el producto #218 🚀

Mental Models and Product, Amazing Women in Product, Amazon's home robot, Coinbase prepares IPO, Intro to API Products, UX resources & more

🎰 The week in figures

$90B: Coinbase’s shares were privately traded last week for $350 apiece, giving the company a valuation of ~$90B; the stock was sold on the Nasdaq Private Market; represents the final trading before Coinbase’s IPO, set for later this month

$85B: Coupang closes first day of NYSE trading at $49.25 per share with an ~$85B market cap; the company priced shares at $35 after increasing the range to $32-$34 a share; Coupang raised $4.6B with the offering; the South Korean e-commerce firm operates 100 fulfillment and logistics centers and employs 15k drivers

$450M: Epidemic Sound, a marketplace for music and sound effects, raises $450M at a $1.4B valuation; enables musicians and sound designers to monetize their work, and web content creators (live-streamers, podcasters, etc) to find songs and sounds to use in their content; creators can purchase tracks individually or pay for an all-inclusive subscription; raised ~$510M to date

$300M: Cybersecurity firm Snyk closes a $300M round on a post-money $4.7B valuation; the arrangement included $175M in new funding as well as secondary transactions; the company offers tools that let developers integrate security features into their workflows; has raised $470M to date

£272M: UK-based challenger bank Starling raises £272M Series D on a post-money valuation of $1.9B; Starling offers app-based banking services; claims more than 2M customers; has raised ~$879M to date

$200M: Bitcoin-centric financial services company NYDIG raises $200M; provides crypto-custody security services and gives insurers exposure to bitcoin; raised $305M to date

$165M: Dropbox ($10.2B market cap) to acquire document sharing company DocSend for $165M; Dropbox CEO Drew Houston said the deal would expand his company's toolset for remote work; DocSend hosts files and creates secure links for sharing without attachments; analytics reveal current readers, past readers, how long readers spent on each page, more; also supports password protection, email verification, and NDAs; previously raised $15.3M

$150M: UK-based insurtech firm Zego raises $150M Series C on a $1.1B post-money valuation; Zego offers vehicle insurance policies; has raised ~$200M to date

$130M: Discord almost tripled revenue to $130M last year through $10-per-month (or $99-per-year) Nitro subscriptions; Jason Citron CEO says the service will not display ads; Discord has doubled its monthly active user base to 140M since the start of the pandemic, but remains unprofitable; investors valued the firm at $7B in December; raised $480M to date

$100M: Ride-hailing firm Via acquires mapping company Remix (YC W15) for $100M cash and stock; Remix, which offers map tools to city governments, will remain a standalone brand; raised $27M to date

100M: Disney+ claims 100M paying subscribers globally, 16 months after launch; Disney CEO Bob Chapek revealed the milestone at the annual shareholders meeting; he also said the company hopes to reopen its CA theme parks, with limited attendance, next month; Disney closed the parks one year ago

$65M: Diversity-focused hiring platform SeekOut raises $65M Series B at a ~$500M valuation; employers can filter candidates according to diversity goals; the software uses AI to ensure a good fit between the worker and the company; cash-flow positive for two years; raised $73M to date

$60M: Vendr (YC S19), a platform for buying and managing SaaS subscriptions, raises $60M Series A; the platform analyzes a new customer's existing subscriptions to determine more economical options, etc; users can purchase and automatically renew subscriptions, more; raised $66M to date

$50M: FalconX, which operates a cryptocurrency trading platform for institutional investors, raises $50M; provides a full-service trade desk and API; raised $67M to date

$40M: Ad-free and privacy-focused search engine Neeva raises $40M Series B; the startup, which is accepting wait list signups, will charge users $5 to $10 per month; Co-Founder Sridhar Ramaswamy previously led Google's Ads and Commerce; Co-Founder Vivek Raghunathan helped Google to monetize YouTube and more; raised ~$78M to date

10k: Facebook’s Reality Labs (FRL), the unit working on AR and VR, has almost 10k staff; FRL accounts for almost a fifth of Facebook’s total workforce; Facebook recently outlined its AR plans over the next 10 years; separately, Mark Zuckerberg has discussed a future where people will supplant travel with VR experiences

📰 What’s going on

Amazon is in late-stage development on a home robot; the camera-equipped device, codenamed Vesta, will be able to roam automatically, respond to voice commands, and interact with other smart home products; Vesta has been in development for four years; Amazon currently has more than 800 people working on it

Google announces new Chrome OS features, including Phone Hub, the AirDrop-like Nearby Share, a new Screen Capture tool, more; Phone Hub gives the user access to an Android device's location, the ability to turn on its hotspot, and the ability to respond to phone texts via Chromebook; Wi-Fi Sync uses the Wi-Fi credentials saved on another Chrome OS or Android device signed in to the same Google account

Netflix is testing prompts that tell users they will need their own account if they do not reside with the main account-holder; the notice advises users they must verify access to the main account, as well as guiding them to a 30-day trial; Netflix’s terms of service dictate that all users linked to an account must live in the same household

Facebook rolls out a new version of Instagram Lite for Android; the 2MB download is now available in 170 countries and includes many features from the main app such as Stories, IGTV, and Explore; users can view Reels, but they cannot create them; it also doesn’t feature Shopping or support dark mode

WhatsApp is working on encrypted conversation backups; screenshots indicate users will be able to add a password to protect chat threads that have been saved to iCloud or Google Drive; unknown if or when the feature will launch

Twitter hopes to make Spaces fully available to all users next month; currently, iOS and Android users can access existing audio chat rooms but can't host their own

Twitter begins testing a feature that previews images and videos in their correct ratio, rather than cropping them; the company is piloting the new display format in its iOS and Android apps; Twitter is also testing 4K uploads

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple will release a mixed reality headset in 2022; a “helmet-type” AR/VR device featuring micro-OLED panels is planned for mid-2025; Kuo also predicts AR glasses and contact lens products between 2030 and 2040

👩🏾‍💻 Good reads

Amazing Women in Product. In celebration of International Women’s Day earlier this week, Mind the Product shared this post recognizing the work of inspiring women within the Product Community. El producto is thankful for the constant brilliance, energy and inspiration by all the women part of our community

30 UX Design resources you should know about, curated by the folks at Designlab

Scaling remote collaboration for Product teams. InVision has created an extensive report covering: 1) the most common collaboration challenges for remote teams, 2) how to optimize each stage of the product development workflow, 3) examples from top teams on scaling remote, cross-functional partnerships

How to use Miro for remote Product development. Gina Fielding walks us through some examples of how Miro (from story mapping to running workshops) helps BaseKit to succeed in remote collaboration

Mental Models and Product: First principles thinking, by Isabel Gan

An introductory guide to creating API products, by James Samuel

Economics of software, by Nihar Sawant

Have a great weekend.


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