el producto #240 🚀

Gopuff buys Dija, Product School funding, Salesforce streaming service, Ditch the ToDo list, Avoid jumping to solutions, Norton buys Avast, Airbnb Q2 results & more

🎰 The week in figures

$120B: Mobile games are on track to generate $120B in consumer spending this year, compared to $100B in 2020, according to App Annie; the firm said Apple's IDFA tech, which provides an advertising-relevant device ID while protecting user data, has primarily impacted casino games and strategy games on iOS in the US; App Annie also said the pandemic-fueled surge in mobile game downloads hasn't slowed

$15B: There are now 23 unicorns in LATAM. Together, they have raised +$15B. The largest deals include a $750M Series G for digital banking provider Nubank, along with $500M rounds for online food delivery platforms Colombia-based Rappi and Brazil-based iFood

$8B: NortonLifeLock ($14B market cap) to acquire Avast ($8.32B market cap) in a deal worth $8B+; NortonLifeLock CEO Vincent Pilette said the combined business would reach 500M users; NortonLifeLock was Symantec's consumer security business and remained as a standalone company after Broadcom acquired Symantec's enterprise business

$410M: Reddit raises $410M at a $10B+ valuation; the company said the round was ongoing and would likely close at ~$700M; CEO Steve Huffman said the raise would give Reddit flexibility in selecting a time and strategy for going public; investors last valued the firm at $6B in February

$240M: OwnBackup, a cloud-based data backup solution serving cloud software providers, raises $240M Series E at a $3.35B valuation; cloud providers routinely back up data, but OwnBackup enables clients including Aston Martin, Delivery Hero, and Navy Federal Credit Union to selectively restore individual records; raised $507M to date

$230M: Talkdesk, which provides cloud software for enterprise call centers, raises $230M Series D at a $10B valuation; the company claims 1.8k businesses as clients, including IBM and Fujitsu; Talkdesk also appointed Sydney Carey as its first CFO, bringing the executive team makeup to 50% women

$200M: LaunchDarkly, a platform for managing and delivering software features, raises $200M Series D for a $3B post-money valuation; investors valued the firm at $1B in January of last year; the company claims it's the top platform for managing feature flags, serving 20T-plus to users each day

$185M: UpGrad, an online learning company providing higher education and professional skills classes, raises $185M at a $1.2B valuation; the Mumbai-based firm works with institutions including Duke University to provide courses in business administration, data science, and more; UpGrad also offers professional certifications, such as business analytics

$85M: Snorkel AI, which automates data labeling for training AI models, raises $85M Series C for a $1B post-money valuation; the platform offers a no-code solution for managing and labeling data; Snorkel AI's new Application Studio provides templates for building enterprise apps that use the the labeled data

$80.75M: Business accounting software company FreshBooks raises $80.75M Series E at a $1B+ valuation, plus $50M in debt; the Toronto-based firm offers a cloud-based platform supporting invoicing, payments, reporting, payroll, more; founded in 2003 and bootstrapped first the first ten years, FreshBooks claims to have served 30M customers across 160 countries

$78M: Mentoring software firm Chronus raises $78M; the software includes a videoconferencing feature and also integrates with Teams, Slack, and Zoom; the cloud-based system allows clients to design and launch customized mentoring programs at scale; customers include Amazon and Hearst Communications

$44M: Saturn, an app for managing social and academic schedules, raises $44M; the startup relies upon student ambassadors to bring the app to new institutions; schools use the app for messaging students, sharing information on academic and extracurricular schedules, more

$25M: Product School raises $25M to scale its platform; the company's instructors include Product professionals from Disney, Slack, Booking, Google, Uber (and el producto :))

5%: Delivery Hero takes a 5%+ stake in rival food delivery firm Deliveroo, causing Deliveroo shares to rise by ~10%; Berlin-based Delivery Hero and London-based Deliveroo are two of Europe's largest food delivery businesses; Delivery Hero also holds stakes in Glovo, Rappi, and Zomato


💸 Q2 financials

Airbnb ($93.3B market cap) Q2 beats: $1.34B revenue, up ~300% YoY ($1.26B expected); $13.4B gross booking value, up 320% ; 83.1M nights and experiences booked, up 197% (79.2M expected); $161 average daily rate; $315M sales and marketing expenses, up 175%

Coinbase ($58.5B market cap) Q2 beats: $2.23B revenue ($1.78B expected); $1.9B transaction revenue; 8.8M monthly transacting users; $100M subscription and services revenue; $1.6B net profit, up 4.9k% YoY; the company went public via direct listing in April

DoorDash ($61.3B market cap) Q2 mixed: $1.24B revenue, up 83% YoY ($1.1B expected); 3M active drivers: a new quarterly record but the company spent more than usual to attract drivers following a shortage during Q1; DoorDash increased its full-year outlook, based on Q2 performance, from $35B-$38B to $39B-$40.5B. DoorDash held talks to acquire Instacart within the last 2 months; the companies reportedly ended discussions over concerns about regulatory approval; sources reported a price between $40B-$50B


📰 What’s going on

The next generation of iPhones will support a video version of Portrait mode. Such a feature would likely benefit from use of Lidar sensors, but we still don’t know if those are expanding beyond this year’s Pro models

Salesforce announces streaming service Salesforce+, slated to launch during the Dreamforce conference (Sept 21-23); the free service, which will not run any external advertising, will feature four channels covering news and announcements, training content, success stories, and industry-specific content; Salesforce has 50 editorial leads working on the project

On-demand delivery firm Gopuff acquires London-based competitor Dija as part of the Philadelphia-based company's European expansion efforts; terms undisclosed; Gopuff acquired London-based Fancy this year; former Deliveroo employees founded Dija in December

Crypto payments firm Circle announces its intent to become a fully regulated bank; Circle seeks to operate as a narrow bank, meaning it would not engage in fractional reserve banking; Circle would hold all deposits in the central bank and earn interest, with depositors being holders of the USDC stable coin

Amazon launches operations at its new 800k-square-foot air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport; the company began construction in 2019 and spent $1.5B on the facility; Jeff Bezos said at the time of the groundbreaking the project and hub would create 2k jobs, and that the facility would ultimately be 3M square feet

The Open App Markets Act would prohibit app stores from restricting developers from selling and accepting payments via other platforms; the bill would also prohibit operators from punishing developers who offer lower prices outside a given store

Didi is considering contracting a third party to manage its user data as part of an initiative to appease Chinese regulators; regulators reportedly have expressed a preference for a state-controlled party; regulators reportedly have considered introducing a state-owned investor to take the largest stake in Didi


📚 Good reads

How Sweden became the Silicon Valley of Europe. You may have heard of Spotify and Klarna, but Stockholm is second only to Silicon Valley in terms of unicorns per capita, at around 0.8 per 100,000 inhabitants

How to resist jumping to solutions, by Nick Stanchenko. “However easy the fix, resist the temptation to suggest it. Instead, share why it’s necessary“

The creator economy is becoming the gig economy. Platforms are commoditizing creators in order to maintain their grasp on user attention, a necessary ingredient for advertising-based business models. This dynamic undermines creator success and independence, making the creator economy just as corrosive for online workers as the gig economy

An exact breakdown of how a CEO spent his time during the first two years of his startup. Sam Corcos is the co-founder and CEO of Levels, a biowearable company that shows you how food affects your health using real-time biological data. He manages his time religiously, tracking every 15-min increment of his days, and ditching ToDo lists. This made me (Angel) feel a bit less weirdo, and maybe willing to share my own calendar breakdown…one day


Have a great weekend.

Angel


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