🎰 The week in figures
$70M: Enterprise messaging platform Attentive raises $70M Series C; the company provides tools that let businesses engage with customers via text messages; has raised $124M to date.
52.5M: Nintendo has sold 52.5M Switch units to date, making it the third-best selling home console in the company’s history; the Switch has surpassed the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and is now behind the Wii and the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES); Nintendo shipped 10.8M Switch units in the last quarter alone.
$6.5M: Google says its bug bounty program paid out $6.5M in 2019, up from $3.4M in 2018; the company paid out awards to 461 security researchers, which compares with 317 the previous year.
$2M: User testing platform Maze raises $2M led by Amplify Partners with participation from Seedcamp, Partech, and others; the company offers browser-based tools for InVision, Marvel, Sketch, and Figma projects.
18.9%: Apple passed Samsung to become the top-selling smartphone firm for Q4 last year; Apple reached 18.9% market share, up 7% YoY; compares with Samsung’s 18.4% share; Samsung was still the most popular smartphone manufacturer for the whole of 2019 with 21% of the global market, followed by Huawei at 15%.
📰 What’s going on
Uber and DoorDash held merger talks about six months ago; SoftBank, which holds shares in both firms, encouraged the discussions in an effort to consolidate the food delivery market; no deal was reached; DoorDash believed it had better growth prospects than Uber Eats; DoorDash holds 37% of the delivery market, while Uber Eats has 21%.
Google-owned Area 120 launches Tangi, a short video site focused on home improvement tasks and creativity; available via the web and as an iOS app, it features vertical how-to videos up to a minute in length; viewers can also upload their own photos showing their results.
Google is working on a unified messaging service aimed at enterprise customers; the mobile app combines emails via Gmail, along with messaging and video calls from its Hangouts products; also adds features from Calendar and Drive; it is intended to compete with Microsoft Teams, as well as Slack; the service is being tested internally, but it’s unknown when it will launch.
Google adds an SOS Alert for Search results relating to the coronavirus outbreak; the alerts system means users will see the latest tweets from the World Health Organization and other relevant info about the virus ahead of other results.
Google has temporarily shut all its offices in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan amid the coronavirus outbreak; the locations were already closed because of the Lunar New Year, but Google says they will remain so for an extended period; the firm has also restricted employee travel to China and Hong Kong; it is telling workers currently visiting the country to return home and to work remotely for 14 days. Facebook, LG and Apple have started restricting business travels to China.
Apple rolls out an update for its Maps app; adds real-time transit info for more cities including Miami; also adds the ability to share estimated arrival times, indoor maps for certain malls and airports, and more
Facebook launches Off-Facebook Activity, a tool that lets users view the various methods the company uses to track them; provides a summary of all the apps and websites that are feeding data back to Facebook; covers a period of 180 days; Facebook says users can also opt out of tracking.
Yandex launches a grocery delivery service that promises to deliver goods within 15 minutes; known as Lavka, it lets Moscow residents order from a selection of 2k items, which are then delivered by bike courier; Yandex has established a network of small warehouses across the city, each servicing a radius area of about a mile.
Bird acquires Germany-based scooter-sharing rival Circ; terms undisclosed; Circ operates in 40 cities across Europe and the Middle East; 300 Circ staff will move over.
UK-based challenger bank Monzo has met with SoftBank as it seeks to raise $100M; talks are still at an early stage and no deal has been signed; Monzo has raised ~$425M to date and is valued at $2.5B.
Samsung announces Galaxy Tab S6, which it claims is the world’s first 5G tablet; features a 10.5-inch OLED screen, Snapdragon X50 5G, 128GB, and 6GB RAM; currently available in South Korea only, starts at ~$850.
Mobility firm Lime says it has developed tech that can ascertain when a scooter rider is on the sidewalk; the system pulls data from the accelerometer and more; claims a 95% accuracy for understanding the type of surface a rider is on; if a rider is on a sidewalk for more than 50% of the journey, Lime sends an app notification telling them to ride on the road.
Product Hunt launches YourStack, a social platform that shows users products liked by friends and celebrities; currently in an open beta, YourStack has a feed-style interface focused solely on products such as devices, books, software, and more.
Ride-hailing firm Grab partners with Hyundai to launch an EV-only service in Indonesia; known as GrabCar Elektrik, the service makes use of Hyundai Ioniq EVs.
India-based ride-hailing firm Ola will launch in London on Feb 10; the company says it will not implement driver fees for the first six weeks; as with rival Uber, the firm charges commissions of 20–25%; Ola has operated in the UK since 2018, having first launched in South Wales and Greater Manchester.
Vivo overtakes Samsung to become the second most popular smartphone brand in India; in Q4 2019 Vivo had 21% market share, up 131% YoY; Samsung had 19% , down 1% YoY; Xiaomi remains first with 27%.
IBM names Arvind Krishna as its next CEO; Krishna, who currently serves as VP for Cloud and Cognitive Software, will takeover from outgoing CEO Ginni Rometty on April 6.
Filmic launches DoubleTake, a free iOS app that lets users film using multiple cameras at the same time; works with iPhone rear lenses and selfie camera, and has options for picture-in-picture display, side-by-side, and more; works with iPhone 11, 11 Pro, XS, and XS Max; also supports multiple frame rates; outputs at a maximum of 1080p.
💵 Q4 financials
Amazon ($927B market cap) Q4 beats: $87.4B revenue, up 21% YoY ($86B expected); $9.9B AWS revenue, up 34% YoY; the company now has more than 150M Prime subscription members around the world.
Microsoft ($1.3T market cap) Q2 beats: $36.9B revenue, up 14% YoY ($35.7B expected); the company’s Intelligent Cloud division recorded $11.9 revenue, up 27% YoY; Azure revenue grew 62%.
Apple ($1.4T market cap) Q1 beats: $91.8B revenue, up 9& YoY ($88.5B expected); $55.9B iPhone revenue ($51.6 expected); $12.7B services revenue ($13B expected); Tim Cook notes Greater China returned to growth in the quarter. Apple’s Wearables, Home and Accessories unit generated $10B in sales, which compares with the $7.1B revenue from its Mac division; Apple doesn’t provide sales numbers for wearables, but Cook says Apple Watch sales hit a new record during the quarter.
Facebook ($636B market cap) Q4 beats: $21B revenue, up 24.7% YoY ($20.9B expected); 1.6B DAUs (1.6B expected); 2.5B MAUs (2.5B expected); the company also recorded $46.7B in costs and expenses for the full year, up 51% YoY; Facebook has announced a $10B share buyback scheme. Despite positive results, Facebook shares drop more than 6% in after-hours trading; the company is facing a number of challenges including the rollout of the Libra cryptocurrency and criticism over its refusal to fact-check certain political ads.
Samsung ($325B market cap) Q4 beats: $50.3B revenue, up 1.1% YoY; $4.4B profit, down 38.5% YoY; Samsung says its seeing increasing demand for its chips from datacenter firms.
👩🏾💻 Good reads
Finding Product/Market Fit; Janna Bastow talks about the journey to finding Product/Market Fit. This includes what to look for, how to measure it, and how not to be fooled along the way.
How will you measure your life? Clayton Christensen’s, academic and business consultant author of “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, passed away last week. In this remarkable article for HBR, Christensen shared advice on how to determine success in life.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern analyzes the features that have made TikTok a phenomenon app that’s difficult to close; TikTok’s algorithm creates a personalized, endless feed of videos created by strangers, usually devoid of controversial and emotionally charged topics; the button-free swipe interface encourages extended viewing without distraction.
Tradeoffs: the currency of decision making; “If we think we can have it all, we’re more likely to end up with nothing. We can get much farther if we decide where to focus our energy and which areas to ignore.” This eye-opening article on Farnam Street will help you think more carefully about the tradeoffs that are involved every time you make a decision about how to spend your time.