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    Good morning! Happy Friday 🥳!

    The startup that we are covering today is really amazing. Check it out.

    Snippets

    🛰️ Satellite imagery for poverty maps: Togo (West Africa) has discovered a high-tech way to help people financially affected by the pandemic. Using computers, they search for clues in satellite images, then distribute money via mobile phones. Deep Dive here →

    👀 Not-so-protected data: According to a study in Ireland, iOS and Android share an average of 4.5 minutes’ worth of data every day with Apple and Google, even when the devices are idle or minimally configured. Google’s Android collects and sends about 20 times more data than iPhone. Deep Dive here →

    🧬 DNA collected from the air: You know those movies where they collect tissue or hair samples to examine human DNA? In a breakthrough study, scientists demonstrated that air samples are sufficient to collect DNA. Deep Dive here →

    Startup of the Day

    Pacaso, San Francisco (USA)

    Startup of the Day

    Image: Pacaso

    What’s the deal: If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Can I afford a second home?”, you may have become victim to the myth that second homes are only meant for the rich. Well, not really! Pacaso, a real estate startup, offers a platform to make the ownership of a vacation home easier by splitting the shares as part of an LLC (limited liability company).

    Buyers pay for their shares and Pacaso pays for the rest, eventually selling those to additional buyers. In addition, Pacaso handles everything from property management to leasing the property when you don’t need it. Sounds like a cheaper and headache-free second-home option.

    Pacaso raised $75M in a Series B funding and $1B in debt funding, achieving unicorn status faster than any other company. It plans to utilize funds to expand into new markets and purchase shares of more homes.

    Why: Lots of people are tempted by the idea of owning a vacation home, perhaps a cottage in the countryside or an apartment overlooking the beach. Pre-pandemic, a vacation home was a dream for many families, but Covid-19 has amplified the interest by shifting the way people now work and live. Pacaso has made that possible by making it accessible and affordable.

    The cost of co-owning is transparent. You own 1/8 to 1/2 of your second home and Pacaso handles the maintenance and management of the property. Owners can book and schedule their stays through the Pacaso app.

    Our take: Pacaso offers a new way to co-own a second home without risk and complexity. Throughout the year, huge numbers of homes are abandoned or unused; Pacaso is a way to utilize such vacation properties. It is building a dynamic marketplace and network of partners, empowering people to buy and sell their Pacasos in an efficient way.

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