el producto #245 🚀

New Apple products, Monzo's "pay later" product, Discord mega-funding round, Canva funding, Minimum Viable Testing, Founder's toolset, & more

🎰 The week in figures

$500M: Discord raised $500M at a $15B post-money valuation. The round will put Discord's valuation over 2x higher than at this time last year

$300M: SpotOn, a provider of software and payments solutions for restaurants and retailers, has raised a $300M at a $3.15B valuation. The new funding will be used to purchase Appetize, an enterprise software provider for sports and entertainment venues, theme parks, college campuses and more. SpotOn's services include marketing, website development and online ordering

$250M: Melio, the creator of a B2B platform that lets small businesses transfer and receive payments, has collected $250M in new funding, bringing its valuation to $4B

$230M: SmartNews, which offers a news-discovery app, has raised a $230M Series F at a $2B valuation. The company was valued at about $1.1B in 2019

$225M: Online grocery startup Misfits Market has closed a $225M Series C1 at $2B valuation. The funding will be used to help it expand throughout the US and increase its selection of items. Misfits Market delivers proteins, pantry staples, organic produce and other items in 43 states, with a focus on sustainability and eliminating food waste

$200M: Canva has raised $200M at a $40B valuation. The Sydney-based company is the developer of a visual design, communication and collaboration platform. Canva was valued at $15B this past April

$150M: Livestream shopping platform WhatNot has closed its $150M Series C. WhatNot focuses on livestream shopping for collectibles like sports cards, Funko Pops, Pokémon cards, etc

$150M: Persona has raised $150M at a $1.5B valuation. The Bay Area-based company is the developer of a platform that helps enterprise customers such as Coursera and DoorDash manage and automate customer identity verifications

$150M: Xendit, the developer of payments infrastructure designed to help businesses across Southeast Asia accept payments and manage operations, has raised a $150M Series C at a $1B+ valuation

$125M: Pacaso has raised $125M Series C round, less than a year after the company launched, and becoming the fastest startup to become a unicorn. The proptech startup helps people find and buy second homes that they co-own with others. Pacaso is also expanding into Spain

$100M: Sendoso, a popular “end-to-end” gifting platform offering access to 30,000 products, including corporate swag, regular physical gifts, gift cards and more; and then providing services like logistics, packing and sending to get those gifts to the recipients —announced $100M funding

$100M: Apna, the developer of a job recruitment platform for blue-collar workers in India, has raised a $100M Series C at a valuation of $1.1B. This is the third investment fetched by the company in 2021. Apna raised $70M in June at a valuation of $570M

$85M: Omaze has raised an $85M Series C. The California-based company is the developer of an online fundraising platform for social impact charities

$80M: MediaLab has acquired widely used music lyric company Genius for $80M and will immediately begin a slew of layoffs. With a reported 100M global users and 2M contributors to its lyrics database, Genius, the product, is a success

$55M: Abra has raised a $55M Series C. Founded in 2014, the Bay Area-based company develops a wealth management platform for cryptocurrency investors

30%: Ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing lost 30% of its daily users following its regulatory backlash-inducing IPO in June.Its average daily user count for August fell to 10.9M from 15.6M in June. The saw time period saw the company’s stock drop 40%

📰 What’s going on

Apple announced a bunch of new products at their September event:

  • iPhone 13, Mini, Pro and Pro Max. They all get updated to a new A15 Bionic chip, a six-core CPU with two high-performance cores, four high-efficiency cores and a quad-core GPU. All the back cameras have been significantly upgraded with wider apertures and new video features. The iPhone 13 Pro camera now has a macro lens, able to shoot a subject from less than an inch away

  • Apple Watch Series 7. The new watch has a larger display, with 20% more screen area than the Series 6 and 50% more than Series 3. It has "softer, more rounded corners" with a "wraparound" feel on the sides. Apple says it redesigned buttons in the software to make them easier to tap as well, and it can fit 50% more text on screen than last year's watch

  • iPad and iPad Mini. The new 10.2-inch iPad incorporates the A13 Bionic chip, Apple says, which is 20% faster than the A12. It has a larger display, with 20% more screen area than the Series 6 and 50% more than Series 3

There will still be another Apple event this year, and the following products are expected:

  • 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with slimmer bezels and a flat-edged design that's not too much of a departure from the current design. The new MacBook Pro models will regain ports that have been missing since 2016, including an SD card slot and an HDMI port, which will join the headphone jack and USB-C ports. Pro models are expected to do away with the Touch Bar that's been used since 2016. Instead, Apple plans to replace the Touch Bar with a standard row of function keys

  • A high-end version of the Mac mini that features a revamped design

  • AirPods 3

  • Mixed Reality Headset Reveal?

UK-based fintech Monzo announced a “buy now, pay later” product. Gives the opportunity to split purchases across several payments over a three, six or 12 month time period

📚 Good reads

Airbnb’s commitment to craft. Ari Balogh, CTO at Airbnb, shares how striving towards excellence has helped them in a time of uncertainty

Demos over Deadlines. Why software estimates often fails, and how demos can be a great alternative to motivate teams and ease negative pressure, by Eric Elliott

The case for connected OKRs. Chris Butler on why cascading OKRs can be dangerous, and how to set them as a network

Why foreign products fail when localizing for China, by HBR. New research suggests that localization isn’t always effective — and in some cases, it can seriously backfire. Why is this? Many brands’ main selling point in the Chinese market is their sense of foreignness, and so product strategies in which foreign elements are replaced with more familiar features often end up eliminating the very thing that customers appreciated about the product

Minimum Viable Testing. A new flavour on MVPs by Gagan Biyani, co-founder and CEO at Maven. “In an MVP, you try to simulate the entire car. In an MVT, you are just testing whether the drivetrain is more powerful with an electric engine or a gas one. If you focus on MVTs instead of MVPs, you get closer to the heart of the question: Can you predict success before you launch? I believe the answer is yes. With the right approach, you can make a strong prediction about your chance of success and reduce (not eliminate) your chance of failure.

How to ship faster with design sprints and no-code, by Lisa Dziuba for Product Hunt. Includes a bunch of practical resources

A founder’s exponential toolset: Wright’s Law, Moore’s Law, & More, by James Currier

Have a great weekend.


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