Enjoying the summer sun? We sure have been! We’re out and about and are planning some get togethers. Maybe you could join us here at The Six? You can even check-out Uber’s upcoming travel super-app.
This week we have Instacart’s big move; Pain in the valley; Robotic deliveries; Disney’s temporal triumph; and RIP iPod.
We are also proud to announce our latest Expert Circle cohort! You can check out their profiles here.
Analytics, Digital, Design In Action
Instacart has filed confidential paperwork for an initial public offering, the company announced Wednesday. Just weeks ago, Instacart slashed its valuation by nearly 40%, in-line with DoorDash and Uber’s share performance.
The timing of the IPO paperwork appears to have aligned with its ten-year "birthday" as a company, an occasion Instacart's recently installed CEO Fidji Simo published a blog post about Wednesday.
Instacart isn't the only on-demand delivery company looking to attract customers by adding an ultra-fast delivery option. Grubhub announced a partnership last month with ultra-fast delivery startup Buyk, but Buyk shut down and filed for bankruptcy shortly after. In December, DoorDash announced a 10-to-15 minute delivery service in New York City. And Uber announced a partnership last May with GoPuff, a startup that offers 30-minute deliveries of essential goods in more than 1,000 cities.
It has been a tough market for growth tech companies, public or private, with some VCs even marking a recession for the space, following higher inflation and interest rates.
Pain in the Valley
The stock market drop in early May, combined with the continued crises of the war in Ukraine, domestic inflation, and a pandemic now well into its third year, has begun to cause significant pain at later-stage startups, and is now trickling down to companies of all sizes.
Globally, fundraising has slowed, with the number of megarounds ($100M or more) and the total amount raised declining in the first quarter, the first time that’s happened in almost two years. “Investor sentiment in Silicon Valley is the most negative since the dot-com crash” 20 years ago, tweeted PayPal co-founder David Sacks, now a partner at the investment firm Craft Ventures.
Uber Eats is launching two autonomous delivery pilots in Los Angeles on Monday with Serve Robotics, a robotic sidewalk delivery startup, and Motional, an autonomous vehicle technology company.
The Motional partnership was originally announced in December and marks the first time Uber is partnering with an AV fleet provider, as well as the first time Motional is trying its hand at autonomous delivery.
The Motional IONIQ 5 vehicles used in the service have been adapted to enable autonomous deliveries. While Motional has extensive experience moving passengers, this is the company's first time transporting commercial goods. To prepare, its teams have spent months studying every touchpoint between the restaurant and end-customer, and conducted extensive testing in the Los Angeles area.
Disney’s latest earnings featured a 7.9M increase of subscribers for Disney+, which brings the total to 137.9M, ahead of the 5.2M adds investors were anticipating. This was a stark contrast to Netflix’s performance.
Bob Chapek, chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement that these positive results “once again proved that we are in a league of our own.” He reiterated in the earnings call that the company is still on track to reach 230 to 260 million subscribers by fiscal 2024.
The House of Mouse is also planning to launch the lower-priced ad-supported option in late 2022 or 2023, whereas its competitor Netflix may be eyeing a Q4 rollout for its own advertising-supported plan.
It’s official: the iPod is dead. Apple has announced it is pulling the plug on a music icon: the iPod. First introduced more than two decades ago, the device has been quoted to have “revolutionised the music industry”, and was one of the products that introduced many consumers to the brand.
For the Zoomers out there, the iPod heralded Apple’s return to dominance in the hardware space. It also spawned one of the greatest ad campaigns that would’ve put Don Draper to shame.
In recent years, the company has integrated its music library into its other products, such as the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac, and will continue to do so in the future. “Today, the spirit of iPod lives on,” said Greg Joswiak, Senior Vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Discussing the importance of the music industry to Apple’s brand, he added it “has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry — it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared.”
For some consolation, Apple is launching a new concert live-streaming series called “Apple Music Live” that will showcase performances from “the biggest stars in music.” The series will kick off on May 20th with a live stream of Harry Styles’ “One Night Only in New York” performance. The concert will be available to stream exclusively to Apple Music subscribers in 167 countries at no extra cost.
We’re also recruiting for our ABD Team!
Check out the following positions that we are actively hiring.
Please spread the word and show us some love 😘
If you like what we are doing, please consider sharing it with your friends, family, and colleagues. We are a nonprofit organization that is 100% run by volunteers who might look just like you. We are sending a weekly digest every Tuesday. Until the next time!