💸 A 15% global minimum tax


June 9, 2021

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The big idea
Facebook and Google logos

G-7 tax deal seeks to end to Big Tech tax havens

Last weekend, finance ministers from the G-7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US — agreed on tax reforms that could impact the world’s biggest digital companies.

As it stands, companies are taxed where they operate. Multinational companies can shift profits to countries with more favorable tax rates or no taxes at all. Example: In 2017, Google was accused of moving ~$23B to a tax haven in Bermuda.

The new plan would:

  • Set a global minimum tax of at least 15%
  • Award countries the ability to tax the most profitable multinationals 20% of profits exceeding a 10% margin

US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said the global minimum tax “would end the race to the bottom in corporate taxation and ensure fairness for the middle class and working people in the US and around the world.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) last estimate indicated reforms could bring in $81B annually, though that was using a tax rate of 12.5%, per The Guardian.

So, how does Big Tech feel about it? 3 claim their support:

  • Google told Sky News it supported the deal and hoped for a “balanced and durable” agreement.
  • Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg tweeted his approval, calling the agreement a “significant first step towards certainty for businesses and strengthening public confidence in the global tax system.”
  • An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that the proposal marked a step forward in efforts to “bring stability to the international tax system.”

What’s next?

In July, the G-7 will present the proposal to finance ministers from the G-20 nations, who could sign a final deal by October, per The New York Times.

Fun fact: The “double Irish with a Dutch sandwich” is a tax-evasion technique that uses Irish and Dutch subsidiaries to shift profits. So, way less delicious than we’d hoped.

NOTE: One of the biggest tax havens on Earth is right here in the US. Read our Sunday feature on how corporations use the state of Delaware to cut down their tax bills.

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SNIPPETS

Still using the same password for everything? Perhaps this map of the last decade’s biggest data breaches will inspire you to change that. #privacy

Apps like Uber, Airbnb, and Grubhub are increasing prices while striving for profitability, ending what The New York Times calls the “Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy.” #big-tech

Relativity Space has raised $650m to 3D-print rockets. They’re about the same size as SpaceX’s, but the big diff? They’re reusable. #emerging-tech

Kafene — a buy now, pay later service that helps the subprime buy must-haves — raises $14m in Series A funding. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Personal styling service Stitch Fix — which saw its revenue increase to $535.6m last quarter — is contemplating a move into the used-clothing market. #ecommerce-retail

Pivet is a new company that makes biodegradable phone cases. Here today, gone in 2 years. #clean-energy

Plant-based poke? Finless Foods just launched a fish-free tuna. Overall, plant-based seafood is predicted to grow 28% over the next 10 years. #clean-energy

Ouch: The Hustle’s Adam Hayes revisits companies Bessemer could have invested in but didn’t. Airbnb, Apple, Tesla, Google… #hustle-picks

Going Public
Confluent screenshot

Source: Confluent

LinkedIn love child Confluent files to go public

Believe it or not, LinkedIn is good for something: starting other businesses.

Last week, software provider Confluent — which started as an internal LinkedIn tool — filed to go public on Nasdaq trading under the ticker CFLT.

Confluent helps enterprises move massive amounts of data between applications, databases, and even to and from the cloud — as the company motto says, they set “data in motion.”

An IPO with open-source roots

The underlying technology behind Confluent is Apache Kafka — an “open-source distributed event streaming platform.” Yum. According to the Apache Kafka website, the tech is used at 80%+ of Fortune 100 companies.

Here’s where the story gets interesting: Apache Kafka was developed by LinkedIn back in 2011. It was created to help the social media company move around massive amounts of data.

The original developers of the tech — Jay Kreps, Jun Rao, and Neha Narkhede — founded Confluent in 2014 with $500k from LinkedIn.

Since that time Confluent has been on fire…

… because nothing burns hotter than cash

The company is squarely in the “spend money to make money” phase, as Confluent’s recent S-1 shows.

While revenue almost doubled from 2019 to 2020 (from ~$150m to ~$237m), net losses ballooned. Still, Confluent touts 2.5k+ paying customers, 560 of which are dropping $100k+/year.

The company has not released its expected stock price, but was last valued at $4.5B. However, there’s some doubt about whether another sexy SaaS can float in today’s frothy public market.

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Big Tech

Source: Apple / The Verge

Apple rolls out sharing tools for FaceTime, new health features, and Siri for home hardware

Apple’s 5-day Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicked off on Monday. Here are some notable updates from Apple’s keynote, per The Verge:

  • SharePlay: Ever FaceTime someone but have nothing to talk about (we been there)? Well, now you can watch or listen to content (e.g., Netflix, Spotify) with someone instead of chatting.
  • iPhone as ID: The iPhone’s digital wallet will be able to store digital IDs, which can then be used as traveler verification for airports in some US states.
  • New watchOS: The new operating system for the Apple Watch will update health features, including a Mindfulness app and a respiratory measurement tool. Separately, Apple will let users share select health data with family members and doctors.
  • Siri in your home: Apple’s voice assistant Siri will be made available for select 3rd-party home hardware makers.
  • One keyboard, 2 devices: The macOS will let people use the same mouse and keyboard across their MacBooks and iPads.
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TRENDS

How a puzzle rental business went from 0 to $1m ARR in one year

Have you read last week’s Trends report yet?

If not, you’re missing out on:

  • How one Trends member took his puzzle-renting startup from $0 to $1m annual recurring revenue (ARR) in just one year
  • Tips to 20x your D2C business using TikTok
  • A list of 900+ startups hiring remotely in 2021
  • And much, much more.

To access the full report, try one week of Trends for just $1.

Get Access →
Jacket of the day
Round Jacket product listing

Source: @laurenthomas / Twitter

Gap revealed the first item from its collaboration with Kanye West. It’s a blue puffer jacket priced at $200.

The agreement between the $12B+ retailer and superstar artist could be worth billions for West. He was given 8.5m warrants, which convert to shares — in 1/3rd increments — if Gap’s Yeezy line hits annual sales milestones of $250m, $450m, and $700m.

Today, those shares are worth $2B+. As for Gap, its market cap has already increased by ~$8B since the original announcement last year.

Elsewhere, if you’re wondering what this jacket looks like paired with a shiny silver hood mask…Kanye recently modeled that look for us:

Source: @laurenthomas / Twitter

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