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August 18, 2018

Chicago’s Tallest Building Breaks Record With $1.5B Agreement



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Willis Tower, Chicago’s tallest building, is about to break another record. When the world’s largest private equity real estate owner, Blackstone Group, pays $1.5 billion for the 110-story Windy City icon, it will shatter the $850 million record price tag for Chicago set in 2014 with the sale of a nearby 60-story tower across the river.

Blackstone, the New York-based firm, has had its representatives visiting Willis Tower to perform due diligence, Crain’s Chicago Business reported on Friday.

The purchase is significant, even for a firm with $81 billion of real estate assets under its management, according to Crain’s report. Real Capital Analytics, a New York-based research firm, says it would be the 24th office deal in the U.S. to surpass the $1 billion mark, but only the fourth outside of the Big Apple. The 1,451-foot-tall property, formerly known as the Sears Tower, earns about $10,000 of income every hour.

At its projected sale price, Willis Tower is almost $400 per square foot for 3.8 million square feet of office space. For New York investors Joseph Chetrit and Joseph Moinian and the Illinois-based American Landmark Properties, who purchased the tower for $840 million in 2004, there is a hefty profit to be made on the agreement with Blackstone, Crain’s reports.

Willis Tower, which completed construction in 1973, doesn’t command the rent prices of newer Chicago buildings. Only 84 percent of it is leased, and a new owner would need to spend money to attack new leasers to the empty spaces. Also, because the building is more than 40 years old, maintenance and modernization will require significant capital.

The observation deck on the 103rd floor provides a steady cash flow, in addition to retail and restaurant space, broadcast space and antennas, and building naming rights managed by Willis Group Holdings, a building tenant. Skydeck, the building’s popular tourist attraction, generates more than $25 million in revenue annually, according to Crain’s report. Total building operating income for 2015 is estimated at $88.6 million – that breaks down to $48.7 million for office, retail and restaurant space, $11.1 million from broadcasting, and the revenues from the Skydeck.

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Chicago’s Tallest Building Breaks Record With $1.5B Agreement

Scribd Raises $22 Million Funding Round to Expand its Book Subscription Service

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Scribd, the leading subscription book service, today announced that it has closed a $22 million financing led by Khosla Ventures with reinvestment from existing backers including Redpoint Ventures, Charles River Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. Seasoned entrepreneur Keith Rabois will join Scribd’s board as a board observer.  This brings Scribd’s total funding to date up to $48M.

“We had a fantastic 2014 at Scribd. We launched audiobooks with 30,000 titles from publishers like Blackstone and Scholastic. We also doubled our e-Book titles, adding content from 1,000+ publishers – including Big 5 publishers Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster – along with industry leaders like Harlequin, Houghton Mifflin, Lonely Planet, Perseus and Wiley,” said Trip Adler, co-founder and CEO of Scribd. “This new funding round will enable us to work towards achieving our goal of creating the most comprehensive library of the future for our millions of users around the world.”

Scribd, which launched in 2007, now has more than 80M monthly readers accessing their books and documents worldwide. The new capital resources raised will be used to reinvest in the business to further accelerate hiring, content acquisition efforts and international expansion. Since the launch of the company’s subscription book service in October 2013, the subscriber base has grown an average of 31% per month. Scribd readers have spent more than 17M hours reading half a million premium e-books and have logged 180,000 listening hours in the first 60 days since launching its audiobooks service. 

“The subscription model has already transformed the way we consume content like film and music, and Scribd is doing the same with books,” said Rabois, partner at Khosla Ventures. “I look forward to working with the Scribd team to scale their product to a massive global audience.”

Over the past year, Scribd has seen a steady increase in subscribers each month, consistently landing the company in the top-5 reading apps in both the Apple App Store and Google Play. Scribd is available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook tablets and the web.

About Scribd
Scribd is the premier subscription book service with more than half a million e-books and 30K audiobooks, including New York Times bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners and reader favorites across every genre. Launched in 2007 by founders Trip Adler and Jared Friedman and backed by Y Combinator, Charles River Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Khosla Ventures, Scribd is one of the most influential websites in the world. It is available in nearly every country, featuring 62MM documents in +80 languages.

For more information, please visit www.scribd.com.

Press Contact
Lyndsey Besser
Lyndsey@scribd.com
415-488-5969

 

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/scribd-raises-22-million-funding-round-to-expand-its-book-subscription-service-300015481.html

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Scribd Raises $22 Million Funding Round to Expand its Book Subscription Service

Scribd takes $22 million Series D to grow ebook subscription service

scribdScribd Inc. has taken $22 million Series D in a round led by Khosla Ventures that included Redpoint Ventures, Charles River Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

As part of the deal Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois will join Scribd’s board as an observer.

“We had a fantastic 2014 at Scribd. We launched audiobooks with 30,000 titles from publishers like Blackstone and Scholastic. We also doubled our e-Book titles, adding content from 1,000+ publishers – including Big 5 publishers Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster – along with industry leaders like Harlequin, Houghton Mifflin, Lonely Planet, Perseus and Wiley,” co-founder and CEO of Scribd Trip Adler said in a statement. “This new funding round will enable us to work towards achieving our goal of creating the most comprehensive library of the future for our millions of users around the world.”

The digital library and e-book subscription service was founded in 2006 with seed funding of $12,000 by YCombinator. Since its launch in 2007 Scribd now boasts of more than 80 million monthly readers accessing a range of books and documents worldwide.

“The subscription model has already transformed the way we consume content like film and music, and Scribd is doing the same with books,” Khosla Ventures Partner Keith Rabois adds.

Perhaps best known for its document hosting and embeds (Scribd is regularly used to embed documents on third party sites)  the company also offers a Spotify like service for ebooks and is available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook tablets and the web.

The new money, which brings total funding of Scribd to $47.8 million, will be used to “accelerate hiring, content acquisition efforts and international expansion.”

About Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley is a senior writer at SiliconANGLE covering Startups, Bitcoin, and the Internet of Things.

Duncan is a co-founder of VC funded media company B5Media and founder of news site The Inquisitr, and was a senior writer at TechCrunch in its earlier days.

Tips? Press releases? Intersting startup? email: duncan@nichenet.com.au or contact Duncan on Twitter @duncanriley

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Scribd takes $22 million Series D to grow ebook subscription service