Angel Jaime

Nov 14, 2020

8 min read

el producto #201

Bolt scooters expansion, Disney+ growth, Alexa Care Hub, New MacBooks and macOS 11, Product 2021 conferences, Marketplaces library & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

$115B: Alibaba and collectively generated ~$115B in sales during their annual Singles Day events; both companies offers discounts from Nov 1 through Nov 11; Alibaba racked up ~$74.1B in sales across its family of e-commerce websites, which compares with $38.4B last year (2019 was a 24 hour event). Overall, Singles Day sales generated 583k orders per second during the peak of the annual sales event

$27B: ByteDance is set to generate ~$27.2B in ad revenue within China by the end of this year; the company is aiming to bring in $30B in overall revenues for 2020; Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) accounts for 60% of the company’s revenues, followed by news aggregator Jinri Toutiao at 20%

$1.7B: China-based on-demand trucking platform Full Truck Alliance (AKA Manbang Group) is raising $1.7B on a $10B pre-money valuation; the firm is raising the funds ahead of an IPO, which is set to happen next year

$1.5B: Adobe ($226B market cap) to acquire collaborative work management company Workfront for $1.5B; the buy would enable the company to establish a marketing software collaboration tool; Workfront, which largely targets customers in marketing, claims 1M users and 3k corporate clients; previously raised $375M

$750M: Russian e-commerce marketplace Ozon is set to raise ~$750M via a US IPO; various estimates put its valuation at $4B to $12B

$500M: Autonomous delivery company Nuro, which has developed a cargo-only vehicle without manual driving controls, raises $500M Series C; a Reuters source indicated a $5B valuation; the NHTSA authorized Nuro in February to deploy up to 5k units of the R2 vehicle on public roads over two years; raised $1.5B to date

$267M: Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne raises $267M on a $3.1B valuation; offers AI-powered enterprise threat detection and monitoring tools; has raised $430M to date

$250M: Germany-based scooter-sharing firm Tier Mobility raises $250M; plans to expand its network of charging stations, as well as moving further into Europe; currently operates in 80 markets across the continent; has raised ~$380M to date

$235M: Spotify ($47B market cap) acquires podcast tech company Megaphone for $235M; Megaphone provides a podcasting platform with tools for publishing, hosting, distribution, monetization, and analytics; also provides tools for advertisers, including an ads marketplace and localized targeting

$200M: Fintech firm raises $200M Series D; sources for the report say the company is valued at $4B; operates an online lending service; has raised $410M to date

$125M: Virtual events firm Hopin raises $125M Series B on a $2.1B post-money; the company provides a suite of tools for hosting online gatherings; has raised $171.5M to date

€100M: Estonia-based mobility firm Bolt plans to invest €100M in its scooter-sharing service; the company aims to roll out 130k scooters across +100 European cities in 2021; Bolt’s ride-hailing business operates in 35 countries

$100M: Udemy, which operates a marketplace featuring ~130k educational courses, is raising ~$100M Series F at a $3B-plus valuation; claims ~400M total course enrollments to date and ~7k business clients

$100M: Indonesia-based fintech firm LinkAja raises $100M Series B led by Grab; the digital payments company was formed from the merger of 5 state-backed financial services operations

£78M: UK-based early-stage VC firm Seedcamp closes its 5th fund at £78M; targets pre-seed and seed-stage startups; previous investments include Hopin

73M: Disney+, which launched a year ago, has more than 73M subscribers; the figure means the Disney has already surpassed the low-end of its 5-year subscriber projections; Disney-controlled Hulu has 36.6M subscribers, up 27% YoY; ESPN+ (also Disney-owned) has 10.3M subscribers, 3x YoY

$65M: UK-based e-commerce firm Heroes raises $65M equity and debt; Heroes acquires and operates businesses that operate on Amazon’s marketplace

$37M: UK-based fintech firm Railsbank raises $37M led by MiddleGame Ventures and Ventura Capital with participation from Anthos Capital, Global Brain, and others; the company offers a platform for other businesses to establish banking services; has raised $51.4M to date

33.7%: Samsung sold more smartphones in the US than Apple during Q3 (first time ahead of Apple in 3 years); Samsung had 33.7% market share, up 6.7% YoY; Apple had 30.2%, and LG 14.7%

-11%: WeWork’s membership numbers fell 11% in Q3 from the previous quarter; the firm has 542k active memberships across 859 locations; WeWork also recorded revenues of $811M, down 8% on Q2; it had a negative cash flow of $517M

Facebook updates Messenger and Instagram with Vanish Mode, enabling users to set messages to automatically delete once the recipient has read it and closed the app or left the chat; if a user sets a chat to Vanish Mode, and another user takes a screenshot, the app will display an alert

Airbnb’s IPO filing has been moved from Nov 12 to next week; the change was made because the company had concerns about the possible ramifications resulting from Trump disputing election results; the date could be moved again; Airbnb is expected to raise as much as $3B as it lists on the Nasdaq

Apple releases macOS 11, Big Sur, as a free update; represents the first major version number change since the company released OS X in 2001; features a redesigned UI, widget support, a new Control Center, more; Big Sur is the first version of macOS to support the company’s new M1 system-on-a-chip

Apple announces the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 chip, claims it’s 2.8x as fast as the previous generation, with graphics up to 5x faster; promises the longest battery life of any Mac ever, with up to 17h of web browsing and up to 20h of video playback; up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB storage; starts at $1.3k

Apple announces the new 13.3-inch MacBook Air with M1 chip; the company claims the computer is faster than 98% of PC laptops sold in the past year, and up to 3.5x faster than the latest Intel-based MacBook Air; the fan-less laptop promises up to 15h of web browsing or up to 18h of video playback per charge; up to 16GB RAM and up to 2TB storage; starts at $1k

Apple plans to launch a mini-LED iPad and AirPods 3, similar in design to AirPods Pro, in H1 2021

Code within the iOS/iPadOS 14.3 beta indicates Apple will suggest third-party apps to users during the device setup process; the tool will likely not be active in all countries, but instead in regions where such features are mandated

Singapore announces a special visa program for foreign-born tech execs; dubbed Tech.Pass, Singapore will offer up to 500 two-year visas to established execs who want to operate in the city-state; Tech.Pass will begin accepting applications from January 2021

Amazon launches Care Hub for Alexa devices; designed for remote monitoring of elderly people who live alone; enables a caretaker to connect an account with an elder’s account (with permission); the caretaker can follow the elder’s activities via alerts, use the Echo’s drop-in feature remotely, more

Amazon launches new AI-powered Alexa feature to infer users’ goals; for example, when a user asks how long it takes to cook a specific dish, Alexa will answer, then ask to set a timer for that duration; initially limited to English-speaking US users; Amazon said early metrics indicated increased engagement

Google Photos to discontinue unlimited free storage in June; previously, Google only imposed storage restriction limits on extremely high-resolution photos; users will have, for free, a combined 15GB for photos and Docs files; additional storage via Google One will start at $2 per month

Sonos launches Radio HD: an $8-per-month subscription that offers some stations in lossless CD quality (16-bit, 44Hz); also provides ad-free access to the stations previously available via the ad-supported Sonos Radio, which the company launched in April and now claims is the platform’s fourth most-popular service

Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python programming language, says he has come out of retirement to join Microsoft’s Developer Division; he will be focused on making it easier for developers to work with Python; van Rossum stepped away from Dropbox last year after more than six years with the company. Microsoft also hired Chris Young as VP of business development; he previously served as CEO of security software firm McAfee; Young replaces Peggy Johnson who left the company earlier this year to takeover as CEO of Magic Leap

Lyft ($11.25B market cap) Q3 beats: $499.7M revenue, up from $339M for the year-earlier period ($486.6M expected); $460M net loss, compared to $463M for the year-earlier period; 12.5M active riders, up from 8.7M in the year-earlier period; expects EBITDA profitability by Q4 of next year

Palantir ($24B market cap) Q3 beats: $289.4M revenue, up 52% YoY ($279.4M expected); the company increased its full-year revenue guidance from $1.06B to $1.07B, which would represent a 44% increase YoY; marks the company’s first quarterly report since debuting on the NYSE on Sept 30 at $10 per share for a $16.5B market cap

Check last week’s edition for more big tech results

Adapting AI models to pandemic times. Alibaba and JD have learned how much news and current events influence e-commerce patterns and will continue to tweak their product recommendation algorithms accordingly. Their lessons have so far worked during Singles Day

What is product/market fit? By Janna Bastow. Video + transcript summary

Deepfake music. AI is being used to create new songs seemingly performed by Frank Sinatra and other dead stars. ‘Deepfakes’ are cute tricks — but they could change pop for ever

Nomadic no more, by NY Times. Digital nomads who moved to work in foreign countries amid the pandemic are facing visa issues, tax trouble, breakups, and more

[Podcast] SaaS Growth, Product Management, Retention, Flywheels: Behind the Paywall with former Airbnb PM Lenny Rachitsky

The Marketplace Library. A great work of curation on marketplace resources: Strategy, Metrics, Network Effects,… Bookmarked!

Trends & Benchmark Report in Product Management 2020. Comprehensive global annual report with +60 detailed graphics and insights on topics including Leadership & Culture, Psychological Safety in PM, Salaries in PM, Organization, Process, Product & People

Product conferences 2021. Teresa Torres shares her annual list of Product conferences, with plenty of events moving virtual next year

The complete list of unicorn companies by CB Insights — updated on frequent basis, another one to bookmark

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

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