March 22, 2017 Comments Off on Will bike sharing be the next big thing?
Bike sharing startups are putting more people on two wheels like never before. In Europe, US, Japan, and China, bike sharing is becoming increasingly popular, so popular that research by global strategy consulting firm Roland Berger indicates that the bike-sharing market will grow to $6 billion by 2020. Investors have likewise taken notice. China’s Mobike has a total of $325 million in venture capital, while its rival Ofo has $580 million in its war chest. In the US, Limebike has recently raised $12 million in venture funding from a consortium of investors. As bike-sharing companies gain traction and younger consumers continue to trend away from ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, it looks like bike-sharing programs are here to stay.
March 14, 2017 Comments Off on Airbnb closes $1 billion round
After raising $555.5 million last year, vacation marketplace Airbnb raised an additional $447.8 million as it closed its Series F round. This brings its total round to $1 billion and raises the company’s valuation to a solid $31 billion. The investment comes in the wake of the recent Snap IPO, which raised questions about which other unicorn may go public this year. Although Airbnb looks ripe for an IPO in 2017, the company has no intention of going public anytime soon. After all, it already has billions in its war chest, enjoys operational flexibility and is profitable. Recently, the company used its billions to acquire payment startup Tilt and high-end vacation rental manager Luxury Retreat to improve its offerings. The new funding has made Airbnb the second most valuable, venture-backed tech start-up in the world after Uber.
March 8, 2017 Comments Off on Snapchat raises $3.4 billion in its initial public offering
Despite experiencing slow user growth and a net loss of $514.6 million in 2016, Snap, the maker of popular messaging app Snapchat, has raised $3.4 billion in its initial public offering at $17 per share, clinching a reported valuation of $24 billion. The company’s stock continued to climb even though it has yet to receive a single “buy” rating from Wall Street analysts. So why is Snapchat so valuable? Goldman Sachs estimate that the company could reach $2 billion in revenue in 2018, with a projected daily average users of 221 million, a 40% growth from 158 million in 2016. The company indicated that they expect the bulk of the revenue to come from advertising as well as from the sales of their new product, the Snapchat Spectacles, which can record snippets of video that are automatically stored to the user’s Snapchat Memories, a feature that saves snaps, stories and locked content.
February 27, 2017 Comments Off on Airbnb acquires Tilt
Tilt (formerly Crowdtilt), the digital payments startup that lets individuals to share bills and collect payments from a group, has been acquired by Airbnb for a little over $60 million—a price tag that’s significantly less than its reported valuation of $400 million back in 2015. According to reports, Airbnb acquired Tilt for its product, but not its business. Founded in 2012, Tilt’s free app became a hit among students looking to raise money with friends as well as for splitting the bill. However, the company’s decision to focus on growing its user base instead of revenue has caused it to lose money. The acquisition will give Tilt an exciting new lease on life and allow Airbnb to expand its expertise around group travel.
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