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WeWork Publicly Unveils IPO Filing

A recent report that WeWork was preparing to unveil its IPO filing this week has proved true, with the co-working space company having done just that. WeWork just unveiled its S-1 filing with the SEC, revealing much previously unknown info and metrics of its business. Key takes from WeWork's S-1 filing include:
527,000 members as of Q2 2019 end, up from 401,000 in 2018 and 87,000 in 2016. More than 50% of WeWork's members are outside the US.528 WeWork locations (across 111 cities) worldwide, up from 425 (across 100 cities) in 2018 and 111 (across 34 cities)  in 201638% of the Global Fortune 500 are customers$1.54 billion revenue in the first half of this year, but with a $905 million loss in the same period. This is up from $764 million revenue in the first half of 2018 and a $723 million loss in the same period$320 million sales and marketing spend in the first half of this year, up from $140 million in the first half of 2018$3.3 billion revenue run rate (as of Q2 end), up fr…
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Salesforce Records $4 Billion Fiscal Q2 Revenue

Salesforce just announced its financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended July 31, 2019, showing $4 billion in revenue, a 22% increase from the same period last year. Subscription and support sales accounted for $3.75 billion in revenue, while Professional services and "other revenues" accounted for $252 million.

Salesforce shares rose 7% during after hours trading following the release of its quarterly results. Salesforce was seemingly on a spree this quarter, having made two big acquisitions: Tableau Software and ClickSoftware. In June, Salesforce reached a deal to acquire Tableau Software for $15.7 billion in stock, followed by a recent acquisition of ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion. Tableau was a publicly traded company, having been so for six years before the acquisition deal was reached. ClickSoftware on the other hand was purchased from private equity firm Francisco Partners, which earlier [in 2015] acquired it for $438 million.

"An enormous wave of di…

VMware Scoops Up Carbon Black And Pivotal Software

Some few days ago, VMware entered into negotiations to acquire Pivotal Software for $15 per share. As at that time, discussions were still underway with no final decision yet reached. Fast-forward till today, VMware and Pivotal have reached an acquisition deal, with VMware agreeing to pay $15 per share to all Pivotal's common stockholders. The Palo Alto-based company also came with a surprise deal, having also announced an agreement to acquire Carbon Black, a Massachusetts-based cloud security company, for $26 per share [a total of $2.1 billion].

Both acquisitions are expected to close in the second half of VMware’s fiscal year 2020, which ends on the 31st of January, 2020. The acquisition value for Pivotal Software ($15/share) amounts to $2.6 billion. VMware and Pivotal have long connections to each other, with the latter (Pivotal) having been incubated under VMware and EMC. As explained in a previous article, VMware and Pivotal have a common shareholder: Dell Technologies, whic…

Bose Debuts New Bluetooth Smart Speaker

Bose has unveiled a new product: the "Bose Portable Home Speaker", a $349 smart speaker that's Bluetooth and WiFi enabled, with support for Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. Using voice command, buyers of Bose's new speaker will be able to access playlists, news, podcasts, weather, smart home devices, and more, as normally done on Amazon and Google's own smart speakers.

The Bose Portable speaker can last for up to 12 hours on full charge, and weighs just 2.3 pounds to cater for easy movement [there's also a handle to cater for this]. Bose's new speaker is water resistant, and is built to be strong enough to withstand certain drops, knocks and hits. Charging is done through standard USB-C, or an optional charging cradle that costs $29.


On the Bose Portable Home Speaker, there are buttons located at its top to control basic functionality, including an option to cut power to the microphones [to prevent any possibility of listening or recording], alongs…

Splunk Acquires SignalFx For $1 Billion

Splunk has announced that it's acquiring SignalFx, a San Mateo-based cloud monitoring startup, for $1.05 billion. Splunk is paying 60% of the $1.05 billion figure in cash and the remainder in stock. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year. Before now, SignalFx had raised $179 million in funding, including a recent $75 million round. The San Mateo-based company was backed by blue-chip VCs like Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Tiger Global and Charles River Ventures. As of its recent fund-raise, SignalFx had 270 employees.

SignalFx's platform enables developers to monitor cloud infrastructure, microservices, and applications in real-time. Its platform collects and analyses metrics for developers, acting as a troubleshooter that lets them find the root cause of issues in shorter times [than conventional methods]. Splunk on the other hand makes software that's used for searching, monitoring and analyzing large data, something related to Sign…

Knotel Raises $400 Million At A More Than $1 Billion Valuation

Knotel, a New York-based WeWork competitor that offers custom workspaces for companies, has announced $400 million in new financing that values it at more than $1 billion. Wafra, an investment arm of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Kuwait, led the round, with participation from Mori Trust (one of Japan's biggest real estate developers), Mercuria (a Japanese private equity firm) and Itochu (a Japanese trading conglomerate). This round included, Knotel has now raised a total of $560 million in less than 4 years of its founding.

Knotel says it'll use the funding to grow its footprint in existing markets and further its [planned] expansion into the world’s 30 largest cities. In simple terms, the new financing would be put towards growing its business. Knotel currently operates office spaces at more than 200 locations globally. These office spaces total more than 4 million square feet, in cities across the US, Canada, France, Brazil and Germany.

Unlike several co-working startups tha…

PlusAI Reportedly Raising Funding At A Unicorn Valuation

According to a report from Bloomberg, PlusAI, a self-driving truck startup headquartered in Cupertino, California, and with additional R&D centers in Silicon Valley and China, is close to raising about $200 million in new funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Bloomberg reports PlusAI is working with advisers on the funding round. The Cupertino-based startup has already raised funding from the likes of Sequoia Capital China, Lightspeed Venture Partners and the Mayfield Fund.

PlusAI is said to be seeking external investors to lead its new funding. According to Bloomberg, the Cupertino-based startup will soon debut trucks with partially automated driving features, or what's known as level 2 autonomous vehicles [there are five levels [1-5] for self-driving vehicles, where 2 refers to systems that assist with steering, acceleration, braking, lane support and some other tasks. At this level, the driver is still responsible for most safety-critical functions and all monito…

WhatsApp Working To Launch Mobile Payments In Indonesia

As first reported by Reuters [and confirmed by its parent firm Facebook], WhatsApp is in discussions with multiple Indonesian digital payment companies to offer their mobile transaction services on its app. This means Indonesia could being the second nation worldwide where WhatsApp would launch payments services, the first being India. Although WhatsApp has tested payments services in India, it still awaits regulatory approval for such services.

According to Reuters, WhatsApp will simply operate as a platform that'll support payments via local digital wallets in Indonesia, unlike in India where it plans to offer direct peer-to-peer payment services. Some countries may have strict regulations regarding the creation of digital wallets by foreign companies. WhatsApp's said model of operation in Indonesia could be a workaround for such regulations in other foreign countries it may take its payments services to.

Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy, fueled by 260 million …

Starship Raises $40 Million Series A Funding

Starship Technologies, a San Francisco-based startup that makes autonomous delivery robots, has announced $40 million in Series A funding led by Morpheus Ventures, with participation from Matrix Partners, Shasta Ventures, MetaPlanet Holdings, TDK Ventures, Qu Ventures and more. This round included, Starship has now raised $85 million in total funding.

San Francisco-based Starship has completed 100,000 commercial deliveries on its robots. Its robots are dispersed at several university campuses, with plans underway to expand to 100 more of such campuses in the next 24 months. Starship's robots recently got deployed at the University of Pittsburgh. Not long from now (on the 9th of September), Purdue University will be getting the robots, with more campuses following shortly.

"This new investment will see Starship expand onto more campuses as we head towards a goal of offering our services to over one million students," Starship CEO Lex Bayer said in a statement. An entire …

Microsoft Poaches Ex-Siri Lead, Bill Stasior, From Apple

As first reported by The Information and also confirmed by an official résumé, Microsoft has hired Bill Stasior, a [now former] long-time Apple executive who served as vice president for its Siri/AI division. Stasior began working at Microsoft this month [according to his résumé], serving as Corporate Vice President of Technology under the office of the CTO, entailing he'll report to Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott.

Microsoft seems to have gotten a key talent with Stasior's hire. Stasior, whose tech career has spanned more than two decades, also held previous roles at Oracle, Amazon, AltaVista, AlterEgo Networks and Netcentives. At Apple, he lead the team responsible for the Siri virtual assistant, scaling it from 70 engineers to more than 1100 developers, scientists, product managers, and designers. During his stint, Siri grew from 5 languages and one platform (iPhone) to more than 30 languages and 7 platforms (iPhone, Mac, HomePod, CarPlay, HomeKit, Apple Watch and Apple TV).


At …

Reddit Has Begun Tests For Live Video Streaming

As confirmed by Reddit to Wired, the widely called "front page of the internet" has begun tests for live video streaming, marking a significant moment for what has been majorly a text-only platform. In its 14 year history, Reddit has grown from an initial link-sharing site to a destination for online discussion, news aggregation and web content rating. Reddit is so popular and widely used that it's the 14th most visited website globally, according to Alexa data.

Allowing live streaming on its platform shows Reddit is really keen on a turnaround since co-founder Steve Huffman re-joined the company in 2015. With most major social media platforms currently supporting live streaming, it's obvious that it's somewhat necessary for a widely used platform to support live video. Reddit is known for being an internet property with boatloads of user engagement. With the addition of live video streaming, it could be looking towards a spike in both [an already large] user en…

Root Has Reportedly Raised $350 Million At A $3.5 Billion Valuation

Today is just few days short of a year after Root Insurance raised a $100 million Series D funding that valued it at $1 billion. That round was led by Tiger Global, with participation from Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital, and Scale Venture Partners. Just shy of a year after, Axios reports Root has raised $350 million in funding at a $3.5 billion valuation, entailing a more than triple in valuation in a relatively short span.

Root was founded in 2015, and has raised $177 million in known funding [before this reported round]. The Columbus, Ohio-based startup offers car insurance to drivers in 27 U.S. states. Root's insurance process is entirely carried out on the smartphone. Leveraging smartphone tech and data science, Root measures driving behavior alongside some other factors to gauge insurance policies for drivers. In simple terms, Root is auto insurance doused with a bit of technology, as opposed to the traditional way it's done. It's in the same court as Bond, anothe…

More Info From Cloudflare's S-1 Filing

Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based CDN provider that routes traffic for 18% of the world's top 10,000 websites, recently filed to go public. As always, the company's S-1 filing revealed much info and metrics of its business. Our recent article [on Cloudflare's IPO filing] touched on several of the metrics, but we're here with more info [on this article] from Cloudflare's IPO filing.

Below are some elaborated [key] points from Cloudflare's S-1 filing:
$84.8 million revenue in 2016, $135 million in 2017 and $192.7 million in 2018Cost of revenue was $24 million in 2016, $28.8 million in 2017 and $43.5 million in 2018.Gross profit (profit before operating expenses) was $60.8 million in 2016, roughly $106 million in 2017 and roughly $149 million in 2018. This can be gotten from a simple calculation of revenue-cost of revenue.$23.7 million R&D spend in 2016, $33.7 million in 2017 and $54.5 million in 2018An R&D team that's spread across three locations: Lo…

Apple Now Supports 2.4 Million Jobs In The US

"Thirty-three years ago, five friends sat down at a kitchen table in Tulsa, Oklahoma and decided to start a company. Among them: president of Maccor Andy MacKay and his wife Helen, who runs personnel. Today, less than a mile from that spot, Maccor now occupies 80,000 square feet of space and has earned itself a reputation as the top manufacturer of battery testing systems in the world." This is the story of one of 9,000 American suppliers that counts Apple as a customer, as narrated by the iPhone maker.

Apple has announced that it now supports 2.4 million jobs in the US, four times the number attributed to the Cupertino-based company eight years ago. These jobs spread across fields like engineering, construction, manufacturing and many more. Apple has been a big spender in the U.S. economy, majorly on manufacturing, which it spent $60 billion on last year. Apple depends on lots of suppliers both in and outside the U.S. to manufacture millions of iPhones, iPads, Macs, Mac Pr…

Kai-Fu Lee's AI Startup Eyes IPO

Kai-Fu Lee is a name that should ring some bells. If you're not familiar, he's a prominent Chinese computer scientist, venture capitalist and entrepreneur who has held executive positions at Apple, Microsoft and Google. He began as a faculty member at the well-known Carnegie Mellon University, before taking up research positions at Apple and Microsoft. Post-Microsoft, he headed Google China, before leaving to launch a venture fund, Sinovation Ventures.

While still at Sinovation Ventures [he serves as its CEO], Kai-Fu Lee launched AInnovation, a company that develops AI products for firms in industries like retail, manufacturing and finance. Some of its customers include Mars, Nestle, Foxonn, Carlsberg, the Postal Savings Bank of China and China Everbright Bank. AInnovation, which was launched in March 2018, operates as a subsidiary under Sinovation Ventures.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Lee said AInnovation is on track to hit $100 million in revenue within two years o…

Airbnb Reportedly Records 30% Growth Rate In Q1

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Airbnb recorded a 31% surge in gross bookings in the first quarter of this year, with a total booking value of $9.4 billion for the period. The Wall Street Journal reports Airbnb booked 91 million nights on its platform in Q1, and grew revenue 40% year-on-year in the period. According to WSJ, Airbnb had about $3.5 billion in cash on its balance sheet as of Q1 end (March 31st) this year.

If such report stands true, Airbnb could be leaving investors hungry for an IPO that the Wall Street Journal reports is scheduled for the first half of next year. $35 billion valued Airbnb is already profitable, making it stand out among several tech companies (e.g. Uber, Lyft, Medallia, Dynatrace, Livongo) that have gone public this year without being profitable. Three others that filed for an IPO just this week (WeWork, Cloudflare and SmileDirectClub) are also not profitable.

One other standout tech company is Zoom, a video communications company th…

SmileDirectClub Files To Go Public

It seems this is the season of filing to go public. Just after WeWork and Cloudflare, SmileDirectClub, a Nashville-based direct-to-consumer supplier of tooth clear aligners that was last valued at $3.2 billion, has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) with the SEC. The company did so less than 24 hours ago. Investment banks J.P. Morgan and Citigroup are acting as lead underwriters for its IPO.

SmileDirectClub's S-1 filing indicates $373.5 million revenue in the first half of this year, up more than 100% from $175 million in the same period last year. But still, SmileDirectClub, like several other companies that have gone public this year, is not profitable, having recorded a $33.8 million loss in the first half of this year, down from $53 million in the same period last year.

SmileDirectClub recorded $423 million in 2018 revenues, up nearly 200% from $146 million in 2017. However, losses increased from $32.8 million in 2017 to $74.8 million in 2018. As of Q2 2019 end (June …

Coinbase Acquires Xapo's Crypto Custody Business

Coinbase has announced that it has acquired the cryptocurrency custody business of Xapo, a well-known Hong Kong-based crypto startup. According to Fortune, Coinbase paid $55 million for the business. With this purchase, Coinbase now manages more than $7 billion in crypto assets on behalf of clients. Xapo is handing off its crypto custody (storage) business but will hold onto its exchange business, which lets persons buy and sell Bitcoin.

Coinbase Custody, a standalone, independently-capitalized business that operates under Coinbase, is the actual firm acquiring Xapo's custody business. With this acquisition, Coinbase Custody now manages crypto assets for more than 120 clients in 14 different countries, an impressive feat given its just over a year of existence.

Xapo was a pioneer of the crypto custody business, having done that since 2014. The Hong Kong-based startup has raised some $40 million in funding from well-known VCs and individual investors, including Affirm CEO Max Levc…

Cloudflare Files For IPO

Not long after a previous report that said Cloudflare was eyeing a September IPO, the San Francisco-based CDN provider has filed for that with the SEC, meaning an IPO next month may just be happening. Cloudflare's S-1 filing comes a decade after its first funding. The company recorded $192.7 million in 2018 revenue, but with an $87.2 million net loss. This is up from $135 million revenue in 2017 and a $10.7 million net loss for the same period.

In the first half of this year, Cloudflare recorded $129.2 million in revenue, but still with losses of $36.8 million. Other key takes from its S-1 filing include:
$94.4 million sales and marketing spend in 2018, up 54% from $62 million in 2017$54.5 million R&D spend in 2018, compared to $33.7 million in 2017Roughly $125 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Q2 end (June 30, 2019)74,000 paying customers as of Q2 endTwo million total [free and paying] customers408 paying customers with annual billings of more than $100,000 (as of Q2…

Nurx Nabs $52 Million In New Funding

Nurx, a San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer health startup, has announced $52 million in new [equity and debt] funding led by Kleiner Perkins and Union Square Ventures, with participation from Y Combinator, Lowercase Capital, Dreamers VC, Reproductive Health Investors Alliance and Triple Point Capital. The $52 million figure consists of $32 million in Series C equity funding and $20 million in debt financing. According to stock authorization filings reviewed by PitchBook, the equity part values Nurx at nearly $300 million.

Nurx says it'll use the funds to introduce more telehealth services and expand its medical provider team. The San Francisco-based startup offers direct delivery of prescription drugs and health kits for sensitive health issues like birth control, emergency contraception, STI testing, HIV Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HPV screening. It targets health issues which may often carry shame and stigma, enabling affected persons to order and get prescription m…

UPS Bets On TuSimple

UPS Ventures, the venture capital arm of logistics giant UPS, has announced an investment in TuSimple, a driverless trucking company that was valued at $1 billion earlier this year. UPS Ventures took an undisclosed minority stake in San Diego-based TuSimple. The investment comes not long after TuSimple got a contract to transport packages autonomously for the United States Postal Service (USPS).

UPS is not just backing TuSimple, but is also working together with the driverless trucking company to study the potential use of its autonomous trucks to deliver packages. TuSimple, which has built Level 4 self-driving technology for trucks, believes it can reduce the costs of shipping goods by 30% via autonomy.


UPS and TuSimple are already testing self-driving tractor-trailers on a route in the state of Arizona to determine whether efficiency and service can be improved with the use of driverless trucks to haul goods. At ongoing tests, TuSimple's driverless trucks have hauled goods for …

Bungalow Said To Be Raising Funding At A $100 Million Valuation

Bungalow, a San Francisco-based housing startup that formally launched with a $14 million Series A led by Khosla Ventures last year, is raising new funding that'll value it at more than $100 million according to a report from The Information. The Information reports Bungalow is nearing a deal to raise between $30 million and $40 million in equity funding led by Founders Fund, a well-known VC firm whose partner, Keith Rabois, sits on Bungalow's board. Rabois is said to be leading the new funding on behalf of Founders Fund, which participated in Bungalow's $14 million Series A.

A valuation of more than $100 million would be nearly twice Bungalow's current valuation, according to The Information. Bungalow is part of a wave of startups that have jumped on the real estate scene. The San Francisco-based startup leases single-family homes and rents out individual rooms to working professionals. Bungalow lets homeowners rent out their properties for a guaranteed income stream…

VMware In Talks To Acquire Pivotal For $15/Share

Pivotal has announced that there have been talks between itself and VMware, a long-time partner, to acquire the former for $15 per share, a roughly 81% premium to an $8.30 price as at the time of announcement. No final deal has been reached between the two, with negotiations still underway.

Pivotal and VMware have long connections to each other. They are long-term strategic partners and have one common shareholder: Dell, which controls a majority stake in both companies. VMware was once an independent company in its own right, before being acquired by EMC north of a decade ago. Dell got hold of VMware when it acquired EMC in a $67 billion deal in 2016, although VMware was taken public by EMC long before that [EMC held a majority stake in publicly traded VMware which was transferred to Dell after its acquisition].

Pivotal on the other hand was spun out as a standalone company from EMC in 2012 [EMC held a majority stake]. It got its name from Pivotal Labs, a software startup EMC acquir…

Eaze Reportedly Raising Funding At A Valuation Of Up To $400 Million

According to a report from Business Insider [paywall], Eaze, a San Francisco-based cannabis startup, is seeking to raise between $50 million and $75 million in new funding at a target valuation of between $350 million-$400 million. This would be in addition to $117 million already raised since inception.

According to Pitchbook data, Eaze last raised funding [a $65 million Series C] at a $315 million valuation. This means the cannabis startup's [reported] new funding may be coming with just a slight jump in valuation. Such situation is not unheard of, as several companies have raised huge rounds at a slight bump in [or even a flat] valuation. One example is SoFi, which recently closed $500 million in funding at a $4.3 billion valuation, the same valuation it got from a previous $500 million round in 2017.


Eaze doesn't sell cannabis products directly, but acts as a marketplace for them. On Eaze's platform, adult consumers can purchase cannabis products from several licensed…

Skip Debuts First Custom E-Scooter

Scooter rental startup Skip has unveiled the S3, its first electric scooter that's in-house designed and custom-built from the ground up. To come up with the S3, Skip worked with more than a year of feedback from its riders on what sort of features one would require on an electric scooter. The end result is a custom electric scooter that has brighter headlights and taillights than conventional scooters [to make it easier to spot], safety diagnostics features that lets users keep up with the condition of their scooters, swappable batteries, and a built-in electronic locking system among other specs.

The use of swappable batteries solves a significant pain point; re-charging of electric scooters. Rather than having to move the entire scooter every night to get it charged, a team of Skip freelancers can just replace it with a fully charged electric battery to keep it powered. The S3's safety diagnostics feature can alert Skip’s operations team in case of damage, enabling Skip to…

Most Read Posts

Airbnb Reportedly Records 30% Growth Rate In Q1

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Airbnb recorded a 31% surge in gross bookings in the first quarter of this year, with a total booking value of $9.4 billion for the period. The Wall Street Journal reports Airbnb booked 91 million nights on its platform in Q1, and grew revenue 40% year-on-year in the period. According to WSJ, Airbnb had about $3.5 billion in cash on its balance sheet as of Q1 end (March 31st) this year.

If such report stands true, Airbnb could be leaving investors hungry for an IPO that the Wall Street Journal reports is scheduled for the first half of next year. $35 billion valued Airbnb is already profitable, making it stand out among several tech companies (e.g. Uber, Lyft, Medallia, Dynatrace, Livongo) that have gone public this year without being profitable. Three others that filed for an IPO just this week (WeWork, Cloudflare and SmileDirectClub) are also not profitable.

One other standout tech company is Zoom, a video communications company th…

The Two Biggest Postmates Users - Post Malone And Kylie Jenner

We might be familiar with Postmates, if you're not, it's the San Francisco based delivery startup valued at $1.85 billion from a recent $100 million round. With a reported $400 million in revenue on gross sales of $1.2 billion the company expects for its 2018 fiscal year, Postmates is among the leaders in on-demand delivery, operating in 550 U.S. cities including Mexico City, with access to over 250,000 merchants available on its service.

According to the company, New York born and Texas raised rapper Post Malone is its number one user, having requested nearly 3,000 total items, spread across over 660 orders, in 52 different U.S. cities. Malone spent over $40,000 on Postmates in the past year, ordering items including $8,000 worth of biscuits for a Coachella party, $100 worth of buffalo sauce, latex gloves, calcium crickets, Tito's Vodka, ice bags, cranberry cocktail juice and four bottles of cabernet sauvignon.


He also made a notable kind gesture, tipping a Postmates sho…

Splunk Acquires SignalFx For $1 Billion

Splunk has announced that it's acquiring SignalFx, a San Mateo-based cloud monitoring startup, for $1.05 billion. Splunk is paying 60% of the $1.05 billion figure in cash and the remainder in stock. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year. Before now, SignalFx had raised $179 million in funding, including a recent $75 million round. The San Mateo-based company was backed by blue-chip VCs like Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Tiger Global and Charles River Ventures. As of its recent fund-raise, SignalFx had 270 employees.

SignalFx's platform enables developers to monitor cloud infrastructure, microservices, and applications in real-time. Its platform collects and analyses metrics for developers, acting as a troubleshooter that lets them find the root cause of issues in shorter times [than conventional methods]. Splunk on the other hand makes software that's used for searching, monitoring and analyzing large data, something related to Sign…

Kai-Fu Lee's AI Startup Eyes IPO

Kai-Fu Lee is a name that should ring some bells. If you're not familiar, he's a prominent Chinese computer scientist, venture capitalist and entrepreneur who has held executive positions at Apple, Microsoft and Google. He began as a faculty member at the well-known Carnegie Mellon University, before taking up research positions at Apple and Microsoft. Post-Microsoft, he headed Google China, before leaving to launch a venture fund, Sinovation Ventures.

While still at Sinovation Ventures [he serves as its CEO], Kai-Fu Lee launched AInnovation, a company that develops AI products for firms in industries like retail, manufacturing and finance. Some of its customers include Mars, Nestle, Foxonn, Carlsberg, the Postal Savings Bank of China and China Everbright Bank. AInnovation, which was launched in March 2018, operates as a subsidiary under Sinovation Ventures.

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Lee said AInnovation is on track to hit $100 million in revenue within two years o…

More Info From Cloudflare's S-1 Filing

Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based CDN provider that routes traffic for 18% of the world's top 10,000 websites, recently filed to go public. As always, the company's S-1 filing revealed much info and metrics of its business. Our recent article [on Cloudflare's IPO filing] touched on several of the metrics, but we're here with more info [on this article] from Cloudflare's IPO filing.

Below are some elaborated [key] points from Cloudflare's S-1 filing:
$84.8 million revenue in 2016, $135 million in 2017 and $192.7 million in 2018Cost of revenue was $24 million in 2016, $28.8 million in 2017 and $43.5 million in 2018.Gross profit (profit before operating expenses) was $60.8 million in 2016, roughly $106 million in 2017 and roughly $149 million in 2018. This can be gotten from a simple calculation of revenue-cost of revenue.$23.7 million R&D spend in 2016, $33.7 million in 2017 and $54.5 million in 2018An R&D team that's spread across three locations: Lo…

Ten Robotics Startups To Watch This Year

Robotics is a wide field with several use cases, including healthcare, warehouse and inventory management, security, bionics, industrial ops, agriculture, education and more. Startups in this industry collectively raised $2.7 billion in VC funding in 2017, signalling solid investor confidence in the industry. Between 2018 and so far this year, several robotics startups have collectively raised hundreds of millions in funding, a recent example being Fetch Robotics, which is fresh off $46 million in Series C funding.

A big acquisition also happened this year; Johnson & Johnson's purchase of Auris Health for $3.4 billion, with additional payments of up to $2.35 billion tied to certain milestones. Auris develops surgical robots used for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in the human lung.

Activities like the aforementioned indicate the robotics field is a very promising one. That's why we are here with this article to show you ten robotics startups to watch this year. The…

Monday.com Raises $150 Million At A $1.9 Billion Valuation

Monday.com, an Israeli founded workplace collaboration startup, has announced $150 million in Series D funding that TechCrunch reports values it at $1.9 billion, nearly four times a $500 million valuation last year. Sapphire Ventures led the funding, with participation from Hamilton Lane, ION Crossover Partners, Vintage Investment Partners, and HarbourVest Partners. The funding brings the total raised by Monday.com to $234 million.

A $1.9 billion valuation is really impressive for a startup that launched five years ago. What's more impressive is a near-quadruple in valuation in a one-year span. Monday.com's growth should justify that, with more than 80,000 customers currenctly compared to 35,000 a year ago. Monday.com's customers include well-known names like WeWork, Hulu, Glossier, Phillips, Zippo, and hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. Its customers are spread across 140 countries.


Monday.com's workplace collaboration software has integrations with several popular t…

Root Has Reportedly Raised $350 Million At A $3.5 Billion Valuation

Today is just few days short of a year after Root Insurance raised a $100 million Series D funding that valued it at $1 billion. That round was led by Tiger Global, with participation from Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital, and Scale Venture Partners. Just shy of a year after, Axios reports Root has raised $350 million in funding at a $3.5 billion valuation, entailing a more than triple in valuation in a relatively short span.

Root was founded in 2015, and has raised $177 million in known funding [before this reported round]. The Columbus, Ohio-based startup offers car insurance to drivers in 27 U.S. states. Root's insurance process is entirely carried out on the smartphone. Leveraging smartphone tech and data science, Root measures driving behavior alongside some other factors to gauge insurance policies for drivers. In simple terms, Root is auto insurance doused with a bit of technology, as opposed to the traditional way it's done. It's in the same court as Bond, anothe…

Salesforce Records $4 Billion Fiscal Q2 Revenue

Salesforce just announced its financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended July 31, 2019, showing $4 billion in revenue, a 22% increase from the same period last year. Subscription and support sales accounted for $3.75 billion in revenue, while Professional services and "other revenues" accounted for $252 million.

Salesforce shares rose 7% during after hours trading following the release of its quarterly results. Salesforce was seemingly on a spree this quarter, having made two big acquisitions: Tableau Software and ClickSoftware. In June, Salesforce reached a deal to acquire Tableau Software for $15.7 billion in stock, followed by a recent acquisition of ClickSoftware for $1.35 billion. Tableau was a publicly traded company, having been so for six years before the acquisition deal was reached. ClickSoftware on the other hand was purchased from private equity firm Francisco Partners, which earlier [in 2015] acquired it for $438 million.

"An enormous wave of di…

Ten Smart Home Startups To Watch

The smart home market is a nascent but rapidly growing one. According to research from Markets and Markets, the smart home market was valued at $76.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $151 billion by 2024. This is not surprising given the broadness of the smart home industry. The industry spans various fields, including entertainment, home security, lighting, energy management, kitchen appliances, smart speakers, WiFi, cybersecurity and more. These are all major parts of a home, and have attracted big tech companies and smaller startups alike to develop smart home solutions for these areas.

Although the smart home market is dominated by the bigger companies like Google, Amazon, Samsung, General Electric, Schneider Electric and more, there are several startups that have graced the markets and made good strides with various smart home products. Such startups have made smart home devices for various activities, including pet monitoring and feeding, cooking, air-tracking and reg…