el producto #229 🚀

AI at Pinterest, Netflix gaming, Airbnb updates, Twitter $2.99 subscription, Product judgement, Square savings accounts, The future of marketplaces, & more

🎰 The week in figures

$8.45B: Amazon acquires MGM in an $8.45B deal that reportedly includes 4k movies and 17k hours of TV programming; Amazon's media business spends billions on content each year; of the 200M people around the world subscribed to Amazon Prime, 175M streamed Prime Video last year

$4B: Payments tech firm Circle is considering going public via SPAC and targets a $4B valuation; the company recently closed a $440M round

$2.2B: Acorns, a financial app that lets consumers round up purchases for automated investing, to go public via SPAC deal valuing the firm at $2.2B; claims 4M subscribers and $4.74B in assets under management; users pay $1, $3, or $5 per month, with tiers offering bank accounts, retirement plans, more

$1.1B: Twilio competitor Sinch issues new shares to raise $1.1B; the publicly traded firm provides APIs for customer engagement via SMS, Voice, Video, and more; Sinch said the funding would facilitate M&A

$540M: Noom, a behavior-focused weight loss app, raises $540M for a reported $3.7B post-valuation; the company is looking to work with employers and potentially health insurers, and to expand its offering to manage stress, sleep, diabetes, and hypertension; Noom saw $400M in sales last year, up 100% YoY

$500M: Contentsquare, the creator of a digital experience analytics platform, raises $500M Series E at $2.8B valuation

$300M: QuintoAndar, a Brazilian prop-tech startup, raised a $300M Series E round at a $4B valuation. The company's marketplace platform simplifies residential real estate rental for landlords and renters and connects home buyers and sellers. The company guarantees rents to the landlords working through its platform. Manages 100,000 rentals and adds another 10,000 each month

$250M: Fintech firm Zeta, which offers cloud-based APIs and SDKs for banks and other institutions, raises $250M Series D at a $1.45B valuation; investors valued the startup at $300M in the second half of 2019

$250M: Flywire jumped 46% in its Wednesday Nasdaq debut after raising $250M at IPO; the payments firm priced at $24 per share, the top of its range; trading opened at $34 per share and closed at $35.10

$125: SpotOn, a provider of payments software, marketing services and other solutions for restaurants and retailers, has raised $125M Series D at a valuation of over $1.87 billion. The San Francisco-based startup employs 1,2k people and has added almost 8k new customers to date in 2021. SpotOn was valued at $560M last year

$60M: Resolve, which offers a buy-now-pay-later solution for B2B sales, raises $60M; the Affirm spinout automates credit-based purchasing and billing and promises better terms than other options in the market; merchants collect full payment at the time of purchase

$50M: Whatnot (YC W20), a collectibles marketplace focused on live-streaming, raises $50M Series B; sellers use streams to promote authenticated items for sale, such as sports cards; the startup began the year with 10 employees and expects to have 100 by year's end

$40M: RevenueCat (YC S18), which helps app developers offer subscriptions, raises $40M Series B for a $300M post-valuation; the startup offers an SDK for implementing and managing subscriptions, and makes relevant data available for analytics, advertising, and other tools; claims 6k apps using the platform and $1B-plus in revenue tracked

13%: Vimeo closed down ~13% in its Nasdaq debut on Tuesday after spinning out of IAC, giving the firm an $8.5B market cap; Vimeo raised $300M at a $5.7B pre-valuation in January


📰 What’s going on

Netflix plans to launch a gaming product, potentially a subscription offering similar to Apple Arcade, as soon as next year; the company was recently looking to hire a gaming executive; Netflix reportedly plans to commission titles from independent studios and to develop games based on licensed IP

Twitter reveals details about its monetization program for audio chats, Ticketed Spaces; Twitter will take 20% of sales after app store fees; the company will initially limit the creation of premium rooms to US hosts (Stripe account required), but participants around the world will be able to join

Twitter lists paid-for ‘Blue’ subscription service ($2.99) on app stores. Appearance in Apple and Android stores signals long-rumoured launch may be imminent

Twitter launches Spaces for the web, with support for desktop and mobile browsers; the company previously launched the audio rooms feature for its apps on iOS and Android; web users can preview a room in a pop-up window before joining, and continue to browse rooms while in an active room

Clubhouse hires former Google engineer Justin Uberti to lead streaming tech; Uberti spent 15 years at Google, creating Duo and the WebRTC standard; he also served as a chief architect at AOL

Airbnb releases several updates, including flexible dates, flexible destinations, faster checkout process, and simpler sign up flow for hosts

Square plans to offer fee-free checking and savings accounts, according to code in the firm's latest update for iOS and iPadOS; the code also indicated checking accounts would integrate with the company's debit card for business; Square's bank, Square Financial Services, began operations in March

Apple expands its affiliate program to include premium podcasts, which the company plans to launch in June (initially expect in May); anyone can sign up to earn 50% of subscription fees when they refer users who retain their subscriptions for at least one month; Apple will not cap affiliate earnings

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says the company will soon announce the next generation of Windows, emphasizing economic opportunity for creators and developers; recent reports indicated the firm was working on significant UI changes and developing a new Windows Store, potentially allowing third-party commerce platforms

The Boring Company begins transporting passengers via its tunnels under the Las Vegas Convention Center; riders participating in the test entered via the three ground-level stations, boarding Tesla vehicles as they became available; the company said the system would ultimately reduce a 45-minute walk to a two-minute ride


📚 Good reads

Why startups fail? by HBR Most start-ups don’t succeed: more than two-thirds of them never deliver a positive return to investors. But why do so many end disappointingly?

Product judgement - a tool to develop. Paul Adams, SVP of Product at Intercom explains why product judgement is important and how to build it

The Target Customer Scenario Canvas, a tool to assesses different potential points of attack for getting the first foot out of the chasm and on the mainstream market, by Sebastian Straube (PM coach - Accenture)

Exploring the use of AI at Pinterest. How Pinterest’s use of neural networks helps the site to find images—and ads—that will catch the consumer’s eye

The future of marketplaces. In the last ~15 months there’s been a tech-driven bull market. Marketplaces have benefitted strongly; especially in areas like Food, Digital Health, and eCommerce. There are now 30 known marketplaces worth $20B+, with the world’s top marketplaces (public and private unicorns) worth a combined $5T. This report looks at which models are winning, where global growth is happening, and what trends are coming down the road

Caught in the Study Web . The Study Web is a constellation of digital spaces and online communities largely built by students for students


Have a great weekend.

Angel


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