el producto #241 🚀

Frameworks to find startup ideas, Startup happiness formula, Amazon department stores, Tesla robots, Chime funding round, Adobe buys Frame & more

🎰 The week in figures

$6B: SoftBank likely made $6B+ by selling its stakes in Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, and Netflix in the second quarter, Bloomberg reports; the firm reportedly made ~$4B more by selling parts of its stakes in DoorDash and Uber; SoftBank invested ~$15B in private startups during Q2

$1.5B: Data warehouse and lake company Databricks is raising $1.5B+ at a $38B valuation; investors last valued the firm at $28B for a $1B round in February; Databricks integrates with popular cloud services and uses AI for data analytics and more; raised $1.9B to date

$1.3B: Adobe ($298.6B market cap) to acquire Frame.io, a collaborative platform for editing photos and videos, for ~$1.3B in cash; the software integrates with apps like Adobe's After Effects and Apple's Final Cut Pro so broadcasters, media agencies, and others can discuss project changes, approve final versions, etc; Adobe will bring Frame.io features to Creative Cloud

$1.3B: DistroKid, which distributes customers' music to digital music stores and streaming platforms, announces a $1.3B valuation after raising an undisclosed amount; the NY-based company charges a flat $20 per year for access to distributing tools, a music video generator, and more, with no limits on uploads or earnings

$1B: OnlyFans, a which enables creators to offer subscription access to exclusive content, begins marketing its mainstream-friendly OFTV app to non-users as the firm seeks to raise funds at a $1B valuation; the app features ~800 free videos; it does not impact creator earnings and does not include the sexual content and nudity of the website.OnlyFans announced it will prohibit sexually explicit content beginning Oct 1

$750: Fintech firm Chime raises $750M at a ~$25B valuation; the company announced three new independent board members, and the funding would position the company for an IPO as soon as the first half of next year; Chime offers credit cards, checking and savings accounts, early access to paychecks, more

$685M: A consortium led by beauty products company GS Retail to acquire Delivery Hero Korea, which operates food delivery app Yogiyo, in a $685M deal; Delivery Hero agreed to sell Yogiyo, South Korea's second-largest food delivery app with a 25% market share, as a regulatory condition for its $4B acquisition of Woowa; GS Retail plans to use Yogiyo to deliver a variety of non-food products

$500M: Carta, a platform for managing equity ownership, raises $500M at a $7.4B valuation; the company conducted an auction for price discovery; companies, employees, and investors use Carta to manage cap tables, equity stakes, valuations, and more; raised $1.29B to date

$450M: DriveWealth, which helps companies launch fractional trading services like Robinhood, raises $450M Series D at a $2.85B valuation; the NJ-based firm offers cloud-based, API-accessible brokerage infrastructure supporting real-time investing, thematic investing, more; clients include Revolut and MoneyLion

$263M: Trading platform Bitpanda raises $263M Series C at a $4.1B valuation; investors last valued the Vienna-based company at $1.2B in March; the platform offers commission-free investing in stocks and ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals; Bitpanda launched a white-label platform in June, serving fintechs and banks

$215M: Travel platform Ixigo files for Indian IPO, seeks to raise $215M; investors had valued the firm at $850M; the company has acquired bus-ticketing business AbhiBus and train-booking firm Confirmtkt this year; raised $72M to date

$140M: Gelato, which custom prints products on demand, raises $240M for a $1B+ post-money valuation; the company offers local printing services in 32 countries, with options for shirts, posters, mugs, etc; integrates with Etsy, Shopify, WooCommerce, and other platforms 

$162M: Danggeun Market, a localized secondhand marketplace app serving South Korea, raises $162M Series D at a $2.7B valuation; the company also operates Karrot Market, a hyperlocal marketplace and offline-to-online platform serving the US; Danggeun's apps allow users to sell services as well as items

$150M: Ad-tech firm Moloco raises $150M Series C at a $1.5B valuation; the company offers a cloud-based service for mobile app developers, enabling them to use first-party user data for user acquisition, monetization, and marketing campaigns; Moloco serves clients with 1B-plus users, and some customers spend more than $1M per month on Moloco's demand-side platform 

$75M: Xentral, an ERP software provider serving SMBs, raises $75M Series B; the German company offers accounting, sales management, warehouse management, more; claims ~1k customers, mostly in Germany

$66M: p2p crypto payments startup MobileCoin raises $66M Series B at a $1B+ valuation; the MobileCoin cryptocurrency promises privacy and near-instantaneous transactions; the coin is available on non-US exchanges including Bitfinex, and Signal has implemented support for MobileCoin payments 

$65M: InfoSum, which pulls data from various sources and anonymizes it for use in ad-targeting, content and product development, and more, raises $65M Series B; The UK and NY-based company generated $4M-$5M in revenue last year and expects to triple the total this year; InfoSum has raised ~$90M to date

$52M: Motorbike taxi company Rapido raises $52M Series C; the Indian firm operates a platform for offering and hailing rides, serving 100+ cities; claims 1.5M drivers and 15M customers

$50M: Brex, which offers business credit cards and spend management tools, acquires Weav (YC W20), which provides an API for connecting to commerce platforms and accessing customer data in real-time, for $50M; Brex will build an innovation hub in Israel, where Weav has nine employees

$50M: Blockchain tech company Figment raises $50M Series B at a ~$500M valuation; Figment offers infrastructure for staking tokens, providing solutions for developers and investors in Web 3 tech

$48M: Branch, a platform for companies to pay employees and vendors, raises $48M Series B; the company also closed a $500M credit facility; Branch allows businesses to send tips to workers at the end of the day, for example, accessible via the Branch Wallet

48M: T-Mobile confirms its recent data breach impacts 7.8M current customers and 40M people who used to be customers or applied for credit; the stolen data includes full names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive information; a cybercriminal listed 30M records for sale for ~$270k in bitcoin

$33M: Betty Blocks, a no-code platform for building enterprise apps, raises $33M; based in the Netherlands and Atlanta, the company offers a drag-and-drop solution for creating apps for the web and mobile; customers include Deloitte and the City of Amsterdam

$20M: Stacker (YC S20), a no-code platform for building web apps, raises $20M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz; users can pull data from spreadsheets, SQL databases, Salesforce, and other sources to create apps with customizable interfaces; the London-based startup plans to grow its team from 19 to 30-40 by year's end

20%: About half of the world’s unicorns are based in the U.S., while around 20% hail from China. The top investor in unicorns is Tiger Global by sheer volume, followed by SoftBank and Coatue Management. Stripe is the biggest Us unicorn with a $95B valuation. ByteDance is China’s biggest at $140B

💸 Q2 financials

Nvidia ($474.5B market cap) Q2 beats: $6.51B revenue, up 68% YoY ($6.33B expected); $3.91B graphics revenue, up 87%; $3.06B gaming revenue, up 85%; $2.6B compute and network revenue, up 46%; $2.37B data center revenue, up 35%; Nvidia also said its $40B acquisition of Arm would take longer than the 18 months it originally planned, and that GPU supply issues would continue through 2022

Robinhood ($41.6B market cap) Q2: $565M revenue, up 131% YoY (the company projected $546M to $574M); $451M transaction revenue; $233M crypto trading revenue; $5M crypto revenue; ~60% of cumulative net funded accounts traded crypto during the quarter; Robinhood warned that a slowdown in trading could impact third-quarter results; the company went public on July 29

📰 What’s going on

Google to shut down the Android Auto mobile app with the launch of Android 12, at which point Google Assistant's driving mode will serve as the mobile driving interface; the change will not affect Android Auto running on vehicle infotainment system

Amazon  plans to launch several department store-like retail locations with sections for apparel, household goods, electronics, and more, according to sources for The Wall Street Journal; the company reportedly plans to begin in CA and OH, launching ~30k-square-foot facilities; sources also said Walmart would sell its private-label products at the stores

Facebook Connect, the company’s annual AR/VR conference, will be held as a digital event on Oct. 28

Coinbase announces Japan launch in partnership with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group; the bank is one of Japan's largest, serving 40M customers, and will help Coinbase to comply with local regulations, offer quick deposits, more; Coinbase plans to launch its advanced trading services and Coinbase for Institutions in Japan

Xiaomi announces the CyberDog, an open-source, dog-like robot with an AI supercomputer, the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX; the company plans to sell 1k for ~$1.5k each, and will encourage app development; the CyberDog can follow a person, avoid obstacles, track the face of a person in a crowd, more

Elon Musk announces that Tesla is developing a humanoid robot and will produce a prototype next year; he said the robot, codenamed Optimus, would stand 5'8" tall, weigh 125 pounds, have a display for a face, and perform unsafe and repetitive tasks

Reddit is rolling out a video feed for its iOS app, accessible via a camera icon next to the search bar; the feed features videos from subreddits the user follows, and from some other popular subreddits; users scroll the TikTok-like feed with vertical swipes and can vote, send awards, etc

China's Congress passes a new data-privacy law to restrict tech firms' collection, storage, and international transfer of user data; the Personal Information Protection Law, which goes into effect on Nov 1, also sets conditions for user consent; the country's Data Security Law, slated to take effect Sept 1, will require companies to classify data based on economic value and relevance to national security

📚 Good reads

The startup happiness formula - how to figure out what to build next. Waseem Daher, founder of unicorn Pilot, has managed to stick together with his two co-founders, Jessica McKellar and Jeff Arnold, through the turbulence of funding 3 startups. On his 3rd venture, he created a happiness framework in the earliest days of building the company. “Since we intended to spend years or decades building our next business, I wanted to make sure I was going to enjoy the ride”

Life management: a holistic approach to make the most of your life. Your life is not a list. Rather than managing each aspect of your life separately, life management is about integrating all the moving parts of your life. In contrast to traditional task management, this holistic approach provides the foundations for a more creative, productive, happy life

Product discovery basics: everything you need to know, by Teresa Torres. Product discovery is becoming a trendy topic in the world of digital products. Why? What is it? And what do you need to know about it? This article will cover the ins and outs of product discovery

12 frameworks for finding startup ideas, by First Round Review. If you want to find the next great startup idea, you can’t wait for the proverbial lightbulb moment — you have to do your homework

A conversation with Chris Sacca about climate investing and Travis Kalanick

3 questions to help your team solve problems, by HBR. When a team struggles with a problem, there’s a temptation for a manager to provide answers. A better approach is to ask questions that help the team arrive at answers itself: 1) What do you recommend? 2) How can we test that? 3) What do you need from me?

The Elevator Pitch Framework to define your product strategy

7 best UX design books

Have a great weekend.


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