Morning Report: Here’s a quick look at the most important numbers in tech today.
Good morning from the quickly-thawing East Coast.
Fresh off our birthday, I want to pick over a few numbers out recently that doodle a pretty good picture of the current state of tech. Tech’s financial side, at least. Let’s go:
- $3 billion: The potential market value of Qu Toutiao, a Chinese technology company that could go public on US exchanges, according to Bloomberg. In its coverage of the potential listing, Big Terminal wrote that the firm “extracts content from online sources and media partners” and “repackages the news into customized feeds based on users’ interests and reading patterns.” For reference, the New York Times is worth about $4 billion today, is profitable, and yields a dividend.
- $200 million: The latest sum of money poured into ridesharing. This time it’s Lyft’s turn to pick up a pile of cash. Though, it’s perhaps a sign of the times that $200 million just doesn’t sound like that much money for a company in the industry. And, given that the firm has a history of losing $50 million per month, maybe it just isn’t. Still, Lyft recently disclosed that it brought in over $1 billion in revenue last year, growing 168 percent in the period. That is a pace of growth that investors must appreciate.
- $52 million: The amount of money that Airtable just raised after having only sold a little over $10 million of its own shares before. Early investors Founder Collective, Freestyle Capital, and CRV are likley content after the capital event. The huge Series B for the company that claims to be “[p]art spreadsheet, part database, and entirely flexible” should fuel the startup that is quietly building a cloud-based productivity suite. The company’s “Grid,” “Calendar,” “Kanban,” “Gallery,” and “Form” tools may make it an acquisition target in time1.
What do our numbers tell us? That the Chinese tech market continues to produce companies at least potentially ready for a US-listed IPO, that there is still capital in the market for ridesharing companies, and that huge rounds are still being done. In short, here in the last few weeks of the first quarter of 2018, nothing has changed.
Perhaps at Nasdaq 7,500 or so we shouldn’t be surprised. Still, every day I look at the news trying to find some sign that things are slowing down somewhere, even a little bit. And it seems every day I can’t find much at all.
- Why? Because every cloud storage provider, EFSS player, and so forth wants to move up-stack in time; there’s only so much margin in raw storage and sync. This is why Dropbox wants to have Atlassian as a public comp instead of Box, and why both companies have built productivity tools (Box Notes, Dropbox Paper, and so forth). Any Big 5 player is a potential acquirer as well, as even Facebook from that cohort wants to build business tools. I’m not arguing that the firm will be bought, especially with its shiny new valuation and huge cash reserve, but at the same time, it’s well-positioned to find a new home if it wants to.
From The Crunchbase Daily:
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