el producto #249 🚀

Product storytelling, The Token economy, GitLab IPO, Facebook's next-gen AR/VR, Coinbase's NFT platform, Stripe crypto, Intro to JTBD, & more

🎰 The week in figures

$800M: Shares of San Francisco-based GitLab jumped nearly 35% in first-day trading. The share price gave the company a market cap of $14.9 billion. Shares closed at $103.89 on the Nasdaq, and the company priced its initial public offering at $77 a share. The new pricing allowed the company to raise $800M through the offering

$500M: Magic Leap, the maker of an eponymous AR headset, has raised another $500M at a $2B valuation

$400M: MoonPay, which offers infrastructure for cryptocurrency payments, is raising $400M at a $3.4B valuation; represents the three-year-old Miami company's first VC round; MoonPay serves Bitcoin.com, OpenSea, Trust Wallet, and other firms, enabling end-users to buy crypto via cards

$400M: IronSource ($11.66B market cap) acquires mobile advertising and app monetization firm Tapjoy for $400M; Tel Aviv-based ironSource, which offers a platform for monetizing and scaling mobile apps, said the deal would help the firm expand its presence in the non-games app market

$317M: Mobile point-of-sale solutions company SumUp acquires Fivestars, which provides small merchants with solutions for payments, marketing, and loyalty; London-based SumUp will pay $317M in cash and stock; San Francisco-based Fivestars serves 12k businesses and 70M consumers

$300M: Global Processing Services, which offers APIs for processing and managing payment transactions, raises $300M; the London-based firm serves customers including Revolut and Curve across 48 countries; the company has processed 1.3B transactions since 2007

$300M: Smart mesh Wi-Fi company Plume raises $300M at a $2.6B valuation; the Palo Alto firm acquired 13M new households as customers over the previous two quarters, bringing the total to 35M; the platform now manages 1.2B devices; the company is expanding into small business and plans to support industrial IoT applications

$298M: Charting platform and social network TradingView has closed its $298M round, valuing the company at $3B. In the past 18 months, the platform's revenue has increased 237% on a 400% increase in accounts created. TradingView provides users with tools and insights related to trading and investing assets like crypto and equities

$275M: TripActions, a provider of corporate travel booking tools, raised $275M Series F, at a $7.25B valuation. The Palo Alto, California-headquartered company operates a travel and spend management platform that it says is used by more than 5,000 companies globally

$270M: Recruiting and HR platform Personio raises $270M Series E at a $6.3B valuation; investors valued the German firm at $1.7B for a $125M Series D in January; Personio targets European SMEs and claims 5k customers, up from 3k in January

$200M: Used car reseller CarDekho raises $200M Series E at a $1.2B valuation; the Indian firm also raised $50M in debt; the company serves 100 markets, buying and reselling used vehicles; CarDekho also works with most of India's auto dealers and claims to represent 30% of dealer sales

$150M: HR tech startup Hibob secures $150M Series C. Hibob offers an HR tech platform to develop and retain talent. The company has Cazoo and Monzo among its customers

$125M: Hybrid events platform Hubilo raises $125M Series B; the startup closed a $4.5M seed last October and a $23.5M Series A in February; Hubilo helps groups plan and execute internal and external meetings; the company claims 800+ customers, including Facebook, the United Nations, and Walmart

$110M: Karat, which helps organizations interview and screen technical workers, raises $110M Series C at a $1.1B valuation; Karat uses contracted hiring engineers to conduct video interviews and score applicants; the Seattle-based company claims American Express, Intuit, and Ford as customers

$100M: OPEN, a business banking platform for startups and SMEs, raises $100M Series C; a source indicated a $500M valuation, up from a reported $100M valuation in June; the Indian startup, which provides all standard banking features as well as tools for managing businesses, also offers a white-label solution; claims 2M businesses as customers

$66M: Funnel, which automates the collection of marketing data for reporting and analysis, raises $66M; claims 1.2k large customers, including Home Depot and Samsung; the Swedish firm said the round would be its last before pursuing an IPO, most likely in Stockholm in six to 18 months

$60M: Aware, which uses AI to monitor an organization's internal messaging for sentiment analysis and compliance, raises $60M Series C at a ~$226M valuation; the Columbus-based startup claims AstraZeneca and BT Group as customers

$45M: Groove, a sales engagement platform built on Salesforce, raises $45M Series B; the platform syncs with multiple CRM solutions to keep customer records up to date; the startup claims 70k customers, including Capital One, Google, and Uber 

Next week’s Q3 earnings preview:

  • Netflix (Tuesday). Expected Q3 revenue: $7.48 billion +16%

  • Snap (Thursday). Expected Q3 revenue: $1.09 billion +62%

📰 What’s going on

Twitter announces the Spaces Spark Program: a three-month accelerator through which the company will provide 150 audio creators with financial and technical support, as well as marketing; participants will see a $2.5k-per-month stipend, $500 in monthly ad credits, and more

Apple is exploring health-focused AirPod features, including posture monitoring and body temperature tracking; the report also referenced hearing enhancement, but noted it wasn't clear if Apple planned to develop new tech or market AirPods Pro as a hearing aid device

Mark Zuckerberg teases a next-generation AR/VR headset with retina resolution; VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth also tweeted an image of a slim headset that he referred to as a prototype, then indicated it wasn't just a prototype

Facebook expands the tests of its updated News Feed with less political content to 75 new countries, bringing the total to 80; the company launched the update in the US at the end of August; Mark Zuckerberg announced the initiative after the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol Building

Facebook quietly acquires synthetic data startup AI.Reverie; terms undisclosed; the New York-based startup creates synthetic data to train machine learning models

Purported Google leak reveals Pixel Pass: a subscription plan that would include regular Pixel device upgrades, a device protection plan, and a service bundle including Google Fi, Google One, Play Pass, and more; pricing undisclosed, but the documentation indicates a customer would have to purchase a new Pixel device to subscribe

Mindbody is buying gym-hopping app ClassPass for an undisclosed sum in an all-stock acquisition. As part of the deal, a group led by private equity firm Sixth Street is also investing $500 million into ClassPass

Mobility firm GoTo Global acquires moped-sharing startup Emmy; terms undisclosed; Tel Aviv-based GoTo, which plans to serve every major European city by 2025, currently offers shared cars, bikes, and more in Israel, Malta, and Spain; Berlin-based Emmy operates a fleet of 3k-plus electric mopeds in Germany

Coinbase plans to launch an NFT platform by year's end and has opened a waitlist; the company said Coinbase NFT would make it easy for users to mint, discover, buy, and showcase NFTs with intuitive interfaces and social features; the platform will initially support the Ethereum blockchain, and eventually offer multi-chain support

Stripe is establishing a Crypto team, job listings reveal; Guillaume Poncin will lead at least four people, building core components for crypto use cases; a CoinDesk source said Stripe had also shown interest in NFTs; Stripe launched Bitcoin support in 2014 but shut it down four years later

Reddit hires former Google VP of Product Management and Design Pali Bhat to serve as the company's first CPO; Reddit said he would report directly to CEO Steve Huffman and lead the development of tools and features focused on community and belonging; Bhat previously served as VP of product management at SAP and as manager of engagement at McKinsey & Company

Gogoro launches in China; the Taipei-based scooter company operates battery-charging stations where riders swap out their batteries for freshly-charged units; the company announced partnerships with two domestic scooter makers and launched 45 stations in Hangzhou under the Huan Huan brand; Gorogo expects to have 80 stations in China by year's end

📚 Good reads

Storytelling for Product leaders by Peter Fletcher-Dobson. People will forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Stories allow you to achieve your mission as a product manager by inspiring those around you. Complement with this brief read: Product Storytelling 101

Tokens are a new primitive, analogous to the website. a16z partner Chris Dixon released a new blog post on how the patterns demonstrated in the initial evolution of the internet are beginning to repeat themselves in Web3.

  • Major computing waves are generally split into two eras: 

    • The skeuomorphic era

    • The native era

  • In the skeuomorphic era, design thinking is largely adapted from earlier eras 

    • Most early websites were read-only adaptions from the pre-internet era (e.g., letter writing and mail-order shopping)

    • It took nearly a decade for websites to be read/write, allowing users to generate content leading to things like social networking

  • Overall, Web3 is still in the skeuomorphic era

    • Popular Web3 ideas like offline ticketing, supply chain management, and record-keeping for offline assets are all skeuomorphic adaptations and barely scratch the surface of what Web3 can become

    • Today's NFTs are only online adaptions to the offline world of art and collectibles

  • Tokens, fungible and non-fungible, are similar in flexibility and generality to past digital primitives like the website

  • Tokens differ from Web2-era websites in that they give users digital property rights: the ability to own a piece of the internet

  • We are still in the early, skeuomorphic era of Web3 but are starting to see projects with no prior analog that simply couldn’t have existed before

Intro to Jobs To Be Done. A good summary of the JTDB theory and framework with practical examples. Recommended intro read for newbies, and a nice refresher for those already familiar with the framework

From systems thinking to systems doing. A primer to apply Systems Thinking in Product Design. “A common mistake product teams make is trying to fix problems by adding more features. Shipping more does not mean adding more value”

Have a great weekend


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