Influencers say Instagram Reels is fueling growth and new followers

Summary List Placement Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy. Sign up for the newsletter here. When Instagram first came out with a TikTok copycat feature, it got mixed reviews, with some calling Reels a “dud.” Creators weren’t exactly going wild for the short-form video feature. But since posting Reels regularly, many creators have said the feature has become a secret weapon to supercharge their growth and engagement.  This has become an enormous incentive for creators to continue using the feature and shows how much Instagram is prioritizing it. My colleague Sydney Bradley spoke with creators who explained… Read More

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After a horrible 2020, TripActions is now valued at $5 billion. CEO Ariel Cohen tells us how it rebounded.

Summary List Placement In the spring of 2020, the pandemic forced the world to stay in one place. Travel plummeted to record lows, and the travel industry scrambled to survive. TripActions, a corporate travel startup, was forced to lay off 296 employees and slash its spending. But the company is starting 2021 on a very different note. It’s raised a healthy $155 million Series E, bringing the company’s valuation to $5 billion, it announced Thursday. “If you think about March last year, that was a pretty big slap on our face, right? We really needed to regroup,” TripActions CEO Ariel Cohen told Insider.  All things considered, he said the Series… Read More

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A VC at Andreessen Horowitz says business travel is coming back in 2021, and he just made a multimillion-dollar bet on it

Summary List Placement The pandemic dealt a near-lethal blow to TripActions, which helps businesses manage their travel needs. Just days after the company introduced a travel credit card in February, corporations around the world started to bench their employees, telling them to avoid all non-essential travel because of concerns about the coronavirus spread. A TripActions representative said bookings fell as much as 90% in March. Its revenue also evaporated. The company made some painful cuts in order to keep the lights on. It laid off 296 employees, roughly one-forth of its global workforce, closed a Chicago office permanently, and implemented pay decreases across the board. Now, the company is readying… Read More

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Pebble founder promises iMessage on Android and Windows with universal chat app

Beeper’s website promises “a single app to chat on iMessage, WhatsApp, and 13 other networks.” | Screenshot: BeeperHQ.com Beeper is a new universal chat app that’s an attempt to unify 15 different chat platforms into a single interface. The app is the work of a team that includes Eric Migicovsky, the CEO and founder of former smartwatch manufacturer Pebble, who announced its launch on Twitter. Beeper’s site notes that the project was previously known as NovaChat, and requires a $10 per month subscription. Although Beeper integrates with world’s most popular messaging services like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Slack, Twitter, Discord, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, it’s the support for Apple’s iMessage that’s… Read More

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