by Amy Martinez
Updated 2 months ago
Online travel search engine Kayak has expanded with a hotel of its own in Miami Beach. The 52-room Kayak Miami Beach, which recently opened in a 1934 Art Deco building, functions as a test lab and showcase for the company’s new app-based hotel management system. Guests who download the Kayak app can use it to check in, unlock and lock their doors, order food and request housekeeping or a late checkout. The hotel lobby also has self-serve kiosks for check-in, and rooms include internet-connected TVs with on-demand yoga classes by local studio Green Monkey Yoga.
Stamford, Conn.-based Kayak is marketing the app system to small, independent hotels to help them interact with guests electronically, a service it believes is more in demand in the wake of COVID-19.
The Kayak-branded hotel also represents a first for online restaurant reservation platform OpenTable. Layla, the property’s rooftop restaurant, is owned by OpenTable, which plans to use the restaurant to test new technology. Both Kayak and OpenTable share the same corporate parent, Booking Holdings.
- The number of registered investment advisers based in Miami’s urban core increased from 82 in 2018 to 111 in 2020, according to a study by analytics firm Convergence for the Miami Downtown Development Authority. During the same period, total assets under management by the downtown advisers increased from $75 billion to $152.4 billion.
- Miami Beach-based financial technology company Nymbus raised $15 million from Financial Services Capital of London.
- Candex, a financial technology startup based in Miami and Tel Aviv, raised $20 million in a round led by Silicon Valley-based Altos Ventures. Sweden-based Majority, which sells bundled digital banking, wire transfer and international calling services to immigrant communities in the U.S., expanded to Miami, opening a customer “meet up” center focused on South Florida’s Cuban population.
- Miami-based Rapha Capital Management aims to launch a $100-million venture capital fund to invest in early-stage startups in the life sciences sector.
- Neology Life Development Group opened No. 17 Residences, a 14-story apartment tower in the Allapattah area of Miami. Rents start at $1,300 a month, with units ranging from 500 to 1,300 square feet.
- Miami-based developer AHS Residential is building AHS at Oak Enclave, a 420-unit apartment project in Miami Gardens.
- City officials in North Miami Beach approved plans for Skygarden Miami, a 341-unit apartment development with 12,635 square feet of commercial space and 405 parking spaces.
- Melo Group proposed Urban22, a 441-unit apartment project near Miami’s arts and entertainment district.
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- New York-based Uovo paid $50 million for a pair of Museo Vault art storage facilities in Wynwood and West Palm Beach. Uovo now owns the Wynwood building and is leasing the West Palm Beach facility. It also is building a 50,000-sq.-ft. storage facility in West Palm Beach, with an opening set for 2022.
- IBM will donate more than $10 million to Miami Dade College over the next three years to help prepare students for jobs in technology, including artificial intelligence, cloud computing and cyber-security. MDC also partnered with SoftBank to offer a free 18-week program in data science.
- Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Trimble, a maker of GPS and other technology for the construction industry, joined with Florida International University to create a technology lab within FIU’s Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability.
- The Miami City Commission passed an ordinance that regulates mobile, delivery-only kitchens, also known as ghost kitchens, allowing them to operate on vacant commercial land in neighborhoods such as Allapattah, Coconut Grove and Liberty City. The ordinance was championed by Miami-based Reef Technology, which runs ghost kitchens on property it owns or leases, as well as Mayor Francis Suarez.
- Pareto Holdings, created by Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer and Goody Gifting CEO Edward Lando to invest in Miami startups, launched the Pareto Fellowship, a five-day coaching and mentoring program for tech entrepreneurs.
- Techcrunch founder Michael Arrington wrote on Twitter that Miami is “perfect right now” for entrepreneurs, describing the city as alive in a way that Seattle and San Francisco are not.
- Miami-based Papa, an online service that connects college students to seniors for help and companionship, raised $60 million in a round led by New York-based Tiger Global Management.
- Argentina-based Globant, a software developer and information technology company, plans to create 150 jobs in Miami over the next three years.
- Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and team CEO Tom Garfinkel signed a 10-year deal to bring Formula One racing to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Starting in 2022, the Miami Grand Prix will be part of the international racing circuit’s annual schedule. A 3.4-mile Formula One track will be built around the stadium.
- Miami-based Univision Communications partnered with Google Cloud to expand its digital presence. Under the multiyear deal, Univision will consolidate its distribution platforms onto Google Cloud and use Google’s artificial intelligence tools to recommend digital media and streaming content based on user behavior.
- Thesis Hotel in Coral Gables began accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. The hotel’s guests can use Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Dogecoin to book rooms, pay for restaurant meals and pre-book event space.
Read more in Florida Trend's July issue.
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