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SAP agrees to acquire Qualtrics for $8B, mere days before the survey and research software firm was set to hit NASDAQ. The Hustle Survey company Qualtrics was acquired by SAP for $8B, days before hitting NASDAQ One day you’re gearing up to hit Wall Street, the next you’re selling for $8B in tickle cash — […]


November 13, 2018

SAP agrees to acquire Qualtrics for $8B, mere days before the survey and research software firm was set to hit NASDAQ.

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Survey company Qualtrics was acquired by SAP for $8B, days before hitting NASDAQ

One day you’re gearing up to hit Wall Street, the next you’re selling for $8B in tickle cash — classic.

TechCrunch reports Enterprise software giant SAP has agreed to acquire Qualtrics for $8B in cash — mere days before Qualtrics was set to go public. That makes it the 2nd largest SaaS company acquisition ever after Oracle’s purchase of Netsuite for $9.3B in 2016.

Name a more iconic father-sons trio…

We’ll wait… Qualtrics was created by father Scott Smith and sons Ryan and Jared in 2002 out of Provo, Utah. Today, the company has nearly 2k employees and is still run by Ryan and Jared, with Ryan serving as the CEO and the face of the software firm.

Ryan’s claim to fame? Being a stickler for company culture and living on a steady stream of Mountain Dew.

Oh, and optimizing every facet of his life

Though seemingly every picture of Smith features a skateboard or designer sneakers, underneath his chill exterior is an insatiable need for data-driven improvement.

His executive assistant is a former statistician who tracks everything down to the number of nights he spends away from home every year to the time he spends with each of his 5 children (reviewed quarterly). He also has weekly 1-on-1s with his wife (and no, that’s not an innuendo).

The Smiths are taking home a hefty piece of the pie

After going 10 years completely bootstrapped, they’ve since raised a total of $400m in VC funding, and were expecting around a $5B valuation in their IPO.

But, SAP CEO Bill McDermott threw the all-cash offer at the Smith family (more than 75% higher than its projected valuation), and they accepted — probably because, as Bloomberg notes, Ryan and his family still hold 87.6% of Qualtrics shares.

That’s worth about $7B based on SAP’s purchase price.

That’s a lotta Dew

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Clearing out the well: The world’s largest liquor company is selling its bottom shelf

Diageo, owner of Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal and more said it plans to sell 19 of its “less successful” labels to privately owned distiller Sazerac for $550m.

The Wall Street Journal says that the company’s goal is to swap profits for growth, remedying a sales dip in the company’s US market.

No one wants the cheap stuff

These days, consumers in big markets have less of a palate for well whiskey Cokes than they do for the good stuff.

Last year, Diageo began easing into its ‘premium only’ mentality, buying Casamigos, an upscale tequila brand co-founded by actor George Clooney, for roughly 20x its sales — compared to the 3x in sales Diageo will get back for selling Seagrams, Goldschlager, and others.

Let the hangover begin

Monday’s announcement will reportedly cut earnings per share by 2% next year, and to make good with shareholders the company will return about $438m in proceeds through the repurchase.

Meanwhile, they still have to wait on Casamigos to turn a profit (which isn’t projected for another 3 years).

» Greasy foods are known to help

As funding rounds grow larger, fewer startups are able to raise money

Venture capital mega-funds have supercharged startup fundraising all the way down to the seed: Since 2013, the average seed round of funding has grown from $550k to more than $2m.

But, as the size of rounds has increased, The Wall Street Journal writes, the number of companies receiving that funding has decreased by more than 40%.

The trickle down of the mega-round

Large VC investments have paid off over the past few years, and successful investors adopted the “bigger is better” mentality (SoftBank’s $92B Vision Fund invests a minimum of $100m).

As big VCs went bigger, the number of smaller VCs multiplied, driving up the size of early rounds as well: The percentage of Series A rounds larger than $50m increased by 721% between 2008 and 2017.

With seed rounds getting larger, some investors have begun investing in ‘pre-seed’ rounds to get in even earlier.

More money… in fewer wallets

Y-Combinator alums are typically valued between $6m and $12m and have no trouble raising money: Companies that haven’t even launched yet often raise $40m or more.

But, when a few winners take such big slices of the pie, everyone else goes hungry. The amount of money invested in Series A rounds doubled between 2012 and 2017 from $5.7B to $12.7B, but the number of recipients decreased (from 1,192 to 1,165).

As big investors raise capital for next year’s mega-funds, it’s likely that funding rounds will continue increasing across the alphabet.

» Winner takes funding

As America’s soy stockpile bursts at the beans, growers take a gutsy gamble

America’s soybean stash is on track to double by the end of the year thanks to diminished demand caused by trade restrictions.

Bloomberg writes that the price for a bushel of beans has fallen from nearly $11 to $8.87 as Chinese imports have dropped 90% this year. Now, American farmers are stockpiling their soy in the hopes that prices will rebound.

Farmers are betting their bottom bean

Prior to the trade war, American soy production was higher than it had ever bean.

Now, confronted with the choice of selling these bountiful beans at bottom-of-the-bushel prices, most farmers have decided not to sell their soy, but to hoard it until the price of beans bounces back.

That bean rebound is far from certain. Analysts expect soybean prices to climb back up to $9.27 per bushel by July, but a volatile market — or bad weather — could be their undoing.

Not enough room for all that legume

Since soybeans are typically sold immediately after harvest, most farmers don’t have enough storage for bonus beans.

But necessity turned America’s farmers into soy-vants: in a stroke of bean brilliance, farmers converted thousands of plastic bags, tool sheds, and even caves into storage — and now they’re full of beans.

Unlike corn, however, soybeans don’t store well for long (especially in caves and plastic bags on the ground). So if the global soybean market doesn’t improve soon, America’s farmers may be saddled with 955m bushels of spoiled surplus.

» Soy vey
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Why?

Simple — it’s the right thing to do. Vincero knows that to make the best product possible, they need to be involved at every cut and screw turn.

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That’s not what your typical watchmaker does. But then again, Vincero is anything but typical.

Confidently unapologetic, irresistibly good-looking

Vincero is for people who know a watch is the perfect way to bridge the gap between your outfit and your personality.

Their modern-meets-classic look brings many terms to mind: Eye-catcher, head-turner, jaw-dropper. But if we had to pick, we’d say game-changer… because that’s exactly what Vincero has done to the world of timepieces.

Bold forms with tasteful touches, like a porterhouse topped with a sprig of thyme — that’s a watch from Vincero.

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