Ranking Snap's exit. Startup bites the dust. Game-changing companies.
Who’s afraid of Amazon? Short answer: everyone. Amazon has jumped ahead in the smart home category (Echo device), won 3 Oscars this year for its films, and continues to eat up retailing. It’s also filing crazy patent applications offering a window into its ambitious R&D, including delivery drone-charging stations on street lights.
It’s also coming after the $200B+ global digital advertising market (see This Week in Data, below). That worries Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the world’s largest ad holding company. Sorrell said on an earnings call this week he’s so freaked out about Amazon’s growth in selling ads it’s giving him more insomnia than his 3-month-old baby.
“The answer to the question, ‘What worries you when you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning?’ isn’t a 3-month-old child,” Sorrell said. “It’s Amazon.”
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently also fessed up to a fear of Amazon and its video service in an a16z podcast released this week, citing Jeff Bezos’ seeming ability to compete in just about every arena.
“I feel like we’re competing with an unusual person. Because Jeff’s there, it’s kind of scary.”
Are Bezos and Amazon coming after you? We’re working on an Amazon Strategy Teardown that will answer that question, across industries. In the meantime take a look at our massive Google Strategy Teardown here.
60%: Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of global advertising holding company WPP, said on an earnings call this week that Amazon’s his main concern as the company grows its online ads business, according to a report in Business Insider. Amazon sells ads on its properties to brands and retailers seeking to promote their listings and products, and Amazon’s category of “Other” revenue, believed to consist mostly of ad revenue, grew 60% in 2016 to $1.3B.
$22.4M: California-based HomeHero has announced it will halt operations. The marketplace for in-home healthcare for seniors had raised $22.4M from investors including Social Capital and Tencent Holdings. In a post, founder and CEO Kyle Hill said the company will “remove itself entirely from the industry of home care to focus on a new healthcare venture.” Check out our list of 204 other startup failure post mortems.
$200M: Mobile payment and commerce platform Paytm raised $200M in Series A funding from Alibaba Group and SAIF Partners. The company has raised over $1.3B to-date including a $500M injection from Alibaba via its Ant Financial Services Group. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO of Paytm, will be joining us at the Future of Fintech at Lincoln Center.
$82M: ChargePoint, an electric vehicle charging network, raised $82M in Series G funding. The round was led by Daimler, the world’s oldest automaker which recently announced a partnership with Uber. We mapped out Daimler’s startup and accelerator activity since 2013, including the activity of Moovel, its mobility services unit.
$400M: Lux Capital announced a new $400M fund dedicated to “investing in people inventing the future.” The firm, which typically focuses on investment into early-stage science and technology startups, previously invested in Saildrone, an autonomous sailing drones startup mentioned in our latest Game Changers report.