el producto #250 🚀

Tesla & Netflix Q3 results, New Apple devices, How Amazon runs hardware products, Facebook rebrand, Prioritization frameworks, Interviewing for product discovery & more

🎰 The week in figures

$2.56T: The global crypto market cap is $2.56T, with a 24h market volume of $130.79B. Bitcoin's dominance is currently 46.33%

$1.5B: Indonesian super app firm GoTo is raising $1.5B for a $28.5B+ valuation led by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a subsidiary of which will contribute $400M; GoTo offers ride-hailing, food delivery, financial services, and more; the firm plans to go public next year

$1.3B: Kakao Pay raises $1.3B in Seoul IPO; sister firm Kakaobank raised $2.3B with its August IPO, the second-largest offering in Korea this year

$1B: Grocery delivery firm Gorillas raises $1B Series C for a $3B post-money valuation led by Delivery Hero, which contributed $235M in exchange for 8% equity; DST, Coatue, and Tencent participated; Berlin-based Gorillas offers same-day delivery of fresh produce and other items

$900M: Berlin-based Fintech company N26 has raised a $900M Series E, valuing the company at $9B. The startup's products are currently being used by 7M people across 25 countries

$500M: Flying car firm HT Aero, an affiliate of Chinese EV firm Xpeng Motors, raises $500M Series A; the company plans to use the funding for R&D and talent acquisition; HT Aero is developing a vehicle capable of road driving and low altitude flying, and plans to roll it out in 2024

$448M: Fintech firm Bakkt drops ~6% in NYSE debut following a merger with SPAC VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings; the company, majority-owned by Intercontinental Exchange, will see ~$448M in proceeds from the deal; the Atlanta-based company operates a crypto exchange and helps businesses accept crypto and offer crypto rewards

$425M: Hiring and payroll platform Deel raises $425M Series D at a $5.5B valuation; investors valued the San Francisco company at $1.25B for a $156M Series C in April; Deel claims thousands of companies as customers, including Coinbase, Intercom, and Shopify

$300M: Brex raises $300M at a $12.3B valuation; investors reportedly valued the fintech company, which offers business accounts, expense management software, and more, at $7.4B in April; sources said Brex was on track to double its revenue this year

$300M: Zopa has raised $300M at a roughly $1B valuation. The UK-based company is the developer of a peer-to-peer lending platform

$275M: Video audience and ad-tracking company VideoAmp raises $275M Series F at a $1.4B valuation; investors reportedly valued the company at $200M for a $70M round in early 2019; VideoAmp supports targeting, metrics, and more across mobile, the web, and traditional TV

$215M: Flock Freight, which uses AI to match and combine shippers' partial truckloads, raises $215M Series D at a $1.3B valuation; investors last valued the CA company at $500M for a Series C in December; less-than-truckload carriers usually consolidate shipments at hubs, and Flock's approach reduces carbon emissions, risk of freight damage, etc

$200M: Learning platform 360Learning raises $200M from SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and others; the company offers simple course creation tools so companies can use the platform to generate training materials using YouTube videos and various file types; administrators can track course analytics, and employees can give feedback on classes

$187M: Olo ($4B market cap), an ordering platform for restaurants, acquires Wisely, a customer intelligence platform for restaurants, for $187M ($77M in cash, the remainder in stock); Wisely enables restaurants to personalize customer experiences and maximize lifetime value; Wisely also offers CRM, automated marketing, and more

$174M: Enpal, which offers solar panels and storage via subscription, raises $174M, closing its Series C at $290M; the Berlin-based startup claims 10k customers in Germany; customers pay for the energy they use, not the equipment, and can purchase the hardware for $1 at the end of a 20-year contract

$150M: Republic, an investing platform enabling non-accredited investors to purchase fractional shares in startups, real estate, and more, raises $150M Series B; the New York City company also operates a blockchain consultancy arm and a private capital division with $1B in assets under management

$100M: Saildrone, which uses autonomous, solar-powered craft to collect data relevant to climate change and more, raises $100M Series C; the company uses AI and machine learning to record weather information, measure wildlife populations, map the ocean floor, etc

$100M: Rossum, which uses AI to automate document processing and data extraction, raises $100M from General Catalyst and others; the system unifies inbound documents from email, scanners, and more, and automates associated workflows; customers include Bosch, PepsiCo, and Siemens

$78M: FlixMobility to acquire Greyhound Lines from FirstGroup in a $78M deal; Munich-based FlixMobility operates in 36 countries outside the US, serving ~2.5k destinations; Greyhound serves ~2.4k destinations in North America and 16M passengers per year

$52M: AllPlants, which offers frozen vegan meals for delivery, raises ~$52M Series B; the London-based B-Corp offers subscription bundles, such as the Meat Lovers Bundle and the Plant Hero Bundle, and delivers 6 chef-made meals per box

$50M: Primer, a no-code platform for building payment flows, raises $50M Series B at a $425M valuation; provides a drag-and-drop interface that allows clients to integrate Apple Pay, Stripe, and other providers; enables merchants to establish what happens during different checkout scenarios and to offer or test different providers

$50M: Honeycomb, an observability platform for cloud apps, raises $50M Series C; the startup helps clients including Slack and Stripe to troubleshoot apps and systems and to respond to incidents and performance problems

$50M: Parallel, an NFT-based sci-fi card game, raises $50M at a $500M valuation; the startup released its first card pack in August, generating $105M in transaction volume; one card sold for $1.1M

$25M: Sam Altman's Worldcoin emerges with $25M in funding and a $1B valuation from Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, and Reid Hoffman; the cryptocurrency startup aims to scale crypto adoption, and uses eye scans to verify new users, who receive free Worldcoin; Co-Founder and CEO Alex Blania said Worldcoin could eventually serve as infrastructure for a universal basic income

10k: Facebook to create 10k new jobs in the European Union over the next 5 years as part of its push to establish a metaverse; the company previously referred to its VR-based work meetings app Horizon Workrooms as a metaverse project; Facebook has said focusing on VR will reduce its reliance on other hardware makers

💸 Q3 financials

Tesla ($855.6B market cap) Q3 beats: $13.76B revenue ($13.63B expected); $1.62B net income (GAAP), up from $331M for the year-earlier period; $12.06B automotive revenue at a cost of $8.38B; the company reported a 26.6% gross margin overall, and 30.5% for its automotive business; $806M energy business revenue; $894M services & other

Netflix ($294B market cap) Q3 beats: Q3 results were driven by growth in paid memberships to 214 million viewers with net additions of 4.4M viewers. Quarterly revenue climbed 16% YoY to $7.48B, in line with estimates. The APAC region contributed the most to paid memberships with 2.2M net additions during the quarter

📰 What’s going on

Apple unveils the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros featuring the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, MagSafe charging, HDMI port, and SD card slot; the laptops do not feature the Touch Bar; both processors have eight high-performance cores and two efficiency cores; orders now open, shipping starts next week

Apple announces the third-generation AirPods at $179, shipping next week; the buds have shorter stems and are now water and sweat resistant; with the case, the buds provide 30 hours of total use, 6 of continuous listening; they also feature adaptive EQ

Apple announces a new $4.99-per-month Voice plan for Apple Music; subscribers will have access across devices, but only via Siri; the tier will launch in 17 countries later this fall; Amazon Music has a similar subscription, the $3.99-per-month Echo plan, which allows access via Alexa on Echo and Fire TV devices

Twitter opens the ability to create Spaces to all users; the company launched the audio chat feature last November, but initially limited hosting to users with at least 600 followers

Twitter acquires London-based group chat app Sphere; terms undisclosed; Sphere will shut down its standalone app and the 20-member team will join Twitter

Amazon announces the the Product Opportunity Explorer, a tool enabling marketplace merchants to see aggregate data about what customers are looking for but not finding and clicking on but not buying, pricing trends, more; the European Commission previously accused Amazon of systematically using non-public marketplace data to complete with marketplace merchants

Amazon and Starbucks held talks to launch shop/cafes under a new brand; the plans have seen been delayed, if not canceled; the shops would feature the grab-and-go food of an Amazon Go store as well as a Starbucks lounge

Facebook plans to rebrand; Mark Zuckerberg said in July that the firm would transition its image from a social company to a metaverse brand; Zuckerberg reportedly will speak about the change at the Connect conference on Oct 28th; The Verge notes its likely Facebook will exist under the new brand alongside Instagram, Oculus, etc

LinkedIn to shut down in China. “LinkedIn is]facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China,” Mohak Shroff, senior vice president at LinkedIn

Google unveils the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, starting at $600 and $900, respectively; each comes with 128GB of storage, with the Pixel 6 expandable to 256GB and the 6 Pro to 512GB; both feature Google's ARM-based Tensor system-on-a-chip, which includes a Tensor Processing Unit for AI processing; pre-orders open now, the phones ship Oct 28

Snap announces Arcadia, a studio that will help brands develop AR experiences for the web and AR apps; early clients include P&G Beauty, Shake Shack, and Verizon; Arcadia, a division of Snap, will operate independently

PayPal ($303.6B market cap) is in talks to acquire Pinterest ($40.4B market cap); PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said last month the company had big plans for shopping tools and to become more of a destination; PayPal recently agreed to acquire buy-now-pay-later firm Paidy for $2.7B

Stripe has acquired Recko, a Bengaluru, India-based payments reconciliation startup, for an undisclosed amount

AT&T launches game streaming using Google's white-label Stadia platform; when Google announced the shutdown of Stadia Games and Entertainment early this year, the company said it would make its game-streaming tech available to other companies; AT&T Wireless customers can now stream "Batman: Arkham Knight" for free

Tesco launches its first cashier-free GetGo store in London; the company previously tested the tech at its head office in Welwyn Garden City, selling only to employees; the system uses cameras and AI to track customers around the store, and scales to detect which items they remove from shelves 

📚 Good reads

How Amazon runs devices and Alexa , with Amazon’s SVP of devices Dave Limp. “When you’re trying to delight customers, it’s such a good start when you have a great product. You can delight customers with okay products, but if you have great products, you’re immediately running at full speed“. “Whatever technology you have in your home, the only thing I’m sure of is it’s not going to be homogenous. There is no one company that can build everything that you want […] then the next thing you have to come to grips with is you better be working really hard on open interoperability“

The directness of Amazon, a valuable part of its culture that is often misunderstood, by Google Senior Staff Engineer, and former Amazon Principal Engineer Carlos A.

8 Product prioritization frameworks, with Pros and Cons, by Product Collective

The art of interviewing in Product Discovery. A great and insightful guide by Pierre Fournier

10 useful productivity hacks for Product Managers, by Masroor Ahmed. What are yours?

Keeping moats at the core of your product strategy. Paul Ortchanian explains 11 types of MOAT, and the three main pillars they sit under: market expansion, innovation and cost-efficiency

The most popular digital bank in (almost) every country in the world, by BusinessFinancing.co.uk

The brazen strategy behind China tech's growth. Irrespective of all the structural advantages enjoyed by Chinese tech companies (large market, relatively lax regulation, and late-mover advantage), one thing sets them apart from their Western competitors: aggressive experimentation with core products. The core of this strategy lies in its belief that innovation has less to do with finding market inefficiencies, but rather with playing an active role in forming supply and demand. The implementation of these formats have seen 20-year-old Alibaba grow 34% last Q; Pinduoduo reached 850M active buyers in 6 years; and ByteDance's TikTok achieved 1B global users and overtook YouTube's average watch time. Live e-commerce reached $171B in China, making up 10% of total e-commerce. In comparison, that figure in the U.S. is less than $1B. Even as live e-commerce made up less than 1% of its revenue, Alibaba gave it a top slot on its app. This is in direct conflict with now year-long discussion in the U.S. about live streaming as the "next big thing," which never translated into big moves by companies. What fundamentally differentiates Chinese tech companies from their U.S.-based peers is their willingness to use core products as a place for experimentation. And then…

Visual Capitalist takes a look at the world's most valuable brands in 2021:

Have a great weekend


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