It seems as though Substack has been approaching writers at top national publications in the USA and offering them the ability to create and obtain subscribers on Substack. It also sounds like they are offering these writers minimum guarantees to move, which allows the writers to have a very minimal downside on moving.
Warren Buffett’s views on Jeff Bezos and how he has changed the world.
Why this matters: Warren Buffett for a long time has been watching Jeff Bezos and commenting on how amazing the run of Amazon has been. It would have been very interesting if Warren Buffett understood the technology industry at the beginning of the internet as it would have provided a lot of great investment opportunities.
Another amazing interview by Jason on This Week in Startups.
Domm Holland runs Fast, a one-click checkout for the entire Internet.
It seems like Domm noticed that Amazon’s one click patent expired and took advantage.
Xiaomi is a very interesting company with a very interesting business model.
The vast majority of phone manufacturers around the world create a smartphone with a cost of around $100 and then they spend a huge amount of money on marketing and branding. The company then believes that the smartphone has a much higher percieved value – so they sell it for $400 or above.
Xiaomi doesn’t do this!
Xiaomi is aiming to sell all of its products as close as possible to their costs – as they want to have as many products available in the world as possible.
Once out in the world and being use – Xiaomi then looks to drive revenues from providing software and services around these products, which has a much higher margin that the hardware itself. Thus, driving higher demand, more product adoption and thus more revenues from services.
Asana is one of the world’s most popular project and task management software (we use Asana in our office). A week ago Asana filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.
Instead of an IPO – Asana has elected to file for a direct listing (which means that they aren’t selling any new shares in the listing only the existing ones).
By the numbers:
- For the year ending Jan. 31, 2020, Asana had a loss of $118.6 million on $142.6 million in revenue. For the year ending Jan. 31, 2019, it lost $50.9 million on $76.8 million in revenue.
- The company says it has more than 3.2 million free account users and 75,000 paying customers with a total of 1.2 million paying users across 190 countries.
- Asana’s biggest shareholders are co-founder and CEO Dustin Moskovitz, Benchmark Capital, Generation Management, and Founders Fund.
- According to its most recent secondary trades, Asana’s stock traded at a volume-weighted average price of $15.82 in fiscal 2020, $15.98 in Q1 2021, and $17.26 in Q2 2021.
Blackstone Acquires Ancestry for $4.7 billion from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Permira, Silver Lake, Spectrum Equity
Blackstone has acquired Ancestry for $4.7 billion from a group of private equity investors (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Permira, Silver Lake, Spectrum Equity)
Within eight years those private equity investors purchased Ancestry for $1.3 billion and have now sold for $4.7 billion. Not a bad return!
Ancestry currently has $1 billion in annual revenue from a base of more than 3 million customers who pay for its various family history services.
Waymo at present has a private valuation that is twice as high as Tesla.
How can this be?
Margins! Tesla is focused on the full production of the car where Waymo is focused purely on the underlying technology with self driving cars. Thus, Waymo will have a Gross Margin that is extremely high in comparison to Tesla.
Eric Schmidt talked about this a lot. How Google and its products always wanted to be focused on providing the technology sub stack instead of the full product as it keeps margins at a high level and thus maximising value.
Google is one of the world’s largest technology companies and at present the majority of its work force are contractors. Its reported that there are over 90,000 direct employees at Google.
Google’s Alphabet Inc. employs hordes of these red- and green-badged contract workers in addition to its full-fledged staff. They serve meals and clean offices. They write code, handle sales calls, recruit staff, screen YouTube videos, test self-driving cars and even manage entire teams – a sea of skilled laborers that fuel the $795 billion company but reap few of the benefits and opportunities available to direct employees.
Verizon recently announced their acquisition of BlueJeans and it was very well times as it was remote working was starting to explode around the world due to Coronavirus COVID-19.
BlueJeans has long been one of the favourite video conferencing applications for the enterprise, but it has never really catched on outside the large enterprise deals.
Is this an opportunity for Verizon to also create a consumer version on BlueJeans?
Apple will soon be showing all users where their closest COVID-19 Test location is in Apple Maps. There will be a red medical glyph icon, and a special banner in the Apple Maps card.
Apple has launched a portal for hospitals, healthcare providers and businesses to register as a COVID-19 testing location. Apple will review the application and when approved, the location will start appearing on Apple Maps.
The testing locations will appear with a red medical glyph icon, and a special banner in the Apple Maps card.