All things Uber. Apple's Face ID. Chinese unicorn IPO.
With Lyft turning up the heat on Uber with reports yesterday that it could raise a new $1B round from Alphabet, we’ve published a massive 4,450+ word deep dive on Uber’s strategy.
We dig into its hiring and geographic focuses, as well as its push into food delivery and logistics.
Did you know Uber was hiring aggressively in India, Brazil, and Mexico?
That despite its legal dispute with Google over self-driving tech it’s still hiring aggressively for its autonomous vehicle program? As new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, it’s not giving up on “big shots.”
That just about everybody in Silicon Valley is invested in this private company valued at $68B (not to mention most of them hate each other now)?
Let us know what you found valuable or not in this teardown as we plan to do more in the future. Also curious to hear what other companies you’d love to see teardowns on.
P.S. On Tuesday, we’re diving into the startups, investors, and trends defining the regtech space. Join us for the briefing.
This week in data:
48.6%: In our Uber Strategy Teardown released yesterday, we looked at the top 10 non-US countries by open Uber job listings. As expected, the US accounts for the lion’s share of roles, with 48.6% of Uber’s open listings posted in its home country. India ranks as the top non-US country, with nearly 8% (or 150 jobs) of the total. Uber is also aggressively seeking talent in Southeast Asia, with Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines all making the top 10. Notable for their absence are markets such as China and Russia, evidence of Uber’s retrenchments abroad. Read more on Uber’s financing history, valuation rise, and investor interest in the teardown here.
1: Earlier this week, Apple unveiled the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X at its event at the Apple Park campus. Along with the new upgrades, Apple announced the upcoming Face ID technology that will be used to unlock the iPhone X. According to TechCrunch, the new feature will only support one registered face, unlike the currently used fingerprint-based TouchID feature, which allows multiple fingerprints to unlock a given phone. We recently looked at a number of Apple patents in computer vision, advanced AR/VR, and advanced materials to see which direction the company is likely to take its future devices. We surfaced a recently granted patent indicating the use of FaceID, as shown below.
68%: Nestlé is acquiring a 68% stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, maker of high-end coffee. The company, which raised $116M in total disclosed financing from investors including GV and Lowercase Capital, is one of the most well-funded VC-backed food and beverage startups. It has been reported that Nestlé is paying up to $500M at a valuation of $700M+. Blue Bottle, which has operations across SF, NY, and Tokyo, among others, can also be found on our food and beverage market map.
$250M: The amount raised by 23andMe, a personal genetics and research company, in Series F funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Investments, and Casdin Capital, among others. The round brings the company’s valuation up to $1.5B+, up from the ~$1B seen in 2015. 23andMe has been previously backed by Illumina and GV, two of the top genomics investors since 2013.
3: Speaking of 23andMe, the company is one of 3 unicorn companies to raise funding this week. Kik Interactive, an instant messaging app, raised $49.6M, while Apttus, a quote-to-cash software company, raised a $55M Series E. All 3 companies can be found on our real-time Unicorn Tracker, as well as on our map of global private companies valued at $1B+.
41%:Quibb, a member-only network for sharing industry news, shut down earlier this week, citing the inability to grow as one of the company’s main problems. According to Quibb’s website, the company only accepted 41% of membership applications. Prior to its death, Quibb raised $650K in total disclosed funding from a number of angel and VC investors. Check out our list of 232 other startup failure post-mortems.
2 years: This week, Daimler announced its plan to bring the Mitsubishi FUSO eCanter short-range electric truck to the United States. The Germany-based auto company’s first commercial partnership will be with UPS, which will use 3 of the electric trucks in TBD locations. In addition, a small fleet of these zero-emission trucks will go to NYC-based nonprofits, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity, and Big Reuse Brooklyn. All of these trucks will be provided on a 2-year lease. We previously looked at Daimler’s startup and accelerator activity since 2014.
$1B+: Unicorn company Zhong An Insurance, a Shanghai-based internet insurance company and China’s first online-only insurer, recently received approval for its proposed $1B+ IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The company, which was created by its minority stake holders Ping An Insurance, Tencent Holdings, and Alibaba Group in 2013, reportedly plans to launch its IPO on September 18th. At the time of its application, we dug into the company’s products, partnerships, and regulatory landscape to understand more about insurance and, more broadly, financial services innovation in China. For more on this and other insurance industry-related news, sign up for our weekly Insurance Tech Newsletter.
39: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the organizations investigating a multistate outbreak of human Campylobacter infections. The infection, which leads to symptoms such as fever, nausea, and diarrhea, is said to be linked to puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain. According to the CDC, the outbreak includes 39 people across 7 states, all of whom have been exposed to Petland puppies, including 12 Petland employees. Whole genome sequencing showed that samples of Campylobacter found in the stools of puppies from a Florida location were closely related to the stool sample of an exposed person in Ohio.