Ethical Product Management, Zoom and Google Search updates, Messenger<>Instagram integration, Good Product Design, & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

🎰 The week in figures

$280B: Ant Group is lifting its IPO target valuation from $250B to $280B; the company has seen strong demand ahead of the dual listing which is expected to raise as much as $35B

$164B: Huawei is China’s most valuable consumer electronics firm, worth ~$164B; Xiaomi is second with ~$64B; Vivo is worth ~$30B, Oppo ~$25B; DJI rounds out the top five with a valuation of ~$15B

$40.4B: The value of global acquisitions for VC-backed companies jumped to $40.4B in Q3’20. Though this excludes deals without a price tag, the figure indicates a strong recovery from the $15.6B worth of deals in Q2’20. The most active buyer in Q3’20 was Apple with 3 acquisitions: contactless payment startup Mobeewave; podcast streaming service Scout FM; and AR/VR developer for theme parks Spaces

$3.2B: Twilio confirms it is acquiring data infrastructure firm Segment for $3.2B; the deal is expected to close in Q4 2020; represents Twilio’s largest takeover since its $2B acquisition of SendGrid in 2018

$500M: Menlo Ventures closes its latest early-stage fund at $500M; targets Series A and Series B startups with investments of $8M to $15M; the company notes it will also consider some seed round

$251M: Edtech firm Kahoot raises $215M from SoftBank; the Norway-based firm offers online learning tools for school-age children, workplaces, and more; Kahoot has raised $325M to date

$200M:Stripe acquires Nigeria-based fintech firm Paystack for $200M+; the company offers payments integration tech to online and brick-and-mortar retailers; raised $11.7M to date

$150M: Meditation and sleep app Calm is considering raising ~$150M on a $2.2B post-money valuation; the round may include an option for existing investors to sell shares; Calm has raised $143M to date; was last valued at $1B

$100M: India-based fintech firm Razorpay raises $100M Series D on a ~$1B post-money valuation; offers payments processing for SMEs

$100M: Brazil-based communications platform Take Blip raises $100M Series A; enables its business clients to communicate with customers via multiple messaging apps; also provides chatbot tools; Take Blip plans M&A and will expand operations in the US, Europe, and Mexico; expects $40M in revenue this year

$87M: Toronto-based fintech firm Wealthsimple raises ~$87M on a ~$1B post-money valuation; the company offers a wealth management app with investment tools and more; has raised ~$313M to date

$45M: M1 Finance, which provides an app for investing, borrowing, and spending money, raises $45M Series C; the company has gone from $1B to $2B in assets under management since February; M1 previously said it planned to generate revenue representing 1%of its assets under management

250%: Shopify says its Fulfillment Network, which stores, packs, and ships products for e-commerce merchants, increased fulfillment by 250% quarter-over-quarter in Q2; the service also saw an increase in merchant signups; the company earned ~$714M in revenue in the second quarter, nearly double that of the year-earlier period

12.7%: The global PC market grew 12.7% YoY in Q3; the industry shipped 79.2M units, representing the strongest growth in 10 years; notebook shipments reached 64M, almost matching the 2011 all-time record of 64.6M; Lenovo returned to the top position with ~19M and HP was in second place with 18.7M; Dell was the only top-5 company to see a YoY decline

📰 What’s going on

Zoom launches its OnZoom events platform and marketplace in general availability; enables hosts to operate one-time or repeating events and sell tickets via the marketplace; the company plans to add the ability to collect donations through events via partner Pledgeling; Zoom also launched Zapps, enabling third-party app integrations; launch partners include Atlassian, SurveyMonkey, and Zendesk

Zoom announces it will start rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) next week, initially as a technical preview; hosts need to activate E2EE in their account settings and opt-in at the start of each meeting; participants can’t join an E2EE-protected meeting until they activate the feature in their account settings; during the first phase of the launch, hosting and joining an E2EE call will disable some features, like breakout rooms

Disney announces reorganization focused on giving its streaming business higher priority; the change will establish new content groups for film franchises, general entertainment, and sports; a new distribution arm will determine which platforms will carry given shows and movies

Facebook updates Messenger with Instagram cross-communications, more; new visual features include chat themes and custom reactions; soon, the company will add selfie stickers and a new vanish mode, which causes chats to disappear

Samsung adds Google Assistant support to its 2020 smart TV lineup; users will be able to activate it by pressing on the TV’s remote control; rolling out now as an update in the US; set to be available in other countries soon

Google rolls out multiple search-related updates, including improved AI-powered responses to broad and specific questions, better typo analysis, the integration of data from Open Data Commons, more advanced linking to timestamps in videos, more; Assistant can identify hummed melodies; Lens can translate and read book portions aloud, more

Google Meet launches breakout rooms for Enterprise for Education customers, enabling teachers to break students into up to 100 groups for discussions and projects; those in groups can rejoin the primary meeting once finished; the company plans to expand the feature to other users by year’s end

Google to make Chat free for consumers, allow Hangouts users to migrate in the first half of next year; Google will automatically migrate conversations, contacts, and history from Hangouts to Chat; will discontinue Hangouts with Google Fi, which enables calls and message management within Hangouts, early next year; the Messages app will gain those features

Google announces Smart Fill for Sheets; similar to Gmail’s Smart Compose, the feature suggests data for cells based on info from elsewhere in the spreadsheet; Smart Fill can also pull publicly available data from Google’s Knowledge Graph; rolling out to Google Workspace users from Nov 5; unknown if or when it will be available to free Sheets users

Google launches the new Nest Thermostat at $130; the redesigned device does away with the ring controller in favor of a touch-sensitive edge: the user slides a finger along the side of the Thermostat to navigate menus and change values, and taps to make a selection; also recognizes gestures; controllable via the Google Home app; supports customized schedules

Dropbox announces permanent remote work model, says it will launch Dropbox Studios, using existing offices and flexible spaces for in-person collaborations and meetings; the company said it would open studios in every city where it maintains office space

Apple announces:

  • iPhone 12 with 5G and a 6.1-inch OLED display supporting Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG; runs the 5nm A14 Bionic processor; features a new MagSafe panel on the back for Qi charging and attaching other accessories, like a new magnetic wallet; a new MagSafe charger works with iPhone and Watch; iPhone 12 starts at $799; available in black, white, blue, red, and green; features flat sides
  • iPhone 12 Mini, at 5.4-inch, with all the features of the iPhone 12 but a smaller form factor; it’s the smallest, thinnest, and lighted 5G phone in the world; starts at $699
  • iPhone 12 Pro with 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6.7-inch display;

both Pros support 5G and feature LiDAR scanners; four camera lenses: wide, ultra-wide, telephoto, and front; shoots Dolby Vision, HDR, 4K video at 60 fps; features Deep Fusion photo processing and Apple ProRAW, which combines image processing and computational photography with a RAW format; coming in silver, graphite, gold, blue; Pro starts at $1k; Pro Max starts at $1.1k.

Apple will ship models from its iPhone 12 lineup without earphones or power adapters; all will include a Lightning-to-USB-C cable

Apple will offer three months of free Apple Arcade access to those who purchase a new device after Oct 22; applies to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and Apple TV; unclear whether it is available to those who previously took advantage of the 30-day free trial; Apple Arcade costs $5 per month as a standalone subscription

Apple announces the $99 Home Pod Mini; the 3.3-inch-tall device features one main driver, two passive radiators, and an acoustic waveguide; the S5 chip analyzes audio for processing 180 times per second; will support third-party streaming services including Pandora, Amazon Music, and iHeartRadio, but not Spotify; the company also announced a new Intercom feature for homes with multiple Home Pods; displays messages in text on other Apple products

Apple files patent application for sliding, expandable, display; the company described a flexible OLED display that folds into the device, and a similar system using a rigid display; the application details a retractable mechanism allowing the display’s surface area to expand for certain applications

Apple is set to hold a media event on Nov 17 to unveil an Arm-based Mac; the company announced Apple Silicon for Macs in June, noting it will eventually move away from Intel chips

Snap says Snapchat will be one of the first apps to use the LiDAR scanner in the coming iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max for AR; the phones also use the scanner for better low-light photography, more

Netflix stops offering 30-day free trials to new subscribers across all its markets; the firm ended free trials in select markets in March 2019; Netflix notes users can still cancel at at any time

India-based fintech firm Paytm has launched an app store within its own Android app; dubbed Mini App Store, it provides access to progressive web apps; Paytm, which charges partners a maximum 2% commission, claims to have attracted interest from 5k developers since it launched earlier this month

👩🏾‍💻 Good reads

How to change the world with Product: A guide for PMs. Inspiring collection of ideas and individual stories on products aiming to tackle big global challenges

Your Product’s ethical stack. For technology products to become more ethically-sound, product teams need to get their hands dirty in this topic and start to consider ethics in their product strategy. Including an ethics dimension with the target value of integrity next to desirability, feasibility and viability in product strategy decisions, is one of the valuable tips that James Lynden shares

The 5 essential properties of good Product Design, by Nick Babich

The top 5 hidden challenges of Enterprise Product Management. Being a product manager for enterprise apps can be challenging and be very rewarding at the same time. The scale of the problems these customers face is inspiring and the feeling that your application is being used by thousands of people every day can be extremely rewarding

🙂 #alwaysbekind

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

🚀 Like el producto? Forward it to a friend

el producto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product leader perspective. Free forever. Sign-up here.

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store