Day: May 10, 2021

Bird reportedly prepares to go public via SPAC, aims for 2023 profitability



Micromobility startups are following the lead of EV companies going public via mergers with special purpose acquisition companies, a financial instrument that came back en vogue in 2020.

Bird Rides, the California-born micromobility company that now operates in more than 100 cities across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, plans to merge with Dallas-based blank-check company Switchback II Corporation, reports dot.LA. Switchback was formed in 2019 and led by former executives at oil and gas driller RSP Permian, Scott McNeill and Jim Mutrie.

Bird is the second scooter company this year to eschew the traditional IPO path and instead opt for the trendy SPAC tool. In February, Helbiz, a micromobility startup in Europe and the U.S., also became a public company via SPAC in a merger with GreenVision Acquisition Corp. Many micromobility companies saw ridership fall during the pandemic last year, so we might expect to see more go the SPAC route in order have access to capital quickly, without the time or expense of a traditional IPO process. 

Bird has not responded to a request for comment. 

At the start of 2020, Bird was valued at $2.85 billion. It has had its struggles, particularly during the pandemic when revenue dropped to $95 million in 2020, a 37% decrease from the previous year, according to the pitch deck viewed by dot.LA. In 2020, Bird laid off 406 employees, or about 30% of its workforce, to cut costs.

The impending transaction valued the company at $2.3 billion below (Read more...)

ServiceNow leaps into applications performance monitoring with Lightstep acquisition



This morning ServiceNow announced that it was acquiring Lightstep, an applications performance monitoring startup that has raised over $70 million, according to Crunchbase data. The companies did not share the acquisition price.

ServiceNow wants to take advantage of Lightstep’s capabilities to enhance its IT operations offerings. With Lightstep, the company should be able to provide customers with a way to monitor the performance of applications with the goal of detecting problems before the grow into major issues that take down a website or application.

“With Lightstep, ServiceNow will transform how software solutions are delivered to customers. This will ultimately make it easier for customers to innovate quickly. Now they’ll be able to build and operate their software faster than ever before and take the new era of work head on with confidence,” Pablo Stern, SVP & GM for IT Workflow Products at ServiceNow said in a statement.

Ben Sigelman, founder and CEO at Lightstep sees the larger organization being a good landing spot for his company. “We’ve always believed that the value of observability should extend across the entire enterprise, providing greater clarity and confidence to every team involved in these modern, digital businesses. By joining ServiceNow, together we will realize that vision for our customers and help transform the world of work in the process […], Sigelman said in a statement.

Lightstep is part of the application performance monitoring market with companies like DataDog, New Relic and AppDynamics, which Cisco acquired in 2017 the week before it was (Read more...)

Introducing Angel Squad: enabling the next 10k angel investors


This post is by dunkhippo33 from Elizabeth Yin


Most people know that Hustle Fund is a VC firm. But, it’s really a lot bigger than that. Hustle Fund is about democratizing wealth through startup creation. 

In 2017, when we launched our VC fund, we designed an inclusive model to support founders of all types. We believe that great founders come from anywhere and can look like anyone. 

Today, we are announcing a Hustle Fund initiative called Angel Squad led by Brian Nichols (prev led On Deck Angels and the Lyft angel syndicate) to build an inclusive model to support angel investors of all types. Just like we believe great founders come from anywhere and can look like anyone, we believe the same applies to angel investors.

Traditionally, angel investing has been an opaque asset class that has required investors to have a lot of personal money and have special connections. But, with Angel Squad — neither is required.

Angel Squad is a modern day angel group: it’s angel investing education & networking and socialization & dealflow all wrapped together. We think angel investing is naturally social but also needs to have strong infrastructure to make people successful with BOTH knowledge AND  dealflow. 

Over the years, so many friends have asked me how they, too, can get into angel investing profitably? And is it possible to do so without a lot of money? 

And the answer is yes and yes. But it’s really hard to figure out on your own. It took me several years to really learn the (Read more...)

Growing Up Boulder


This post is by Valet from Feld Thoughts


Boulder has been our home for 25 years and we love it. Amy and I support numerous local non-profit initiatives through our Anchor Point Foundation. The following video captured my attention this morning and resulted in a bathroom-sized donation to Growing Up Boulder.

Bella and Mads – well done! You can call us Brad and Amy (not Mr. and Mrs.). This is a gift is in y’alls name. Vanessa Schatz – brilliant!

Happy Monday morning. Do something nice for your local community today. And, if you are a Boulder local, consider donating to Growing Up Boulder.

The post Growing Up Boulder appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

This founder raised millions to build Fair, a neobank for immigrants



Fair, a multilingual digital bank and financial services platform, is launching to the public after raising $20 million in 40 days earlier this year.

Founder Khalid Parekh raised the capital primarily from the very demographic that Houston-based Fair aims to serve: from a group consisting of a number of immigrants, many of whom were first-time investors.

“There was not a single check from a VC or bank or from a family office,” Parekh told TechCrunch. “Ninety percent of our investors are minorities or are immigrants like myself that believed in the concept of Fair.”

One could say that it’s also fitting that Fair’s headquarters are in Houston, which at the time of the last census was the most ethnically diverse city in the United States.

Parekh is not your traditional fintech founder. He doesn’t have banking or financial services experience, although he does have experience founding and running a successful company: AMSYS Group, which is valued at nearly $350 million. His mission with Fair is largely personal. Upon arriving in the U.S. from India with just $100 in his pocket 22 years ago, he struggled to not only get a loan but also to open a bank account. 

Image Credits: Founder and CEO Khalid Parekh / Fair

“I was an engineer by background, but was very confused with the American banking system. There is not a lot of help for immigrants who don’t understand it well,” Parekh recalls. “My biggest challenge was sending money back home. There was just (Read more...)

Momentum Monday – Technology Shmecknology


This post is by Howard Lindzon from Howard Lindzon


As a reminder, Marketsmith (by Investor’s Business Daily) is now a sponsor of the weekly show. All the charts you have been seeing in the videos and will continue to see are from Marketsmith. They are offering my readers a three week trial for $19.95. Click this link if you would like to try it out.

Happy Monday everyone.

Back to the grind.

As always, Ivanhoff and I got together on Sunday to make our ‘Momentum Monday’. You can watch/listen right here on YouTube. I have embedded the show below:

I am long-term overweighted software and technology, but if I had no crypto exposure, 2021 would be off to a rough start. Google, Facebook and McDonald’s have been my best stocks in my 8-80 portfolio this year. A lot of my stocks are in 30-40 percent pullbacks, including Zillow.

AS FOR CRYPTO…EVERYTHING IS WORKING. I have been talking about this on my blog for months and this weekend was no different.

Here is what Ivanhoff had to say:

Markets are cyclical. It feels like it’s 2006 all over again. Crocs is at all-time highs and basic material stocks are one of the hottest assets to own right now. If NFTs, doge coin and other cryptos didn’t exist, people would be talking about steel stocks all day long.
Lumber is up 130% year-to-date, lean hogs are up 60%, corn is up 50%. The list goes on and on. Inflation expectations continue to rise and as we all know very (Read more...)