Q2 financials, New iPhones delayed, Microsoft’s potential TikTok acquisition, Tech is becoming regulated, Personal development in uncertain times, more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

$10B: China-based facial recognition firm SenseTime is raising $1.5B on a $10B valuation, and considering an IPO; plans to list on Shanghai’s STAR market, though the timeframe for such a move remains unclear; SenseTime also offers video analysis tools, self-driving tech, and more

$10B: Chinese Electric Vehicle company Li Auto IPO’d in the US, selling 95 million shares at a price of $11.50 and raising $1.1b ($950m expected). The IPO pricing of its shares values Li Auto at about $10b

$7.5B: Self-driving tech firm Argo AI has a valuation of $7.5B; the confirmation comes several months after Volkswagen completed a $2.6B investment in the firm; Ford invested $1B in Argo in 2017; VW and Ford will each eventually hold a 40% stake in the company

$5B: TransferWise confirms new $5B valuation following $319M secondary share sale

$1.5B: Remitly raises $85M at a $1.5B valuation. Matt Oppenheimer, CEO of Remitly, said that customer growth has increased 200% YoY

$85M: Stack Overflow raises $85M Series E led by GIC with participation from Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and others; has raised $153M to date

41%: Google search queries send people to Google’s own properties 41% of the time

Tesla is open to licensing its software to other automakers

Apple confirms its new iPhone models will launch a few weeks later than they typically do; exact launch date undisclosed, but Apple usually launches its iPhones in mid to late September; follows Qualcomm’s disclosure that its earnings would be impacted by the delayed release a 5G iPhone from a key customer

Atlassian acquires Jira-based asset management firm Mindville; terms undisclosed; Mindville, headquartered in Sweden, provides tools for tracking and handling enterprise assets

ByteDance is considering an Hong Kong IPO for its domestic operations; the firm is also weighing whether to list TikTok and other non-Chinese businesses in Europe or the US; a Hong Kong listing is expected to value ByteDance at more than $100B

Microsoft in talks to buy TikTok. Senior ByteDance executives see Microsoft as more able to afford TikTok, which could be worth $30 billion or more, and to have a management team that could absorb the app more easily than if it was a standalone company. TikTok has been downloaded over ~2 billion times globally, and in Q1 2020, it had the most downloads for any app ever in any quarter with ~315 million

Ctrip, China’s largest online travel agent whose business is known as Trip.com, is considering going private and delisting from Nasdaq

Alphabet extends work-from-home policy until at least July 2021; affects ~200k full-time and contract workers

Google teases a phone launch for Aug 3; expected to be the long-rumored Pixel 4A; a link to a Google Store page displays lorem ipsum text that seemingly hints at camera features including low-light performance, image bokeh, and more

Google announces an iOS app for backing up device data (currently available to Google One customers using an Android smartphone); Google notes it will make smartphone backup free to all users, irrespective of whether they have a Google One premium plan or not

Amazon will expand its Fresh grocery service in the UK; Fresh operates in partnership with supermarket chain Morrisons, and is currently available in select parts of the country; will be rolled out to new locations including Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Manchester by the end of the year

Facebook is offering financial incentives to TikTok creators, encouraging them to join Instagram’s competitor Reels; Reels lets users create short videos set to music; currently available in India and Brazil, Reels launches in the US next month

Japan-based Rakuten announces the closure of its US marketplace, formerly known as buy.com; Rakuten Marketplace US will shut down over two months; Rakuten notes it will continue to operate its cash back rewards service, which it established after acquiring Ebates in 2014

Apple (~$1.7T market cap) Q2 beats: $59.7B revenue, up 11% YoY ($52.2B expected); $2.58 EPS ($2.04 expected); $26.4B iPhone revenue ($22.4B expected); $13.2B services revenue ($13.2B expected)

Alphabet ($1.5T market cap) Q2 beats: $10.13 EPS ($8.21 expected); $38.30B revenue ($37.37B expected); YouTube advertising revenue: $3.81B vs $3.78B expected; Google Cloud revenue: $3.01B vs. $3.06B expected; Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $6.69B vs. $6.67B expected. Q2 revenue dropped 2%, first decline in company’s history

Amazon ($1.5T market cap) Q2 beats: $88.9B revenue, up 40% YoY ($81.6B expected); $10.30 EPS ($1.46 expected); $10.8B AWS revenue, up 29% YoY

Facebook ($669B market cap) Q2 beats: $18.7B market cap, up 11% YoY ($17.4B expected); $5.2B net income, up 98% YoY; 1.8B DAUs, up 12% YoY; 2.7B MAUs, up 12% YoY

Spotify ($48B market cap) Q2 misses: -€1.91 EPS (-€0.36 expected); €1.89B revenue, up 13.2% YoY, misses expected by €40M; 25.4% gross margin (24.6% expected). Total MAUs of 299.0M (298.3M expected), a 29% increase YoY. Added 8m paid subscribers in Q2, which means 138m Premium customers (136.4 expected)

Next week’s earnings:

  • Roku (Wednesday)
  • Uber (Thursday)

See last week’s edition for Twitter, Snap, Tesla and Microsoft.

Tech is going to become a regulated industry, and this will be expensive. Ben Evans on regulating technology

A map to planning your workday: 5 steps to follow to improve your productivity. Many of us start each day by going over the tasks swirling around in our heads. It’s often a jumble of projects, emails, and a palette of items we can’t quite sort, but all seem urgent

How to take personal development off the backburner — tactical frameworks for leveling up, by First Round. Making time for that self-work is often last on the list — especially these days. At a time when interactions with the outside world have shrunk dramatically, it’s natural to feel increasingly untethered and overwhelmed by all of the uncertainty

15 Product Leaders to follow on Twitter in 2020, by Product School

Inside the Facebook team that hacks its own AI. Attackers increasingly try to confuse and bypass machine-learning systems. So the companies that deploy them are getting creative

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

Full-time learner, product stuff, “triathlete” & global traveller. Creating cool products @ Revolut, formerly @ Booking.com and @ Just Eat.