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Tag Archives: cash

Why rumors that Adobe could be in talks to buy Marketo make sense

Adobe could be shopping for another piece of the digital marketing puzzle, as reports surfaced today that the company might be in talks with Vista Equity Partners to buy Marketo, a company the private equity firm purchased in May 2016 for $1.8 billion in cash. Reuters was first to report the rumor. While the report states the talks are early, and nothing is imminent, and none of the companies involved would comment (understandably), it is a deal that makes sense for Adobe. The company has been trying to build out its digital marketing business for some time, including buying Magento in May for $1.8 billion to help beef up the ecommerce piece. Assuming that Vista wants to flip Marketo for a profit, a good bet, it would likely need to come in at $2 billion at a minimum and probably more. There are only a few companies out there that could afford the price tag, who would be interested in a property like Marketo: Adobe, Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle. If Adobe really wanted to go for the digital marketing jugular, it could fork over the cash and buy Marketo. Brent Leary, who covers this industry as the principle at CRM Essentials, says this would be a way for Adobe to grab a chunk of enterprise marketing automation business at a time when the market is getting highly competitive. “Marketo would give Adobe a leader in the marketing automation space at the enterprise customer level, particularly in the B2B space.” Leary explained. While nothing is clear yet, Adobe has the resources if it wants to do it. The company currently has $6.3 billion in cash on hand, according to data on Yahoo finance , and has seen its stock price rise significantly in the last year from $156.24 to $269.58 (as of publication today)

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Unmortgage scores £10M seed round to offer ‘part-own, part-rental’ housing

“ Unmortgage enables everyone to live in the home they want to, that’s our mission,” Unmortgage co-founder and CEO Ray Rafiq-Omar tells me. “We do that by allowing people to buy as little as five percent of a home and rent the rest. So there’s no mortgage involved, hence the name Unmortgage”. The burgeoning London startup, which aims to launch next year having just closed a hefty £10 million seed round, calls its model “part-own, part-rent”. However, unlike traditional shared ownership schemes, Unmortgage doesn’t want you to have to take out a mortgage to buy the first portion of your own, and it isn’t targeting new-builds. Like a number of other fintech/proptech companies, such as Strideup and Proportunity , it is the latest attempt to solve the increasing difficulty first time buyers face trying to get on the housing ladder as rising house prices typically outstrip wages. If people rent, they often cannot save the large deposit required for a mortgage. It is this “vicious circle” that Unmortgage want to break: by helping families that can afford to rent gradually buy a home. “The way we like to think about it is the security of home ownership with the flexibility of renting,” says Rafiq-Omar. “You find a home. If we like it too, we’ll but it together in partnership

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Girls Who Code brings in $1M from Lyft rider donations

Girls Who Code , an organization focused on closing the gender gap in tech, has raised $1 million from Lyft riders since the ride-hailing company added the non-profit organization to its Round Up & Donate program last year. The program allows participating charities, which has included Habitat for Humanity and World Wildlife Fund, to receive small donations from Lyft riders, who can opt-in by visiting the Round Up & Donate tab within settings in the Lyft app. Launched in May 2017, the feature rounds up your trip payments to the nearest dollar and donates the difference. “We couldn’t be more excited to be celebrating the $1 million milestone with our friends at Lyft, ” Girls Who Code founder and CEO Reshma Saujani said in a statement. “And the moment is made even more special knowing that this was made possible by the riders themselves.” Girls Who Code has received a lot of support from the tech industry, with backing from Amazon, Pivotal Ventures, GM , AppNexus, Google, Dell and more. Uber has also provided financial support.  The company donated $1.2 million to Girls Who Code as part of a partnership announced last August that had Uber’s former chief brand officer Bozoma Saint John join the organization’s board of directors. Saint John has since left Uber but remains on Girls Who Code’s board. Uber was working feverishly to support non-profits, especially those focused on diversity, as part of its effort to clean up its reputation following numerous reports that Travis Kalanick, Uber’s former CEO, had fostered a culture of discrimination and harassment during his tenure. One of the organizations they tried to donate to was Black Girls Code , but the non-profit turned down the cash , explaining at the time that they weren’t interested in what they believed was only a PR stunt. “Their past history and ‘political’ nature of maneuvering is and was troubling,” Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant told TechCrunch at the time. Black Girls Code has, however, accepted donations from Lyft via its Round Up & Donate feature. Bryant has said its because Lyft’s mission more closely aligns with Black Girls Code:  “We look very closely at prospective partners with that in mind and pay special attention to those that believe in the power of community to affect change.

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What happens when hackers steal your SIM? You learn to keep your crypto offline

A year ago I felt a panic that still reverberates in me today. Hackers swapped my T-Mobile SIM card without my approval and methodically shut down access to most of my accounts and began reaching out to my Facebook friends asking to borrow crypto. Their social engineering tactics, to be clear, were laughable but they could have been catastrophic if my friends were less savvy. Flash forward a year and the same thing happened to me again – my LTE coverage winked out at about 9pm and it appeared that my phone was disconnected from the network. Panicked, I rushed to my computer to try to salvage everything I could before more damaged occurred. It was a false alarm but my pulse went up and I broke out in a cold sweat. I had dealt with this once before and didn’t want to deal with it again. Sadly, I probably will. And you will, too. The SIM card swap hack is still alive and well and points to one and only one solution: keeping your crypto (and almost your entire life) offline. Trust No Carrier Stories about massive SIM-based hacks are all over. Most recently a crypto PR rep and investor, Michael Terpin, lost $24 million to hackers who swapped his AT&T SIM. Terpin is suing the carrier for $224 million . This move, which could set a frightening precedent for carriers, accuses AT&T of “of fraud and gross negligence.” From Krebs : Terpin alleges that on January 7, 2018, someone requested an unauthorized SIM swap on his AT&T account, causing his phone to go dead and sending all incoming texts and phone calls to a device the attackers controlled. Armed with that access, the intruders were able to reset credentials tied to his cryptocurrency accounts and siphon nearly $24 million worth of digital currencies

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Rent the Runway inks $200 million credit facility with Temasek

Rent the Runway today announced that it has partnered with Temasek for a $200 million credit facility. Founded in 2009, Rent the Runway lets users rent items of clothing for special events or occasions, bringing runway styles to folks without the cash to purchase the clothing outright. Rent the Runway started out by letting users rent their wares for about 10 percent of the item’s price. But in 2017, RTR introduced a subscription model, giving users unlimited rentals for $89/month. The model has already been proven by other businesses. RTR started giving users access to fashion in the same way that Netflix gives users access to video, Spotify gives access to music, or even the way ClassPass gives users access to studio fitness classes. Since the subscription launch, RTR’s subscription business is up 150 percent year over year, and represents 50 percent of the company’s overall revenue. According to the release, RTR will use the new funds to continue growing its subscription business, expand operations, and refinance its existing debt facility. As part of the deal, Temasek has received an observer seat on the board of directors. In response to the question around why Rent The Runway chose a credit facility over traditional VC investment, CFO Scarlett O’Sullivan had this to say via email: We are very pleased that the company has demonstrated the kind of business model, growth prospects and financial discipline that make it possible to access a credit facility of this size with an equity-minded long-term partner like Temasek – they have a proven track record of supporting disruptive high-growth companies. We were specifically looking for debt for three key reasons: 1 – This facility gives us the ability to access more financing – we can draw capital as we need to, giving us flexibility to grow our subscription business more quickly 2 – We improved the terms of our prior facility which we refinanced with a portion of these funds — and debt for us is a lower cost option to finance the business 3 – It is less dilutive to our existing shareholders – we believe there will be significant value creation over the next several years as we continue to change consume behavior and help women put their closet in the cloud Before this latest deal, Rent the Runway had raised more than $200 million in funding from investors such as Bain Capital, KPCB, Highland Capital, TCV, and more.

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On Tesla’s earnings day, watch for these 4 indicators

A little more than a year ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk handed over the first Model 3 electric vehicles to employees at a splashy event in Hawthorne, California. It’s been (production) hell ever since, a term Musk has used repeatedly in the past 12 months as the electric automaker struggled to ramp up production of its most important vehicle to date. Now, a month after Tesla hit a key milestone and produced nearly 5,000 Model 3 cars in the last week of June, investors, fans and critics are waiting to get a closer look at the company’s finances. Tesla is expected to report its second quarterly earnings after the market closes August 1. A conference call will be held at 2:30 pm PT. Here’s what we’re looking for and what we hope to hear from Musk: Conversions Tesla has opened the Model 3 waitlist floodgates and invited all reservation holders in the U.S. and Canada to order the electric sedan. Tesla might not share the number of reservations holders who have opted to ask for a refund or to go ahead and order a Model 3. But that figure would give insight on demand as well as help determine what obstacles lie ahead. For instance, a large number of reservations converting to orders might signal a rosy future for revenue as well as potential headwinds in production and delivery times with the increased volume. Those reservations also equal money. The company had $985 million in customer deposits, which includes the Model 3, at the end of the first quarter.

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Airbnb test allows hosts to get paid faster

While Airbnb users can book accommodations far in advance, hosts usually have to wait until 24 hours after the scheduled check-in time to see any payment. Now, Airbnb is testing a new feature that allows hosts to get their cash earlier. The new payou...

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HTC Lays Off 1500 Employees To Cut Costs – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo HTC Lays Off 1500 Employees To Cut Costs Ubergizmo Things haven't really been looking up for HTC in the past few years. The company has been bleeding money and even though it has made sincere efforts to turn things around, they haven't really paid off. To that end, HTC today announced that it's going ... and more »

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Upstarts emerge to chase Tesla’s lead in electric vehicles

A slew of well-funded new entrants backed by massive amounts of capital are chasing Tesla’s lead in an effort to power the next generation of the electric vehicle industry. Electric vehicle startups have raised more than $2 billion in the U.S. over the first months of 2018 alone, a huge increase over the $650 million raised in 2017, according to data from PitchBook . And the investment trends point to more competition for Tesla from established car companies and upstart manufacturers alike in the next few years. All of this activity is thanks to the size of the industry that’s in play. The market for electric passenger vehicles is expected to reach $356.5 billion by 2023 led by $205.9 billion in sales coming from the Asia-Pacific region, according to predictions from the market intelligence firm, Absolute Reports . Given those numbers, it’s no wonder that investments into electric vehicle companies and the enabling technologies for them keep climbing — and most of the cash commitments are being made in newly formed companies. PitchBook data indicates that early-stage deals are on the rise, with 15 investments into startup electric vehicle companies in 2017. (It’s important to note that PitchBook data, and the work of other market intelligence firms, is somewhat fuzzy and imprecise.) In 2018, first investments accounted for the bulk of the $2 billion raised. Many of these electric vehicle challengers emerged from the wreckage of other companies that had sought the pole position in the race for auto-industry dominance. Several new companies have emerged from the collapse of Faraday Future and Fisker Automotive, even as both companies found themselves reborn with new leases on life thanks to redoubled capital commitments from global billionaires, Chinese companies awash in money and traditional venture firms angling for a shot at Tesla’s market dominance. Tesla’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year (to date) While the size of the electric vehicle market is one factor motivating the competition, another is the series of miscues from Tesla, the independent electric vehicle market leader, which has competitors wondering if the wheels are coming off Elon Musk’s big bet. By any measure, Tesla has had a very bad year.

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Real Vision, a media platform for finance and business, raises $10 million

Real Vision is entering the crowded business and financial new space with a bang. The company, which recently raised a $10 million Series B after a $5 million A, is working on a number of new initiatives including distribution on Apple TV, a content distribution partnership with Thomson Reuters and an upcoming documentary on PBS. The documentary, “A World on the Brink,” will focus on threats to the global economy. The team is aiming at viewers ages 36-45 instead of the older Boomers who prefer cable financial news far. “Unlike most video-based media businesses where short-form video is deemed to have the highest user engagement, Real Vision have found that almost 70% of their customers who start a half, or an hour-long, video will watch all of it. This engagement in long-form content is breaking boundaries within the industry,” said co-founder and CEO Raoul Pal. “Sensationalism and clickbait is at an all-time high. Traditional financial news has continued to degenerate into attention-seeking sound bites that are at best of little value and at worst, downright dangerous.” Pal worked at Goldman Sachs before moving into media. “I lamented on the state of financial media – how it had let the ordinary person down repeatedly in 2000 and 2008 and was busy treating finance as entertainment and not taking into account that this was peoples live savings they were dealing with. I also noted how far financial programming had become versus the fast-changing world of on line video. Viewing habits and content types were changing but the financial TV incumbents hadn’t changed,” he said “I decided that it was time for someone to disrupt the way in which television worked – particularly with regard to financial and business information.” The team will use the cash to create programming aimed at “those who want to create new business opportunities and startups, manage new enterprises and leverage new technology.” The videos can run as long as 90 minutes but usually hit the five to thirty-minute mark

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Bail reform has a complex relationship with tech

On any given day in the United States, more than 450,000 people are behind bars awaiting their constitutionally mandated fair trial. None of them have been convicted of a crime — they’ve been accused of committing a crime, but no formal ruling of guilt or innocence has been made. That means these hundreds of thousands of people are incarcerated simply because they don’t have the financial means to post bail.  Bail was originally designed to incentivize people to show up for their court dates, but it has since evolved into a system that separates the financially well-off from the poor. It requires arrested individuals to pay money in order to get out of jail while they await trial. For those who can’t afford bail, they wind up having to sit in jail, which means they may be at risk of missing rent payments, losing their jobs and failing to meet other responsibilities.  Money bail is all too often a common condition to secure release from jail while a case is in progress. Cash bail systems result in leaving many people incarcerated, even though they haven’t been convicted of a crime.  The cash bail system in the United States is one of the greatest injustices in the criminal justice system, ACLU Deputy National Political Director Udi Ofer tells TechCrunch. Bail reform, Ofer says, is a “key way to achieve” the goals of challenging racial disparities in the criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration.  As we explored in “ The other pipeline ,” the criminal justice system in the United States is deeply rooted in racism and a history of oppression. Black and Latino people comprise about 1.5 million of the total  2.2 million people incarcerated in the U.S.  adult correctional system, or 67 percent of the prison population, while making up just 37 percent of the total U.S. population,  according to the Sentencing Project . With a criminal justice system that disproportionately affects people of color, it’s no wonder why the cash bail system does the same . For one, people of color are 25 percent more likely than white people to be denied the option of bail, according to a pre-trial study by Dr

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Apple says it will return $100B to investors with a massive new program after a strong Q2

Apple ended up with a pretty decent report for its second quarter, beating analyst expectations on most of its metrics — but it is making a huge move in terms of returning capital to investors. The company said it is announcing a new $100 billion buyback program and increasing its dividend by 16%. That means that Apple investors are going to get more of an opportunity to snap up the value the company has created over time as it’s continued to grow significantly. While Apple in the past several months a lot of the momentum that carried it to a market cap nearing $1 trillion, the company’s stock has still risen around 80% in the past two years. Not surprisingly, the stock today is soaring (by Apple standards) in extended trading, with shares rising nearly 5% after the report. Last quarter Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the company expected to be “net cash neutral” over time, signaling that it might start returning more capital to shareholders through its dividend and share buyback programs. That’ll be important for the company, which thanks to the tax bill last year will be able to repatriate a significant amount of the cash it holds outside of the U.S. These kinds of returns are pretty common with larger companies that generate a ton of cash — Apple already had some buyback programs in place, for example — but investors have always dinged Apple for not deploying its massive pile of cash. This quarter, however, Apple’s pile of cash actually fell . Apple continued to add more and more cash to its reserves, though a significant amount of it was overseas. This quarter it fell to $267.2 billion, down $17.9 billion from the last quarter. From August 2012 to March 2018, Apple has returned around $275 billion in capital to Wall Street.

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