el producto #221 🚀

Product at Airbnb, LinkedIn Clubhouse-like features, Glovo & Substack funding, PM templates, Deliveroo & Coursera IPOs, Paypal crypo checkout, Uber AR & more

Welcome to a new edition of el producto!


🎰 The week in figures

$400B: TikTok-owner ByteDance is valued at more than $400B on the secondary market; ByteDance is exploring public listings for some of its units

$32B: Consumers spent $32B on apps from the App Store and Google Play during Q1 2021, up 40% YoY; the figure is a new quarterly record; iOS represented $21B, Android represented $11B. US iPhone owners spent an average of $138 on apps last year, up 38% YoY; globally, iOS and Android users collectively spent a total of $111B on apps in 2020; estimates indicate around $143B including third-party app stores in China

$5.9B: Edtech platform Coursera has closed 36% up on its NYSE debut; Coursera opened at $33 per share, closing at $45 apiece; it has a market cap of $5.9B

$500M: Didi Chuxing’s self-driving unit to raise as much as $500M on a $6B valuation; the division will use the money to invest in the production of autonomous vehicles, AI chips, and more; Didi is reportedly planning to launch an IPO later this year

€450M: Spain-based on-demand delivery company Glovo raises €450M Series F; the company offers hyperlocal restaurant and grocery store deliveries in multiple markets; has raised ~$1.1B to date

$400M: Squarespace acquires restaurant services firm Tock for more than $400M cash and stock; Tock offers cloud-based booking software and more; raised $27.5M to date

$305M: Blockchain tech company Dapper Labs, which created digital collectibles platform NBA Top Shot, raises $305M Series B at a reported $2.6B valuation from Michael Jordan, Will Smith, others; NBA Top Shot enables fans to purchase NFTs of game highlight videos, etc; raised $358M to date

$300: HighRadius, which uses AI to automate receivables and treasury systems, raises $300M Series C at a $3.1B valuation; the firm is considering going public as soon as next year and would do so via traditional IPO; raised $475M to date

$250M: Fitness tech firm Tonal raises $250M Series E on a $1.6B valuation; Tonal offers a connected home workout device focused on resistance training; raised $450M to date

$250M: Next Insurance, which serves entrepreneurs and SMBs, raises $250M Series D at a $4B valuation, up from a $2B valuation for a round in September; offers general liability, workers compensation, commercial automotive, and other insurance products; raised $631M to date

$150M: Uruguayan payments startup dLocal has raised $150M at a $5B valuation. DLocal raised $200M at a $1.2B valuation just seven months ago, giving the startup over 400% growth in terms of valuation over the last year

$120M: Netherlands-based online fashion retailer Otrium raises $120M Series C; comes as Otrium expands to the US; has raised ~$158M to date

$100M: Las Vegas-based fintech firm Sightline Payments raises $100M led by Cannae Holdings with participation from Genting Group and others; Sightline offers a cashless payments system aimed at casinos and other hospitality businesses

$100M: Cameo, a platform enabling celebrities to sell custom video clips to fans, raises $100M Series C for a $1B-plus post-valuation; claims 40k personalities on the platform, raised $165M to date

$100M: MessageBird, which enables enterprises to communicate with customers through various channels, acquires teleconferencing tech company 24sessions and data-management firm Hull for a total of $100M-plus; in December, MessageBird acquired Pusher, which provides APIs for generating real-time web experiences; MessageBird raised $200M in October and $300M to date

$100M: Thrasio, which acquires Amazon Marketplace businesses, raises $100M Series C (extension), bringing the round total to $1.1B; the firm focuses on sellers that use Fulfillment by Amazon and grows businesses through listing optimizations, supply chain improvements, growth marketing, more; has acquired and consolidated 100-plus brands representing 15k products; raised $1.7B to date

$100M: Italy-based grocery delivery service Everli (formerly Supermercato24) raises $100M Series C; Everli offers an online grocery service across several European nations including Italy, France, and Poland; has raised ~$133M to date

$65M: Email newsletter platform Substack is raising $65M on a ~$650M valuation; the round is being led by Andreessen Horowitz; Substack has raised $17.4M to date

$65M: Indonesia-based fintech firm Ajaib (YC S18) raises $65M; Ajaib operates an online stock brokerage service; has raised more than $90M to date

$40M: Cleo, a parental support app that companies can offer to workers, raises $40M Series C; the app features tools for family planning, information resources for raising children, more; raised $81M to date

65%: Zero-click Google searches were 65% of the total in 2020; up from 50% in June 2019. Zero-click searches may mean that users’ queries are resolved right on the results page. By displaying ads or its own products, Google can extract value from zero-click searches, while other sites might not

26%: Deliveroo closed down 26% in London Stock Exchange debut; the firm priced shares at £3.90, the bottom of its range, and the stock dropped as much as 30 % within 20 minutes of open; the company raised $1B-plus


📰 What’s going on

Twitter introduces a feature to let users add stickers and GIFs to Fleets; rolling out now to iOS and Android users

Twitter will soon let users access its Spaces audio feature via a desktop browser; Clubhouse-like Spaces is currently available through Twitter’s Android and iOS apps

LinkedIn is developing a Clubhouse-like feature; the service will connect to a user’s professional network; comes as the company lets users set their profiles to Creator mode, allowing others to follow their Stories, live videos, and more

PayPal launches Checkout with Crypto feature in the US; users can draw from their Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash holdings to make payments (converted into local fiat currency) to merchants around the world; the company launched the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency in November

Uber starts letting customers in parts of London request a ride in an EV; dubbed Uber Green, the service is available to riders starting their journeys in Zone 1 (central London); Uber is cutting its service fees by 15% for eligible drivers 

Uber might add AR walking directions to its iOS app soon. Mentions of AR were discovered in the Uber iOS app code

Coinbase schedules its direct listing for April 14, will reveal Q1 financial results and full-year outlook on April 6; a recent secondary share sale valued the firm at $100B; the company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol COIN

Microsoft discontinues the Cortana mobile app for iOS and Android, ends support for third-party skills; the company launched the digital assistant app in November 2018 but never saw strong adoption; Microsoft announced it will develop a transformational assistant for Microsoft 365 apps

Microsoft schedules its remote Build conference for May 25th–27th; the company has not disclosed details regarding content

Apple is rejecting apps and app updates that contain code that could be used to track user habits; includes apps that feature the Adjust SDK and the MMP SDK; Apple is enforcing its rules ahead of the launch of iOS 14.5, which features new privacy rules 

Apple introduces two new voices for Siri in English in the latest iOS 14.5 beta; the digital assistant will also no longer default to “female voice”

Apple adds a battery recalibration tool to the beta; promises to make tweaks to help a device battery operate at its full capacity; once initiated, the recalibration will occur during the recharge process and can may several weeks to fully complete

Apple is developing a new remote for the next iteration of its Apple TV; the report speculates significant changes noting broad dislike for the current design

Apple plans to announce a mixed reality headset within the next months; the company wants to unveil the device at an in-person event, not a virtual one;

Apple announced this week that this year's virtual Worldwide Developers Conference would take place June 7-11; many expect the company to unveil iOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and more

Instagram introduces Remix for its Reels product, which is similar to TikTok’s Duets; the feature lets users record a response to another user’s Reels video; rolling out now

Facebook introduces a feature to let users view News Feed posts in chronological order; available for Android with plans for iOS in the coming weeks; Facebook also plans to provide users with information on why they see certain posts 

Google's new Play Store policy prohibits most developers from seeing what other apps a user has installed on a given device, effective May 5; Google had planned to implement the change sooner, but was delayed by the pandemic; only applies to apps running on Android 11 and later

Google’s Live View—a mobile AR feature for Google Maps—will now offer indoor navigation; the indoor AR overlays will provide directions inside places like malls, airports and train stations. Right now, it only works in a handful of locations around the world

Amazon expects its temporarily remote employees will return to offices beginning early this summer, and most will return by early fall; ~10% of the firm's corporate workforce is currently working in offices; in a memo to employees, the company indicated it would continue to foster an office-centric culture, saying it better supports collaboration and more

Visa is pilot-testing settlements using the dollar-linked cryptocurrency USD Coin; the firm is working with Crypto.com on the project and plans to expand the option to more partners this year; the Crypto.com Visa card usually requires funding for a purchase be converted to fiat money before settlement but the project eliminates that step

Spotify acquires Betty Labs, creator of the sport-focused social audio platform Locker Room; terms undisclosed; Spotify said it would expand Locker Room categories, enabling creators to host live music, debates, more; Betty Labs previously raised $9.3M

Snap plans a new developer version of Spectacles supporting AR effects; the company reportedly will adjust its plans for a broader launch based on the experiences developers create; Snap reportedly has also revived efforts to develop a UAV

Spatial, a popular VR/AR app for work, launched several new features. The latest update lets users import real-life rooms as VR meeting rooms via LiDAR scans, adds live speech-to-text translation and removes the need for guests to make accounts

Huawei pulls apps for Nike and Adidas from its Chinese app store amid a broader backlash against overseas brands; multiple China-based tech companies have taken action against firms such as H&M, Burberry, and more following criticism of forced cotton labor in Xinjiang province


📚 Good reads

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, discusses the platform’s News Feed algorithm and possible adjustments to how it could operate going forward; the company is exploring changes to how it ranks posts relating to news, health, politics, and more; Clegg also discusses Favorites, a new section of the News Feed that algorithmically sorts content from friends and Pages that Facebook thinks are most relevant to a user

Google’s e-commerce plans. The New York Times profiles Google’s efforts to build an effective online marketplace for third-party sellers; retailers can list their products free of charge on Google, but research firm Marketplace Pulse estimates the service generates only ~$1B in sales each year; compares with Amazon, which generated $295B in third-party transactions last year

A16Z just released its yearly Marketplace 100 report. Includes data on total funding to the Marketplace 100 companies, stage of funding, geography, top investors in these companies, most well-funded marketplace companies, and more. You can also listen to their podcast conversation

Pendo has published its yearly State of Product Leadership in Europe report; points that the role of the PM is evolving in scope

Product School has published a collection of useful Product Management Templates. Roadmaps, PRDs, GTM plans, Customer Journey Maps, Personas, more

How do responsibilities change as you progress from Product Manager to Senior PM to Principal PM, etc? Dacheng Zhao, Group PM at LinkedIn, thinks that reality is quite different from what's in job descriptions

The Rocket Ship Startup list 2021. Jeff Bussgang has curated a list of exciting, growing, hiring startups that are worthy of consideration as places to start or continue a career. Covers Europe, US, China, India, Israel and South America

The Product Strategy Stack (with Slack, Discord and Clubhouse examples). We can't think about "strategy" as some amorphous, all-encompassing concept. Instead, companies should think about the relationship between mission, strategy, roadmap, and goals as a stack of distinct concepts

Building Products at Airbnb. Ken Norton recently talked to Airbnb PMs and summarized some key insights about their Product and company culture, including their relentless focus on experiences


📹 To listen and watch

Bets, Boards, Missions and North Stars. In this ProductTank Barcelona talk, John Cutler showcases some simple hacks he’s used time and time again as an advisor to help nudge organizations forward and get them thinking in new ways

Building your growth stack. Great discussion (and transcript) on growth strategies with former Head of Growth at Notion


Have a great weekend.

Angel


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