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Unicorns gorge as buyers dish up greater rounds, extra capital

Gené Teare Contributor Gené Teare is the top of content material at Crunchbase. Extra posts by this...


Is there a degree when buyers will flip off the spigots for large unicorn funding rounds? If that’s the case, we haven’t reached that threshold but.

Final yr, buyers put a document quantity of capital into members of the Crunchbase Unicorn Leaderboard, an inventory of personal venture-backed firms valued at greater than $ 1 billion.

Globally, a staggering $ 66 billion went into unicorn firms in 2017, up 39 % year-over-year, in keeping with an evaluation of Crunchbase knowledge. The ride-hailing house was the one largest recipient of investor , with a number of rivals within the house elevating billions. Traders additionally poured copious sums into co-working, client web and augmented actuality.

Newcomers additionally joined the unicorn membership for the primary time in 2017, albeit at a barely slower tempo than the previous two years. For all of 2017, 60 new startups had been added to the unicorn checklist. This compares to 66 newly minted unicorns in 2016 and the record-setting 2015 with 99 newcomers.

Beneath, we break down the main places for brand new and current unicorns, prime sectors for funding capital, exits and some different tendencies affecting the house.

Geographic breakdown

The overwhelming majority of unicorns are headquartered in both the U.S. or China, and that’s additionally the case for newcomers to the Unicorn Leaderboard.

In 2017, each the U.S. and China continued to mint new unicorns at a gradual clip. A complete of 29 U.S. firms inked their first funding spherical at a valuation of a billion or extra, up from 22 the prior yr. In China, 24 new unicorns joined the leaderboard, down from 32 in 2016. Europe and Southeast Asia, in the meantime, additionally contributed a number of unicorns.

Within the chart under, we take a look at new entrants, categorized by nation:

The newcomers had been a reasonably numerous bunch, spanning industries from agtech to enterprise software program, together with no-cost inventory shopping for platform Robinhood, on-line training supplier VIPKID and cryptocurrency shopping for and promoting platform Coinbase.


Unicorn buyers confirmed a very sturdy urge for food, nonetheless, for firms in a handful of sectors.

Ridesharing, specifically, had a robust funding yr, with firms within the house taking greater than 10 % of all unicorn funding. That was largely attributable to billion and multi-billion greenback rounds for Lyft, Seize, Ola and Didi Chuxing.

Bike-sharing was additionally large. Two new entrants onto the unicorn checklist got here from that house: Ofo and Mobike. Nonetheless, issues arose later within the yr over whether or not client demand might help the ballooning bike provide.

Different recipients of actually substantial funding rounds, even by unicorn requirements, embody U.S. co-working big WeWork and China-based client web gamers Toutiao and Koubei.

Exiting the board

So loads of unicorns are elevating large rounds. However is there any signal members of the group will finally produce returns for buyers?

General, 2017 supplied some modestly constructive information for unicorn exit watchers. Fifteen venture-funded firms with personal valuations of a billion or extra went public final yr, greater than double 2016 ranges and the very best complete since Crunchbase started monitoring the asset class.

Acquisition exercise, in the meantime, was weaker. There have been simply seven recorded M&A exits involving unicorns in 2017, down from 10 in 2016. AppDynamics was the highest-performing exit at 95 % over its final personal valuation. For the remaining firms that exited, all seem to have been under or at their final personal valuation.

Within the chart under, we take a look at IPO and M&A counts for unicorns over the previous seven years:

Unicorn IPOs weren’t simply extra frequent in 2017. Efficiency was usually fairly good, too. A lot of final yr’s newly public firms sustained market caps far increased than their final personal valuations. Prime performers by this metric embody a number of China-based unicorns, led by funding supervisor Qudian and search engine Sogou. Different standouts embody gaming supplier Razer  and app developer software program supplier MuleSoft.

Within the chart under, we take a look at a number of the prime performers primarily based on the post-IPO share features over their final personal valuations:

These days, going public appears to be a greater choice for investor returns. If the corporate goes out under its final personal valuation, that a number of can enhance if it grows its market and public shareholders enhance the inventory. For an M&A transaction, the worth is about and both late-stage buyers have in-built protections or are shedding cash at these exit costs.

Averages level to extra exits forward

For the 45 unicorn firms which have gone public, the typical time to go public has been 26 months after first being valued at $ 1 billion. For the 25 firms which were acquired, the typical time to get acquired is 24 months after first being valued at $ 1 billion.

So what does that say in regards to the present crop of still-private firms? As a result of greater than 150 firms out of 263 have been on the Unicorn Leaderboard for greater than two years, we anticipate exits to extend, given the backlog.

Particular due to Steven Rossi who manages the Crunchbase Unicorn Leaderboard.

Featured Picture: Li-Anne Dias

No more Tesla buyback guarantee as company cuts price of Model X


No more Tesla buyback guarantee as company cuts price of Model X

San Francisco / DETROIT (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc. has a program that guaranteed the resale value of its vehicles, and lowers the starting price of its Model X crossover ended, the high-profile electric car maker yesterday <. / P>

discontinuation of the program, from July 1, Tesla late to release money it had put aside to buy back Model S car after three years at a value of at least 50 percent of the base purchase price.

The changes come Tesla warned earlier this month that will afleweringsvoertuig goal fog for a second consecutive quarter.

The faces other challenges, including a regulatory investigation into its AutoPilot technology following a May 7 fatal accidents and more control of its financial after a proposed merger with Solar City Corp.

In the next 12 months, Tesla has revealed it can pay a maximum of $ 192.4 million to cover resale value guarantees on 4209 vehicles. This equates to a maximum liability of $ 45.711 per car, although Tesla disbursements can offset the sale of repurchased vehicles.

Tesla valued the total liability created by the resale warranty $ 1580000000 March 31, submission according to its latest quarterly results with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has more than 20 percent since the end of 2015.

the program began in 2013, aims to help Tesla managing the secondary market and ensure buyers purchase vehicles using novel technology which will not significantly decrease resale values.

A Tesla spokesman said the program was put stop to “as low as possible to keep interest and offers an exciting lease and loan programs to customers.”

into effect, Tesla is now doing what most established car manufacturers:. allow market forces to set trade-in values ​​

less cash in reserve

Only a very small number of Model S sedan sold by used vehicle auctions, and so far the vehicles “seems to are going for “a pretty strong contribution in the second hand market,” said Patrick Min, an analyst at Automotive Rental Guide.

The termination of the guarantee can allow Tesla to keep less money in reserve, minus added. By contrast, resold values ​​for the mass market electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf is depressed, said Min. A three-year-old Leaf sales average about 20 percent of the price when new, he said.

If more Model S vehicles on the market, but sold securities may eventually fall, analysts said.

Tesla has an ambitious and expensive plan to accelerate the introduction of its Model 3 sedan, and promote overall production rate of 500,000 vehicles a year by 2017. The company is set put too ready to shed production of batteries on a giant plant in Nevada.

Tesla shares closed down nearly 1 percent at $ 222.53.

Investors keep an eye on Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk balance after it proposed to acquire solar company Solar City, where he is chairman and a major shareholder.

Musk tweeted yesterday that he plans to soon part two of his publishing “top secret Tesla Master Plan,” after speculation that he might reveal more details about the possible merger, which was reached with the market skeptical.

On Wednesday, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson Tesla has a D grade for financial stewardship, and please note that Musk original 2006 master plan “dug a $ 4.2 billion hole” for the company.

Also on Wednesday, Tesla has said a new version of the Model X crossover, the 60D, will be priced from $ 74,000, $ 9,000 less than the Model X 75D. Equipped with a 60kWh battery, the 60D less torque and a shorter distance range as the 75D.

The Model X price cut follows a similar price cut for the Model S, whose base price is reduced to $ 66,000 last month.

(Editing by Frances Kerry and Jeffrey Hodgson)

SolarCity recuses two more board members from voting on Tesla offer


SolarCity recuses two more board members from voting on Tesla offer

(Reuters) – Two additional directors Solar City Corp. with links to buy Elon Musk is recusing of making decisions regarding the supply Tesla Motors Inc’s in the solar business, in an effort to corporate governance concerns surrounding a to mitigate the possible transaction.

The new recusals means sit the majority of the solar city’s council from deciding whether obtained by Tesla.

Peter Rive, who is the nephew of Tesla’s CEO, and solar city chairman Musk, along with JB Straubel, chief technology officer and co-founder of Tesla, both recusing himself from the decision-solar city spokesman Jonathan Bass said in a statement by e-mail to Reuters late on Friday.

Musk, the largest shareholder in both companies, withdrew themselves before outside vote on the potential deal, along with Antonio Gracias which both companies are plates, and SolarCity Chief Executive Lyndon Rive, which Musk’s cousin and brother Peter Rive’s

There are three remaining solar city councilors. John Fisher and Nancy Pfund, both venture capitalists and Donald Kendall Jr., CEO of Kenmont, an investment management company.

“We are very aware of the need for a process that is independent, objective decisions that ensure the best interests of all shareholders,” says solar city’s Bass in the statement.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

solar city will will be a special independent committee of the board, independent counsel, said Bass.

“Only board members who meet will be the independence requirements involved in decision making in solar city,” he added.

Musk has described a tie-up between Tesla and Solar City as a “no brainer.” The company can sell customers an electric car, a house battery and a solar system all at once, he said.

But investors, including some that briefly put bets the block that shares will fall, reflects the conflict of interests and the risk of the union of two money losing companies to raise both money regularly to enlargement support.

Since Tesla his offer to buy solar city announced in a transaction worth $ 2800000000 Tuesday, analysts and investors are worried that the electric car company’s growth plan carries a financial burden and additional debt can not afford.

Solar City shares fell more than 50 percent of the year in a highly competitive market blows criticism that Tesla transaction was intended to save solar city.

(Sign by Liana B. Baker, editing by Peter Henderson and Tom Brown)

First Data shares could rise more than 70 percent: Barron’s


First Data shares could rise more than 70 percent: Barron's

The payments processor, who have seen shares fall 20 percent since the IPO in 2015, making progress strengthening the balance sheet and the recovery of its business, Barron’s said.

Under Chief Executive Officer Frank Bisignano, First Data has improved its technology, pay off debts and creditors to postpone to 2021 $ 5 billion in debt payments that were payable in 2018. Improved technology and his sales technique aid First Data needs to generate more revenue, Barron’s said.

First Dates are betting on a new platform called Clover helping to manage small businesses payments easier. The product is intended to increase customer loyalty.

First Data’s shares at about $ 11 trading eight times estimated 2016 earnings that are less than half the level of a number of competitors, added Barron’s.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Chris Reese)

Robot stitches tissue by itself, a step to more automated OR


Many engineers designed as self-driving cars, Wednesday’s research is part of a move to autonomous surgical robots, removing the hands of the surgeon certain tasks that can execute a machine in itself.

No, doctors will not let the night â ?? “They are designed to hold, plus they have to handle the rest of the operation supervision. The device is also not ready for the operation room.

However, in small-scale tests using pigs, the robot arm performed at least as well, and in some cases a little better than some competitive surgeons stitched together intestinal tissue, researchers reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“the goal was not it feel replacing surgeons, “Dr. Peter CW Kim children National Health System said in Washington, a pediatric surgeon who led the project.” If you’re an intelligent application that works with a surgeon, this can improve the outcome? That’s what we did. “

If you heard about machines like the popular Da Vinci system, what you think robots already working. Not really. Today many hospitals offer robotic-assisted surgery where surgeons use the machines as tools they with the hand control, typically to operate through small openings in the body. However, robotic-assisted surgery controversial, as some studies have shown that may bring higher costs without better outcomes.

so why the pressure for the next generation of autonomous robots? Proponents believe that there are cases where precision machine se can surpass a human hand.

Wednesday project is “the first baby step toward true autonomy,” says Dr. Umamaheswar Duvvuri from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a head and neck surgeon and robot specialist who was not involved with a new job.

But do not expect to see doctors ever leaving all operations in numbers “a robot’s he warned .

Because it’s designed to do a specific task ?? “Put up fabric â ??” the machine is a very such as the automation trend in other sectors. robot arms do the welding and painting in the most American car assembly lines, for example. They can find inventory in warehouses. From the viewpoint of the driver many cars are now able to warn drivers when they get too close to the car in front of, or to prevent the control and the brakes applied to an accident.

â the new star system ?? “It stands for â Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot ??” works almost as a programmable machine.

Kim’s team at Sheikh Zayed Institute for Children for Children Surgical Innovation has a standard robotic arm and equipped with suture devices plus smart imaging technology to make the trace move tissue in 3-D and with an equivalent of the night vision. She added sensors to help guide every stitch and tell how tight draw.

The surgeon places fluorescent markers on. tissue that needed stitching, and the robot takes aim as doctors watch

Now the test: Can the STAR tire tube pieces of the intestinal tissue of pigs, sort of like two sides of a garden hose Each soft? tissue, surgery is difficult for machines because these tissues in place to move so easily. And stabbing in these compounds must precisely positioned even for experts to occur leaks or blockages, a challenge.

The use of pieces of pork intestine bodies outside the animals’ as well as five live but anesthetized pigs, the researchers have tested the STAR robot to open surgery, minimally invasive surgery and robotic-assisted surgery.

â some action ?? “The consistency of sutures and their ability to prevent leaks â ??” “We beat the surgeons,” says Children engineer Ryan Decker.

The star approach was not perfect. The Star has less than stabbing reposition the surgeons performing minimally invasive and robot-assisted suture. But much longer in the lives of animals, the robot and have some bonding errors while the surgeon sew handmade.

Kim, whose team has filed patents on the system, said it may accelerate the robot. He hopes to begin human trials in two or three years.