Hi 👋, Tanvi here.
Filter Coffee hits your inbox every morning with notable tech and business news scoops to jump start your day.
Sign up below for free. 👇
Let’s go ahead and get started:
Market summary: 📊
Markets closed on a positive note in India, but with cases topping 4L yesterday, it’d be silly to get too optimistic just yet. US finished on a high note too, despite mid-week choppiness.
S&P 500 - up 0.74%
Nasdaq 100 - up 0.78%
Nifty 50 - up 0.67%
Sensex - up 0.52%
What’s brewing hot?
✅ Your ride’s ready, Sir—Bezos cashed out $2 billion by selling Amazon stock last week, in anticipation of his exit later this year as CEO of the company, and we’d joked about a yacht in the making. Turns out that was true—a 127 meter long super boat costing $500 million is on the way. Apparently the global superyacht industry is having quite a ball since the pandemic—with orders spiking nearly 100%+ for the past year, which was once considered to be a dead business.
✅ Who’s the real dog now?—WazirX, the most popular crypto exchange in India, is being taken to the woodshed because the platform couldn’t keep up with the rush of users trying to pile into Dogecoin. Delayed deposits, restrictions on withdrawals, failed transactions… total shitshow.
No more Soundclouds under your Tweets…🤷♀️
and here comes another feature to save the tanking stock!
Twitter will let users send $$ tips to their favorite tweeters—encouraging content creation and finally taking the first decisive step in native monetization on the platform.
Essentially anyone that’s approved, verified, or whose tweet blows up, would be allowed to link a digital wallet to his Twitter profile (Venmo, Square Cash, PayPal, perhaps PayTM in India?) and a user can directly then fire up a tip into their account if they appreciate their content.
Simple stuff, but maximum impact—threads, memes, videos, have proven to be a really powerful way of disseminating information and breaking down tough concepts, which although appear kinda simple, often take lots of time for creators to produce, and now with a real incentive besides plain dopamine hits on the table, the deal just got much sweeter.
What matters: Instagram could’ve done this, so could’ve Facebook, Snap, Spot for podcasts—but we’re certain this has messed up the product roadmap for the other giants, and more apps are going to follow. In all, BIG WIN for the creator economy.
Gonna make AR our playground🍎
Apple is investing nearly $400 million into a key optoelectronics supplier II-VI (called two-six), primarily to boost II-VI’s R&D, and ensure steady production for high-quality sensing equipment.
II-VI basically supplies tiny optoelectronic components that go into making cameras and other sensors in Apple’s devices—essentially all the hardware that allows the cameras to get a solid 3D understanding of their surroundings, including the tech powering the FaceID and array of teeny-tiny lasers for the LIDAR sensors on the phone.
It's inevitable that augmented reality plays an important role in consumer technology going forward, and Apple is playing ahead of the curve here as it adds functionality and apps around AR to the phones, as well as launching AR glasses, VR glasses or any other hardware, if at all.
Bottomline: this is the most potent move the company has so far made in securing its augmented reality supply chain, and we’re guessing a big product update could be in the making. Other hardware giants meanwhile are still snoring.
Aight then, been a busy week, hope y'all get some rest too. Here’s a quick rundown of everything important that happened this week
🤷♀️ Didn't end well—Peloton, the indoor workout hardware maker who saw stock nearly 7x during the lockdowns, had to recall all 125,000 treadmills, after multiple incidents of injuries which even resulted in a child’s death. Early response by management was catastrophic, and the entire thing has blown into a PR mess. Stock is now down 50% from December highs. But earnings data suggests people just won’t stop buying more bikes, with revenues growing 141% for the first 3 months of 2021. Go figure.
⛓️ Future is here—Quite a week for Crypto. First, Doge landed on the moon—or in normal speak, blew past even the wildest expectations, trumping $75 billion+ in market cap. Then Ether made its lifetime highs, crossing $3,000 with analysts cheering for $10K and even $150Ks. Lastly, in the more sane part of the world, Crypto saw its first even $1 billion+ M&A deal, with investment house Galaxy Digital buying out custodian BitGo, to securely hold crypto currency assets for its growing list of wealthy clients.
🚕 Long ride home—Ubers and Lyfts of the world are non-stop bleeding. For the first 3 months of 2021, Uber’s ride hailing business dropped nearly 40%. It was food delivery that saved the day for the company, with order volumes of $12Billion+, growing 166%. Meanwhile, Uber’s competitor Lyft reported similarly gloomy figures—with revenues tanking 38% for the first quarter. With remote work sticking, and the commuter crowd thinning out, it's hard to imagine how the businesses will manage to figure out survival.
📉 Save your ass—Twitter stock was hammered this week after revenue growth of 29% failed to impress the markets, especially when placed next to Google, Snapchat, and Facebook’s blowout performances. That put Dorsey on fire, and within days came the announcement of the Scroll acquisition, a subscription-first, ad-free content consumption platform which could easily be integrated to offer an ad-free reading service for Twitter's power users. Also, there was the “tipping for tweet” feature we mentioned earlier. Clearly working overnight.
🗼 5G, delayed, but inevitable—COVID dented the 5G market and pushed back timelines by at least a year, but the Indian telco department has finally greenlit 4 mobile carriers, including Airtel, Jio, Vodafone, and MTNL to kick off their live testing programs. No equipment will be coming from Chinese vendors this time, with Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, and homegrown Jio favored.
💔 Discord dunks on Microsoft—Days after rejecting Microsoft’s buyout offer, Discord is now partnering with Sony, the maker of PlayStation, and Microsoft’s arch nemesis in the gaming business, to bring Discord chat platform to 125 million plus users on PlayStation. Details of the integration are scant, but Sony is counting on Discord to build out the “community” angle that was lacking to date on the PS service. To sweeten the deal, Sony’s also getting a tiny stake in Discord.
🚗 Quick look at the automotive scene—April month is brining harrowing memories of the worst of the lockdowns for India’s automotive industry, with demand frozen, production slashed, and probably millions of small vendors pushed into debt or out of business.
Bajaj sold 30% less vehicles in April vs. March
Royal Enfield reported sales down 19%
Hero Motocorp saw a 35.4% plunge in volumes and Ashok Leyland sales dropped a damning 50%!
Can’t imagine a better month of May, or June for that matter.
💻 Dell's tryin'—after spinning VMware into a standalone company last week, Dell sold off its cloud business Boomi, to private equity giants Francisco Partners, and TPG, for $4 billion. The IT industry embracing the flexibility of the cloud is not that great for Dell’s monolithic storage empire, and the company is trying everything in its power to reduce its debt load, and be nimble. Investors meanwhile are getting increasingly rattled about waning growth rates.
🐴 Chew and spit—Verizon, which purchased Yahoo and AOL for $4.5 billion EACH back in the day, sold both platforms at a 50% loss in a package-deal to investment manager Apollo Global for $5 billion. Once believed to be the most potent rocket in Verizon’s arsenal in competing against the digital media dominance of Google and Facebook, the entire arrangement turned out to be a dud of massive proportions. Apollo meanwhile is drawn to Yahoo by all its cash flows and is likely going to milk it to death.
📈 Mota bhai delivers—despite the ongoing mayhem, Reliance delivered a pretty upbeat quarter, making ₹1.7 lakh crore in revenues, up 11% vs last year with profits up a slower 0.7%, (still a massive ₹13K crores). Most importantly, Jio Platforms grew sales by nearly 48%, and total users at 436 million. And Reliance Retail, which looks after offline stores and ecommerce divisions of the empire saw a pretty sharp expansion too.
Hit that 💚 if you liked today’s issue.
You can forward this email or share FC on social media by clicking the button below. Thanks and Ciao! 😀