el producto #184

Angel Jaime
Jul 18 · 8 min read

Slack vs Teams, Google and Instagram (video)shopping, Q2 results, G suite updates, Flipkart funding & growth, Twitter megahack, more.

Welcome to a new edition of el producto


🎰 The week in figures

$1.2B: Indian e-commerce company Flipkart raises $1.2B led by Walmart for a $24.9B post-valuation; Walmart acquired a 77% stake in Flipkart for $16B two years ago, valuing the firm at $20.8B; 13-year-old Flipkart recently surpassed 1.5B visits per month; the company saw a 45% surge in active customers in Q1

$914M: Chicago-based insurtech firm GoHealth raises $914M as it debuts on the Nasdaq; the online health insurance broker sold shares at $21 apiece, above its guide price of $18 to $20 a share; trading under the symbol GOCO

$500M: Uber is considering selling a $500M stake in its freight business to outside investors, according to Bloomberg sources; if a deal moves forward, Uber Freight will have a post-money valuation of $4B; Uber says it’s unable to comment on the discussions

$320M: Robinhood raises $320M Series F for an $8.6B post-valuation, bringing the round total to $600M; market volatility has driven demand for the company’s zero-fee trading app this year; Robinhood recently promised to improve the app’s education resources and messaging following the suicide of a user

$200M: Plant-based milk maker Oatly became a unicorn after raising $200M at a valuation of $2B — a 6x increase in valuation in less than a year

$125M: Data handling firm Qumulo raises $125M Series E on a $1.2B post-money valuation led by BlackRock; Qumolo offers enterprise data management and storage solutions; has raised $351M to date

$120M: Auth0, which provides a cloud-based identity platform for developers, raises $120M Series F for a $1.92B post-valuation; enables the integration of identity management with a few lines of code; the company grew its revenue and customer base by 70% last year and now serves thousands of clients; raised $330M to date

500k/h: India-based short videos app Roposo claims it’s seeing 500k new users an hour, and anticipates it will reach 100M by the end of July; follows an Indian government ban against TikTok other Chinese apps which went into effect late last month; Roposo had 55M users before TikTok was blocked

130: Twitter says ~130 high-profile accounts were targeted in a hack earlier this week; the company notes it’s still working to establish whether the hackers accessed users’ private data. Investigators have determined hackers were able to get access to at least one Twitter employee’s credentials; it’s unknown whether the staff member colluded with the hackers or if they were tricked. Twitter has been searching for a new chief security officer; the company had stepped up efforts to hire someone before Wednesday’s mass hack took place

8 years: Samsung says commercialization of 6G networks could start as soon as 2028, with mainstream adoption to begin in 2030; 6G standards are yet to be defined, but Samsung predicts the tech will offer peak data rates of up to 1k Gbps, 50 times that of 5G; the company also suggests 6G could be used to power on-device volumetric holograms

50%: Sony and Facebook-owned Oculus both plan to increase shipments of their flagship gaming products by at least 50% this year; Sony will ship ~10M PlayStation 5 units, up from the 6M it initially planned; Oculus will produce 2M VR headsets, up from 1M for the previous year

15%: A/B testing firm Optimizely cuts 60 jobs, equal to 15% of its workforce; the company says its business has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak; those affected will continue to get six months of health coverage


📰 What’s going on

Airbnb is resuming plans to go public; co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky spoke with employees via video, suggesting the company could list as soon as this year; Chesky explained the firm’s gross bookings have rebounded in recent weeks after being heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic; Chesky also noted the firm could still be affected by future lockdowns

Uber acquires Atlanta-based Routematch, which provides software for public transit operators; terms undisclosed; Routematch currently serves 550 transit agencies in North America and Australia, providing fleet management, route planning, payment processing, more; Uber announced its first software deal with a transit agency last month

Google removes tweet carousels from Search results following the recent mass Twitter hack; Google says the move is temporary, but notes it will not reinstate the feature until it has carried out a review

Google announces G Suite update that includes numerous new product integrations; Gmail on the web and mobile will see integrations with Chat, Meet, and Rooms; integrations with Docs, Sheets, and other productivity tools will enable a Gmail user to collaborate on a document with a video chat window open; the update expands Gmail search to include Chat; also provides new “do not disturb” and “out of office” settings

Google’s Area 120 launches video shopping platform Shoploop, currently limited to the mobile web; provides an interactive shopping experience in which users watch brief product videos from third-party creators, who establish their own deals with brands; Shoploop is not yet monetized

Mozilla launches rebranded VPN in general availability; Mozilla VPN, formerly Firefox Private Network, is available for Windows and Android at $5 per month; currently live in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Singapore, and Malaysia, other markets later this year; also coming to iOS

Microsoft spins out its chatbot service Xiaoice; the standalone company will continue to operate its empathetic chat tool, which is designed to emulate the personality of a teenage girl; launched it 2014, it was initially focused on the Chinese market; Xiaoice later launched in Japan where it was rebranded Rinna

Microsoft will offer its xCloud game streaming service as part of its $15 a month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription; unclear whether it will be offered as a standalone product; currently available is a beta, xCloud lets users play select Xbox titles via mobile devices; rolls out publicly in September

Instagram plans to launch TikTok competitor Reels in the US in early August; the company launched Reels in India this month after that country banned TikTok and other China-owned apps; the Trump administration is considering banning TikTok in the US; Instagram plans to expand Reels to ~50 countries in coming weeks

Instagram launches Shop with Facebook Pay support; found within Explore, the shopping feature allows users to browse products from brands and creators, as well as Instagram-curated collections; users can filter according to product type, and can check out without leaving the Instagram app; also provides a Suggested For You section

Facebook is set to add support for officially licensed music videos from next month; the company has relayed its plans to admins who oversee Pages for musical artists; Pages will be able to automatically add to their feed videos in which a musician features

Niklas Ostberg, CEO of Germany-based Delivery Hero, says he’s in talks with other food delivery firms about potential M&A deals; Ostberg notes those discussions include Colombia-based Rappi and Spanish counterpart Glovo; Delivery Hero is already an investor in both companies; follows Just Eat Takeaway’s takeover of GrubHub and Uber’s acquisition of Postmates

Amazon unveils the Dash Cart: a smart shopping cart with touch screen display, scale, and sensors enabling cashier-free checkout; the company will first deploy the carts in its Woodland Hills grocery store, which is fulfilling online grocery orders but hasn’t yet opened to the public; the location is not a Go store, meaning it does not feature the tech needed for cashier-free checkouts; Dash Cart alone will power frictionless checkout at that location

Amazon extends global work-from-home policy from Oct 2 to Jan 8; employees who can effectively do their jobs from home have the option of doing so through the first week of the year; Apple, Facebook, and Google each said their employees could work from home through year’s end; Twitter made the option permanent

Amazon expands its Influencer Program to include live-streaming via Amazon Live; the program enables content creators the earn money through product referrals, like Amazon’s Associates program, but with custom URLs for showcasing favorite products; previously, the Influencer Program only supported third-party platforms

Apple releases iOS 13.6, adding curated local news and audio content for News+, and Car Key, which enables users to lock/unlock and start supported vehicles via iPhone; News+ Audio features professionally narrated stories curated by Apple News; Car Key allows users to share digital keys via iMessage and continues to work five hours after an iPhone runs out of power

Browser firm Brave partners with crypto exchange Gemini for a built-in widget for buying and selling digital currencies; currently available via developer builds of Brave, it’s expected to be rolled out to all users over the coming weeks; Brave rewards users who see ads with its own crypto token BAT, which Gemini supports on its platform

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service is now live in the US; offers an ad-supported free tier with access to 13k hours of programming; $5 per month ad-supported Peacock Premium offers 20k hours of shows and movies; Peacock Premium (Ad-Free) costs $10 per month and removes almost all ads

Zoom unveils 27-inch teleconferencing device, DTEN ME, part of the Zoom For Home product program; the $600, DTEN-manufactured device features 3 smart cameras and 8 microphones with noise reduction; the unit will ship with Zoom software preinstalled; can pair with other devices for screen sharing; shipping in August

Snapchat is testing a new vertical swiping motion, a gesture popularized by TikTok; on TikTok, the move allows users to transition from one video to another; Snapchat says it’s trialing a similar motion in Discover, but not in its Stories section; currently available for select users


💰 Q2 financials

Netflix ($231.9B market cap) Q2 mixed: $6.1B revenue, up 24.9% YoY ($6B expected); $1.59 EPS ($1.81 expected); the company predicts 2.5M new subscribers in Q3 (5.3M expected)

Huawei reports ~$64.9B revenue for the first half of 2020, up 13.1% YoY; the company, which is not publicly traded, also claims a net profit margin of 9.2% , up from 8.7% on the same period last year

Next week’s earnings:

  • Snap (Tuesday)

👩🏾‍💻 Good reads

Product Management in 12 pictures. Paul Ortchanian from Bain Public shares some insightful illustrations on Product Management questions and challenges

Getting into Autonomous Vehicles Product Management. A chat with Lyft’s PM Charlotte

The Slack social network. How Microsoft Teams is winning battles, while Slack builds moats. The key is integration

[Podcast + Transcript] Building complex organizations through simple constraints: Zappos. John Bunch explains why Zappos uses research on cities to inform its internal structure, and the ambition to create an anti-fragile company that can be around for 1000 years and more

China Internet Report 2020 by SCMP Research


🙂 #alwaysbekind

During the upcoming weeks (for as long as the Covid-19 crisis goes on) I will keep dedicating my evenings to offer free consultation / advice / coaching / casual chats to any impacted professionals that would like to reach out. Don’t be a stranger, reach out by DM if you are interested, and let’s help each other. We are all humans after all, and we are all on the same boat

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