el producto #220 🚀

No-code / Low-code tools, Microsoft to buy Discord, Slack audio, Comp research frameworks, Stripe and Figma lessons, Deliveroo IPO, Telegram funding, & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto!


🎰 The week in figures

$10B: Microsoft is in advanced talks to acquire Discord for more than $10B; the companies could announce a deal as soon as next month; if a sale is agreed, it will likely be Microsoft’s largest since it purchased LinkedIn for $26.6B in 2016

£8.8B: Deliveroo anticipates a valuation of up to £8.8B in its upcoming IPO; the company is offering a guide price of £3.90 (~$5.40) to £4.60 (~$6.40) per share; it's expected the London listing will be the UK's largest in seven years

$4B: Coursera targets a $4B+ valuation for IPO; the company set a range of $30-$33 per share; would raise ~$519M at the top of the range; expects to trade on the NYSE under the symbol COUR; Coursera claims 3.7k colleges and universities as clients; raised $443M to date

$3.1B: Baidu raises ~$3.1B as it debuts on the Hong Kong stock exchange; the company’s shares closed at ~$32.50, the same price at which they opened

$1.15B: Philadelphia-based goPuff, which offers essential everyday products for delivery, raises $1.15B at an $8.9B valuation; currently live in 650+ US cities; offers groceries, cleaning supplies, etc, and 30-minute delivery for a flat fee of $1.95; raised ~$2.4B to date

£1.1B: Trustpilot surges in London IPO. The Danish firm climbed as much as 16% from the offer price of £2.65 Tuesday, which gave the company a valuation of £1.1B. The IPO raised about £473M

$1B: Telegram raises $1B+ via bond sales; the encrypted messaging platform now claims 500M MAUs; the funding will facilitate a new office in Abu Dhabi

$800M: JD.com to take majority stake in on-demand delivery company Dada with $800M investment; JD will own 51%; in 2016, JD merged its online-to-offline unit with Dada to create Dada-JD Daojia, an online grocery firm

$650M: India-based food delivery firm Zomato is aiming to raise as much as $650M via an IPO; the company is set to file a draft prospectus by the end of next month with a view to going public before the start of October

$500M: ServiceTitan, which helps home service professionals generate leads and close sales, raises $500M Series F at an $8.3B valuation; claims 7.5k customers and $250M-plus in annual recurring revenue

$475M: Dataminr, which uses AI to analyze publicly available data and identify significant events, raises $475M for a $4.1B post-valuation; detects events impacting markets, first responders, etc; serves businesses, the public sector, newsrooms, more; raised $1B-plus to date

$300M: UK-based crypto exchange Blockchain.com raises $300M on a $5.2B post-money valuation; comes a month after the firm secured $120M on a $3B valuation; Blockchain claims 31M users operating ~70M digital wallets; has raised $1.5B to date

$290M: Grocery delivery company Gorillas raises $290M Series B at a $1B-plus valuation; offers ~2k essential items, delivers for ~$2; operates under the dark store model, operating 40 fulfillment centers and employing drivers; the Berlin-based firm is live in 12 cities; founded early last year, raised $335M to date

$200M: Identity verification firm Feedzai raises $200M Series D on a ~$1B post-money valuation; Feedzai offers transaction authentication tools to financial institutions; has raised $182M to date

$100M: Australia-based fintech firm Airwallex raises $100M Series D (extension) on a $2.6B valuation; the company offers cross-border payments for enterprise customers; has raised $500M to date

$100M: Blockchain analysis company Chainalysis raises $100M at a $2B valuation; serves governments, financial institutions, and others with various data and tools to analyze consumer spending, detect cryptocurrency money laundering, more

$100M: Accounting services startup Pilot raises $100M Series C at a $1.2B valuation; offers bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, and other back-office services via subscription; Co-Founder and CEO Waseem Daher previously sold Zulip to Dropbox and Ksplice to Oracle

$79.1M: Peloton has acquired three tech firms over recent months; it purchased fitness equipment businesses Otari and Atlas Wearables last year and voice assistant startup Aiqudo in Feb 2021; Peloton has disclosed it spent a $78.1M combined for the three companies

$45M: Linktree, which gives users a landing page linking to their various online accounts, raises $45M Series B; gives users a single page for sharing their online portfolios, social media accounts, etc; claims 12M users, 4M of which signed up in the last three months

$41M: Ease, which provides software for managing HR and employee benefits, raises $41M Series C; serves 2k insurance agencies and 75k businesses representing 2.5M employees; providers pay for inclusion, so the service is free for client businesses

$41M: India-based social platform Public App (aka Inshorts) raises $41M; Public App, which focuses on hyperlocal content, claims more than 50M users; has raised $105M to date

$2.9M: Twitter's first tweet, authored by Jack Dorsey, draws $2.9M in NFT auction; Dorsey placed the non-fungible token up for bids on March 5 and closed the auction on March 21, 15 years after he published the tweet; Sina Estavi, the CEO of a blockchain tech company, was the winner


📰 What’s going on

Google is testing an upgraded feature for Assistant called Memory; combines the functions of a to-do list, a note app, a collection board, more; supports various types of content (articles, videos, etc) and links them with relevant information, such as screenshots and URLs; Assistant already has a Memory feature, but the feature in testing is significantly expanded

Apple is considering releasing a rugged version of the Apple Watch; Apple would likely target the device at athletes and those who often find themselves in extreme environments; Apple has discussed the possibility of launching such a product later this year or in 2022; Apple explored the possibility of a more robust Apple Watch shortly after the first version came to market

Facebook announces F8 Refresh, a single-day virtual developer conference scheduled for June 2; the company canceled the annual F8 conference last year due to the pandemic

Instagram head Adam Mosseri says the platform will soon introduce drafts for Stories; Instagram currently lets users create drafts for the regular feed, but they must share posts for Stories at the point of creation; Mosseri has not disclosed when the feature will launch

Twitter acqui-hires API integration firm Reshuffle; co-founders Amir Shevat and Avner Braverman and the rest of the Reshuffle team are moving over to Twitter where they will work on its API offerings. Existing product will be discontinued

Twitter is considering implementing Facebook-style emoji reactions; the platform is surveying users, asking if they would be interested in responding to tweets with a laughing face, crying face, a thumbs down, etc

Zoom launches an SDK; lets developers add certain Zoom features to their apps and websites; the company proposes a variety of use cases including building a desktop gaming app with a Zoom-based chat function, an interactive shopping service, and more

Slack launches Connect, an opt-in direct message feature for internal and external communications; admins can control internal access, specify which external organizations can send DMs to employees, monitor external connections, more

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield says the company will soon introduce new audio features; speaking on Clubhouse, Butterfield says Slack is testing a feature that lets users send each other audio clips; it will soon also launch its own Clubhouse-like conversations tool, allowing users to drop in on live chats; additionally, Slack is also planning a Stories feature

It’s now possible for Tesla customers in the US to pay for a vehicle using bitcoin; Musk says the option will expand to other markets later this year; writing on Twitter, Musk notes any bitcoin Tesla receives will not be converted to a traditional fiat currency; Tesla disclosed the purchase of $1.5B worth of bitcoin last month

Robinhood confidentially files to go public; unknown if it plans a direct listing or traditional IPO; Robinhood has raised ~$3.4B this year, primarily due to increased capital requirements during the retail investor rush on "meme stocks," like GameStop; Robinhood recently appointed former Google VP Aparna Chennapragada as its first CPO

Robinhood is working on a feature to let users participate in IPOs; the company plans to introduce the option before its own public listing, thereby allowing users to partake alongside institutional investors

Tencent, owner of superapp WeChat, says it is committed to being an operator of open platforms; speaking with investors, Tencent president Martin Lau says the company’s relationships with other tech firms should be “mutually constructive”; follows reports Alibaba’s Taobao Deals will operate on WeChat

Alibaba launches its first personal cloud service in China; Alibaba Cloud Drive, available as a public beta, offers up to 2TB storage; works with iOS and Android; Baidu’s Wangpang consumer cloud business has ~40M MAUs

Xiaomi plans to launch an EV brand; the company will produce all-electric vehicles at a Chinese plant owned by car company Great Wall Motor; Xiaomi’s EVs will be aimed at mass-market consumers

VCs are looking to back Chinese startups developing apps like Clubhouse, which is banned in the country; Alibaba and Tencent are testing audio-only chat; Xiaomi is exploring the option; Dizhua, an audio chat app launched in 2019, now claims 10k daily active users and has ~ten funds interested in participating in a $7.7M pre-Series A round


📚 Good reads

Decoding the no-code / low-code startup universe and its players. Pietro Invernizzi has curated an impressive selection and high level analysis of tools for programming that do not necessarily involve writing code, but instead work with a Graphic User Interface (GUI)

PLL (Product Logical Levels) framework to escape unproductive discussions. Pierre Fournier proposes an NLP(Neuro Linguistic Programming)-inspired approach to facilitate constructive Product discussions

Product competitor research — a framework, tips and tricks. Raul Spilca shares a useful and comprehensive (yet easy) framework for conducting competitor analysis

Valuing equity in startups, by Xavier Amatriain. A useful framework and template to help you think about the monetary opportunity of joining a startup

Early lessons From Stripe, Figma & more by Meka Asonye, investor and partner at First Round with extensive experience scaling successful startups

The power of Micro Interactions, by Prayag Gangadharan. Well-designed Micro Interactions can make a big impact on your user experience. They provide visual feedback of the system status or help users to prevent errors. Additionally, these little details can transform a good product into a great product and a disengaged user into an engaged user


Have a great weekend.

Angel


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