Beond brings private jet experience to commercial flights
Maldives – Labelled as the first ‘premium leisure’ airline, Beond aims to offer a private jet experience to a wider group of travellers. They can expect elevated fleet and service aboard flights connecting European and Asian cities to the Maldivian capital, Malé.
Start-up carrier Beond's inaugural flight, from Malé to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, takes off on 9 November, following the unveiling of its ultra-luxury fleet in October.
The luxury airline’s first plane is an Airbus A319, but unlike conventional commercial carriers the plane has a bespoke all-business-class interior. On board, passengers can expect fine-dining options, iPads loaded with entertainment and leather seats allowing a fully flat position. Additionally, the airline will offer transit limousine and access to private airport lounges.
Beond’s strategy is to deliver affordable luxury to wealthy travellers who seek a premium flying experience without the price tag of a private jet, while profiting from the popularity of Maldives as a tourist destination.
At times when low-cost – and often low-comfort – commercial flights dominate the market, we are witnessing the rise of new industry players swimming against the current, bringing enjoyment back to air travel.
Take inspiration from Beond’s concept of bridging first-class service with luxurious private jet experiences. How can you add value for your customers when your competitors are cutting costs?
New sex toy doubles as an artificial insemination device
Germany – Product designer Juliane Kühr has developed a sex toy that doubles as a self-insemination device. Vruit offers an alternative to clinical insemination, transforming the act of insemination from something medicalised and sterile into a sensual and relaxed experience.
Recognising that queer and single people often experience prejudice and barriers to medically assisted reproduction and turn to self-insemination instead, Vruit ‘enables people to start families in a self-determined way and to exercise their reproductive rights’.
Due to the sensitivity of the ejaculate and the lack of specialised products, self-insemination after sperm donation must be carried out very quickly, making it hard to relax and leaving room for error. Vruit reintroduces pleasure into the insemination experience, while also providing information about the physical and legal aspects of self-insemination.
Social innovations such as Vruit are helping to address stigma in the Fertility Market and provide diverse and accessible means of conception for everyone.
How can you adapt your branding, imagery, language and products to be more inclusive of queer families, single parents and those outside the nuclear family norm?
WeTransfer enlists The Bear star to attract content creators
Global – WeTransfer wants to become a go-to tool for content creators. In a new campaign, the file-transferring giant has partnered with Canadian chef, restaurateur, and executive producer Matty Matheson – best known for his part in tv series The Bear – to launch a digital cookbook to promote its services.
Called Cookin’ Somethin’ for College, the free digital book has been developed by Matheson to help people of all culinary skill levels to enhance their cooking game. It features 12 recipes and is currently free to download via WeTransfer. Alongside the book, Matheson will demonstrate how to prepare four of the dishes in a video series launching on his YouTube channel.
The initiative is meant to raise awareness of the file transferring service, showing it can be used as a distribution platform for creators. Tech platforms’ branding can be lacklustre, and enlisting a first-hand user who is also a public figure is a savvy move, echoing our findings in The Rise of the Expert Influencer report.
WeTransfer’s campaign offers inspiration on how to bring colour to an impersonal tech service and enhance branding by partnering with an expert influencer, offering entertaining content and clever freebies
OpenAI triples its valuation in 2023
US – OpenAI, the developer behind groundbreaking artificial intelligence models including ChatGPT and DALL-E, is reportedly in discussions about an employee share deal that could catapult its valuation to a staggering £66bn ($80bn, €76bn). This valuation, almost triple what it was in January 2023, would position OpenAI as the third most-valuable private company globally, surpassing giants like Stripe and Shein. It would rank just behind TikTok's ByteDance and SpaceX, led by Elon Musk.
Furthermore, OpenAI would become the highest-valued company in San Francisco, where it is based, outranking tech heavyweights Meta and Google. Amid increasing anti-trust scrutiny, technology firms are seeking collaboration with start-ups rather than outright acquisitions. Amazon, for instance, recently pledged to invest £3.3bn ($4bn, €3.8bn) in San Francisco’s Anthropic, a rival to OpenAI. With Microsoft owning a 49% stake in OpenAI, this trend underlines the ongoing interest in AI-related ventures, even in a year when global start-up funding has seen a downturn.
The AI sector continues to attract substantial capital, for example, start-up Character.AI is in talks that could value it at more than £4.1bn ($5bn, €4.7bn). However, these tools rely on the cloud and therefore power remains with a handful of tech giants. This points to the growing challenge around consumers’ trust in, and the transparency of, organisations that utilise AI.