EV bus and truck maker The Lion Electric to take SPAC route to public markets


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Canadian electric truck and bus manufacturer The Lion Electric Company said Monday it plans to become a publicly traded company via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp.

The combined company, which will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, will have a valuation of $1.9 billion. The companies raised $200 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, and hold about $320 million in cash proceeds.

The deal is the latest example of an electric automaker opting to go public via a SPAC merger in an aim to access the level of capital needed to become a high-volume vehicle manufacturer. Arrival, Canoo, Fisker, Lordstown Motors and Nikola Corp. have all announced SPAC mergers in 2020.

In Lion’s case, the combined net cash will be used to fund the company’s growth, notably the planned construction of a U.S.-based factory and to further develop its advanced battery systems. Lion is evaluating more than 10 potential brownfield plant sites in nine states, including California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. The company told TechCrunch it plans to pick a site and complete its industrialization plan by the end of the year. Production at this yet-to-be named factory is expected to start in the beginning of 2023.

Lion is already producing all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban trucks and buses at a 2,500-vehicle-per-year manufacturing facility. Some 300 vehicles are on the road today and the company has plans to deliver 650 trucks and buses in 2021. It even landed a contract with Amazon to supply the e-commerce giant with 10 electric trucks for its “middle mile” operations.

Completion of the proposed transaction is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021. Lion is expected to be listed on the NYSE under the new ticker symbol “LEV.” Lion’s CEO and founder Marc Bedard will continue in his role. The combined company will have a board of directors consisting of nine directors, including Bedard, Pierre Larochelle from Power Sustainable as chairman, and five other existing Lion board members, as well as Ian Robertson and Chris Jarratt, who are co-founders of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.

EV bus and truck maker The Lion Electric to take SPAC route to public markets


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Canadian electric truck and bus manufacturer The Lion Electric Company said Monday it plans to become a publicly traded company via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp.

The combined company, which will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, will have a valuation of $1.9 billion. The companies raised $200 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, and hold about $320 million in cash proceeds.

The deal is the latest example of an electric automaker opting to go public via a SPAC merger in an aim to access the level of capital needed to become a high-volume vehicle manufacturer. Arrival, Canoo, Fisker, Lordstown Motors and Nikola Corp. have all announced SPAC mergers in 2020.

In Lion’s case, the combined net cash will be used to fund the company’s growth, notably the planned construction of a U.S.-based factory and to further develop its advanced battery systems. Lion is evaluating more than 10 potential brownfield plant sites in nine states, including California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. The company told TechCrunch it plans to pick a site and complete its industrialization plan by the end of the year. Production at this yet-to-be named factory is expected to start in the beginning of 2023.

Lion is already producing all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban trucks and buses at a 2,500-vehicle-per-year manufacturing facility. Some 300 vehicles are on the road today and the company has plans to deliver 650 trucks and buses in 2021. It even landed a contract with Amazon to supply the e-commerce giant with 10 electric trucks for its “middle mile” operations.

Completion of the proposed transaction is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021. Lion is expected to be listed on the NYSE under the new ticker symbol “LEV.” Lion’s CEO and founder Marc Bedard will continue in his role. The combined company will have a board of directors consisting of nine directors, including Bedard, Pierre Larochelle from Power Sustainable as chairman, and five other existing Lion board members, as well as Ian Robertson and Chris Jarratt, who are co-founders of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.

5 Big Picture Trends Being Accelerated by the Pandemic


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist

As every email introduction has reminded us in 2020, we’re living in “unprecedented times”.

No doubt, even after a viable vaccine is released to the general public and things begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, there will be long lasting effects on society and the economy. It’s been said that COVID-19 has hit fast forward on a number of trends, from e-commerce to workplace culture.

Today, we’ll highlight five of these accelerating trends.

The following article uses charts and data from our new book Signals (hardcover, ebook) which covers the 27 macro trends transforming the global economy and markets. In some cases, where appropriate, we’ve added in the most recent projections and data.

#1: Screen Life Takes Hold

Smartphones have drastically altered many parts our lives – including how we spend time. In the decade from 2008 to 2018, screen time on mobile devices increased 12x.

increasing screen time

Fast forward to today, and screen time is up across the board, with some of the most dramatic increases seen among kids and teenagers. 44% of people under the age of 18 now report four hours or more of screen time per day – up from 21% prior to the pandemic.

Gaming is another digital segment that has benefited from the pandemic. Video game revenue spiked in the springtime, and sales have remained strong going further into 2020. Companies are hoping that casual gamers won over during lockdown will continue playing once the pandemic has come to an end.

gaming sales growth

Acceleration signal: International bandwidth and internet traffic was already increasing steadily, but COVID-19 stay-at-home activity has blown away previous numbers.

international internet traffic growth

Even as more workplaces and schools begin to operate normally again, it’s doubtful that screen time will drop back down to pre-COVID levels.

#2: The Big Consumer Shake-Up

The consumer economy has been innovating on two fronts: making physical buying as “frictionless” as possible, and making e-commerce as nimble as possible. COVID-19 broke old habits and sped up that evolution.

Innovations in real world shopping appear to be moving in the direction of cashierless checkouts, but in order for that model to work, people first need to embrace contactless payment methods such as mobile wallets and cards with tap payment.

So far, the pandemic has been an accelerant in moving people away from cash and pin-and-swipe credit cards in lagging markets. Once people get used to the convenience of contactless payments, it’s likely they’ll continue using those methods.

cashierless retail

Of course, no conversation about e-commerce is complete without talking about Amazon. The company has seen consistent growth in subscription revenue in recent years, and the company’s actions have a wide-reaching effect on the rest of the industry.

amazon revenue and speed

Much like the gaming industry, e-commerce companies like Amazon are hoping that people who dabbled with online ordering during the pandemic months, will convert into lifelong customers.

Acceleration signal: E-commerce penetration projections have shifted upward.

ecommerce forecast

In hindsight, 2020 could be an inflection point where e-commerce gained a much bigger slice of the overall retail pie.

#3: Peak Globalization

Globalization went on a tear starting from the mid-1980s until it hit a plateau during the financial crisis. Since that point, global trade as a percentage of GDP has flat-lined in the face of trade wars, and now COVID-19.

globalization plateau chart

Trade was obviously impacted by the pandemic, and it’s too early to say what the long-term effects will be. One thing that is clear is that the information component of globalization is becoming an even more important piece of the world’s economic puzzle.

globalization pillars

Even before COVID-19 took hold, the global services trade was growing 60% faster than the goods trade, and was valued at approximately $13.4 trillion in 2019.

Acceleration signal: The dip in merchandise trade looks eerily similar to the one that took place in 2008.

merchandise trade

#4: The Wealth Chasm

On the high end of the wealth spectrum, billionaires are worth more than ever.

billionaires compared with countries

Meanwhile, in the broader economy, inequality has grown over the last few decades. Those in the top 50% wealth bracket have seen increasing gains, while the bottom 50% have seen stagnation.

This issue is sure to be compounded by economic turmoil brought on by COVID-19. Younger generations face the dual challenges of being more likely to be negatively impacted by the pandemic, while also being the least likely to have savings to cover an interruption in income.

In fact, nearly half of people in the 18–24 year old age group have nothing saved at all.

financial impact of covid-19

The longer the economy is affected by COVID-19 measures, the more of a wedge will be driven between people who have continued working and those who are employed in impacted industries (e.g. tourism, events).

Acceleration signal: Growth in the net worth of billionaires has been largely unaffected by COVID-19.

billionaire wealth

#5: The Flexible Workplace

As of 2019, over half of companies that didn’t have a flexible or remote workplace policy cited “longstanding company policy” as the reason. In other words, that is just the way things have always worked.

Of course, the pandemic has forced many companies to rethink these policies.

remote work preferences

This grand experiment in remote work and distributed teams will have an impact on office life as we know it, potentially reshaping the entire “office economy”. The impact is already being felt, with global commercial property investment volume falling by 48% in Q3 2020.

Acceleration signal: Thousands of people are moving out of pricy urban areas, presumably because they are able to work remotely from a cheaper location.

migration from urban areas

If you like this post, find hundreds of charts
like this in our new book “Signals”:

The post 5 Big Picture Trends Being Accelerated by the Pandemic appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

5 Big Picture Trends Being Accelerated by the Pandemic


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist

As every email introduction has reminded us in 2020, we’re living in “unprecedented times”.

No doubt, even after a viable vaccine is released to the general public and things begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, there will be long lasting effects on society and the economy. It’s been said that COVID-19 has hit fast forward on a number of trends, from e-commerce to workplace culture.

Today, we’ll highlight five of these accelerating trends.

The following article uses charts and data from our new book Signals (hardcover, ebook) which covers the 27 macro trends transforming the global economy and markets. In some cases, where appropriate, we’ve added in the most recent projections and data.

#1: Screen Life Takes Hold

Smartphones have drastically altered many parts our lives – including how we spend time. In the decade from 2008 to 2018, screen time on mobile devices increased 12x.

increasing screen time

Fast forward to today, and screen time is up across the board, with some of the most dramatic increases seen among kids and teenagers. 44% of people under the age of 18 now report four hours or more of screen time per day – up from 21% prior to the pandemic.

Gaming is another digital segment that has benefited from the pandemic. Video game revenue spiked in the springtime, and sales have remained strong going further into 2020. Companies are hoping that casual gamers won over during lockdown will continue playing once the pandemic has come to an end.

gaming sales growth

Acceleration signal: International bandwidth and internet traffic was already increasing steadily, but COVID-19 stay-at-home activity has blown away previous numbers.

international internet traffic growth

Even as more workplaces and schools begin to operate normally again, it’s doubtful that screen time will drop back down to pre-COVID levels.

#2: The Big Consumer Shake-Up

The consumer economy has been innovating on two fronts: making physical buying as “frictionless” as possible, and making e-commerce as nimble as possible. COVID-19 broke old habits and sped up that evolution.

Innovations in real world shopping appear to be moving in the direction of cashierless checkouts, but in order for that model to work, people first need to embrace contactless payment methods such as mobile wallets and cards with tap payment.

So far, the pandemic has been an accelerant in moving people away from cash and pin-and-swipe credit cards in lagging markets. Once people get used to the convenience of contactless payments, it’s likely they’ll continue using those methods.

cashierless retail

Of course, no conversation about e-commerce is complete without talking about Amazon. The company has seen consistent growth in subscription revenue in recent years, and the company’s actions have a wide-reaching effect on the rest of the industry.

amazon revenue and speed

Much like the gaming industry, e-commerce companies like Amazon are hoping that people who dabbled with online ordering during the pandemic months, will convert into lifelong customers.

Acceleration signal: E-commerce penetration projections have shifted upward.

ecommerce forecast

In hindsight, 2020 could be an inflection point where e-commerce gained a much bigger slice of the overall retail pie.

#3: Peak Globalization

Globalization went on a tear starting from the mid-1980s until it hit a plateau during the financial crisis. Since that point, global trade as a percentage of GDP has flat-lined in the face of trade wars, and now COVID-19.

globalization plateau chart

Trade was obviously impacted by the pandemic, and it’s too early to say what the long-term effects will be. One thing that is clear is that the information component of globalization is becoming an even more important piece of the world’s economic puzzle.

globalization pillars

Even before COVID-19 took hold, the global services trade was growing 60% faster than the goods trade, and was valued at approximately $13.4 trillion in 2019.

Acceleration signal: The dip in merchandise trade looks eerily similar to the one that took place in 2008.

merchandise trade

#4: The Wealth Chasm

On the high end of the wealth spectrum, billionaires are worth more than ever.

billionaires compared with countries

Meanwhile, in the broader economy, inequality has grown over the last few decades. Those in the top 50% wealth bracket have seen increasing gains, while the bottom 50% have seen stagnation.

This issue is sure to be compounded by economic turmoil brought on by COVID-19. Younger generations face the dual challenges of being more likely to be negatively impacted by the pandemic, while also being the least likely to have savings to cover an interruption in income.

In fact, nearly half of people in the 18–24 year old age group have nothing saved at all.

financial impact of covid-19

The longer the economy is affected by COVID-19 measures, the more of a wedge will be driven between people who have continued working and those who are employed in impacted industries (e.g. tourism, events).

Acceleration signal: Growth in the net worth of billionaires has been largely unaffected by COVID-19.

billionaire wealth

#5: The Flexible Workplace

As of 2019, over half of companies that didn’t have a flexible or remote workplace policy cited “longstanding company policy” as the reason. In other words, that is just the way things have always worked.

Of course, the pandemic has forced many companies to rethink these policies.

remote work preferences

This grand experiment in remote work and distributed teams will have an impact on office life as we know it, potentially reshaping the entire “office economy”. The impact is already being felt, with global commercial property investment volume falling by 48% in Q3 2020.

Acceleration signal: Thousands of people are moving out of pricy urban areas, presumably because they are able to work remotely from a cheaper location.

migration from urban areas

If you like this post, find hundreds of charts
like this in our new book “Signals”:

The post 5 Big Picture Trends Being Accelerated by the Pandemic appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

5 Big Picture Trends Being Accelerated by the Pandemic


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist

As every email introduction has reminded us in 2020, we’re living in “unprecedented times”.

No doubt, even after a viable vaccine is released to the general public and things begin to return to some semblance of normalcy, there will be long lasting effects on society and the economy. It’s been said that COVID-19 has hit fast forward on a number of trends, from e-commerce to workplace culture.

Today, we’ll highlight five of these accelerating trends.

The following article uses charts and data from our new book Signals (hardcover, ebook) which covers the 27 macro trends transforming the global economy and markets. In some cases, where appropriate, we’ve added in the most recent projections and data.

#1: Screen Life Takes Hold

Smartphones have drastically altered many parts our lives – including how we spend time. In the decade from 2008 to 2018, screen time on mobile devices increased 12x.

increasing screen time

Fast forward to today, and screen time is up across the board, with some of the most dramatic increases seen among kids and teenagers. 44% of people under the age of 18 now report four hours or more of screen time per day – up from 21% prior to the pandemic.

Gaming is another digital segment that has benefited from the pandemic. Video game revenue spiked in the springtime, and sales have remained strong going further into 2020. Companies are hoping that casual gamers won over during lockdown will continue playing once the pandemic has come to an end.

gaming sales growth

Acceleration signal: International bandwidth and internet traffic was already increasing steadily, but COVID-19 stay-at-home activity has blown away previous numbers.

international internet traffic growth

Even as more workplaces and schools begin to operate normally again, it’s doubtful that screen time will drop back down to pre-COVID levels.

#2: The Big Consumer Shake-Up

The consumer economy has been innovating on two fronts: making physical buying as “frictionless” as possible, and making e-commerce as nimble as possible. COVID-19 broke old habits and sped up that evolution.

Innovations in real world shopping appear to be moving in the direction of cashierless checkouts, but in order for that model to work, people first need to embrace contactless payment methods such as mobile wallets and cards with tap payment.

So far, the pandemic has been an accelerant in moving people away from cash and pin-and-swipe credit cards in lagging markets. Once people get used to the convenience of contactless payments, it’s likely they’ll continue using those methods.

cashierless retail

Of course, no conversation about e-commerce is complete without talking about Amazon. The company has seen consistent growth in subscription revenue in recent years, and the company’s actions have a wide-reaching effect on the rest of the industry.

amazon revenue and speed

Much like the gaming industry, e-commerce companies like Amazon are hoping that people who dabbled with online ordering during the pandemic months, will convert into lifelong customers.

Acceleration signal: E-commerce penetration projections have shifted upward.

ecommerce forecast

In hindsight, 2020 could be an inflection point where e-commerce gained a much bigger slice of the overall retail pie.

#3: Peak Globalization

Globalization went on a tear starting from the mid-1980s until it hit a plateau during the financial crisis. Since that point, global trade as a percentage of GDP has flat-lined in the face of trade wars, and now COVID-19.

globalization plateau chart

Trade was obviously impacted by the pandemic, and it’s too early to say what the long-term effects will be. One thing that is clear is that the information component of globalization is becoming an even more important piece of the world’s economic puzzle.

globalization pillars

Even before COVID-19 took hold, the global services trade was growing 60% faster than the goods trade, and was valued at approximately $13.4 trillion in 2019.

Acceleration signal: The dip in merchandise trade looks eerily similar to the one that took place in 2008.

merchandise trade

#4: The Wealth Chasm

On the high end of the wealth spectrum, billionaires are worth more than ever.

billionaires compared with countries

Meanwhile, in the broader economy, inequality has grown over the last few decades. Those in the top 50% wealth bracket have seen increasing gains, while the bottom 50% have seen stagnation.

This issue is sure to be compounded by economic turmoil brought on by COVID-19. Younger generations face the dual challenges of being more likely to be negatively impacted by the pandemic, while also being the least likely to have savings to cover an interruption in income.

In fact, nearly half of people in the 18–24 year old age group have nothing saved at all.

financial impact of covid-19

The longer the economy is affected by COVID-19 measures, the more of a wedge will be driven between people who have continued working and those who are employed in impacted industries (e.g. tourism, events).

Acceleration signal: Growth in the net worth of billionaires has been largely unaffected by COVID-19.

billionaire wealth

#5: The Flexible Workplace

As of 2019, over half of companies that didn’t have a flexible or remote workplace policy cited “longstanding company policy” as the reason. In other words, that is just the way things have always worked.

Of course, the pandemic has forced many companies to rethink these policies.

remote work preferences

This grand experiment in remote work and distributed teams will have an impact on office life as we know it, potentially reshaping the entire “office economy”. The impact is already being felt, with global commercial property investment volume falling by 48% in Q3 2020.

Acceleration signal: Thousands of people are moving out of pricy urban areas, presumably because they are able to work remotely from a cheaper location.

migration from urban areas

If you like this post, find hundreds of charts
like this in our new book “Signals”:

The post 5 Big Picture Trends Being Accelerated by the Pandemic appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

Investing in the Impending E-commerce Future


This post is by Sponsored Content from Visual Capitalist

The following content is sponsored by eToro

The Impending E-commerce FutureAdvertisement

Investing in the Impending E-commerce Future

The rise of e-commerce has been a long time coming, but the market’s progressive size and impact has caught many by surprise.

Tied initially to the advent of the internet and the Dot-com boom, online shopping saw companies like Amazon and eBay become well-known billion-dollar names. Digital commerce was a big market, but only for a few players.

Fast forward to today, and more companies than ever are launching their own marketplaces or embracing online retail. The shift was happening before COVID-19, but the pandemic has sped things up dramatically.

Today’s infographic from eToro highlights the increasing relevance of e-commerce in the modern economy and how investors can enter the market.

The Digital Marketplace Footprint

How big is modern e-commerce? While multiple sectors are experiencing their own online revolutions, retail is leading the way.

Total global retail e-commerce sales already numbered $3 trillion in 2018, and are expected to more than double to $6.5 trillion in 2023.

The increasing ease and security of online payments have encouraged many businesses to embrace B2C sales, especially in light of a pandemic that forced many brick and mortar stores to close. But less documented is the boom of digital marketplaces, which accounted for 57% of global online retail sales in 2019.

The biggest marketplaces are well-known leaders like Amazon and China’s Taobao and Tmall, but more and more companies are capturing a slice of the online distribution market.

Largest U.S. Marketplaces Gross Merchandise Value
Amazon $339B
Ebay $90B
Walmart $49B
Wish $10B
Houzz $9B

Source: DigitalCommerce360

Walmart and Best Buy have both launched marketplaces for third-party product sales, with Walmart recently seeing a 79% increase of e-commerce sales alone.

The E-commerce Transformation

The growth of e-commerce in retail by itself is staggering, but its growing availability in other sectors is the bigger story.

Groceries and restaurants are a key marker, with home-delivery of takeout, groceries, and ready-to-prepare meal-kits all ordered digitally. Companies like Doordash, Just Eat, and Uber Eats have experienced massive growth, with Doordash positioning for a 2020 IPO, while grocery retailers including Walmart and Safeway are embracing delivery sales.

Online services are likewise rising in popularity, including everything from streaming services to virtual meetings, healthcare and assistance. Just as with the retail sector, e-commerce is making its way into sectors previously thought to be “un-digitizable.”

That type of transformation is usually slow, but the result of COVID-19 restrictions forcing thousands of businesses to go digital sped up the schedule. U.S. e-commerce penetration experienced 10 years of growth in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

Year U.S. E-commerce Penetration
2016 11.8%
2017 13.2%
2018 14.4%
2019 16.0%
2020 (Q1) 33.0%

Source: McKinsey

A Widening Landscape for Future Growth

It might be hard to believe, but even with the headway made by e-commerce over the past year, the industry is slated for massive future growth.

One big reason is the rising demand for digital goods and services. As the global pandemic has reimagined virtual business, many companies have also come face-to-face with the decreased costs of operating remotely, while retailers are seeing higher margins by cutting out the distributor (or the lease).

At the same time, another massive shift is the increase in technological capabilities. Alongside the rollout of 5G, blockchain, and improved AI, companies are looking for tech to streamline their processes and keep customers online where possible.

That includes the use of drones for delivery by Amazon, augmented and virtual reality for product testing by Ikea and Wayfair, and improved payment platforms by Shopify.

While 100% online shopping is still a ways away from becoming a reality, the wave of e-commerce is set to continue rising.

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist


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The post Investing in the Impending E-commerce Future appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

Investing in the Impending E-commerce Future


This post is by Sponsored Content from Visual Capitalist

The Impending E-commerce Future

Investing in the Impending E-commerce Future

The rise of e-commerce has been a long time coming, but the market’s progressive size and impact has caught many by surprise.

Tied initially to the advent of the internet and the Dot-com boom, online shopping saw companies like Amazon and eBay become well-known billion-dollar names. Digital commerce was a big market, but only for a few players.

Fast forward to today, and more companies than ever are launching their own marketplaces or embracing online retail. The shift was happening before COVID-19, but the pandemic has sped things up dramatically.

Today’s infographic highlights the increasing relevance of e-commerce in the modern economy and how investors can enter the market.

The Digital Marketplace Footprint

How big is modern e-commerce? While multiple sectors are experiencing their own online revolutions, retail is leading the way.

Total global retail e-commerce sales already numbered $3 trillion in 2018, and are expected to more than double to $6.5 trillion in 2023.

The increasing ease and security of online payments have encouraged many businesses to embrace B2C sales, especially in light of a pandemic that forced many brick and mortar stores to close. But less documented is the boom of digital marketplaces, which accounted for 57% of global online retail sales in 2019.

The biggest marketplaces are well-known leaders like Amazon and China’s Taobao and Tmall, but more and more companies are capturing a slice of the online distribution market.

Largest U.S. Marketplaces Gross Merchandise Value
Amazon $339B
Ebay $90B
Walmart $49B
Wish $10B
Houzz $9B

Source: DigitalCommerce360

Walmart and Best Buy have both launched marketplaces for third-party product sales, with Walmart recently seeing a 79% increase of e-commerce sales alone.

The E-commerce Transformation

The growth of e-commerce in retail by itself is staggering, but its growing availability in other sectors is the bigger story.

Groceries and restaurants are a key marker, with home-delivery of takeout, groceries, and ready-to-prepare meal-kits all ordered digitally. Companies like Doordash, Just Eat, and Uber Eats have experienced massive growth, with Doordash positioning for a 2020 IPO, while grocery retailers including Walmart and Safeway are embracing delivery sales.

Online services are likewise rising in popularity, including everything from streaming services to virtual meetings, healthcare and assistance. Just as with the retail sector, e-commerce is making its way into sectors previously thought to be “un-digitizable.”

That type of transformation is usually slow, but the result of COVID-19 restrictions forcing thousands of businesses to go digital sped up the schedule. U.S. e-commerce penetration experienced 10 years of growth in the first quarter of 2020 alone.

Year U.S. E-commerce Penetration
2016 11.8%
2017 13.2%
2018 14.4%
2019 16.0%
2020 (Q1) 33.0%

Source: McKinsey

A Widening Landscape for Future Growth

It might be hard to believe, but even with the headway made by e-commerce over the past year, the industry is slated for massive future growth.

One big reason is the rising demand for digital goods and services. As the global pandemic has reimagined virtual business, many companies have also come face-to-face with the decreased costs of operating remotely, while retailers are seeing higher margins by cutting out the distributor (or the lease).

At the same time, another massive shift is the increase in technological capabilities. Alongside the rollout of 5G, blockchain, and improved AI, companies are looking for tech to streamline their processes and keep customers online where possible.

That includes the use of drones for delivery by Amazon, augmented and virtual reality for product testing by Ikea and Wayfair, and improved payment platforms by Shopify.

While 100% online shopping is still a ways away from becoming a reality, the wave of e-commerce is set to continue rising.

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist


Thank you!
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

The post Investing in the Impending E-commerce Future appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

Reliance Retail buys Urban Ladder for $24.4 million


This post is by Manish Singh from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Reliance Retail has acquired a majority stake in furniture and decor platform Urban Ladder, making a broader push into e-commerce as the largest retail chain in India gears up to fight Amazon and Flipkart.

In a filing to the local stock exchange, Reliance Retail said it had acquired a 96% stake in Urban Ladder for about $24.43 million. The Indian retail giant, which retains the option to acquire the remainder stake in the seven-and-a-half-years-old startup, said it has proposed to invest up to $10.06 million more in Urban Ladder by December 2023.

Founded in early 2012, Urban Ladder sells home furniture and decor products online. It also operates a chain of physical retail stores in several Indian cities. The deal size suggests that it was a fire sale.

The startup had raised about $115 million from Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Steadview Capital, and MIT and other investors, according to Crunchbase and Tracxn. In the financial year that ended in March, the Indian startup reported a loss of $6.63 million on a turnover of $58.2 million.

Reliance Retail said (PDF) the investment “will further enable the group’s digital and new commerce initiatives and widen the bouquet of consumer products provided by the group, while enhancing user engagement and experience across its retail offerings.”

Urban Ladder is the latest acquisition for Reliance Retail, which earlier this year said it had entered into a $3.4 billion deal with Future Group to buy several of India’s second largest retail chain’s businesses. In August, Reliance acquired a 60% stake in pharma marketplace Netmeds’ parent firm Vitalic for about $83.2 million.

Reliance Retail, which is part of Reliance Industries (India’s most valued firm), has raised about $6.4 billion in recent months after its sister subsidiary, Jio Platforms, secured over $20 billion this year from Facebook and Google among other high-profile investors.

Reliance Retail, which serves more than 3.5 million customers each week through its nearly 10,000 physical stores in more than 6,500 cities and towns in the country, entered the e-commerce space with JioMart through a joint venture with Jio Platforms. JioMart now has a presence in over 200 Indian cities and towns, and it also maintains a partnership with Facebook for WhatsApp integration.

Gillmor Gang: Shaken, not stirred


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

With one day to go to the election, our thoughts are with those who look forward to talking about something else. Difficult as it might be to imagine, there must be other things to work on. One thing that comes to mind is the impact of the virus on how we manage our days and nights in a digital environment. Mobile devices have already propelled much of the change, but the pandemic has accelerated the move to a hybrid distributed lifestyle.

The election has mandated our attention to the political situation in ways that have expanded early voting and legal efforts to slow it down. Regardless of the outcome, the pressure to adapt to this new collaborative workflow will intensify. People have already seen significant shifts from commuting to time switching in a home context. Podcasting, which had emerged from a hackerish geeky hobby in recent years, has morphed into a more commercial adjunct to mainstream media.

In the process, new formats such as newsletters and live streaming have attracted investment from companies including Spotify and Audible, related technologies like Otter (transcription), Substack, Medium, new bundles of services (Apple One) and cable network disrupters, digital-first publishers like The Recount may have started out as traditional takes on political commentary, but in the windup of the campaign they are reaching audiences via notifications rather than repetitive cable talking heads and panels.

This roll up of breaking notifications and user-controlled editorial access have major implications for the near future post-election, however long it takes to plow through legal challenges and the restaffing of whichever government is formed. Also impacted will be congressional and antitrust attempts to regulate social media, and what I suspect will be a shift to private discussions and trend analysis. The interest groups and market makers that result from this realignment will offer exit strategies for companies like Twitter and YouTube where the risk of being broken up will be mitigated by powerful new business models for content creation and distribution.

By January 20th, a new influencer architecture based on notifications and live streaming will endow the media with tools it needs to lead the transition to safe, secure, hybrid digital/live events. Streaming will give new artists and entrepreneurs a platform to separate influence and impact from lossleader gatherings online, bolstered by association with food and tools delivery winners like Apple and Amazon . A similar synergy between tech companies and media advertising will be overt (Apple + and Prime) as well as implicit (the growth in Amazon search. and Twitch watch parties).

COVID therapeutics such as Regeneron create a roadmap for these private groups to reorganize as Costco -like next-wave restaurants, entertainment events and political efforts to consolidate economic power. With a combination of transparency and what could be called reverse boycotts, customers will align with products and companies who promote values-based association with stakeholders across the spectrum.

Central to the relationship is providing ethical access to important data in return for clear guidelines for the use of that data at scale. If this election has been correctly assessed as signaling a massive change in the electorate, the period of deescalation from the pandemic can foster a sense of ownership of that success by the incoming majority. Notification-based entertainers such as Sarah Cooper and more mainstream projects like Matthew McConaughey’s new book, “Greenlights,” speak initially to the Zoom home/work crowd, and soon to the formation of new studios and networks.

Who really knows how this transformation is playing out, given the terrible consequences of Trump’s impact on our country and its standing in the world. But the generation that followed the Greatest Generation is discovering it has more to it than the free love of rock and roll and following our bliss. That same generation ushered in the technology and media revolutions.

Now we’re suffering the backlash of so-called free software where our data is the real product, where Big Brother is extending power by acqui-hires and preemptive pivots. Yet still our democracy persists. Time to count the vote.

__________________

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday, October 30, 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

For more, subscribe to the Gillmor Gang Newsletter and join the backchannel here on Telegram.

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook … and here’s our sister show G3 on Facebook.

Gillmor Gang: Shaken, not stirred


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

With one day to go to the election, our thoughts are with those who look forward to talking about something else. Difficult as it might be to imagine, there must be other things to work on. One thing that comes to mind is the impact of the virus on how we manage our days and nights in a digital environment. Mobile devices have already propelled much of the change, but the pandemic has accelerated the move to a hybrid distributed lifestyle.

The election has mandated our attention to the political situation in ways that have expanded early voting and legal efforts to slow it down. Regardless of the outcome, the pressure to adapt to this new collaborative workflow will intensify. People have already seen significant shifts from commuting to time switching in a home context. Podcasting, which had emerged from a hackerish geeky hobby in recent years, has morphed into a more commercial adjunct to mainstream media.

In the process, new formats such as newsletters and live streaming have attracted investment from companies including Spotify and Audible, related technologies like Otter (transcription), Substack, Medium, new bundles of services (Apple One) and cable network disrupters, digital-first publishers like The Recount may have started out as traditional takes on political commentary, but in the windup of the campaign they are reaching audiences via notifications rather than repetitive cable talking heads and panels.

This roll up of breaking notifications and user-controlled editorial access have major implications for the near future post-election, however long it takes to plow through legal challenges and the restaffing of whichever government is formed. Also impacted will be congressional and antitrust attempts to regulate social media, and what I suspect will be a shift to private discussions and trend analysis. The interest groups and market makers that result from this realignment will offer exit strategies for companies like Twitter and YouTube where the risk of being broken up will be mitigated by powerful new business models for content creation and distribution.

By January 20th, a new influencer architecture based on notifications and live streaming will endow the media with tools it needs to lead the transition to safe, secure, hybrid digital/live events. Streaming will give new artists and entrepreneurs a platform to separate influence and impact from lossleader gatherings online, bolstered by association with food and tools delivery winners like Apple and Amazon . A similar synergy between tech companies and media advertising will be overt (Apple + and Prime) as well as implicit (the growth in Amazon search. and Twitch watch parties).

COVID therapeutics such as Regeneron create a roadmap for these private groups to reorganize as Costco -like next-wave restaurants, entertainment events and political efforts to consolidate economic power. With a combination of transparency and what could be called reverse boycotts, customers will align with products and companies who promote values-based association with stakeholders across the spectrum.

Central to the relationship is providing ethical access to important data in return for clear guidelines for the use of that data at scale. If this election has been correctly assessed as signaling a massive change in the electorate, the period of deescalation from the pandemic can foster a sense of ownership of that success by the incoming majority. Notification-based entertainers such as Sarah Cooper and more mainstream projects like Matthew McConaughey’s new book, “Greenlights,” speak initially to the Zoom home/work crowd, and soon to the formation of new studios and networks.

Who really knows how this transformation is playing out, given the terrible consequences of Trump’s impact on our country and its standing in the world. But the generation that followed the Greatest Generation is discovering it has more to it than the free love of rock and roll and following our bliss. That same generation ushered in the technology and media revolutions.

Now we’re suffering the backlash of so-called free software where our data is the real product, where Big Brother is extending power by acqui-hires and preemptive pivots. Yet still our democracy persists. Time to count the vote.

__________________

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday, October 30, 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

For more, subscribe to the Gillmor Gang Newsletter and join the backchannel here on Telegram.

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook … and here’s our sister show G3 on Facebook.

Gillmor Gang: Shaken, not stirred


This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

With one day to go to the election, our thoughts are with those who look forward to talking about something else. Difficult as it might be to imagine, there must be other things to work on. One thing that comes to mind is the impact of the virus on how we manage our days and nights in a digital environment. Mobile devices have already propelled much of the change, but the pandemic has accelerated the move to a hybrid distributed lifestyle.

The election has mandated our attention to the political situation in ways that have expanded early voting and legal efforts to slow it down. Regardless of the outcome, the pressure to adapt to this new collaborative workflow will intensify. People have already seen significant shifts from commuting to time switching in a home context. Podcasting, which had emerged from a hackerish geeky hobby in recent years, has morphed into a more commercial adjunct to mainstream media.

In the process, new formats such as newsletters and live streaming have attracted investment from companies including Spotify and Audible, related technologies like Otter (transcription), Substack, Medium, new bundles of services (Apple One) and cable network disrupters, digital-first publishers like The Recount may have started out as traditional takes on political commentary, but in the windup of the campaign they are reaching audiences via notifications rather than repetitive cable talking heads and panels.

This roll up of breaking notifications and user-controlled editorial access have major implications for the near future post-election, however long it takes to plow through legal challenges and the restaffing of whichever government is formed. Also impacted will be congressional and antitrust attempts to regulate social media, and what I suspect will be a shift to private discussions and trend analysis. The interest groups and market makers that result from this realignment will offer exit strategies for companies like Twitter and YouTube where the risk of being broken up will be mitigated by powerful new business models for content creation and distribution.

By January 20th, a new influencer architecture based on notifications and live streaming will endow the media with tools it needs to lead the transition to safe, secure, hybrid digital/live events. Streaming will give new artists and entrepreneurs a platform to separate influence and impact from lossleader gatherings online, bolstered by association with food and tools delivery winners like Apple and Amazon . A similar synergy between tech companies and media advertising will be overt (Apple + and Prime) as well as implicit (the growth in Amazon search. and Twitch watch parties).

COVID therapeutics such as Regeneron create a roadmap for these private groups to reorganize as Costco -like next-wave restaurants, entertainment events and political efforts to consolidate economic power. With a combination of transparency and what could be called reverse boycotts, customers will align with products and companies who promote values-based association with stakeholders across the spectrum.

Central to the relationship is providing ethical access to important data in return for clear guidelines for the use of that data at scale. If this election has been correctly assessed as signaling a massive change in the electorate, the period of deescalation from the pandemic can foster a sense of ownership of that success by the incoming majority. Notification-based entertainers such as Sarah Cooper and more mainstream projects like Matthew McConaughey’s new book, “Greenlights,” speak initially to the Zoom home/work crowd, and soon to the formation of new studios and networks.

Who really knows how this transformation is playing out, given the terrible consequences of Trump’s impact on our country and its standing in the world. But the generation that followed the Greatest Generation is discovering it has more to it than the free love of rock and roll and following our bliss. That same generation ushered in the technology and media revolutions.

Now we’re suffering the backlash of so-called free software where our data is the real product, where Big Brother is extending power by acqui-hires and preemptive pivots. Yet still our democracy persists. Time to count the vote.

__________________

The Gillmor Gang — Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, and Steve Gillmor . Recorded live Friday, October 30, 2020.

Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor

@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang

For more, subscribe to the Gillmor Gang Newsletter and join the backchannel here on Telegram.

The Gillmor Gang on Facebook … and here’s our sister show G3 on Facebook.

Pandemic CAPEX — Q3 2020 Update


This post is by Charles Fitzgerald from Platformonomics

tl:dr Not much excitement this quarter

Q3 cloud CAPEX numbers are in (Q2 was tracked on Twitter):

Amazon corporate CAPEX (which includes purchases of property and equipment, as well as property and equipment acquired under finance leases and build-to-suit leases, but not operating leases; AWS is very likely a minority fraction of this total) continued to boom (airplanes, trucks, distribution centers, satellite constellations, etc.), while Google and Microsoft at the corporate level were basically flat quarter-to-quarter. Google was down year-to-year while Microsoft was up.

I think the best tell for cloud infrastructure-specific CAPEX are finance leases (but Google doesn’t use them) which are likely server purchases:

After both Amazon and Microsoft saw big drops in Q1 (“supply chain constraints”) followed by healthy rebounds in Q2, Amazon was up modestly in Q3 while Microsoft declined.

And on the general cloud (IaaS + PaaS + whatever Google is currently calling Google Docs) front:

AWS growth was flat quarter-to-quarter and down 6 points from a year ago. Both Google and Microsoft accelerated quarter-to-quarter by 2 points and 1 point respectively. I assume Google performance is due to the new and critically acclaimed Google Docs icons, but Google Cloud is still getting outgrown by Azure.

You can share more of my CAPEX obsession here.

Pandemic CAPEX — Q3 2020 Update


This post is by Charles Fitzgerald from Platformonomics

tl:dr Not much excitement this quarter

Q3 cloud CAPEX numbers are in (Q2 was tracked on Twitter):

Amazon corporate CAPEX (which includes purchases of property and equipment, as well as property and equipment acquired under finance leases and build-to-suit leases, but not operating leases; AWS is very likely a minority fraction of this total) continued to boom (airplanes, trucks, distribution centers, satellite constellations, etc.), while Google and Microsoft at the corporate level were basically flat quarter-to-quarter. Google was down year-to-year while Microsoft was up.

I think the best tell for cloud infrastructure-specific CAPEX are finance leases (but Google doesn’t use them) which are likely server purchases:

After both Amazon and Microsoft saw big drops in Q1 (“supply chain constraints”) followed by healthy rebounds in Q2, Amazon was up modestly in Q3 while Microsoft declined.

And on the general cloud (IaaS + PaaS + whatever Google is currently calling Google Docs) front:

AWS growth was flat quarter-to-quarter and down 6 points from a year ago. Both Google and Microsoft accelerated quarter-to-quarter by 2 points and 1 point respectively. I assume Google performance is due to the new and critically acclaimed Google Docs icons, but Google Cloud is still getting outgrown by Azure.

You can share more of my CAPEX obsession here.

Which Companies Currently Dominate the U.S. Ecommerce Market?


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

Which Companies Currently Dominate the U.S. Ecommerce Market?

The Briefing

  • The top 10 U.S. ecommerce companies are expected to generate over $500 billion in sales by the end of 2020
  • That’s an estimated 63% of total ecommerce sales in the U.S.

The Companies Dominating the U.S. Ecommerce Market

While the migration online has been happening for years, COVID-19 has certainly helped to accelerate things, particularly when it comes to online shopping.

This year, the U.S. has seen a significant spike in online sales. By the end of 2020, ecommerce is expected to make up 14.5% of all U.S. retail sales, compared to 11% in 2019.

That’s the biggest year-over-year increase U.S. ecommerce has seen since 2008.

And, while online shopping overall has shown exceptional growth, only a small group of retailers make up the majority of sales—in 2020, the top 10 eretailers will capture an estimated 63% of total market share.

Who are the top players, and how much space do they take up in the U.S. ecommerce market?

Company Est. 2020 U.S. sales (billions) % of total U.S. ecommerce sales
Amazon $309.6 B 39.0%
Walmart $46.2 B 5.8%
eBay $38.8 B 4.9%
Apple $27.5 B 3.5%
The Home Depot $16.7 B 2.1%
Best Buy $15.7 B 2.0%
Target $13.8 B 1.7%
Wayfair $11.7 B 1.5%
The Kroger Co. $11.3 B 1.4%
Costco Wholesale $11.2 B 1.4%

Unsurprisingly, Amazon outranks its peers significantly, taking up 39.0% of the overall market. In contrast, the second-largest eretailer, Walmart, makes up only 5.8%.

As ecommerce continues to grow and mature, will competitors gain ground, or will Amazon continue to dominate the online world?

» Interested in ecommerce, and Amazon’s market dominance? Read our full article: Visualizing the Size of the World’s Most Valuable Retailer.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Emarketer.
Notes: Numbers have been rounded for clarity.


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The post Which Companies Currently Dominate the U.S. Ecommerce Market? appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

The Majority of Advertising Dollars are Now Being Spent Online


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Carmen Ang. The original is [linked here]

The Majority of Advertising Dollars are Now Being Spent Online

The Briefing

  • In the last decade, digital ad spend in the U.S. has surged
  • It’s estimated by GroupM that 49% of ad spend will have taken place online this year, but in 2021 that portion will surge to 54%
  • U.S. spending on pure-play internet advertising is expected to reach a whopping $151 billion by the year 2024
  • In contrast, more traditional forms of advertising have shown significant drops in popularity

The Growth of Internet Ad Spend in America

Ad spend in the U.S. generates billions in revenue—in 2019, the top 10 marketers spent over $41 billion on various forms of advertising.

While the ad industry has taken a significant hit in 2020 because of COVID-19, it’s projected to see overall growth in 2021, and a majority of this growth is expected to come in the form of internet advertising.

Internet ads have surged in popularity over the last decade. Here’s a look at the total spend on pure-play internet ads since 2012:

Year Total spend on pure-play internet ads (in billions) % of total ad spend
2012 $29 B 16%
2014 $39 B 20%
2016 $59 B 28%
2018 $92 B 40%
2020 $109 B 49%
2022 $133 B 56%
2024 $151 B 60%

While internet advertising has increased over the years, more traditional forms have nose-dived in percentage terms.

For instance, ad spend on directories reached $6 billion in 2012. By 2024, they’re projected to generate merely $68 million in revenue.

Like directories, newspaper and magazine spend have seen significant drops since 2012, with projected decreases on the horizon.

»To learn more, read our full article: How Total Spend by U.S. Advertisers Has Changed, Over 20 Years.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Group M.
Details: Numbers were sourced from This Year Next Year June 2020 Report
Notes: Figures use media ad revenue that includes political advertising. Numbers were rounded for clarity. Data for traditional media includes digital media extensions.

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The post The Majority of Advertising Dollars are Now Being Spent Online appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

The Majority of Advertising Dollars are Now Being Spent Online


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

The Majority of Advertising Dollars are Now Being Spent Online

The Briefing

  • In the last decade, digital ad spend in the U.S. has surged
  • It’s estimated by GroupM that 49% of ad spend will have taken place online this year, but in 2021 that portion will surge to 54%
  • U.S. spending on pure-play internet advertising is expected to reach a whopping $151 billion by the year 2024
  • In contrast, more traditional forms of advertising have shown significant drops in popularity

The Growth of Internet Ad Spend in America

Ad spend in the U.S. generates billions in revenue—in 2019, the top 10 marketers spent over $41 billion on various forms of advertising.

While the ad industry has taken a significant hit in 2020 because of COVID-19, it’s projected to see overall growth in 2021, and a majority of this growth is expected to come in the form of internet advertising.

Internet ads have surged in popularity over the last decade. Here’s a look at the total spend on pure-play internet ads since 2012:

Year Total spend on pure-play internet ads (in billions) % of total ad spend
2012 $29 B 16%
2014 $39 B 20%
2016 $59 B 28%
2018 $92 B 40%
2020 $109 B 49%
2022 $133 B 56%
2024 $151 B 60%

While internet advertising has increased over the years, more traditional forms have nose-dived in percentage terms.

For instance, ad spend on directories reached $6 billion in 2012. By 2024, they’re projected to generate merely $68 million in revenue.

Like directories, newspaper and magazine spend have seen significant drops since 2012, with projected decreases on the horizon.

»To learn more, read our full article: How Total Spend by U.S. Advertisers Has Changed, Over 20 Years.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Group M.
Details: Numbers were sourced from This Year Next Year June 2020 Report
Notes: Figures use media ad revenue that includes political advertising. Numbers were rounded for clarity. Data for traditional media includes digital media extensions.


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The post The Majority of Advertising Dollars are Now Being Spent Online appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

How Total Spend by U.S. Advertisers Has Changed, Over 20 Years


This post is by Katie Jones from Visual Capitalist

How Total Spend by U.S. Advertisers Has Changed, Over 20 Years

Total Spend by U.S. Advertisers, Over 20 Years

With an advertising economy worth $239 billion in 2019, it’s safe to say that the U.S. is home to some of the biggest advertising spenders on the planet.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the major upheaval of advertising spend, and it is unlikely to recover for some time.

The graphic above uses data from Ad Age’s Leading National Advertisers 2020 which measures U.S. advertising spend each year, and ranks 100 national advertisers by their total spend in 2019.

Let’s take a look at the brands with the biggest budgets.

2019’s Biggest Advertising Spenders

Much of the top 10 biggest advertising spenders are in the telecommunications industry, but it is retail giant Amazon that tops the list with an advertising spend of almost $7 billion.

In fact, Amazon spent an eye-watering $21,000 per minute on advertising and promotion in 2019, making them undeniably the largest advertising spender in America.

Explore the 100 biggest advertisers in 2019 below:

Rank Company Total U.S. Ad Spend 2019 Industry
#1 Amazon $6.9B Retail
#2 Comcast Corp. $6.1B Entertainment
#3 AT&T $5.5B Telecommunications
#4 Procter & Gamble $4.3B Consumer Goods
#5 Walt Disney $3.1B Entertainment
#6 Alphabet $3.1B Technology
#7 Verizon Communications $3.1B Telecommunications
#8 Charter Communications $3.0B Telecommunications
#9 American Express $3.0B Financial Services
#10 General Motors $3.0B Automotive
#11 JPMorgan Chase $2.8B Financial Services
#12 Walmart $2.7B Retail
#13 L’Oréal $2.3B Beauty
#14 T-Mobile U.S. $2.3B Telecommunications
#15 Berkshire Hathaway $2.3B Various
#16 Nestlé $2.3B Food & Beverages
#17 Ford $2.3B Automotive
#18 Expedia Group $2.2B Travel & Hospitality
#19 Capital One Financial $2.2B Financial Services
#20 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles $2.0B Automotive
#21 Samsung $2.0B Electronics
#22 Pfizer $1.9B Pharmaceuticals
#23 Progressive $1.8B Insurance
#24 PepsiCo $1.7B Food & Beverages
#25 Bank of America $1.7B Financial Services
#26 LVMH $1.6B Retail
#27 Target $1.6B Retail
#28 McDonald’s $1.6B Food & Beverages
#29 Booking Holdings $1.6B Travel & Hospitality
#30 GlaxoSmithKline $1.5B Pharmaceuticals
#31 Johnson & Johnson $1.5B Pharmaceuticals
#32 Anheuser-Busch InBev $1.5B Food & Beverages
#33 Toyota $1.5B Automotive
#34 Merck & Co. $1.5B Logistics
#35 Nike $1.5B Retail
#36 AbbVie $1.4B Pharmaceuticals
#37 Honda $1.4B Automotive
#38 Unilever $1.4B Consumer Goods
#39 ViacomCBS $1.4B Entertainment
#40 Macy’s $1.3B Retail
#41 State Farm $1.2B Insurance
#42 Kohl’s $1.2B Retail
#43 Home Depot $1.1B Retail
#44 Wells Fargo $1.1B Financial Services
#45 Yum Brands $1.1B Food & Beverages
#46 Netflix $1.1B Entertainment
#47 U.S. Government $1.0B Government
#48 Estée Lauder $994M Beauty
#49 Nissan $990M Automotive
#50 Wayfair $932M Retail
#51 Diageo $918M Food & Beverages
#52 Sanofi $889M Pharmaceuticals
#53 Discover Financial Services $883M Financial Services
#54 Mars $880M Food & Beverages
#55 Eli Lilly $864M Pharmaceuticals
#56 Kroger $854M Retail
#57 Allstate $854M Insurance
#58 Molson Coors $822M Food & Beverages
#59 Apple $818M Technology
#60 Microsoft $816M Technology
#61 Coca-Cola $816M Food & Beverages
#62 DISH Network $815M Entertainment
#63 Lowe’s $811M Retail
#64 Kraft Heinz $782M Food & Beverages
#65 Volkswagen $780M Automotive
#66 IAC $775M Entertainment
#67 Best Buy $772M Retail
#68 Intuit $760M Technology
#69 Uber $756M Technology
#70 Constellation Brands $749M Food & Beverages
#71 Sony $746M Technology
#72 Cox Enterprises $715M Entertainment
#73 Citigroup $691M Financial Services
#74 Adidas $688M Consumer Goods
#75 LendingTree $688M Financial Services
#76 Amgen $685M Technology
#77 Gilead Services $683M Pharmaceuticals
#78 Facebook $671M Technology
#79 Lions Gate $668M Entertainment
#80 Marriott International $667M Travel & Hospitality
#81 EssilorLuxottica $665M Consumer Goods
#82 J.C. Penney $644M Retail
#83 Liberty Mutual $640M Insurance
#84 Daimler $640M Automotive
#85 Hyundai $627M Automotive
#86 Walgreens $621M Retail
#87 Dell $618M Technology
#88 IBM $606M Technology
#89 Reckitt Benckiser $593M Consumer Goods
#90 Keurig Dr Pepper $593M Food & Beverages
#91 Restaurant Brands International $589M Food & Beverages
#92 Inspire Brands $589M Food & Beverages
#93 Clorox $581M Consumer Goods
#94 Novartis $579M Pharmaceuticals
#95 eBay $562M Retail
#96 Gap $562M Retail
#97 Takeda $541M Pharmaceuticals
#98 Kia Motors $534M Automotive
#99 Coty $531M Beauty
#100 Subarau $532M Automotive

The report offers several ways of looking at this data—for example, when looking at highest spend by medium, Procter & Gamble comes out on top for traditional media spend like broadcast and cable TV.

On the digital front, Expedia Group is the biggest spender on desktop search, while Amazon tops the list for internet display ads.

The Rise and Fall of Advertising Spend

Interestingly, changes in advertising spend tend to fall closely in step with broader economic growth. In fact, for every 1% increase in U.S. GDP, there is a 4.4% rise of advertising that occurs in tandem.

The same phenomenon can be seen among the biggest advertising spenders in the country. Since 2000, spend has seen both promising growth, and drastic declines. Unsurprisingly, the Great Recession resulted in the largest drop in spend ever recorded, and now it looks as though history may be repeating itself.

Total advertising spend in the U.S. is estimated this year to see a brutal decline of almost 13% and is unlikely to return to previous levels for a number of years.

The COVID-19 Gut Punch

To say that the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted consumer behavior would be an understatement, and perhaps the most notable change is how they now consume content.

With more people staying safe indoors, there is less need for traditional media formats such as out-of-home advertising. As a result, online media is taking its place, as an increase in spend for this format shows.

But despite marketers trying to optimize their media strategy or stripping back their budget entirely, many governments across the world are ramping up their spend on advertising to promote public health messages—or in the case of the U.S., to canvass.

The Saving Grace?

Even though advertising spend is expected to nosedive by almost 13% in 2020, this figure excludes political advertising. When taking that into account, the decline becomes a slightly more manageable 7.6%

Moreover, according to industry research firm Kantar, advertising spend for the 2020 U.S. election is estimated to reach $7 billion—the same as Amazon’s 2019 spend—making it the most expensive election of all time.

Can political advertising be the key to the advertising industry bouncing back again?

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South Korean startup Cochlear.ai raises $2 million Series A to detect the sounds missed by speech recognition


This post is by Catherine Shu from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Sit quietly for a moment and pay attention to the different sounds around you. You might hear appliances beeping, cars honking, a dog barking, someone sneezing. These are all noises Cochlear.ai, a Seoul-based sound recognition startup, is training its SaaS platform to identify. The company’s goal is to develop software that can identify almost any kind of sound and be used in a wide range of smart hardware, including phones, speakers and cars, co-founder and chief executive Yoonchang Han told TechCrunch.

Cochlear.ai announced it has raised $2 million in Series A funding, led by Smilegate Investment, with participation from Shinhan Capital and NAU IB Capital. This brings its total funding so far to $2.7 million, including a seed round from Kakao Ventures, the investment arm of the South Korean internet giant. Cochlear.ai will use its Series A on hiring over the next 18 months and to increase the data set of sounds used to train its deep learning algorithms.

The company was founded in 2017 by a team of six music and audio research scientists, including Han, who completed his PhD in music information retrieval at Seoul National University. While working on his doctorate, Han found “that everyone was really focusing on speech recognition systems. There are so many companies for that, but analyzing other kinds of sounds are technically quite different from speech recognition.”

Speech recognition technology usually recognizes one or two voices at a time, and assumes that people are engaging in a conversation, instead of talking over one another. It also uses linguistic knowledge in post-processing to increase accuracy. But with music or environmental noises, different types of sounds usually overlap.

“We have to take care about all different frequency ranges, and there are not only voices, but really thousands of sounds out there,” Han said. “So we think this will be the next generation of sound recognition, and that was the motivation for our startup.”

Cochlear.ai’s SaaS, called Cochl.Sense, is available as a cloud API and edge SDK, and can currently detect about 40 different sounds, which are grouped into three categories: emergency detection (including glass breaking, screaming and sirens), human interaction (which includes using finger snaps, claps or whistles to interact with hardware) and human status (to identify sounds like coughing, sneezing or snoring for use cases like patient monitoring or automatic audio captioning).

Han said the company also plans to add new functionality to Cochl.Sense for use in homes (including smart speakers), vehicles and music analysis. Cochl.Sense’s flexibility means it can potentially fit many use cases, including turning a smart speaker into a “control tower” for home appliances by detecting the noises they make, or helping hearing impaired people by sending alerts about noises, like car horns, to wearable devices including smart watches.

The sound recognition landscape

Han notes that over the past three years or so, there has been a shift from focusing on speech recognition technology to other sounds as well.

For example, more major tech companies, like Amazon, Google and Apple, are adding context-aware sound recognition to their products. For example, both Amazon Alexa Guard and Nest Secure detect the sound of glass breaking, while iOS 14’s sound recognition enabled it to add new accessibility features.

Han said the launches by major tech companies is a boon for Cochlear.ai, because it means that the market for sound recognition technology is growing. The startup plans to work with many different industries, but is currently focused on smart consumer devices and automotive because that is where the most interest for its software is coming from. For example, Cochlear.ai is currently working on a project with Daimler AG to include its sound recognition in cars (for example, alerts if a child is locked inside), in addition to collaborations with major electronic, telecommunications and consumer good companies.

Software that can identify sounds like gunshots, glass breaking and other noises for emergency detection has been around for decades, but conventional technology often resulted in false alarms or required the use of specific microphones and other hardware, Han said.

Other companies dedicated to improving sound recognition technology include Cambridge, England’s Audio Analytica, which focuses on context-based sound intelligence, and Netherlands-based Sound Intelligence, which develops software for emergency alert and healthcare systems.

Cochlear.ai plans to differentiate by building software that can be used with a wide array of microphones, including in low-end smartphones or USB microphones, without needing to be fine-tuned, instead relying on deep learning to refine its algorithms and reduce false positives.

During the early stages of building a data set for a specific sound, Cochlear.ai’s team records many audio samples by themselves, using older smartphone models and USB microphones, to ensure that their software will work even without high-quality microphones.

Other samples are gathered from online sources. Once the sound’s initial learning model reaches a certain level of accuracy, it is then able to search online by itself for more of the same kind of audio clips, exponentially increasing the speed of data training. Cochlear.ai’s Series A will enable it to build data sets of audio samples more quickly, allowing it to add more sounds to its software.

“All of our co-founders are researchers in this field, so signal processing and machine learning techniques — we are trying many different algorithms, because every sound has different characteristics,” said Han. “We have to try many different things to make one single model that can identify all different sounds.”

South Korean startup Cochlear.ai raises $2 million Series A to detect the sounds missed by speech recognition


This post is by Catherine Shu from Fundings & Exits – TechCrunch

Sit quietly for a moment and pay attention to the different sounds around you. You might hear appliances beeping, cars honking, a dog barking, someone sneezing. These are all noises Cochlear.ai, a Seoul-based sound recognition startup, is training its SaaS platform to identify. The company’s goal is to develop software that can identify almost any kind of sound and be used in a wide range of smart hardware, including phones, speakers and cars, co-founder and chief executive Yoonchang Han told TechCrunch.

Cochlear.ai announced it has raised $2 million in Series A funding, led by Smilegate Investment, with participation from Shinhan Capital and NAU IB Capital. This brings its total funding so far to $2.7 million, including a seed round from Kakao Ventures, the investment arm of the South Korean internet giant. Cochlear.ai will use its Series A on hiring over the next 18 months and to increase the data set of sounds used to train its deep learning algorithms.

The company was founded in 2017 by a team of six music and audio research scientists, including Han, who completed his PhD in music information retrieval at Seoul National University. While working on his doctorate, Han found “that everyone was really focusing on speech recognition systems. There are so many companies for that, but analyzing other kinds of sounds are technically quite different from speech recognition.”

Speech recognition technology usually recognizes one or two voices at a time, and assumes that people are engaging in a conversation, instead of talking over one another. It also uses linguistic knowledge in post-processing to increase accuracy. But with music or environmental noises, different types of sounds usually overlap.

“We have to take care about all different frequency ranges, and there are not only voices, but really thousands of sounds out there,” Han said. “So we think this will be the next generation of sound recognition, and that was the motivation for our startup.”

Cochlear.ai’s SaaS, called Cochl.Sense, is available as a cloud API and edge SDK, and can currently detect about 40 different sounds, which are grouped into three categories: emergency detection (including glass breaking, screaming and sirens), human interaction (which includes using finger snaps, claps or whistles to interact with hardware) and human status (to identify sounds like coughing, sneezing or snoring for use cases like patient monitoring or automatic audio captioning).

Han said the company also plans to add new functionality to Cochl.Sense for use in homes (including smart speakers), vehicles and music analysis. Cochl.Sense’s flexibility means it can potentially fit many use cases, including turning a smart speaker into a “control tower” for home appliances by detecting the noises they make, or helping hearing impaired people by sending alerts about noises, like car horns, to wearable devices including smart watches.

The sound recognition landscape

Han notes that over the past three years or so, there has been a shift from focusing on speech recognition technology to other sounds as well.

For example, more major tech companies, like Amazon, Google and Apple, are adding context-aware sound recognition to their products. For example, both Amazon Alexa Guard and Nest Secure detect the sound of glass breaking, while iOS 14’s sound recognition enabled it to add new accessibility features.

Han said the launches by major tech companies is a boon for Cochlear.ai, because it means that the market for sound recognition technology is growing. The startup plans to work with many different industries, but is currently focused on smart consumer devices and automotive because that is where the most interest for its software is coming from. For example, Cochlear.ai is currently working on a project with Daimler AG to include its sound recognition in cars (for example, alerts if a child is locked inside), in addition to collaborations with major electronic, telecommunications and consumer good companies.

Software that can identify sounds like gunshots, glass breaking and other noises for emergency detection has been around for decades, but conventional technology often resulted in false alarms or required the use of specific microphones and other hardware, Han said.

Other companies dedicated to improving sound recognition technology include Cambridge, England’s Audio Analytic, which focuses on context-based sound intelligence, and Netherlands-based Sound Intelligence, which develops software for emergency alert and healthcare systems.

Cochlear.ai plans to differentiate by building software that can be used with a wide array of microphones, including in low-end smartphones or USB microphones, without needing to be fine-tuned, instead relying on deep learning to refine its algorithms and reduce false positives.

During the early stages of building a data set for a specific sound, Cochlear.ai’s team records many audio samples by themselves, using older smartphone models and USB microphones, to ensure that their software will work even without high-quality microphones.

Other samples are gathered from online sources. Once the sound’s initial learning model reaches a certain level of accuracy, it is then able to search online by itself for more of the same kind of audio clips, exponentially increasing the speed of data training. Cochlear.ai’s Series A will enable it to build data sets of audio samples more quickly, allowing it to add more sounds to its software.

“All of our co-founders are researchers in this field, so signal processing and machine learning techniques — we are trying many different algorithms, because every sound has different characteristics,” said Han. “We have to try many different things to make one single model that can identify all different sounds.”

Edit: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Audio Analytic.

Visualized: A Breakdown of Amazon’s Revenue Model


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

Visualized: A Breakdown of Amazon’s Revenue Model

Visualized: A Breakdown of Amazon’s Revenue Model

Amazon has evolved into more than just an online store. While ecommerce makes up a significant portion of the company’s overall sales, its diverse revenue model generates billions through various business segments.

This visualization provides an overview of the different parts that make up Amazon, showing each business unit’s net sales from June 2019 to 2020.

A Diverse Revenue Model

With a market cap of $1.7 trillion, Amazon is currently the most valuable retailer in the world. The company is expected to account for 4.6% of total U.S. retail sales by the end of 2020—but the tech giant is more than just a one-trick pony.

A key factor in the company’s success is its diversification into other areas. Here’s a breakdown of Amazon’s revenue mix:

Business Segment Net Sales (June 2019 – 2020)
Online stores $163 B
Third-party selling services $63 B
Amazon Web Services $40 B
Subscription services $22 B
Physical stores $17 B
Other $17 B
Total Revenue $322 billion

While Amazon is truly more than an online store, it’s worth noting that online sales account for a significant amount of the company’s overall revenue mix. Over the period of June 2019 to 2020, product sales from Amazon’s website generated $163 billion, which is more than the company’s other business units combined.

A significant day for online sales is Prime Day, which has grown into a major shopping event comparable to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2020, Prime Day is projected to generate almost $10 billion in global revenue.

While ecommerce makes up a large portion of Amazon’s overall sales, there are many other segments that each generate billions in revenue to create immense value for the tech giant. For instance, enabling third-party sellers on the platform is the company’s second-largest unit in terms of net sales, racking up $63 billion over the course of a year.

This segment has shown tremendous growth over the last two decades. In 2018, it accounted for 58% of gross merchandise sales on Amazon, compared to just 3% in 2000. While third-party sellers technically outsold Amazon itself, the company still makes money through commission and shipping fees.

Amazon is Not Alone: Diversification is Common

Amazon isn’t the only major tech company to benefit from diverse revenue streams.

Other tech giants generate revenue through a range of products, services, and applications—for instance, while a healthy portion of Apple’s revenue comes from iPhone sales, the company captures 17% of revenue from a mix of services, ranging from Apple Pay to Apple Music. Microsoft is another example of this, considering it owns a wide range of hardware, cloud services, and platforms.

While there are several reasons to build a diverse business portfolio, a key benefit that comes from diversification is having a buffer against market crashes. This has proven to be particularly important in 2020, given the economic devastation caused by the global pandemic.

The Sum of its Parts

Despite varying levels of sales, each business unit brings unique value to Amazon.

For instance, while Amazon Web Services (AWS) falls behind online sales and third-party sellers in net sales, it’s one of the most profitable segments of the company. In the fourth quarter of 2019, more than half of Amazon’s operating income came from AWS.

In short, when looking at the many segments of Amazon, one thing is clear—the company is truly the sum of its parts.

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The post Visualized: A Breakdown of Amazon’s Revenue Model appeared first on Visual Capitalist.