el producto #234 🚀

Didi IPO, Robinhood and Duolingo upcoming IPOs, Amazon AR, Facebook launches Bulletin, Telegram group video calls, Rapid delivery startups boom, Fighting Availability Bias & more

🎰 The week in figures

$4.4B: Didi closed up 1% in its Wednesday NYSE debut; the firm priced the offering at $14 per share; trading opened 19% higher at $16.65 per share and closed at $14.14, leaving the company with a $68B market cap; Didi raised $4.4B with the offering

$1.5B: Articulate, which helps corporate clients develop online training courses, raises $1.5B Series A at a $3.5B post-valuation; the firm claims 106k companies as clients, including Amazon and Oracle; the company also offers learning analytics and reporting

$1.4B: Online payments firm Kakao seeks to raise up to $1.4B with an August 12 IPO in Seoul; the top end of the initial price range would leave the firm with an $11B+ market cap; Kakao is South Korea's largest online payments company with 36M users

$1.2B: Cybersecurity firm SentinelOne closed up 21% in its NYSE debut on Wednesday; the company priced shares at $35 apiece; trading opened at $46 per share and closed at $42.50, leaving SentinelOne with a $10B+ market cap; the company raised $1.2B with the offering

$1B: Cross-border payments platform Payoneer closed down 1.5% with a ~$1B market cap in its Monday Nasdaq debut; the firm merged with Bancorp Founder Betsy Cohen's FTAC Olympus SPAC; Payoneer, which supports 150 currencies, claims 5M users and corporate customers including Amazon and Google

$700M: LegalZoom closed up 35% in its Nasdaq debut on Wednesday; the company set the price at $28 per share; trading opened at $36.75 per share and closed at $37.85; LegalZoom, which offers do-it-yourself legal filings for individuals and businesses, as well as attorney guidance, raised $700M with the offering

$406M: Viva Republica, which operates Seoul-based financial app Toss, raises $406M Series H at a $7.2B post-valuation; the round more than doubled the company's valuation for a $173M Series G in August of last year; Toss enables users to make peer-to-peer payments, trade stocks, check credit scores, more

$250M: Boston-based DataRobot, an AI firm serving enterprises, raises $250M at a $6B valuation; the reported round doubles the company's valuation from December; DataRobot offers a no-code app builder, automated machine learning solutions, more

$220M: Gympass, which enables businesses to offer workers a single membership covering numerous gyms and spas, raises $220M Series E at a $2.2B valuation; the round doubled the firm's valuation from a $300M Series D in June 2019; the Brazilian company claimed 4M customer check-ins in May

$200M: Chicago-based ShipBob, which provides fulfillment services for direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands, raises $200M Series E at a $1B+ valuation; the profitable firm claims ~5k businesses as clients; raised $330.5M to date

$167M: Manilla-based Voyager Innovation, which operates financial services app PayMaya, raises $167M; currently offers a digital wallet, bill pay, prepaid cards, and more; the firm plans to launch a digital bank and other financial services; raised $452M to date

$125M: Visier, a cloud-based HR analytics platform provider, raised $125M at a $1B valuation. Visier's platform allows users to manage a complex workforce strategically, and fulfills analytics and planning needs through data analysis. The company operates a subscription model and serves 8,000 customers, including Adobe, BASF, Bridgestone, Electronic Arts, McKesson, Merck KGaA, and Uber

$100M: Language-learning company Duolingo files for IPO using a $100M placeholder raise target; the Pittsburgh-based firm generated $161.7M in revenue last year, up 129% YoY; Duolingo, which offers 95 courses covering 38 languages, was the top-grossing Education app in both the App Store and Google Play for 2020; the company expects to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “DUOL”

$80M: VRChat, a platform for creating VR content with social features, raises $80M Series D; creators have used the platform to generate 25k+ virtual worlds, and the platform claims 40k concurrent users; raised $95.2M to date

$70M: Ably, a London-based firm that helps developers integrate real-time messaging features, raises $70M Series B; customers use an API to integrate the system, and Ably uses a global data center network to rapidly route messages to users; claims Verizon and Bloomberg as clients, reaches 250M devices per month

$67.5M: Shogun, which helps businesses to build custom storefronts for their shops on Shopify, BigCommerce, and other platforms, raises $67.5M Series C at a $575M valuation; claims 18k brands as customers, including K-Swiss and Fila; raised ~$115M to date

$50M: NY-based ShipHero, which offers fulfillment services and supply chain software for direct-to-consumer businesses, raises $50M for a $225M post-valuation; the firm's SaaS solution offers warehouse management for clients that self-manage inventory; ShipHero's fulfillment solution promises 2-day delivery anywhere in the US

$50M: JoyTunes, which develops music education apps, raises $50M Series D at a $1B valuation; the Tel Aviv-based firm offers the AI-powered apps Simply Piano and Simply Guitar, designed to help beginners learn to play; JoyTunes generated ~100M in revenue last year and plans to launch a US IPO once it achieves profitability

$5.4M: Tim Berners-Lee auctions the source code for the 1989 World Wide Web app as an NFT titled "This Changes Everything" for $5.4M; Sotheby’s said the auction represented one of the priciest NFT sales to date; winning bidder undisclosed

500k: Elon Musk says Starlink will likely have 500k customers within the next year, up from its current ~69k; the satellite broadband firm expects to provide coverage around the globe by August; Starlink currently has ~1.7k satellites in orbit and has gone live in 12 countries

564: Crunchbase News details Andreessen Horowitz's investments over the past 12 years, notes the firm has made nearly 1k investments in 564 companies; the firm has seen 160 exits, 20 through public debuts; a16z has seen 8 acquisitions over $1B, and 17 public debuts at a $1B-plus valuation; the firm has led or co-led rounds cumulatively worth $3.2B this year alone, and Coinbase's April direct listing represented a16z's largest exit to date

46%: Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Bytedance (TikTok’s owner), and Amazon now control 46% of the global ad market. The combined companies generated $296B in ad revenue in 2020. Google and Facebook alone accounted for 34% of the market

📰 What’s going on

Robinhood files for IPO, reveals Q1 revenue more than quadrupled YoY to $522M; the company also reported a loss of $1.4B related to emergency fundraising; the firm ended the quarter with 18M funded accounts, more than doubling the figure from the year-earlier period; Robinhood expects to list on Nasdaq under the ticker HOOD and to reserve up to 35% of the float for its retail customers

Alphabet's Wing launches its OpenSky app for iOS and Android in the US; OpenSky enables drone operators to see where it's legal for them to fly, request rapid authorization to fly, plan flights, more; Wing worked with the FAA to develop the US app

Shopify eliminates App Store and Theme Store commissions for developers earning less than $1M per year; Shopify counts App Store and Theme Store revenues separately, and the $1M threshold applies independently to each store; under the new policy, Shopify will take 15% from revenues over $1M

Facebook launches newsletter platform Bulletin; users can discover free and premium newsletters and subscribe with Facebook Pay; subscription does not require a Facebook account; creators set their pricing and Facebook is not taking a cut of revenue at launch

Twitter is considering new features enabling users to limit tweets to groups of friends and the ability to tweet using personas, separating personal tweets from professional tweets, etc; the Trusted Friends feature could allow users to limit tweets to subgroups of friends; for example, a user traveling to New York City could notify friends in the area of their visit

Apple is considering iPads with larger screens; the company reportedly wouldn't launch such a product for at least a couple of years; separately, the company reportedly generated $12B in App Store revenue during the first half of this year, up 18% YoY

Amazon is exploring the development of AR glasses and has mapped out long-term plans; also, the company reportedly has held internal discussions about developing an e-reader with a foldable display

Telegram update adds group video calls, animated backgrounds, more; the encrypted messaging app claimed 500M users in January, and group video calling has been a top-requested feature; the company is initially limiting video calls to 30 participants

Venmo will allow personal accounts to sell goods and services beginning July 20; the PayPal-owned company previously limited sales to business accounts; Venmo will take the same transaction fee it does from business users: 1.9% plus $0.10

TikTok's China-based parent, ByteDance, remains closely involved with the Los Angeles-based app team's product development, decision-making, and more, according to five former TikTok employees; ByteDance reportedly has access to US users' data, and in at least one instance, sources said, an American employee had to contact ByteDance in China to get US user data

📚 Good reads

Surging demand creates 'Wild West' of rapid grocery delivery startups. Since the beginning of the year, a host of rapid grocery delivery companies have secured mega-rounds of $100M+. Istanbul-based Getir saw its valuation jump from $850M to $7.5B. Berlin's Gorillas achieved unicorn status in March with a $290 million Series B. Philadelphia-based Gopuff reached an $8.9B valuation

The importance of UX research in the design process: What can make or break a design for users. UX and user research is a critical component of the design process and should not be overlooked. It is essential to understand your user before beginning any project to ensure that you are designing with them in mind

Foursquare's business had always depended on people going places, but then the pandemic hit. In a recent interview, CEO Gary Little explains how the virus made the company's tech even more essential

Who is Andy Jassy? Andy Jassy is about to take over an e-commerce colossus that employs 1.3 million people. His first challenge is an antitrust campaign that threatens the empire he will oversee

The Availability Bias: how to overcome a common cognitive distortion. “People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory—and this is largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media.”

The real value of MVPs and how to use them effectively. A good reflection by Jules Lipman, touching recent debates on the value of MVPs (and its cousins MLPs and MAPs)

Have a great weekend.


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