🎰 The week in figures
$33.9B: Fintech companies around the world raised $33.9B across 1,912 deals in 2019, vs $40.8B across 2,049 deals in 2018; early-stage fintech startups saw a 5-year low in fundraising, while Series B and later startups saw a 5-year high; emerging countries saw the most activity.
$7.1B: Intuit confirms it is acquiring Credit Karma for $7.1B; Credit Karma will remain standalone under Co-Founder and CEO Kenneth Lin; claims 100M registered users, 37M MAUs, and $1B-plus in annual revenue.
$5.5B: Revolut, a UK-based fintech firm, raises $500M on a $5.5B valuation from undisclosed investors; offers digital banking services and claims more than 10M customers.
$3B: Self-driving tech firm Pony.ai raises $400M from Toyota on a ~$3B valuation; Pony.ai CEO James Peng says Toyota will get non-exclusive access to its tech, noting it still intends to work with other carmakers.
2B: YouTube is 15, and now has 2B MAUs and 500 hours uploaded every minute.
$500M: Corporate travel firm TripActions secures a $500M credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Comerica Bank; TripActions offers travel management tools for enterprise customers; has also launched a fintech product for managing trip expenses.
400M: Huawei claims AppGallery has seen 400M downloads, making it the world’s third-largest app store; AppGallery is preloaded on all Huawei smartphones; the company says it plans to also spend $1B to grow its developer base, thereby increasing the number of apps it has available.
1M: Amazon says it has banned more than 1M items from its marketplace over false claims relating to the coronavirus outbreak; the company says it has also removed tens of thousands of deals that tried to price-gouge customers
12%: Expedia cuts ~3k jobs, equal to 12%of its workforce; ~500 jobs will be lost in Seattle where the company is based; Expedia emailed employees, saying it had pursued growth in an “unhealthy and undisciplined way,” and notes it will shutdown certain projects while also scaling back its use of third-party vendors and contractors.
7%: Booking Holdings (parent firm of Booking.com) says it expects Q1 revenues to drop as much as 7% because of the coronavirus outbreak; it also says bookings could fall by as much as 15% YoY ; Booking CEO Glenn Fogel notes the company will focus on “eliminating unnecessary expense” this year.
📰 What’s going on
iPhone XR was the top-selling smartphone in 2019, followed by the iPhone 11, which launched in September; Samsung took third and fourth positions with the Galaxy A50 and A10, respectively; Apple held six of the top ten spots, while Samsung held three; OPPO’s A5 took fifth place.
Apple plans to launch an iPad keyboard with a trackpad; the device is expected to launch alongside a new iPad Pro later this year.
Apple will open its online store in India this year and will begin launching physical stores in the country next year.
Amazon plans to enter India’s food delivery market in coming weeks; the program reportedly will be part of Amazon’s Prime Now; the source said the company had been testing with select restaurants in Bangalore; Uber exited India’s food delivery market last month.
Amazon launches Go Grocery, a full-scale cashier-free grocery store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district; as with Amazon Go stores, customers use an app to enter, they then bag items as they shop, and are charged automatically upon exit; Amazon Go Grocery covers 10.4k square feet and carries fresh produce, alcohol, and more. Amazon is in talks to license its Go tech to other companies.
Netflix introduces a Top 10 feature, showcasing its most popular shows; updates daily, showing the most-viewed content in a user’s country; the list has previously been tested in Mexico and the UK.
Facebook cancels annual F8 developers conference, citing coronavirus concerns; the event was scheduled for May 5 and 6 in San Francisco; multiple companies have also withdrawn from the Game Developers Conference, slated for March 16–20 in San Francisco, including Sony, EA, Facebook and Microsoft.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg acknowledges she worries about TikTok; Sandberg says tech firms compete for users’ attention, noting her own children use TikTok frequently. Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman says TikTok is “fundamentally parasitic”; speaking at Social 2030, Huffman claims the app is always listening and that its fingerprinting tech is “truly terrifying”.
Google officially launches Earth for Firefox, Edge, and Opera following a six-month public beta; the company initially built Earth for the web using the Chrome-only Native Client (NaCI), but has since transitioned to the WebAssembly (Wasm) open standard.
Uber partners with ad-tech company Adomni to form a new business unit, Uber OOH Powered by Adomni; Uber will pilot roof-top advertising in Atlanta, Dallas, and Phoenix; will pay each participating driver $300 to install a car-top digital ad display and $100 per week to display ads (requires at least 20 hours of driving per week).
Uber relaunches in Colombia under a new business model, offering cars for rent with drivers included; the company exited the market after the country’s Superintendency of Industry and Commerce ruled Uber had violated competition rules.
Didi Chuxing announces plans for a food delivery service in Japan; the company says it has started recruiting delivery partners and will launch in Osaka this April.
Southeast Asian ride hailing firms Grab and Gojek are in talks to merge; terms unknown; execs from the companies have met several times over the years, but have more recently discussed the possibility of a merger. Grab raises $150M from TIS INTEC. Grab raises $150M from TIS INTEC; follows a ~$700M investment from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
Scooter-share company Bird is testing Bird Pay, enabling customers to make cashless purchases of items from participating business; the company said businesses with scooter rentals requested the feature; users can scan a product QR code with the Bird app to buy; currently live in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
DoorDash confidentially files for IPO; analytics firm Second Measure indicated DoorDash became the top digital food delivery provider last year, representing one-third of all food delivery sales in the US: investors valued the company at ~$13B for a $700M Series G that closed in November.
Walmart to begin public testing of the Walmart+ membership program as soon as next month; reportedly a rebrand of the company’s Delivery Unlimited annual subscription service, Walmart+ adds features intended to compete with Amazon Prime; Amazon accounts for 40% of US e-commerce, according to eMarketer, compared to Walmart’s 5%.
Huawei says it plans to establish its first European manufacturing facility in France; the company will spend €200M on the first stage of a mobile base station plant; the factory is set to employ 500 people.
Citroën announces Ami, a €6k two-seater EV that can be operated without a driver’s license in France; with a top speed of 28 Mph the vehicle can be driven by those aged 14 and up (16 in the rest of Europe); Citroën is offering the EV direct, or via monthly and minute-by-minute rentals; launching this spring.
👩🏾💻 Good reads
Starter KPIs for B2B/Enterprise. While there is plenty of guidance on metrics to track for consumer-facing products, finding the right things to measure for enterprise businesses can be difficult. Rich Mironov tackles the question, “What OKRs should I choose for my B2B business?”.
Food delivery wars: 3 takeaways from the UberEats, Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash ecosystem — How it boomed, and why it’s at a crossroads.
As the start-up boom deflates, Tech is humbled; The New York Times examines the job cuts, market withdraws, shutdowns, lackluster/failed IPOs, and other indicators that we have reached the end of a ten-year startup boom; investors put ~$763B into startups over the past decade, and some of the categories that drew the most attention are now experiencing the most significant downturn.
Quartz’s TikTok analysis. TikTok is changing the landscape of social media. Unlike Instagram, it hasn’t yet been overrun by advertisers or influencers. Unlike YouTube, it still gives amateurs a decent chance to create a viral hit. Some figures:
- 45: Average minutes per day that TikTok users spend on the app
- 120 million: Monthly active users of TikTok in India
- 717 million: Monthly active users of TikTok, globally
- 738 million: Times the TikTok app was downloaded in 2019
- 46 million: US downloads of the app in 2019
- $5.7 million: Amount TikTok was fined in February of 2019 by the FTC for violating child privacy laws
- 8: Times a day a US TikTok user opens the app, on average
- $3,000: Amount Kio Cyr charges to feature a song in a video for his four million followers
What technologies will change the world? MIT published their anual list of technological advances that will make a difference in solving important problems: