Like any good ICO offerer, Telegram’s got a nice little white paper on their plans, and they’ve reportedly already locked down $500m from big firms like Benchmark Capital. Their grand plan: to create a new blockchain platform, as well as their own currency.
Robinhood is throwing their feathered cap in the ring
Launched in 2013, the commission-free, mobile-based stock app already has 2m users; now, it wants to add Bitcoin, Ethereum, and 14 other cryptocurrencies to its marketplace.
Founders Baiju Bhatt and Vladamir Tenev think that people are being price gouged on platforms like Coinbase (which charge from 1.5 to 4% per transaction), and they’re promising “zero-fee” trading.
50 Cent forgot he had $8m in Bitcoin
When rapper 50 Cent released Animal Ambition back in 2014, he decided to “stay with the times” by letting his fans buy the album with Bitcoin.
Back then, a Bitcoin was worth a measly $660 (a far cry from its current $11k-plus value), and the sum of the fractions fans paid with amounted to around 700 coins. For more than 3 years, the half-dollar man completely forgot about them — he even filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
But recently, he rediscovered his trove — and those 700 coins are now worth around $8m. “I’m a keep it real,” he wrote of the discovery, in an Instagram post. “I forgot I did that s***.”
I’ll take you to the crypto shop
CNN suits can’t cage Casey Neistat
Back in November 2016, CNN had dropped $25m on digital storytelling platform, Beme — mainly to acquire its creator, celebrity vlogger Casey Neistat.
At the time, the move seemed revolutionary: CNN planned to incorporate Neistat’s vlogging expertise into their new digital strategy to reach ‘cord nevers’ (people who’ve never had a cable subscription).
Not to mention the good ol’ red tape that comes with working for a massive corporation: Beme’s 22-person team has produced just 40 videos since the acquisition — most less than 10 minutes long — many of which have gained fewer than 100k views apiece (a fraction of the multiple millions Neistat’s personal vlogs get on a daily basis).
So, like any frustrated creative, Neistat went rogue
He started “disappearing” on CNN and producing videos on his personal YouTube channel just to “be able to yield something.”
Neistat acknowledges that neither party was benefiting from the partnership, and it’s a cautionary tale for big companies trying to harness web content: Solo creators are used to doing what they want, when they want — the antithesis of big cable productions.
And, at the end of the day, all the resources in the world can’t make a mismatched partnership productive.
Cloud computing company Snowflake raises $263m — and it’s gonna need it
Cloud-based data warehouse service Snowflake just announced a gigantic investment round today, bringing in $263m on a unicorn post-money valuation of $1.5B.
The round was led by a slew of high-profile VC firms — and with total funds raised now topping off at $473m, the company will likely set its sights on an IPO in the near future.
So… what the heck is Snowflake?
Simply put, the 5-year-old company is a digital warehouse service that uses cloud-based technology to store data for some of the largest companies in the world.
While it might not be as sexy as, say, a “smart” doorbell or raw-water startup, Snowflake is actually changing the world, man… At least, in the B2B space.
Now that most companies are at least somewhat familiar wIth the benefits of the almighty cloud, many are packing up the entire legacies of their companies and looking to move them to the cloud.
And they need all that money behind them…
Because they have some pretty stiff competition
With their crazy funding and new unicorn street-cred, Snowflake has the opportunity to be one of the few startups in the space to go head-to-head with gigantic cloud computing competitors like Microsoft, IBM — even the company they were built on, Amazon Web Services.
But Snowflake’s CEO, Bob Muglia, believes the company is going to expand further than just storing legacy workloads. Like the expansion of the Salesforce platform, he foresees companies “building businesses on top of the data stored in their warehouse.”
The league that nobody asked for: the XFL is back brotherrrr
For months now, rumors have swirled that wrestling tycoon Vince McMahon wants to bring back the notorious sports dumpster fire that was The Xtreme Football League.
Yesterday, suspicions were confirmed: According to McMahon himself, the XFL is back babyyy — it’s slated to debut in 2020, and McMahon’s touting it as “football reimagined.”
Hmm, didn’t go too well the last time around…
Billed as “smash-mouth” football back in 2001, the XFL was poised to be every barbed-wire-tatted, football-lovin’ bar brawler’s favorite thing on earth.
With classic tidbits like bikini-clad women sloshing around in hot tubs behind end zones, and players donning cool nicknames like “He Hate Me” and “Big Daddy” on the backs of their jerseys, could ya blame them?????
(Un)fortunately that’s not what happened. Despite putting up monster ratings out of the gate, and executing on their promised mix of sex, violence, and no holds-barred showmanship, the league swiftly failed.
At one point, one of their games was the lowest-rated prime-time show ever among the big three networks.
But… here we are
Say what you want about McMahon, he’s undeniably a businessman. And since it’s pretty terrible timing to bring in a more violent football league, he’s been outspoken about making the XFL as “safe as possible.”
He was light on details during the press conference but did manage to outline a few highlights:
Two-hour game times
Players with criminal records banned from playing
Players not allowed to take a personal stance on social issues on the playing field