separate sauna......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 14th, 2022

A mansion featured in HBO"s "Westworld" that includes a crescent-shaped pool is on the market for $23.5 million — take a look inside

The Crescent House, named after its crescent-shaped infinity pool, offers residents panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The mansion comes with a crescent-shaped infinity pool.Rancho Photos A $23.5 million waterfront mansion in Encinitas, San Diego County, California, just hit the market. The mansion is dubbed "The Crescent House" as it comes with a crescent-shaped infinity pool The 18,872-square-foot estate has four bedrooms and was featured in HBO's "Westworld." An oceanfront mansion in San Diego County, California, that was featured in an episode of HBO's "Westworld" just hit the market for $23.5 million.The home's exteriors.Rancho PhotosThe sci-fi show, which centers on futuristic and dystopian themes, used the sprawling estate in its season three premiere."Westworld's" producers chose the home as a set because it "incorporated a lot of the design details" that were already in the season, production designer Howard Cummings told Architectural Digest.The futuristic-looking property was designed by architect Wallace Cunningham.Cunningham also designed the San Diego mansion that served as inspiration for Tony Stark's home in the "Iron Man" movies, Insider's Katie Warren reported, citing realtors. The "Iron Man" home is currently owned by singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz.Lisa Waltman and Kelly Howard of Compass hold the listing.The Crescent House, named after its crescent-shaped infinity pool, was completed in 2003.The pool stands in the middle of the central courtyard, shielded by the curved walls of the home.Rancho PhotosIt was originally built for Bud Fischer, a real-estate developer known for transforming San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, and his wife, agents told Insider.Throughout its history, the property has consistently been sold for less than its asking price, with every transaction finalized within a month of the house being listed, per listing records.It was first put up for sale in February 2014 for $11.75 million and sold for $10.5 million in March 2014. The property was then relisted for sale in August 2016 for $13 million, but sold for $11.1 million in September 2016, per listing records.The home sits on less than half an acre but comes with 74 feet of waterfront access. It sits on top of a steep bank and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.The mansion comes with numerous outdoor spaces, such as patios, verandas and terraces, where residents can enjoy the ocean view.Rancho PhotosA key highlight of the home is its numerous outdoor spaces, including patios, verandas, and terraces, where residents can lounge and admire the ocean view.The estate is located on Neptune Ave. in the coastal city of Encinitas in San Diego County, California.The real-estate scene in San Diego County has been buzzing recently as housing prices soar. In March, the median sales price for detached homes was $975,000, up by 20.4% compared to March 2021, when the median sales price was $810,000, per the San Diego Association of Realtors.At $23.5 million, the Crescent House is an outlier, but it's not the only multimillion-dollar mansion to hit the market recently. Another waterfront mansion in La Jolla, San Diego County, was listed for $32.5 million last month, per Mansion Global. At 0.43 acres, the estate is one of the larger lots on the street, and the land value alone is expensive, listing agents Waltman and Howard said in a joint statement."With today's building restrictions between the city and the coastal commission, you would not be able to build this house on that site today — it just cannot be duplicated," the agents said.There are floor-to-ceiling glass windows throughout the home for residents to enjoy panoramic views while indoors.The main living area features full-length glass panel windows that offer unblocked views of the ocean. There is also a fireplace.Rancho PhotosThe Crescent House is currently owned by Lance Williams and Eileen Quinn, a couple who primarily lives on Fisher Island in Miami. This estate is their vacation home.While most homes have one or two great views, this mansion is an exception, according to Quinn. "You have views all day long, 24 hours a day. You have views of the ocean, views of Encinitas hillside, views of the beautiful architecture itself," she said, per the factsheet.The home comes with four bedrooms and four full bathrooms.The master bedroom.Rancho PhotosThe main house hosts the master suite along with two bedrooms, while the fourth bedroom is located in separate guest quarters.All the bathrooms are designed in a minimalist style.One of the bathrooms in the house.Rancho PhotosSource: CompassThe main bathroom has double sinks.One of the bathrooms in the house.Rancho PhotosSource: CompassResidents can directly access the outdoor terrace from the guest suite through full-length glass doors.One of the guest suites.Rancho PhotosSource: CompassCunningham designed the house in such a way that all the main rooms, including the living room and master bedroom, were placed on the top floor for the best views.There is a curved metal staircase in the mansion.Rancho Photos"This house happens to be upside down with all of the principal rooms located on the top level," Cunningham said in a statement, per the factsheet sent to Insider.There are multiple ways for residents to move between floors, including ramps, metal staircases, and an elevator. "Each path is designed to shield you from the street and neighboring properties," he said. For example, the lower ramp creates a wall that protects the garden, terrace, and swimming pool from prying eyes.Part of the charm of the estate also lies in its location, according to the agents.The crescent-shaped pool is surrounded by curved walls to ensure privacy.Rancho Photos"Encinitas, this North County San Diego coastal region, is like paradise. It has a very stunning coastline with varying elevations and bluffs," the agents said, per the factsheet.As a result of the beautiful landscape, there is strong buyer interest in properties in the area, the agents said. "Inventory continues to be incredibly low with multiple offers on virtually all listings."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 6th, 2022

The best Champagne and sparkling wine for Mother"s Day brunch, graduation, and all of your spring celebrations

Experts helped us pick the best Champagne, cava, prosecco, and other sparkling wines for all types of budgets and tastes. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Kokouu/Getty ImagesThis content is intended for readers 21+. Please drink responsibly. If you or anyone you know is dealing with alcohol abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) provides a free, confidential, 24/7, treatment referral, and information service.Champagne, a favorite beverage for toasting, comes from its namesake region in France. Aged in individual bottles, many enthusiasts prize the limestone soil where the grapes are grown. Because of the region's rules and prestige, bottles labeled Champagne are generally more expensive than those from other places. But there's more to sparkling wine than just Champagne. Prosecco from Italy and cava from Spain generally cost less but are often their own enjoyable experience. Producers from all over the world follow similar methods to make sparkling wine. The results are much more accessible and affordable than Champagne.For our guide, we recommend a variety of options at various prices, based on consultations with wine experts and our research. Taste is very subjective, however. You can ask several experts for suggestions and see no overlap, and that's why there is no single winner. The market is also tricky: You can find certain brands everywhere, while smaller producers tend to distribute in limited areas. That doesn't mean one is better than the other, but we tried to factor in availability with our choices.Check with your local wine shop for availability.Cheat sheet to picking a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wineRunPhoto/Getty ImagesShort on time? If you need a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine now, here are our recommendations if you can't explore our entire guide.The best Champagne for showing offWhen the budget doesn't matter: Krug Grand Cuvée (about $225), Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 2004 (about $450), Bollinger Brut Special Cuvée (about $70)The best non-Champagne sparkling wineGreat for everyday drinking or pairing with food: Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2018 ($35), Domaine Franck Besson Rosé Granit ($25), Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut ($25), Claude Branger "L'éClipse" Méthode Traditionnelle ($19)The best rosé sparkling wine for date nightFor those very special occasions: Raventós i Blanc de Nit Rose 2017 ($26), Graham Beck NV Brut Rosé ($23), Ruinart NV Brut Rosé ($55)The best budget sparkling wineIdeal for toasting or celebrating, when you need to maximize your budget while still drinking something tasty: Segura Viudas ($10), Mas Fi Cava Brut Rosé ($14)The best for christening a shipAnything under $5, as you won't be drinking it.The best ChampagneThe best Champagnes under $65The selection of Champagne at your grocery store will mostly consist of big-name makers, with prices starting around $40. To be called Champagne, the wine must be made in a specific region of France. While perhaps not priced for most people's weekly wine budget, you can still find many Champagnes that come out to around $10 a glass. "We try to kind of really combat this stigma of Champagne being celebratory and kind of pretentious," said Ariel Arce, owner of Air's Champagne Parlor in New York City.Most of the choices at these prices will be non-vintage, meaning winemakers may mix different varieties and harvests of grapes to ensure their signature wines taste the same, year after year. These are perfect for drinking right off the shelf for an impromptu celebration. What our experts particularly likeThe specialists we consulted recommend Agrapart & Fils Les 7 Crus Brut NV, Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Brut, Cheurlin Brut Spéciale, and Marie Courtin Résonance Extra-Brut. "There's almost nothing better than grower's Champagne," Chevonne Ball, owner of wine-focused travel company Dirty Radish, said about the Chartogne-Taillet. "Crisp and elegant, this true Champagne is worth the price.""For those seeking the crème de la crème of the sparkling world, I always have some grower Champagnes in stock, like Laherte Frères," said Laura Marchetti, owner of Riverview Wines & Spirits. The winesAgrapart & Fils Les 7 Crus Brut NV: A non-vintage Champagne that's made from 90% chardonnay and 10% pinot noir grapes. Notes: brioche, yeast.Chartogne-Taillet Sainte Anne Brut: Made from 50% chardonnay and the rest a mix of black grapes, mainly pinot noir, this non-vintage Champagne is a split of the previous year's wine and wines that were aged two to five years. Notes: apple, citrus.Cheurlin Brut Spéciale: This non-vintage Champagne, 70% Chardonnay and 30% pinot noir, is from a historic house and is imported to the US by former Detroit Piston Isaiah Thomas. Notes: bread, citrus.Henriot Brut Souverain NV: With 30% of the Brut Souverain coming from reserve wines and an almost equal amount of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, this Champagne is very consistent from bottle to bottle. Notes: apple, mineral.Laherte Frères Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV: This chardonnay grape Champagne is made from 50% reserve wines from previous years. Notes: mineral, lemon.Marie Courtin Résonance Extra-Brut: This wine is made from pinot noir grapes. Owner Dominique Moreau makes zero-dosage Champagne, aged in the bottle for about two years. Notes: tart, yeasty.Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut: This Champagne, made with pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes, should be easy to find in practically any grocery or liquor store. Notes: citrus, apple.The best Champagnes under $150As you go closer to the over-$100 price point, you'll start seeing more vintage wines. The grapes for vintages all come from the same year, and the wines are aged longer than non-vintages. Leaving a bottle to sit for three years takes up space, which costs money. There are also constraints on how much is grown in Champagne, France. "It's a small area of land, so they can only produce so much," said Crystal Hinds, who owns Effervescence, a sparkling wine lounge in New Orleans. "You're paying for the taste of that terroir, which is usually very limestone."At under $150, you'll also see some cuvées, which is a term winemakers use to designate their very special blends. But there's no real regulation of the term, so its appearance on a label doesn't ensure quality. The winesBollinger Brut Special Cuvée: A popular Champagne made of over 60% pinot noir grapes, Bollinger's Special Cuvée shouldn't be too hard to find. Notes: apple, toast.Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV: Forty percent of this wine is from the reserve selection, which are wines aged an average of 10 years. Charles Heidsieck was one of the first Champagnes imported to the US in the 19th Century. Notes: brioche, apple.Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Vintage Brut 2012: This chardonnay grape Champagne is a vintage from 2012 that's definitely expensive but not too over-the-top. Notes: citrus, mineral.Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition Grand Cru: Egly-Ouriet is a grower-producer in Champagne, and its Brut is a mix of 75% pinot noir and 25% chardonnay. Notes: lemon, butter.Henri Goutorbe Special Club Brut Champagne 2006: A wine labeled "Special Club" must earn the approval of the Club Trésors de Champagne's members. Henri Goutorbe is a grower-producer, and this 2006 wine meets the designation. Notes: biscuit, lemon.Pierre Péters Cuvée de Reserve Blanc de Blancs Brut: Another grower-producer, Pierre Péters makes a chardonnay blanc de blancs from 40% reserve wine. Notes: pear, mineral.The best Champagnes over $150For most people, drinking a glass of Champagne from a bottle that costs upwards of $150 is a once-in-a-lifetime – if ever – event. As prices climb, there will be more vintages. Prized wines are made with more care and are aged longer, so they come in smaller batches. Rarity increases the price. Producers also make bottles that are meant to be stored before they're savored. That's not true of every expensive Champagne, but if you're spending a lot, you'll want to ensure you're drinking it at the best time. To see just how out-of-control prices can get, check out some of the world's most expensive Champagnes. The winesDom Perignon Brut 2005: This vintage from Moët & Chandon is ready to drink now but can also be stored for a few years. Notes: toast, apples.Krug Grande Cuvée: Unlike many high-priced Champagnes, this Krug is a non-vintage. It's made by blending over 120 individual wines. Notes: lemon, brioche.Laurent-Perrier NV Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée Brut No. 24: A non-vintage, this Champagne is made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, a blend of wines from the 2007, 2006, and 2004 vintages. Notes: toast, honey.Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Extra Brut 2010: The wine, made up of 71% pinot noir and 29% chardonnay grapes, is a good choice for aging. Notes: almond, citrus.Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2009: You can either drink or save this cuvée, which is made of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. It's named for the English Prime Minister, who was a fan. Notes: brioche, citrus. Alternatively, if you can get the 2008 vintage, which is generally harder to find, we recommend it.Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut 2004: This prestige cuvée, made from chardonnay grapes, is a good choice for aging, especially given the price. Notes: mineral, citrus.Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2007: While you can drink Taittinger's all-chardonnay Champagne now, you can also age it a bit. Notes: citrus, nuts.The best proseccoThe best prosecco under $20Most prosecco comes from Italy and is aged in tanks, unlike Champagne, which ages in bottles. "Prosecco is usually super easy to drink," Hinds said. "It's not super complex — doesn't have a lot of different flavors that linger." It's very easy to find a nice bottle of prosecco for under $20, which makes it attractive for a lot of people. "If I'm being honest, people are buying for cost," said Ball of Dirty Radish. "But I would say that people who like prosecco probably really like a little bit softer of a bubble," she added. What our experts particularly likeBall is a fan of Loredan Gasparini's prosecco. "Inexpensive and available at most grocery stores, this is one of my favorite brunch sparkling wines," she said. "Delicious on its own or great as a mimosa. I suggest fresh-squeezed citrus!" The winesAcinum Extra Dry Prosecco: From the Veneto region of Italy, this prosecco is made from 100% glera grapes. Notes: pear, apple.Adriano Adami Garbel Brut Prosecco: This prosecco from Treviso in Northern Italy is made with glera grapes. Notes: melon, apple.Bisol Jeio Prosecco Superiore: From the Valdobbiadene area of Northern Italy, the Bisol family makes this prosecco from glera grapes. Notes: apple, citrus.La Marca Prosecco: Easy to spot with its pale-blue label, this is a prosecco you can find most anywhere. Notes: apple, lemon.Loredan Gasparini NV Brut Asolo Prosecco Superiore: Made with all glera grapes, this prosecco is from Veneto, Italy. Notes: apple, citrus.Villa Sandi Prosecco il Fresco Brut: Villa Sandi's prosecco comes from the Treviso region in Italy and is made from mostly glera grapes, along with some chardonnay and pinot blanc. Notes: apple, citrus.The best prosecco over $20A few years ago, the prosecco industry was having issues with counterfeit sparkling wine. To try and combat the problem, it created two classifications, Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). Both require following strict regulations, but DOCG is more stringent.Not all prosecco — even some nice ones — will have these marks, but they can help guide your selection-making if you're feeling a little lost and want a marker of quality. Keep in mind that taste is subjective, and it doesn't guarantee it will be to your liking, though. The winesBisol Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Crede DOCG Brut 2018:  Made from 85% glera grapes, as well as pinot bianco and verdiso, this prosecco is from Valdobbiadene in Italy. Notes: pear, apple.Cà dei Zago Prosecco Col Fondo 2018: Mostly made with glera, this prosecco from the Valdobbiadene also has some verdiso, perera, and bianchetta grapes. Notes: lemon, apple.Col Vetoraz Valdobbiadene Cartizze Superiore 2018: The Cartizze on this label refers to a specific hilly region known for its quality glera grapes. Notes: peach, floral.Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore: You can sometimes find this 100% glera prosecco for under $20, making it an even better value. Notes: apple, lemon.Rebuli Prosecco Cartizze: From the Cartizze area, like the Col Vetoraz, this prosecco is made completely from glera grapes. Notes: floral, apple.The best cavaThe best cava under $20Penedès, a region of Catalonia, Spain, is known for its sparkling wine called cava. Compared to prosecco, cava is made more similarly to Champagne — aged in bottles. The grapes are very different, though, with many wines being made from a mix of macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes. There's a lot of variety when it comes to cava, including vintages and rosés.  Like prosecco, it is much more affordable than Champagne. But just because you can pick up a bottle for $10, it doesn't mean you need to hold your nose and drink. While inexpensive cavas do make great choices for mimosas or bellinis, you can also enjoy them in their own right. What our experts particularly like"[The Naveran Dama Brut] has one of the most delicate mousses and mouthfeel," Ball said. "The bubbles fill your palate with delicious aromas." Marchetti of Riverview Wines & Spirits recommends the line of Azimut wines from Cellers de Can Suriol "for a classic, traditional palate at an affordable price."The winesAnna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancs Brut Reserva Cava: Mainly chardonnay, along with some parellada, xarel·lo, and macabeo grapes, this cava is aged at least 15 months. Notes: peach, citrus.Cellers de Can Suriol Azimut Brut Nature Cava: A cava from Penedès, this wine is made with macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes. Notes: white fruit, pear.Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava: Macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes make up this cava from Penedès, in Spain. Notes: apple, toast.Juvé y Camps Reserva de la Familia Brut: Aged for 36 months, this Brut wine from the Penedès region is made from 55% xarel·lo grapes, with some macabeo and parellada grapes as well. Notes: apple, citrus.Naveran Dama Brut Cava: This cava from Penedès has a somewhat unique mix of 85% Chardonnay and 15% parellada grapes. Notes: apple, yeast.Segura Viudas: From Penedès, this cava is made with macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo and is widely distributed in the US. Notes: apple, citrus.The best cava over $20When is a cava not a cava? When the winemaker doesn't want it to be called that. Some producers wanted to designate what they see as their wines' quality, so they've begun labeling their bottles with Corpinnat instead of cava. Raventós i Blanc, meanwhile, uses its own designation for its sparkling wines, Conca del Riu Anoia. This doesn't mean everything still labeled cava is bad. Corpinnat producers make up only a small percentage of winemakers in the region, so there's still plenty of cava to go around. The winesGramona III Lustros Brut Nature 2012: A blend of xarel·lo and macabeo grapes, this wine is aged for 70 months and comes from the Penedès region. Notes: apple, pastry.Raventós i Blanc de la Finca Brut 2016: Located in the Penedès region, Raventós i Blanc makes this sparkling wine from macabeo, xarel·lo, and parellada grapes. Notes: apple, citrus.Recaredo Brut Nature Intens Rosat Cava 2014: This cava is made from monastrell and garnatxa grapes in the Penedès region of Spain. Notes: red fruit, toast.Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava Brut: This Brut from Segura Viudas is made from macabeo and parellada grapes and aged for 30 months. Notes: floral, lemon.The best sparkling wineWhile all of the wines mentioned in this guide are, technically, sparkling wines, the ones mentioned here focus on wines mostly from the United States. The best sparkling wine under $25There are sparkling winemakers all across the United States, all using different methods and grape varieties with unique results. Not only can you find terrific options, but stateside products are also often budget-friendly too."Sparkling wines coming out of Oregon or California are always going to be vastly different than any of the others, because we're so young and so new," said Ball of Dirty Radish. "There's very cool stuff happening all around the country in sparkling wine," Arce said. The problem is, it can be difficult to find Michigan's Mawby wines or sparkling wines from New York's Finger Lakes outside of certain areas. You might have a local winery making a sparkling wine that you fall in love with, so they're worth exploring in addition to some of the more widely distributed brands.Besides US wineries, there are nice options from other winemaking regions such as Australia and New Zealand. For a bit of prestige, Mumm Napa is an affordable sparkling wine made in the traditional style of its parent company, G.H. Mumm of France.What our experts particularly likeThe recommendations for Gruet Sauvage Blanc de Blancs and McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut come from our panel. Sunshine Foss, who owns Happy Cork in Brooklyn, New York, says the McBride Sisters' wine has been popular in her shop because of the name, "but it's also a really, really good sparkling Brut."The winesDomaine Ste. Michelle Brut Columbia Valley NV: A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes, this sparkling wine comes from Washington State. Notes: lemon, mineral. Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs Carneros: This California sparkling wine is 100% chardonnay. Notes: apple, lemon. Gruet Sauvage Blanc de Blancs: Made only from chardonnay grapes, Gruet's Sauvage is from New Mexico. Notes: lemon, apple. McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut: This Brut is made from 90% chardonnay and 10% pinot gris grapes, grown in New Zealand. Notes: lemon, floral.Mumm Napa Brut Prestige: Chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot gris, and pinot meunier grapes make up this Brut wine from California. Notes: apples, bread.The best sparkling wine over $25It's not just US winemakers that have vineyards in California. Some big Champagne houses, like Taittinger Champagne and Louis Roederer, have land in the state. That's why wines from Roederer Estate, for example, are lower than a typical Champagne. Larger producers will often stick to more traditional methods and grapes, while smaller producers might experiment more. Caraccioli Cellars, for example, is a smaller, family-run vineyard in California."The big difference between a big house and a small house (a big producer and a small producer) is how they're handling the wine," Ball said. Smaller operations often lack machinery, so they hand turn or hand riddle the bottles. That's one reason it took some US winemakers a while to get into sparkling wine, she said: "It takes a lot of work."You can find sparkling wines from the United States that cost over $100, for bottles producers have taken extra time and attention with or that come from a particular vintage. There are many quality wines for closer to $50, though. What our experts particularly like"Corollary Wines is the husband and wife duo Dan and Jeanne's passion project," Ball said. The Cuvée One is a mix of grapes from five Oregon vineyards, grown in different soils and climates, and that interest in the varying terroirs of the state comes through in the wine, she said. The winesCorollary Wines Cuvée One: An Oregon wine, it's made with 50% pinot noir, 32% chardonnay, and 18% pinot blanc grapes. Notes: lemon, bread. Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut 2013: From California's Russian River Valley area, this Brut is made from pinot noir and chardonnay, aged for four years. Notes: apple, floral.J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Brut: Almost half chardonnay grapes, plus pinot noir and some pinot meunier, make up this California sparkling wine. Notes: peach, green apple.Roederer Estate L'Ermitage 2013: Roederer Estate is the California winery from Champagne maker Louis Roederer; this sparkling wine is made from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. Notes: apple, toast.Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2018: This blanc de blancs comes from California and is made from 100% chardonnay. Notes: citrus, pastry.The best sparkling wine in a canSometimes you want a glass of bubbles without the glass part, and that's where sparkling wine cans come in. Over the past several years, more and more winemakers have started making more portable versions of their products. You won't find Champagne in a can, but you can still get some great bubbles for on-the-go — or at home. The winesNomadica Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé: Pinot noir grapes make up this sparkling wine from California. Notes: berries, pomegranate. Underwood Rosé Bubbles: Mostly pinot noir with some chardonnay and pinot gris grapes, this wine from Oregon is available in bottle and can form. Notes: strawberry, cherry.The best CrémantCrémants are sparkling wines from eight regions in France — including Loire, Alsace, and Burgundy — and one in Luxembourg. They're made in a similar style as Champagne but are just a fraction of the cost. Some are made with grapes you won't find in Champagne. There's not an easy way to describe the taste, because there's a lot of variety. The prices of many of these sparkling wines are much, much lower than Champagne. "I feel like you can find great value," Ball said. The winesDomaine de Montbourgeau Crémant du Jura Brut: This is a chardonnay crémant from the Jura region of France. Notes: apple, citrus.Domaine J. Laurens Crémant de Limoux Brut Rosé: A rosé, this crémant is a blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc, and pinot noir grapes. Notes: cherry, strawberry.Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut: From Alsace, France, this crémant contains pinot auxerrois, pinot blanc, and chardonnay grapes. Notes: pear, floral. Faire La Fête Crémant de Limoux: Though many crémants from Limoux contain mauzac grapes, this wine is a blend of mostly chardonnay, plus chenin blanc and pinot noir. Notes: green apple, lemon.Pierre Sparr Crémant d'Alsace Brut Reserve: Eighty percent pinot blanc and 20% pinot auxerrois, this crémant comes from the Alsace region. Notes: apple, citrus.The best sparkling roséThe best sparkling rosé under $20There are several ways to make rosé sparkling, and it's going to taste different depending on many factors. Despite its pretty color, rosé doesn't have to be sweet. As with Champagne, you'll find bottles labeled Brut to be on the drier side. "I think a lot of people think that rosé is maybe something that's going to be sweeter or more fruit-forward, which that category, again, has so many variations within it," said Arce of Air's Champagne Parlor. For under $20, you won't find pink-hued Champagne, but there are lots of cavas and other sparkling rosés from around the world (including other parts of France) at that price. What our experts particularly likeThe experts we spoke to mentioned Landmass Papi Sparkling Rosé, Lve Rosé by John Legend, and Rivarose Brut Rosé as some of their go-to rosés. "It's really delicate," said Effervescence's Hinds of the Rivarose. "It's not overly sparkling." She also said the modern-looking bottle makes it perfect for gifting. The winesCampo Viejo Cava Gran Brut Rosé: Made from 100% trepat grapes, the rosé was aged in the bottle for nine months. Notes: strawberry, citrus.Graham Beck NV Brut Rosé: This rosé from South African winery Graham Beck, a mix of pinot noir and chardonnay, undergoes its second fermentation in the bottle. Notes: raspberry, apple.Landmass Papi Sparkling Rosé: From the Willamette Valley in Oregon, this sparkling rosé is made from tempranillo grapes. Notes: apple, strawberry.Lve Rosé by John Legend: John Legend's Lve rosé is made in the Charmat Method, like prosecco, from mostly unspecified white grapes, along with some pinot noir and grenache grapes. Notes: strawberry, mineral.Mas Fi Cava Brut Rosé: This Spanish cava is made from trepat grapes and is aged for 11 months in the bottle. Notes: cherry, strawberry.Rivarose Brut Rosé: A rosé from the Provence region of France, Rivarose's sparkling wine is a blend of syrah and grenache grapes. Notes: strawberry, pear.Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosé: Segura Viudas' affordable and ubiquitous cava was made from mostly trepat grapes. Notes: strawberry, raspberry.The best sparkling rosé under $50Closer to $50, you can start to find rosé Champagne, but the majority of sparkling wines under that price are from other regions. There are many rosé crémants from France that are around $25, but you can also get bottles from Italy, the US, and elsewhere for a similar price. What our experts particularly like"I would definitely hold [the Domaine Franck Besson Rosé Granit] up against any of the other sorts of higher-end wines that you would find out of Champagne," said Ball of Dirty Radish. The winesRaventós i Blanc de Nit Rose 2017: A sparkling wine from the Penedès region of Spain, it's made from xarel·lo, macabeo, and parellada, as well as monastrell, which gives the wine its color. Notes: floral, strawberry.Domaine Franck Besson Rosé Granit: Franck Besson is a unique producer in Beaujolais, France, and this rosé is 100% gamay grapes. Notes: strawberry, cherry.Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé: Pinot noir, chardonnay, and gamay grapes are used to make this wine, which is aged for 12 months. Notes: strawberry, toast.Parigot & Richard Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé: Aged for three years, Parigot & Richard's rosé is made from only pinot noir grapes. Notes: raspberry, mineral.Scharffenberger NV Brut Rosé: From California, Scharffenberger's rosé is nearly evenly split between chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, aged for two years in the bottle. Notes: raspberry, citrus.Schramsberg Brut Rosé: Made in California with mostly pinot noir and some chardonnay grapes, this rosé is aged in the bottle for about two years. Note: strawberry, bread.The best sparkling rosé over $50Just like other Champagnes, you can find bottles of rosé that cost hundreds of dollars, including Krug and Dom Perignon. Vintages and some cuvées will cost more, because winemakers take more care with them, and some of them are aged for longer. For under $100, there are lots of delicious choices from Champagne, as well as many sparkling rosés from elsewhere. The winesBillecart-Salmon Brut Rosé: Chardonnay, pinot meunier, and pinot noir grapes make up this rosé from Champagne. Notes: strawberry, orange.Henriot Brut Rosé: Henriot's rosé Champagne is aged for three years and is made from pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier grapes. Notes: raspberry, mineral.Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé: A rosé Champagne, this wine is made of 100% pinot noir grapes and aged for five years. Notes: raspberry, brioche.Ruinart NV Brut Rosé: Ruinart's rosé is 55% pinot noir and 45% chardonnay and comes from the Champagne region. Notes: raspberry, spice.Soter 2014 Mineral Springs Brut Rosé Sparkling: Mainly pinot noir with some chardonnay grapes, Soter's Oregon rosé is aged for five years in the bottle. Notes: strawberry, almond.The best pét-natPétillant-naturel (pét-nat) wines are bottled while still undergoing their first fermentation. Some winemakers leave the yeast in the bottle, so the final product will be cloudy, with sediment on the bottom. "Pét-nats have become super-big right now because it's on the sparkling side but it's done in such a natural way," said Sunshine Foss of Happy Cork. The results tend to be less predictable than something like a cuveé, which is reliably blended from known reserves. "A lot of wine geeks love that funky taste, like strawberry cola," said Crystal Hinds. "Some taste like sour beers." You can find many pét-nats for between $20 and $50.What our experts particularly likeHinds recommends both the Kobal Wines rosé and the Les Tètes Nat Igny Rusé ($29): "It's just so beautiful and delicate," she said of the Les Tètes' wine. "You can hardly tell that it's a pét-nat." "Being Italian I'll always have a few prosecco col fondo — the Italian version of pét-nat," said Marchetti of Riverside Wine & Spirits. "Those are old-school, unfiltered prosecco." She suggests offerings from Carolina Gatti and the Col Tamarie, as well as Rodica's sparkling malvasia from Slovenia.The winesAncarani Indigeno Pétillant Naturel 2019: This pét-nat comes from Italy and is made from trebbiano grapes. Notes: citrus, bread.Bichi Pet Mex Pétillant Naturel Rosé: Bichi is a winery in Mexico that doesn't like to reveal what type of grape goes into this pét-nat. Notes: strawberry, citrus.Cambridge Road Naturalist Pétillant Naturel: A New Zealand wine, this pét-nat has riesling, pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes. Notes: pear, citrus.Carolina Gatti Ratatuja: An orange wine from Veneto, Italy, it's a blend of glera, pinot bianco, chardonnay, tocai, and verduzzo grapes. Notes: peach, apricot.Cruse Wine Valdiguié Pétillant Naturel: Made from valdiguié grapes, this pét-nat hails from lauded California winemaker Michael Cruse. Notes: strawberry, tart. Julien Braud La Bulle de l'Ouest Pétillant Brut: Low in alcohol (8%), this French wine is made with 100% melon de Bourgogne grapes. Notes: floral, citrus. Kobal Wines Bajta Blaufränkisch Rosé: This wine from Slovenia is made from blaufränkisch grapes. Notes: strawberry, yeast.Les Tètes Les Parcelles Tète Nat Igny Rusé: From France's Loire Valley, this wine is made from chenin blanc grapes. Notes: floral, cotton candy. Moutard Pet Mout Pétillant Naturel Chardonnay: Moutard makes wines from both Champagne and Burgundy in France, including this chardonnay pét-nat. Notes: citrus, mineral.Onward Wines Pétillant-Naturel Rosé: This pinot noir pét-nat is from California. Notes: strawberry, citrus.Rodica Bela Sparkling Malvasia Brut: From Slovenia's Istrian Peninsula, this pét-nat is 100% malvasia grapes. Notes: white fruit, floral.William Chris Péttilant Naturel Rosé: Texas winery William Chris makes this wine from sangiovese, mourvèdre, cinsault, and trebbiano grapes. Notes: citrus, melon.What is Champagne and sparkling wine?With a few exceptions, Champagne is sparkling wine that comes from Champagne, France. The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) oversees production and enforces the strict regulations that govern virtually every aspect of the process."When you're paying for Champagne, you're paying for some of the techniques that are used," said Crystal Hinds, owner of Effervescence. "They can only pick at a certain time. They can only pick so much per hectare."If you pick up a bottle, and it has the word "Champagne" on it, the wine is almost certainly from this region and was made in accordance with the rules. "California Champagne" is quite different and is essentially the product of a loophole.  Cava, prosecco, and other sparkling wines are made from a variety of methods, with different grapes, and in different regions and countries. Consider this glossary a crash course in Champagne 101.  Assemblage: The process of blending wines from different vineyards, grapes, and years. You might see the assemblage listed as a percentage of each type of grape. Blanc de Blancs: It means "white of whites," so these wines are made from all-white grapes; in the Champagne region, this usually means 100% chardonnay. Blanc de Noirs: Noir is French for black, and only red grapes go into these wines, but the resulting wine is still a pale golden color because it uses the juice and not the skin, which is where the reddish color comes from. Brut: In the traditional method, Champagne goes through two fermentations. After the second, winemakers add sugar, which is known as "dosage." Drier, less sweet sparkling wines will have the word "brut" on the label. Here's the scale, from driest to sweetest:Brut Nature 2. Extra brut 3. Brut 4. Extra dry or extra sec 5. Dry or sec 6. Demi-sec 7. Doux Brut Nature: The driest of the dry, brut nature has no added sugar. It may contain some leftover sugar, up to three grams per liter. Cava: Cava is sparkling wine from Spain. However, not all sparkling wine from the country is labeled as such. Compared to prosecco, cava is more similar to Champagne. Winemakers mainly use three varieties of white grapes to make cava: macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo. Champagne, France: This region is in the northeast of the country, about 90 miles from Paris.  Cru: Traditionally, Champagne houses purchased their grapes from growers. There are 319 crus, which are also known as villages or vineyards, in the region. There are some grower-producers that use their own grapes, and so you won't find these designations on some very good bottles of wine. Crémant: Crémants are sparkling wines from France but made outside of the Champagne region. "Crémant is a really great way to go if you're looking for a good glass of sparkling wine, but without the cost of the Champagne tag, if you will," said Chevonne Ball of Dirty Radish.Cuveé: In Champagne-making, the first pressing is considered the best, and it's known as the cuvée. Subsequent pressings are the taille. Some winemakers also call their special blends cuvées, but there's no guarantee that something labeled with that word will be spectacular.   Disgorgement: During riddling, the yeast sediment collects in the neck of the bottle. To get it out, winemakers submerge the neck into a freezing solution. Then they turn the bottles right-side-up, take off the cap, and the carbon dioxide inside pushes the frozen chunk of sediment out. Fermentation: For the second fermentation -- which gives the wine its bubbles -- producers add the liqueur de tirage, a solution of sugar and yeast. Champagne and cava undergo this second fermentation in individual bottles. For prosecco, it happens in a tank, so it's a much less labor-intensive process. Grapes: Some types of sparkling wine use a limited amount of grape varieties. Champagne is most often made from chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes. Cava is mainly macabeo, parellada, and xarel·lo grapes. Glera grapes are typically used for prosecco. Lees: After the second fermentation — once the yeast has consumed all the sugar and died — the wine isn't quite ready. Champagne stays in the bottle for at least 15 months before it's released. Non-vintage cuvées stay in the bottle with the lees, or dead yeast deposits, for at least 12 months. Vintage cuvées must rest on the lees for three years, minimum. Liqueur de tirage: The mix of sugar, yeast, and sometimes a bit of wine that producers add to non-sparkling base wine to start the second fermentation. The yeast consumes the sugar, creating carbon dioxide and alcohol.   Méthode Traditionnelle: The traditional method of making Champagne, where the second fermentation takes place inside an individual bottle. Many sparkling wines outside of Champagne are made in this way.       Non-Vintage: The vast majority of Champagne is non-vintage. It's not about how long the wine was aged. Rather, it means that the wine is a blend of different vintages or types of grapes, or it comes from grapes in different vineyards. Using a mix allows winemakers to create a more consistent wine. Prosecco: Prosecco is made in Northeast Italy, primarily using glera grapes. Unlike Champagne, prosecco is made with the Charmat Method. Instead of the second fermentation taking place in individual bottles, it happens in a tank, in larger batches. The method is faster and less expensive, so the resulting wine costs less than Champagne. Pét-nat: Short for pétillant-naturel, this style of sparkling wine has grown in popularity over the past several years. Non-sparkling wine undergoes a single fermentation when yeast transforms sugar into alcohol. The CO2 is released, so the wine is still instead of bubbly. With pét-nats, winemakers bottle up the wine during this first fermentation, retaining some of the CO2. Riddling: To get the yeast sediment into the neck of the bottle, winemakers slowly tip the bottle so the bottom is up. It can take a week or months, depending on the quality (and eventual price) of the wine.  Rosé: There are a few ways to make sparkling rosé or rosé champagne. Winemakers may add still (unsparkling) red wine to give some color or they may "bleed" juice from tanks of macerating grapes that will be used for red wine. Even when it's described with words like fruity, rosé can still be dry. Sec: On the scale from driest to sweetest, Sec is on the sweeter side, while brut has less sugar.Sparkling wine: Champagne, cava, and prosecco are all sparkling wines. They all have bubbles. You can find sparkling wines from practically anywhere. They may be made with different methods and different grapes, which is why they are priced and taste differently. Terroir: When people discuss terroir, they mean the climate, soil, grape varieties, landscape, and other factors that make wines distinct. Vintage: Vintage wines come from grapes harvested in a single year. That year will be on the label, so it's easy to tell vintages and non-vintages apart. These are the wines people buy and store in cellars. Non-vintages are meant to be drunk right off the shelf.Advice from our expertsFor our guide, we consulted four experts (from left to right): Sunshine Foss, Ariel Arce, Chevonne Ball, Crystal Hinds, and Laura Marchetti (not shown).Happy Cork/Universe/Dirty Radish/EffervescenceTo help us narrow down some selections of Champagne and sparkling wines, we spoke with five experts and got advice and recommendations for choosing what to drink. Drink what you like: "Prior to even this new wave of making wine more accessible, people thought, 'Okay, well you have to have this vocabulary to be able to speak to the wine and understand the wine.' For me, it's just really about how it tastes and what I like to drink," said Sunshine Foss, owner of Happy Cork in Brooklyn, New York. Sometimes, smaller is better: "I don't think like you have to go to that $150 splurge point to find a good bottle of Champagne," said Ariel Arce, who's been called the "Champagne Empress of Greenwich Village" by the New York Times. For $65 to $80, she said you can get a nice bottle from a smaller producer, who both grows the grapes and makes the wine. She owns Air's Champagne Parlor in New York City and wrote the book "Better with Bubbles: An Effervescent Education in Champagnes & Sparkling Wines."Taste a lot: "There's not really a way to learn about wine other than to try it and to taste it," said Chevonne Ball, who owns Dirty Radish, a travel company that specializes in wine tours. Look outside of Champagne and France: "That's one of the fun things that we do, is look for these different sparkling wines from different countries and give it a try," said Crystal Hinds, who owns Effervescence, a sparkling wine lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana. Try to be a little extroverted: "If visiting a boutique wine shop, I'd ask what the staff is drinking right now," said Laura Marchetti, owner of Riverview Wine & Spirits in Jersey City, New Jersey. "Ask what's new and exciting and what wines their go-to wines are. Once you get the staff pumped up, it's often hard to get them to stop working for you." She knows this can be intimidating for some, but she adds that she's an introvert as well.How to choose what Champagne or sparkling wine to buyFG Trade/Getty ImagesTo gather our lists of recommendations, we consulted our panel of experts and looked at expert lists of best Champagnes, sparkling wines, cavas, proseccos, crémants, and more from Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Food and Wine, Decanter, Wine Folly, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune. If you feel overwhelmed in the store or while searching online, here are some things to keep in mind. Start with the price: If you must have Champagne from France, the cheapest bottle is going to cost around $40. Sunshine Foss, who owns Happy Cork in Brooklyn, said she thinks people should also be flexible on price. "You might come in saying, 'Okay, I'm going to spend $50 on a bottle,' but you might get two or three bottles for that price that are all going to be amazing," she said.Buy by brand: If you definitely, definitely want to buy Champagne but are still stumped, you can look at some well-known brands and feel confident about what you're getting. "It's not my first recommendation, but I do think there are certain brands that make an incredibly consistent and quality product," said Arce, owner of Air's Champagne Parlor. She recommends Charles Heidsieck, Bollinger, Philipponnat, Henriot, and Delamotte. "Those are five really beautiful houses, all of which are going to have their non-vintage Brut at an affordable price point," she said.  Look outside Champagne: There's cava from Spain or prosecco from Italy, but South Africa, England, Brazil, Australia, and lots of other countries are also in the sparkling wine business. "You're going to be tasting different grapes, like a malbec or like a blaufränkisch, grapes you've never even heard of, something different than the chardonnay and pinot noir and pinot meunier," said Crystal Hinds, who owns Effervescence. "You won't compare them as much to Champagne if you're tasting a totally different grape." Don't expect all sparkling wine to taste like Champagne: "There's nothing worse, in my opinion, than sparkling wines that are trying to compete with a region that's been making wine for hundreds of years," Arce said. "I think American sparkling is more fun when it's made in its own way, with its own unique grapes." Compared to France, Oregon, California, and other states are newer to making sparkling wine. "It's different soil. It's different terroir," said Ball, who owns Dirty Radish. "It's different grapes, and the rules are different. So we have a lot more freedom here because we have less of the regulations than they do in something like France."But if you do want something similar to Champagne: There are plenty of winemakers that use Champagne-style methods outside of the region. They'll label their bottles with méthode Champenoise or méthode traditionnelle. They'll also use the same grapes: chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier. "I really liked the wine from Caraccioli Cellars, if you're looking for something to be similar to champagne," said Arce.What are vegan, organic, biodynamic, and natural wines?Kurga/Getty ImagesWhile you might assume all wines are vegan, some winemakers clarify their wines with egg whites, gelatin, or other animal products. Wines labeled vegan will instead use clay or charcoal for this process. US organic wines, certified by the USDA, are made without synthetic fertilizers, and the yeast and other additives must all be organic. If a US wine is labeled "made with organic grapes," then the yeast and additives might not be organic. The European Union follows similar guidelines for its organic wines, but they might contain more sulfites. Other countries may have different practices. Biodynamic winemakers follow many organic practices, but their wines may contain more sulfites. They also follow a strict calendar when certain tasks like pruning or watering take place. Natural wines are low-intervention, so the producers don't add yeast or sulfites. These are often made in smaller batches.What's your palate? A crash course on tasting notesProbably one of the most difficult ways for newcomers to wine is figuring out what they do and don't like based on taste. After a few tries, they might realize whether they're fans of dry or sweet, but it can be hard to distinguish apple or citrus notes, then articulate what it is that's appealing or off-putting."Sometimes, people don't even know what their palate is," said Sunshine Foss of Happy Cork. Some will assume dry means bitter, for example. "They'll tell me, 'Oh, I don't want a dry wine, but then they'll point to something that they've already had, and it's like one of the driest wines," she said. Brut wines will be on the drier side, while dry, sec, and doux will be sweeter."I'll ask about style and price point, if it's for just sipping or also meant to go with food," said Laura Marchetti, who owns Riverview Wine & Spirits. "However, usually the key is to engage with the person, to get them to do the talking in their own language and then for us to decipher from there.""A lot of times, you break down people's first experiences by asking them just simple questions,  like, "Do you like something a little bit fresher and brighter or something with more fruits?'" said Ariel Arce, owner of Air's Champagne Parlor. "And then if you liked something on the lighter end, 'Can we dabble into flavors of berries, apples, and pears? Do we like minerals and lemon zest?'" All those questions will help a professional track down something you'll love, but you can start by paying attention to what you like when there's a bottle actually open in front of you. "You're on your phone all the time throughout dinner, so why not take a quick note, take a quick photo of that wine?" said Chevonne Ball, owner of Dirty Radish. If there's something you can pinpoint about what you like, that will be helpful for the next time you go into a wine shop, but it's not necessary. "It doesn't have to be very specific," she said. "It doesn't have to be lemon zest and lavender fields and blah, blah, blah." The more you taste sparkling wine, the better you'll be at distinguishing what you like. It's the only way to learn, said Ball: "You don't know that you like your burgers medium rare until you've had a medium-rare burger."What should I eat with Champagne?Marija Babic/EyeEm/Getty ImagesChampagne and sparkling wine has long been associated with celebrations. That means people often think the meal they eat with their wine needs to be special, too. That's not the case, according to Chevonne Ball and Crystal Hinds."I dare you to find one thing that doesn't go with Champagne," Ball said. "You can't — it goes with everything." Hinds agrees. Unlike red or white wines that pair well with select foods, "everything goes with sparkling wine," she said. "You can go through your entire meal with sparkling wine." But you can also open a bag of potato chips. At her sparkling wine lounge, Effervescence, Hinds takes housemade chips and pairs them crème-fraîche, chives, and caviar. The bar also serves popcorn with nutritional yeast, paprika, and olive oil. "Even plain popcorn with a little salt and butter is delicious with bubbles," she said. Hinds also recommends pairing sparkling wine with fried foods. "The acid in the bubbles cut through the grease and the fried tastes and the fat, and it goes beautifully with the fried chicken," she said. "I would have a glass of something with a big plate of onion rings and be just fine."Hinds gave a few suggestions for wine and food pairings. Jean Vesselle Brut Oeil de Perdrix NV ($54 to $60): "This particular wine, which is 100% pinot noir, carries me from an appetizer of warm brie to turkey, beef, or pork and on to dessert — if it lasts that long," Hinds said. "I poured from a magnum this year. It was that kind of year."Claude Branger "L'éClipse" Méthode Traditionnelle ($19): "For an everyday bubbly to pair with the raw oysters, I pull a bottle of Claude Branger's L'éClipse, which is made entirely from melon de Bourgogne," Hinds said. "We at Effervescence call it the oyster wine."  Gusbourne Brut Reserve ($48): "Of course when I want to impress a special guest with something new and amazing, I pair the Gusbourne Brut Reserve (2013) from Sussex, England," Hinds said. "It usually surprises our guests that it is not from Champagne, France, but England." Peter Lauer Riesling Sekt Brut Réserve ($66 to $99): "Lastly, I find Peter Lauer's Riesling Sekt Brut Réserve from Saar, Germany the perfect bubble for most of our desserts, which are seasonal and made in house. They are not usually overly sweet," Hinds said. "The Peter Lauer has a hint of ripe apricot and peach, with lime and slight biscuit notes that complemented our Citrus and Crème dessert (makrut lime meringue, pistachio, satsuma, Tahitian vanilla whipped cream) perfectly."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

A Park Avenue condo just sold for $70.5 million, making it the most expensive home sold in NYC in the past year — despite the building being riddled with design flaws that cause flooding and electrical explosions

Buyers are "apparently unfazed" by the $125 million lawsuit between residents and the developers over structural defects, an Olshan Realty report said. The open-concept dining area is located next to the living room.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Realty. The $70.5 million apartment is New York's most expensive home sale since April 2021. The 8,000-square-foot apartment was previously two separate units. The sale comes amidst an ongoing lawsuit between residents and developers over construction defects. An apartment at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan was sold for $70.5 million last month, making it the most expensive residence sold in New York City since April 2021.The living room.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Realty432 Park Avenue was designed by architect Rafael Vinoly and construction was officially completed in 2015. At 96 floors, it was once considered one of the tallest residential buildings in the world.The apartment — on the building's 82nd floor — went for $70.5 million, down from the asking price of $79 million in January. It was originally listed for $90 million in 2020, per property records. The sale is New York City's largest since April 2021, per an Olshan Realty market report.The listing was held by Ryan Stenta of Douglas Elliman Realty. Stenta declined to comment on the sale of the unit.The new buyers are "apparently unfazed" by the ongoing $125 million legal battle between residents and the developers, per Olshan Realty.432 Park Ave. building exterior.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman RealtyDespite being one of the most luxurious buildings in the world, 432 Park has also been plagued with problems.In September, the condo board filed a $125 million lawsuit against the developers CIM Group and Macklowe Properties, Insider's Heather Schlitz reported.The building was completed in 2015. But beginning in 2016, residents began complaining of numerous construction defects that resulted in flooding, electrical explosions, and even noise issues caused by the building's swaying, according to The New York Times.According to the lawsuit, CIM Group's chairman Richard Ressler (who owns a unit in the building) "admitted that the sound and vibration issues are 'intolerable,' rendering it difficult to sleep during periods of even moderately inclement weather.""What was promised as one of the finest condominiums in the City was instead delivered riddled with over 1,500 identified construction and design defects to the common elements of the Building alone (leaving aside the numerous defects within individual units)," the lawsuit continues.The apartment buyers are Yossi and Gaëlle Benchetrit. They own another apartment on the lower floor of the same building, the Wall Street Journal previously reported, citing people familiar with the deal. Yossi Benchetrit is the chief procurement and programming officer of Altis USA, a cable television provider, while his wife Gaëlle is the founder of the aesthetic clinic Clinique des Champs Elysées New York, per the Wall Street Journal.The buyers were represented by Jason Haber of Compass. The Benchetrits and Haber did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.432 Park Avenue is located in an area known as Billionaires' Row.Skyscrapers that form the Billionaires' Row include Central Park Tower, Steinway Tower, and 432 Park Avenue.Gary Hershorn/Getty ImagesBillionaires' Row is a luxury residential area in Manhattan located along the southern end of Central Park and is home to some of the world's most expensive residences.In 2019, hedge fund manager Ken Griffin bought a penthouse at 220 Central Park South in Billionaires' Row for $238 million — making it the most expensive home ever sold in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. The penthouse on the 96th floor of 432 Park Avenue also made waves when it was listed for $169 million in July 2021 (It appears to still be available nearly a year later). It was previously owned by Saudi billionaire Fawaz Al Hokair, per the Wall Street Journal.The apartment spans over 8,000 square feet and takes up the entire 82nd floor.The open-concept dining area is located next to the living room.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Realty.It was originally two separate apartments, but the former owners had the units combined into a single unit, per The Real Deal.The home features almost 13-foot high ceilings and large windows that offer panoramic views of the city skyline.The apartment comes with almost full-length windows with a clear view of Central Park.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman RealtySource: StreeteasyThe apartment features five bedrooms and six bathrooms.One of the bathrooms in the apartment comes fitted with a freestanding bathtub next to a full-height window.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman RealtyThere are two master bathrooms and four ensuite bathrooms attached to guest bedrooms, per the listing.There is an oversized chef's kitchen with a large stone island counter.The kitchen.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman RealtySource: StreeteasyThe house also comes with two home offices, two walk-in closets, and a home theater.The home theater.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman RealtySource: StreeteasyResidents may enjoy building amenities such as a fitness center, a spa with a sauna and massage facilities, as well as a billiards room.The building comes with a billiards room.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman RealtySource: StreeteasyThere's also a 75-foot indoor swimming pool on the 16th floor where residents can take a dip regardless of the weather.The building comes with a 75-foot indoor swimming pool.Courtesy of Douglas Elliman RealtyResidents also have access to a range of services including room service, concierge, a 24-hour doorman, as well as valet parking.On the 12th floor of 432 Park Avenue is a private restaurant overseen by Shaun Hergatt, an acclaimed chef who has received Michelin stars for three of his other New York City restaurants.Residents are required to spend a minimum of $15,000 per year at the restaurant, per The New York Times. This amount has increased since 2015 when the minimum spending was just $1,200 a year.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

Historic in-town Nantucket home, guest cottage listed for under $5M

A home originally built in 1750 in downtown Nantucket, just steps away from the beach and with an adjacent guest cottage, is on the market. The three-bedroom main house at 57 Washington St. was renovated most recently in 2016 and offers panoramic harbor views, beach access just across the street and outdoor spaces for entertaining, including a porch, infinity-edge spa and built-in fire pit. There are four-and-a-half baths total in the main home and cottage. The first floor offers an open floor….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsApr 30th, 2022

A Miami mansion with 300 feet of waterfront is on the market for $48 million — 50% more than its original listing price. Take a look inside.

The sprawling mansion comes with 5 bedrooms, 5 full bathrooms, as well as a boat lift and private dock. Exterior view of the mansion.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International Realty A Mediterranean-style estate in Miami is on the market for $48 million. The mansion has 300 feet of waterfront and a 180-degree view of the bay. The five-bedroom home comes with a boat lift and a private dock. A 10,220-square-foot estate in Coconut Grove, Miami, is on the market for $48 million.The exterior of the mansion. The estate has 300 feet of waterfront and a 180-degree view of the bay.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International RealtyKnown as Villa Positano, the three-story mansion was designed in a Mediterranean style, listing agent Elena Bluntzer with ONE Sotheby's International Realty told Insider.The mansion belongs to Ernst Swietelsky, the retired founder of a flower- and plant-import company, according to a website dedicated to the estate. Swietelsky worked with Florida-based architects Portuondo & Perotti to develop the estate.Swietelsky did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.The estate was first listed for sale in April 2017 for $28 million, before being taken down and relisted for $25 million in November, property records show.The listing saw continuous price cuts before hitting a low of $18.7 million in May 2019. It was eventually delisted in July 2019 but was put back up for sale again in April 2022 at $48 million, per property records.The price increase is partially due to Swietelsky renovating the home last year, including the kitchen and light fixtures, Bluntzer told The Wall Street Journal in March.Coconut Grove is Miami's oldest neighborhood.Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida.iStock / Getty Images PlusCoconut Grove was established in 1873, before Miami even existed, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported in 2018. Nowadays it's home to office buildings, shops, and hotels, as well as residential areas, parks, and biking paths.Last year, Miami saw a sudden real-estate boom as many wealthy executives, no longer required to live in Silicon Valley and Wall Street to do their jobs, sought out real estate elsewhere. Miami real-estate agent Chad Carroll told Insider he was seeing demand like never before, with home prices shooting up and a shortage of luxury inventory. Coconut Grove, along with high-profile locations like Coral Gables and Fisher Island, is one of the areas that was attracting those high-net-worth buyers.Houses in Coconut Grove tend to sell after 54 days on average, and the median listing home price for a house is $1.5 million, per real estate platform Realtor.com. Villa Positano, with its $48 million price tag, is an outlier on the price scale, but it's not the only multimillion-dollar mansion to hit the market recently: In July, Miami's "condo king" also listed his waterfront Coconut Grove mansion for $33 million.The mansion has direct ocean access, with a private dock and a 180-degree view of Sailboat Bay.The front lawn of the estate, which is located right by the water. The mansion also comes with a private dock.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International RealtySource: ONE Sotheby's International RealtyThe estate comes with numerous outdoor seating areas where residents can enjoy the view of the water.An outdoor picnic table.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International Realty"The outdoor space is absolutely stunning with so many areas to just relax and reflect. From expansive sheltered porches and alfresco terraces to a cozy fire pit, they all offer unobstructed views of the bay," Bluntzer told Insider.The mansion has five bedrooms and five full bathrooms.Another bedroom in the mansion.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International RealtySource: Villa PositanoThe master bathroom features wood and marble finishings. It also has a double vanity and a rain shower, Bluntzer said.The bathroom in the master bedroom.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International Realty"The kitchen is designed as a chef's kitchen with upgraded finishes, a double zinc sink, a Lacanche gas stove, and a large island," Bluntzer added.The kitchen.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International RealtyThe main living and dining areas of the house have marble furnishings and Jerusalem stone floors. The large dining table can sit a party of eight.The dining area.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International RealtySource: Villa PositanoThere's also a home office in the mansion, complete with mahogany wood furniture and floors, Bluntzer said.The office.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International RealtyThe home has an indoor gym and an elevator.The outdoor pebble stone pool is heated and is located right next to the bay.The outdoor pool.LPG for ONE Sotheby's International RealtyBefore the mansion was officially relisted for sale in April, Swietelsky had received an offer of $42 million for the property — which he rejected, Bluntzer told The Wall Street Journal.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytApr 25th, 2022

11 Closing Gift Ideas for Spring

Even amid what’s been an ongoing busy market over the last couple of years, Spring is still widely considered the best season to sell a house—May especially. The warmer, longer days and spring-bloom boost in curb appeal, offers real estate professionals the opportunity to make clients feel extra sunny with a gift that speaks to… The post 11 Closing Gift Ideas for Spring appeared first on RISMedia. Even amid what’s been an ongoing busy market over the last couple of years, Spring is still widely considered the best season to sell a house—May especially. The warmer, longer days and spring-bloom boost in curb appeal, offers real estate professionals the opportunity to make clients feel extra sunny with a gift that speaks to their season of growth as a new homeowner. What better way to make your client feel appreciated than with a personalized closing gift? Closing gifts are more than just a kind gesture. Like handing off the keys, this celebratory transaction signifies a job well-done for all parties, and that the relationship hopefully continues after all the paperwork is signed, sealed and delivered. Selecting which closing gift to purchase may seem straightforward for most agents, but there’s a lot of factors that you should consider before making any gift purchase. Gratitude over gains Though you will hopefully benefit from future referrals and a five-star review at the end of this process, that should not be your priority. The art of gift giving entails you expect nothing in return. A closing gift should maximize on the unique journey between buyer and seller, and reflect your attention to the finer details. Giving a personalized gift is a kindness that conveys the importance of building connections in this industry—which is a principle every agent should carry with them throughout their career. Dollars to deductions  Before you determine your spending amount, consider what market you work in and your gross commission income from the sale. If you work in luxury real estate, you may think about spending a little more for a closing gift than you would for a middle- or low-tier market. Typically, agent’s spend between 1-5% of their gross commission on closing gifts. A middle of the road, 2-3% percent is usually the best amount to spend. Also, you are allowed to write off $25 per gift per individual as a tax deductible, if you so choose. Get to know them Between all the phone calls and house tours and weekly sit-downs, you must’ve gotten to know your client by closing time. Maybe you know they really love the color sage green, or they’re big on coffee, or that they have a fur baby that winds down to classical music. Bring their personality and interests into consideration when choosing a personalized closing gift. If there are still some gray areas, send a friend request on social media and see what lights their fire outside the prized mantel that was the home’s selling point. Gifts that keep on giving When thinking of gift ideas, think of items and experiences that might stick with them long after you’ve given the last handshake. A pretty plant might be nice at the hand-off, but wilts after just a week. Think of gifts that have a longer life cycle or will create a lasting impression. Whether that’s an item they can reuse over and over again, or an experience that they’ll never forget. Here are some closing gift ideas to get you going, and who knows what other ideas might spring up after giving this a read! Closing gift ideas for spring: Smart garden: Do your homeowners have a green thumb? Or, do they love the idea of having a garden, but aren’t very good at maintaining one? No worries. Gift them an indoor smart garden that acts like a capsule coffee machine. Plant pods are inserted into the compartment and have features like automatic watering, pro-glow HD lighting and apps to teach you how your herbs, fruits, vegetables and plants are growing. Picnic set: After the long, cold winter months, people are dying to get outside. Treat your client to a picnic basket and picnic blanket so they can break in their new backyard the right way. Online woven picnic baskets can come with silverware and plates built into them, with places to neatly store all your charcuterie, snacks and refreshments. Custom embroider a Pendleton blanket or other designer style with the sold-date or special couple detail to really make them feel all warm and fuzzy. Engraved party cooler: Backyard soirees and family cookouts are not complete without a large cooler filled with all your preferred drink selections. Get a stainless steel one engraved for your new homeowners so they always have a place to chill…the drinks we mean. Smart speaker: Let’s face it—they’re going to want to dance around the bare room floors before the furniture arrives. Give your clients a bluetooth speaker so they can have their Risky Business moment in their brand new home. Invest in a smart speaker, which allows you to not just play music, but also ask questions, control your smart tech like light switches and adjust thermostat settings and set alarms. Pizza stone: Air fryers are so last year. If your client loves to cook, consider gifting them a pizza stone that can be used on both an ovens and the grill. Not only can they impress their guests at the housewarming party, but they will appreciate the fun activity of make-your-own for years to come. Pet cam: When the weather gets nice, your client might want to spend more time outside the home where our pets can’t always go. Let’s take a paws to appreciate them. Give your new homeowners with pets an interactive pet camera. Smart pet cams allow you to see, talk, toss treats and get barking alerts connected to your phone. Market tote: If a local farmer’s market or walk about town is on your client’s spring weekend itinerary, gift them with an upgraded market tote they can carry the goods back home in. Most market totes come with separated compartments so you can store eggs or fruit without damage, and can be customized to show off your client’s spiffy sensibilities. Cold brew maker: Iced coffee season is upon us. Your client will be obsessed with the idea of making your own cold brew at home, and saving some money in the process. Some cold brew makers are as simple as pouring grounds in the filter, filling the carafe with water and letting it sit in the fridge, but if your client prefers to experiment a bit, there’s a ton of different options to choose from.   Mini projector: Make outdoor movie nights a thing by giving your client a mini projector that can display your favorite TV shows and movies on. Most mini projectors have features like built in speakers and can connect to most of your tech easily. They’ll love the convenience of not having to go out to get that movie theater experience that they might ditch the living room TV entirely. Polaroid camera: For your photography-loving clients, help them make memories everyday with a polaroid instant camera that shoots crisp but vintage looking photos they can cherish forever. Complete the gift with a polaroid album they can store all their polaroids in. Or, gift them with a clothespin board that will accessorize any space with mementos from their happy new chapter. A custom house history poster or book: If your buyer purchased a historic home or they reside on a historic street, offer them a little piece of that history with a house history book or poster that provides details and historic photographs of the home they can display as wall art or a cherished, coffee table book. Investigative research teams like Brownstone Detectives can be commissioned to uncover and present secrets and facts of the home, the people who lived there and other details as an artful and aesthetically pleasing keepsake. Joey Macari is RISMedia’s associate editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at jmacari@rismedia.com. The post 11 Closing Gift Ideas for Spring appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaApr 22nd, 2022

FirstService Residential Appointed Property Manager of Front & York Condominiums at 85 Jay Street

FirstService Residential, New York’s leading residential property management company, has been appointed property manager for Front & York, a new mixed-use residential property in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The property comprises 480 high-end condominium residences, resort-class amenities and 150,000 square feet of retail space. FirstService Residential was first retained by ownership in... The post FirstService Residential Appointed Property Manager of Front & York Condominiums at 85 Jay Street appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. FirstService Residential, New York’s leading residential property management company, has been appointed property manager for Front & York, a new mixed-use residential property in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The property comprises 480 high-end condominium residences, resort-class amenities and 150,000 square feet of retail space. FirstService Residential was first retained by ownership in July 2017 to provide pre-development consulting services including design drawing review for front and back of house operations, amenities, and initial budget development. “Front & York establishes a new standard for luxury condominium developments in DUMBO and the borough at-large,” said Marc Kotler, senior vice president of FirstService Residential’s New Development Group, which provided pre-development consulting services to the project team. “We are delighted to continue working with the building, now serving as property manager, and we are committed to delivering the highest caliber of service for this keynote residential property.” Designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, the 12-story building occupies a full city block and comprises more than one million square feet. The design team modeled the building after the many warehouse properties that once peppered the neighborhood in an effort to bridge historic architecture with contemporary industrial style. Within, the residences are spread between the two towers, “Front” and “York,” that bookend the building’s eighth-floor amenity deck. Available homes range from one- to four-bedroom accommodations, all featuring 10’ ceilings, chevron patterned white oak flooring, top-of-the- line appliances, marble countertops and custom-designed Italian white oak cabinetry. Bathrooms feature radiant heated marble floors, cast-iron tubs, and white marble. All homes also include filtered water and NEST thermostats. The eighth-floor recreation deck includes the most all-encompassing residential amenities DUMBO has ever seen. Offerings include a landscaped outdoor terrace and pool deck with lounge seating and private cabanas, dining area for outdoor entertaining, and an open-air screening theatre. Indoor amenities include a billiards lounge, a large wine room and catering kitchen for private events, co-working space, a coffee lounge, gaming lounges equipped with Xbox consoles and retro arcade machines, a music room and a children’s playroom. The building also houses a parking garage designed to accommodate 700 vehicles – the largest private residential garage in DUMBO. The garage also includes electric vehicle charging stations and bicycle docks. Front & York residents also have privileged access to an all-encompassing, professionally managed wellness club. Comprising over 77,000 square feet, the wellness club includes a luxury fitness center, a full-service salon and spa, a health-oriented café, a full-size basketball court and the largest indoor pool in DUMBO. The post FirstService Residential Appointed Property Manager of Front & York Condominiums at 85 Jay Street appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyApr 20th, 2022

Check out these 44 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Deploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 18th, 2022

48 affordable Mother"s Day gifts under $50 that still feel really thoughtful

For Mother's Day, here are 48 of the best gifts for your mom under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to be thoughtful. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.For Mother's Day, here are 49 of the best gifts for your mom under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to be thoughtful.Baublebar; LoftieWhether it's a birthday, Mother's Day, or simply an occasion that requires an impromptu gift, there's always time to get mom something nice. While nothing shows your appreciation for your mom like year-round love and support, a gift that she'll love is always a thoughtful and appreciated gesture. You don't have to spend a fortune, either. Thankfully, many moms prefer something that simply shows love (or just that you listened to their complaints about their dying phone battery) over a high-price item.There are plenty of wonderful gift ideas for moms under $50 to be found — and 48 of them are listed for you below. (You can also find more gift ideas for moms here.)Here are 48 of the best gifts for mother's day under $50:Best for: The mom who needs a breakLushGift the Mom Gift Set, available at Lush, $32.95Lush is famous for its bath bombs, which come in a wide variety of scents and colorful shapes. This mother's day-themed box includes four bath bombs, with soothing hints of citrus, jasmine,  ylang-ylang, and bergamot.Best for: The mom who wants to grow their own flowersUncommon GoodsBirth Month Flower Grow Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $35When same-day floral delivery can get expensive, you can get a less expensive gift that has longer-lasting value: a kit to grow their own birth month flower. Complete with a small glass container, soil, and easy instructions, this gift is a more personal take on a mother's day classic.Best for: The mom who glues together every puzzle they finishLoftieFlowers with Powers Puzzle, available at Loftie, $25If some of your fondest memories with your mom include struggling over 500-piece jigsaw puzzles over Christmas, this bright, modern print will make your mom want to hang it up immediately upon completion. As a bonus, it comes in a sleek, small cylinder instead of the usual clunky box.Best for: The animal-loving momUncommon GoodsMother's Love Mugs, available at Uncommon Goods, $40This earth-toned mug features a print of a mother animal leading her young — a cute image that's sure to make this your mom's new favorite coffee cup. You can choose between elephants, deer, bears, or ducks — whichever your mom watches the most Facebook videos of.Best for: The literary mom on the goAmazonAudible Subscription, available at Amazon, prices varyIf your mom has ever complained about never having enough time to read — or is just in a podcast lull — an Audible subscription is a great way to catch up on the latest audiobooks whether they're going for a run or need something to listen to on their commute.Best for: The eco-friendly momOut of the WoodsWashable Paper Backpack, available at Out of the Woods, $32If your mom cares about the environment (but also wants something more substantial than a tote for those daily errands), this sustainable vegan backpack is made of Out of the Woods' Supernatural Paper and polycotton and can easily be rewashed. Best for: The mom who still loves a charm braceletBaublebarCustom Multi Pisa Bracelet, available at Baublebar, $40You can customize this bright beaded bracelet to say whatever you want — your mom's name, a special date, a sweet message. It's subtle enough to feel mature, but still serves as a colorful, fun piece for everyday wear.Best for: The spa-enthusiast momUncommon GoodsGift the Little Pampering Gift Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $44Help mom unwind and have a pampered day from home with this gift set, which includes a lavender boil oil, soap, shower steamer, lip balm, and a scented candle.Best for: The mom whose makeup bag won't zipDagne DoverGift the Dagne Dover Small Hunter Toiletry Bag, available at Dagne Dover, $40Self-care should make us feel good, from beginning to end. A nice toiletry bag with ample smart organization is one way to make sure that everything stays clutter-free.This bag is made out of really cool neoprene material and comes in a variety of pretty colors, from a bright poppy red to more muted tones like the mossy green seen above. Dagne Dover is also best-known for its thoughtful, next-level organization.Best for: The mom with three trips coming upLeatherologyGift a Leatherology Standard Passport Cover, available at Leatherology, $50Grab mom a beautiful leather passport cover that will age well and make traveling abroad easier. This one comes in 17 different colors, too. Leatherology is one of our go-to gifting shops, since the leather is high-quality, surprisingly affordable, and comes in beautiful gift-ready boxes. For a personal touch, monogram it for $10.Best for: The mom who hates running out with wet hairNordstromGift the Aquis Chevron Weave Hair Turban, available at Dermstore, $30These Aquis hair towels have become extremely popular in the last few years. They're designed with AQUITEX technology that uses ultra-fine fibers that are split into strands thinner than silk, so this towel won't grab at hair cuticles like regular bath towels that break and damage wet hair (which is when it's most vulnerable). It also claims to reduce drying time by up to 50%, which sounds hyperbolic until you've tried it yourself. Best for: The mom who hates looking up the weatherAmazonGift the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation), available at Amazon, $29.99Gift the Google Home Mini, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $49There's an ever-so-slight learning curve in figuring out what Amazon's Alexa can and can't do, but once that's passed, the Echo products can forecast the weather, read an audiobook, play music, order a pizza, tell Dad jokes, or any number of things Mom should find both helpful and fun. Be aware this isn't the newest model, but it still works great and comes at a lower price point. The Dot is also kind of the entry-level Echo product, so if your family is already ingrained in the Google ecosystem for tech, you might want to grab the Google Home Mini instead for the same price. Best for: The minimalist momMejuriGift a pair of Mejuri Sterling Silver Dôme Huggies, available at Mejuri, $48There's something satisfying about being able to afford to give your mom something delicate, luxurious, and special. Too often our moms put us first and themselves last, and something that isn't strictly "necessary" is a good way to make sure they feel pampered from time to time.Mejuri is an Insider Reviews favorite, and the Canadian company will likely be a new one of hers as well. Best for: The mom who always shares all their subscription passwords with youRokuGift the Roku Express HD Streaming Media Player, available at Roku, $29.99Roku's media streamers are the best in the business, and the Express is a good entry-level system that comes at an affordable price. Your giftee can stream TV shows and movies from all their favorite streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more. If you're able to spend a bit more, the Roku Ultra is our top pick overall.Best for: The mom who's been eyeing the Dyson AirWrapAmazonRevlon One-Step Hair Dryer, available at Amazon, $34.88This all-in-one brush and hairdryer is one of our favorite products and makes it a breeze for mom to style her hair and easily create volume and soft curls.Best for: The mom who genuinely enjoys their skincare routineNecessaireGift the Nécessaire Body Lotion, available at Nécessaire, $25If body lotion doesn't sound that exciting to her, Nécessaire's version will probably change her mind. The formula is simple — clean ingredients, full of nourishing vitamins, and quick-absorbing. It's so good, we've fought over it. Best for: The mom who still prefers handwritten notesAmazonGift the Rocketbook Reusable Smart Notebook, available at Amazon, $24.98Handwritten notes can help keep her organized and manage a seemingly endless to-do list. It's a $25 notebook, but surprisingly handy. It sends notes to the cloud so she can access them from her devices later.Best for: The sentimental momEtsyGift the Handwritten Recipe Tea Towel, available at Etsy, from $24Take a favorite family recipe and turn it into the ultimate personalized gift courtesy of Etsy. You can upload a photo of a recipe card with your order so the recipe is printed in the original handwriting of a loved one.Best for: The outdoorsy momREIGift an REI Co-op Membership, available at REI for $30An REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here. You can pair this gift with a guided travel journal ($19.95).Best for: The mom who find flowers a little fussyUrban StemsGift the Cora Plant, available at Urbanstems, $30Urban Stems makes sending fresh flowers and plants to mom a breeze if you won't be seeing her in person this year. This cute succulent is in the shape of a heart for an extra touch of love.Best for: The mom who frames everythingFramebridgeGift a Framebridge custom-framed art or photo gift, available at Framebridge, from $45Why not make an impactful gift by framing a family memory or a great picture of the two of you? Sites like Framebridge make it easier by letting you customize each step of the process online instead of grabbing a frame from the store and having to figure out how to correctly size and print something yourself. Framebridge will guide you through the process and let you know if the resolution is high enough to look good on mom's mantle. Best for: The coffee connoisseurDriftaway Coffee InstagramGift a Driftaway Coffee Set, available at Driftaway, from $54If mom likes coffee, Driftaway is a great option. The Brooklyn-based startup helps people figure out which flavor profiles of coffee they really love and then uses that information to customize shipments of fresh coffee to them.Best for: The mom who's picky about beddingShhh SilkGift the Shhh Silk Pillowcase, available at Shhh Silk, from $85Silk pillowcases reduce frizz and damage to hair and make it look shiny and healthy. They also reduce the likelihood of forming new wrinkles and they won't absorb skincare products as easily as cotton pillowcases. This particular silk pillowcase from Shhh Silk is one of the internet's hidden gems — it's rated the best silk pillowcase you can buy in the Insider Reviews buying guide. Best for: The mom who lives for a good quoteMintedGift a personalized quote print, available at Minted, from $38Spotlight a quote from their favorite film, book, or song — or even just your favorite mom quote. There are many font colors, sizes, and frames to choose from.Best for: The yoga momMandukaGift a Manduka Eko Superlite Travel Yoga Mat, available at Manduka, $45Manduka is known for making some of the best yoga products, and this five-star-rated mat is no exception. If your mom loves fitting a yoga class into a busy schedule, this mat will be greatly appreciated. Not only does it have a great grip and come in plenty of fun colors, but it's super light and easy to tote to and from class.Best for: The mom who only wears natural beauty productsRMS BeautyGift the RMS Beauty Lipstick, available at Anthropologie, $28One barrier to smarter, healthier makeup is figuring out which of those natural brands out there actually do the job. One great and thoughtful gift for mom could be an introduction to a brand that actually works.RMS Beauty is a fan-favorite for its lipsticks on its own merit, with the clean ingredients as a huge plus. Best for: The smoothie-obsessed momDaily HarvestGift a Daily Harvest Gift Card, available at Daily Harvest, from $50Perfect for a mom who loves eating healthy, Daily Harvest is a subscription service that sends healthy, pre-portioned superfood-packed smoothies, overnight oats, soups, and more to your home either weekly or monthly.The food combinations are developed by a nutritionist and chef, and the company is backed by big names like Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams. We tried the service's smoothies and really enjoyed them.Best for: The mom who's perfectly happy with flowersThe BouqsGift a bouquet from The Bouqs, available at The Bouqs, from $39If you want to get her something longer lasting, you can pick up a vase ($10-$249), too. Best for: The mom bored with their current snack rotationBokksuGift the Bokksu Classic Gift Box, available at Bokksu, from $39.95 per monthIf they love to travel and experience new cultures through food, they'll love receiving a Bokksu Box. The classic gift box is filled with a selection of 20-25 unique and delicious Japanese snacks, sourced directly from artisan makers in Japan.Best for: The mom who's sensitive to 6 a.m. sunlightNordstromGift the Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $42.50Give Mom a little bit of luxury with this silk sleep mask. Not only will it block out light and feel great, but it's made with Slip's proprietary Slipsilk which won't tug or leave skin creases.Best for: The mom who's always running on 5% batteryAmazonGift the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad for iPhone, available at Amazon, $37.17Gift the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad for Android, available at Amazon, $54.99We tested the Belkin BoostUp charger with several iPhones and Android phones, and it worked perfectly — which is why we ranked it the best wireless charging stand you can buy. It looks great, has excellent traction so your phone won't slide off while charging, and it juices up any phone quickly.Wireless charging is traditionally slower than wired charging, but the Boost Up pad with 15 watts of power should charge your devices faster — so long as they support fast wireless charging.Best for: The mom who ran out of photo album spaceArtifact UprisingGift a Custom Softcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, from $17These beautifully designed photo books look just like a personal magazine, curated by you for your mom — and full of 30 pages of your best and most cherished memories. Best for: The mom with perpetually cold feetBombasGift the Bombas Gripper Slippers, available at Bombas, $40Easy to slip on and wear around the house, these super soft slipper socks feature a brushed lining and silicone grippers to prevent any sliding. Plus, Bombas donates a pair of socks for every pair bought, so you can feel good about giving mom this gift and giving back at the same time.Best for: The makeup-loving momBirchboxGift a Birchbox 3-Month Subscription, available at Birchbox, $45In general, subscriptions are some of the best gifts that you can give. A monthly treat can be a really nice thing to look forward to, especially when each delivery reminds you of your family. Every time an installment is delivered, your mom is reminded of how much you care.Birchbox is a particularly good one. It combines monthly deliveries of small personalized beauty and skincare samples with an easy-to-use e-commerce shop. Birchbox sends an assortment of highly-rated or brand-new items for your mom to test every month instead of having to buy full-sized versions at Sephora on a whim.You can gift a subscription gift card for 3 months for $45, 6 months for $84, or a full 12 months for $156.Best for: The mom with a sweet toothHarry & DavidGift Harry & David Artisan Macarons, available at Harry & David, $49.99This delivery sure to satisfy mom's sugar cravings comes with 12 macaron cookies, handcrafted from scratch. Flavors range from Espresso Coffee to Raspberry for a nice variety and express two-day shipping is included with this gift to ensure it gets there on time.Best for: The mom who finishes books faster than anyone you knowBook of the Month; Alyssa Powell/InsiderGift a Book of the Month Membership, available at Book of the Month, three months for $49.99If your mom loves to read and isn't ready to go 100% digital, we can't recommend a Book of the Month membership highly enough. Each month lets them pick one book from a curated selection of the best new hardcover titles spanning a broad range of genres. The mix of both fiction and nonfiction titles is sure to impress even the pickiest bibliophiles. Best for: The mom who makes their own cold brewBlue Bottle CoffeeGift the Blue Bottle Hario Cold Brew Bottle, available at Blue Bottle, $37Does mom love cold brew? Grab this elegant glass cold brew bottle from the popular coffee startup Blue Bottle. It's slim enough to fit in the fridge without displacing anything else, and it looks much nicer than the plastic versions you'll find at a similar price point on Amazon. Best for: The mom who truly will never have enough candlesBrooklinenGift a Wake Scented Candle, available at Brooklinen, from $35Bring the fresh scents of a salty sea tide, kelp, and driftwood into mom's house with this chic, hand-poured candle from the ever-popular home startup, Brooklinen. Best for: The mom who can't deal with makeup stainsWeezieGift the Weezie Makeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40We've personally discovered Weezie's makeup towels are unexpectedly useful, and so will your giftee. These small, dark towels won't reveal unsightly makeup stains and they come in three cute embroidered styles.Best for: The mom running out of kitchen spaceVictoriaGift a Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, available at Target, $29.99The Victoria Cast Iron 12-Inch Skillet Fry Pan is the perfect skillet for cooking just about anything. It's well-designed, extremely affordable, and durable like you'd hope a cast iron pan would be.It has a long primary handle and a shorter secondary handle for steadying the pan as you carry or move it, and it has good depth and a wide surface perfect for searing steaks. The large pour spouts on either side make it easy to rid the pan of grease without any mess. It's also one of our top picks for a low-cost cast iron skillet. Best for: The philanthropist momLottoLove/FacebookGive a card from LottoLove, available at LottoLove, from $5When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won't win any money. Instead, you "win" a charitable prize that's donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. Each card costs just $4.95, but gives back in invaluable ways. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.Best for: The mom who always hosts game nightAmazonGift the Watch Ya' Mouth Family Edition, available on Amazon, $15.99If you grab a couple of family-friendly board games and head to your parents' place for a night in with them and your siblings, that might be the most memorable gift you could give. Bring along some flowers, chocolate, wine, or one of the smaller gifts on this list as a token offering as well. Best for: The movie buffAmazonGift the West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper, available at The Home Depot, $45.04Bring over a comfy throw blanket and turn on Netflix for a quality movie night with your lifelong best friend. It's no joke that quality time goes a long way for a gift, especially when it's for your mom.Best for: The mom who refuses to wear mom jeansStitch FixGift a Stitch Fix gift card, available at Stitch Fix, from $20Shopping isn't everyone's favorite activity — or, if it is, not all of us have the time for a trip to the mall. That's where the stylists at Stitch Fix come in. A great gift for busy moms, the service delivers the newest trends and styles to fit any occasion and price point. Best for: The mom who never tires of cerealMagic SpoonGift all four Magic Spoon flavors, available at Magic Spoon, $39Gift a Magic Spoon subscription, available at Magic Spoon, $29.25 per monthMagic Spoon is a new "childlike cereal for adults" that's high in protein and low in sugar — and all four flavors are delicious. If you want to treat your mom without incurring any dentist-related concerns, Magic Spoon may be a fun way to introduce her to a new brand. Best for: The mom who's sick of oversized thermosesHydro FlaskGift the Hydro Flask Mug, available at Amazon, from $19.95This mug is a common desk companion for the Insider Picks team. The 12-ounce coffee mug has the company's proprietary TempShield insulation that made its water bottles famous among outdoorsmen and the average person alike. This mug will keep hot drinks hot for up to six hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 24. Read a full review of it here.Best for: The foodie momCrate & BarrelGift the Himalayan Salt Block, available at Crate & Barrel, $34.95If your mom likes to cook (or just eat good food someone else made), a Himalayan salt block may be a thoughtful gift. People love how they give meals enhanced flavor that can't be mimicked by a frying pan. Plus, the minerals in salt are supposed to give a more nuanced flavor than table salt, and the amount of saltiness will be regulated by the type of food (moist food absorbs more, fatty foods repel it).Himalayan salt has a very stable crystal structure, which allows it to hold a temperature very well. Mom can chill it to serve as a platter for sushi or heat it over the grill or stovetop to cook veggies. Best for: The mom with 47 types of tea at homeAmazonGift the Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, available at Amazon, $11.39Let mom take a cue from this reclining bunny and spend some time relaxing, sipping their favorite kind of loose tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 18th, 2022

Sales Launch for 393 West End Avenue, a Historic Building Reimagined by CetraRuddy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side

Manhattan’s Upper West Side reached a pivotal residential milestone today with the announcement that sales have commenced for the homes at 393 West End Avenue, a storied building that has been tastefully transformed for the modern era. Located at the corner of 79th Street, 393 West End Avenue features a... The post Sales Launch for 393 West End Avenue, a Historic Building Reimagined by CetraRuddy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Manhattan’s Upper West Side reached a pivotal residential milestone today with the announcement that sales have commenced for the homes at 393 West End Avenue, a storied building that has been tastefully transformed for the modern era. Located at the corner of 79th Street, 393 West End Avenue features a collection of 75 upscale residences that merge old-world charm with contemporary comforts, and a series of garden-level amenities reminiscent of a private social club, signifying what is likely the last condominium conversion to come to market in the neighborhood.   Situated within the landmark West End Collegiate Historic District — a quiet enclave that exudes the cinematic charm of iconic New York films such as When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail — the 16-story building was originally designed by architects Goldner & Goldner and constructed in 1927. The building features Collegiate Gothic architecture and original 1920s details that are now being skillfully preserved by CetraRuddy, the award-winning architecture and interior design firm known for its sophisticated approach to modernizing historic properties. “The Upper West Side — the West End Collegiate Historic District, in particular — is one of Manhattan’s most coveted residential destinations,” said Stephen Kliegerman, President of Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing (BHSDM), the exclusive sales and marketing firm for 393 West End Avenue. “Due to the neighborhood’s landmark status, newly constructed luxury residential developments are exceedingly rare. Without compromising on character, 393 West End Avenue offers the best of both worlds — impeccably preserved Pre-war details that convey a sense of history, paired with the modern layouts, high-end finishes and thoughtful amenities that buyers demand of new developments today.” Making an impression at first sight, 393 West End Avenue features a restored limestone portal with a contemporary bronze-and-glass marquee, antique bronze entry doors with one-of-a-kind lion medallions that showcase its 1920s heritage, and eye-catching plaster tassels that harken back to the great opera houses of the era. Inside, the 24-hour attended lobby, a sculptural stone concierge desk anchors the space, which features Bianco Spino and Grigio Collemandina mosaic floors, lacquered paneling and a soaring nickel leaf ceiling. Custom bronze-and-glass art screens inspired by the building’s historic architectural details lead to the elevator bank that ascends to the residential floors.   Here, a collection of 75 residences — many with captivating views of the Hudson River — respect the provenance of the late 1920s, with graceful layouts ranging from one to four bedrooms, and details that include wood floors with a French Chevron style in the living and dining areas. The open plan kitchens boast Naica Quartzite countertops and backsplashes, along with custom cabinetry composed of handpicked variegated smoked oak wood in a walnut tone and fluted glass. A suite of paneled Miele appliances echoes the cabinetry, while the stove’s brushed light antique bronze hood rounds out the warm, modern look.  “From the beginning, the design vision for 393 West End Avenue has been to create a unique and elevated residential experience that celebrates historic sensibility while introducing a modern vernacular,” said Nancy J. Ruddy, Founding Principal of CetraRuddy. “It’s an attitude of refined constraint, and a contemporary revival of romantic styles that brings a bit of magic back to this special part of the Upper West Side. Whether the bespoke mosaic floor in the lobby, or the custom club room mural and hand-picked marble in the kitchens and bathrooms, every element that you see and touch is crafted and curated with a focus on material richness, balanced proportions, and an eye towards creating a sense of home and wellbeing that fits how we live today. Engaging creatively and respectfully with historic buildings is part of our DNA at CetraRuddy, and 393 West End Avenue is truly an expression of everything we love about the juxtaposition between past and present.”  Envisioned by CetraRuddy as a light-filled private retreat, the primary bedrooms convey a sense of warmth through tone-on-tone natural materials and restored tray ceilings. Reminiscent of Parisian dressing rooms, the primary baths offer a striking combination of honed Pacific White Marble walls and mosaic floors; Calacatta Black Marble accents and vanity countertops; and custom white lacquer vanities with polished nickel accents and textile drawer fronts — all complemented by bespoke sconces. Secondary baths include Calacatta Gold Marble mosaic floors in a diamond pattern characteristic of the 1920s and polished nickel trim. Powder rooms feature a Breccia Capraia Marble slab accent wall that is unique to each residence. Taking inspiration from private homes, 393 West End Avenue features a series of garden-level amenities that seamlessly flow from one room to the next and accommodate every stage of life. Offering the privacy of an in-house club and spanning 4,000 square feet, these inviting spaces include a Great Room equipped with banquettes and private nooks for study or remote work, as well as direct access to a serene landscaped courtyard. Ideal for private dining or hosting intimate gatherings, the Club Room features a custom artisanal tile mosaic, a plush nine-foot sofa and a fully-equipped bar. There is also a state-of-the-art fitness center with private movement studio, a junior lounge with a gaming station and hangout space, and an enchanted forest-inspired children’s playroom known as “The Cottage,” which opens onto its own dedicated outdoor space — aka the porch and secret garden. Bicycle storage and a laundry room with extra-capacity washers and dryers are also available. 393 West End Avenue is being redeveloped by Rabina, a New York-based real estate investment and development firm that has been family-owned and operated for three generations. While Rabina has acquired and developed more than 25 million square feet of real estate throughout its 60+ year history, the firm’s early years were dedicated to repositioning residential properties on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. With its carefully considered transformation of 393 West End Avenue into a collection of Pre-war homes with a fresh perspective, Rabina has returned to its roots. Nestled among tree-lined blocks dotted with picturesque cafes and parks teeming with greenery, 393 West End Avenue offers a premier location just one block from Riverside Park and the Hudson River in the West End Collegiate Historic District. This coveted enclave represents 60 years of architectural evolution and features many of the Upper West Side’s most acclaimed row houses and apartment buildings.   Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing is the exclusive sales and marketing firm for 393 West End Avenue. Sales are being led by Louise Phillips of The Louise Phillips Forbes Team, who has launched and managed successful campaigns for many of the neighborhood’s most esteemed residential conversions including 498 West End Avenue, 220 West 93rd Street and 905 West End Avenue. Pricing for initial inventory begins at $3.718 million for a three-bedroom residence. To learn more about current availability or to schedule a tour of the building’s on-site design studio, please call the sales office at (212) 319-4393 or visit www.393westend.com  The post Sales Launch for 393 West End Avenue, a Historic Building Reimagined by CetraRuddy on Manhattan’s Upper West Side appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyApr 6th, 2022

Check out these 43 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 28th, 2022

Covid-Era Recap: What Worked, What Didn’t and What to Expect

This month marks the second anniversary of the COVID-pandemic shutdown, and what a wild roller coaster ride it has been. So much has changed in our world—and the real estate industry—over the last two years, and 2022 doesn’t seem to be any different. During the height of the pandemic, almost every industry had to reimagine […] The post Covid-Era Recap: What Worked, What Didn’t and What to Expect appeared first on RISMedia. This month marks the second anniversary of the COVID-pandemic shutdown, and what a wild roller coaster ride it has been. So much has changed in our world—and the real estate industry—over the last two years, and 2022 doesn’t seem to be any different. During the height of the pandemic, almost every industry had to reimagine how to keep going remotely and as we begin to lift mask mandates and capacity restrictions, many companies and people aren’t necessarily going back to the pre-COVID standards of living. From a residential real estate perspective, we are still experiencing bidding wars with record-low inventory levels, which has driven prices to new highs. With mortgage rates moving up, some home buyers may get priced out, but overall sales are predicted to keep humming. What does this mean for brokerages? We must take a hard look at what worked and what didn’t during the pandemic and decide what we are going to keep as we move forward into this next phase. In 2021, Northrop Realty achieved the historic milestone of $2 billion in sales volume with over 4,000 transactions in 2021 and we attribute our success to these three key focuses: Level up the digital-house-hunting experience. During the shutdown, we saw a new trend of buyers purchasing homes without ever stepping foot into them. The brokerages that were equipped with the tools to provide virtual “walk-through” home tours had a competitive edge, increasing exposure to potential buyers and improving first impressions. With 95% of buyers using online tools in their search process, the focus on the virtual homebuying experience is here to stay. Northrop Realty already had professional 4K fusion photography sessions, 2-D floor plans, and 3-D tours in place before the pandemic, but the company has turned its focus to elevating the marketing tools and resources available to agents. Homebuying is the largest financial purchase of most people’s lives, and we believe it requires a personal relationship and trust between the agent and client. Clients prefer a personalized experience, and that includes marketing assets. With new digital marketing platforms, like Ignite powered by Canva, agents will be able to create professionally branded content virtually and instantaneously. Analyze and leverage buyer demands and trends. In the first year of the pandemic, we saw an influx of people reverse migrating from urban communities to the suburbs, which substantially disrupted the market. Currently, we are experiencing “The Great Resignation,” and one of the driving forces fueling this movement is that workers do not want to go back into the office full-time and are opting for positions that offer more flexible and remote options. Homebuyers are not only asking themselves, “Where do I want to quarantine next?” but also, “Where do I want to work remotely?” This is creating an increased demand for homes with outdoor spaces and pools, homes on the water or the beach, and a significant uptick in the luxury market. Brokerages need to keep agents up to date with national market trends as well as the hyperlocal trends in the areas they serve. Understanding buyer trends not only sets agents apart from their competitors but can also help focus and direct their marketing efforts. Evaluate physical brokerage office locations. Buyer demands and remote working have also impacted brokerages’ approach to brick and mortar locations. Northrop Realty has felt a higher demand for clients and agents to have a space to come together outside of their homes. Thus, the brokerage doubled down on physical offices, opening three new locations in 2021 including additional locations in our coastal region due to increased buyer demand there. The company also has plans to open three new offices during the second quarter of 2022. Many brokerages are transitioning to a more permanent remote workplace model, but others are finding they might need more offices and less square footage, more communal spaces for client engagements and signing days, etc. The key is understanding the needs of your agents and clients and making sure you’re working towards putting an infrastructure in place to support them. As we navigate the next phase of the pandemic, it is critical that agents are provided with the flexibility, training, tools, and market information they need to be successful. After all, real estate is a relationship business built on trust and transparency—anything else will not make the grade. Creig Northrop is the founder and CEO of Northrop Realty, covering Delaware and Maryland real estate. For more information visit www.northroprealty.com. The post Covid-Era Recap: What Worked, What Didn’t and What to Expect appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaMar 23rd, 2022