Some of Latin America’s leading venture capital investors are now backing hotel chains.
In fact, Ayenda, the largest hotel chain in Colombia, has raised $8.7 million in a new round of funding, according to the company.
Led by Kaszek Ventures, the round will support the continued expansion of Ayenda’s chain of hotels in Colombia and beyond. The hotel operator already has 150 hotels operating under its flag in Colombia and has recently expanded to Peru, according to a statement.
Financing came from Kaszek Ventures and strategic investors like Irelandia Aviation, Kairos, Altabix and BWG Ventures.
The company, which was founded in 2018, now has more than 4,500 rooms under its brand in Colombia and has become the biggest hotel chain in the country.
Investments in brick and mortar chains by venture firms are far more common in emerging markets than they are in North America. The investment in Ayenda mirrors big bets that SoftBank Group has made in the Indian hotel chain Oyo and an investment made by Tencent, Sequoia China, Baidu Capital and Goldman Sachs, in LvYue Group late last year, amounting to “several hundred million dollars”, according to a company statement.
“We’re seeking to invest in companies that are redefining the big industries and we found Ayenda, a team that is changing the hotel’s industry in an unprecedented way for the region”, said Nicolas Berman, Kaszek Ventures partner.
Ayenda works with independent hotels through a franchise system to help them increase their occupancy and services. The hotels have to apply to be part of the chain and go through an up to 30-day inspection process before they’re approved to open for business.
“With a broad supply of hotels with the best cost-benefit relationship, guests can travel more frequently, accelerating the economy,” says Declan Ryan, managing partner at Irelandia Aviation.
The company hopes to have more than 1 million guests in 2020 in their hotels. Rooms list at $20 per-night, including amenities and an around the clock customer support team.
Oyo’s story may be a cautionary tale for companies looking at expanding via venture investment for hotel chains. The once high-flying company has been the subject of some scathing criticism. As we wrote:
The New York Times published an in-depth report on Oyo, a tech-enabled budget hotel chain and rising star in the Indian tech community. The NYT wrote that Oyo offers unlicensed rooms and has bribed police officials to deter trouble, among other toxic practices.
Whether Oyo, backed by billions from the SoftBank Vision Fund, will become India’s WeWork is the real cause for concern. India’s startup ecosystem is likely to face a number of barriers as it grows to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley.
How Much Will Parents Invest In Their Kids' Education? "All Bets Are Off" – Forbes
A new study finds that parents are rethinking their education spending in a fast-changing world: less on school supplies and more on tuition.
There are plenty of parents stressing a bit with the new school year looming—especially those feeling the pinch of continued inflation or fearing a looming recession. Finding room in their budgets to invest in their children’s education could be a challenge.
A new survey by the personal finance website WalletHub also found that some 66% of parents say the pandemic has changed the way they plan to spend money on their children’s education—particularly in where they think their investment will help their children the most.
“Some families have moved states for more dependable in-person learning, while others have started saving for private school after previously planning on public education—just to name a couple popular adjustments,” says Delaney Simchuk, WalletHub analyst. “Time will tell how inflation, or the next big crisis will further affect pandemic-inspired educational investment plans.”
WalletHub’s 2022 Back-to-School Report also revealed some other insights into how parents think about spending money on their children’s education.
Shifting the focus of their spending
While back-to-school sales and tax holidays might offer some relief, finding extra money to pay for the rising cost of new clothes and school supplies might prove difficult for some families under a budget crunch this year.
Case in point: merely one-third of parents who participated in the survey said they would spend more on back-to-school shopping this year compared to last year. This tallies with a recent study by Deloitte that similarly found that 37% of parents have plans to increase their back-to-school purchases over last year.
At the same time, some 46% of parents say they would apply for a new credit card for the purpose of getting a discount on school supplies this year.
“Back-to-school shopping expectations are dampened somewhat by concerns over inflation, and the comparisons versus last year are tough given that most schools returned to in-person learning last year and parents spent accordingly,” says Simchuk.
Is education worth going into debt for?
One of the more interesting questions the WalletHub survey posed to parents was whether they thought their children’s education was worth going into debt for. About 70% of parents said yes, which tells us a lot about why we as a country continue to see skyrocketing levels of student debt.
Credit card debt levels have also begun to creep back up after retreating during the first year of the pandemic.
“We’re generally unhesitant to overspend, and when the expense is as significant as education—both in amount and importance—all bets are off,” says Simchuk. “Parents want to help their children as much as possible, and a good education is a dependable road to a solid professional career.”
But a caution is appropriate here, Simchuk believes. “Parents simply should not forget that they are financial role models and putting themselves in a precarious position could actually jeopardize their kids’ future.”
It’s also a potential call to action for parents to recognize that living with debt can be stressful for their children, and that there are alternate pathways for their children to have success that don’t include going into debt to pay for a private primary education or even to cover college tuition. In the end, skills matter as much if not more than degrees when it comes to landing a great job, alongside “adulting” skills which can be strengthened by landing a great internship.
Financial literacy as an essential life skill
While parents say that taking on debt to finance a child’s education is a good investment, most (86%) believe that financial literacy training should become part of the core curriculum. In general today, personal finance isn’t widely taught in the classroom, and neither are other soft/professional skills that employers value highly.
“Parents want their kids to be prepared for life, and budgeting, saving, investing and even paying taxes are all important, practical life skills,” says Simchuk. “Many parents also recognize the importance of having some financial know-how when making big-dollar decisions regarding higher education.”
That’s a great point given that students should be thinking of their education as an investment and how they might expect to generate a positive return not just in terms of pay, but also happiness and work-life balance. Money is just one piece of the bigger picture.
The evolving economics of education
Time will tell how changing economic conditions in the coming years will impact how parents feel about investing in the different aspects of their children’s education. The WalletHub survey offers us a glimpse into how trends might already be shifting in terms of where parents prioritize spending—less on the basics and more on the perceived quality of a degree.
But some things will never change. It’s a safe bet that parents will always pursue the goal of trying to offer their children the best life possible. In that regard, investing in a great education will always be considered priceless.
FedDev Ontario Investment Contribution to TRCA Will Support Enhanced Visitor Experiences at Bruce's Mill Conservation Park – TRCA
August 9, 2022, Toronto, ON – Visitors to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park in Stouffville, ON will enjoy enhanced experiences thanks to an investment contribution from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) that will help to revitalize the park infrastructure.
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville made the funding announcement today at Bruce’s Mill.
The investment contribution of up to $740,715 will support improvements at Bruce’s Mill intended to positively impact both the local community and visitors to the park, allowing more people to re-engage with their communities and nature.
These improvements include: the installation of two new picnic shelters, the addition of 15 new accessible picnic tables for community use, and the upgrading of three washrooms to improve accessibility and physical distancing components. In addition, the park access roads and parking lots will be paved and repaired.
“Our government is investing in community infrastructure to support the mental and physical health of Canadians by promoting social interaction and physical activity. This Canada Community Revitalization Fund investment for Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will help revitalize the Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park’s public infrastructure. This revitalization will help draw visitors to Bruce’s Mill, where they can come together, enjoy the outdoors and be active.”
— The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“The investment by FedDev Ontario will not only improve visitor experiences at Bruce’s Mill but will accommodate the increased demand for outdoor recreation and provide safe alternative recreational activities as we all recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is investments like these that allow TRCA to keep our parks and trails in a state of good repair while increasing community connection and improving accessibility to our visitors.”
— – Michael Tolensky, Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
TRCA’s Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park
Conveniently located off Highway 404, Bruce’s Mill Conservation Park is a popular destination for the five million residents within our jurisdiction and from many tourists from around the world. In addition to picnic areas and trails, recreational facilities at the park include a professionally designed golf driving range and a BMX cycling track. To learn more visit trca.ca/bruces-mill.
About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of <span data-trca-tooltip="
The entire area of land whose runoff water, sediments and dissolved materials (nutrients and contaminants) drain into a lake, river, creek, or estuary. Its boundary can be located on the ground by connecting all the highest points of the area around the river, stream or creek, where water starts to flow when there is rain. It is not man-made and it does not respect political boundaries.” class=”glossary-term”>watershed communities through the protection and <span data-trca-tooltip="
To repair or re-establish functioning ecosystems; the process of altering a site to establish a defined, native, historic ecosystem; the goal is to emulate the structure, function, diversity and dynamics of a specified ecosystem.” class=”glossary-term”>restoration of the natural environment and the <span data-trca-tooltip="
Ecological services are defined as the overall benefits to humans arising from a functioning healthy ecosystem, which includes improved water quality and quantity, air quality, soil stabilization, flood mitigation, balanced hydrologic regimes, biological processes and biodiversity. Ultimately, the streams in TRCA’s watersheds run into Lake Ontario and have a direct influence on the water quality and habitat along the waterfront.” class=”glossary-term”>ecological services the environment provides. More than five million people live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.
To learn more about TRCA, visit trca.ca.
Senior Manager, Communications, Marketing and Events
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Short Term vs Long Term Investments: Gauging the saving spectrum – Economic Times
Quick wealth creation is what financial markets consider; however, investing as a practice is a long-term process. While an investor’s capital can be invested in the short-term and long-term, both forms of investment have their merits and demerits.
Typically, short-term investments involve less risk than long-term investments. Long-term investments give the investor’s money a substantial period to grow and recover from major dips in the market.
Having clear and crisp financial goals can help the investor decide whether to choose short or long-term investments and which vehicles within those categories aim towards personalized investment gains.
Before choosing any investment strategy, the investor ideally needs to do proper research on which asset types suits their need.
What is suitable for one investor might not be in sync with another’s financial objectives, so one must consider their overall goals along with the risks one is willing to take.
Short-term investments have a validity period typically up to three years – high liquidity instruments, generally involving lesser market risks.
Also, these temporary investments are mostly used for parking excess funds for a short period. Short-term investments are highly liquid and hence are used by investors to meet expected near-future expenses.
Less risky in nature, these short-term investment products have a short tenure and give predictable returns as compared to long-term investments be it –
● Treasury bills which can be redeemed within 91 days and is a high liquidity instrument.
● Gilt Funds which invest only in government securities and owing to zero credit risk, are safe investment funds.
● Ultra-short-term debt funds wherein the maturity period ranges between three to six months and provides comparatively higher returns.
● Low duration debt funds whose maturity period ranges between six and 12 months, these funds invest in debt and money market instruments.
● Money market funds that invest in money market instruments and have a redemption period of up to one year.
● Bank fixed deposits that can be renewed on maturity and their tenure can range from 14 days to 10 years. Also, liquidity can be a concern here as some banks don’t allow premature withdrawals.
● Company fixed deposits can have a tenure of more than one year
● Post office time deposits have tenures ranging from one to five years and similarly Recurring deposits can open an RD for a duration as low as six months. Sweep-in-Fixed Deposits as against low returns on savings accounts, these offer comparatively higher returns, with a minimum tenure of around 12 months.
On the other hand, long-term investments are investments that can offer high returns after several years, typically five years or more – involving more market risks.
Be it via stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, etc. Investments in stocks earn quite high returns if patience is kept high (Of course, this cannot be guaranteed but you should assess your risk-taking capacity before thinking of investing in stocks).
Having a deeper understanding of the market movements so that the investor makes wiser financial decisions and when to sell the stocks, investing in stocks and securities requires a trusted financial partner, who can provide hassle-free features to open an online Demat and Trading Account.
Another long-term investment avenue for receiving higher returns is Equity Mutual Funds where the investor gets to pick from small, mid-cap, and large-cap equity mutual funds for the long term to achieve greater financial goals.
Ultimately, the short-term investment gives levy to the investor to achieve their financial goals within a short span and with lower risk (depending on which asset you pick), if the investor has a greater risk appetite, and wants higher returns, they can select a long-term investment avenue.
To further simplify, if the investor wants to preserve their capital and is happy with moderate returns then they may choose short-term investments but, with the expectation of a higher return, the investor may invest in long-term investment avenues.
(The author is Senior Vice President, at mastertrust)
(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views and opinions given by the experts are their own. These do not represent the views of Economic Times)
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