el producto #236 🚀

Revolut funding, New iPad mini, Microsoft remote desktop, Social responsibility in Product, The agency trap, Productivity systems, Monetizing side hustles & more

🎰 The week in figures

$33B: Revolut raises $800M Series E at a $33B valuation led by Tiger Global and SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 

$9B: Cybersecurity companies around the world collectively raised $9B during the first half of the year, $5.2B during Q2; cybersecurity firms raised a total of $7.8B in all of 2020; the largest cybersecurity rounds from the first half of this year include Transmit Security's $543M Series A, Lacework's $525M Series D, and Ledger's $380M Series C

$3.6B: Flipkart raises $3.6B in pre-IPO funding for a $37.6B post-valuation; Flipkart now claims 350M registered users across all of its services

$2.2B: Paytm files for IPO, plans to raise up to $2.2B; the Indian company, which claims ~330M users, operates an e-commerce marketplace, an investment platform, a bill payments service, merchant tools, more

$562M: Zomato secures $562M ahead of its public share sale; anchor investors subscribed at the top of the company's range: $1 per share, implying a valuation of $8.6B; investors last valued the firm at $5.4B in February; Zomato expects to raise $1.3B with the offering

$500M: Microsoft confirms it's acquiring cybersecurity firmRiskIQ; terms undisclosed but Bloomberg previously reported a price of $500M+; RiskIQ's cloud platform helps clients including BMW and Facebook identify and resolve vulnerabilities; previously raised $83M

$300M: Miami-based Unybrands, which acquires Amazon marketplace merchants and direct-to-consumer-brands and scales them, raises $300M Series A; the company is on track to complete 20+ acquisitions this year; Unybrands closed a $25M seed round in February

250M: Elevate Brands, which acquires third-party Amazon merchant businesses and continues to operate them, raises $250M (valuation undisclosed); Elevate currently owns 25 brands and has achieved profitability; Elevate began selling its own private-label brands on Amazon in 2016, then pivoted to wholesaling on Amazon in 2018

$150M: Remote, which offers HR solutions for distributed teams, raises $150M Series B at a $1B+ valuation; the company provides tools for managing onboarding, payroll, benefits, etc; customers include GitLab and Loom; raised $196M to date

$113M: Genvid, which develops a platform for conducting live interactive events on any streaming platform, raises $113M; in the spring, the company launched a show called "Rival Peak" on Facebook, enabling viewers to determine how 12 AI characters competed; the firm has announced its next title, horror show "Project Raven"

$100M: OnBoard, which offers enterprise software for collaboration and managing board meetings, raises $100M; the company serves banks, nonprofits, learning institutions, and more, and has signed on 1k customers over the past 18 months; the IN-based firm employs 139 and plans to hire 50 more by year's end

$100M: Seattle-based Amperity, which offers a customer data platform for enterprises, raises $100M Series D for a $1B+ post-valuation; the company serves clients in hospitality, travel, retail, finance, and other industries; customers include Alaska Airlines, Kroger, and The Home Depot; raised $187M to date

$52: Collaborative productivity tools startup Meister raises $52M; the German company offers 3 products: task management service Meister Task, mind-mapping toolset Mind Meister, and collaborative document editing service Meister Note; the company offers each service as a standalone subscription as well as a bundle subscription

$40M: Cardless, which enables clients to launch customized credit cards, raises $40M Series B; the startup creates co-branded cards with custom rewards; for example, a sports team card offering a chance to have a remote conversation with a professional athlete; Cardless handles underwriting, issuance, customer service, and more, essentially offering cards as a service

25: China orders domestic app stores to remove 25 apps operated by ride-hailing firm Didi; the Cyberspace Administration ordered stores to remove Didi's primary consumer-facing app shortly after the company debuted on the NYSE, causing the stock to fall; the new order impacts Didi's driver app, a corporate app, a finance app, more

📰 What’s going on

Microsoft announces Windows 365, a remote desktop service for businesses launching Aug 2; a user can access a persistent instance via any modern web browser or through the Remote Desktop app; the company will charge per-user-per-month rates for Business and Enterprise plans with various performance tiers

Apple plans to launch a new iPad Mini with the product's most significant redesign to date; the gadget, slated to launch this fall, reportedly features smaller bezels and a larger display; previous reports indicated the iPad would do away with the home button and feature a side-mounted power button with integrated Touch ID

Apple partners with Goldman Sachs to offer a buy-now-pay-later option for Apple Pay transactions, and the feature will not require an Apple Card or a credit check; Goldman Sachs also powers the Apple Card; the service, referred to internally as Apple Pay Later, reportedly will offer weekly and monthly installment plans

Amazon acquires Facebook's Satellite Internet Group, a team of experts in physics, prototyping, software engineering, wireless internet, more (terms undisclosed); the team began working for Amazon in Los Angeles in April and will continue to help the company develop a constellation of low-orbit satellites for broadband internet

Alibaba and Tencent are reportedly talking about opening up their platforms to each other in an effort to appease regulators concerned with monopolistic practices. The first steps from Alibaba could include introducing Tencent’s WeChat Pay to Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplaces. Such integration would benefit consumers, but would also allow the companies more access to each others’ data

YouTube begins the global rollout of its short-form video product, Shorts, which is still in beta; the TikTok-like feature previously launched in 26 countries, including the US; Shorts allows creators to integrate audio from standard YouTube videos, and the company is exploring linking from Shorts to source videos

Samsung launches free, ad-supported streaming service TV Plus on the web; the company previously limited the service to Samsung mobile phones and TVs; Samsung launched the service for its TVs in 2016

Tesla rolls out version 9 (beta) of the Full Self-Driving feature, enabling owners who purchased the FSD option to use its advanced driver-assist features on local, non-highway roads; the update adds larger display visualizations, improvements to the in-cabin camera's ability to monitor driver distraction, more

Square is building a platform to enable developers to create decentralized financial services; CEO Jack Dorsey said the as-yet-unnamed business would focus on Bitcoin; he said the software would make it easy to establish non-custodial, permissionless services

Square acquires Crew, a communications app for teams and workforces; terms undisclosed; the app enables workers to read company announcements, study training materials, submit and see shift cover requests, manage tasks, more; customers include McDonald's, ShopRite, and Taco Bell

📚 Good reads

Integrating social responsibility into product development, by Kevin Mireles. In order to deliver long-term shareholder value, we need to create products that maximize the benefits to our broader environment and society, while minimizing the impacts to our most vulnerable people, ecosystems and species. Integrating social responsibility along with diversity, inclusion and equity into our product development frameworks won’t guarantee success, but at least provides a jumping off point to start the journey. So…what are you waiting for?

Product management tools to have in your stack. It is not uncommon to find lists of favourite tools. This time, however, the folks at Zeda.io have helped us discover few cool tools we didn’t know about yet

Applying a ‘Time-To-Market’ KPI in product. Gabriel Dan shares some practical advice on how to measure and reduce the time to get products out the door, and why it is a critical KPI to consider

Side hustle success: how to crowdfund your Product. Product School has recently published a series of articles on how to pursue and launch a side hustle. This one is particularly helpful to understand some ways to monetize it

Is there a perfect productivity system? A brief review of different systems to get **it done and be more efficient, by Anne-Laure Le Cunff

Avoid the agency trap: how to make your company scale by being Product-led. Product companies get sucked in by the allure of agency work because it solves an immediate problem in the near term but forces them to take the eye off the ball. If done well, it can bridge them elegantly to their next stages and on to success. But if done badly, it can doom your company

Have a great weekend.


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