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Chime Raises $500 Million At A $5.8 Billion Valuation

As first reported by CNBC, Chime, a San Francisco-based digital bank, has raised $500 million in Series E funding that values it at $5.8 billion, a significant increase from a $1.5 billion valuation when it raised funding just nine months ago. DST Global, which led the previous round that valued Chime at $1.5 billion, is said to have led the $500 million Series E. According to CNBC, Chime CEO Chris Britt plans on putting the new capital towards developments of new products and doubling the company's workforce by the end of next year.


$500 million in a single round marks the biggest single equity investment known so far for a digital bank, surpassing a previous record set by Nubank when it raised $400 million in July. This round included, Chime's total funding since inception now stands at $809 million, according to Crunchbase data.

A near quadruple in valuation in the space of nine months may be explained by Chime's remarkable growth, with CNBC stating that the company ha…
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CuriosityStream Hits 10.5 Million Paying Subscribers

CuriosityStream, a streaming service founded by former Discovery chairman John Hendricks, has announced it has eclipsed 10.5 million subscribers, the count not including registrants who are under free trial. The announcement happens to come at a time media houses are debuting individual streaming services to better control their content and compete with streaming incumbent Netflix.

CuriosityStream happens to have drawn a high number of subscribers while being quite low-key in comparison to other newer streaming services. The streaming service, which focuses on subjects like science and nature, attributes its subscriber growth to bundled partnerships with already established cable distributors, a playbook newer streaming services can draw from. CuriosityStream has established partnerships with cable distributors across several countries, for example Altice USA and Suddenlink in the U.S., Airtel in India, and Multichoice’s DStv across Africa. The partnerships involve the distributors i…

Uber Said To Be In Talks To Acquire Foresight

According to a report from The Information, Uber is in advanced talks to acquire the team behind Foresight, a San Jose-based startup that develops simulation software for self-driving car prototypes. The report made no mention of the deal terms.

Foresight is quite the low-key startup, with its website containing substantial information on its core product but minuscule information about its team. Even Crunchbase spots little information about the company, with no mention of any investment or its team. However, Foresight's website mentions its CEO by name of Chang Yuan. A simple search led to a LinkedIn profile that indicates Yuan formerly worked at the likes of Microsoft, Lenovo, Amazon and Apple. His LinkedIn profile indicates he spent more than two years at Apple before leaving to start Foresight two years ago.

An acquisition, or moreover an acqui-hire, after two years doesn't sound far-fetched. Uber pulled a similar move earlier this year when it acquired Mighty AI, a Seat…

TikTok Chief To Meet With U.S. Lawmakers

As first reported by the Washington Post, TikTok chief Alex Zhu is set to make a trip to Washington to meet with U.S. lawmakers in an effort to tackle concerns of privacy, security and censorship risks emanating from the app's Chinese origins. Such trip would indicate efforts by TikTok to maintain its spike in popularity at a time when U.S.-China relationships are strained and U.S. officials are cautious about Chinese companies gaining foothold in U.S. markets where domestic companies have long dominated.

Such a trip could also see TikTok's head Zhu, who is based out of Shanghai, face some of the app's biggest critics, in the form of U.S. lawmakers. The Washington Post reports Zhu has sought a meeting with senators Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, each of whom have questioned TikTok's independence from Chinese influence. Zhu is also said to be planning to meet with senator Marsha Blackburn, who has pushed for TikTok to better protect children online in regard…

JFrog Said To Haved Hired Banks For An IPO

According to a Bloomberg report, JFrog, a San Francisco-based company that makes software for software developers, has hired JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley to lead an initial public offering that's aimed for next year. Bloomberg reports JFrog could seek a valuation of $2 billion or more for its listing, compared to a $1 billion+ valuation when it raised funding last year.

Founded in 2008, JFrog makes software used by software developers to deploy and manage software. The company's flagship product is known as "Artifactory", being a repository manager that supports several software package formats. JFrog also offers security, distribution, and pipelining software for developers. The company has attracted more than 4,500 customers so far, including top tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix.

According to Crunchbase data, JFrog has raised $227 million in total funding, its most recent being a $165 million Series D raised last year October. Having …

Sequoia Leads $65 Million Series C For Gong

Gong, a San Francisco-based "revenue intelligence" startup, has announced $65 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Battery Ventures, Cisco Investments, Norwest Venture Partners, NextWorld Capital, Wing Venture Capital, and cyber-security veteran Shlomo Kramer. All aforementioned investors excluding Sequoia were already previous investors in Gong.

The funding brings the total raised by Gong to $134 million. The San Francisco-based company says it'll use the capital to invest in its product, engineering, and go-to-market teams. Under the terms of the funding, Sequoia partner Carl Eschenbach, who previously served as President and COO of VMWare for more than a decade, will join Gong's board. This marks an addition to other board seats he holds at top tech companies like Workday, Zoom, Snowflake Computing and Palo Alto Networks.

According to Israeli financial newspaper Globes, Gong's new funding values it at $750 million, a qui…

Lucid Motors Flags Off Construction Of Arizona Factory

Lucid Motors, an electric car startup that secured a $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund last year, has officially flagged off construction of a $700 million factory in the state of Arizona. The factory, chosen after a search spanning 13 U.S. states and more than 60 sites, is where Lucid intends to produce its first car, the Lucid Air. The first phase of the construction will cost Lucid more than $300 million, an investment that's expected to get it ready to begin producing the Lucid Air. The aforementioned $700 million figure is what Lucid expects to put towards full completion of the factory.


Lucid held an official event to celebrate the start of construction of its electric vehicle facility. Attendees at the event included executives of the company and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, alongside officials of the state. Lucid says the factory is expected to create 4,800 direct and indirect jobs by 2029, and bring along an estimated $32 billion revenu…

Nigeria To License More Payment Providers

Nigeria's central bank plans to license more payment providers to operate in its jurisdiction in an effort to improve the financial-inclusion rate of its citizens to 80% by the end of next year from about 60% currently, the country's Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said in a statement on Friday. “The provision of licenses to several players will help support innovation and competition as all parties work to increase their customer base,” he said in a speech delivered in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.

“Nigerians in underserved locations will have access to cost effective payment services, cash-in and cash-out facilities, and savings products.” Emefiele said. Such measures come as Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and biggest economy, sees a push in digital banking services thanks to the rise of some relatively new payments services and new solutions from already existing banks alike. However, even with such growth, Nigeria's digital banking reach pales whe…

Deliveroo Loses CFO, Poaches Airbnb Executive

Raif Jacobs, the chief financial officer of U.K. food delivery startup Deliveroo, has left the company after just a year on the job, adding to a substantial number of executive departures at Deliveroo. Jacobs left the company early October, around the same time frame the U.K.'s competition watchdog launched an investigation into a big Amazon investment in Deliveroo. The investment in concern was a $575 million investment led by Amazon, with participation from Greenoaks, T. Rowe Price, and Fidelity. The funding process got paused by regulators in July, with a formal investigation launched several months later.

The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stipulated that Amazon's large investment may lead to a future merger with  Deliveroo, and said it was considering whether such a situation may "result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services." A deadline of the 11th of December was …

Wag CEO Hilary Schneider Departs

Wag, a Softbank-backed on-demand dog walking startup, has announced a departure of its current CEO, Hilary Schneider, who took on the role just last year, as at the time of a $300 million investment from the Softbank Vision Fund. Schneider is stepping down effective November 29, to be replaced by Garrett Smallwood, who is being promoted from a VP position. Smallwood is joining Wag's board as part of his transition to the CEO role.


Schneider's departure represents the third time Wag is going through a CEO change since its founding in 2015. Schneider, who has been Wag's CEO for just short of two years, replaced co-founder Joshua Viner when she took on the role. Smallwood is now replacing her, as she heads on to a CEO role at photography company Shutterfly. Prior to Wag, Schneider served as CEO at LifeLock, an identity theft protection company acquired by Symantec for $2.3 billion in March 2017.

The CEO change at Wag comes on the heels of reports of the company facing strugg…

Uber Loses London Operating License, Again

Uber has lost its license to operate in the city of London, marking the second time in just over two years that such situation is occurring. The London license cease, announced on Monday, was due to Uber's app not being “fit and proper” in regards to passenger safety, London's transportation regulator said. The decision to not renew the license comes at the end of a two-month probationary extension period that was added to a prior 15-month running license.

Uber was required by Transport for London (TfL), London's transportation regulator, to address issues regarding checks on drivers, insurance and safety, but seems to have not satisfied TfL, which said it had identified “pattern of failures” in regards to those requirements. The transportation regulator cited a case where a change to Uber's systems allowed unauthorized drivers to upload their photos to other drivers' accounts, entailing they could pickup passengers as if they were the booked driver.

TfL said such…

Darktrace Could Be Heading For An IPO

Darktrace, a U.K. cybersecurity startup that was valued at $1.65 billion after raising funding last year, could be looking towards a public offering, indicated by a closeness to naming a chief financial officer, Bloomberg reports. Companies looking to go public typically appoint a CFO, usually of high-profile, to take on the role of spearheading the company's finances in preparation for a voyage on the public markets. Also, with $231 million in funding and a high valuation to go along, Darktrace seems like a company that's ready to hit the public markets, especially if it's found stability in its business model.

In an interview, Darktrace co-founder and co-CEO Poppy Gustafsson said the company added about 400 employees in the past year, and expects to keep growing at a similar rate. However, she also noted that Darktrace hasn't made a firm decision regarding debuting on the public markets, and said the company doesn't require additional investments for its expansi…

Airbnb Reportedly Lost $100 Million In Q2

According to a report from The Information, Airbnb lost about $100 million in the second quarter of this year, compared to a profit of $10 million it made in the same period last year. The Information reports the loss is driven by increased marketing and administrative expenses, an indication that the company is dedicating more resources to its growth ahead of a planned IPO next year. A previous report from The Information had said Airbnb lost $306 million in the first quarter of this year, attributable in part to higher sales and marketing spend.

The losses recorded by Airbnb this year are in contrast to an upheld status as one of the few profitable private tech companies out there. Airbnb is known to have been profitable for two years running before reports of losses sprang up this year. While losses due to higher investments and bets on growth could pay off in the long-term, it may muddle Airbnb's ability to present itself to investors as a tech company that makes money, espec…

Carbon Names Ellen Kullman As CEO

3D printing unicorn Carbon has announced the appointment of Ellen Kullman, of DuPont fame, as its new CEO, with current CEO Joseph DeSimone transitioning to the role of Executive Chairman. Kullman who has been a board member at Carbon since 2016 will remain as one as she serves as CEO. Carbon touts the leadership change as one that has been "worked on to prepare the company for its next chapter", which we speculate is an IPO.

As CEO, Kullman will lead the development and execution of short- and long-term strategies, a Carbon press release said, while DeSimone transitions to a role that doesn't entail much day-to-day management. As Executive Chairman, DeSimone will focus on growing adoption of the 3D printing company's Digital Manufacturing Platform, and pushing the company's vision to existing and prospective customers, partners and the general public.

DeSimone, who was previously a professor at the University of North Carolina for more than two decades, founded…

PayPal Scoops Up Honey For $4 Billion

PayPal has announced it has agreed to acquire Honey Science Corporation, an LA-based tech company behind a popular eponymous deals and coupons discovery tool, for roughly $4 billion. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, subject to conventional closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. It represents PayPal's biggest acquisition since inception, and a likely mouth-watering win for Honey's shareholders, given the company only raised a relatively paltry $49 million in total funding.

After the acquisition, Honey will retain its headquarters in Los Angeles, where its co-founders George Ruan and Ryan Hudson will continue to lead its team but as part of PayPal's global consumer product and technology organization. The two co-founders will report to PayPal SVP John Kunze while maintaining their positions.

Honey was founded in 2012, and has grown to be a deals discovery tool with roughly 17 million monthly active users. The LA-based comp…

DoorDash Said To Be Considering Direct Listing

According to a Bloomberg report, DoorDash, which is fresh off $100 million in funding, is considering a direct stock listing for its planned debut on the public markets instead of taking the traditional IPO route. A direct listing entails a heads-on debut on the public markets rather than taking the conventional route of issuing new shares and raising capital from investors in order to do so. The direct listing route hasn't been around for long, just pioneered by music streaming service Spotify last year. Shortly after, Slack became the second major tech company to take that route, having directly debuted on the public markets just a few months ago.

According to Bloomberg, DoorDash has held talks with investment bank Goldman Sachs about a direct listing. Such idea doesn't seem far-fetched, given DoorDash has already raised billions in funding. The San Francisco-based company may not be looking to raise additional capital, hence the need for a direct listing. However, Bloomber…

Squarespace Said To Be In Talks For $400 Million Debt Funding

According to a Bloomberg report, Squarespace is in talks with banks to take on as much as $400 million in debt financing that would help prepare the way for an initial public offering. Bloomberg reports the company is seeking to arrange the debt facility ahead of an IPO that could happen in 2021 or later. Its report also notes that Squarespace, unlike several other high-profile unicorns, is cash-flow positive.

Securing a credit facility from Wall Street banks often comes before a public offering. In such a case, companies typically return favors to banks that make significant lending commitments by offering roles on their IPOs, which in turn leads to substantial fees for the banks.

Squarespace, a do-it-yourself (DIY) website service, has raised nearly $300 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data. Last valued at $1.7 billion, the New York-based company is known be only backed by four VC firms; Index Ventures, Accel, General Atlantic and Mosaic Ventures.

Being cash-flow p…

Gett Closes Shop In NYC

Gett, a Volkswagen-backed Israeli ride-hailing company, has announced an already effective closure of its New York rideshare business, Juno. As part of the closure, Gett is transferring its corporate clients in the U.S. to Lyft's ride-hailing network, thanks to a strategic partnership between both companies. Corporate customers in the U.S. will still be able to book rides on Gett's app, but will be matched with drivers on Lyft instead of Juno from now on.

Gett says Juno's closure reinforces its strategy to "build a profitable company focused on the corporate transportation sector". The Tel-Aviv based company also partly blames Juno's closure on recently enacted NYC regulations in the ride-hailing sector, or to quote the company; "the enactment of misguided regulations in New York City earlier this year".

Gett shutting down a business it acquired for $200 million two years ago seems like quite a hit, but isn't so jolting given reports of an IPO …

Airbnb Seals Nine-Year Olympics Sponsorship Deal

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced it has sealed an agreement with Airbnb that entails the online accommodation marketplace joining The Olympic Partner Programme (TOP), the highest level of sponsorship offered by the Olympic Committee. Under the program, Airbnb will be a sponsor for the Olympic Games, with a contract that runs for a nine-year period. According to The Financial Times, Airbnb's sponsorship deal is valued at $500 million.


As a global partner, Airbnb will be a sponsor for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028. The partnership also covers Paralympic Games from 2020 through 2028.

Such partnership, centered mainly on marketing and brand awareness, is conventionally bound to bring in more business for Airbnb. Airbnb said the partnership will generate "hundreds of thousands of new hosts" on its plat…

Microsoft Hires Former U.S. AG To Probe AnyVision

Microsoft has said it has hired Eric Holder, a famed lawyer who served as the Attorney General of the U.S. from 2009 to 2015, to investigate if AnyVision, an Israeli AI company it invested in, violated Microsoft's ethics regarding use of facial recognition technology. Quoting a Microsoft spokesperson, Holder's team of former federal prosecutors "will move quickly, reviewing documents and conducting on the ground interviews with AnyVision employees and others to ensure a full and thorough investigation."


NBC News earlier reported Holder's hire. The news outlet previously reported that facial recognition technology developed by AnyVision had powered a secret military surveillance project for the Israel army that monitored Palestinians in the West Bank. According to NBC News, the project was so successful that AnyVision won Israel's top defense prize in 2018 for preventing "hundreds of terror attacks" using "large amounts of data." AnyVision…

Magic Leap Said To Be Raising More Funding

Magic Leap, a Florida-based augmented reality startup that's already garnered some $2.6 billion in funding, is raising even more funding according to a report from Variety. A spokesperson for the company further confirmed Variety's report, stating that Magic Leap "is in the midst of a significant financing round". “We have already closed a major portion of this round, some as equity and some as convertible debt that will become equity when the round is complete. The participants in this round include existing investors, new investors, and strategic partners.” The spokesperson said.

Initial signs of Magic Leap seeking more funding surfaced in August, when the company assigned all of its patents to JPMorgan Chase as collateral. Reports of the transfer recently surfaced on Hacker News, a popular technology-focused social news website/forum, where several commenters evinced that such arrangement could be an indicator of financial struggles. However, such arrangement isn…

Freshworks Raises $150 Million At A $3.5 Billion Valuation

Freshworks, a San Mateo, California-based company that makes a host of customer support software, has announced $150 million in Series H funding led by Alphabet's CapitalG, Sequoia Capital and Accel. The funding values Freshworks at $3.5 billion, up from $1.5 billion when it raised funding July last year. Notably, Accel, Sequoia, and CapitalG, the participants in this new funding, were the only investors in the previous round, entailing a double down on a previous bet on Freshworks.

The new funding brings the total raised by Freshworks to $400 million. The company says it'll make use of the investment to further global expansion and accelerate investments in its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. Freshworks was founded in 2010, formerly known as Freshdesk, and has grown to employ more than 2,500 currently. The San Mateo-based company has, as of late, embarked on what can be termed an expansion spree, having opened a second U.S. office last month, with plans to hire more t…

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Meet goPuff, A Low-key Delivery Company Worth $1 Billion

The food-delivery market is one with intense competition. The likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Deliveroo, Swiggy, Just Eat, Yelp Eat 24, and more are steadily competing for global market share while also raising huge funding. Just recently, Deliveroo raised $575 million in a round led by Amazon. DoorDash has also raised $600 million Series G funding at a $12.6 billion valuation.

Amid the intense battle, it turns out there's one hot startup that has stayed low key to avoid the eye of rivals, but it seems word is getting out. That low-key hot startup is goPuff, an on-demand delivery service that was valued at $1 billion last November (after an investment), according to regulatory filings reviewed by The Information. goPuff ships products to customers from centrally located facilities -- as opposed to direct pickup from stores -- in 81 U.S. cities.


The company -- based in Philadelphia -- stocks more than 3,000 products at its facilities which it then ships to customers who o…

Uber Said To Be In Talks To Acquire Foresight

According to a report from The Information, Uber is in advanced talks to acquire the team behind Foresight, a San Jose-based startup that develops simulation software for self-driving car prototypes. The report made no mention of the deal terms.

Foresight is quite the low-key startup, with its website containing substantial information on its core product but minuscule information about its team. Even Crunchbase spots little information about the company, with no mention of any investment or its team. However, Foresight's website mentions its CEO by name of Chang Yuan. A simple search led to a LinkedIn profile that indicates Yuan formerly worked at the likes of Microsoft, Lenovo, Amazon and Apple. His LinkedIn profile indicates he spent more than two years at Apple before leaving to start Foresight two years ago.

An acquisition, or moreover an acqui-hire, after two years doesn't sound far-fetched. Uber pulled a similar move earlier this year when it acquired Mighty AI, a Seat…

Ola Cabs gets $50 million round at $4.3 billion valuation

Indian ridesharing and mobility services company Ola Cabs has raised $50 million in funding from from 2 new Chinese investors, Sailing Capital and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF) with a valuation of $4.3 billion as disclosed in regulatory documents scoured by Paper.vc and reviewed by Indian publication Mint.

Both investors will hold a combined stake of more than 1% in Ola according to Mint's report.

This funding comes as at when Ola is taking on expansion into new markets with announced plans to launch soon in the U.K in addition to launching its service in Australia early this year.

Ola is reportedly in talks to raise as much as $1 billion even after hefty funding from the likes of Softbank and Tencent to boost its cash hoard as it takes on costly competition in the ridesharing market.






The firm has raised well over $2 billion across several rounds with a recent $225 million notable investment from Singaporean investor Temasek which provided exits for early i…

Chime Raises $500 Million At A $5.8 Billion Valuation

As first reported by CNBC, Chime, a San Francisco-based digital bank, has raised $500 million in Series E funding that values it at $5.8 billion, a significant increase from a $1.5 billion valuation when it raised funding just nine months ago. DST Global, which led the previous round that valued Chime at $1.5 billion, is said to have led the $500 million Series E. According to CNBC, Chime CEO Chris Britt plans on putting the new capital towards developments of new products and doubling the company's workforce by the end of next year.


$500 million in a single round marks the biggest single equity investment known so far for a digital bank, surpassing a previous record set by Nubank when it raised $400 million in July. This round included, Chime's total funding since inception now stands at $809 million, according to Crunchbase data.

A near quadruple in valuation in the space of nine months may be explained by Chime's remarkable growth, with CNBC stating that the company ha…

Nikola Raises $250 Million At A $3 Billion Valuation

Nikola, a formerly Utah but now Phoenix-based manufacturer of hydrogen-electric vehicles, has courted a $250 million Series D investment out of a targeted $1 billion raise. CNH Industrial, one of the world's largest capital goods companies, made the investment at a $3 billion pre-money valuation. The $250 million figure actually comprises of $100 million in cash and $150 million in services like product development, manufacturing engineering, and other forms of technical assistance that CNH will provide to Nikola.

CNH Industrial owns FPT Industrial, a leading manufacturer of powertrains for large vehicles, and Iveco, a leading manufacturer of heavy trucks. These two firms will provide strategic expertise for Nikola, which is known mainly for its hydrogen-electric (fuel cell) trucks. Iveco and FPT will provide engineering and manufacturing services to industrialize Nikola’s fuel-cell powered electric trucks, under the terms of CNH's investment. For example, Nikola has made pla…

TikTok Chief To Meet With U.S. Lawmakers

As first reported by the Washington Post, TikTok chief Alex Zhu is set to make a trip to Washington to meet with U.S. lawmakers in an effort to tackle concerns of privacy, security and censorship risks emanating from the app's Chinese origins. Such trip would indicate efforts by TikTok to maintain its spike in popularity at a time when U.S.-China relationships are strained and U.S. officials are cautious about Chinese companies gaining foothold in U.S. markets where domestic companies have long dominated.

Such a trip could also see TikTok's head Zhu, who is based out of Shanghai, face some of the app's biggest critics, in the form of U.S. lawmakers. The Washington Post reports Zhu has sought a meeting with senators Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Josh Hawley, each of whom have questioned TikTok's independence from Chinese influence. Zhu is also said to be planning to meet with senator Marsha Blackburn, who has pushed for TikTok to better protect children online in regard…

CuriosityStream Hits 10.5 Million Paying Subscribers

CuriosityStream, a streaming service founded by former Discovery chairman John Hendricks, has announced it has eclipsed 10.5 million subscribers, the count not including registrants who are under free trial. The announcement happens to come at a time media houses are debuting individual streaming services to better control their content and compete with streaming incumbent Netflix.

CuriosityStream happens to have drawn a high number of subscribers while being quite low-key in comparison to other newer streaming services. The streaming service, which focuses on subjects like science and nature, attributes its subscriber growth to bundled partnerships with already established cable distributors, a playbook newer streaming services can draw from. CuriosityStream has established partnerships with cable distributors across several countries, for example Altice USA and Suddenlink in the U.S., Airtel in India, and Multichoice’s DStv across Africa. The partnerships involve the distributors i…

Slack Records $135 Million Q1 Revenue

Slack -- on its way to an IPO -- has made changes to its S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, indicating its financial results for the first quarter of this year. The company's filing shows $134.8 million in Q1 2019 revenues, up 67% from the same period last year, but with losses of $31.8 million for this year's first quarter.

In comparison, Slack recorded $80.9 million in Q1 last year amid $24.8 million in losses. For the fiscal year ending January 31, 2019, Slack recorded revenues of $400.6 million amid $138.9 million in losses. The updated Q1 results indicate quite impressive growth and lower losses when compared as a percentage of total revenue.

Slack is getting ready for a direct listing on The New York Stock Exchange, where it'll trade under the ticker "WORK", in respect to its popularity as a workplace collaboration tool.



The Salesforce Mafia

You may know the PayPal Mafia, the group of ex PayPal founders and employees who have gone on to make big strides in the tech world. Elon Musk launched SpaceX and has led Tesla from a small startup to one with $21.4 billion revenue in 2018, Max Levchin launched Affirm which recently nabbed $300 million in funding at a $2.9 billion valuation, Peter Thiel launched Palantir which may go public soon and recently landed an $880 million contract with the US Army, Reid Hoffman launched LinkedIn which sold to Microsoft for $26 billion, and many more.

It turns out the many success stories spurned out of PayPal has been replicated in some places, one notable one being Salesforce, the cloud software company led by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff and a co-CEO Keith Block. Salesforce alumni have launched successful companies like Veeva Systems, Okta, Zuora, Rocket Fuel, G2 Crowd, and Duetto. Veeva Systems, Okta, and Zuora have IPOed in the billions and currently trade at a combined market ca…

Gett Closes Shop In NYC

Gett, a Volkswagen-backed Israeli ride-hailing company, has announced an already effective closure of its New York rideshare business, Juno. As part of the closure, Gett is transferring its corporate clients in the U.S. to Lyft's ride-hailing network, thanks to a strategic partnership between both companies. Corporate customers in the U.S. will still be able to book rides on Gett's app, but will be matched with drivers on Lyft instead of Juno from now on.

Gett says Juno's closure reinforces its strategy to "build a profitable company focused on the corporate transportation sector". The Tel-Aviv based company also partly blames Juno's closure on recently enacted NYC regulations in the ride-hailing sector, or to quote the company; "the enactment of misguided regulations in New York City earlier this year".

Gett shutting down a business it acquired for $200 million two years ago seems like quite a hit, but isn't so jolting given reports of an IPO …