They’re not doing the Wall Street song and dance. The Hustle Thur, Jan 4 Brought to you by Blue Apron… your Whole30, delivered. Spotify files for “direct listing” IPO under cover of night Yesterday, sources close to the company revealed that Spotify confidentially filed for IPO at the end of December via “direct listing,” an […]
Brought to you by Blue Apron… your Whole30, delivered.
Spotify files for “direct listing” IPO under cover of night
Yesterday, sources close to the company revealed that Spotify confidentially filed for IPO at the end of December via “direct listing,” an alternative avenue to the public market that forgoes the pomp and circumstance of traditional public offerings.
That means, unlike Snap’s IPO bonanza last year, there’ll be no “road show” leading up to the listing (where execs travel and pitch their business to analysts and potential investors) and no fees to the Wall Street underwriters that typically price shares before they start trading.
It’s a slick way to slip into the stockstream, and when they do go public (Axios predicts it could happen in the next 3 months), they’ll be the first major company to buck the Wall Street song and dance.
Instead, they’re rewarding employees with an opportunity to cash out at their current private valuation and sell their shares to new investors, all while saving themselves the headache of a public market reappraisal (they’ll be valued at their most recent $13B valuation).
But, there’s buffer in streaming paradise…
Namely, a $1.6B lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing — song manager for the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks and more — alleging that Spotify is using thousands of unlicensed songs from its artists.
Wixen claims that the $43m settlement Spotify offered them to end a class-action suit from a group of songwriters last May doesn’t even begin to cover it.
It’s still not certain whether this untimely suit will impact Spotify’s IPO date, but you can bet other tech companies will be holding their breath until they make the big splash.
Got a whopper on the line
‘Tube big to fail: YouTube has lost control of their biggest users
This week, the internet collectively lost its minds over a YouTube upload by Logan Paul (who we will henceforth refer to as Baby Benji), after the social media mogul uploaded graphic footage of a suicide victim in Japan’s ‘Suicide Forest’.
The details aren’t worth repeating here — but in short, Baby Benji acted like an insensitive goober, smirking, guffawing, and thrusting the camera into his wide-eyed face in front of the dangling corpse of a human being.
The video was deleted less than 24 hours after it was uploaded, but not before it rose into YouTube’s top ten trending videos.
Bottom line: YouTube has a standards issue
YouTube and Baby Benji have since apologized, and the video streaming site seems to have moved on without much fuss.
This isn’t the first time a mega-tuber has wriggled around YouTube’s “best practices.” PewdiePie, who runs YouTube’s biggest channel (54m+ subs) received nothing more than a ginger wrist-poke from the streaming giant in the wake of his anti-Semitic comments.
Surely, 2017 was not a good year for YouTube’s moral standards: they lost millions in ad revenue when advertisers pulled their content after noticing their ads playing over several videos involving child exploitation.
Some YouTubers are just too big to fail
According to BuzzFeed’s findings, Baby Benji’s video was initially reviewed and approved by YouTube after being flagged by concerned viewers. Meaning, YouTube saw it, and in their infinite wisdom decided not to take action.
With a business model hinged on getting as many views as possible, YouTube has clearly lost control of policing their top users. They claim to have a staunch no-dead body or racial slur-policy, but for some reason an exception is made for their biggest “stars.”
2017 was the biggest year in history for mergers and acquisitions
According to data from Thomson Reuters, 2017 set a record for most mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in a calendar year.
Worldwide, more than 50k deals went down, worth in excess of $3.5T. More than a quarter of these (13,024) were in the US, up from 11,470 in 2016.
The 3 biggest deals closed in 2017:
$34B: Telecom giant CenturyLink merged with service provider Level 3 Communications, making it one of the nation’s largest network service providers.
$15.3B: Intel acquired Israel-based machine learning company Mobileye in a bid for autonomous driving technology.
$13.7B: Amazon snatched up Whole Foods and immediately proceeded to slash prices by as much as 40%.
Then there were the smaller (but no less important) deals, like Verizon acquiring Yahoo for $4.5B and Google buying some of HTC’s assets for $1.1B — plus the major deals, like Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox assets ($52.4B in stock), which have yet to close.
So, what’s the real deal here?
We didn’t just witness a new record in the number of deals closed last year: we also saw an 11 year-high in the number of high-dollar deals (between $1B and $5B).
Of course, that can partly be attributed to inflation — but it’s also a sign that even large, high-valuation companies are getting gobbled up by a few titans of industry, which are increasingly consolidating their power.
Say it ain’t so: is ‘raw’ water really a thing in Silicon Valley?
In what has seemingly become the capital of woowoo health/productivity trends, Silicon Valley has outdone itself with a purported new rage: unfiltered ‘raw’ drinking water.
Companies like Live Water and Zero Mass are a few of the pioneers heading the ”off-grid water movement” marketing unfiltered, unsterilized “filtration systems” to the public for the low low price of $4k.
If the at-home “unfiltration system” isn’t your bag, the effort to fight against lead, Chloramine, and Fluoride polluted H20 isn’t all lost. You can also buy the untreated health miracle at some neighborhood SF grocery stores for $36.99 per 2.5 gallons.
Tap water free of chemicals? Sounds dandy… except for E. Coli
The worries shared by many about tap water’s potentially harmful accoutrements may be valid, but some of the movement’s leaders are taking it a little too far.
Live Water’s founder, Mukhande Singh, compares the treated water we drink to drinking from a toilet laced with birth control and believes fluoride is used for “mind control.” Yeah.
But even IF that’s true (it’s not), water void of treatment is accompanied by many provenacute risks like E. Coli bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Needless to say, we have some questions
As a company based in San Francisco, we find the onslaught of health hacks are often fueled more by mystique than action.
If you or anyone you know has partaken in raw water, tell us about it. Does it give you wings like RedBull? Giardia perhaps? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no greater betrayal than a travel mug leaking all over your bag. Zojirushi’s vacuum-sealed mug keeps coffee hot (or milk cold, you weirdo) all day, and has a fool-proof locking system, so you never get hurt again.
WAKE UP WITH: Alarmy (Sleep If U Can) Alarm Clock App, $0-1.99
Named the “World’s most annoying alarm app” by Gizmodo, this app is for heavy sleepers with either iPhone or Android. There are challenges like “take a picture” where you actually have to get out of bed and take a picture of an area or room in your house to get the dang thing to shut up.
WATCH: Warren Buffett’s 1999 speech on investing, FREE
In ‘99, the legendary investor gave an intimate, 1-hour presentation to Nebraska students on the topic of the financial future of America’s youth. There’s some truly sage advice in here on debt, career decisions, and wealth management. Check it out.
LEARN: the secrets to smarter selling with Salesforce, FREE
On January 11th, Salesforce is spilling the beans. Join the nation’s brightest entrepreneurs as they share their sales secrets during Salesforce’s free virtual event. Choose from 5 sessions, each covering work-ready tactics for smarter selling, marketing, and service. And the best part — you can soak it all in from anywhere, on-demand.
Whole30 is like a reset for your body. It helps you figure out how different foods affect you by process of elimination — that means foods like sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and, of course, alcohol, are out.
But, as anyone who’s tried to change their eating habits knows: eating is easy, prep is a pain.
Blue Apron makes your Whole30 meal planning a cakewalk (minus the cake)
That means no more aimless wandering in grocery stores or sifting through recipe books for “health-approved” dishes.
Instead, just sign up for Blue Apron and get $40 off your first two weeks of Whole30-approved meals — delivered right to your door. It’s everything you need to conquer Whole30, in the exact right proportions for each recipe, ready to cook.