A naive part of me hoped for a slow start to Monday. This was not my 👏 day 👏.

Let’s kick off the week with a highly debated topic: the move by some venture capitalists to Florida and Texas.

Founders Fund, the venture capital firm founded in part by Peter Thiel, has rented out space in Miami for a new office.

The firm, which has invested in the likes of Airbnb, signed a one-year lease at a space with 2,073 square feet in the city. Joining the outspoken number of investors frustrated by San Francisco’s government, Founders Fund General Partner Keith Rabois recently announced his move to the city in November and acquired a home in the area.

On Twitter, Rabois has been highly vocal about his bullishness towards the city: “It has been easier to recruit people to join our new startup in Miami than to persuade … Read the rest

A shopping centre in Coventry that eight years ago was valued at £37 million was sold this week for only £4.9 million, setting alarm bells ringing among lenders, landlords and local authorities nationwide.

West Orchards’ importance as the city’s primary shopping destination cannot be underestimated — “It’s almost our Galeries Lafayette,” Trish Willetts, director of Coventry’s business improvement district, said, comparing it with the landmark Paris department store — but now interest in the centre is spreading far beyond the West Midlands and what, from May 1, will be the UK’s “City of Culture”.

Its biggest unit was let to Debenhams, the department stores chain that fell into administration last year. Boohoo, the online fast-fashion group that acquired Debenhams last month, is not keeping any of its stores. Other West Orchards tenants that have fallen into administration during the pandemic include Peacocks and Bonmarché, the women’s fashion chains.

The leasehold … Read the rest

This is an installment of Startup Year One, a special series of interviews with founders about the major lessons they have learned in the immediate aftermath of their businesses’ first year of operation.

Nydia Shipman and Sarah Renahan started the Worthy Company in 2018. As new moms, they were seeking a better eating experience that delivered plant-based nutrition in a portable format and at a reasonable price.

Their solution: the Worthy Bowl, a plant-based, fruit-forward, travel-friendly bowl made with superfood ingredients. And the Chicago-based, B Corp–certified company just finished launching the reformulated flavors last month.

Fortune recently spoke with cofounders Shipman and Renahan to learn more about their insights and predictions for their business and the plant-based food industry after a year in which grocery shopping was completely upended.

Courtesy of The Worthy Company

The following interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Fortune: Could Read the rest

Fewer people are travelling into the office with remote working now at its most widespread since the spring, according to official figures.

About 36 per cent of working adults operated exclusively from home in the past seven days, the Office for National Statistics said. This was up from 34 per cent the week before and was the highest level since June.

The government is advising people to work from home whenever possible during the third national lockdown. The figures suggest that businesses and their employees are modifying their behaviour more than they did during the November lockdown.

The proportion of workers on furlough also edged up slightly from 17 per cent to 18 per cent as businesses, particularly those in the hardest-hit sectors, were forced to close or scale back their operations.

The ONS said that 22 per cent of businesses had paused trading and did not intend to restart … Read the rest

The pandemic forced another 275,000 women out of the U.S. labor force in January, worsening the catastrophic employment crisis for working women.

Women accounted for almost 80% of U.S. adults who stopped working or looking for work last month, according to an analysis of Friday’s jobs report by the National Women’s Law Center. More than 2.3 million women have now left the labor force since last February. (The pandemic has had a lesser impact on men, even though they outnumber women in the U.S. labor force; nearly 1.8 million men have stopped working or looking for work since February 2020, according to the NWLC.)

Working women have now lost more than three decades of labor force gains in less than a year, as we report in the new issue of Fortune. The ongoing employment crisis, which is closely aligned with a widespread caregiving crisis, has especially hurt … Read the rest

Just over 90,000 new cars were sold in the UK in the slowest January for more than 50 years, according to industry figures released on Thursday.

Sales fell 40% compared with January 2020 to 90,249, as the closure of car showrooms under lockdown compounded the economic gloom.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the uptake of “click and collect” sales had prevented an even greater fall but could not avert the worst start to a year since 1970.

The SMMT forecasts that 2021 sales will rebound slightly from the depths of 2020, but said the industry would face a very subdued and challenging year, with showroom closures depressing demand and manufacturing output. New car sales fell by 29% last year to 1.63m vehicles, the lowest level since 1992.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said: “Following a £20.4bn loss of revenue last year, the auto industry faces … Read the rest

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It’s the special purpose acquisition craze meeting the GameStop insanity.

On Thursday, Hindenburg Research, the short-selling firm known for flagging issues with electric car company Nikola last year, released a report targeting Chamath Palihapitiya-backed Clover Health and called it a “broken business.”

The insurance startup agreed to go public via merger with Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia III in October. “This is one of the most straightforward investments I’ve ever made,” Palihapitiya said at the time of the announcement.

But on Thursday, Hindenburg Research’s report argued Clover Health was not so straightforward: Among other issues, the short-activist group accused the company of fueling sales using misleading marketing to elderly people and alleged that Clover did not disclose a Department of Justice investigation … Read the rest

The UK’s rapid Covid-19 vaccination programme will help the economy rebound strongly this year, according to the Bank of England.

The economy is expected to shrink 4.2% in the first three months of 2021, amid tighter lockdown restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.

However, policymakers expect a rebound in the spring as people become more confident about spending.

It came as the Bank held interest rates at 0.1%.

‘Rapid’ recovery

The Bank said economic growth was expected to “recover rapidly” in 2021, with a successful vaccination programme supporting a “material recovery in household spending”.

Its latest Monetary Policy Report said the positive vaccine news had driven an increase in UK holiday bookings later this year, though overseas bookings remained muted.

While government support schemes are expected to limit any immediate increase in unemployment, the jobless rate is still projected to rise to 7.8% later this year as the … Read the rest

Peloton was a risky bet even among venture capitalists.

At its core, the company sells a piece of hardware with virtual cycling lessons, a model skeptics say is easily copyable. They aren’t wrong: As Peloton has grown in the pandemic, so have its rivals including NordicTrack and fitness equipment maker Nautilus.

Despite the naysayers, Peloton has managed to soar in the past year, posting profits and ever-growing revenue in recent quarters even while struggling to produce quickly enough to match demand. No doubt its ability to create an obsessed community has been much of its secret sauce to success.

But does the valuation match the hype? The bottom line remains, as my colleague Robert Hackett notes in the magazine: “The math of Peloton’s valuation—it has a market capitalization of $46 billion—is difficult to justify unless one believes the company will become a tech-media titan. Jay Hoag, a venture capitalist … Read the rest

The services sector contracted last month at its fastest pace since May as businesses struggled under the strain of a third nationwide lockdown, according to a survey.

The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell from 49.4 to 39.5 in January. This was slightly better than the 38.8 forecast by economists but still considerably below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

Tight restrictions on travel, leisure and hospitality have taken their toll on the services sector, which is suffering disproportionately because of the lockdowns. Staffing levels fell for the 11th month in a row and layoffs intensified, IHS Markit said

The manufacturing sector is holding up better as factories have been able to continue operating during the lockdown. IHS Markit’s PMI for the manufacturing sector came in at 54.1 last month. Although this was down from 57.5 in December, the sector is still growing despite the lockdowns.

Tim … Read the rest