PayPal crypto & Q3 results, New Apple products, Netflix TV, Spotify on Apple Watch, WhatsApp updates, Conscious Product Oath, Better roadmaps & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

🎰 The week in figures

$2B: ByteDance is in talks with Sequoia and other backers to raise as much as $2B on a $180B valuation; the funding round is set to occur before ByteDance lists some of its businesses on the Hong Kong stock exchange

835M: Walmart-owned digital payments app PhonePe hit 835M transactions in India last month; by comparison, Google Pay saw 820M transactions, Paytm 245M, and Amazon Pay 125M; the apps operate via UPI, a four-year-old payments infrastructure controlled by India’s banks; UPI has recorded more than 2B transactions to date

$500M: Russia-based e-commerce firm Ozon announces plans to raise as much as $500M via a US IPO; pricing details are yet to be disclosed

$300M: London-based Farfetch ($10.7B market cap), which operates a retail platform for fashion boutiques, is in advanced talks to raise ~$300M from Alibaba; the companies are considering a joint venture; sources say Cartier parent Richemont, which currently operates a Chinese joint venture with Alibaba, is also in discussions to invest in Farfetch

$300M: China’s central bank says it has recorded more than $300M in transactions during the testing phase of its digital yuan; it is being tested across multiple cities including Shenzhen and Suzhou

$267M: China-based self-driving tech firm Pony.ai raises $267M Series C on a ~$5.3B valuation; the company is developing its own autonomous robotaxi service, as well as products for third-party carmakers

$260M: UK-based mobile bank Starling is raising ~$260M; Founder Anne Boden recently said the bank was on track to reach profitability by Christmas; claims 1.9M customers, including 280k-plus businesses

$200M: Online checkout startup Fast is in talks to raise $50-$200M; the deal could give the company a $1B post-money valuation; Fast was last valued at $180M following a $20M investment from Stripe

$151M: China-based digital signature service Esign raises ~$151M Series D; offers contract tools to enterprise customers; has raised ~$280M to date

$150M: Vimeo raises $150M from Thrive Capital and GIC; Vimeo owner IAC is considering spinning off the video business; Vimeo has shifted its focus from consumers to enterprises and other businesses in recent years, and last month launched a video messaging service

$100M: Microsoft announces a $100M strategic investment in Indonesia-based e-commerce platform Bukalapak; Bukalapak’s business will operate on Azure, and Microsoft will provide the firm and its merchants with digital skills training; the deal values Bukalapak at $2.5B to $3B

$50M: China-based comms platform Zego raises $50M led by Tencent; Zego offers real-time voice and video tech for use by third-parties such as video streaming platforms and edtech firms; has raised ~$70M to date

$40M: Berkeley-based Jiko, which plans to offer subscription membership for automated investing, raises $40M Series A; the startup acquired MN-based Mid-Central National Bank in September; raised $47M to date

$12.7M: Amsterdam-based CodeSandbox, which provides an online IDE for low-code, browser-based, collaborative web app development, raises $12.7M Series A; the company plans to use the funding to launch Pro Workspaces

📰 What’s going on

Netflix is testing a TV network-style linear content channel in France; dubbed Netflix Direct, it’s offering shows and movies one after the other; available to existing Netflix subscribers via a web browser

Spotify is rolling out changes that enable its app for Apple Watch to stream music without an iPhone; enables streaming over Wi-Fi and cellular the company conducted limited tests of the feature in September

Spotify to test a new fee-free promotional service that enables artists, labels, and rights holders to select priority songs for increased recommendations in some sections, including Spotify Radio and Autoplay; owners of selected tracks will see a reduced royalty rate for plays resulting from that placement, but not for the same songs when played from other areas, like the artist’s album page

WhatsApp updates its storage management, simplifying the process of locating and removing large files; the feature groups files based on size and shows content thumbnails so users can see what they’re deleting ahead of time. WhatsApp also announced a feature to automatically remove messages and any associated media after 7 days; users can scrub messages for individual conversations; group admins will maintain controls for multi-person chats; rolling out this month

WhatsApp expands access to its payments feature in India; the digital wallet has been available to ~1M users in the country since 2018 but has now received full approval from National Payments Corporation of India, which operates the UPI payments infrastructure; the feature is available in 10 languages; rolling out to iOS and Android

Facebook says its proposed payments network, FastPay, is more robust than Visa’s; researchers at Novi, Facebook’s digital wallet initiative tied to the company’s blockchain-based Libra payment system, designed FastPay to serve as infrastructure for retail fiat payments and to settle cryptocurrency transactions

Latest iOS beta includes a feature for the visually impaired that detects the presence of people and their distance; the accessibility feature, found in the Magnifier app, uses the Lidar and wide-angle camera lens of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max; the user can set custom sound alerts when people are at specific distances

Apple announces “One More Thing” event for Nov 10; the company has, historically, used the phrase near the end of an event keynote to introduce a significant new product; many expect the company will unveil the first Macs to run on Apple Silicon chips rather than Intel processors; Apple announced the transition to new chips at its WWDC event in June, promising the first computers to feature the Arm-based chips would launch by year’s end. Apple is working with suppliers to ramp up production of 3 new laptops powered by Apple-designed processors; the lineup reportedly includes 13-and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a 13-inch MacBook Air; will also feature Apple-designed graphics and machine-learning processors

Apple says developers will have to provide privacy info cards for their apps from Nov 8; users can view the details of what developers ask for when downloading apps; developers must also keep the cards updated as features are added or removed

Apple Store locations in the UK and France introduce express pickup; Apple is not offering Genius appointments and customers cannot browse stores

Code in the latest Google Photos update indicates the company plans to make some features, currently free, exclusive to Google One subscribers; at least one user has reported seeing a subscription prompt when attempting to use an editing feature

PayPal will initially roll out cryptocurrency support in the US, followed by international markets and the Venmo app, all by mid-2021; the company plans to integrate support for Honey, the price-comparison business it bought last year for $4B, across its apps over the next year; the new Bill Pay feature will roll out this month

DOJ files antitrust suit over Visa’s $5.3B Plaid acquisition; DOJ says acquisition would allow Visa to unlawfully maintain a monopoly in online debit market

Two senior Lyft executives leave the company: EVP of Strategic Initiatives Ran Makavy and VP/Head of Design Katie Dill; follows the departures of three other senior executives (HR, PR, bikes and scooters) in recent months

Intel ($183.8B market cap) acquires Israel-based ML and AI platform Cnvrg.io; terms undisclosed; Cnvrg.io provides tools for data scientists to build and run ML models; it will remain a standalone unit; raised $8M to date

The Raspberry Pi Foundation announces Raspberry Pi 400, a keyboard with a built-in programmable computer; features an 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, two HDMI ports, 4GB of RAM, Bluetooth 5.0; $70 for the standalone keyboard, or $100 for a bundle which includes a mouse and microSD card; available now

Chinese local services firm Meituan Dianping is considering a secondary IPO in China; the company is currently listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange where its share price has quadrupled over the last 2 years; plans suggest listing on the Shenzhen-based ChiNext board in 2021

Chinese regulators disqualify Ant Group from its planned Shanghai-Hong Kong dual-IPO, which would have valued the company at ~$300B and raised $34B-plus; details on the disqualification are undisclosed; both debuts were heavily oversubscribed

💵 Q3 financials

PayPal ($220B market cap) Q3 beats: $5.46B revenue, up 25% YoY ($5.43B expected); $1.07 EPS ($0.94 expected); $247B in total payment volume; Venmo saw its best quarter ever with $44B in total payment volume; 15.2M net new active accounts, bringing the total to 361M

Square ($77.7B market cap) Q3 beats: $3.03B net revenue, up 140% YoY ($2.07B expected); $0.34 EPS (adjusted, $0.16 expected); Cash App represented $2.07B of net revenue, up 574% YoY, and $385M of gross profit, up 212% YoY; $31.7B gross payment volume, up 12%

Dropbox ($8.32B market cap) Q3 beats: $487.4M revenue, up 14% YoY ($483.6M expected); $0.26 EPS (non-GAAP, $0.18 expected); 15.25M paid users, up from 14M for the year-earlier period; $128.03 average revenue per paying user, up from $123.15 for the year-earlier period; $1.98B ARR, up 12% YoY

Uber ($73.5B market cap) Q3 mixed: $3.13B revenue, down 18% YoY($3.2B expected); -$0.62 EPS (-$0.65 expected); $1.09B net loss (GAAP, compared to $1.16B for the year-earlier period); $8.55B gross bookings for Delivery; $5.91B gross bookings for Mobility; $1.14B adjusted net Delivery revenue, up 190% YoY; $1.37B adjusted net Mobility revenue, down 53% YoY

Check last week’s edition for more big tech results

👩🏾‍💻 Good reads

5 tips for building relationships as Product Managers. Helen Zou shares some practical advice on how to bring out that basic humanity to guide folks to work together and see the best in each other

6 counterintuitive rules for being a better Manager (First Round Review)— Advice from Lambda School, Quip & Facebook; “The best managers set expectations at the What level, not the How level”

Paradoxes of Product Management, by Anthony Murphy; a funny yet refreshing reminder about the ambiguity of our day-to-day misadventures

The 10 most clarifying questions a PM should ask (often), by Pranav hanna. Complement this read with my personal extended list of 30 questions to help you nail your products

[Podcast] Roadmaps are dead. Long live Roadmaps! — Janna Bastow, co-founder of both Mind the Product and ProdPad, shares her experience on a topic that ultimately led her to crate ProdPad

Conscious Product Oath. What if our commitment towards our users would be as deep as doctors care about their patients. This one is mine

🚀 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

🙂 #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

Written by

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