“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things. Because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
– Walt E. Disney
The quote’s origins are pretty interesting. It turns out the quote was something like the in-house motto of WED (which references Disney’s initials), a design and architectural company that Walt Disney himself formed to build Disneyland. The final lines of the actual quote go on to read, “We’re always exploring and experimenting. At WED, we call it Imagineering — the blending of creative imagination with technical know-how.”
WED evolved “Imagineering” into an intricate and well-documented set of creative principles, and later, there was even a business book published promoting them as an innovation toolbox. When The Walt Disney Company absorbed WED, Imagineering became part of Disney’s product development DNA.
So there you have it! The quote is about 30 words long, but arguably the world’s largest media company was built on the back of the principles embodied in it.
$5.8B: Chime, a mobile banking platform, raised $500M at a $5.8B valuation. The challenger bank increased its valuation almost 4x compared to what it was valued at during its previous funding round just 9 months ago. We look at challenger bank funding and more in our latest global fintech report.
$2T: Saudi Aramco, a state-owned oil giant based in Saudi Arabia, went public this week on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). The company raised $25.6B from its IPO and saw its market cap surge to $2T on its second day of trading — making it the first publicly listed company to reach this valuation. The world’s second most valuable company is currently Apple, which is worth around $1.2T.
429 unicorns: The global unicorn count swelled to 429. Startups recently valued at $1B+ include car marketplace place Vroom, Brazil-based game developer Wildlife Studios, payment processor Nuvei, and insurance platform Wefox. See every unicorn on our real-time tracker.
$125M: Genome engineering startup Inscripta raised $125M. The company is building a CRISPR-based platform intended to help researchers develop new gene editing applications. We look at 15 big industries CRISPR could disrupt here.
$10M: A US-based real estate company handed out surprise bonuses worth a total of $10M at its office Christmas party. The individual bonuses reportedly ranged from $100 to $270,000 based upon company tenure.
7x faster: Greenland is shedding ice at a rate 7x faster than it was 30 years ago, according to a study published in Nature. The new research has increased estimates for sea level rises attributed to Greenland’s melting ice, a scenario that could threaten low-lying coastal regions around the world. Geoengineering is one approach that may help mitigate the effects of climate change. We dig into how it works — and companies working on the tech — in our explainer.
$4B: Nestle said that it would sell its US ice cream brands to Froneri, a joint venture it set up with a private equity firm in 2016, in a $4B deal. Mentions of ice cream in the media have been trending down over the last decade. Clients can see this in our news coverage analysis tool here.
One More Thing
A new luxury hotel is coming to Mozambique in summer 2020, and it will be made out of 3D-printed sand.
The sand will be created specifically for the hotel, which will also be made with Mozambican weaving, thatching, and local textiles. Rates will start at $5,500 per night for a bungalow with one bedroom, as well as dedicated staff, a private spa, personal chef, and more.
The resort, called Kisawa Sanctuary, will be located on Benguerra Island, 14 miles off the mainland of Mozambique.
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