Salesforce to acquire Slack, Google’s crowdsource tasks app, How Uber makes money, Go-to-market fundamentals, Pitch deck examples, Financial ecosystems, & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto

$100B: Fintech firm Stripe is looking to raise new funds at a valuation of up to $100B; the payments company was last valued at $36B; the report notes Stripe is well capitalized and may not move forward with the funding round

$7B: Discord is raising funds at a $7B valuation; the company raised $100M at a $3.5B reported valuation in June; as the pandemic has driven usage, Discord has expanded its voice and video capacity by 200%, added features to simplify server creation and video communication, and a Safety Center to combat hate speech and more; raised $380M to date

$2B: App analytics firm AppsFlyer raises an undisclosed sum from Salesforce on a $2B post-money valuation; the company tracks mobile ad spending; has raised more than $300M to date

1.7B: Mobile e-commerce company Wish filed for IPO. The San Francisco company revealed $1.7B in revenue for the first nine months of 2020, up 30% YoY. Losses widened over the same period, hitting $176 million in the first nine months of this year. If you are curious to see what the filling doc looks like, you can find it here

$1.7B: Chinese on-demand trucking platform Full Truck Alliance (AKA Manbang Group) raises $1.7B on a ~$12B post-money valuation; the company plans to IPO next year

£594M: British publishing company Future (~$2.3B market cap) acquires price comparison website GoCompare for £594M; represents a 23.6% premium on GoCo’s Nov 24 closing price; GoCo shareholders will hold a ~19% stake in the combined firm; UK-based GoCo lets users compare prices for insurance, broadband packages, and more

$350M: Insurtech company Hippo raises $350M Series F; Hippo, which offers homeowners insurance at a discounted rate with sensor-based home monitoring, expects to cover 95% of the US population within the next year; raised ~$700M to date

$131M: NY-based challenger bank Current raises $131M Series C for a $740M valuation; the company began offering a guardian-managed debit card for teens; last year it launched personal checking accounts and this year started a rewards program; claims 2M members; revenue is up 500% YoY; raised $182M to date

$50M: Square to acquire Credit Karma’s tax-filing service for $50M, fold the business into the Cash App unit; the deal will add do-it-yourself tax filing to Cash App’s services, which include money transfers, payments, as well as stock and Bitcoin trading; the Justice Department required the sale of Credit Karma Tax as a condition for Intuit’s $7.1B acquisition of Credit Karma, as Intuit operates Credit Karma Tax competitor TurboTax

$50M: Norwegian edtech firm Kahoot acquires language-learning app Drops for up to $50M; Kahoot is paying $31M upfront, plus another $19M based on performance; Estonia-based Drops helps users learn new languages by showing them visual items and associated words; Drops claims 25M users

10k: IBM plans to cut ~10k jobs across Europe; the layoffs will impact ~20% of the company’s regional workforce; most of the job losses will be in the UK in Germany, though there will also be cuts in Poland, Slovakia, Italy, and Belgium; IBM has already briefed local labor unions; the layoffs will affect workers in its legacy services unit, which IBM is set to spin out

210: The Indian government blacklists several Alibaba-owned apps, including Aliexpress and Taobao Live; represents the country’s latest action against China-based apps; India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology claims the bans are integral to the security of the nation. India has banned 43 apps in its latest round of action; the country has now blocked over 210 apps with ties to China

Salesforce ($231B market cap) in talks to acquire Slack ($20.9B market cap); the talks are reportedly advanced and the companies could announce a deal soon; Salesforce will report its quarterly earnings on Tuesday

Twitter starts displaying a notification when users attempt to like a labeled tweet; Twitter is applying such prompts to election-related tweets that dispute results, COVID-19 misinformation, and more; the company already shows similar info when users try to retweet such posts; Twitter says the notices have been effective in reducing misleading Quote Tweets by 29%

Twitter to launch a new verification system early next year with new guidelines; the company has published a draft policy and seeks feedback; under the proposed rules, different types of eligible accounts would see different requirements, such as a media outlet profile for a public figure; the company will also allow non-verified users to specify account types, add labels, more

Amazon is rolling out fitness-tracking features to Echo Buds; Buds can monitor steps, speed, distance, workout duration, estimated calories burned, more; stats accessible in the Workouts section of the Alexa app; users can begin, pause, and end workouts with voice commands

Google begins testing a crowdsource tasks app in India; Task Mate, which is currently available as a limited beta, lets users complete simple tasks for cash rewards; includes checking specific details at a nearby store, transcribing sentences, and recording a phrase

Google Assistant adds the ability to turn on smart lights and other connected devices at specific times; lets users set schedules for device actions or make requests such as “Start smart vacuum in five minutes”

iOS 15 will not support the original iPhone SE or the iPhone 6S lineup; the first-generation iPhone SE launched in March 2016, and the iPhone 6S in Sept 2015; iOS 15 is expected next year

Apple extends deadline for apps offering events and classes to use Apple’s in-app payments system; previously, the company set a December deadline; developers now have until June 30; Apple cited the pandemic and the widespread transition to online events and learning when announcing the decision

Snapchat launches Spotlight: a TikTok-like scrollable feed of short, vertical videos; Snap has committed to disburse $1M-plus every day to top Spotlight creators through the end of the year; Spotlight takes into account engagement and more for algorithmic feed personalization

Financial ecosystem thinking, by Joris Lochy — “Next to the international super-apps, there is room for 1-2 local super-apps (per region). Financial services companies are well-positioned to take this spot”. A must-read if you’re in Fintech

How Uber makes money now, by CB Insights. Great deep-dive into the quintessential two-sided marketplace, and its options to profitability after a rough year

Integrated Experience Feedback — Building experiences instead of features, by Tim McCollum. A powerful framework for insights with a bold statement: Enable all employees to fully internalize our customers’ day-to-day experiences, so they can discover the insights necessary to efficiently deliver end-to-end experiences capable of engendering long-term customer loyalty

Zero to 1: Product fundamentals for Go-To-Market, by Merci Victoria Grace from Lightspeed Venture Partners. ”The hardest thing about going from 0–1 is not building something, it’s getting people to care about your product.Without that, you don’t have a business”

31 pitch deck slide examples: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, by Crunchbase. Even if you are not the next YouTube, you need to be able to clearly and succinctly communicate your vision, and to do that, you need an amazing investor pitch deck and an incredible pitch deck design

How ghost kitchens are driving foodtech growth in LatAm. Co-kitchens, Kitchens-as-a-Service, and “traditional” ghost kitchens are building momentum in Latin America

Predicting consumer demand in an unpredictable world. HBR looks at how Covid-19 as broken forecasts, and what options we have at hand to address the question

“The state of me”. Lenny Rachitsky proposes a simple weekly template to stay aligned with your manager and get support when needed

[Podcast] Status games with Eugene Wei (Product Lead at Amazon, Hulu, Erly, Flipboard, Oculus) and James Currier. Why do some networks succeed and others fail? One consistent pattern of successful networks is that they have scarcity early on so that people can signal status, and then over time the network moves toward providing more utility.

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 @ and @ Just Eat.