Digital payments processor Stripe has taken its first major step toward a stock market debut by hiring a law firm to help with preparations, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.
The most valuable private company in Silicon Valley, valued at $95 billion, has sat out this year’s red-hot market for initial public offerings (IPOs), using private tender offers to allow some of its existing investors and employees to cash out their holdings.
Remaining private has enabled Stripe to keep financial details such as revenue and profitability under wraps. Yet this has also deprived it of using its shares as a publicly traded currency to help finance acquisitions and to incentivize employees.
Stripe has tapped Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP as a legal adviser on its early-stage listing preparations, the sources told Reuters. There has been no decision on the timing of the stock market debut, and the next step would be the hiring of investment banks later this year, the sources added. The listing would be unlikely to happen this year, two of the sources told Reuters.
Stripe is considering going public through a direct listing, rather than a traditional IPO, because it does not need to raise money, said two of the sources, cautioning that those plans could change.
The sources requested anonymity because the deliberations are confidential. Stripe and Cleary Gottlieb declined to comment to Reuters.
Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison formed the company in 2010. Stripe processes hundreds of billions of dollars in transactions every year for millions of businesses worldwide. Its list of clients includes Alphabet’s Google, Uber, Amazon.com, and Zoom Video Communications. Early investors include Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Google’s venture capital arm.
Stripe’s breakneck growth could result in it challenging Chinese technology giants Ant Group and ByteDance, whose valuations are close to $200 billion, for the title of world’s most valuable startup by the time it goes public.
John Collison told Bloomberg Television in an interview last month that Stripe, which has headquarters in both Dublin and San Francisco, may go public one day but that there were no current plans for a listing.
Target’s curbside and pickup delivery options have become a key part of its business model.
The big-box chain reported blockbuster first-quarter earnings Wednesday despite coming up against strong comparatives from the year before. Sales at stores open at least a year across both its online and in-store business were up 23% year-on-year.
But the standout component in its earnings was its same-day services – including curbside delivery, store pickup, and delivery through its service Shipt – which are all fulfilled by stores. These grew by more than 90%, led by a 123% boost in curbside delivery specifically, it said.
These services enable Target to leverage its store network and put brick-and-mortar front and center of its business model, giving it a competitive advantage over online-centric Amazon. According to the earnings release, 95% of all sales in the first quarter were fulfilled by its stores.
“Stores continued to be the linchpin of Target’s online capability, once again validating management’s strategic decision to position them at the center of its online flywheel, ” Moody’s vice president Charlie O’Shea wrote in a note emailed to Insider on Wednesday.
The company’s physical footprint “is a major strategic advantage,” Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, said in a note to clients on Wednesday. “Using existing real estate to drive online helps Target’s profitability and improves efficiency for shoppers – which is one of the reasons Target has high satisfaction ratings for its online business,” he said.
In a call with investors Wednesday, CEO Brian Cornell said that its same-day services also have “better economics” than traditional online delivery options as there are no shipping costs.
These services will be a “big part” Target’s capital investment over the next few years, he said. “We expect those services to be very sticky over time.”
The US has been slower than other parts of the world to move into curbside and buy-online-pick-up-in-store delivery options. According to estimates from Insider Intelligence, “click-and-collect” sales more than doubled in 2020 in the US and are expected to grow at this rate through 2024.
Facebook’s “Supreme Court” sent a strong message to the company on Wednesday: Do your own work.
It was likely a far cry from what the social media giant expected when it announced the blueprint for such a review board in 2018 amid mounting pressure to strengthen its moderation of content online.
As Facebook put it, the company “should not make so many important decisions about free expression and safety on our own” given its size, which “comes with a great deal of responsibility.”
Its solution was to equip a group of people outside of Facebook with the power to reverse or uphold Facebook’s decisions that users appealed. The board stood up in October, and members included people like Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former Prime Minister of Denmark, among other legal scholars and experts.
The incident shows how Facebook’s creation, intended to assuage the public’s concern that the platform wasn’t policing content well enough, has backfired. The company finds itself right back to where it started: tasked with solving its own problems.
It’s on Facebook to solve its long-standing content moderation dilemmas
Facebook’s Oversight Board may have launched recently, but the reason for its inception stretches far back.
Facebook, like other tech platforms, has historically taken a hands-off approach in judging if content should be taken down on its site, which is used by about two billion people worldwide. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said, the company does not want to be “the arbiter of truth.”
But that approach has gotten Facebook into hot water in the past, and within the past year – as a divisive presidential election loomed amid a devastating health crisis – online platforms including Facebook began taking unprecedented action to flag or remove posts that it found to be misleading, false, or dangerous.
“The contention that social media as an industry censors conservatives is now, as we speak, becoming part of an even broader disinformation campaign from the right, that conservatives are being silenced all across American society,” Paul Barrett, the study’s lead researcher and the deputy director of the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, told The Verge.
Because according to the Oversight Board, Facebook’s crackdown on Trump may have been warranted but the indefinite suspension was still a “vague, standardless penalty,” given that its normal penalties include permanent account shutdowns, post removals, and “a time-bound period of suspension.”
If someone in France wants to sign up for Starlink, they put their address in the box and the next page will tell them when they can expect the service to be available in their area. Currently, it says Starlink will arrive in France between mid to late 2021, but subscribers can pay a €99 deposit to secure the service – around $120.
Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and areas of the US where Starlink isn’t live yet also provide the option of preordering the internet service in exchange for a deposit.
Musk tweeted in February the cost of Starlink is “meant to be the same price in all countries. Only difference should be taxes & shipping.”
Since Starlink’s “Better Than Nothing Beta” test launched in October, the service has amassed more than 10,000 beta testers globally and has blasted over 1,350 satellites into orbit. The company’s goal is to have up to 42,000 satellites in orbit by mid-2027.
The most recent Starlink launch was on Tuesday when SpaceX sent 60 satellites into orbit via its reusable Falcon 9 rocket.
In a statement on Friday, Brett Goldstein, the chief of the Pentagon’s defense digital service, said federal officials are working to “assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space” and hopes to “identify potential vulnerabilities” in its fight to curb cyberattacks of US networks, according to the Associated Press.
However, it hasn’t explained why it entrusted that work to a firm – identified as Global Resource Systems LLC, which is based in Florida and incorporated in Delaware – that appears to have just launched in September and that lacks experience working with government contracts, the AP reported.
About three minutes before former President Donald Trump’s term ended on January 20, the company posted on a global platform that it had taken over a massive section of unused internet that was owned by the Department of Defense, which had chosen Global Resource Systems LLC to manage its address space.
It now controls about 175 million IP addresses, or roughly 1/25 of the world’s internet space, per the AP.
“That is the biggest thing in the history of the internet,” as one expert told the AP. It’s also more than large internet companies like AT&T, Comcast, and China Telecom controls.
As the outlet notes, the company doesn’t have a presence online, and per public records does not have a business license in Plantation, Florida, where it is based. The company filed paperwork in October, per Florida state records, detailing its incorporation in Delaware.
Reporters with the AP and The Washington Post visited the physical addresses listed under the company but were turned away without being given information.
In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Chris Dreyer. Chris is the CEO of Rankings.io which is an SEO agency that helps elite personal injury law firms dominate first page rankings.
Search engine optimization is a tough industry especially for a lot of small business owners. And how do you keep up with Google’s constantly changing algorithm? There’s no magic, but there are steps you can take to soar to the top of a search engine results page. In this episode, Chris Dreyer and I dive deep into his experience running an SEO agency and how he’s managed to help small businesses within his industry dominate first page rankings on Google.
Questions I Ask Chris Dreyer:
[0:55] What led you to where you are today, and what does your online and entrepreneurial journey look like?
[4:05] How do you build trust around SEO when there’s a real lack of trust in the industry?
[5:37] As an SEO firm, how important is your own SEO?
[6:50] What are the basics of good SEO for any business?
[8:02] When you mention landing pages, are you really talking about the importance of the entire structure of the landing pages as well?
[9:49] What would you do, if anything, differently because of the competitive nature of this business?
[18:48] Core web vitals are being talked about a lot this year — how are you responding or reacting to that?
[20:49] When it comes to your ads and organic mix, what’s your philosophy on the mixture of the two — notwithstanding the results they can produce, but sort of the necessary element of them?
[23:54] What’s your philosophy on reporting and communication with clients?
This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by .Online.
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Shares of Chewy jumped Wednesday after the online pet-products retailer unexpectedly swung to a fourth-quarter profit, bolstered by millions of more people last year who took on duties of caring for animals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company late Tuesday posted fourth-quarter earnings of $0.05 a share, compared with expectations for a loss of $0.10 a share in a survey of analysts by Refinitiv. A year earlier, Chewy posted a per-share loss of $0.15.
Sales of $2.04 billion beat Wall Street’s target of $1.96 billion as the company dealt with “surging volume”. Sales a year ago were $1.35 billion.
Chewy shares climbed by 13% to $90.95, a move that sets up the stock to trim its year-to-date loss to less than 1%. The stock price began to decelerate in early February but it’s more than doubled from about $36 over the past 12 months.
The company added 5.7 million net active customers in 2020, representing 42.7% annual growth. It also said it widened its product offerings to include gift cards, personalized items, and vet services. “Pet adoptions surged in 2020 as millions of homebound people and families sought out the comfort, companionship, and joy of pet parenthood” during the pandemic, the company said.
Chewy forecast first-quarter sales of $2.11 billion to $2.13 billion, higher than the average analyst forecast of $2.07 billion.
Wedbush analysts on Wednesday raised their price target to $100 from $90 and reiterated their outperform rating on Chewy following the company’s “solid earnings beat, above-consensus guidance, and a path to a 2021 beat and even higher long-term earnings power.”
Dorsey also retweeted a Twitter user’s post that said: “It would be awesome if some Member engaged [Jack] in a substantive discussion on Twitter’s ‘protocols’ idea.” Dorsey tweeted about Twitter’s protocols idea before the hearing. He said the company had started working on a decentralized, open-source social media protocol called Bluesky, which could allow users to build their own media platform that is solely owned by them.
Social-media platforms have faced heavy scrutiny over the past year for the way they have policed misinformation during the pandemic, particularly during the presidential election and the Capitol riots. The five-hour long hearing on Thursday was the first time the tech CEOs had faced Congress since President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Lawmakers in Thursday’s hearing said the changes to the platform didn’t go far enough. They could still easily find anti-vaccine content on both Twitter and Facebook, Rep. Mike Doyle, chair of the House subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said, per CNN.
Amazon is reportedly considering a nearly $100 million investment in India’s pharmacy chain Apollo Pharmacy, close on the heels of its launch of an online pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs in the US.
The company is looking to face up to Reliance Industries Ltd and Tata Group in India’s fast-growing drug market, the Economic Times reported Wednesday, citing two people aware of the plans.
Amazon already delivers medicines in India and the potential investment would come amid rising competition from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, which bought a majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds.
Both Amazon and Apollo Hospitals, which owns Apollo Pharmacy, declined to comment to Reuters.
The growth of e-pharmacies has left many Indian trader groups feeling threatened. They say online drugstores can contribute to medicine sales without proper verification and the entry of large players can cause unemployment in the sector.
Amazon’s plan to further expand in India comes after it launched its US Amazon Pharmacy service November 17, increasing its competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart.
US customers can now buy drugs through Amazon’s main website.
Amazon Prime members would get benefits from the service including two-day delivery and big price cuts on generic and brand-name drugs, the company said.