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YPLAN, THE WORLD’S FIRST MOBILE-ONLY EVENT BOOKING AND DISCOVERY APP LAUNCHES IN NEW YORK CITY

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YPLAN MOBILE-ONLY EVENT BOOKING AND DISCOVERY APP

YPlan is ‘tonight’s going out app’ that puts New York nightlife two taps away. With a carefully curated shortlist of top events for every night, YPlan will inspire New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy the city like never before

YPLAN MOBILE-ONLY EVENT BOOKING AND DISCOVERY APP

YPLAN MOBILE-ONLY EVENT BOOKING AND DISCOVERY APP

New York, NY – YPlan, the world’s first mobile-only event booking app, launches in New York City today. Fresh off of their Series A funding round of $12 million, YPlan is taking the leap across the pond after attracting over 300,000 downloads in its hugely successful launch in London. Now, the app, which is available exclusively for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, will allow serendipitous New Yorkers and anyone visiting the Empire State to discover and make last minute plans from a selection of carefully curated shows and performances happening tonight or tomorrow.

YPlan launches to answer the perennial question, ‘what am I doing tonight’? In just two taps, people can now discover, purchase, and go to events ranging from a Beyoncé show to an invitation-only concert like Sofar Sounds, or one of the city’s best-kept secrets like Rebel Bingo and chessboxing.

Locals and tourists looking to find cool things to do in New York are often overwhelmed with the endless lists, lack of guidance and limited availability of desirable event tickets at the last moment. By curating and making available up to fifteen of the best happenings in town every night, YPlan makes it easier than ever to have a spontaneous night out.

“New York is one of the most vibrant cities in the world, with events ranging from exquisite rooftop parties to silent discos and sold out A-list star concerts,” said YPlan’s co-founder Rytis Vitkauskas. “It is a city at the intersection of the tech and entertainment industries, with an audience that is on the forefront of cultural exploration. We couldn’t think of a better city to roll out YPlan in our expansion into the US.”

The ticketed entertainment industry globally generates around $50 billion in ticket sales and no single player has mastered a mobile-only ticketing platform that’s as intuitive as it is useful. In less than a year, YPlan made its way onto over 15 percent of London’s iPhones, hosting more than 4,000 events since launch in November 2012. After New York, YPlan will continue to expand to additional cities within the U.S., Europe and Asia.

About YPlan
YPlan was founded in 2012 by CEO Rytis Vitkauskas and CTO Viktoras Jucikas with the goal of helping people be truly spontaneous, allowing them to discover and purchase quality, curated, same-day events. In 2003, Rytis and Viktoras met during college at Jacobs University Bremen in Germany on a basketball court. Identifying the consumer shift to mobile commerce, they spotted a gap in the entertainment and ticketing market and decided to create YPlan.

YPlan has raised $12 million in funding from General Catalyst Partners, Wellington Partners, Octopus Investments, A-Grade Investments, Kevin Colleran and David Morin’s SLOW Ventures Fund, Shakil Khan and more.

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart

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Oil rises on positive forecasts, slow U.S. output restart 1

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Tuesday, underpinned by the likely easing of COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, positive economic forecasts and lower output as U.S. supplies were slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut down crude production.

Brent crude was up 36 cents, or 0.5%, at $65.60 a barrel by 1212 GMT, and U.S. crude rose 39 cents, or 0.6%, to $62.09 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier in the session.

“Vaccine news is helping oil, as the likely removal of mobility restrictions over the coming months on the back of vaccine rollouts should further boost the oil demand and price recovery,” said UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said optimistic oil price forecasts issued by leading U.S. brokers had also contributed to the latest upswing in prices.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.

Morgan Stanley expects Brent crude to climb to $70 in the third quarter.

“New COVID-19 cases are falling fast globally, mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve, and in non-OECD countries, refineries are already running as hard as before COVID-19,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.

Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 per barrel in the second quarter.

Disruptions in Texas caused by last week’s winter storm also supported oil prices. Some U.S. shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.

Stockpiles of U.S. crude oil and refined products likely declined last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.

A weaker dollar also provided some support to oil as crude prices tend to move inversely to the U.S. currency.

(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; editing by David Evans and John Stonestreet)

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says

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UK-Japan trade deal settled nerves for Japanese firms, Honda executive says 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s trade deal with Japan settled the nerves of a lot of Japanese businesses in the United Kingdom and gives them confidence about their future prospects there, a senior Honda executive said on Tuesday.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has since the 1980s made the United Kingdom its favoured European destination for investment, with the likes of Nissan, Toyota and Honda using the country as a launchpad into Europe.

But Britain’s shock 2016 decision to leave the European Union had prompted Japan to express unusually strong public concerns. Their companies and investors warned that a disorderly exit from the EU would force them to rethink their four-decade bet on Britain.

“We welcome very much the Japanese trade agreement which as a Japanese businesses was very welcomed,” Ian Howells, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, told a parliamentary committee.

“On the point around confidence, that certainly amongst my peers in Japanese companies was very much welcomed, and probably settled a lot of nerves in terms of their trading prospects in the UK going forward.”

Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement in October, marking Britain’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade. It has also made a formal request to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which Japan is also a member.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)

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UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says

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UK retailers see sharp fall in sales and mounting job losses, CBI says 3

LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales fell in the year to February as stores cut jobs at a rapid rate, with only supermarkets reporting any growth during the latest COVID-19 lockdown, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Confederation of British Industry’s gauge of retail sales stood at -45, up only slightly from January’s eight-month low of -50. The measure points to falling sales and is below the consensus forecast of -38 in a Reuters poll of economists.

Retailers’ expectations for March – when non-essential shops will remain closed to the public as part of lockdown measures – fell to -62, the lowest since the series began in 1983.

In another sign of a changing consumer habits during lockdown, the survey’s gauge of internet retail sales hit a new record high.

“With lockdown measures still in place, trading conditions remain extremely difficult for retailers,” said Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI.

“Record growth in internet shopping suggests that retailers’ investments in on-line platforms and click-and-collect services may be paying off, but the re-opening of the sector can’t come soon enough to protect jobs and breathe life back into the sector.”

Job losses among retailers accelerated according to a quarterly question in the survey. For the distribution sector as a whole, which includes wholesalers and car dealers, employment fell at a record rate, the CBI survey showed.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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