🎰 The week in figures
~$6B: Uber’s possible acquisition of Grubhub would value the food delivery firm at ~$6B; the companies are considering a deal that would see Grubhub shares traded for 1.9 Uber shares each.
$900M: Uber launches a $900M bond sale; the company is issuing five-year notes that cannot be repurchased for 2 years; sources for the report say the bonds will provide 7.5% returns.
$750M: Waymo has raised $750 million for its self-driving technology, expanding the size of its first external investment round to $3 billion. Waymo CEO John Krafcik noted that COVID-19 has underscored the need for how fully self-driving technology can provide safe and hygienic personal mobility and delivery services.
$400M: Facebook is acquiring Giphy in a deal valued at around $400 million. Strategically, the deal makes sense, as half of Giphy’s traffic comes from Facebook’s apps, and Instagram in particular. Previously, New York-based Giphy raised about $150 million in venture funding.
$280M: Robinhood consumer investing app raises $280M F led by Sequoia Capital, participation from NEA, Ribbit, 9Yards Capital, Unusual Ventures.
$100M: Apple buys virtual reality startup NextVR for roughly $100M.
17%: Smartphone shipments in China rose 17% annually last month, according to data from state-backed China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAIT); 40.8M devices shipped, up 34.8M for April 2019; CAIT did not break down numbers for individual manufacturers.
15% of global internet traffic is Youtube and 11% is Netflix accordin to Sandvine.
13%: India-based restaurant delivery firm Zomato cuts its workforce by 13 percent; it’s unclear how many jobs have been lost but the figure is above 500; the company says it has been impacted by restaurant closures amid the coronavirus pandemic; Zomato laid off ~540 staff last September.
📰 What’s going on
Instagram introduces a feature to let users bulk delete comments and restrict multiple accounts at once (rolling out now for iOS); additionally, the company will soon add the option to pin select comments for greater visibility, and add a feature to let users select who can tag them in posts.
Facebook says it is “rolling back” Instagram Lite, encouraging users to download the regular app instead; Instagram Lite launched in 2018 and was was ~570KB in size; Facebook is working on a new version of Instagram Lite, but it’s unclear when it will launch.
The Libra Association adds several investment firms as members; Singapore’s Temasek, cryptocurrency backer Paradigm, and private equity company Slow Ventures have joined the Switzerland-based oversight body; the Libra Association is charged with rolling out and monitoring the Libra cryptocurrency, which was designed by Facebook.
Google is testing emoji reactions within its Android Messages app; similar to Apple’s Messages, users are able to add a reaction by long-pressing on a chat bubble; the feature seemingly works with RCS messages, but not SMS; unknown if or when it will roll out fully.
Twitter acquires adtech firm CrossInstall; terms undisclosed; CrossInstall offers interactive mobile ad services; it will continue to operate as a standalone unit.
Microsoft rolls out a reply-all feature to help prevent against emails being sent erroneously to too many people at once; known as Reply All Storm Protection, it’s available in Office 365 and Exchange Online and promises to stop mass responses to an email that has been sent to a large volume of people.
Microsoft is working on a text prediction tool for Outlook on the web; similar to Gmail’s Smart Compose, it will suggest words as users type; set to roll out later this month; Microsoft is also developing a “send later” option which is expected next month.
Apple is set to launch a 10.8-inch iPad and an 8.5-inch to 9-inch iPad Mini, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo; the 10.8-inch iPad will launch later this year, the iPad Mini will launch in the first half of next year; Kuo also says Apple will introduce an AR headset in 2022.
Apple’s upcoming over-ear headphones will be called AirPods Studio, according to sources for 9to5Mac; the wireless headphones will be able to detect whether they are being worn on a user’s head or around their neck; they’re expected to feature Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode; rumored to cost $350.
Airbnb has launched an opt-in “alumni talent directory” featuring profiles, work samples, and resumes for recently laid off staff; Airbnb VP Beth Axelrod says the list has been viewed 350k times since launch, noting significant interest from tech firms of all sizes; Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says other CEOs have reached out to him directly about available talent.
EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders says European coronavirus contact-tracing apps must be automatically deactivated once the pandemic is over; Reynders notes such apps cannot be used for mass surveillance, and that they should eventually be shut off, even if a user has not uninstalled it from their device.
Online used car marketplace Vroom has filed confidentially for an IPO and plans to list as soon as June; it’s unknown how much the company is hoping to raise; it was last valued at $1.5B.
China-based short video app Kuaishou Technology files a lawsuit against TikTok-owner ByteDance, alleging unfair business practices; Kuaishou, which is backed by Tencent, claims ByteDance is spiking app store search results by advertising against its name; ByteDance says it has not received any legal notice and says it previously lodged its own suit against Kuaishou for unjust practice.
👩🏾💻 Good reads
Approach your data with a Product mindset. HBR on the importance of starting data efforts with an Outcome focus and adopting a Product mindset from there.
[Don’t] listen to your customers.Today’s product and design leaders often rely heavily on the world of their customers when building their product road maps, but… what if humans are not always rational?
Product Dicovery, a practical guide for Agile teams. Tim Herbig, Product Consultant & Coach shows the extensive range a Product Discovery can have and how to set up and execute your own Discovery process.
It’s time to start playing offense. Every crisis requires founders to switch between two hats. The defense hat is the one put on immediately after a crisis hits to guarantee survival. The offense hat helps to think through ways to make bold moves and double down when others are pulling back. Gigi Levy, partner at NFX, shares strategies for switching between offense and defense during a downturn.
8 laws driving success in tech: Amazon’s 2-pizza rule, The 80/20 principle, & more. The rise and fall of tech companies have inspired countless theories about the drivers of success and failure in the fast-moving world of startups. Take a look at these eight laws that contain some of the most influential ideas that tech companies use to run operations, design business models, and build products.
The State of Product Analytics Report by Mixpanel and Product School.
💻 Upcoming online events
Webinar: 8 difficulties when entering Chinese market with Airbnb former PM, by Product School, Monday May 18, 2020 from 23:00. Free
PMF Connect # 6 with Alfonso Fiore Head of Product at AirAsia, Tuesday May 19, 13:00 CET, Free
[Webinar] The What and Why of Continuous Discovery, Tuesday May 19, 20:00 CET, Free.
Virtual Product Summit, Thursday May 21 (day-long event), Free
ProductCon, May 27 (day-long event), Free
[Virtual] ProductTank Rotterdam kick-off event, co-hosted by Christina Zacharia and Lucia Collara, with guests Stephen Culligan (Head of Glofox and EME ProductTank coordinator) and Janna Bastow (co-founder ProductPad and Mind the Product), May 27 18:30 CET, Free
Additionally, check out this Best Product Conferences in 2020 list put together by Product School.
During the upcoming weeks (for as long as the Covid-19 crisis goes on) I will keep dedicating my evenings to offer free consultation / advice / coaching / casual chats to any impacted professionals that would like to reach out. Don’t be a stranger, reach out by DM if you are interested, and let’s help each other. We are all humans after all, and we are all on the same boat.