$11.5B messaging app. Kylie gets a lot of cash.
All bark and no bite…yet
As we head into 2020, a top trend to watch is the regulatory pressure on big tech in the US.
There’s been a lot of bark, but will a presidential election year set up the context for a bite?
As our news mentions tool shows, media chatter on the term “antitrust” has risen significantly since the end of 2018. And it spiked to record highs this year. This happened as US legislators and state officials followed in Europe’s footsteps in scrutinizing big tech, i.e. Silicon Valley and Seattle firms, and began throwing around the “M” word.
(Cough monopoly cough.)
There’s been a dip since US attention turned to the impeachment debate. But this data shows the issue still has steam, and in 2020, given the election, it’s likely we’ll see the issue resurface.
Low, low, low, low
US fintech deals dipped to an 11-quarter low, while Asia fintech deals spiked, nearly surpassing the US in Q3’19.
Canadian fintech startups bucked the trend of declining funding for startups in the country, raising $251M through the first half of the year — nearly double the funding from the same period last year.
$1.7T: Oil giant Saudi Aramco said that it intends to go public at a valuation of about $1.7T. The mammoth valuation would make it the most valuable publicly traded company in the world, beating the current largest US companies, Apple and Microsoft, by around $500B. The Saudi government-owned company is looking to raise $25B by selling shares representing 1.5% of the company.
Google is set to acquire CloudSimple, a company that makes cloud computing tools, for an undisclosed amount. The takeover is Google’s 8th acquisition of the year. See the tech giant’s biggest-ever purchases in our infographic.
300 miles: Auto giant Ford announced all-electric Mustang models. The company says that the new cars will have a range of around 300 miles and can go from 0-60 mph in just over 3 seconds. An increasing number of automakers are offering electric vehicles as consumer demand for the tech increases. See how automakers are looking to compete in our report, The Race For The Electric Car.
7 years: T-Mobile CEO John Legere is set to step down from the mobile carrier’s top job after 7 years. Credited with turning around T-Mobile’s fortunes, the outgoing exec is rumored to be under consideration to become WeWork’s next CEO — though he currently denies the reports. Learn more about some of the challenges WeWork’s next leader will face in our deep dive on WeWork.
$11.5B: SoftBank and Naver agreed on a merger between subsidiaries Z Holdings (Yahoo Japan) and Line — Japan’s most popular search engine and messaging service, respectively. The deal values Line at $11.5B, a $4.5B+ increase compared to its valuation when it went public 3 years ago.
$120M: Nigeria-based mobile payments platform OPay raised a $120M mega-round. We discussed Nigeria’s rising fintech prominence in our latest global fintech report.
$8.8B: A copyright dispute between Google and Oracle is set to go to the US Supreme Court. Oracle claims that Google improperly used its code in its Android operating system, and is seeking $8.8B in royalties. Proprietary software companies like Oracle are under pressure from the rise of open-source software — we look at where the $33B open-source industry is going next in this report.
$230M: Quantum computing startup PsiQ raised $230M — making it one of the top-funded startups working in the space. See why the nascent tech could be game changing in our report, What Is Quantum Computing?
3,769 sq miles: Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has reached the highest level in over a decade. A Brazilian government agency said that 3,769 square miles of forest were cut down in the year leading up to July, a 30% year-over-year increase.
One More Thing
Over the next couple of years, the US and Europe will require electric vehicles to emit a noise to warn pedestrians and bikers that they’re approaching.
Ayax, a Uruguay-based manufacturer and distributor of Toyota vehicles, is teaming up with sound designer The Electric Factory to create a sound that could stimulate plant growth. Known as the HY Project, the partnership also aims to reduce noise pollution from road traffic.
A fleet of hybrid vehicles in Uruguay has already added the sound, and pilot programs are in the works for Brazil and Argentina.