Fast Five from the Valley: Edition 49
Ride-hailing services take a hit from New York City Council
The New York City Council has recently approved the legislation that will halt the issuance of new licenses for ride-hailing services (such as Uber and Lyft), whilst also allowing the city to set a minimum wage for drivers. The Council states that this policy is the start of determining a fairer industry for workers whilst also giving the city time to study the impact of the ride-hailing industry. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have asked their riders to oppose the legislation on the basis that this legislation would result in fewer drivers and less reliable service.
Slack to raise another funding round… of $400m or more
Slack has been on a rapid growth streak for the past few years, recently passing 8 million daily active users with 3 million of those paying. Now, the company is raising another funding round with an estimated figure to be in the region of $400 million or more, meaning a post-money valuation of at least $7 billion. This is $2 billion higher than Slack’s last valuation in September 2017 where SoftBank led a $250 million round at a $5.1 billion valuation.
China could win the race to 5G
Some analysts claim that China is expected to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, which accounts for 430 million 5G connections, or one-third of the global total. The nation’s five-year economic plan also specifies $400 billion in 5G-related investment. A study by Deloitte also shows that the US underspent China in wireless infrastructure by $8 billion to $10 billion per year since 2015. Additionally, China Tower counts 1.9 million wireless sites (with 460 sites being added per day), compared to only 200,000 sites in the US. This implies that that US tower companies and carriers added fewer sites in the last three years than China Tower added in three months.
Musk hints at taking Tesla private
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, revealed that he is considering taking the company private through a Tweet this week, and that he may buy back the company for $82 billion (at a share price of $420 plus debt). Musk states that he would stay on as CEO and is “super appreciative of Tesla shareholders” and that those investors who have held Tesla shares prior to December 31, 2016 can have their shares converted into private shares. Tesla’s stock has fluctuated wildly in the past year, trading as low as $244.59 in April and as high as $389.61 in September.
Get your pizza delivered through Snapchat AR
Domino’s has run a mobile campaign through the image-messaging app, Snapchat, which allows Domino’s customers to request a pizza through Snapchat’s “shoppable AR” which mixes social commerce with AR features. The AR lens utilizes both the front and back cameras of a smartphone. Users who take a selfie can see their faces decorated with a virtual pair of mirrored sunglasses which display a pizza in the lenses. When the camera is flipped around, it shows a virtual Domino’s pizza box which opens to show a pepperoni pizza inside. From there, people can tap an on-screen button to request a delivery… all without ever leaving the app!