The Digitopia Research Team works around the clock to bring you the latest news, views and insights in technology, and digital transformation.
Take: Last Thursday, Snap Inc. reported its financial quarter, and it did not look good. Not only company met the third quarter targets, but will have slow start the end of 2021. The company put the blame mainly on the supply chain problems, but did not forget to mention how disruptive the Apple’s privacy and advertising changes hurt online ad giants. Analysts estimate that ads on Apple devices account for about 70% of Snap’s revenues.
Take: Biggest technology deal of the year is on its way! PayPal is busy building the “super-app”, and next move is to acquire Pinterest for whopping $45 billion. The online shopping boom fueled with COVID resulted in a good year for PayPal. With that said, it seems like the right time for PayPal to enter the advertising space as Pinterest’s CEO is stepping down and the company is troubled internally with some discrimination accusations.
Tesla: Tesla is thriving. The company’s financial reporting proved that they are still the king of the EV valley. Now, it is pushing to increase its profit margins even further. The company just announced that it is changing the battery cell chemistry on its all standard-range cars. The new batteries will use a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry rather than nickel-cobalt-aluminum. This will allow Tesla to increase the margins without increasing the price of the cars.
Take: Battles on all fronts, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are struggling to keep up with all the problems arising. The solution: Rebranding. Zuckerberg previously coined the term “metaverse” as the company’s vision, and he just announced that the name will change to reflect on the new focus of the company. While it could very well be the reason why, many analysts and reporters indicate that this is a stunt to disassociate from the ongoing scandals.
Take: Biggest basketball league in the world, NBA has its very first sponsor from the crypto industry, Coinbase. With the agreement, Coinbase will leverage NBA’s all platforms including WNBA, G League 2K League, and USA Basketball. Many other major sports leagues such as Formula 1 and MLB embraced crypto sponsorships the help stop the bleeding from COVID.
Take: With its $900 million investment round, Berlin-based N26 is now worth more than Germany’s second largest bank. The company is valued at $9 billion, with 7 million customers across Europe and the U.S. and is on track to process $90 billion in transactions this year. The company recently acquired a banking license in Brazil and expects to roll out its app publicly in the country within the next year. As the company is riding the wave, the CEO and founder Tayenthal said that N26 will be structrucally ready for an IPO in the next 12-18 months.
Take: Walmart is building a dream team to create a true competitive edge against Amazon: a fintech start-up. Two former Goldman Sachs executives and Ribbit Capital as the other partner in the joint venture, Walmart is aiming to provide financial services for its millions of customers and workers. People familiar with the venture said that the start-up will not seek a banking license, which indicates that the focus will be more on mobile payments and neo-bank services.
Take: American social media platforms leaving the China one by one… and LinkedIn was the last one. Microsoft recently announced that it would shut the version of its professional-networking site that operates in China. This move by Microsoft is a result of the tightening control of Beijing over the tech companies.
Take: Tesla Insurance was found in 2019 and was operating in California as a regular car insurance. As of this month, Tesla officially launches its insurance that leverages “real-time driving behavior” and safety scores for pricing in Texas. Tesla will use specific features within the vehicle to evaluate the premium based on the actual driving.
Take: Another player joined to the space race. South Korea recently launched its first homegrown rocket. The rocket will launch a satellite to the orbit, hoping to strengthen the military surveillance over North Korea. The launch happened two days after North Korea launched a missile from a submarine during a military test.