Industry News Update – Week of 4/16/2018:

Last week, SpaceX, DJI, Meituan-Dianping, Ant Financial were raising funds. SpaceX raised $500 million and was valued at $25 billion. DJI was in talks to raise between $500 million and $800 million to manufacture drones for new verticals such as energy, construction and agriculture. Following this funding round, DJI 's valuation was expected to increase to $15 billion. Ant Financial was seeking $9 billion at a $150 billion valuation to expand its international presence through investing and acquisition efforts. Meituan-Dianping was planning to raise $3 billion at a $40 billion valuation to enhance its delivery and ride-hailing business.

Coupang generated 2.7 trillion won ($2.5 billion) in revenue (40% increase compared to 2016) and accrued 638.8 billion won ($595 million) in net losses (13% increase compared to 2016) in 2017.

WeWork acquired Naked Hub, a Chinese co-working firm, for $400 million to increase its presence in China.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.

Ant Financial

"Ant Financial reportedly Raising $9 Billion at a $150 Billion Valuation"


"Coupang's Revenue Increased 40% to ₩2.7 tril. in 2017"


"Chinese Drone Maker DJI Seeking at Least $500 Million in Funds: Sources"


“Meituan-Dianping in Talks to Raise $3 Billion, Sources Say”


"SpaceX Is Raising A $500 Million Funding Round At A $25 Billion Valuation”


"WeWork Is Diving Headfirst Into China With a Big New Buy"

Industry News Update – Week of 4/9/2018:

Last week, Spotify went public through its Direct Listing with an opening share price of $165.90 and a valuation of $29 billion. Its shares closed at $149.01 on its first day of trading (10% decline) which valued the company at $26.5 billion.

Uber and Meituan Dianping acquired bike-sharing startups. Uber acquired Jump, a New-York based dockless bike-sharing startup, for $100 million to expand its product offerings to include bike-sharing. Meituan Dianping purchased Mobike, a China based bike-sharing platform, for $2.7 billion to consolidate resources between the Tencent-backed firms as they both try to increase their respective market shares.

Didi Chuxing officially launched its platform in Mexico which represents the company's first international launch. Didi Chuxing was attempting to increase the number of drivers on its platform in this new region by not charging a commission until June 17th and offering a lower commission (20%) compared to Uber’s 25% commission after June 17th.

Instacart raised an additional $150 million as an extension of its Series E funding round which now brings its total Series E funding to $350 million. Following this round, the company’s valuation increased to $4.35 billion.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.

Didi Chuxing

"Chinese Uber Rival Didi Launches in Mexico, Recruits Drivers"


"Instacart Raises Another $150 Million"

Meituan Dianping

"China's Meituan Dianping Acquires Bike-sharing Firm Mobike"


"The Latest: Spotify's Market Value Hovers at Around $29B"

“Spotify Traded Down 10% on First Day, Achieved $26.5 Billion Market Cap"


"Uber Acquires Dockless Bike-share Startup Jump"

Industry News Update – Week of 4/2/2018:

Last week, Alibaba purchased's outstanding shares in a deal that valued at $9.5 billion. This acquisition will allow Alibaba to provide's food delivery service to more customers using its extensive network of businesses and its technical infrastructure.

Circle appointed Naeem Ishaq as the company's CFO. He previously worked as the CFO of Boxed, Head of Finance & Strategy at Square and held numerous Finance Manager related positions at Salesforce.

Uber plans to shut down its UberRush delivery service on June 30th, 2018.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


"Crypto Startup Circle Hires a Square Vet as CFO"


"Alibaba to buy all remaining outstanding shares of local delivery service"


"Uber is shutting down its on-demand delivery service, UberRush"

Industry News Update – Week of 3/26/2018:

Last week, Dropbox's IPO raised $756 million and the company was valued at $8.2 billion. Dropbox’s shares closed at $28.48 on its first day of trading which represents a 36% increase compared to its original share price.

DocuSign filed documents for its upcoming IPO and was expected to go public in Q2 or Q3 of 2018.

Meituan Dianping held preliminary discussions to go public on the Hong Kong exchange at a $60 billion valuation.

Uber sold its SouthEast Asia business to Grab in exchange for a 27.5% stake in the company.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


"DocuSign Files for an IPO"


"Dropbox Finishes up 36% on First Day of Trading"

“Dropbox Prices IPO at $21 per Share”

Meituan Dianping

"Meituan Dianping Reported To Seek Hong Kong IPO At $60 Billion Valuation"


"Uber Quits 8 Countries in Southeast Asia, Selling Out to Rival Grab"

Industry News Update - Week of 3/19/2018

Last week, Spotify announced that its stock would commence trading on the NYSE on April 3rd. Spotify’s direct listing will not include underwriters and a lock-up period.

Robinhood raised $350 million from DST Global and several other investors. Following this funding round, the company's valuation was expected to increase to $5.6 billion.

Human Longevity hired Scott Sorensen as the company's Chief Technology Officer. One of his key responsibilities as CTO is to further develop Human Longevity's Health Nucleus products. Sorensen previously worked at for 16 years where he started as Director of Engineering and eventually became the company's CTO.

SpaceX received a $291 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to launch a GPS satellite by March 2020.

A former Magic Leap employee sued the company for incorrectly classifying hundreds of workers as independent contractors to avoid paying taxes.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.

HUMAN  Longevity

"Human Longevity, Inc. Hires Former Ancestry Executive, Scott Sorensen, As New Chief Technology Officer"


"Magic Leap Sued Over Misclassifying Workers"


"Stock-trading app Robinhood now reportedly worth more than $5 billion"


"SpaceX and ULA win over half a billion dollars in new Air Force launch contracts"


"Spotify will start trading April 3"

Industry News Update – Week of 3/5/2018

Last week, Spotify filed documents for its upcoming Direct Listing where the company planned to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange with "SPOT" as its ticker.

Anthony Noto officially started his role as SoFi's new CEO.

DoorDash raised $535 million from Softbank, GIC, Sequoia and Wellcome Trust to triple its market presence and hire 250 employees. Following this round, the company was valued at $1.4 billion.

Pinterest hired its first COO, Francoise Brougher, who previously worked at Google and Square. Her responsibilities as COO include supervising the company's sales, partnerships and business development initiatives.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


"DoorDash Raises $535 Million To Fuel Food Delivery War"


"Pinterest Has Hired Former Google and Square Executive Francoise Brougher as its First COO"


"Anthony Noto’s Mission as SoFi CEO: Get the Startup Ready to Go Public"


"Spotify Has Filed to go Public"

Industry News Update – Week of 2/26/2018:

Last week, Dropbox filed documents for its upcoming IPO where the company planned to raise $500 million.

Go-Jek raised $1.5 billion from several investors including Google and BlackRock to add more passengers and drivers to its platform . Following this round, the company's valuation increased to $5 billion.

Magic Leap was in talks with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund to raise an additional $400 million as an extension of its previous funding round.

SpaceX successfully launched its first two Internet satellites as part of its Starlink project. The company intends to send approximately 12,000 satellites to provide high speed internet across the globe.

WeWork generated $900 million in sales in FY 2017.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


"Dropbox to go Public 10 Years After Launch"


"Indonesia's Go-Jek Raises $1.5 Billion as Ride-hailing Market Heats Up: Sources"


"Magic Leap is Reportedly in Talks to Raise $400 Million From Saudi Arabia's Sovereign Wealth Fund"


"Elon Musk Shared the First Images of SpaceX Satellites That Could Change The Internet"


"WeWork, With $900 Million in Sales, Finds Cheaper Ways to Expand”

Industry News Update – Week of 2/19/2018:

Last week, Farfetch planned to hire investment banks to underwrite its upcoming IPO that is speculated to value the company at $5 billion.

Magic Leap partnered with the NBA to allow consumers to view basketball games using Magic Leap’s cutting edge augmented reality technology.

SpaceX delayed its initial Starlink internet satellite launch which is expected to provide high-speed Internet across the globe.

Uber was in talks with Grab to sell its SouthEast Asia business in exchange for a sizable stake in Grab to improve its financials. Uber generated $7.5 billion in revenue and $4.5 billion in net loss in 2017. The company also had $6 billion in cash at the end of 2017.

Zscaler filed its S1 on February 16 2017 for its upcoming IPO where the company planned to raise $100 million.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Fashion Unicorn Farfetch Will Soon Interview Bankers for its New York IPO"


"Magic Leap is Partnering With the NBA to Bring Virtual Basketball Games to its Goggles"


"What You Need to Know About SpaceX's Next Rocket Launch"


"Uber's Fourth-Quarter Loss Narrows to $1.1 Billion: Source"

“Uber Is Preparing to Sell Southeast Asia Unit to Grab in Exchange for Stake in Company: Sources”


"Cloud Security Company Zscaler Files for a $100 Million IPO"

Industry News Update – Week of 2/5/2018

Last week, Airbnb's CFO left the company. Additionally, Airbnb decided to prolong its IPO plans until after 2018.

Adyen signed a deal with eBay to become the company's primary payment processing provider, with eBay citing Adyen’s more robust suite of payment tools as compared to PayPal, eBay's old payment processing provider.

Slack added Target, BBC, and E*Trade to its roster of more than 150 customers that use its enterprise platform.

The Information revealed that Buzzfeed held acquisition discussions with NBCUniversal last summer but the deal was speculated to have not progressed due to lack of agreement on purchase price.

Uber and Waymo's autonomous vehicle lawsuit is expected to go to trial on February 5th 2018. Waymo asked that Uber pay $1.4 billion for the theft of its autonomous vehicle design files.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Why EBay Abandoned PayPal for a Smaller European Competitor"


“Airbnb Says No Listing in 2018, CFO to Leave, Names first COO"


"BuzzFeed’s News Headache"


"Slack Adds Target, BBC, E*Trade as Clients in Enterprise Push"


“Here’s What You Need to Know About the Uber-Waymo Trial, Which Starts Today "

Industry News Update – Week of 1/22/2018

Adyen was preparing to select JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to underwrite its upcoming IPO. The company was planning to raise 1 billion euros and is expected to be valued between 5 billion euros to 10 billion euros in its IPO.

Instacart bought Unata, a Canadian shopping engagement platform, to spreadhead its expansion into Canada. The company’s goal is to provide its services to 80% of the Canadian population in the next 18 months.

Lyft released its 2017 Economic Impact Report where the company released several of its user metrics and related statistics. Lyft provided 375.5 million rides during 2017 which represents a 130% increase compared to the number of rides provided in 2016. The company offered its ride sharing services to 23 million different passengers during 2017, a 92% increase relative to the number of different passengers in 2016. Lyft had 1.4 million total drivers in 2017 which represents a 100% increase compared to its total number of drivers in 2016.

Spotify partnered up with eight media companies including Buzzfeed and Refinery29 to deliver its new "Spotlight" feature that offers political news podcasts. These podcasts will include visual elements along with audio to provide its users with an enhanced news broadcasting experience.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


"Tech Firm Adyen to Pick JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley on IPO"


"American Grocery Delivery Service Instacart Aims to Serve 80% of Canadians Within the Next 18 Months"


"Lyft Says Nearly 250K of Its Passengers Ditched a Personal Car in 2017"


"Inside Spotify's Plan to Lure Listeners Away From Apple"

Industry News Update – Week of 1/15/2018:

Last week, Dropbox confidentially filed documents for its upcoming IPO that is expected to occur in the first half of 2018.

Xiaomi hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to underwrite its upcoming IPO that is speculated to occur in the second half of 2018 with a $100 billion valuation.

Practice Fusion was acquired by Allscripts for $100 million which represents a steep discount compared to its expected $1.5 billion IPO valuation calculated by JP Morgan.

SpaceX planned to test its Falcon Heavy's engines on January 15th which signifies a step closer to the rocket's initial launch.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Dropbox Files Confidentially for U.S. IPO"


"Practice Fusion, Once Poised for a Blockbuster IPO, Sells at a Loss to Allscripts"


"SpaceX Will Test the Engines of the World's Most Powerful Rocket Today"


"Xiaomi Taps CLSA, Morgan Stanley, Goldman for IPO Sponsor Role: Sources"

Industry News Update – Week of 1/8/2018

Last week, Spotify confidentially filed documents for its upcoming IPO that is expected to occur in Q1 2018. Spotify was also sued by Wixen Music Publishing for $1.6 billion for using thousands of songs without having the appropriate music licenses.

SpaceX is preparing for its initial Falcon Heavy launch by performing preflight tests while the rocket is positioned vertically on the launchpad. The Falcon Heavy is composed of three Falcon 9 boosters which are expected to lift more than twice the payload compared to other space vehicles.

Didi Chuxing acquired 99, a Brazilian ride-hailing company, for $600 million to expand its presence in South America where ride sharing is rapidly growing.

Softbank and several of its Uber co-investors acquired 18% of Uber in a tender offer where these companies purchased Uber shares from shareholders at a $48 billion valuation.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Didi Chuxing, China’s Ride-hailing giant, Said to Buy Uber Rival in Brazil"


"SpaceX Shows Off its Falcon Heavy Rocket Vertical on the Launchpad"


"Exclusive: Spotify Files for its IPO"

"Spotify is Being Sued by a Major Music Publisher for $1.6 Billion"


"SoftBank Has Successfully Acquired 15 Percent of Uber in a Major Victory for Both Companies"

Industry News Update – Week of 12/26/2017

Last week, Didi Chuxing raised $4 billion from Softbank to further expand its international presence and to advance its autonomous and electric vehicles initiatives. Following this funding round, the company's valuation increased to $56 billion.

Magic Leap disclosed details of its Magic Leap One "Creator Edition" to the public on December 20th. The product consists of a head-mounted visual display, handheld controller, and a power source attached to the hip with a belt. The product is expected to be available to consumers in 2018.

DocuSign acquired Appuri, a customer-engagement analytics company, to enhance its product experience and marketing conversations with customers by integrating Appuri's machine learning technology into its platform.

Xiaomi is expected to generate $1 billion in profits in 2017 and between $17 billion to $18 billion in revenue in 2017 which represents an 18% increase compared to the company's previous 2017 revenue target.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“DocuSign Acquires Tech Rights And Hires Team From Machine Learning Startup, Appuri"


"China's Didi Cashes Up to Go Global in Next Stage of Uber Battle"


"Magic Leap Shows Off Its Magic Leap One ‘Creator Edition’ AR headset, Shipping In 2018"


"Exclusive: IPO Hopeful Xiaomi Set to Blow Past 2017 Revenue Target - Sources"

Industry News Update – Week of 12/18/2017:

Last week, Spotify's valuation rose to $19 billion after a series of private trades. This latest valuation is $3 billion higher than Spotify's last valuation that occurred in late September in a previous series of similar private trades.

Target bought Shipt, a grocery delivery startup, for $550 million to offer same-day grocery delivery to compete with Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods.

Airbnb plans to provide virtual reality previews (360 photos and 3D scans) of its’ rental listings to assist users in finding suitable lodging accommodations.

SpaceX is getting closer to having a fully reusable rocket as the company recently launched a reused Dragon on top of a reused Falcon 9.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Airbnb Wants To Offer Virtual Reality Previews Of Rental Spots"


"Target Is Acquiring Instacart Competitor Shipt For $550 Million To Fight Back Against Amazon"


"Spacex Launches A Reused Dragon Atop A Reused Falcon 9 For The First Time"


"Spotify's Valuation Has Jumped As High As $19 Billion In Advance Of A US IPO, Sources Say"

Industry News Update – Week of 12/11/2017

Shazam is in talks with Apple to be acquired for $400 million. Apple’s Music would utilize Shazam to generate subscribers through Shazam’s music recognition referrals.

Spotify and Tencent are buying minority equity stakes in one another to benefit from the growth of music in their respective markets.

Uber will need to wait until April 2018 to appeal Transport for London’s decision to ban its ride sharing service. The decision is significant as London is one of Uber’s largest municipal markets.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Sources: Apple is Acquiring Music Recognition App Shazam"


“Spotify and Tencent Music Will Make Financial Investments in Each Other: Here's Why"


"Uber Will Have to Wait Until April 2018 to Appeal the Loss of its London Licence”




Industry News Update – Week of 12/4/2017

Last week, Xiaomi held discussions with investment banks to go public next year in Hong Kong with a $50 billion valuation.

WeWork and Dropbox acquired companies to enhance their products. WeWork bought Meetup, an online portal that allows people that have similar interests to join groups, to increase the scope of its product to allow people outside of work to connect. Dropbox acquired Verst, a website publisher, to further develop its product offering.

Softbank made a tender offer to buy Uber's shares at a $48 billion valuation which represents a 30% discount to the last round.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Dropbox Acquires Verst Team, Publishing Platform Will Shut Down on Dec. 21"


“SoftBank Is Said to Offer to Buy Uber Shares at a Steep Discount"


"WeWork Buys Meetup to Bring People Together Outside of Work”


"Xiaomi Seeks Valuation of at Least $50 Billion in IPO"

Industry News Update – Week of 11/27/2017

Last week, Lyft was raising an additional $500 million as an extension of its most recent funding round and received permits from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to test its self-driving vehicles. Lyft was procuring an additional $500 million as part of its Series H funding round which has already raised $1 billion from Google. Following this funding round, the company’s valuation is expected to increase to $11.5 billion. Lyft also received approval from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to test its autonomous vehicles on the public roads in the state of California.

Uber failed to disclose a massive data breach that occurred in October 2016 that presented two hackers with personal information on 57 million accounts such as the passenger’s name, email address and mobile phone numbers. The company paid these two hackers $100,000 to hide this data breach. Following the launch of a federal investigation from the New York attorney general, Uber fired its Chief Security Officer and Deputy.

Instacart workers in several cities have gone on strike to oppose their low hourly wages which in some cases have been as low as $1 per hour. These workers want Instacart to revise their compensation structure to address larger orders and make tipping more apparent.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Instacart Workers are Striking Over Wages Reportedly as Low as $1 an Hour"


“Lyft Raising Additional $500 Million on Top of Recent $1 Billion Round”

“Lyft Gets Approval to Test Self-driving Cars on Public Roads in California”


"Uber Paid Hackers $100,000 to Keep Secret a Massive Data Breach In 2016”

Industry News Update – Week of 11/20/2017

Last week, Airbnb, Lyft and Spotify acquired several companies to enhance their platform offerings in the adtech, mobile development, and music development fields. Airbnb purchased AdBasis, a digital advertising analysis company, to test and optimize its ads on its platform. The company also acquired Accomable, a platform that helps to connect lodging to people with disabilities, to increase the number of wheelchair-accessible listings and to provide comprehensive listings for people with disabilities. Lyft bought Kamcord, a mobile game streaming company, to enhance its passenger pickup and driver features. Spotify acquired Soundtrap, a collaborative recording platform, to allow its artists to create music using Soundtrap's toolkit.

Pinterest released its Pincodes feature that scans QR-codes as an extension its Lens feature to allow users to browse through similar products. This feature is expected to be used on packaging and ads to increase customers’ awareness of the products available for purchase on Pinterest.

Buzzfeed revealed that the company's expected 2017 revenue target of $350 million will likely be missed by 15% to 20%. The expected revenue decline along with increased expenses due to expansion has resulted in speculation that Buzzfeed's IPO could be postponed until after 2018.

Uber intends to purchase 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo to compete with Lyft in the autonomous vehicle sector.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


"Airbnb is Buying a Startup That Offered Similar Home Rental Services for Disabled Travelers"

“Airbnb Acquires Ad Tech Startup Adbasis"


"Buzzfeed Unlikely to go Public Next Year as Revenue Falls up to 20% Short of Forecast, Report Says"


“Lyft Acquihires the Kamcord Team for Engineering Talent"


"Pinterest Launches Colorful Pincodes That Link to Fashion and Food Boards"


"Spotify Acquires Online Music Studio Soundtrap as it Goes After Creators"


"Uber Set to Buy Self-Driving Cars from Volvo, Rivaling Lyft's Fleet"

Industry News Update – Week of 11/13/2017

Last week, Lyft announced plans to initiate its international expansion by launching its services in Toronto in December 2017. was acquired by Bytedance, Chinese company that operates Toutiao (news outlet and social media platform), for a purchase price between $800 million and $1 billion.

SpaceX’s Merlin engine caused a massive explosion during a test flight. The company launched a failure investigation and plans to continue its upcoming launches.

Uber’s board has reached an agreement on the terms of Softbank’s upcoming $10 billion investment.

A few weeks ago, Uber released a credit card for Millennials to track their points which can be used to pay for rides. Credit card subscribers can obtain a select percentage back from their purchases that can be converted to points. Users can obtain a $100 sign up bonus for spending $500 during their first 90 days.

The news articles and links presented below are available for your reference.


“Lyft’s First Market Outside the U.S. Will be Canada With a December Launch in Toronto”

“China’s Toutiao is Buying in a Deal Worth $800M-$1B"


"SpaceX Rocket Engine Explodes During Test at Texas Facility"


"Uber Board Strikes Agreement to Pave the Way for SoftBank Investment"

"Uber's New Credit Card Targets Millennials"

Industry News Update – Week of 11/6/2017

Last week, Didi Chuxing announced plans to construct a vast charging network for electric cars as roughly 260,000 out of Didi Chuxing’s 21 million drivers use electric cars. The company anticipates that its electric vehicle fleet will increase to 1 million by 2020. Didi Chuxing could expect significant business from the Chinese public in the future from this project because the Chinese government stated plans in September 2017 to eventually ban gasoline-fueled cars to combat widespread air pollution.

Grab reached a major milestone on October 26, 2017 by surpassing 1 billion overall rides.

As of November 1 2017, Robinhood surpassed 3 million overall users, reached $100 billion in cumulative transaction volume and saved its users $1 billion in overall trading fees. The company also launched Robinhood for Web, an online platform with extensive research capabilities and stock discovery tools.

Stripe has launched a feature within its Atlas platform to assist in the allocation of stock equity among founders by drafting the legal paperwork. By default, this new feature reserves 20% of the company’s stock pool to its early employees and investors but can be easily modified to include complex equity structures such as vesting periods.


"The World's Biggest Ride Company is Building an EV Charging Network to Cover China"


“Uber Rival Grab Crosses 1 billion Rides in Southeast Asia"


"Robinhood Stock Trading Comes to Web with Finance News for its 3M users"


“$9 Billion Startup Stripe is Automating the Complicated Process of Doling Out Stock to Company Cofounders"