In the lab. Oscar strategy teardown. A coal-free week.
Employee No. 1
What does it take to become a tech billionaire?
In one case, it started with tremendous luck, initiative … and a Twitter account.
In 2010, a junior IT worker at GE responded to a tweet by the founder of a stealthy startup.
“Looking 4 entrepreneurial product mgr/biz-dev killer 4 a location based service… pre-launch, BIG equity, big peeps involved, ANY TIPS?” Travis Kalanick tweeted.
In his mid-twenties at the time, Ryan Graves replied:
The startup, of course, was Uber. Graves was hired as employee #1 and today his stake of 2.4% means his net worth will be in the $1.5B range when Uber IPOs tomorrow (see below for more analysis and data).
BTW, for all aspirants to the “3-comma club,” note that Graves did way more than just stick around. He was the company’s early CEO, then the operations head, and helped set/lead Uber’s global expansion strategy. So don’t forget that part.
P.P.S. If you’re inspired and looking for a social media post that might change the course of your career, look no further.
This week in data:
$1.4B: Razor startup Harry’s is set to be acquired by Schick owner Edgewell Personal Care in a deal worth almost $1.4B. Harry’s previous disclosed valuation was $750M at its Series C in 2015. We spoke about Harry’s in our run down of the top D2C success stories — take a look at all 12 here.
348: An additional 4 companies joined the global unicorn club this week, bringing the total to 348. Grocery delivery service BigBasket, real estate platform VTS, cloud computing company Sumo Logic, and equity management startup Carta all received $1B+ valuations in their latest funding rounds. Carta was part of our 2019 Future Unicorn list, made in collaboration with the New York Times. Check out the rest of our predictions here.
$353M more: Disney stated it had written off $353M more from its investment in Vice Media. Along with the $157M which Disney wrote off last year, the media giant has now lost $510M on what was initially a $400M investment.
45%: SoftBank Corp, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group, is set to increase its stake in Yahoo Japan to 45%, buying an additional third of the company for around $4B. Clients can learn more about SoftBank Group’s investment strategy in our Future According To SoftBank brief.
1M: A UN study has estimated that 1M of Earth’s animal and plant species are at risk of extinction from a number of rising threats, including climate change, pollution, and habitat loss. The report states that only “transformative change” can reverse the trend. The study reviewed around 15,000 sources over the course of 3 years.
7 days: For the first time since 1882, the UK has gone a full week without using coal. National Grid, which operates the UK’s power network, expects coal-free runs to become common as it works towards its stated aim of meeting all of the country’s electricity needs with “zero carbon” by 2025.