el producto #247 🚀

Amazon smart home robot, LinkedIn paid events, Amplitude IPO, PM skills matrix, The psychology of design, Guide to prototyping & more

🎰 The week in figures

$3.4T: The aggregate value of all the world's unicorns has surpassed $3.4T, with the number of companies climbing to just under 1,000. Of that $3.4T in value, $500B is held by just four companies: Bytedance (TikTok), Stripe, SpaceX, and Ant Group.

$5.8B: Amplitude opens at $50 per share in its Nasdaq direct listing and closes up 9% at $54.80, leaving the data analytics company with a ~$5.8B market value and a ~$7B fully diluted value

$1.9B: Sinch, which provides API-accessible communication services, acquires Pathwire, which provides APIs for email communications, for $1.9B; Stockholm-based Sinch, a publicly-listed Twilio competitor, claims Google, PayPal, and Visa as customers; San Antonio-based Pathwire claims 100k+ businesses as paid clients, including American Express, Dell, and Microsoft

$1.16B: Budget hotel firm Oyo files for IPO in India, seeks to raise $1.16B at a $12B-plus valuation; investors last valued the company at $9.6B; the firm provides hotel operators with software for pricing, booking, and payment; Oyo lost $528M on $600M in revenue for the fiscal year that ended in March; raised $4.1B

$1B: Media firm and entertainment agency Endeavor acquires sports-betting solutions company OpenBet from Scientific Games for $1B in cash and $200M in stock; CA-based Endeavor owns IMG Arena, which works with sportsbook brands to stream ~45k sporting events each year; UK-based OpenBet claims DraftKings, FanDuel, and WynnBet as clients

$578M: Express delivery firm Ninja Van raises $578M Series E at a $1B+ valuation from Alibaba and others; investors last valued the startup at $750M in April of last year; the Singaporean company, which serves seven markets including the Philippines and Vietnam, plans to go public as soon as next year

$570M: Social commerce firm Meesho (YC S16) raises $570M Series F at a $4.9B valuation; investors valued the Bangalore-based company at $2.1B in April; the platform connects suppliers and resellers with customers on social networks; Meesho says 80% of its resellers are women and that the company, from the start, sought to help women launch businesses without capital

$250M: Ripple Labs is starting a $250M fund to provide NFT creators with financial and technical support for crafting NFTs on the XRP Ledger; the fund targets interactive experiences, fractional ownership, and other use cases

$200M: EV maker and ride-hailing firm Ola Electric raises $200M at a $3B valuation; investors valued the Indian company at $1B for a $250M Series B in July 2019; parent Ola recently raised $500M and reportedly plans to file for IPO by year's end

$200M: Andela, which helps companies to establish remote engineering teams, raises $200M Series E for a $1.5B post-money valuation; the fully-remote company vets engineers from 80+ countries and pairs them with 200+ clients including Cloudflare, GitHub, and ViacomCBS; Andela is exploring M&A in the talent network space

$150M: Fintech firm Ascend, which operates digital wallet brand TrueMoney, raises $150M Series C at a $1.5B valuation; the Thai company also offers cross-border remittance, digital lending, and digital investment services; Ascend is currently live in six markets 

$130M: Multiverse, which pairs businesses with candidates for apprenticeships, raises $130M Series C at an $875M valuation; the London-based company aims to provide an educational alternative to university and college that enables workers to get paid while learning, and to up/re-skill without taking courses

$122M: Event discovery and ticketing platform Dice raises $122M Series C at a reported $400M valuation; the London-based company provides personalized event recommendations based on the user's location and time zone, and focuses on musical performances; Dice plans to focus its expansion efforts on the US and claims 1M people in NY used the app to attend events in August alone

$115M: Contract management startup ContractPodAI raises $115M Series C; the London-based company provides a no-code interface for legal review, IP portfolio management, and more; raised $170M to date

$100M: Totango, which helps SaaS businesses to identify and resolve customer flow problems, raises $100M Series D; the company offers a no-code platform for designing and optimizing customer journeys; the firm claims 5k+ customers, including Autodesk, Google, and Zoom 

$100M: Neobank Aspire (YC W18) raises $158M: a $58M Series B, and $100M in debt; the Singapore-based company offers SMB loans, cross-border business accounts, corporate cards, and more; claims 10k business accounts and $2B in annual transactions

$100M: Identity verification platform Alloy raises $100M Series C at a $1.35B valuation; the NY startup serves banks and fintech companies, offering automated decisions for loan applications, new account creations, individual transactions, and more; clients include Brex, Gemini, and Marqeta; the platform also protects against fraud

$63M: Nomad Health, a marketplace for short-term healthcare jobs, raises $63M at a reported $260M valuation; some of the raise was debt; hospitals post positions to the platform and travel nurses can search by location and pay; jobseekers also set job preferences and submit their qualifications

$60M: Automated investor and financial advisor Betterment raises $60M Series F, plus a $100M credit facility; the round valued the company at ~$1.3B; Betterment manages portfolios of ETFs with a focus on socially responsible investing; the company claims 700k clients and $32B under management

$55M: EquityBee, which connects employees with investors to fund stock option purchases, raises $55M Series B; an employee looking to buy stock options can place a funding request, and 12k investors and syndicates on EquityBee can place bids to finance the purchase; the employee repays with interest following a liquidity event, but only if they made money from the stock

$25M: MaestroQA, which uses machine learning to track and analyze customer feedback and interactions to inform the training of service representatives, raises $25M Series A; the platform integrates with Zendesk, Salesforce, and other CRM providers; MaestroQA serves consumer companies like DraftKings and B2B clients including Monday.com

3%: Google to reduce the cut it takes from third-party software sales on its cloud marketplaces from 20% to 3%, matching Microsoft's rate; Google confirmed a coming change to the company's cloud marketplace fee structure but did not confirm the details 

📰 What’s going on

AngelList launches Stack, a suite of tools helping entrepreneurs to start and operate their startups; Stack helps with incorporation, business banking, cap table management, and more; the firm recently rebranded AngelList.com to focus on AngelList's Venture and rolling funds

Amazon announces Astro, a smart home robot featuring a large display that acts as a face; the rolling robot has cameras and sensors and can follow a user during a video call; the user can command Astro to check on people and pets in other rooms and more; the device will start at $1k and Amazon said it would begin approving pilot applications this year

LinkedIn is testing paid ticketed events for the LinkedIn Events platform, which saw 21M attend an event last year; code indicated a dashboard for tracking sales, tools for running events, and more; LinkedIn is overhauling its audio and video services and will roll out changes in the coming months

Microsoft announces third-party app stores will integrate with the Windows Store, making their apps discoverable; Amazon and Epic will be the first to integrate in the coming months; users can discover third-party apps by browsing or searching and will see full app listings

Alphabet's Loon, a defunct moonshot that used balloons to deliver data connectivity, transfers 200 patents related to stratospheric communications and more to SoftBank, and other patents to high-altitude balloon maker Raven; the firm has also open-sourced flight data; Loon has committed to allowing the use of 270 patents, and will not file claim

Facebook pauses development of an Instagram app for kids, will instead focus on parental-supervised experiences for younger users; Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said media criticism of the initiative was based on a misunderstanding of its purpose and target audience and that someone leaked information about the project before the company had worked out the details

Facebook announces the $50M XR Programs and Research Fund, which the company will use to finance internal programs and external research to further the metaverse; Facebook defines the metaverse as consisting of virtual spaces where remote people can meet to create and explore; the company said it would collaborate with Women in Immersive Tech, Africa No Filter, and other organizations on the initiative 

TikTok to launch a collection of NFTs called TikTok Top Moments; the company will pair top content creators with popular NFT creators to produce six unique video NFTs; creators to be featured in the videos include Lil Nas X and Grimes; the company will launch a sale on Oct 6, and revenue will go to the creators and NFT artists

Netflix acquires narrative games company Night School, which has developed titles based on "Mr Robot" and original IP; terms undisclosed; Netflix is currently testing games in its mobile app in select markets, and ultimately plans to include games, add-free, with a standard Netflix subscription

Patreon says it will use a significant portion of its $155M April round to fund original content from podcasts, live-streamers, etc; the company, valued at $4B, plans to build new tools for consumption in a bid to give creators a one-stop solution for earning recurring revenue and publishing content; Patreon plans an IPO soon but hasn't disclosed a timeline

📚 Good reads

Decoding Product Management — A skill matrix to grow, coach, assess, and hire world-class PMs, by Markus Müller

The future of marketplaces: fintech-enabled. As marketplaces and fintech become more intertwined and create "more value than either marketplaces and financial services alone", Dealroom, Adevinta and Speedinvest released the first part of a reporting series investigating that relation

The psychology of Design — A fresh reminder (or intro for the newbies) on cognitive biases & principles that affect your UX

Team metrics for Product Managers. Carlos G de Villaumbrosia, CEO at Product School, shares some ideas to understand and measure team Performance, Wellness, and Synergy

The ultimate guide to UX prototyping. A nice collection of tips for newbie UXers on what tools to use, how to get started and what not to do, by Alexander Rådahl

The ultimate guide to prioritization. Airfocus and Product School partnered to create this complete guide to mastering prioritization. It covers valuable insights on tips, best practices, prioritization frameworks and a lot more

Have a great day.


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