Brought to you by Allbirds… nature made comfortably stylish.
Back Market raises $48m to fix your phone -- and the broken electronics repair industry
Back Market, a Paris-based marketplace for refurbed consumer electronics, raised $48m in VC money to capitalize on cracks in the repair industry.
The company started out answering the calls of fed-up customers who wanted more options to buy less-expensive refurbished devices -- and found a huge, untapped market in the process.
Planned obsolescence may become obsolete
Historically, tech devices were discarded instead of repaired -- sometimes because rapid-fire improvements made old devices unusable, but usually because hardware companies made products obsolete to sell new models.
*Stares mournfully at perfectly functional, now unusable corded headphones*
But recently, lawsuits in several countries -- particularly in France -- and “right to repair” legislation in 17 US states have started to crack down on companies (especially Apple) that make it nearly impossible for consumers to repair their devices.
Fix an iPhone, fix an industry
With refurbished phones now available, consumers are opting for used phones over new ones that cost as much as cars (*cough* iPhone X) -- last year, 1 in 10 iPhones purchased in the US was refurbished.
But, Back Market wants to push this trend even further -- by providing a service that matches device owners with repair services to buy and sell old phones.
So far, it’s been successful. Back Market just debuted in its 6th country (the United States), and the 3.5-year-old company already made a profit and more than $100m in revenue last year.
But Back Market has a triple-threat advantage -- Partnerships with 270 non-proprietary repair factories, an HQ in right-to-repair-righteous France, and a hot $48m in funding -- that positions it to out-fix the competition in the near future.
Fiending for its fix
PayPal’s Dutch rival’s stock doubled post-IPO, and people are calling it a ‘mania’
Dutch fintech firm Adyen surged nearly 100% in their first day trading as a public company, going from $8.3B to 17B overnight and making their IPO one of Europe’s biggest ever in the tech sector.
Talk about getting underpriced.
Or did they? The 12-year-old company has been profitable for some time, with revenue over $1.18B last year -- and their debut at $283 per share (that since doubled) was nothing to shake a stick at.
Still, this jaw-dropping valuation spike caught everyone by surprise, and has many seeing flashes of a certain pre-millennium-explosion...
*Cough* The dotcom bubble *cough*
It’s what we in the biz call an “overreaction” or, as Bloomberg puts it, just plain “unhealthy.”
These days, stable, profitable companies seem rarer than unicorns (the actual mythical horse kind), and when they do come around, investors lose their cool like a pre-teen at a boy-girl party.
After all, Adyen processed $127B in payments last year and works with companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Spotify (that’s 50% of FANG, people!).
Time will tell if something gold can stay…
But experts are skeptical.
The word “bubble” isn’t one to be thrown around willy-nilly, but, compared to the typical 10-15% spike of a successful IPO, Adyen’s bonkers valuation seems less than sustainable.
Tesla cancels solar partnership with Home Depot and lays off 9% of employees in ‘reorg’
Back in February, we wrote about Tesla’s new partnership with Home Depot to sell “budget-friendly” solar products.
But yesterday, in a company wide email, Elon Musk shared some dim news: Just 4 months after the announcement, the company is pulling the plug on the partnership to reportedly “focus [their] efforts on selling solar power in Tesla stores and online.”
But wait, there’s more...
Arguably the biggest bombshell was the “reorganization,” including cutting 9% of employees (3.5k people) as the company pinches pennies, while boosting Model 3 output.
In the memo, Musk said the job cuts are mostly directed at salaried staff and won’t affect production workers assembling the company’s vehicles.
The chase for 5k
Musk is in focus-mode trying to hit Tesla’s production goal of 5k Model 3 sedans a week by the end of June (and help raise his performance-contingent salary from $0 to, well, a fortune).
According to The Wall Street Journal, Tesla investors were on board, sending the company’s shares up more than 3% -- a stock that has fallen nearly 9% over the past 12 months amid their production struggles.
As for the Depot deal, a spokesperson said the company plans to continue to offer Tesla’s products in its stores through the end of 2018.
As big tech regroups, Twitter hopes to use modest gains to catch up
Twitter has long struggled to avoid being the butt of every joke in tech. With stock at a 3-year high, it’s finally getting somewhere.
The 12-year-old company posted its first profitable quarter just months ago -- and while the company is using this rare victory to fight for a seat at the table with tech’s biggest and baddest, it faces an uphill battle.
A slow, anticlimactic road to ‘success’
While Twitter is profitable and increased 155% in stock value in the last year, user growth has barely ticked upward at a 3% increase.
So Twitter’s stock increase has less to do with the company’s growth, and more to do with cost-cutting and the relative struggles of its rivals.
But that doesn’t mean Twitter isn’t going to make the best of it...
‘Quick! Tweet at ’em while they’re down’
With Facebook and Google struggle to regain user trust by overhauling their news platforms, Twitter is rolling out news improvements to win some market share.
For a company that has been pegged in the past solely as an acquisition target, this new stability is a welcome win, but they’re still a chihuahua merely yapping at the big dogs.
Twitter’s recent gains put the company’s market cap at a swollen $32.5B -- while “struggling” Facebook sits at about $559B, Google at $788B, Amazon at $822B, and Apple at $979B.
DEVOUR: Scott Belsky’s latest book The Messy Middle, On Pre-Order
Belsky spent 5 years compiling interviews with successful founders and creatives to dispel the myth that starting a company is a slog that turns into steady, upward growth. In reality, the “middle part” of any new venture is an insane roller coaster -- and this book might just help you survive it.
COVER: Your a**, with business insurance from Verifly, From $5
Verifly’s founder decided that you shouldn’t have to have a desk job to have insurance. What started as an insurance platform for drone pilots has since expanded to coverage for just about any gig-economy job.
COMBINE: Fashion and tech-obsession with 3x1 Joe Doucet Jeans, $395
These jeans blend Japanese denim with microfiber pockets to clean smartphone screens, a coin pocket lined with RFID-blocking fabric to protect your data reflective strips for your commute to your startup.
TRASH: That spreadsheet titled “finances” and use FreshBooks, Free trial
Your business accounting deserves better than that single Excel sheet saved on your desktop. Use the right tool for the job. FreshBooks is accounting, expensing, and invoicing built for the freelancer, small business, or contractor phenom.
FILL: The gaps in your diet with a scoop of Athletic Greens, FREE Gift
Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola… Nicholas Cage couldn’t find these treasure in Whole Foods. No worries - Athletic Greens has you covered and then some. It’s the micronutrients you need to operate at peak performance or fill the gaps on the days you're putting the 'fast' in food or ‘me’ into time. Readers of The Hustle get a free 20-count travel pack ($99 value) with any purchase.
Allbirds is reinventing footwear. From the materials they use to the “second-skin” fit they’ve perfected, it’s an entirely new category of shoes -- inspired by natural materials to create better things in a better way.
While Allbirds’ classic woolen kicks are a Hustle fan favorite, their new tree shoes (yes, shoes made from eucalyptus trees) got us in a summer frenzy -- a light and breezy companion to the delightful New Zealand sheeps’ wool originals.
Plus, both the wool and tree shoes come in different styles -- runners, loungers, and (new) skippers -- all of which you can toss in the wash. And the best part? No socks necessary. It’s shoes made simple, people.
So, whether you’re lacing up for work or strolling the Saturday farmer’s market, Allbirds has your style locked down and your toes cozy.