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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights CSX, Lockheed Martin, FedEx, Broadcom and Enterprise Products

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights CSX, Lockheed Martin, FedEx, Broadcom and Enterprise Products.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 23rd, 2022

Futures Slide As Snap Forecast Steamrolls Rebound Optimism

Futures Slide As Snap Forecast Steamrolls Rebound Optimism It's not every day that a relatively small social media company (whose market cap is now less than Twitter) slashing guidance can send shockwaves across global markets and wipe out over a trillion in market cap, yet SNAP's shocking crash after it cut its own guidance released one month ago which hammered risk assets around the globe, and here we are. Add to this the delayed realization that Biden was just spouting his usual senile nonsense yesterday when he said Chinese trade tariffs would be discussed and, well, wave goodbye to the latest dead cat bounce as futures unwind much of Monday's rally. SNAP just crushed any hope of a sustained dead cat bounce — zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 23, 2022 US futures declined as technology shares were set to come under pressure after Snap warned it would miss second-quarter profit and revenue forecasts amid deteriorating macroeconomic trends. Nasdaq 100 futures slid 1.5% at 7:30 a.m. ET and S&P 500 futures retreated 1.0% just as the benchmark was starting to pull back from the brink of a bear market amid fears the Federal Reserve’s tightening could hurt growth. Meanwhile in other markets, Chinese tech stocks fell by more than 4%, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index dropped 1%, led by losses in shares of utilities and retail companies. The dollar was little changed, while Treasuries advanced. Snapchat plunged more 31% in premarket trading, while Facebook Meta and other companies that rely on digital advertising also tumbled amid fears that the sudden collapse in ad spending is systemic. Technology shares have been hammered this year amid rising interest rates and soaring inflation, with the Nasdaq 100 trading near November 2020 lows and at the cheapest valuations since the early days of the pandemic. Social media stocks are on course to erase more than $100 billion in market value Tuesday after Snap’s warning: Meta Platforms (FB US) declined 6.3%, Twitter (TWTR US) -4.1%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) -3.8% and Pinterest (PINS US) -12%. “It highlights how fleeting swings in sentiment are now and also that investors are running at the first sign of trouble,” Jeffrey Haley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific, wrote in a note. “The market continues to turn itself inside out and back to front as it tries to decide if it has priced all of the impending rate hikes, soft landing or recession, inflation or stagflation, China, Ukraine, US summer driving season, supply chains, the list goes on.” Among other notable moves in US premarket trading, Zoom Video’s shares rallied as much as 6.3% after better-than-expected guidance. Deutsche Bank said the video-software maker’s continued post-pandemic growth in its Enterprise business is encouraging, though analysts remain cautious on the company’s comments around free cash flow. Tesla shares fell 2.6% in premarket trading on Tuesday, amid news that it may take the electric-vehicle maker at least until later this week to resume full production at its China factory. Also, Daiwa analyst Jairam Nathan lowered his price target on TSLA to $800 from $1150, the latest in a string of target cuts by Wall Street analysts. Nathan cited the lockdowns in Shanghai and supply chain concerns impacting ramp-up of Austin and Berlin plants, and lowered the EPS estimates for 2022 and 2023. Elsewhere, Frontline shares rallied 3.1% after the crude oil shipping company reported net income for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Social media and other digital advertisers fell in US premarket trading after Snap cut its forecasts. Albemarle (ALB US) shares may be in focus as analysts raise their price targets on the specialty chemicals maker amid a boost from higher lithium prices. BitNile (NILE US) swings between gains and losses in US premarket trading, after the crypto miner reported 1Q results amid a broader slump across high-growth stocks. Nautilus (NLS US) got a new Street-low price target after exercise equipment maker’s “lackluster” guidance, with the company’s shares slumping as much as 24% in US extended trading on Monday. INmune Bio (INMB US) shares dropped 23% in postmarket trading on Monday after the FDA placed the company’s investigational new drug application to start a Phase 2 trial of XPro in patients with Alzheimer’s disease on clinical hold. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF IS)  falls as much as 21% premarket after the clothing retailer reported an unexpected loss for its first quarter Equities have been volatile as investors assess the outlook for monetary policy, inflation and the impact of China’s strict Covid policies on the global economy. Minutes on Wednesday of the most recent Federal Reserve rate-setting meeting will give markets insight into the US central bank’s tightening path. “With the era of cheap money hurtling to an end the focus will be on a speech from Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve later, with investors keen to glean any new titbit of information about just how far and fast the US central bank will go in raising rates and offloading its mass bond holdings,” Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note. In Europe, the Stoxx 50 slumped 1.4%. FTSE 100 outperformed, dropping 0.6%, while CAC 40 lags. Utilities, retailers and consumer products are the worst performing sectors. Utilities were the biggest decliners in Europe, as Drax Group Plc, Centrica Plc and SSE Plc all sank on Tuesday following a report about UK plans for a possible windfall tax. Air France-KLM fell after plans to sell about 2.26 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of new shares to shore up its balance sheet. Oil and gas stocks underperformed the European equity benchmark in morning trading as crude declines amid investors’ concerns about Chinese demand, while mining shares also fall alongside metal prices.  Here are some of the biggest European movers: Big Yellow shares gain as much as 4% after what Citi described as a “strong set” of results, supported by structural tailwinds. SSP rises as much as 13% after the U.K. catering and concession-services company reported 1H results that Citi says were above expectations. Adevinta climbs as much as 7.8% after reporting 1Q results that were broadly as expected, with revenue slightly below expectations and Ebitda ahead, according to Citi. Frontline gains as much as 6.4% in Oslo after the crude oil shipping company reported 1Q net income that beat the average analyst estimate. Moonpig gains as much as 8.2%, extending a rise of 11% on Monday when the company announced the acquisition of Smartbox Group UK U.K. utility firms sink after the Financial Times reported that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has ordered officials to prepare plans for a possible windfall tax on power generators as well as oil and gas firms. SSE declines as much as 11%, Drax Group -19% and Centrica -12% European technology and advertising stocks slump with Nasdaq futures after Snap cut its revenue and profit forecasts below the low end of its previous guidance. Just Eat falls as much as 4.8%, Deliveroo -4.9%, Delivery Hero -4.4%, STMicro -3%, Infineon -2.8%, AMS -3% Prosus drops as much as 6.7% in Amsterdam and Naspers declines as much as 6.1% in Johannesburg as Barclays cuts ratings on both stocks after downgrading Tencent in the prior session. The latest flash PMI data showed that Europe’s two largest economies kept growing in May as they benefited from a sustained rebound in services that offset fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the pound fell after a report showed the UK economy faces an increasing risk of falling into a recession as firms and households buckle under the fastest inflation rate in four decades. At the same time, the euro climbed above $1.07 for the first time in four weeks as ECB President Christine Lagarde said the currency bloc has reached a “turning point” in monetary policy and rejected the idea that the region is heading for a recession, but said the ECB won’t be rushed into withdrawing monetary stimulus. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks dipped as traders remained cautious on global growth concerns while assessing the impact of China’s fresh fiscal stimulus.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as much as 1.2%, with tech names the biggest drags. Lower revenue and profit forecasts from Snap Inc. weighed on the broader sector. Chinese stocks led declines in the region as the government’s new support package including more than 140 billion yuan ($21 billion) in additional tax relief failed to impress investors. Covid-19 lockdowns remain a key overhang, while market participants are looking to major China tech earnings this week, including Alibaba and Baidu, for direction. Hong Kong equities also dropped after the city’s outgoing leader said border controls will remain in place for now.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index tumbles as much as 4.2% in afternoon trading on Tuesday, on track for a second day of declines.  “Markets have caught a glimpse of the impact of regulatory risks and Covid-19 lockdowns from Tencent’s recent lackluster earnings,” and a potential mirroring of the weakness by big tech earnings ahead “may be driving some caution,” Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte., wrote in a note Japanese equities dropped as investors mulled China’s new stimulus measures and amid growing concerns over global economic health.  The Topix Index fell 0.9% to close at 1,878.26 on Tuesday, while the Nikkei declined 0.9% to 26,748.14. Recruit Holdings Co. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, as the staffing-services firm tumbled 6.6%. Among the 2,171 shares in the index, 1,846 fell, 249 rose and 76 were unchanged. “The markets will continue to be in an unstable situation for a while as the US is still in the process of raising its interest rates and we are entering a phase where the effects of interest rate tightening on the economy will start to be felt in the real economy,” said Hiroshi Matsumoto, senior client portfolio manager at Pictet Asset Management. Indian stocks also declined, dragged by a selloff in information technology firms, as investors remained cautious over global economic growth.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.4% to 54,052.61 in Mumbai while the NSE Nifty 50 Index eased 0.6%. The gauges have now dropped for four of five sessions and eased 5.3% and 5.7% this month, respectively. All but two of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined on Tuesday, led by information technology stocks. Foreign funds have been net sellers of Indian stocks since end of September and have taken out $21.3 billion this year through May 20. The benchmark Sensex is now 12.5% off its peak in Oct. Corporate earnings for the March quarter have been mixed as 26 out of 41 Nifty companies have reported profit above or in line with consensus expectations. “There is a lot of skepticism among investors over interest rate hikes in the near term and its impact on growth going ahead,” according to Kotak Securities analyst Shrikant Chouhan. In FX, the dollar dipped while the euro jumped to a one-month high versus the US dollar after the European Central Bank reiterated its plans to end negative rates quickly, bolstering market expectations that rates will rise as early as July. It pared some gains after ECB Governing Council’s Francois Villeroy de Galhau argued against a 50 bps increase. “The single currency is dancing to the tune of ECB policymakers this week as the Governing Council attempts to talk up the euro to insure against imported inflation,” said Simon Harvey, forex analyst at Monex Europe. “The euro’s rally highlights how dip buyers are happy to buy into the ECB’s messaging in the near-term.” Elsewhere, the pound slid and gilts rallied after a weak UK PMI reading ramped up speculation that the country is heading toward recession. The Australian and New Zealand dollars led declines among commodity currencies after Snapchat owner Snap Inc. slashed its revenue forecast, spurring doubts about the strength of the US economy. Japan’s yen snapped a two-day drop as Treasury yields resumed their decline. Japanese government bond yields eased across maturities, following their US peers. In rates, Treasuries were richer by up to 4bp across belly of the curve as S&P futures gapped lower from the reopen and extended losses over Asia, early European session. Treasury 10-year yields around 2.815%, richer by 3.5bp vs. Monday close US session focus to include Fed Chair Powell remarks and 2-year note auction. Gilts outperformed following soft UK data. Gilts outperform by additional 1.5bp in the sector after May’s preliminary PMI prints missed expectations. Belly-led gains steepened the US 5s30s by 1.8bp on the day while wider bull steepening move in gilts steepens UK 5s30s by 5bp on the day.  The US auction cycle begins at 1pm ET with $47b 2- year note sale, followed by $48b 5- and $42b 7-year notes Wednesday and Thursday. In commodities, oil and gas stocks underperformed as crude declined amid concerns about Chinese demand, while mining shares also fall alongside metal prices. WTI is in the red but recovers off worst levels to trade back on a $109-handle. Most base metals trade poorly; LME nickel falls 4.5%, underperforming peers. Spot gold rises roughly $5 to trade above $1,858/oz. Looking at the day ahead, we’ll get the rest of the May flash PMIs from Europe and the US, along with US new home sales for April and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the ECB’s Villeroy and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.3% to 3,920.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.9% to 432.44 MXAP down 1.1% to 163.24 MXAPJ down 1.3% to 531.58 Nikkei down 0.9% to 26,748.14 Topix down 0.9% to 1,878.26 Hang Seng Index down 1.7% to 20,112.10 Shanghai Composite down 2.4% to 3,070.93 Sensex down 0.3% to 54,148.93 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,128.83 Kospi down 1.6% to 2,605.87 Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,859.38 US Dollar Index down 0.11% to 101.96 Brent Futures down 0.2% to $113.15/bbl German 10Y yield little changed at 0.99% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0713 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Social media stocks are on course to shed more than $100 billion in market value after Snap Inc.’s profit warning, adding to woes for the sector which is already reeling amid stalling user growth and rate-hike fears. The US must be “strategic” when it comes to a decision on whether to remove China tariffs, Trade Representative Katherine Tai said a day after President Joe Biden mentioned he would review Trump-era levies as consumer prices surge. China rolled out a broad package of measures to support businesses and stimulate demand as it seeks to offset the damage from Covid lockdowns on the world’s second-largest economy. China’s central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans as the economy is battered by Covid outbreaks that have threatened growth this year. President Joe Biden is seeking to show US resolve against China, yet an ill-timed gaffe on Taiwan risks undermining his bid to curb Beijing’s growing influence over the region. Europe’s two largest economies kept growing in May as they benefited from a sustained rebound in services that offset fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s currency extended a rally that’s taken it to the strongest level versus the dollar in four years, prompting a warning from one of President Vladimir Putin’s staunchest allies that the gains may be overdone. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newqsuawk Asia-Pac stocks mostly declined after Snap's profit warning soured risk sentiment and weighed on US tech names. ASX 200 was rangebound but kept afloat for most of the session by resilience in tech and mining stocks, while PMIs remained in expansion territory. Nikkei 225 fell below 27,000 although losses are stemmed by anticipation of incoming relief with Finance Minister Suzuki set to present an additional budget to parliament tomorrow. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were pressured after further bank downgrades to Chinese economic growth forecasts, while the recent announcement of targeted support measures by China and reports of the US mulling reducing China tariffs, did little to spur risk appetite. Top Asian News Shanghai will allow supermarkets, convenience stores and drugstores to resume operations with a maximum occupancy of 50% before May 31st and 75% after June 1st, according to Global Times. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said they are unlikely to lift the quarantine in her term, according to Bloomberg. US President Biden said there is no change to the policy of strategic ambiguity regarding Taiwan, while Defense Secretary Austin earlier commented that he thinks US President Biden was clear that US policy has not changed on Taiwan, according to Reuters. USTR Tai said the US is engaging with China on Phase 1 commitments of trade, while she added they must be strategic on tariffs and that President Biden's team believes trade needs new ideas, according to Reuters. China's push to loosen USD dominance is said to take on new urgency amid Western sanctions on Russia and some Chinese advisers are urging the government to overhaul the exchange rate regime to turn the Yuan into an anchor currency, according to SCMP. European bourses are subdued following the Snap-headwind, further hawkish ECB rhetoric and disappointing Flash PMIs; particularly for the UK, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.7%. US futures are similarly subdued and the Nasdaq, -1.7%, is taking the brunt of the pressure as tech names are hit across the board, ES -1.1%. Snap (SNAP) said the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated since its last guidance issuance and it now believes it will report revenue and adjusted EBITDA below the low end of its Q2 guidance range, according to the filing cited by Reuters. Samsung (005935 KS) is to reportedly invest USD 360bln on chips and biotech over a period of five years, according to Bloomberg. Tesla (TSLA) could take until later this week to restore full production in China after quarantining thousands of workers. Uber (UBER) has initiated a broad hiring freeze across the Co. as it faces increased pressure to become profitable, according to Business Insider sources Top European News UK Chancellor Sunak ordered officials to draw up a plan for a windfall tax on electricity generators' profits, according to FT. ECB's Nagel said it seems clear that the wage moderation seen for 10 years in Germany is over and they think they will see high numbers from German wage negotiations. Germany's Chambers of Commerce DIHK cuts 2022 GDP growth forecast to 1.5% (vs prev. view of 3% made in Feb). FX Yen outperforms on risk off and softer yield dynamics, USD/JPY at low end of wide range stretching from just above 128.00 to just over 127.00 and multiple chart supports under the latter. Franc and Euro underpinned as SNB and ECB pivot towards removal of rate accommodation, USD/CHF sub-0.9650, EUR/USD 1.0700-plus. Dollar suffers as a result of the above, but DXY contains losses under 102.000 as Pound plunges following disappointing UK preliminary PMIs; Cable recoils from the cusp of 1.2600 to touch 1.2475. Aussie, Loonie and Kiwi all suffer from aversion and latter also cautious ahead of RBNZ on Wednesday; AUD/USD loses grip of 0.7100 handle, NZD/USD under 0.6450 having got close to 0.6500 yesterday and USD/CAD probing 1.2800 vs virtual double bottom around 1.2765. Lira loses flight to stay above 16.0000 vs Buck as Turkish President Erdogan refuses to acknowledge Greek leader and sets out plans to strengthen nation’s southern border defences. Fixed Income Gilts fly after UK PMIs miss consensus and only trim some gains in response to much better than expected CBI distributive trades 10 year bond holds near the top of a 118.86-117.92 range Bunds bounce from sub-153.00 lows after more hawkish guidance from ECB President Lagarde, but Italian BTPs lag under 128.00 as books build for 15 year issuance US Treasuries bull-flatten ahead of 2 year note supply and Fed's Powell, T-note just shy of 120-00 within 120-02+/119-18 band Italy has commenced marketing a new syndicated 15yr BTP, guidance +11bp vs outstanding March 2037 bond, according to the lead manager via Reuters; subsequently, set at +8bp. Commodities WTI and Brent are subdued amid the broader risk environment with familiar factors still in play; however, the benchmarks are off lows amid USD downside. Meandering around USD 110/bbl (vs low 108.61/bbl) and USD 113/bbl (vs low USD 111.70/bbl) respectively. White House is considering environmental waivers for all blends of US gasoline to lower pump prices, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is modestly firmer though it has failed to extend after briefly surpassing the 21-DMA at USD 1856/oz. Central Banks ECB's Lagarde believes the blog post on Monday was at a good time, adding we are clearly at a turning point, via Bloomberg TV; adds, we are not in a panic mode. Rates are likely to be positive at end-Q3; when out of negative rates, you can be at or slightly above zero. Does not comment on FX levels, when questioned about EUR/USD parity. Click here for more detail, analysis & reaction. ECB's Villeroy says he believes the ECB will be at a neutral rate at some point next year, via Bloomberg TV; 50bps hike does not belong to the Governing Council's consensus, does not yet know the terminal rate. NBH Virag says continuing to increase rates in 50bp increments is an options, increasing into double-digits is not justified. US Event Calendar 09:45: May S&P Global US Manufacturing PM, est. 57.6, prior 59.2 May S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 55.2, prior 55.6 May S&P Global US Composite PMI, est. 55.6, prior 56.0 10:00: May Richmond Fed Index, est. 10, prior 14 10:00: April New Home Sales MoM, est. -1.7%, prior -8.6%; New Home Sales, est. 750,000, prior 763,000 Central Banks 12:20pm: Powell Makes Welcoming Remarks at an Economic Summit DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap These are pretty binary markets at the moment. If the US doesn’t fall into recession over the next 3-6 months then it’s easy to see markets rallying over this period. However if it does, the correction will likely have further to run and go beyond the average recession sell-off (that we were close to at the lows last week) given the rich starting valuations. For choice I don’t think the US will go into recession over this period but as you know I do think it will next year. As such a rally should be followed by bigger falls next year. Two problems with this view. Timing the recession call and timing the market’s second guessing of it. Apart from that it's all very easy!! This week started on a completely different basis to most over the past few months. So much so that there's hope that the successive weekly losing S&P streak of seven might be ended. 4 days to go is a long time in these markets but after day one we're at +1.86% and the strongest start to a week since January. And that comes on top of its intraday recovery of more than +2% late on Friday’s session, after the index had briefly entered bear market territory, which brings the index’s gains to more than 4% since its Friday lows at around the European close. However just when you thought it was safe to emerge from behind the sofa, S&P 500 futures are -0.84% this morning with Nasdaq futures -1.42% due to Snapchat slashing profit and revenue forecasts overnight. Their shares were as much as -31% lower in after hours, taking other social media stocks with it. Asia is also weaker this morning as we'll see below. Before we get there, yesterday's rally was built on a few bits of positive news that are worth highlighting. Investors were buoyed from the get-go by remarks from President Biden that he’d be considering whether to review Trump-era tariffs on China. It had been reported previously that such a move was under consideration, but there are also geopolitical as well as economic factors to contend with, and a Reuters report last week cited sources who said that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai favoured keeping the tariffs in place. Biden said that he’d be discussing the issue with Treasury Secretary Yellen following his return to the United States, so one to watch in the coming days with the administration under pressure to deal with inflation. This comes as the Biden administration unveiled the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework yesterday, which covers 13 countries and approximately 40% of the world’s GDP. Conspicuously, China was not one of the included parties, but US officials said there was a path for them to join. The framework reportedly does not contain any new tariff reductions, but instead seems focused on new labour, environmental, and anti-money laundering standards while seeking to build resilience. The 13 involved countries said in a joint statement, “This framework is intended to advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness for our economies.” It is not clear what is binding, or what Congress will think about the framework, but regardless, this is battle to halt or slow the anti-globalisation sentiment so prominent in recent years. It was not just Biden who helped encourage the rally. We then had a further dose of optimism in the European morning after the Ifo Institute’s indicators from Germany surprised on the upside. Their business climate indicator unexpectedly rose to 93.0 in May (vs. 91.4 expected), thus marking a second successive increase from the March low after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This morning we’ll get the May flash PMIs for Germany and elsewhere in Europe, so let’s see if they paint a similar picture. Ahead of that, equity indices moved higher across the world, with the S&P 500 up +1.86% as mentioned, joining other indices higher including the NASDAQ (+1.59%), the Dow Jones (+1.98%), and the small-cap Russell 2000 (+1.10%). It was a very broad-based advance, with every big sector group moving higher on the day, and banks (+5.12%) saw the largest advance in the S&P 500. Meanwhile, consumer discretionary (+0.64%) continues to lag the broader index. Over in Europe there were also some major advances, with the STOXX 600 (+1.26%), the DAX (+1.38%) and the CAC 40 (+1.17%) all rising. They have lagged the US move since Friday's Euro close mostly because they have out-performed on the downside. Staying on Europe, we had some significant developments on the policy outlook as ECB President Lagarde published a blog post that basically endorsed near-term market pricing for future hikes. In turn, that helped the euro to strengthen against other major currencies and led to a rise in sovereign bond yields. In the post, Lagarde said that she expected net purchases under the APP “to end very early in the third quarter”, which would enable rates to begin liftoff at the July meeting in just over 8 weeks from now. Furthermore, the post said that “on the current outlook, we are likely to be in a position to exit negative interest rates by the end of the third quarter”, so implying that we’ll see more than one hike in Q3, assuming they move by 25bp increments. Interestingly, Bloomberg subsequently reported that others at the ECB wanted to keep open the possibility of moving even faster. Indeed, it said that Lagarde’s plan had “irked colleagues” seeking to keep that option open, and was “a position that leaves some more hawkish officials uncomfortable.” So according to this, some officials want to keep the option of moving in 50bp increments like the Fed did earlier this month, although so far only Dutch central bank Governor Knot has openly referred to this as a possibility. That move from Lagarde to endorse an exit from negative rates in Q3 sent sovereign bonds noticeably higher after the blog post was released, with 10yr bund yields giving up their initial decline to rise +7.5bps by the close, aided by the broader risk-on move. Those on 10yr OATs (+7.1bps) and BTPs (+3.3bps) also moved higher, with a rise in real yields driving the moves in all cases. Nevertheless, when it came to what the market was pricing for future rate hikes, Lagarde’s comments seemed to just solidify where they’d already reached, with the amount priced in for the ECB by year-end rising just +5.5bps to remain above 100bps. Given the ECB’s more hawkish rhetoric of late as well as the upside Ifo reading, the Euro gained further ground against the US dollar over the last 24 hours, strengthening by +1.20% in yesterday’s session. In fact, the dollar was the second-worst performer amongst all the G10 currencies yesterday, narrowly edging out the yen, and the dollar index has now shed -2.64% since its peak less than two weeks ago. That’s in line with what our FX colleagues argued in their Blueprint at the end of last week (link here), where they see the reversal of the dollar risk premium alongside ECB tightening sending EURUSD back above 1.10 over the summer. But even though the dollar was losing ground, US Treasury yields still moved higher alongside their European counterparts, with 10yr yields up +7.0bps to 2.85%. They given back around a basis point this morning. Over to Asia and as discussed earlier markets are weaker. The Hang Seng (-1.50%) is extending its previous session losses with stocks in mainland China also lagging. The Shanghai Composite (-1.09%) and CSI (-0.80%) are both trading lower even as the government is offering more than 140 billion yuan ($21 billion) in extra tax relief to companies and consumers as it seeks to offset the impact of Covid-induced lockdowns on the world’s second biggest economy. Among the agreed new steps, China will also reduce some passenger car purchase taxes by 60 billion yuan. Meanwhile, the Nikkei (-0.51%) and Kospi (-0.90%) are also trading in the red. Early morning data showed that Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in three months in May after the au Jibun Bank flash manufacturing PMI slipped to +53.2 from a final reading of +53.5 in April amid supply bottlenecks with new orders growth slowing. Meanwhile, the nation’s services PMI improved to +51.7 in May from +50.7. Elsewhere, manufacturing sector activity in Australia expanded at the slowest pace in four months as the S&P Global flash manufacturing PMI fell to +55.3 in May from April’s +58.8 level while the services PMI dropped to +53.0 in May. While markets try to judge whether or not a near-term recession is imminent and how severe it may be, another external shock to contend with is the growing Covid case count in mainland China and how stiff the lockdown measures authorities will impose to contain outbreaks. As we reported yesterday, Beijing registered record case growth over the weekend. The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 141 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 58 were in Shanghai and 41 in Beijing. So these numbers will be closely watched over the next few days. To the day ahead now, and we’ll get the rest of the May flash PMIs from Europe and the US, along with US new home sales for April and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the ECB’s Villeroy and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Tyler Durden Tue, 05/24/2022 - 08:08.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 24th, 2022

Couchbase Announces Third Quarter Fiscal 2022 Financial Results

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Couchbase, Inc. (NASDAQ:BASE), provider of a leading modern database for enterprise applications, today announced financial results for its third quarter ended October 31, 2021. "Our strong third quarter performance was driven by ongoing large deal momentum, including some significant expansions, as well as acceleration of our cloud business. We also delivered solid top line growth with ARR up 21% and revenue up 20% year over year," said Matt Cain, President and CEO of Couchbase. "We continue to see demand for our modern database as digital transformation remains a priority across industries, and are excited about the market opportunity for Capella which makes it faster and easier to consume Couchbase in the cloud." Third Quarter Fiscal 2022 Financial Highlights: Revenue: Total revenue for the quarter was $30.8 million, an increase of 20% year-over-year. Subscription revenue was $29.0 million, an increase of 20% year-over-year. Annual recurring revenue (ARR): Total ARR for the quarter was $122.3 million, an increase of 21% year-over-year. See the section titled "Key Business Metrics" below for details. Gross margin: Gross margin for the quarter was 87.9%, compared to 87.8% for the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Non-GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 88.3%, compared to 87.9% for the third quarter of fiscal 2021. See the section titled "Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" and the tables entitled "Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Results" below for details. Loss from operations: Loss from operations for the quarter was $15.5 million, compared to $9.1 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Non-GAAP operating loss for the quarter was $12.1 million, compared to $7.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Cash flow: Cash flows used in operating activities for the quarter were $19.7 million, compared to $13.1 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Capital expenditures were $0.6 million during the quarter, leading to negative free cash flow of $20.3 million, compared to negative free cash flow of $13.3 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Remaining performance obligations (RPO): RPO as of October 31, 2021 was $124.3 million, up 41% year-over-year. Recent Business Highlights: Launched Couchbase Capella hosted Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) offering on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Capella delivers database flexibility for developers and performance at scale for enterprise applications. Because Capella is fully managed and automated, customers can focus on development, improving their applications and reducing time to market, instead of worrying about operational database management efforts. Achieved SOC 2 Type 1 Compliance Certification for Capella, thereby extending its security credentials. Hosted annual user conference Couchbase ConnectONLINE, consisting of more than 100 sessions that brought together over 5,200 developer, architect, business user and community member registrants to learn more about Couchbase's modern database for enterprise applications. Announced the winners of the annual Couchbase Community Awards, honoring customers Amadeus, Citigroup, Emirates, Northwestern University, BroadJump, Cvent and Molo17 and partners AWS, Red Hat, Infosys and DigitalRoute for accelerating modernization initiatives and enabling innovation for enterprise-critical applications. Named to Inc. Magazine's Top 250 Best-Led Mid-Market Companies in America list and earned Great Place to Work Certification. Appointed Alvina Antar, Chief Information Officer of Okta, to Couchbase's Board of Directors. Financial Outlook: For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022, Couchbase expects: Total revenue between $33.9 million and $34.1 million Total ARR between $129 million and $130 million Non-GAAP operating loss between $10.6 million and $10.2 million For the full fiscal year 2022, Couchbase expects: Total revenue between $122.4 million and $122.6 million Total ARR between $129 million and $130 million Non-GAAP operating loss between $47.0 million and $46.6 million The guidance provided above is based on several assumptions that are subject to change and many of which are outside our control. If actual results vary from these assumptions, our expectations may change. There can be no assurance that we will achieve these results. Couchbase is not able, at this time, to provide GAAP targets for operating income for the fourth quarter or full year of fiscal 2022 because of the difficulty of estimating certain items excluded from non-GAAP operating loss that cannot be reasonably predicted, such as charges related to stock-based compensation expense. The effect of these excluded items may be significant. Conference Call Information Couchbase will host a conference call and webcast at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 to discuss its financial results and business highlights. To access this conference call, dial (888) 660-1027 from the United States and Canada or (409) 231-2719 internationally with conference ID: 2318369. The live webcast and a webcast replay of the conference call can be accessed from the investor relations page of Couchbase's website at investors.couchbase.com. Upcoming Conference Participation Couchbase management will participate in the following investor conferences during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022. Webcasts of company presentations can be found on Couchbase's Investor Relations website at investors.couchbase.com. Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on December 8, 2021 at 9:40 a.m. PT (12:40 p.m. ET) 24th Annual Needham Virtual Growth Conference on January 12, 2022 at 11:45 a.m. PT (2:45 p.m. ET) About Couchbase At Couchbase, we believe data is at the heart of the enterprise. We empower developers and architects to build, deploy, and run their most mission-critical applications. Couchbase delivers a high-performance, flexible and scalable modern database that runs across the data center and any cloud. Many of the world's largest enterprises rely on Couchbase to power the core applications their businesses depend on. For more information, visit www.couchbase.com. Couchbase has used, and intends to continue using, its investor relations website and the corporate blog at blog.couchbase.com to disclose material non-public information and to comply with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Accordingly, you should monitor our investor relations website and the corporate blog in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings and public conference calls and webcasts. Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures In addition to our financial information presented in accordance with GAAP, we believe certain non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors in evaluating our operating performance. We use certain non-GAAP financial measures, collectively, to evaluate our ongoing operations and for internal planning and forecasting purposes. We believe that non-GAAP financial measures, when taken together with the corresponding GAAP financial measures, may be helpful to investors because they provide consistency and comparability with past financial performance and meaningful supplemental information regarding our performance by excluding certain items that may not be indicative of our business, results of operations or outlook. Non-GAAP financial measures are presented for supplemental informational purposes only, have limitations as analytical tools and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial information presented in accordance with GAAP and may be different from similarly-titled non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies. In addition, other companies, including companies in our industry, may calculate similarly-titled non-GAAP financial measures differently or may use other measures to evaluate their performance, all of which could reduce the usefulness of our non-GAAP financial measures as tools for comparison. Investors are encouraged to review the related GAAP financial measures and the reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures (provided in the financial statement tables included in this press release), and not to rely on any single financial measure to evaluate our business. Non-GAAP gross profit, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP operating loss, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net loss attributable to common stockholders and non-GAAP net loss per share attributable to common stockholders: We define these non-GAAP financial measures as their respective GAAP measures, excluding expenses related to stock-based compensation expense and litigation-related expenses. We use these non-GAAP financial measures in conjunction with GAAP measures to assess our performance, including in the preparation of our annual operating budget and quarterly forecasts, to evaluate the effectiveness of our business strategies and to communicate with our board of directors concerning our financial performance. Free cash flows: We define free cash flow as cash used in operating activities less purchases of property and equipment, which includes capitalized internal-use software costs. We believe free cash flow is a useful indicator of liquidity that provides our management, board of directors and investors with information about our future ability to generate or use cash to enhance the strength of our balance sheet and further invest in our business and pursue potential strategic initiatives.  Please see the reconciliation tables at the end of this release for the reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP results. Key Business Metrics We review a number of operating and financial metrics, including Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), to evaluate our business, measure our performance, identify trends affecting our business, formulate business plans and make strategic decisions. We define ARR as of a given date as the annualized recurring revenue that we would contractually receive from our customers in the month ending 12 months following such date. Based on historical experience with customers, we assume all contracts will be automatically renewed at the same levels unless we receive notification of non-renewal and are no longer in negotiations prior to the measurement date. ARR excludes revenue from on-demand arrangements. Although we seek to increase ARR as part of our strategy of targeting large enterprise customers, this metric may fluctuate from period to period based on our ability to acquire new customers and expand within our existing customers. We believe that our ARR is an important indicator of the growth and performance of our business. Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, quotations of management, the "Financial Outlook" section, and statements about Couchbase's market position, strategies, and potential market opportunities, including its positioning in the market. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and, in some cases, can be identified by terms such as "anticipate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "believe," "continue," "could," "potential," "remain," "may," "might," "will," "would" or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. However, not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, including factors beyond our control, which may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to: our history of net losses and ability to achieve or maintain profitability in the future; our ability to continue to grow on pace with historical rates; our ability to manage our growth effectively; intense competition and our ability to compete effectively; cost-effectively acquiring new customers or obtaining renewals, upgrades or expansions from our existing customers; the market for our products and services being relatively new and evolving, and our future success depending on the growth and expansion of this market; our ability to innovate in response to changing customer needs, new technologies or other market requirements; our limited operating history, which makes it difficult to predict our future results of operations; the significant fluctuation of our future results of operations and ability to meet the expectations of analysts or investors; our significant reliance on revenue from subscriptions, which may decline and, the recognition of a significant portion of revenue from subscriptions over the term of the relevant subscription period, which means downturns or upturns in sales are not immediately reflected in full in our results of operations; and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further information on risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from forecasted results are included in our filings with the SEC that we may file from time to time, including those more fully described in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2021. Additional information will be made available in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 31, 2021 that will be filed with the SEC, which should be read in conjunction with this press release and the financial results included herein. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable as of this date. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons if actual results differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.     Couchbase, Inc.Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations(in thousands, except per share data)(unaudited) Three Months Ended October 31, Nine Months Ended October 31, 2021 2020 2021 2020 Revenue: License $ 3,774 $ 3,010 $ 12,468 $ 8,550 Support and other 25,234 21,078 71,034 60,347 Total subscription revenue 29,008 24,088 83,502 68,897 Services 1,816 1,565 4,976 4,961 Total revenue 30,824 25,653 88,478 73,858 Cost of revenue: Subscription(1) 2,094 1,840 6,218 4,113 Services(1) 1,642 1,296 4,435 4,383 Total cost of revenue 3,736 3,136 10,653 8,496 Gross profit 27,088 22,517 77,825 65,362 Operating expenses: Research and development(1) 13,103 10,109 38,267 28,388 Sales and marketing(1) 22,817 17,443 65,714 51,145 General and administrative(1) 6,659 4,044 17,434 10,905 Total operating expenses 42,579 31,596 121,415 90,438 Loss from operations (15,491) (9,079) (43,590) (25,076) Interest expense (133) (746) (630) (4,762) Other income (expense), net (51) (86) (44) 221 Loss before income taxes (15,675) (9,911) (44,264) (29,617) Provision for income taxes 249 237 729 719 Net loss $ (15,924) $ (10,148) $ (44,993) $ (30,336) Cumulative dividends on Series G redeemable convertible preferred stock — (1,446) (2,917) (2,596) Net loss attributable to common stockholders $ (15,924) $ (11,594) $ (47,910) $ (32,932) Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted $ (0.37) $ (2.04) $ (2.43) $ (5.81) Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted 43,440.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaDec 7th, 2021

"There"s No Simple Fix": Maritime Analyst Breaks Down What Supply Chain Hell Means For Shipping Stocks

"There's No Simple Fix": Maritime Analyst Breaks Down What Supply Chain Hell Means For Shipping Stocks Submitted by Quoth the Raven at QTR's Fringe Finance, This is part 1 of an exclusive Fringe Finance interview with shipping analyst (and friend of mine) J Mintzmyer, where we discuss the state of the supply chain in the country, what’s next for the shipping industry and what stocks appeal to him in the difficult-to-understand and cyclical world of shipping. J is a renowned maritime shipping analyst and investor who directs the Value Investor's Edge ("VIE") research platform on Seeking Alpha.  You can follow him on Twitter @mintzmyer. J is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, is regularly quoted in trade journals, and hosts a popular podcast featuring shipping industry executives. J has earned a BS in Economics from the Air Force Academy, an MA in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, and is a PhD Candidate at Harvard University, where he researches global trade flows and security policy. Q: Hi, J. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview with me. I want to start simply for those who aren’t experts in shipping like you are. Can you describe in layman's terms what the supply chain shortages are right now? A: There are supply chain bottlenecks almost everywhere we look! This ranges from a shortage of available ships to log-jams at the nation's top ports, to insufficient storage and warehouse space, missing or broken truck chassis, rail line delays, and shortages of truck drivers. Despite what politicians or other talking heads like Jamie Dimon might tell you, there's no simple fix to this situation. This has been a long-time coming, primarily due to a decade of underinvestment and delayed port upgrades, and the COVID-19 disruption was simply the straw that broke the camel's back.  Are there any shipping name stocks that have caught your attention over the last few months, since we last talked? Ironically, despite the rates going higher and higher and our companies earning stronger cash flows than even I expected to see this year, the majority of the stocks have lagged since June. As the supply chain crisis goes more and more mainstream, it doesn't seem like most investors or traders have figured out that this segment of the market is poised to benefit tremendously. Folks look at a chart like Danaos Corp (DAC) and see that it has gone up 15x since last fall and they figure, "wow, I'm too late!" What they don't do is run the math and realize that the free cash flows have been surging so significantly that the enterprise values of these firms have barely moved (i.e. the stock is way up, but that's mostly just reflecting a massive debt paydown). In many ways, a stock like DAC at $73 is cheaper today than it was last December at $20.  How does shipping and freight fit into the broken supply chain equation? We are currently in the peak shipping season (normally August-November), which is due to pre-Holiday stocking which happens every year. The supply-chain has already been stressed since Fall 2020, but we have went from 'moderate' stress to 'extreme' levels of disruption. This disruption has caused an increased demand for available ship routes, which have caused global freight rates to soar by more than 4-5x from last year's levels. Liners such as Maersk, COSCO, and ZIM are scrambling to fulfill the demand and therefore are willing to pay record lease rates to the owners of containerships, so we have a situation where there are both record freight rates and record ship leasing rates.  I read that LA and other ports still aren't working 24 hours a day, like most European ports do. What are the ramifications of this? Will they eventually cave? The shift to 24/7 operations is years overdue, especially in the peak August-November season; however, the ports simply don't have enough trained manpower and proper procedures to shift to 24/7 ops on a whim. It's not about people 'caving' as much as it is about the need to design proper shift structures, hire enough workers, and train enough shift managers. Finally, even with the ports open 24/7, this only addresses 1 of about 20 log-jam factors.  Along those lines, ports say that even truck drivers haven't been around in numbers of days past. Is this a contributing factor? We have a nationwide shortage of truck drivers which has been a slowly developing problem for the past 4-5 years. This didn't happen overnight, but nobody cared about this stuff until a few months ago. This is a tough career field, but it can be financially rewarding and allow younger drivers with only a high school level education to become financially independent. Unfortunately the benefits haven't been well explained and with all the hype around 'automated trucks' (which are likely decades, or at least many years, away from being approved), it's not surprising that there hasn't been enough new recruits over the past years.  Does it concern you that our country relies so much on imports and that we don't produce anything here? It depends which categories you're asking about. I would like to see more computer chips and other high-tech products manufactured in the United States, but a large portion of these imports are in goods like shoes, clothes, and toys which we simply lack the competitive advantage to produce in the United States. It is good economic sense to trade with other nations who can produce these lower-tech items more efficiently; however, I would agree that the balance has gone too far. More investment in high-tech manufacturing would be an obvious win for our country.  In Part 2 of this interview, we discuss why J thinks the 6 year bear market in shipping stock is over and he updates us on some names he owns, including one stock that he thinks could pay a monster dividend going forward. You can read Part 2 of this interview here.  --  Zerohedge readers get 10% off an annual subscription to my blog by using this special link here. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/28/2021 - 13:48.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 28th, 2021

These 46 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOSussing out bad actorsFrom left to right: Cofounders CTO David Movshovitz, CEO Doron Hendler, and chief architect Adi DeGaniRevealSecurityAn encounter with an impersonation hacker led Doron Hendler to found RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity startup that monitors for insider threats.Two years ago, a woman impersonating an insurance-agency representative called Hendler and convinced him that he made a mistake with his recent health insurance policy upgrade. She got him to share his login information for his insurer's website, even getting him to give the one-time passcode sent to his phone. Once the hacker got what she needed, she disconnected the call, prompting Hendler to call back. When no one picked up the phone, he realized he had been conned.He immediately called his insurance company to check on his account. Nothing seemed out of place to the representative. But Hendler, who was previously a vice president of a software company, suspected something intangible could have been collected, so he reset his credentials."The chief of information security, who was on the call, he asked me, 'So, how do you want me to identify you? You gave your credentials; you gave your ID; you gave the one time password. How the hell can I identify that it's not you?' And I told him, 'But I never behave like this,'" Hendler recalled of the conversation.RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cyber startup that tracks user behavior for abnormalities, used this 27-page deck to raise its Series AA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingSpeeding up loans for government contractors OppZo cofounders Warren Reed and Randy GarrettOppZoThe massive market for federal government contracts approached $700 billion in 2020, and it's likely to grow as spending accelerates amid an ongoing push for investment in the nation's infrastructure. Many of those dollars flow to small-and-medium sized businesses, even though larger corporations are awarded the bulk of contracts by volume. Of the roughly $680 billion in federal contracts awarded in 2020, roughly a quarter, according to federal guidelines, or some $146 billion that year, went to smaller businesses.But peeking under the hood of the procurement process, the cofounders of OppZo — Randy Garrett and Warren Reed — saw an opportunity to streamline how smaller-sized businesses can leverage those contracts to tap in to capital.  Securing a deal is "a government contractor's best day and their worst day," as Garrett, OppZo's president, likes to put it."At that point they need to pay vendors and hire folks to start the contract. And they may not get their first contract payment from the government for as long as 120 days," Reed, the startup's CEO,  told Insider. Check out the 12-page pitch deck OppZo, a fintech that has figured out how to speed up loans to small government contractors, used to raise $260 million in equity and debtHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider4 hr. 31 min. ago

Why Is Coinbase (COIN) Stock Trading Lower This Month?

Shares of Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) are trading lower in June to reflect a bloodbath in the cryptocurrency market. Layoffs Needed to Mitigate Falling Revenues Earlier this month, Coinbase announced it is planning to reduce 18% of its workforce or around 1,100 employees, making it the latest of several crypto exchanges that have cut jobs recently. In […] Shares of Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) are trading lower in June to reflect a bloodbath in the cryptocurrency market. Layoffs Needed to Mitigate Falling Revenues Earlier this month, Coinbase announced it is planning to reduce 18% of its workforce or around 1,100 employees, making it the latest of several crypto exchanges that have cut jobs recently. In the company’s blog post, CEO Brian Armstrong cited recession fears, saying it could result in “another crypto winter” and stay for a long time. Armstrong reflected on how trading revenues fell sharply during previous crypto winters and that’s why the crypto exchange has to plan for the worst in order to keep its business alive. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The company, which currently has nearly 100 million users and $256 billion in assets on its platform, is looking to complete the layoffs by the end of this month. Coinbase will spend between $40 million and $45 million to pay for staff severance and other redundancy benefits. Armstrong said Coinbase had to cut its workforce because it hired too many people over a short period of time. The company currently has around 5,000 employees, up from just 1,250 last year, added Armstrong. Why Now? The reduction of the workforce marks one of the latest in a series of challenges Coinbase faced this year. The crypto exchange posted a $430 million Q1 loss last month as the number of monthly active users dropped 19%. Furthermore, the company also recently announced it was pausing hiring and rescinding several job offers due to market conditions and “ business prioritization efforts.” Following the crypto boom last year, Coinbase accelerated its hiring pace and its executives had to determine how many new employees were needed to address that boom. "While we tried our best to get this just right, in this case it is now clear to me that we over-hired," Armstrong said. The layoffs in the crypto industry come amid a steep sell-off in 2022, with Bitcoin and Ethereum plunging more than 50% and 65% year-to-date, respectfully. This is because investors are shifting away from riskier assets as inflation hovers around its highest level in more than 40 years and global central banks continue to hike interest rates to curb the rising costs. The entire crypto market value fell below $1 trillion this month, which marks the first time it has dropped below that level since January last year. Other crypto firms including Crypto.com and Gemini Trust also announced layoffs over the recent weeks. Crypto.com plans to reduce around 5% of its workforce, while Gemini said it will reduce roughly 10%, marking the first time ever the company slashed its workforce. Mizuho Securities analyst Dan Dolev noted that recent trading patterns on Coinbase are suggesting potential crypto exhaustion. According to Dolev, the average trading volume on the Coinbase platform on Bitcoin down-days was up 15% compared to days when the cryptocurrency was in the green. However, that number nearly tripled in recent months, with down-day volumes being up around 42% more than on up-days. He also warned investors not to get too excited about the late surge in trading volume earlier this month, because the rise “appears to be fading... COIN is still tracking 10-15% below 2Q consensus and ~30% below 1Q level," he added. Competition Heats Up In another blow to Coinbase, Binance.US announced it is cutting its spot Bitcoin trading fees. Binance.US, the partner platform of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, said it will allow customers to trade USD, USDT, USD Coin, and Binance USD for spot bitcoin with no fees. The crypto market has been having a very difficult year as investors continue to offload their risk assets due to record-high inflation and geopolitical tensions. Bitcoin dropped to a new 2022 low when it went south of $18,000, the first time it has touched that level in a year and a half. Trading volumes, which have been one of the key revenue drivers for Coinbase, also declined sharply following the sell-off. The crypto exchange started testing a new subscription-based service dubbed Coinbase One, which is set to allow customers to trade up to $10,000 per month without any fees. Rival crypto and stock exchange Robinhood was the first to launch a zero-fee trading service, which has weighed on retail investing over the past few years as some of the largest brokers such as Interactive Brokers, Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, and E*Trade Financial also moved to commission-free investing. This has also been a headwind the crypto industry has been facing as an increasing number of trading platforms decide to combine crypto and stock trading. In May, cryptocurrency exchange FTX US announced its plan to launch commission-free stock trading. On the other hand, TradeStation's platform, which started as an equity trading platform, is now focusing more on crypto trading services as well. Coinbase Pro Shutting Down Coinbase will be closing down its professional crypto trading platform Coinbase Pro later this year as the company continues to add more advanced investing features on its regular platform. The company said the platform forced its customers to “rely on Coinbase Pro and Coinbase.com for overlapping sets of features, and often experience friction when transferring balances back-and-forth between the two products.” “To resolve this friction and offer customers the best of both worlds, we have rebuilt the full Coinbase Pro advanced trading experience within the Coinbase mobile app and Coinbase.com. As we continue to add more features to Advanced Trade on Coinbase, we will sunset Coinbase Pro later this year,” it said. The Coinbase Pro move marks yet another move by the crypto company to slash costs as it seeks to survive the ‘crypto winter’. Summary Coinbase stock trades lower this month as crypto prices, as well as falling trading volumes, continue to hurt the company’s financial profile. Coinbase announced a series of moves to push costs lower while investors wait for a better outlook for the crypto market before coming back from the sidelines. Want to stay up to date on the world of digital assets? Subscribe to Tokenist’s newsletter, Five Minute Finance. Receive one email, every Friday, with the week’s most important trends in the converging worlds of traditional and digital finance. Updated on Jun 24, 2022, 4:36 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 24th, 2022

6 LinkedIn Automation Tools for Lead Generation That You Should Try

Everyone needs a source of energy to sustain life and stay productive. A person needs food, cars need fuel, Instagram bloggers need likes, and businesses need leads. But to get such “nutrition”, you need to constantly act: buy food for cooking, come to the gas station, write posts. The same thing happens with leads: to […] Everyone needs a source of energy to sustain life and stay productive. A person needs food, cars need fuel, Instagram bloggers need likes, and businesses need leads. But to get such “nutrition”, you need to constantly act: buy food for cooking, come to the gas station, write posts. The same thing happens with leads: to find them and close a deal, you need to perform an extensive search. Only then you will find the right customers who will be interested in the product and buy it. LinkedIn, a network with 750 million followers, is a perfect place to reach your marketing goals. Let’s talk about LinkedIn automation tools that provide a 24/7 business presence on the site and speed up customer search. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more LinkedIn Automation: How Does It Function? To “catch” potential customers on LinkedIn, a marketer needs to perform four main operations. They must: visit the profile of a company representative; analyze the page of a potential client; be added to the contact list of an influential decision-maker; send a message that favorably advertises a product or service. LinkedIn automation tools for lead generation streamline these activities by mimicking the behavior of a marketer online. But unlike a human, a program works around the clock. The application not only saves time but also collects valuable information for organizing personalized and meaningful marketing campaigns. Marketers use two types of automation software: Google Chrome extensions and cloud apps. The first ones are downloaded from the Google store, connected to a LinkedIn account, and work on the page. Some robots “act” in real time, preventing a person from using their page. Others work in the background without limiting the marketer’s actions. A program performs tasks according to a given scenario while a user is browsing pages. Cloud applications are installed on the user's computer, but all actions technically take place from a remote PC via the cloud. It turns out that a marketer can work in Belgium, but parse leads from the USA. LinkedIn considers such procedures suspicious, so specialists often have to set up a proxy server so that the cloud and country IP addresses match. Despite technical nuances, such a program will work even when the computer is turned off. Lead generation automation tools “communicate” with contacts by sending them automated messages. Programs allow connecting with thousands of potential customers, which will lead them to purchase products. If you send out so many emails manually, LinkedIn may ban your account due to spam. Automation apps protect you from being blocked and allow you to complete your marketing tasks as rapidly as your company needs. 6 Best LinkedIn Automation Tools for Lead Generation Running a business is easier when a special program takes over lead generation: Marketers are focused on completing sales, and not on finding potential buyers; Programs find customers faster than a human and provide accurate contact details; Managers have time to analyze and compare marketing campaigns; A business is more likely to “hit the target”, expand and scale the enterprise; Programs exclude human errors. “The best”, however, is a very subjective concept. We will try to stay objective when giving an overview of popular lead automation software. Let’s take a look at six platforms with a user-friendly interface, useful functionality, and wide integration with other marketing services. Sales Navigator, An Invaluable Addition To LinkedIn The platform has already taken care of marketers by offering an internal tool for increasing sales - Sales Navigator. It allows you to find customers in your niche, receive important marketing information, and build strong relationships with potential buyers. The peculiarity of the application is that it allows marketers to send up to 30 messages per month to people who are not on their contact list. For users, this is an excellent opportunity, given that the platform has limitations. It is impossible to send messages to users outside your list of contacts. Sales Navigator is also unique because: it allows setting marketing preferences: the company’s industry, location, and size; offers advanced lead search with detailed filtering; helps to quickly find decision-makers in the company, who are more likely to be interested in the product; integrates with CRM to conveniently manage leads; replaces external analytics tools, helping to compare the results of marketing campaigns. Ashley Evans, Global Sales Enablement Director at Transmission, notes the exclusivity of Sales Navigator in his blog. He states that “LinkedIn has transformed SN from simply a hunter/gatherer tool to a very robust piece of martech that should be central to your stack and your strategic planning framework”. More than 3,000 firms use Sales Navigator and speak positively about it. Source: artplusmarketing.com Expandi Cloud Application The creators of the program call Expandi one of the safest applications for working with LinkedIn. The developers have limited the number of simultaneous connection requests and provided intervals for sending messages to simulate human behavior. The system offers the function of excluding holidays from the parsing schedule so that account activity does not arouse suspicion. Thanks to such a mechanism, LinkedIn will not ban the account of a marketer. Source: expandi.io Advantages of Expandi: it allows initiating multiple marketing campaigns from one account; integrates with such marketing tools as CRM, Zapier, and so on; has an auto warmup function: the number of daily connection requests and messages depends on the status and “age” of the profile; offers an extended list of filters in the smart inbox for incoming messages; supports dynamic personalization of messages, providing an 83% response rate; provides dedicated and local IP addresses to work from the same country. All this makes Expandi one of the best tools for growth marketers, recruiters, startup founders, and agency owners. The service has performed well and more than 12,000 companies use it to improve their marketing campaign. Phantombuster "Ghost" Assistant Phantombuster is one of those programs that help businesses to develop faster. The application becomes a "deputy" marketer on the LinkedIn network with one difference: it works around the clock. It automatically follows target profiles, likes posts, sends messages at a set interval, and performs other useful tasks. Data collection takes place in the cloud, so the program works even when the computer is turned off. A marketer needs to set the pace and trigger actions once, and they will perform automatically. Application phantoms take on valuable business functions: Network Booster automatically sends a request to establish a connection in a couple of minutes and expands the list of friends on LinkedIn; Profile Scraper extracts useful information from thousands of profiles (name, position, interest in a particular product); Message Sender is responsible for correspondence with first-level contacts; Auto Commenter/Liker comments and likes posts of target customers. These and other features make Phantombuster extremely popular among sales, marketing and development teams around the world. Source: g2.com Dux-Soup Browser Plugin This extremely simple built-in browser tool is suitable for beginners and advanced users who use LinkedIn for business purposes. To collect a client base, you only need to visit the target profiles, and the service will automatically copy them to a CSV file. The plugin will extract valuable information from the pages, such as phone number, email address, company name, location, and other details. Dux-Soup simplifies lead generation in the following way: it forms a database of target customers; downloads detailed information from LinkedIn profiles; integrates with CRM; automates profile visits and communication with customers; launches email and LinkedIn campaigns with active customer support; tags potential customers to keep in touch and know at what stage of interaction the marketer and the client are; supports advanced filtering by keywords (applicant, influencer, CEO, and others). Dux-Soup regularly publishes new user guides. The system takes into account the algorithms and programs for detecting bots, therefore, it guarantees that the marketer's profile will not be blocked. This is one of the reasons why over 70,000 people use Dux-Soup. Judging by the user reviews published on the official website of the service, in some cases, the application increases sales by seven times and provides up to 70% of the responses of potential customers. Source: octopuscrm.io MeetAlfred Professional Networking Tool MeetAlfred also offers secure lead generation automation that is compliant with LinkedIn policies. The program performs standard tasks of marketers such as profile views, sending invitations, and creating and sending personalized messages. The tool allows marketers to: adjust responses to messages from potential customers depending on their content; imitate human behavior so that it would be interesting for the target contact to maintain a dialogue; adhere to business ethics, congratulating contacts from the network on their birthday or professional anniversary; track the progress of the marketing campaign to improve the strategy; adjust the number and frequency of actions with specific clients; manage contacts through the built-in CRM and group them by filters, tags, and notes. MeetAlfread is considered one of the most “responsive” services that stimulate customer interest through personalization. Simple convenient functionality, the ability to save up to 10 hours of working time per week and increase the response rate by 10 times make MeetAlfred an indispensable assistant for more than 80,000 active users. Source: dripify.io WeConnect For Smart Lead Search The creators of the WeConnect cloud tool propose to abandon the mass mailing of invitations in favor of smart customer search. The program allows you to properly build communication depending on the response of a person and increase the percentage of transactions: the platform offers seven ways to interact with customers: invite a contact, report first connections, visit a profile, endorse skills, InMails, send messages to members of groups, auto-subscribe; the program allows you to set up campaigns based on smart sequences. For example, before an invitation, view a profile, like a post, and then send a contact request. If the person accepted it, send a message; if they rejected it - visit the profile and like some posts or a skill; the cloud application has a dedicated IP address and performs actions at a set-up frequency so that LinkedIn does not mistake the marketer's actions for spam. WeConnect supports about 60 features that are constantly updated based on user feedback. Having checked the trial version of the program, more than 4,000 marketers have started to use this tool regularly. Source: pearllemonreviews.co Lead Generation Automation: The Future Of Potential Client Search LinkedIn is a fount of business contacts, a public database waiting to be used. More than 750 million profiles are registered on the platform with detailed indications of the place, industry, position, and other data. The percentage of responses to letters sent via the business network is 300% higher than by email. In addition, LinkedIn states that 50% of platform members are more likely to buy a product from a company they interact with online. The possibilities for building relationships with clients are endless. The main thing is to use these opportunities correctly to build a win-win marketing strategy. For example, using a suitable automation tool such as Sales Navigator, Expandi, Phantombuster, Dux-Soup, or others. A program will help you to find thousands of potential customers, without the need to contact each of them. Thus, you won’t lose them among numerous contacts and bring a lead to a purchase. It would take at least half a year to do this manually, given that LinkedIn allows you to send out up to 100 invitations per week. Marketers are often ahead of their sales schedule because LinkedIn automation tools find relevant customers. Using a cloud assistant and browser plugins, managers fill a sales funnel with quality leads who are more likely to buy products. Thanks to automation software, this work takes less effort than with the standard approach. Marketers have more time to think through the strategy: how to communicate with people so as not to put them off. With the help of automation platforms for lead generation, sellers will attract more leads and accelerate business growth. About the Author My name is Alexandr Khomich, and I data with a diverse set of interests across machine learning, finance, and technology. Currently, I work as a CEO at Andersen. Being a part of the IT family for years, I aim at transforming IT processes in support of business transformation. Updated on Jun 24, 2022, 3:15 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 24th, 2022

Futures Surge To Two Week High As Traders Eye End Of Fed"s Hiking Cycle

Futures Surge To Two Week High As Traders Eye End Of Fed's Hiking Cycle Futures are pointing to solid close to the week - now that a recession and earlier rate cuts are assured... .... with a continuation of the rally which has pushed stocks to two week highs, with Tech continuing to lead while Chinese Tech is helping to fuel the global risk-on rally to end the week. Tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures added 1% while contracts on the S&P 500 gained 0.9%, trading near session highs  at 3,833 after the main US stock gauge closed near session highs Thursday, adding more than 3% in three days. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 1.5%, with the benchmark set for a small bounce this week. 10-year Treasury yields rose to 3.13% after earlier sliding as low as 3.04%. In premarket trading, software maker Zendesk Inc. soared over 50% on reports it’s close to reaching a deal to be acquired by a group of buyout firms led by Hellman & Friedman and Permira. Bank stocks were mostly higher as well after the latest stress test that results showed all 34 participating banks had passed (of course). In corporate news, Coinbase will launch its first crypto derivative product on Monday in the midst of the current crypto winter. US-listed Chinese stocks rise in premarket trading, on track for their best week since April as more market watchers turn positive on the group amid a gradual easing in Beijing’s crackdown on tech. Alibaba (BABA US) +3%, Nio (NIO US) +2.8%. Here are some other notable premarket movers: FedEx Corp. (FDX US) shares gained in premarket trading with analysts mostly welcoming its annual earnings forecast that was above expectations amid higher package prices and resolution on some operation issues related to labor shortage. Nevertheless, they still maintained caution amid cost pressures and macroeconomic uncertainty. US bank stocks may be volatile Friday after the Federal Reserve announced after the close of trading on Thursday that all banks had passed its annual stress test. Blackberry (BB CN) gained in postmarket trading after it reported an adjusted basic loss per share for the first quarter of 5c, in line with estimates. LendingTree (TREE US) shares dropped 10% in extended trading on Thursday, after the consumer finance company cut its second-quarter forecast for both revenue and adjusted Ebitda. Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT US) shares may be under pressure after it announced that the FDA has placed a clinical hold on the company’s peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer to treat patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. That said, analysts believe this is mostly a hiccup and that the stock should get a lift once data from the company’s NT gene therapy is disclosed. In his market wrap note, JPM's Andrew Tyler asks "Does this rally have legs" and answers: "The next major catalyst is the June 30 PCE data. This current rally is seeing Tech and Defensive sectors as the largest outperformers. While some investors may play momentum, there seems to be a collective lack of conviction with many believing that this rally fizzles. Traders are looking for confirmation from a breakout above ~3900 resistant level." To be sure, investors are grappling with the question of what comes next if an economic downturn takes hold. One scenario - the bullish one - predicts cooling price pressures and thus scope for central banks to ease up on the pace of interest-rate hikes. In the other one, Jerome Powell hardened his resolve to cool inflation in testimony to lawmakers this week, after acknowledging that a recession may be the price to pay. “In spite of the hawkish remarks from Fed officials, the growing worries that their hikes would trigger a recession actually meant that investors priced in a shallower pace of rate hikes over the coming 12-18 months,” Deutsche Bank AG strategists led by Jim Reid wrote in a note. “That had a knock-on impact on Treasuries.” We discussed this extensively last night. The rising probability of a peak in rates put the policy-sensitive US two-year yield on course for one of its biggest weekly drops since March 2020. Meanwhile, traders are starting to price out any Fed action on rates beyond the December meeting, scaling back the additional tightening they expect and flirting with the possibility of cuts by in 2023. In Europe, equities traded well with the Stoxx rising 1.5% and the Euro Stoxx 50 1% higher back near Thursday’s highs. CAC 40 outperforms peers. Health care and media are the strongest sectors, autos and retail names lag. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: European health care stocks jump, outperforming the broader market. Societe Generale says the fundamentals of the European pharma sector are healthier than US peers. Roche rises as much as 3.4%, Novo Nordisk +3.2% and AstraZeneca +2.6% among the biggest contributors to the gain Ultra Electronics shares rise as much as 13% after a statement that the UK government is leaning toward approving Cobham’s planned takeover of the British defense-technology specialist. LVMH shares rise as much as 2.9% on Bernstein’s top luxury pick at a time of macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertanties, thanks in part to the French giant’s Dior mega-brand, which analyst Luca Solca says is one of the industry’s biggest success stories Telenet shares rise as much as 6.4%, with Barclays and New Street Research both noting that the stock is cheap and it may become more attractive for majority holder Liberty Global to consider buying the rest of the shares. Zalando shares sink as much as 18%, hitting the lowest since Jan. 2019. The online retailer warning on its sales and earnings outlook was not a total surprise, but the scale of the downgrade to its expectations was more significant than anticipated, analysts say. Fast fashion and online retailers decline in Europe following another warning in the sector, this time from Germany’s Zalando. HelloFresh slumps as much as -9.7%, Delivery Hero -6.0%, Deliveroo -2.7%. Fertilizer stocks sink in Europe with Morgan Stanley flagging the industry’s exposure to surging gas prices, gas supply uncertainties and related government measures in Europe to prevent shortages. K+S shares fall as much as 4.9%, Yara down as much as 4.8% and OCI down 3.9% Earlier in the session, Asian stocks headed for a second day of gains as technology shares staged a comeback amid falling yields, with investors continuing to weigh the prospect of higher inflation and monetary tightening. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.2%, lifted by tech-heavy markets such as South Korea. A gauge of Asian tech stocks jumped, rallying from the lowest level since September 2020. A Chinese tech measure in Hong Kong advanced 4%. Consumer and health care names also contributed to Friday’s gains amid a global shift to defensive stocks. Asian equities headed for their first weekly gain in three, as the market took a breather from intense selling pressure fueled by fears that aggressive monetary tightening will push the US economy into a recession. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in testimony to lawmakers stressed his “unconditional” commitment to bringing down inflation. Stocks have fared relatively better in Asia than in other regions as China’s move to dial back Covid restrictions supports market sentiment. Asia’s benchmark is down about 6% this month, compared with at least 8% declines in the S&P 500 Index and the Euro Stoxx 50. “The growth differentials are going to open up between China and the rest of the world,” Kinger Lau, chief China equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, said in a Bloomberg TV interview. Chinese equities “tend to do quite well going into the party congress, three to six months before that. Right now seems like we are in the sweet spot.” Japanese stocks climbed as investors assessed hawkish comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell on further interest rate hikes and a rally in Treasuries that sent yields lower, boosting tech shares. The Topix Index rose 0.8% to 1,866.72 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.2% to 26,491.97. Japan’s Mothers index rallied as much as 5.8%.  Nidec Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 6.5%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,540 rose and 550 fell, while 80 were unchanged. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index completed a weekly gain of 1.6% to close at 6578.70, as technology shares staged a comeback amid falling yields. The tech benchmark had a weekly gain of 8.1%, the most since August. Nine of the 11 subgauges ended Friday higher, with only energy and mining stocks sliding after a gauge of commodities retreated.   New Zealand’s market was closed for a public holiday In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index dipped into the red, poised for its first weekly decline in a month as investors gauge whether aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes would tip the US economy into a recession; the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.5% this week while the policy-sensitive US two-year yield is on course for its biggest weekly drop since March 2020. The Japanese yen was the only Group-of-10 currency to fare worse than the dollar, sliding back under 135. “The dollar is undermined by the weakness in PMI data and growing concerns that aggressive rate hikes will eventually cause growth slowdown,” said Akira Moroga, manager of currency products at Aozora Bank in Tokyo. “US yields are also stabilizing from recent sharp climb to weigh on the dollar,” he said. NOK and SEK are the strongest in G-10 FX, JPY is the weakest. Rates erase initial gains, with Treasuries now slightly cheaper across the curve as US stock futures advance beyond Thursday’s highs, while core European bond gains fade and European stocks rally. US yields cheaper by 1bp-3bp across the curve and spreads within a basis point of Thursday’s close; 10-year higher by 1.5bp at 3.10%, bunds in the sector by an additional 3.5bp. Bunds futures complete a ~150 tick round trip, rallying near 149.00 before returning toward 147.50. Cash curves remain bear-steeper, long end bunds cheapen ~3bps having initially richened ~5bps. Cash USTs and gilts are comparatively quiet after following bunds price action in early trade. Italian bonds lag peers, widening the 10y BTP/Bund spread back above 200bps. Focal points of US session include early Bullard comments and University of Michigan inflation expectations, cited by Fed Chair Powell in latest policy decision.  In commodities, crude futures advance, albeit holding within a relatively narrow range. West Texas Intermediate crude traded near $105 a barrel after retreating over the previous two sessions. The US benchmark has lost almost 4% this week, putting prices on course for their first monthly drop since November. Base metals complex is under pressure, LME tin drops over 12%, nickel down over 6%. Spot gold rises roughly $4 to trade near $1,827/oz.  Bitcoin traded rangebound on either side of the 21,000 level. Sliding raw materials prices have contributed to a moderation in market-based measures of inflation expectations. Oil headed for its first back-to-back weekly loss since early April amid a broader selloff in commodities markets. To the day ahead now, and data releases include Germany’s Ifo business climate indicator for June, Italian consumer confidence for June, and UK retail sales for May. Over in the US, there’s also the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for June, and new home sales for May. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Centeno and de Cos, the Fed’s Bullard and Daly, the BoE’s Pill and Haskel, and BoJ Deputy Governor Amamiya. Market snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 3,826.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 406.65 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.40% Euro little changed at $1.0525 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $110.51/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,826.53 MXAP up 1.1% to 159.08 MXAPJ up 1.3% to 527.68 Nikkei up 1.2% to 26,491.97 Topix up 0.8% to 1,866.72 Hang Seng Index up 2.1% to 21,719.06 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,349.75 Sensex up 0.7% to 52,652.22 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.8% to 6,578.70 Kospi up 2.3% to 2,366.60 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 104.35 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Global equity funds saw their biggest outflows in nine weeks as investors piled into cash amid fears that the US economy could be headed for a recession. UK consumers are starting to crumple in the face of soaring prices, according a series of reports that paint a grim picture of the nation’s cost of living crisis. Germany’s economy minister said he can’t be sure that Russia will resume shipments through a key gas pipeline following planned maintenance next month, raising the prospect of a fresh surge in prices and rationing this winter. A more detailed look at global markets from Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks ultimately followed suit to the gains on Wall St where a decline in yields and lower commodity prices helped the major indices claw back from the opening losses which were triggered by disappointing PMI data. ASX 200 was positive with tech stocks encouraged by US counterparts which benefitted from the lower yield environment although gains in the index were capped by weakness in the commodity-related sectors after the recent pressure in energy and metal prices. Nikkei 225 found early momentum alongside currency flows and held on to gains despite the JPY reversal. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive after officials recently suggested ample policy space to sustain a steady economic performance and with the PBoC upping its liquidity efforts. Top Asian News PBoC injected CNY 60bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate at 2.10% for a CNY 50bln net daily injection, according to Reuters. Xi Trip to Hong Kong in Doubt After Top Officials Get Covid Hong Kong’s Jumbo Mystery Deepens as Restaurant May Be Afloat Gold Set for Weekly Drop on Powell’s Unconditional Inflation Vow Iron Ore Poised to End Wild Week Down as Steel Inventories Rise Hedge Funds Buy Dollar-Yen Downside Options on Recession Risks European bourses have coat-tailed on the positivity seen on Wall Street yesterday and across APAC overnight, with European indices firmer to varying degrees. Sectors overall project a modest defensive bias as Healthcare, Media, Consumer Products, and Food & Beverages reside among the winners, although Tech is also buoyed by the pullback in bond yields. Europe's largest online retailer Zalando (-12%) slumped following a profit warning, and in turn dragged the European Retail sector to the lowest level since March 2020. Stateside, US equity futures are firmer across the board – with the NQ narrowly leading the pack – participants also flagged the ES overcoming resistance at 3,800. Top European News UK PM Johnson's Conservatives lost the parliamentary seat in the Wakefield by-election to the Labour Party and lost the by-election in Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats, according to Reuters. Subsequently, PM Johnson has been warned to "watch out for a coup", according to reporting in The Telegraph. Furthermore, Conservative Party Chairman Dowden has resigned following the by-elections. 1922 Committee treasurer Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown hints that Tory leadership rules could be changed to allow rebels another shot at the PM, according to Mail's Grove. Boris Johnson’s Party Chair Quits After Double Election Blow Zurich Insurance Sells Legacy German Life Portfolio to Viridium Ukraine Latest: Troops to Leave Key Eastern City as Russia Gains Airlines 2Q Seen Profitable for Most, Deterioration in 2023: DB FX Kiwi elevated amidst favourable crosswinds on NZ market holiday - Nzd/Usd probes 0.6300 as Aud/Nzd retreats towards 1.0950. Euro encouraged by elements of German Ifo survey and Pound shrugs off mixed UK consumption data, all time low consumer sentiment and more pain for PM Johnson on risk factors and gravitating Greenback - Eur/Usd firm on 1.0500 handle, Cable tests 1.2300 and DXY close to base of 104.120-510 range. Aussie, Loonie and Franc all bounce within ranges as Buck backs off, but Yen continues to encounter resistance after decent retracement - Aud/Usd back over 0.6900, Usd/Cad fades from pop above 1.3000 and Usd/Chf reverses through 0.9600 pivot. Scandi Crowns claw back lost ground, Yuan underpinned by PBoC liquidity injection and Peso by hawkish Banxico guidance to supplement 75 bp hike - Eur/Sek sub-10.7000, Eur/Nok near 10.4500, Usd/Cnh under 6.7000 and Usd/Mxn beneath 20.0000. Fixed Income Debt recoils after stretching recovery limits further - Bunds top out at 149.00, Gilts at 114.55 and 10 year T-note 118-00 Trading volumes pick-up on the way back down towards or to intraday lows of 147.21, 113.54 and 117-10+, as risk appetite steadily improves and focus turns to pm agenda Commodities WTI and Brent August futures are extending their modest gains in recent trade despite a lack of news flow. EIA said a status update on the weekly DOE oil inventories report will be provided on Monday. Spot gold remains uneventful under USD 1,850/oz – with the Dollar similarly contained intraday thus far. Focus has turned to base metals, with nickel, zinc, and tin among the biggest losers amid demand woes and surplus concerns. Chile state copper miner Codelco reached an agreement with workers to end the strike, according to Reuters. China is to auction 500k tonnes of imported soybeans from state reserves on July 1st, according to the trade centre cited by Reuters. US Event Calendar 10:00: June U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 50.2, prior 50.2 10:00: June U. of Mich. Expectations, prior 46.8; Current Conditions, est. 55.4, prior 55.4 10:00: June U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.4%, prior 5.4%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, est. 3.3%, prior 3.3% 10:00: May New Home Sales, est. 590,000, prior 591,000 MoM, est. -0.2%, prior -16.6% Central Bank speakers 07:30: Fed’s Bullard Discusses Central banks and Inflation 13:15: Fed’s Daly Interviewed on Fox Business News 16:00: Fed’s Daly Speaks at Shadow Open Market Conference DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Fears about an imminent recession have continued to dominate markets over the last 24 hours, with a combination of Chair Powell’s comments, weak economic data and renewed concerns about a European gas cutoff all helping to sound the alarm for investors. Indeed, the sudden rush for safe havens (along with doubts over how far central banks will actually hike if there’s a recession) meant that sovereign bonds rallied sharply, with yields on 10yr bunds (-20.6bps) seeing their largest daily decline in over a decade, which is quite something considering just how volatile bonds have been this year. Having said that the S&P 500 finished up +0.95% so it wasn't all doom and gloom on what was a pretty bad day for news. In terms of the various developments, weak data hampered the narrative and led to a flight to bonds from the outset, with the flash PMIs from Europe and the US painting a gloomy economic picture as we round out Q2. For instance, the Euro Area composite PMI fell to a 16-month low of 51.9 (vs. 54.0 expected), including larger-than-expected declines in both Germany and France. Later in the day, the US composite PMI also fell to 51.2 (vs. 53.0 expected), whilst the weekly initial jobless claims of the week through June 18 came in at 229k, thus taking the smoother 4-week moving average to its highest level since early February. So a bad run of numbers that at the very least add to the growing signs that we’re seeing a noticeable slowdown in growth. As the data was getting weaker, there was no sign that Fed Chair Powell was going to be put off from his challenge of restoring price stability, and he even reiterated before the House Financial Services Committee that their commitment to deal with inflation was “unconditional”. Bear in mind that he left that word out of his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee the previous day, which some had interpreted in a dovish light, so there’s no sign that the Fed are set to let up on the task ahead. Furthermore, Fed Governor Bowman became the latest member of the FOMC to endorse another 75bp hike at the next meeting in July, saying beyond that she favoured “increases of at least 50 basis points in the next few subsequent meetings”. In spite of the hawkish remarks from Fed officials, the growing worries that their hikes would trigger a recession actually meant that investors priced in a shallower pace of rate hikes over the coming 12-18 months. For instance, the rate priced in by the December meeting came down a further -5.5bps to 3.46%, whilst the terminal rate is now seen at just over 3.5%, having expected to be above 4% just before the Fed meeting. The market now sees the terminal rate being hit as early as February 2023 after most of the year so far has seen hikes priced in through the third quarter of 2023. That had a knock-on impact on Treasuries, with the 10yr yield down -6.9bps to 3.09%, and the 2s10s curve flattened -2.9bps to just 6.4bps. The Fed’s preferred indicator of the near-term forward spread also saw a large decline, with a -11.8bps move lower to 168bps, which was the lowest since early March. US equities continued trading in wide intraday ranges but were ultimately boosted by the shallower expected path of policy tightening. The S&P 500 gained +0.95%, leaving it +3.29% on the holiday-shortened week and on pace for its first weekly gain in a month. It was an interesting sector breakdown with shares sensitive to discount rates gaining, as one might expect with the rate move, sending the NASDAQ +1.62% higher. Otherwise, there was a clear delineation between defensives, which outperformed due to the slowing outlook, and cyclicals which ended the day in the red. Utilities, health care, real estate, and staples led the index and all ended in the green, while industrials, financials, materials, and energy all finished in the red. So a risk-off defensive rally in the States. Energy was particularly hit by the fall in brent crude futures, which were -1.51% lower on the day and nearly back beneath $110/bbl for the first time since mid-May. Over in Europe, there were further dramatic developments on the energy side, with German economy minister Habeck raising the country’s gas risk level to the second stage of the emergency plan. That takes them from the early warning phase to the alarm phase, with Habeck going as far as to warn about “a Lehman effect in the energy system” if the market collapsed. Our research colleagues in Frankfurt have written more about what this means (link here), but natural gas futures in Europe rose a further +3.33% yesterday to a fresh 3-month high of €131/MWh. The third and final stage of the plan would be the emergency phase, which occurs when there isn’t enough gas to meet general demand. The fears of recession and the threat of energy shortages meant that European equities took a tumble again yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (-0.82%) closing at its lowest level in 16 months with banks (-3.17%) leading the way as cyclicals also got hit hard in Europe. The DAX (-1.76%) was a regional under-performer with all the focus on the German government gas alert. Sovereign bond yields also plummeted, with those on 10yr bunds (-20.6bps) seeing their largest daily move lower in over a decade, whilst those on 10yr OATs (-20.7bps), gilts (-18.2bps) and BTPs (-15.9bps) witnessed a significant pullback as well. Our European economists don’t think that growth uncertainties will derail the near-term exit path for the ECB, but they write in a blog post yesterday (link here) that the release is another catalyst for a shift in the debate from a question of how quickly they need to catch up, to how far they will be able to go. Moving on to Asia, equity markets in the region are seeing decent gains overnight, with the Kospi (+1.66%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.23%), the Nikkei (+0.76%), the CSI (+0.74%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.54%). Looking forward as well, US stock futures has risen overnight with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.43%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.70%) trading higher amidst the decline in bond yields. In economic data, inflation in Japan is likely to remain closely watched after the core consumer prices climbed +2.1% y/y in May as expected, following a similar rise in April, a level not seen in seven years mainly because of higher energy prices. Excluding energy, prices were up +0.8% in May, also in line with market consensus, following a 0.8% increase in the preceding month. Moving on to some political news, the Conservative party lost two parliamentary seats in yesterday’s by-elections, which will be unwelcome news for Prime Minister Johnson, who’s already seen 41% of his own MPs vote no confidence in his leadership at the start of the month. One of the losses was to Labour in the “red wall” seat of Wakefield, which had been Labour for the entire post-war period until it was won by the Conservatives in 2019, and the Conservative vote share was down from 47% at the last general election to 30% yesterday. Elsewhere, they also lost the usually safe Conservative seat of Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats, with the Conservative vote share down from 60% in 2019 to 38% yesterday. Meanwhile, there was some bad news overnight on the economic front from the UK, with GfK’s consumer confidence reading dropping to a record low of -41 in June (vs. -40 expected), something not seen since the survey began 48 years ago. To the day ahead now, and data releases include Germany’s Ifo business climate indicator for June, Italian consumer confidence for June, and UK retail sales for May. Over in the US, there’s also the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for June, and new home sales for May. From central banks, we’ll hear from the ECB’s Centeno and de Cos, the Fed’s Bullard and Daly, the BoE’s Pill and Haskel, and BoJ Deputy Governor Amamiya. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/24/2022 - 07:53.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 24th, 2022

These 44 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 22nd, 2022

Top Analyst Reports for Alphabet, Bank of America & Charles Schwab

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), Bank of America Corporation (BAC), and The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW). Tuesday, June 21, 2022The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), Bank of America Corporation (BAC), and The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today. You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>Alphabet shares have held up a lot better than the peer group in the ongiong market pullbsack, with stock losing -9.5% of its value over the past year against Zacks Internet - Services industry’s decline of -26.1%. While rising expenses and issues related to regulatory uncertainty are worrisome, Alphabet's strong cloud division is aiding substantial revenue growth. Moreover, expanding data centers will continue to bolster its presence in the cloud space. Further, major updates in its search segment are enhancing the search results. Moreover, Google’s mobile search is gaining solid momentum.Also, a strong focus on innovation of AI techniques and the home automation space should aid business growth in the long term. Further, its deepening focus on the wearables category remains a tailwind. Furthermore, the company’s growing efforts to gain a foothold in the healthcare industry are other positives. Also, Alphabet’s expanding presence in the autonomous driving space is contributing well.(You can read the full research report on Alphabet here >>>)Bank of America shares have declined -18% over the past year, better than JPMorgan's -23.3% decline but worse than the S&P 500 index's -14.1% pullback. Weighing on the BAC shares and the broader group is lingering recession fears as reflected in the flattening yield curve that is offsetting the margin benefits of the Fed's tightening cycle.  However, opening of new financial centers, enhancement in digital capabilities and cost-saving efforts will likely keep aiding financials. Supported by robust loan growth and the investment banking (IB) pipeline, the company’s top line is expected to keep improving in the quarters ahead. The company will keep enhancing shareholder value through impressive capital deployments.(You can read the full research report on Bank of America here >>>)The Charles Schwab shares have declined -11.7% over the past year against Zacks Financial - Investment Bank industry’s decline of -22.1%. The company’s elevated operating expenses might hamper its bottom-line growth to some extent. However, strategic acquisitions, likely to be earnings accretive, have reinforced Schwab's position as a leading brokerage player. The company's offering of commission-free trading has led to a rise in client assets and brokerage accounts, thereby improving trading revenues. Schwab's efficient capital deployments reflect a solid balance sheet position, through which it will enhance shareholder value.(You can read the full research report on Charles Schwab here >>>)Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include GSK plc (GSK), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and Starbucks Corporation (SBUX).Sheraz Mian Director of ResearchNote: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>Today's Must ReadAlphabet (GOOGL) Benefits From Cloud & Search InitiativesCost Saving Efforts Aid Bank of America (BAC), Low Rates AilStrategic Acquisitions Aid Schwab (SCHW) Amid Cost ConcernsFeatured ReportsGlaxo's (GSK) Specialty Drugs Driving Sales in 2022Glaxo's specialty products like Dovato, Nucala, Trelegy Ellipta, Shingrix are driving sales, making up for a lower sales of established drugs due to generic erosion, per the Zacks analyst.Caterpillar (CAT) to Gain on Strong Demand in End MarketsPer the Zacks analyst, solid backlog, improving end-market demand and focus on making strategic investments in expanded offerings, services and digital initiatives will drive Caterpillar's results.Store Growth & Robust Comps Likely to Aid Starbucks (SBUX)Per the Zacks analyst, Starbucks' rapid unit growth, digital offerings and robust comps growth bode well. In second-quarter fiscal 2022 global comparable store sales rose 7% year over year.Better Pricing, New Business Growth Drive Chubb Limited (CB)Per the Zacks analyst, Chubb is set to grow on better pricing, new business growth and high renewal rate. Yet, exposure to cat loss induces underwriting volatility while rising costs pressurize marginPermian Basin Focus, Cost Management Aid Occidental (OXY)Per the Zacks analyst Occidental's acquisition of Anadarko expanded its operation in resource rich Permian Basin and efficient cost management will drive its performance over the long run.EOG Resources (EOG) Banks on Delaware & Bakken Shale PlaysPer the Zacks analyst, EOG Resources' strong footprint in oil-rich Delaware and Bakken shale plays has made the firm's production outlook bright. However, rising lease & well expenses are concerning.Ericsson (ERIC) Rides on Holistic Growth to Extend FootprintPer the Zacks analyst, Ericsson is well poised for a healthy growth momentum with a comprehensive 5G portfolio and strategic buyout of Vonage that expand its presence in wireless enterprise market.New UpgradesService Corporation (SCI) Gains on Robust Funeral SegmentPer the Zacks analyst, Service Corporation is gaining on solid Funeral sales for a while. During first-quarter consolidated Funeral revenues increased 4.8% year over year to $649.1 million.United Therapeutics' (UTHR) Four PAH Drugs to Drive SalesPer the Zacks analyst, United Therapeutics' strong position in the PAH market with four approved products and its focus on expanding the indications for its drugs might drive long-term growth.Avis Budget (CAR) Benefits From Acquisitions, Fleet GrowthThe Zacks analyst is encouraged by Avis Budget's buyout strategy to expand global footprint and brand presence. Expansion of connected cars fleet has helped streamline operations and reduce costs.New DowngradesLower Production & Higher Costs to Hurt National Steel (SID)Per the Zacks analyst, lower mining output owing to heavy rainfall along with volatile iron ore prices and rising cost and expenses will weigh on National Steel's results.Higher Freight Costs to Mar American Eagle's (AEO) MarginsPer the Zacks analyst, American Eagle is reeling under high inflation rates and freight expenses stemming from increased rent and delivery expenses. This led to slashed margin view for fiscal 2022.Higher Operating Expenses Hurt Change Healthcare (CHNG)Per the Zacks analyst, rise in total operating expenses, primarily due to higher selling, general and administrative costs, might hurt Change Healthcare's operating margin expansion. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Bank of America Corporation (BAC): Free Stock Analysis Report GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK): Free Stock Analysis Report Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Starbucks Corporation (SBUX): Free Stock Analysis Report The Charles Schwab Corporation (SCHW): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 21st, 2022

Shopify"s entrepreneurial spirit is so strong that even its president has a side hustle. Here"s how more than 30 employees launched their own businesses and helped create the "Shopify Mafia".

Dozens of former Shopify employees now have thriving businesses of their own. The company encourages an entrepreneurial spirit. Arati Sharma, Chris Grouchy, Effie Anolik, and Roger Kirkness have all pursued entrepreneurship since leaving Shopify.Backbone Angels; Convictional; Effie Anolik; Shopify; Savanna Durr/Insider Shopify encourages entrepreneurship among its employees.  Many employees have left the company to start businesses of their own.  We've talked to more than 30 of them. Read their stories here.  As the self-proclaimed "entrepreneurship company," Shopify builds and offers tools for some 2 million merchants to run their online stores. The company frequently highlights merchant success stories on its corporate blog and on earnings calls.But Shopify's messaging on entrepreneurship extends to its own employees, too. Company leaders encourage employees to start their own businesses in addition to their day jobs, hosting internal business competitions and allowing employees to expense up to $1,000 in business-related costs per year. Even Shopify's president, Harley Finkelstein, has a side hustle: He runs Shopify-powered DTC tea brand Firebelly Tea with David Segal, the founder of DavidsTea. Finkelstein previously told Insider that having a side hustle helps him to better understand Shopify's product and to have empathy for the platform's merchant base. "I talk a lot about the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur in my role at Shopify," he said. "Firebelly allows me to experience that firsthand." Other company leaders have their own Shopify stores, too, like Atlee Clark, who is the director of operations for Shop and also cofounded the kids' and women's apparel brand Pika Layers."We have long said that Shopify is a company for entrepreneurs, built by entrepreneurs," a Shopify spokesperson previously told Insider. "We promote a spirit of entrepreneurship internally and encourage our employees to pursue their passions and side projects."Insider has profiled dozens of Shopify employees who have become entrepreneurs. Read their stories below: A 'Shopify Mafia' founder on how he built his brand while working full-time: 'Shopify is the only company in the world where you can have a million-dollar side hustle'Greg Macdonald already had a Shopify store when he joined the e-commerce company as a merchant-success manager in 2016. But his bath-products brand, Bathorium, grew dramatically during his five years at the company.Eventually, the store had grown successful enough for Macdonald to quit the e-commerce giant and run Bathorium full-time. He told Insider about his experience running a "million-dollar side hustle" while still working at Shopify. Shopify encourages its employees to launch stores as side hustles. This entrepreneur quit the company to run his store full time and now generates about $30,000 in monthly sales.Daniel Patricio was working on Shopify's product team when he launched Bull and Cleaver, a Shopify store selling the South African beef jerky product biltong, in 2015. But the side hustle eventually grew larger than Patricio expected, and he quit his job at Shopify to work on Bull and Cleaver full-time. He shared the story behind his biltong brand with Insider.This 'Shopify Mafia' offshoot has invested $2.3 million in women-led startups. 2 partners share what they're looking to invest in next.In the spring of 2021, 10 Shopify employees — some current, some former — launched Backbone Angels, an angel investment collective focused on funding startups founded by women, particularly women of color. A year in, they had invested more than $2 million in new startups. They outlined some of their investment priorities in interviews with Insider. Meet 34 members of the 'Shopify Mafia' who embraced the e-commerce giant's entrepreneurial spirit and launched their own companiesMany other Shopify employees have left the company to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. Insider has interviewed more than 30 of them, including Michael Perry, who left Shopify to build the parenting-software startup Maple, and Erin Chan, who cofounded the rental marketing platform Rhenti after years as a product manager at Shopify.Several alums went on to build software meant to help engineers simplify coding, like Harry Brundage and Mohammad Hashemi, who cofounded Gadget, and Ken Rose, who cofounded OpsLevel. Others doubled down on DTC and launched their own Shopify stores.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part 2

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part 2 By Alex of the Macro Ops Substack What if there was a way to distill all the knowledge that someone’s written over the last 25 years into one, easy-to-read document? And what if that person was a famous venture capital investor known for betting big on companies like Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Discord, Dropbox, Instagram, and Zillow (to name a few)?  Well, that’s what I’ve done with Bill Gurley’s blog Above The Crowd.  Gurley is a legendary venture capital investor and partner at Benchmark Capital. His blog oozes valuable insights on VC investing, valuations, growth, and marketplace businesses.  This document is past two to the one-stop-shop summary of every blog post Gurley’s ever written, part 1 can be found here. February 2, 2004: The Rise Of Open-Standard Radio: Why 802.11 Is Under-Hyped (Link) Summary: WiFi will dominate wireless communications for the same reason Ethernet dominated networking and x86 dominated computing: high switching costs. This wide-scale adoption causes capital to flow into the standard as companies look to differentiate on top of the existing platform. In doing so, it further entrenches the “open-standard” incumbent.  Favorite Quote: “Open standards obtain a high “stickiness” factor with customers as a result of compatibility. Once customers invest in a standard, they are likely to purchase more and more supporting infrastructure. As their supporting infrastructure grows, their switching costs rise dramatically with respect to competitive alternate architectures. Customers are no longer tied simply to the core technology, but also to the numerous peripherals and applications on which they are now dependent. All of these things make challenging an accepted open standard a very difficult exercise.” March 24, 2004: All Things IP: The Future Of Communications In America (Link) Summary: South Korea and Japan are leading the world in broadband speed and connectivity. South Korea, for example, sports 80% broadband adoption. The US on the other hand, less than 50%. Different players battle for the future of US communication. Free services like Skype offer high-quality VoIP calls. But it’s the cable companies, with their mega-cable infrastructure, that lead the way. At the end of the day follow the money. Comcast went after Disney not because of distribution, but because of content. Favorite Quote: “Now, while voice should be free, that doesn’t mean that it will be free. The two conditions outlined above are nontrivial. First and foremost, it is not at all clear that we have enough competition in the U.S. broadband market. Innovations in the wireless market, particularly recent innovations around mesh architectures, have the opportunity to change this. As of right now, however, many users simply lack choice. Additionally, the many state municipalities around the country are eager to place their hands on VoIP. A poorly executed policy could in fact “increase” the long term pricing on voice services for all users (for example, would you really tax a free service?).” May 6, 2004: Entrepreneurialism And Protectionism Don’t Mix (Link)  Summary: Protectionism and entrepreneurialism don’t work together. One prides itself on open dissemination of ideas, talent and problems (entrepreneurialism). The other (protectionism) desires to keep what’s theirs and turn a blind eye to competition. There are seven reasons why these two ideologies don’t mix: it hurts the economy (comparative advantage), start-ups don’t receive government subsidies (that encourage protectionism), disincentivizes diversity, more start-ups start with a global presence, the hot markets are ex-US, it goes against our global open standards (WiFi, etc.) and its inconsistent with the entrepreneurial mindset.  Favorite Quote: “It is hard to imagine a successful entrepreneur arguing that he or she deserves a job over someone else that is equally skilled and willing to work for a lower wage. The entire spirit of entrepreneurialism is based on finding ways to do something better, faster, and cheaper. It is the whole nature of the game. If someone can do something better somewhere else, it simply means it’s time to innovate again – with intellect and technology, not politics.” October 19, 2004: The Revolutionary Business Of Multiplayer Gaming (Link)  Summary: Multiplayer gaming is an incredible business featuring five “Buffett-Like” business characteristics: recurring revenue (subscription pricing), competitive moats (switching costs), network effects/increasing returns, real competition with others and high brand engagement. Those that fail to realize the importance (and power) of the video game business model (40%+ operating margins) will miss a huge investment opportunity.  Favorite Quote: “Some skeptics argue that MMOG is still a “niche” business and that the same half-million users are migrating from Everquest to Ultima Online to City of Heroes. Under this theory, MMOGs will never be mass market and will never really “matter” in the $20 billion interactive entertainment business. However, with billion dollar businesses now dotting the NASDAQ, it becomes harder and harder to invoke such skepticism. And if new paradigms, architectures, and broadband speeds allow for titles that meet the needs of a wider demographic, ignoring MMOGs may be equivalent to ignoring the successor to television.” March 11, 2005: Believe It Or Not: Your State Leaders May Be Acting To Slow The Proliferation Of Broadband (Link) Summary: In 2005, rumors circulated that laws would pass eliminating a city’s right to offer telecommunications services to its citizens. Gurley suggested states should say “no way” to this offering, and opined six reasons why (straight from the post):  The primary reason for the proposition is to reduce or eliminate competition for incumbent telcos An oligopoly doesn’t make a marketplace Taking rights from municipalities will have negative overall impact on American innovation  Even if a city has no intention of deploying wireless services, it is still in that city’s best interest to retain the right to do so In 2005, isn’t it reasonable for a city to choose to offer broadband as a community service?  A founding American principle — localized government whenever possible Favorite Quote: “In what is ostensibly the cornerstone “democracy” on the planet, one would think that the citizens in each of America’s cities could simply “vote” on the services they believe make sense for their city to provide.  Running a wireless network in a city like Topeka, Kansas simply has no overriding impact on the state as a whole.  As Thomas Jefferson aptly wrote in a letter to William Jarvis in 1820, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform them.”” March 21, 2005: The State Of Texas Refuses To Block Municipal Broadband (Link) Summary: Gurley’s post before this one did its job and Texas removed the harsh language around cities offering broadband access to its citizens. According to Gurley, the battle moved to Colorado.  Favorite Quote: “This proposed bill, in its original form, would prohibit a city from helping any new carrier whatsoever get started.  It’s a pure and blatant anti-competitive move.  It’s been modified slightly, but it is still one of the harshest proposals of any state, and once again created only to help the incumbent carriers by removing competition.  Consumers do not benefit from this language.” March 24, 2005: Texas Two Step – Backwards (Link) Summary: After celebrating the removal of restrictive broadband language three days prior, Texas reinserted the notion. What’s crazy is that the member who reinserted the language, Robert Puente, serves in a district where a large telco company has its headquarters. Hmm …  Favorite Quote: “It is shocking that these local reps really don’t care if broadband deployment in America continues to fall further and further behind the rest of the world.  Just shocking.” June 2, 2005: Texas Sets Key Precedent For Other States In Refusing To Ban Municipal Wireless (Link) Summary: It’s interesting that fixed broadband incumbents in Texas are so opposed to wireless broadband. The incumbents claim wireless is a weaker form of their product. But if it’s so weak, why do they want it banned from their state? Why won’t they let natural competition run its course? If it is indeed weak, there shouldn’t be a reason to impose sanctions and restrictions.  Favorite Quote: “The reason the pro-broadband movement was successful is because they organized, they gathered the real data on the success of municipal wireless deployments, and they were able to inform the citizens about this effort by the incumbents and their key legislators to use regulation to restrict competition.  They leveraged the Internet, blogs, and mailing lists, and made a huge difference.  The tech community also played a role with the AEA, the Broadband Coalition, and TechNet all speaking out against this effort to intentional slow technical progress.  These lessons and resources are now focusing on other states to ensure the Texas outcome.” July 12, 2005: DVD Glut (Link) Summary: Gurley saw the rise of TiVo and its effect on the DVD industry. Why would people pay for DVDs when they can record their favorite movies on TV and watch them whenever they want? There is no practical use for DVDs outside nostalgia and collection.  Favorite Quote: “Could it be that people are watching Shrek 2 on Tivo and saving that on Tivo for future viewing?  Could it be that other activities, such as Internet usage, is infringing on DVD time?” July 19, 2005: Do VCs Help In Building A Technology Platform? (Link) Summary: There are two important implications for venture capital’s lack of investment in Microsoft’s .NET platform. First, VCs are investing on the Open Platform. This is likely due to (what Gurley calls) “a more benign” platform. Such a platform allows for more creativity and application. Second, VCs aren’t investing in .NET applications because Microsoft’s simply going up the software vertical (owning each spot). There is a lack of opportunity within the existing .NET framework.  Favorite Quote: “Venture Capitalists look to the public markets for clues on where to go next.  There is no point in investing in technologies that don’t lead to liquidity events.  What the article stresses is that the majority of VC money these days is being spent on top of the Open Source platform rather than the Microsoft’s .Net platform.” July 22, 2005: Wifi Nation… (Link) Summary: This article gives us an excuse to talk about Innovator’s Dilemma. Clayton Christensen coined the term in his book with the same title. Wikipedia defines the term as, “the new entrant is deep into the S-curve and providing significant value to the new product. By the time the new product becomes interesting to the incumbent’s customers it is too late for the incumbent to react to the new product.” In short, WiFi is disrupting the incumbent broadband and their end consumers. Also, WiFi isn’t built for the incumbents. It’s built for the next generation.  Favorite Quote: “What you will see, and what many continue to deny, is that Metro-scale Wifi isn’t a theory, its a reality.  The networks are live.  They perform way better than EVDO or any cellular alternative. They are cheaper to deploy.  AND, there is huge momentum around more and more networks.” Years: 2006 – 2008 April 5, 2006: Why SOX Will Lead To The Demise Of U.S. Markets (Link) Summary: Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) killed the small and micro-cap public market spirit. Like most regulations, the creators of SOX thought their stipulations would preserve the growth of public markets. Instead it stunted growth. SOX is an expensive requirement for smaller public companies. The costs disincentivize companies from going public. In return, US capital markets offer less opportunities than global companions. Will this lead to more money flowing overseas? Favorite Quote: “Ironically, the two gentlemen that created SOX did it with the intention of “preserving” U.S. capital market leadership. Their fear was that people viewed our markets as too risky, and so they created SOX to ensure that investors would “trust” our markets.” April, 2006: As Wifi Grows, So Do The PR Attacks (Link) Summary: There will always be haters when new technology replaces old, resentful incumbents. Can you blame them? WiFi completely destroyed their business model. Of course they’re going to run sham campaigns. But that’s the beauty of the Innovator’s Dilemma. WiFi doesn’t care about fixed broadband and incumbents. It’s serving its new wave of customers who want something incumbents can’t offer. Look for this in other up-and-coming technologies.  Favorite Quote: “Better performance than EVDO at a much lower cost.  You won’t stop this with an AP article.  Are their issues?  Sure, but I drop 5 cell calls a day in Silicon Valley and that technology (cellular voice) is over 25 years old.”  April 27, 2006: MMOs (MMORPGs) Continue To Rock (Link) Summary: Gurley again emphasizes the importance of MMO video games — particularly out of Asia. In fact, he mentions that Nexon (Japanese gaming company) plans to file on the JSE. Gurley believes the JSE filing is directly correlated with Sarbanes Oxley (from the article above). Regardless, the real winners in the video game industry are coming from Asia. Winning games will be based on community and entertainment, rather than pure competition. It’s no wonder Fortnite is so popular today. Gurley gave us clues almost 20 years ago.  Favorite Quote: “Many of the rising stars of multi-player interactive entertainment are more social than interactive. They also target much broader demographics than gaming ever dreamed of hitting. Consider three sites targeted at younger children and teens that are all doing extremely well — NeoPets, HabboHotel, and GaiaOnline (Benchmark is an investor in HabboHotel).” June 19, 2008: Back To Blogging (Maybe)… (Link) Summary: Gurley returned from his writing break to mention a few of his favorite reading sources. Gurley notes that he reads each of these websites every morning:  TechCrunch GigaOm Marc Andressen’s Blog Favorite Quote: “The bottom line is I have been really busy. Busy with our investments here at Benchmark, and busy with three growing kids at home.  But in the end, I am quite fond of writing, and I have been inspired by some of the great writing of others.” June 30, 2008: Bleak VC Quarter? Why? (Link) Summary: June 2008 marked another dreary quarter for venture capital. Not one single VC-backed company went public. At first glance, this seems bad for venture capital. But looking deeper, it’s not venture capital that’s the issue. It’s the public market. Between regulations and SOX costs, small companies are opting to remain private at record numbers. As Gurley notes, fund managers want high growth and capital appreciation. But these small growth companies don’t want the issues of being a public company.  Favorite Quote: “This passionate desire to be public is completely gone in Silicon Valley. For reasons you could easily list – Sarbanes Oxley; 12b1 trading rules; shareholder litigation; option pricing scandals; personal liability on 10-Q filing signatures – it is simply not much fun being a public executive.” July 22, 2008: BAILOUT What? (Link) Summary: Fascinating how relevant this quote is for 2020. What we’ve seen from the US government during the COVID pandemic is a double-downed effort on its bailout precautions. Even going so far as to buy bond ETFs on the open market! Capitalism requires failure. It requires weak businesses to fall by the wayside in exchange for stronger competitors.  Favorite Quote: “Is our government really going to bail out equity investors in a failed business enterprise? I totally get keeping America afloat, but it is critical that failed businesses FAIL. They must FAIL. You can’t provide band-aids to equity failure. The whole system will come to a halt. Risk that pans out must result in failure. it is a crucial part of the system.” December 1, 2008: Benchmark Capital: Open For Business (Link) Summary: Gurley and the Benchmark team continued investing while the rest of their VC peers cowered in fear during the bowels of the Great Recession. Investing when others are fearful is not only a sign of a great VC firm, but any great company.  Favorite Quote: “I can’t speak for other firms, but make no mistake about…Benchmark Capital is wide open for business and we are eager to invest new capital behind great entrepreneurs.  Right now.  In this environment.  Today. You may wonder why I feel the need to make this pronouncement, and you may even consider this a stunt.  It is not.   We have made fourteen new investments this year, and are actively considering new investments each and every day.” December 5, 2008: Do VCs Help In Building A Technology Platform; Part 2 (Link) Summary: Microsoft offers three years of free software/service to startups. This is a clear signal that Microsoft understands the power of platforms and where companies choose to build their products. Otherwise, as Gurley notes, why offer it for free? This comes on the heels of three new cloud platform technologies entering the space: Facebook, Salesforce and Amazon AWS. VCs may not choose which platform wins, but they choose which platform gets capital. And to some, that’s the same thing.  Favorite Quote: “It obviously would be overstating it to suggest that VCs help “choose” the platform that wins. That said, it is a powerfully positive indicator if VCs show confidence in a new platform by shifting where they deploy their capital.” Years: 2009 – 2011 February 1, 2009: Google Stock Option Repricing: Get Over It (Link) Summary: Retail investors, bloggers, and financial pundits argued that Google’s Stock Options Repricing hurt the “common” shareholder. Gurley thinks stock options shouldn’t matter because common shareholders gave up their rights (more or less) when investing in Google shares. The fact is, Google’s founder and original shareholder shares carry 9/10ths voting power. That means minority (aka second-class citizen) shareholders get 1/10th. In other words, deal with it.  Favorite Quote: “So my reaction to anyone who owns Google stock and is sore over this decision — Get Over It.  You bought a stock where you gave up the ability to vote on such things, and if you don’t like it, sell the stock.  But you have no right to complain, as the rules were laid out from the beginning.” February 11, 2009: Picture Proof Of The Innovator’s Dilemma: SlideRocket (Link) Summary: With a team of 3 engineers and a fraction of Microsoft’s budget, SlideRocket created (arguably) a better version of PowerPoint. According to Gurley, SlideRocket is a perfect example of the Innovator’s Dilemma. PowerPoint took (probably) billions of dollars in R&D and thousands of engineers to create. SlideRocket did it with 4 orders of magnitude less resources.  Favorite Quote: “One subtlety of this is that it allows others to catch up and basically recreate the same thing for a fraction of the cost.   In SlideRocket’s case, it appears that a team of 3 engineers with primary work done by the founder, have recreated PowerPoint (leveraging Flex of course).”  February 18, 2009: Just Say No To A VC Bailout: A Green Government Venture Fund Is A Flawed Idea (Link) Summary: Some VC investors wanted a bailout from the government during the GFC. Gurley originally thought this was a far-cry from a lone complainer. Then he read an article by Thomas Friedman suggesting the same thing: a bailout for VC targeted at green-tech companies. According to Gurley, VC bailouts are flawed for six reasons: There are no lack of capital in VC VCs don’t deserve a bailout Those that need bailout are (likely) bad ideas Excess capital hurts markets Good companies don’t lack for capital Use customer subsidies instead of government-backed VC investment Favorite Quote: “Great ideas have never suffered from a lack of capital availability.  Bringing extra government dollars to the investment side will only ensure that marginal and sub-par companies get more funding dollars, which historically has had a perverse and negative effect on the overall market.” February 22, 2009: Just Say No To A VC Bailout – Part 2 (Link) Summary: Continuing the rant from the previous blog post, Gurley hits on three main criticisms with Friedman’s cry for a VC bailout. First, Friedman suggested that the US Treasury give the Top 20 VC firms up to $1B to “invest in the best VC ideas”. When you consider the 2% annual fee each year that VC’s take, you’re effectively giving these firms an additional $4B in partners’ fees. Finally, Gurley hammers home the idea that to win in green-tech you need to incentivize the customer on the demand side. Create a positive ROI proposition for the customer to use the product or service.  Favorite Quote: “The key is to create an ROI positive investment for the end customer through subsidies.  Ethanol isn’t falling to succeed because of a lack of capital — it’s a problem with customer ROI.  Invest through subsidies in making the market huge and ROI positive.  Capital alone will not solve the problem as the ethanol case proves.” February 27, 2009: Perfect Online Video Advertising Model: Choose Your Advertiser (Link) Summary: Gurley reveals his “perfect online video advertising model” in which consumers can choose their advertiser. It works like this. Before an online premium or VOD show starts, the content creators present the consumer with a list of 4-9 sponsors for the programming. Then, the consumer picks which sponsor they’d like to see when the inevitable ad runs during their program. The benefit to this is that content creators would know their customers’ interests to the tee, which would allow them to raise prices on advertising channels (read: higher revenue).  Favorite Quote: “Just because I am a male between 18-24 and watching “Lost” doesn’t mean I want an XBOX.  You are more likely to guess that i might want it, but you would be 10X better off if I chose XBOX as my sponsor at the start of the show.  Then you would KNOW I have an interest — no more guessing. Making predictions is always a dangerous game, but I am fairly certain that this will be the video ad model of the future.  It makes way too much sense not to work.” March 2, 2009: Looking For Work: Are You An Insurance Agent? (Link) Summary: One of Gurley’s investments had an unusual circumstance during the GFC: they had excess demand for work. LiveOps, a virtual SaaS call center on the cloud, leverages a network of work-from-home call center operators. At the time of writing, LiveOps had 20,000+ live call-center agents working from home assisting companies like Aegon, Colonial Penn, and American Idol.  Favorite Quote: “Their core technology is a SAAS “contact center in cloud.” Just like anyone’s call center, it is a four-9’s operation that is highly resilient. What’s different, and very unique, is that the agents on the other end don’t actually work for LiveOps – they work for themselves. So far, over 20,000 “crowd-sourced” agents are now working from home on behalf of LiveOps customers – companies like Aegon, Colonial Penn, etc. One really cool customer example is American Idol. For Idol Gives Back, AI’s charity campaign, over 4000 LiveOps agents handled over 200,000 calls in less than five hours. Only a crowd-sourced play could handle such a ramp.” March 9, 2009: How To Monetize A Social Network: MySpace And Facebook Should Follow TenCent (Link) Summary: Social networks had trouble monetizing their websites. MySpace and Facebook failed to generate revenue like Yahoo, which did $7B at the time of writing. The problem wasn’t growing the userbase (both sites had tremendous user growth). It was the dependence on advertising to generate the lion’s share of their revenues. Gurley compares MySpace and Facebook to Tencent (700.HK). The two primary drivers of revenue for Tencent are digital items and casual game packages and upgrades. These are significantly higher-margin businesses than advertising. At the end of the day, social networks are social status symbols. This means if you want to leverage your business, you need to provide users with ways to improve their social status. Favorite Quote: “If you removed the Chanel logo from them, and offered them for $50 cheaper, you could not sell a pair.  Not one.  Why?  People are buying an image that they want to project about themselves.  Without the logo, they fail to make that statement.  The same is true for watches, clothes, cars, sodas, beers, cell phones, and many more items.  People care greatly about how they are perceived and are willing to part with big bucks to achieve it.  Digital items are merely the same phenomenon online.” March 26, 2009: Note To Timothy Geithner: Do Startups & Venture Capitalists Really Need More Regulation? (Link) Summary: The US government levied Sarbanes-Oxley on all public companies after the whole Enron, WorldCom saga. The purpose? Protect investors from future frauds. While the efficacy of “Sarbox” remains in question, one thing doesn’t: the cost on small public companies. Sarbox costs ~$2-$3M to implement. This makes it nearly impossible for small companies to go public because the Sarbox costs eat away all potential operating profits. Overburdening small companies could restrict the pipeline of new public IPOs.  Favorite Quote: “And remember that the largest companies in America that were created in the last 35 years (MSFT, GOOG, AAPL, CSCO, INTC) were all small venture-backed companies at one point in time.  Do we really want to inappropriately restrain or throttle the future pipeline of such companies in America?” May 2, 2009: Swine Flu: Overreaction More Costly Than The Virus Itself? (Link) Summary: It’s amazing how relevant this blog post became during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gurley suggests that in some cases, overreacting to news (like swine flu) can have far worse consequences than the natural course of the virus itself. For example, Mexico’s economy teetering on the brink of insolvency as tourism represents a third of their economy. The argument for overreacting is that it prepares people for the worst-case scenario. Yet that decision has consequences. Consequences we can’t see, and might not see for a long time.  Favorite Quote: “Some people rationalize that this hysteria serves a noble purpose, in that it prepares us for the worse.  This, however, ignores the fact that there are tremendous real economic costs to overreaction, and that sometimes overreaction has far-reaching negative impacts which can be many times greater than that of the original problem.” May 8, 2009: Second Life: Second Most Played PC Title, #1 In Minutes/User (Link) Summary: Gurley’s investment in Linden Lab paid off big time in May 2009 when Linden’s hit game Second Life ranked as the #2 most-played PC title. The game trailed World of Warcraft in number of users, but ranked first in number of minutes played per user. Data like this further reiterates Gurley’s earlier claims that selling goods online (digital signs of social status) can make for a great business. It also shows people love distracting themselves from their everyday lives.  Favorite Quote: “The truth of the matter is that the company is quite large, it’s growing, it’s profitable,  it has hired a number of great people over this time frame, and as the data shows it’s kicking butt. Note that the data also shows SecondLife actually leads WOW in terms of minutes played per user.”   May 10, 2009: Bill Gurley’s Online Video Market Snapshot (Link) Summary: Gurley did an on Hollywood talk about the massive changes in the Online Video Market. The link has an 18-minute video where Gurley outlines five things that matter in the coming online video market battle:  Great content is super expensive Affiliate fees are a “huge fucking deal”  The Netflix Business model is widely misunderstood HBO and the NFL are incredibly well-positioned companies Wireless will not save the day  Favorite Quote: I didn’t have a favorite quote from this post as it was mainly a link to the video and slide deck. I highly recommend watching the video and scanning through the deck. It’s 18 minutes long but you can watch at 1.5-2x speed without issue.  Tyler Durden Sun, 06/19/2022 - 17:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 19th, 2022

It"s no surprise Russia is weathering the West"s sanctions: Putin has been preparing for them for nearly a decade

Moscow has been taking steps to bolster defenses against sanctions since 2014, when Russia was hit with trade restrictions over its annexation of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been preparing for Western-led sanctions since the country was hit with a raft of trade restrictions in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea.Getty Images Russia has been preparing for sanctions since 2014, after it annexed Crimea. Moscow was already hit by a range of Western-led sanctions after the annexation. Since then, Russia has been protecting itself through a variety of measures. Economists have been predicting an implosion of President Vladimir Putin's economic regime since the West hit Russia with sweeping sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. But three-and-a-half months into the war, Russia has been holding up — with Putin announcing on June 7 that inflation has slowed and unemployment has held steady.It helps that Russia is an energy powerhouse that's still posting bumper sale revenues thanks to soaring oil prices. Even without an energy windfall, Russia could in the near-term be buffered from sanctions. That's because the country has been sanction-proofing itself since 2014 when it was also hit with a raft of trade restrictions after it illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine.Putin has "refashioned the Russian economy into a fortress" to weather external shocks, wrote Veronica Carrion, an economic researcher at the American Bankers Association (ABA) in an ABA Banking Journal post on June 13. Some experts have cast doubt on the reliability of Russian statistics since the start of the war. "The Russian government obviously has an incentive to try to hide the economic impact of Western sanctions," said Andrew Lohsen, a fellow in the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.Even if the economy's holding up as well as it appears, Russia could still eventually run out of time when the commodities rally stall and as the West's intensifying sanctions gnaw their way through the system. But for now, the country is showing unexpected resilience from a range measures, such as padding up its reserves and weaning off foreign capital.Here's what Russia has been doing in attempts to sanction-proof its economy.Moscow has been padding up reserves and stashing up goldBefore the invasion, Russia held the world's fifth-largest foreign currency and gold reserves pile worth about $630 billion, according to the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economics. "This stockpile can cover the government's balance sheet and support the ruble," wrote Carrion.Russia has lost access to about half of that amount due to sanctions, the country's finance minister said in March. But there's still lots of physical gold stashed up in the country — which is also the world's second-largest producer of the precious metal.Russia's gold holdings have tripled since 2014, and they are all stored in vaults at home, according to the central bank. The US has sanctioned Russian transactions using gold, but that wouldn't stop "opportunistic countries" from doing business with Moscow, wrote Carrion.Russia's also continuing to pad up some reserves in the form of its emergency funds — thanks to a windfall from its oil and gas sales. In April and June, it added $12.7 billion to its emergency reserves. These funds will be used to ensure stable economic development amid sanctions,  Reuters reported on June 9, citing a Russian government statement.Russia has been weaning itself off foreign capital and paying down debtBeyond saving up, Russia has been weaning itself off foreign capital by aggressively paying down debt over the last eight years, wrote Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, a senior economics studies fellow at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy on March 3. The country is now a net creditor on the international markets, he added."Vladimir Putin is allergic to borrowing money," Andrew Weiss, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told NPR's "Money Planet" in February. "He's not looking to use the banking system in Russia or access to Western capital to make Russia great."Russia's foreign debts are pretty low. The government owed about $39 billion in foreign currency bonds at the end of 2021, JPMorgan estimated. In comparison, Greece defaulted on 205.6 billion euros ($277.5 billion) in sovereign debt in 2012.As for Russia's overall national debt, it's just at 17% of GDP — well below triple-digit figures for many developed countries and mostly denominated in rubles. So, the country "doesn't really need to borrow," wrote Anton Tabakh, chief economist at Russian ratings agency Expert RA on the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website on June 15. US national debt is at about 130% of GDP, per Statista.The biggest problem Russia has now is paying its foreign debts because of restrictions caused by sanctions, added Tabakh. Once that's solved, Russia and its companies will be able to pay down its debt, and the country's own resources "should be sufficient to cover the needs of the budget, banks and corporations," he added.Russia is turning inwards to economic self-sufficiencyRussia's turning inward as it has become an international pariah — but, as a huge producer of commodities, its economy won't crumble entirely — even though growth will be slow and low, said Hassan Malik, a senior sovereign analyst at Boston-based investment management consultancy Loomis Sayles."Russia is one of the few countries in the world that can engage in autarky," Hassan told Insider. He was referring to the notion of economic self-sufficiency.  The country is a major producer of crude oil, natural gas, wheat, and metals like nickel and palladium.To counter an exodus of international companies that have taken their goods and services with them, Russian entities have taken over the firms and are substituting their products with homegrown offerings.For instance, the city of Moscow and a Russian state-backed group took over French carmaker Renault's operations in the country for the nominal sum of 2 rubles (3.5 cents.) They plan to revive a Soviet-era car brand with the manufacturing facilities, the city's mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said in a blog post. But Russia's economic situation will still be very tough. Putin himself said on June 9 that substituting imports with locally produced goods "is not a panacea," the AFP reported. He said Russia will look for new trading partners and continue developing its own industries for "critically important technologies."The breadth and scope of current sanctions go far beyond those imposed in 2014, so they will "will impose very severe costs on the Russian economy," wrote Milesi-Ferretti in his March 3 post.Russia's economy is expected to shrink 8.5% in 2022, with a further decline of 2.3% in 2023, the International Monetary Fund projected in an April report. That would be the economy's largest decline since the years following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 18th, 2022

Top Stock Reports for Oracle, Texas Instruments & Caterpillar

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Oracle Corporation (ORCL), Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN), and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT). Wednesday, June 15, 2022The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Oracle Corporation (ORCL), Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN), and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today.You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>Oracle shares have notably held up better than the peer group in the ongoing market turmoil (the stock is down -6.9% over the past year against the Zacks Computer - Software industry’s decline of -13.0%) despite ramped up spending on product enhancements, especially toward the cloud platform, amid increasing competition in the cloud domain. That said, Oracle continues to benefit from the ongoing momentum across its cloud business, driven by the strong uptake of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services and Autonomous Database offerings.Solid adoption of cloud-based applications, comprising NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Fusion ERP and Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM), bodes well. Solid demand for the Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer is anticipated to drive the top line. Partnerships with Accenture and Microsoft is helping Oracle win new clientele. The company’s share buybacks and dividend policy are noteworthy.(You can read the full research report Oracle here >>>)Texas Instruments shares have declined -15.1% over the past year against the Semiconductor - General industry’s decline of -17.6%. The Zacks analyst believes that weakness in the personal electronics market remains a headwind. Further, intensifying market competition and coronavirus related uncertainties are concerns. However, the company is benefiting from solid rebound in the automotive market. Further, solid demand environment in the industrial, communication equipment and enterprise systems markets is a major positive.Additionally, solid momentum across Analog segment owing to robust signal chain and power product lines, is contributing well to the top line. Also, robust Embedded Processing segment is contributing well. Notably, solid investments in new growth avenues and competitive advantages remain tailwinds. The company’s portfolio of long-lived products and efficient manufacturing strategies are other positives.(You can read the full research report Texas Instrument here >>>)Caterpillar shares have modestly outperformed the Zacks Manufacturing - Construction and Mining industry over year-to-date basis (+1.3% vs. -0.9%) The Zacks analyst believes that due to surging commodity prices and the energy-transition trend, a thriving mining sector will aid the Resource Industries segment. Its dividend yield and payout ratio are higher than its peers. A strong liquidity position, investments in expanding services and digital initiatives will help Caterpillar deliver outsized returns in the long haul.However, company’s revenues and earnings grew year over year for five straight quarters thanks to its cost-saving actions, strong end-market demand and pricing actions that helped offset the impact of the ongoing supply chain snarls and cost pressures. We expect the company’s adjusted earnings per share for 2022 to grow 20% on 14% higher revenues. The Construction Industries segment is expected to benefit from the rising construction activities in the United States and other parts of the world.(You can read the full research report Caterpillar here >>>)Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B), Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW), and Enbridge Inc. (ENB).Sheraz Mian Director of ResearchNote: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>Today's Must ReadOracle (ORCL) Gains from Cloud Suite Adoption & PartnershipsStrength in Enterprise Systems Aids Texas Instruments (TXN)Strong Demand, Strategic Initiatives Aid Caterpillar (CAT)Featured ReportsSolid Insurance Business Aid Berkshire (BRK.B), Cat Loss AilPer the Zacks analyst, Berkshire is posed to grow on solid insurance business that drive earnings and generates maximum return on equity. However, exposure to cat loss induces earnings volatility.Lowe's (LOW) to Benefit From Its Digital & Pro BusinessesPer the Zacks analyst, strong digital base is aiding Lowe's performance for a while. It is focused on enhancing the Pro offering with improved service levels, store layout and Pro national brands.Enbridge (ENB) Banks on C$10B Midstream Growth ProjectsPer the Zacks analyst, Enbridge will gain from the C$10 billion worth of secured midstream growth projects through 2025. However, significant debt exposure is a concern. America Movil (AMX) Benefits from Increasing Subscriber BasePer the Zacks analyst, America Movil's performance is gaining from increased broadband client base However, stiff competition and the firm's high leverage remain concerns.Strong Electrification Segment Benefits ABB, High Costs HurtPer the Zacks analyst, strong momentum in ABB's Electrification segment, led by strength in the power distribution utilities market, should drive its revenues. High operating costs remain a concern.Fee-Based Contracts, Wide-spread Assets Aid ONEOK (OKE)Per the Zacks analyst ONEOK benefits from long-term fee-based commitments in its all three segments and midstream assets located in very productive region drives operation.Kimco's (KIM) Grocery-Anchored, Last Mile Assets Aid GrowthPer the Zacks Analyst, Kimco will gain from its ownership of grocery-anchored centers and last mile assets in key metro markets. E-commerce adoption and drop in traffic at retail properties are woes.New UpgradesSysco (SYY) to Keep Gaining From Recipe for Growth ProgramPer the Zacks analyst, Sysco's Recipe for Growth has been aiding. This includes enhancing customers' experience via digital tools; improving supply chain and having team-based selling among others.W.R. Berkley (WRB) Set to Grow on Solid Insurance BusinessPer the Zacks analyst, W.R. Berkley's Insurance business is set to grow on rate increases, reserving discipline, and improving premiums from international unit supported by the emerging markets.Acquisition & Product Innovation Aids UFP Industries (UFPI)Per the Zacks analyst, UFP Industries benefits from accretive buyouts and introduction of new products.New DowngradesInternational Exposure & Old Facilities Ail NRG Energy (NRG)Per the Zacks analyst, NRG Energy's international operations expose it to political and economic risks and some of its old facilities create a competitive disadvantage against its peers.Declining LPD Sales & Foreign Exchange Woes Irk IDEXX (IDXX)The Zacks analyst is concerned about IDEXX's declining revenues within the Livestock, Poultry and Dairy segment. Unfavorable foreign exchange movements also continue to threaten business performance.Escalating Expenses Continue to Hurt Cooper Companies (COO)Per the Zacks analyst, escalating expenses, mainly due to higher selling and research and development costs, continue to restrict Cooper Companies' margin expansion. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Electric Vehicles Big money has already been made in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry. But, the EV revolution has not hit full throttle yet. There is a lot of money to be made as the next push for future technologies ramps up. Zacks’ Special Report reveals 5 picks investorsSee 5 EV Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): Free Stock Analysis Report Lowe's Companies, Inc. (LOW): Free Stock Analysis Report Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B): Free Stock Analysis Report Oracle Corporation (ORCL): Free Stock Analysis Report Enbridge Inc (ENB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 15th, 2022

Stocks Stage Feeble Attempt At Dead Cat Bounce After Losing $1.3 Trillion In One Day

Stocks Stage Feeble Attempt At Dead Cat Bounce After Losing $1.3 Trillion In One Day US index futures staged a feeble, fading attempt to bounce on Tuesday, following Monday's crash that wiped out $1.3 trillion in market cap and topped a furious 4-day selloff that was the worst since March 2020 and culminated in a bear market amid expectations - even from permabull Goldman - that the Fed's now accepted 75bps rate hike on Wednesday will hurl the economy into a recession. Futures on the S&P 500 rebounded more than 1% in early trading before fading the gain to just 0.24%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.5%. US stocks plunged on Monday to the lowest level since January 2021 and closed more than 20% below its January record high, triggering Joe Biden first official bear market. Global equities sold off after an unexpectedly strong reading Friday on US inflation sparked concern that the Fed will go too far in raising interest rates to tame soaring prices. Bond yields dipped after soaring to a peak last seen in 2011. The yield curve remained flat, however, underscoring worries about an economic downturn sparked by tighter monetary policy, with the 2s10s curve just 1bps away from inverting again.  Cryptocurrencies, meanwhile, plunged with bitcoin puking more than 10% to below $21,000 before paring much of the slide as dip buyers emerged. UBS said most long-term owners are now in the red and warned of more losses if coin miners buckle under the pressure and start selling. The dollar was steady near a two-year high. In Japan, the central bank boosted bond-purchase operations to keep yields in check. The yen hovered near a 24-year low against the greenback. “We remain bearish on equity outlook,” said Marija Veitmane, a senior strategist at State Street Global Markets. “Inflation is still a huge problem and central banks need to be very aggressive to fight it. This is a very negative outlook for stocks, so we would be sellers of any rally.” Among notable premarket movers, shares of megacap tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Tesla and Meta Platforms were slightly higher and poised to recoup some of the losses from Monday: Apple (AAPL US) +1.4%, Amazon (AMZN US) +1.7%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +1.5%, Meta Platforms (META US) +1.9% and Nvidia (NVDA US) +1.8% in premarket trading. Oracle shares rose 13% in premarket trading after the software company reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Here are the most notable premarket movers: AMC Entertainment (AMC US) shares rise as much as 3.7% in US premarket trading, in line with a broader rebound in risk assets, and after the movie theater operator said that last weekend’s admission revenues beat that of the same weekend of 2019. Adobe (ADBE US) slides 4.2% in premarket trading as Citi cut its price target on the company to $425, the lowest on Wall Street, citing weaker consumer spending and potentially rising competition. US-listed Chinese stocks post broad-based gains in premarket trading, on track to rebound from a three-day drop, as sentiment toward tech stabilizes: Alibaba (BABA US) shares rise 3.8%, Baidu (BIDU US) +4%, Pinduoduo (PDD US) +4.2%, JD.com (JD US) +3.2% and Li Auto (LI US) +6.1% Braze (BRZE US) shares jump 8% in premarket trading after the company’s first-quarter revenue beat estimates, and full-year guidance also topped expectations. Arista (ANET US) shares decline 4.1% in US premarket trading as Morgan Stanley says in a note that the company, as well as Wiwynn and memory stocks such as SK Hynix and Micron (MU US) are among those most at risk in the semiconductor and networking equipment space when tech firms cut spending on data centers. Kaival Brands (KAVL US) shares surge as much as 57% in US premarket trading, after the vaping products distributor reached deal with Philip Morris to distribute electronic nicotine delivery systems products outside of the US. Outset Medical (OM US) shares fall 4.6% in premarket trading as their price target was cut to a Street-low at Cowen, after the medical technology firm halted shipments on its Tablo Hemodialysis System for home use. The company also suspended guidance for the year. US Silica (SLCA US) shares may be in focus after they were upgraded to outperform from inline at Evercore ISI following the conclusion of the industrial minerals firm’s review of its Industrial & Specialty Products (ISP) segment. With just two weeks left until the end of Q2, a dismal picture emerges: this quarter is set to deliver the biggest combined loss for global bonds and stocks on record, according to Bloomberg. The highest inflation in a generation, stoked by supply-chain and commodity-market disruptions amid China’s Covid struggles and the war in Ukraine, is roiling the outlook. According to Bloomberg,  the big question is whether the Fed and other major central banks will tip their economies into recession as they tighten financial conditions. We disagree: a recession is now assured; the real big question is how sparking a recession in the US will force Putin to pump more gas. European gains were shorter-lived: Euro Stoxx 50 reverses a 1.1% bounce to trade down 0.2%, extending its decline to a sixth day, on track for the longest losing streak since the start of the pandemic and the lowest closing level in 15 months. Retail, media and travel are the weakest Stoxx 600 sectors with broad-based sectoral gains fading as the session progresses. Bonds in most of Europe edged lower, but gilts bucked the trend after data showed spending power of UK households plunged as inflation eroded wage increases. Here are the biggest European movers: Fortum shares rose as much as 9.5%, while Uniper gained 6.1% as Finland is prepared to give Fortum time to sell its Russian power plants and follow other western energy companies out of Russia. Rates-sensitive banking stocks in Europe outperform Tuesday as Treasury yields drop following four consecutive days of increases that lifted the 10-year to the highest level since 2011. HSBC shares gain as much as 3.2%, Standard Chartered +3.2%, Nordea Bank +2.7%, ING +2.8% Wizz Air shares rise as much as 6.2% after Berenberg upgraded the airline to buy from hold, citing the long-term potential of its business, despite numerous recent challenges. Go-Ahead rises as much as 15% amid a potential bidding war. The company accepted a £648m takeover bid from an investor group backed by Australian rival Kinetic, while Kelsian is assessing whether to make offer. Saipem gains as much as 8.5% after five sessions of declines; the company and Trevi signed memorandum of understanding for foundation drilling solutions and services for offshore wind farm projects. Atos shares plunge as much as 27% after the company announced the departure of newly arrived CEO Rodolphe Belmer and a separation into two publicly listed companies. Akzo Nobel shares decline as much as 6.1% after the company reduced 2Q forecasts due to China lockdowns and slower start to EMEA DIY season. Air France-KLM shares fall as much as 13% after the company raised EU2.3b in a deeply discounted rights offering to help repay state aid received during the pandemic. Earlier in the session, Asian stock market indexes hit bleak milestones in quick succession on Tuesday as investor concerns worsened that aggressive interest rate increases in the US could erode corporate earnings. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 2% to its lowest level in a month after the world equities gauge entered a bear market overnight before paring losses. New Zealand’s stock index extended its decline to 20% from a peak reached last year, entering a bear market, while Singapore’s measure wiped out its gains for 2022. Traders are betting that the Fed will deliver a 75-basis-point rate increase in this week’s meeting -- the biggest since 1994 -- after US inflation hit a four-decade high in May. This is further muddying the economic outlook at a time supply chains are snarled, weighing on the valuation and profit estimates for the MSCI Asia index, which has lost 17% this year. “Bets are off for all asset classes as investors brace themselves for tough action from the Fed to counter higher-than-expected inflation,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “The renewed lockdowns in China are also not going to be helpful.” Central banks from South Korea and Australia to India have been raising rates in response to accelerating inflation, with the latter two announcing 50-basis-point increases in their latest decisions. China’s persistent zero-Covid strategy is another factor disproportionately affecting companies in Asia. Singapore’s Straits Times Index is near a correction, down 9.7% from an April high, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index has dropped 12% over a similar period. Elsewhere, the MSCI Asean Index is inching closer to a 20% drop from a peak reached in January 2021, while South Korea’s Kospi remains mired in a bear market.  Still, investors have identified some potential areas of outperformance, as Asia’s stock measure has held up better than global peers as it continues to trade at a lower forward price-to-earnings ratio. And while China has walked back on loosening some Covid-19 restrictions in Beijing and Shanghai, traders see the country’s fiscal and monetary easing stance giving its beleaguered stocks a further boost.  “China might outperform global equities, as it did in May and early June,” if consumption resumes in the coming months after a relaxation in lockdowns, said Herald van der Linde, head of APAC equity strategy at HSBC Holdings Plc. Meanwhile, commodity-exporting Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, which are also benefiting from border reopenings, are expected to continue to shine. The Jakarta Composite Index rose on Tuesday, taking its advance to 7.1% this year. India was no exception to the global rout, and stock gauges fell to their lowest levels in 11-months as inflation and interest-rate concerns continued to fuel selloffs across global equity markets.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.3% to 52,693.57 in Mumbai after rising as much as 0.5% during the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped by an similar measure to its lowest since July 28. Both benchmarks have dropped more than 14% from October peaks. Foreign institutional investors have taken out $24.2 billion from local stocks this year through June 10, and the selloff is headed for its ninth consecutive month. However, the key indexes have still outperformed Asia Pacific and emerging-market peers this year, helped by net $26.4 billion of stock purchases by domestic investors, which include mutual funds and insurance companies. Consumer-price inflation in India has stayed above the central bank’s target in May while wholesale prices accelerated for a third-straight month as input costs continue to rise for manufacturers. “High inflationary environment, fresh curbs in China and rising crude oil prices are likely to keep the markets under pressure for a while,” Motilal Oswal analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.  Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s decline, decreasing 1.3%. Among the 30 shares in the Sensex Index, 15 rose, 14 fell and one was unchanged. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as the greenback weakened against most of its Group-of-10 peers.  The euro rose from a one-month low against the dollar but still failed to retrace the recent plunge in a meaningful way. German June ZEW expectations came in at -28.0 versus estimate -26.8. Norway’s krone slumped to a fresh 4-week low against the euro after Norges Bank’s regional network report showed businesses were expecting growth to slow. Sweden’s krona got a temporary boost after inflation figures for May came in higher than the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A Riksbank survey showed businesses, which are seeing sharp cost increases, are concerned that the coming wage bargaining rounds will lead to higher salary costs than in previous collective agreements. The Swiss franc led G-10 gains as it pared most of yesterday’s drop against the dollar. The pound edged up from a two-year low against the dollar. Sterling remained on the back foot after UK labour market data showed limited further tightening in the jobs market, suggesting that the BOE may raise interest rates by 25bps this week, rather than 50bps. Australian sovereign bonds plunged in catch-up to a two-day rout in Treasuries as the specter of a 75bps Fed hike on Wednesday loomed large. Aussie steadied following a bounce in US stock futures. USD/JPY consolidated. The Bank of Japan ramped up the defense of its policy framework after yields came under renewed upward pressure, unveiling a further set of unscheduled buying operations, including purchases of much longer maturities In rates, treasuries bull steepened with front-end yields richer by 8.5bp on the day into US morning session. S&P futures slightly higher, although remain near Monday session lows as investors continue to position ahead of Wednesday’s Fed decision. Swaps market prices in just under 200bp of rate hikes over the next three meetings with 70bp priced into Wednesday’s decision. Three-month Libor fix jumps over 17bp. US yields richer by 8.5bp to 5bp across the curve with front-end led gains steepening 2s10s, 5s30s spreads by 2.1bp and 1.5bp; 10-year yields around 3.30% and outperforming bunds by 7bp on the day. IG dollar issuance slate; projections for the session remain murky amid markets turmoil and after a number of deals were put on ice Monday. Gilts put in a ~6bps parallel richening move across the curve. Bunds buck the trend, bear-steepening ahead of scheduled comments from ECB’s Schnabel on euro-area bond market fragmentation due later. In commodities, oil held above $120 a barrel as investors evaluated a tight supply outlook and the impact of China’s eventual return from virus curbs. WTI adds 0.7% to trade near $121.71, Brent holds above $123. Spot gold trades a narrow range, fading after hitting $1,830/oz. Base metals are mixed; LME tin falls 5.1% while LME zinc gains 0.3%. To the day ahead now. The ECB’s Schnabel speaks, while in data we get UK jobless claims, ILO unemployment rate, ZEW surveys for the Eurozone and Germany, US NFIB small business optimism and PPI, and Canadian manufacturing sales. Hold on to your hats. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.1% to 3,790.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.1% to 413.07 MXAP down 0.9% to 159.98 MXAPJ down 0.6% to 529.25 Nikkei down 1.3% to 26,629.86 Topix down 1.2% to 1,878.45 Hang Seng Index little changed at 21,067.99 Shanghai Composite up 1.0% to 3,288.91 Sensex down 0.2% to 52,743.72 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 3.5% to 6,686.03 Kospi down 0.5% to 2,492.97 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $123.15/bbl Gold spot up 0.6% to $1,829.72 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.34% to 104.72 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.62% Euro up 0.6% to $1.0473 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $123.17/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The latest jumps in consumer prices and inflation expectations will probably spur Federal Reserve officials to consider the biggest interest-rate increase since 1994 when they meet this week, after Chair Jerome Powell previously signaled a smaller move was the likely outcome JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are withdrawing from handling trades of Russian debt after the Biden administration’s surprise announcement last week it’s banning US investors from scooping up such assets As the BOJ escalates attempts to keep a lid on bond yields, BlueBay is betting the central bank will be forced to abandon a policy that’s increasingly out of sync with global peers. The BOJ’s so- called yield curve control is “untenable,” according to Mark Dowding, BlueBay’s London-based chief investment officer Investor fears of stagflation are at the highest since the 2008 financial crisis, while global growth optimism has sunk to a record low, according to Bank of America Corp.’s monthly fund manager survey A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pacific stocks were pressured following the global stock and bond slump as the aftershock from recent hot US inflation reverberated across risk assets and spurred further expectations for a 75bps Fed rate hike this week. ASX 200 was the worst performer as the losses caught up to the index on return from the extended weekend and with the declines led by underperformance in tech and metals. Nikkei 225 extended its declines despite the BoJ’s efforts to cap yields and with the recent rapid currency moves adding to the uncertainty. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were negative as lockdown concerns lingered with China’s Vice Premier Sun suggesting it is necessary to strengthen COVID-19 prevention and control of key places, while Shanghai's Minhang district plans to conduct mass testing on Saturday. Top Asian News Shanghai's Minhang district is planning mass COVID-19 testing on Saturday, according to Bloomberg. BoJ announced additional bond purchases for Wednesday in which it will increase purchases of JGBs across several maturities, while it will continue to conduct additional buying as needed, according to Reuters. European bourses began on the front-foot but quickly slipped into negative territory, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.8%; since the post-open dip, price action has steadily deteriorated further. However, while US futures are directionally in-fitting they remain in positive territory, ES +0.3%; albeit, well of highs and the ES resides around 3760 currently awaiting Fed clarity amid increasing speculation for 75bp. Oracle Corp (ORCL) Q4 2022 (USD): Adj. EPS 1.54 (exp. 1.37), Revenue 11.8bln (exp. 11.66bln). Cloud License And On-Premise License: 2.54bln (exp. 2.19bln). Cloud Services And Licenses Support: 7.6bln (exp. 7.77bln). Total Hardware Revenues: 856mln (exp. 857.71mln). Total Services Revenues: 833mln (exp. 847.89mln). Added USD 15.8bln after Cerner acquisition and it expects cloud business to grow by over 30% in FY23; Co. expects Q1 rev. including Cerner to grow 17%-19%. (PR Newswire) +12% in the pre-market. German cartel office has commenced proceedings against Apple (AAPL) re. tracking regulations for 3rd party apps, via Reuters. Top European News The EU is set to launch three separate lawsuits against the British government after it published its plans to override the protocol, according to the Telegraph. One option would reportedly see the EU end financial equivalence for the City of London. US urged the UK and EU to return to talks to resolve differences over the Northern Ireland Protocol and said it remains a priority to protect gains of the Good Friday Agreement. White House said proposed changes to N. Ireland Protocol won't be an impediment to potential US-UK trade deal or trade dialogue talks in Boston, according to Reuters. UK PM Johnson is not looking to lower household taxes until inflation is brought under control, as such action is unlikely before next year, according to the Telegraph. FX Dollar consolidates after Monday’s melt up to new multi year peaks as clock ticks down to FOMC and US PPI data; DXY hovers around 105.00 and just shy of new 105.290 YTD high. Franc outperforms following suspension of trade in Russia against Rouble and Greenback; Usd/Chf probes 0.9000 to downside after pulling up only pips short of parity yesterday. Euro rebounds amidst more hawkish commentary from ECB’s Knot and irrespective of German ZEW survey misses; EUR/USD back above 1.0400 and decent option expiries between 1.0420-15. Aussie undermined by waning risk appetite and ongoing covid outbreaks in China, but underpinned by RBA Governor Lowe underlining determination to get inflation back to target, AUD/USD towards lower end of 0.6970-18 range. Pound fades after brief upturn in bigger than expected rise in UK employment as other labour market metrics fall short of expectations and EU rift over NI protocol persists; Cable on the cusp of 1.2100 after fleeting breach of round above, EUR/GBP crosses 0.8600 to set fresh 2 month apex. Fixed Income Recovery in EZ debt derailed by supply and hawkish remarks from ECB's Knot as Bunds retreat to 145.00 within a 145.58-144.51 range Gilts and 10 year T-note hold up better between 112.97-29 and 116-03/115-01+ parameters in consolidation after Monday's rout and ahead of US PPI data ** BTP/Bund** spread blows out beyond 250 bp in advance of ECB's Schnabel on fragmentation in bond markets Commodities WTI and Brent are firmer by circa. USD 1.0/bbl at present and reside towards the mid-point of a USD ~2.00/bbl range with specific newsflow thin and broader developments on familiar themes. Themes which include China COVID and travel demand, for instance; but, factors which are overshadowed by broader anticipation going into Wednesday's FOMC. US and Saudi Arabia will announce on Tuesday that US President Biden will visit Saudi Arabia on July 15th and 16th, according to NBC's Pegram citing sources. China's state planner is to increase retail prices of gasoline and diesel by CNY 390/tonne and CNY 375/tonne respectively as of June 15th, via NDRC. Spot gold is essentially unchanged on the session around USD 1820/oz after falling below the 10-, 21- & 200-DMAs yesterday; Copper softer amid broader risk. US Event Calendar 08:30: May PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.8%, prior 0.5%; YoY, est. 10.9%, prior 11.0% 08:30: May PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.4%; YoY, est. 8.6%, prior 8.8% 08:30: May PPI Final Demand DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Where do we start this morning after as action packed a 24 hours as I can remember. The global equity and bond sell-off would have been bad anyway but the late US session headlines from a WSJ article (written by a journalist close to the Fed) that suggested the FOMC may need to surprise with a +75bp hike tomorrow was the last straw. Before we delve into the article and more detail on markets let’s take a one para overview of all the main market highlights. To start with, 2yr USTs capped their largest two-day move (+54.3bps, +29.1bps yesterday), since the week following Lehman’s collapse, while 10yr Treasuries have risen +31.8bps over the last two days (+20.4bps yesterday), the largest such move since December 2010, bringing the 10yr to 3.36%, the highest since 2011. Meanwhile, the 2s10s yield curve swung around violently before closing in inverted territory (-0.3bps) again for the first time since the first days of April and for only the 15th day out of the 3907 business days since May 2007. The historic moves didn’t end with the Treasury market, as Italian 10yr BTP yields (+26.2bps) crossed 4.0% for the first time since 2014, the crossover index widened +32.3bps to 534bps, its widest level since 2012 outside of peak initial Covid widening, Bitcoin fell -15.13% to its lowest since late 2020 and is down another -5.23% this morning, the S&P 500 (-3.88%) finally entered bear market territory (-21.8% from its YTD peaks), while the dollar index surged to its highest level since 2002. So quite a ride although as we'll see below risk is doing a bit better this morning with yields relatively flat. Going through things in more detail, the Treasury market has been at the epicentre of this sell-off after the shocking CPI from last Friday. Yields were drifting higher all day as some on the Street officially updated their call for +75bp on Wednesday and openly considered whether the Fed will need a +100bp hike. The WSJ report then later threw gasoline on the already raging fire, noting the Fed was indeed “considering surprising markets with a larger-than expected” +75bp hike as early as this week given Friday’s alarming CPI and inflation expectations data. All-in, Fed funds futures moved to price in a 94% chance of a +75bp hike on Wednesday. So a +75bp hike on Wednesday won’t come as a surprise anymore. At the end of the day, 2yr yields gained +29.1bps yesterday and +25.2bps Friday, bringing the rate to 3.35%. The 2s10s yield curve inverted, closing the day at -0.3bps, as 10yr yields climbed +11.4bps Friday and +20.4bps yesterday, bringing rates to 3.36%, their highest level since April 2011. As we go to press this morning, 2yr yields are up another 2bps with 10yr yields fractionally higher, thus inverting the curve a little more. US PPI today will be closely watched for the next inflation impulse. The policy rate at end 2022 implied by fed funds futures closed at 3.72%, its highest to date by some margin, and implies just shy of +300bps of tightening over 5 meetings. Markets also moved to price in a terminal rate above 4% in the middle of next year, closer to DB's call which has been the most aggressive on the street. It’s perhaps an understatement to say the market will be hyper focused on how the Fed communicates the near-term path of policy at this week’s FOMC, especially including what size rate hikes they’re considering as adequate for the rest of the year. The selloff was echoed in Europe, where 10yr bunds (+11.5bps), OATs (+15.4bps), and BTPs (+26.2bps) all soldoff, even before the blockbuster WSJ report. ECB speakers returned to the docket after last week’s meeting, where Governing Council member Kazmir noted there was a clear need for a +50bp hike in September, in line with our European economics team’s call. Kazmir went on to warn that the economy faces weak growth for several quarters, piling onto what the market had already deduced – the sharp global repricing in monetary policy would weigh on growth. One of the major fears following the ECB meeting was that absent a new tool designed to stem fragmentation, peripheral spreads would widen out, and yesterday brought a fresh round of peripheral widening, with 10yr Italian spreads widening +14.6bps to bunds, with Spanish bonds widening +9.9bps. Indeed, 10yr BTPs crossed 4.0% for the first time since 2014. Equity markets got the message, selling off across the Atlantic, with the S&P 500 falling -3.87% into bear market territory, down -21.82% from the all-time highs reached in early January, with the STOXX 600 down -2.41%. At one point, every single share in the S&P 500 was lower, though the index staged a heroic rally leaving 5 shares higher on the day. That’s the lowest amount since June 11, 2020 when only one share advanced. Unsurprisingly, every S&P 500 sector was lower, with all but two sectors declining by more than 3%. The NASDAQ fell -4.68% on the hit from higher discount rates, now -32.68% from its November high. Mega-cap shares bore the brunt of higher discount rates, with the FANG+ falling -6.50%, its worst day since September 2020, and -40.98% lower from its own all-time highs reached in November. Markets are trying to bounce this morning with S&P 500 futures +1% and Nasdaq futures +1.15% As we discussed yesterday, this sharp rates repricing is partly due to another attempt at forward guidance from the Fed. Having signalled 50bps at the next two meetings a few weeks ago they reduced volatility. However when it became clear that this guidance may be insufficient it has opened up a market attack. The last man standing continues to be the BoJ and to be honest the more the market attacks the Fed and the ECB the more likely it is that the BoJ own forward guidance (in the form of YCC) will end very messily with huge implications for global rates. If the BoJ throws in the towel in H2 then global bond markets lose a huge anchor. Certainly one to watch for every morning when you wake up! Indeed the BOJ ramped up its scheduled purchases of 5-to-10-year debt today from an expected ¥500 billion to ¥800 billion as the yield on the 10yr JGBs jumped to 0.255%, edging past the upper end of the central bank’s 0.25% target range. Talking of Asia, equity markets are lower this morning but markets are trying to fight back. The Nikkei (-2.00%) is the largest underperformer with the Hang Seng (-1.15%) and Kospi (-1.11%) also lagging. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (-1.60%) and CSI (-1.86%) are also lower. Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 is -4.54% lower after returning to trade following a holiday yesterday. In such a broad-based selloff, many would have been interested in how crypto assets would hold up, supposedly uncorrelated with traditional assets. However, digital assets did not escape the wrath of plummeting risk sentiment, with bitcoin falling -15.13% and down another -5.28% this morning as we type. At one point this morning, Bitcoin fell about -10% to trade at $20,823 before recovering a little. There were reports that some exchanges were having trouble liquidating holdings of various crypto assets. This is a classic deleveraging and unwinding of a bubble trade. To the day ahead now. The ECB’s Schnabel speaks, while in data we get UK jobless claims, ILO unemployment rate, ZEW surveys for the Eurozone and Germany, US NFIB small business optimism and PPI, and Canadian manufacturing sales. Hold on to your hats. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/14/2022 - 07:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 14th, 2022

Crypto lender Celsius is freezing withdrawals - after its founder promised to reinvent the financial system and never act like a traditional bank

Celsius froze withdrawals and transfers just a month after Terra's luna token crashed to zero, continuing crypto's nightmare 2022. Celsius founder and CEO Alex Mashinsky speaks at the Web Summit conference in 2021.Bruno de Carvalho/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Crypto lender Celsius has frozen all withdrawals, swaps and transfers between accounts. The network's founder Alex Mashinsky pledged to revolutionize finance and has said he "hates the banks". Celsius froze accounts just a month after Terra's luna cryptocurrency crashed to zero. Major crypto lender Celsius Network froze all of its customers' accounts Monday — after promising for years that it wouldn't act like a traditional bank.Celsius founder Alex Mashinsky has repeatedly criticized traditional financial institutions, arguing that they lock up investors' hard-earned savings to boost their own balance sheets."I hate the banks," he told Crypto Briefing last year. "You can't retire when you make 1% on your savings - the Fed is screwing all Americans, so the banks can put more profit on their balance sheets."Mashinsky has also promised in the past to "unbank the banked and bank the unbanked". He spoke at November's Web Summit in Lisbon wearing a T-shirt that read "banks are not your friends". With cryptocurrencies plummeting, Celsius moved to freeze all withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts Monday."We are taking this necessary action for the benefit of our entire community in order to stabilize liquidity and operations," Celsius said in a blog post, citing "extreme market conditions" as the reason for the move. It managed $11.8 billion in assets as of May 17, The Wall Street Journal reported, and it says it has 1.7 million users. During the 2008 financial crisis, rumors that the UK's Northern Rock would act similarly led to a bank run - when investors line up to withdraw their cash because they believe that a financial institution may be about to go bust.Many influential crypto entrepreneurs have promised to develop a new financial system that cuts out unnecessary middlemen and makes finance cheaper and more democratic. But in a nightmarish 2022, critics have accused leading crypto firms of exploiting their customers in a similar manner to the banks they have pledged to replace.Last month, Terra's UST stablecoin lost its peg, causing its sister luna token to crash to $0. That left some investors stomaching thousands of dollars worth of losses.The project's founder Do Kwon — who had previously mocked one of his critics for being "poor" — has since been accused of siphoning up to $80 million a month from Terra before his two cryptocurrencies crashed.Similarly, regulators have previously questioned Celsius over its high-yield products - which some have likened to a Ponzi scheme. The states of New Jersey, Texas, and Alabama all slapped the company with a cease and desist order last year, according to Bloomberg.Some analysts have even warned that crypto may be experiencing the equivalent of a bank run, with investors rushing to sell their tokens as digital assets' value continues to plummet. In the aftermath of Celsius' announcement, the network's native token cel nosedived 49% and bitcoin fell to an 18-month low."Crypto fans have become used to volatile rides, but these rollercoaster descents are increasingly hard to stomach," Susannah Streeter, a senior markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.Some of the world's highest-profile investors and economists are vocal in their criticism of the likes of bitcoin and the crypto ecosystem. Former Microsoft boss Bill Gates said recently he would never own any crypto as it is not "adding to society." And Warren Buffett, the 91-year old boss of Berkshire Hathaway, has said more than once that bitcoin is not for him. "If you told me you owned all the bitcoin in the world and you offered it to me for $25, I wouldn't take it," Buffett said at Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting last month. "What would I do with it?"Read more: 'Crypto investors aren't stupid, but nobody stands up for us.' We spoke to retail traders who lost up to $200,000 in the Binance outage about their 2,000-person campaign against the world's largest crypto exchange.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 13th, 2022

Bitcoin tumbles to an 18-month low, with cryptocurrencies selling off as inflation shock scares investors out of riskier assets

Bitcoin plunged to its lowest since December 2020 and is now about 63% below last year's record high of $69,000. Bitcoin plunged to its lowest level since December 2020.Yuichiro Chino The crypto market endured its second brutal sell-off this year, with bitcoin dramatically plunging.  Bitcoin fell to its lowest since December 2020 to trade at $25,272 on Monday.  The carnage comes against a backdrop of high inflation rates, and crypto regulation discussions.  Bitcoin dropped to its lowest in 18 months on Monday, as the cryptocurrency market endured a second major battering so far this year after US inflation data on Friday sent investor fleeing from risk assets, including equities. Over the weekend, bitcoin plunged to its lowest since December 2020 to trade below $25,000 at one point on Monday, according to CoinMarketCap. The token is about 63% below the record high of $69,000 it reached last November. It was last at $24,066, down 12.45% over the past 24 hours.Other tokens, including ether, cardano, solana, and dogecoin also collapsed. Ether, the second-biggest cryptocurrency, tanked 15.8% to trade at $1,234.93, set for its biggest one-day fall in a year, while while cardano and solana plummeted 13% and 16%, respectively. Meme coin dogecoin dropped 14%. Ether's drop came in tandem with a Friday announcement made by its core developers who decided to delay the implementation of the "difficulty bomb," a catalyst in upgrading the ethereum network from a proof-of-work system to proof-of-stake as part of its big upcoming merge. "Perhaps the biggest carnage has been in the crypto space which is on the verge of a reckoning now that the gloves are off around global inflation and the realities of a new world where fixed interest actually pays a yield – albeit one still deeply negative in real terms," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst of Asia Pacific at OANDA in a blog. This second big rout of 2022 in the crypto market follows data that showed US consumer inflation rose 8.6% in the year through May, the highest rate since December 1981. The reading exceeded economist expectations for last month at 8.3% due to the soaring cost of energy and food.High inflation rates in the US have prompted the Federal Reserve to step up its efforts to tame price pressures using more aggressive monetary policy.The Fed's policy-setting committee is expected to announce a half-point rate rise when it concludes its meeting on Wednesday, which would bring its benchmark rate to 1.5%. The central bank raised rates by half a point in May and markets show investors expect a string of hikes this year.The current sell-off has wiped over a quarter of a billion dollars off the size of the entire crypto market, according to CoinMarketCap. Last month, major tokens including bitcoin and ether endured intense sell-offs as investor anxiety built over the Fed's easing of its ultra-easy policy and a high-profile collapse in algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD. The crypto market as a whole had lost $500 billion in value as a result of the collapse. Meanwhile, crypto lender Celsius said on Sunday it would pause withdrawals alongside its swap and transfer products, citing "extreme market conditions." "Due to extreme market conditions, today we are announcing that Celsius is pausing all withdrawals, Swap, and transfers between accounts. We are taking this action today to put Celsius in a better position to honor, over time, its withdrawal obligations," the company said in a blog post. The announcement triggered a 54% drop in its Celsius (CEL) token, per CoinMarketCap. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week called for tighter regulation of the crypto industry. She said cryptocurrencies were a "very risky investment," at a Thursday event organized by the New York Times adding that Congress could regulate what assets could be included in retirement plans, per Bloomberg. "I'm not saying I recommend it, but that to my mind would be a reasonable thing," Yellen said on whether Congress should impose the rules. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 13th, 2022

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part I

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part I By Alex of the Macro Ops Substack What if there was a way to distill all the knowledge that someone’s written over the last 25 years into one, easy-to-read document? And what if that person was a famous venture capital investor known for betting big on companies like Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Discord, Dropbox, Instagram, and Zillow (to name a few)?  Well, that’s what I’ve done with Bill Gurley’s blog Above The Crowd.  Gurley is a legendary venture capital investor and partner at Benchmark Capital. His blog oozes valuable insights on VC investing, valuations, growth, and marketplace businesses.  This document is a one-stop-shop summary of every blog post Gurley’s ever written.  Here’s how it’ll look. Each summary will contain the following:  Date, title, and link to blog post One paragraph summary My favorite quote This piece allows anyone to absorb all of Gurley’s knowledge bombs in the fraction of the time it took me to do it. I hope this piece brings you as much value as it did to me.  Let’s get after it. Years: 1996 -1999 October 21, 1996: Backhoes Don’t Obey Moore’s Law: A Story Of Convergence (Link) Summary: The backhoe improved at an annual rate of 4.4%, falling short of Moore’s Law equivalent improvement of 59.7%. Computers are dependent on telecom to deliver the internet. But telecom is dependent on Moore’s Law failing-backhoes. This means we’re building computer-centric solutions to Internet-based problems without addressing the core problem: laying fiber cables with obsolete backhoes.  Favorite Quote: “Backhoe dependency is really just the simple side of our message. It is our impression that the majority of the players in the computer industry bring a “computer centric viewpoint” (CCV) when analyzing the issues that exist with the Internet. This computer-centric view could prove hazardous. Not only will it lead to disappointed expectations, but it may also lead to a less than accurate vision of the future.” April 20, 1998: How To Succeed In Advertising (Link) Summary: There are three reasons why success-based advertising wins the day on the internet:  Customers want it: Advertisers can quickly see if their programs work and easily predict margins using COGS + “bounty fee” model Solves excess inventory problems: The best way to reduce inventory is through direct-selling, success-based advertising (think 1-800 ads on cable TV) Unsold Ad-Space on Internet: As internet population increases, it reduces the CPM per pageview. This causes an inventory glut of internet space and a perfect place for performance-based ads Also, you can use a DCF to find the LTV of a customer. It’s simply: $ in FCF per customer/year divided by the discount rate.  Favorite Quote: “The lifetime value of the customer is equal to the future cash flows (not revenue!) expected over the life cycle of the customer, discounted back by a reasonable discount rate. What we are really doing is treating the customer acquisition as an investment and the lifetime cash flows of the customer as the yield on that investment.” May 5, 1998: Standards: Open For Business (Link) Summary: Open standards is the idea that companies in an industry operate within a specified set of rules (or parameters). Think of printers and PCs. It makes sense for all PCs and printers to be compatible with one another. This reduces time to market for most products. The issue, however, arises when open standards are applied to tech-heavy businesses without distribution advantages. Software is a perfect example. Distribution is effortless, so the only way to gain an edge in open standards is through sales teams and technical support. And who has the lead in that? Large companies.  Favorite Quote: “Theoretically, you could have a better sales force or better service and support, but these are not typically assets that small innovative companies possess. This means that competing with a completely “open” strategy would offer very little room for differentiation, and there is almost a necessity to have some closed proprietary advantage. It is difficult to criticize companies for trying to innovate in a proprietary manner. After all, survival is instinctive.” August 17, 1998: Internet Investors: Beware Of The Proxy Valuation (Link)  Summary: Investors use proxy valuations to value companies without hard free cash flows (NOPAT – capex). Proxy valuations come in all shapes and sizes, including: P/Revenues, Market Cap / Subscriber, Market Cap / Unique Page View, etc. While proxy valuations are better than blindly picking stocks — it’s not the end goal. Businesses must generate cash flow to survive. This brings us to a few dangers of proxy valuations:  Symmetry Risk: Not all proxies are created equal (e.g., Price/Sub not the same as Price/Page View) Assumption Risk: A customer’s value changes. We can’t assume a company will generate $X from each customer over its lifetime Arbitrage Risk: Companies IPO based on # of customers, revenue stats or subscribers … not cash flows or profitability Favorite Quote: “Another reason to be skeptical of proxy valuations is arbitrage. If Wall Street comes to believe that customers, or visitors, or page views, or even revenues are uniquely valuable (regardless of profitability), than entrepreneurs are likely to rush to market with companies that can achieve these targets quite handily, but may have little chance at producing real value in terms of cash flow. With no focus on costs, it is easy to reach non-financial targets. This is the great thing about cash flow-based valuation, it’s hard to sweep costs under the rug.” October 16, 1998: The Continued Evolution Of Advertising Or How To Succeed In Advertising Part II (Link)  Summary: Traditional advertising is squeezed out of the value chain as ad buyers recognize the difference between pay-per-impression and pay-per-click through. Further, the invention of TiVO (recording shows & content) increased demand for a direct-to-consumer content delivery system. Ideas like pay-per-view TV were born from the idea that you can cut the middleman (networks & advertisers) and directly charge your customer.  Favorite Quote:  “While this is possible, it ignores the fact that the viewer now has a choice, and that these devices will allow the content provider to push content directly to the end-user, potentially on a pay-per-view basis. If the consumer is willing to pay $5 to watch Seinfeld commercial-free, why should they be denied?” July 12, 1999: The Rising Impact Of Open Source (Link)  Summary: There are six things to know about open source (OS) code. One, open source works. Two, OS can produce business-quality code. Three, OS business models are emerging. Four, OS is a tough competitor (hard to beat free!). Five, OS models are entering the content generation space. Six, OS may be as helpful as a defensive mechanism than an offensive weapon.  Favorite Quote: “Open source as a production model should be appreciated in the same light as Henry Ford’s assembly line or Demming’s Just-In-Time manufacturing process. By taking advantage of the electronic communication medium of the Internet as well as the distributed skills of its volunteers, the open-source community has uncovered a leveraged development methodology that is faster and produces more reliable code than traditional internal development. You can pan it, doubt it, or ignore it, but you are unlikely to stop it. Open source is here to stay.” October 18, 1999: The Rising Importance Of The Great Art Of Storytelling (Link) Summary: Storytelling is one of the most underappreciated business skills. Bill Gates admired a man (Craig McCaw) because he was able to convince investors to invest in a capital-heavy infrastructure business. McCaw created new (proxy) valuations to sell the story the company was trying to deliver. Storytelling also gets a bad rap because it’s associated with “hype” — overpromising and under delivering. Recognizing a good story from a bad one helps investors avoid dreams and invest in the future.  Favorite Quote: “As public market investors begin to evaluate younger and younger companies, their valuation tools become limited to subjective notions such as quality of the team and the uniqueness and boldness of the idea.  In other words, if there isn’t enough proof that a business already exists, then they must make a judgment as to whether one will.” Years: 2000 – 2002 March 6, 2000: The Most Powerful Internet Metric Of All (Link)  Summary: Conversion rate is the most important metric for internet-based companies. Why? Conversion rate captures total user engagement. It also boasts high leverage. Here’s the big idea: as conversion increases, revenue rises and marketing costs decline. There are five things that affect conversion rate: 1) user interface, 2) performance (slow v. fast), 3) convenience, 4) effective advertising and 5) word of mouth.  Favorite Quote: “Let’s assume you spend $10,000 to drive 5,000 people to your site, and your conversion rate is 2 percent. This means that 100 transactions cost you $10,000, or $100 per transaction. Now let’s assume your conversion rate rises to 4 percent. The same $10,000 buys you 200 transactions at a cost of $50 per transaction. An 8 percent rate gives you 400 transactions at a cost of $25 per transaction. As conversion rate goes up, revenue rises while marketing costs as a percentage of sales fall – that’s leverage.” April 17, 2000: Can Napster Be Stopped? NO! (Link) Summary: Napster paved the way for the free digital music we enjoy today. Here’s how. The software leveraged each user’s computer files and shared music freely between PC devices, not the internet. Napster’s popularity grew, and within six months the software had 9 million users. It took AOL 12 years to get to that figure. There are two important lessons from Napster: 1) the power of community-building and 2) information wants to be free. Connect those two lessons and you have an incredible community-based business.  Favorite Quote: “Remember that the amount of bits it takes to represent high-quality audio is finite. Until the past few years, the amount of space on a hard drive, as well as the bandwidth required to transfer an MP3 file, was prohibitive for widespread usage. However, both bandwidth and storage space are susceptible to Moore’s Law. This means that within six years, the amount of drive space or bandwidth needed to trade high-quality music will be unnoticeably negligible. Emailing an entire album of music to a friend will be no different than forwarding a Microsoft Word document today.” May 15, 2000: A Return To Demand-Driven Capital (Link) Summary: There is a huge difference between demand-driven and supply-driven start-ups. Demand-driven start-ups see an area of the market where a need doesn’t have a solution. Then, they create a company to fill that need. Supply-driven start-ups conceive companies on the idea that one day consumers will need their solutions to problems that might not exist yet. The intellectual satisfaction of creating solutions is more appealing than bottom-fishing for long-standing consumer problems. At the end of the day, it’s better to start (and invest in) demand-driven businesses.   Favorite Quote (emphasis mine): “I suspect what’s at work is that Plato-esque idea that creation is much more intellectually appealing than combing the earth for steadfast problems to solve. But keep this in mind: Even a sexy Internet company like eBay was born of demand instead of supply. Founder Pierre Omidyar’s girlfriend wanted a place to trade Pez dispensers online. The company rose after the market voted. I suspect that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alike would be well-served to return to the boring, but perhaps more successful, world of demand-driven capitalism.” June 12, 2000: Like It Or Not, Every Startup Is Now Global (Link) Summary: The rising prevalence of start-up infrastructure overseas poses a threat to US-based start-up companies. US start-ups face two main threats: 1) imitation from overseas competitors and 2) expanding too quickly. Faced with growing competition, US companies might go global before establishing a solid footprint on their home turf. This has devastating consequences as they’ll burn more cash and lose focus on their core markets. There are three solutions: 1) Joint ventures, 2) acquisitions and 3) start-up your own global market. Favorite Quote: “Ironically, the same courage that leads a start-up to look overseas could cause failure if the company moves too quickly and aggressively or assumes it can get by without local partners. When considering such alternatives, it is important to keep one fact in mind: 50 percent of something is worth a lot more than 100 percent of nothing.” July 10, 2000: The End Of CPM (Link) Summary: Echoing Gurley’s 1998 article, 2000 saw the rise of performance-based advertising. The catalyst for such rapid adoption was the outflow of capital to money-losing internet companies. With tight budgets, companies needed ad campaigns that worked. The other catalyst is the proliferation of customer behavior data on company websites. Management can see exactly who is on their site, how long they stay, and if they convert.  Favorite Quote: “Of course, the biggest catalyst in the past 90 days has been the closing of the IPO market and the subsequent focus in the start-up world on profits and cost controls. This abrupt and refreshing change is a major accelerator that immediately tightens the belt of most Internet marketing departments and targets their spending on the most efficient forms of advertising they can find. Gone are the days when companies indiscriminately bought the “anchor tenancy” on the favorite portal just as a branding event.” February 19, 2001: The Next Big Thing: 802.11b? (Link) Summary: WiFi will revolutionize the way we conduct business and where we choose to interact online. While there are critics of the technology, there is no denying its potential to reach critical mass and spread nationwide. The real catalyst for WiFi’s adoption is the move from corporate offices to homes, then to public places like colleges.  Favorite Quote: “Like other dislocating technologies, Wi-Fi is now working its way from the office into the home. While home networks are still in their infancy, the benefits of a wireless architecture may be even higher than at the office. Who has the capability to rewire their whole house? And although less obvious, the interest in aesthetics at home heightens the benefit of not stringing wires halfway across the room. Also, as we integrate the home entertainment center with the PC, a wireless link is particularly appropriate. Lastly, what if I could carry my laptop home from work, lay it on the kitchen counter and be online instantly? You can today with Wi-Fi.” June 25, 2001: The Smartest Price War Ever (Link) Summary: Dell engaged in the smartest price war ever. Their business model, which focused on just-in-time inventory, resulted in positive cash-flows even under income statement compressions. Through five-day inventory, 59-day average payables and 30 days receivables, Dell generated a negative cash conversion cycle. This allowed them to cut prices while their competitors’ models couldn’t allow such maneuvers. Competitors were forced into a lose-lose situation (cut prices and lose margin or not participate and lose market share).  Favorite Quote: “Much has been written about Dell’s direct model, which removes the middleman, along with his margin, from the sales process. And others have noted that Dell’s incredible five days of inventory allow it to pass on component price declines faster than anyone else in the industry. But perhaps the unique aspect of Dell’s business advantage is its negative cash conversion cycle. Because it keeps only five days of inventories, manages receivables to 30 days, and pushes payables out to 59 days, the Dell model will generate cash—even if the company were to report no profit whatsoever.” August 13, 2001: Bye, Bye, Bluetooth (Link)  Summary: WiFi will eliminate the need for Bluetooth. In its simplest explanation, WiFi works for the internet model whereas Bluetooth works for walkie-talkies. That’s a huge difference. It also shows the power of companies that can quickly cut products/ideas that fail despite tremendous sunken-costs. Bluetooth was a three-year push designed to revolutionize the way computers and devices interacted. Then WiFi came along. Those that quit Bluetooth early not only had a head start on their stubborn competition, they also saved thousands in wasted R&D.  Favorite Quote: “Even without competition from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth would have major challenges. That’s because the very concept of a cable replacement like Bluetooth is flawed. In a world where every device is connected to a single network (read: Internet), there is no need to connect individual devices on an ad hoc basis. Consider this – a walkie-talkie is a device that supports communication directly between two nodes. A cell phone is a device that supports communications between “any” two nodes because they are all connected to a common network and they all have unique addresses. Blue-tooth is to a walkie-talkie whereas 802.11 connected to the Internet is more analogous to the cell-phone model.” October 1, 2001: Tapping The Internet (Link) Summary: After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, many government officials sprang forward, calling for increased surveillance and backdoors on many privacy networks. The main argument was that these terrorists had access to high level technology and software. The reality was less cinematic. Osama Bin Laden used Steganography to spread information amongst his followers. Unfortunately for senators, Steganography uses every day files like images to transmit messages. So it’s not as simple as allowing backdoor access to private channels.  Favorite Quote: “The government should not give up on computer surveillance. In fact, as a tool that is used to track down a particular offender after isolation and identification, these technologies can be extremely effective. However, we should not be unrealistic about what type of “magic” spy technologies are at our disposal. We are only going to spend a lot of money, waste a lot of time, and create a false sense of security.” October 29, 2001: When It Comes To Pricing Software, The Greener Grass Is Hard To Find (Link)  Summary: The internet allowed software companies to price their product as a subscription service (SaaS) right when companies were facing hardship. The SaaS model eliminates the high-dollar upfront sales pitch and allows the company to generate predictable revenue during the year. However, stretching revenues over months (not upfront) increases short-term operating losses. Those that can withstand the short-term negativity should reap the long-term rewards of the SaaS model.  Favorite Quote: “About this same time, the rise of the Internet gave birth to the idea of an ASP – a model where software would be delivered as a service over the web, and customers would “subscribe” to the software. Analysts raved at the genius of the idea. With this model, the customer would pay an incremental fee each month, therefore eliminating the “start from zero” sales game inherent in the software model. Assuming no loss of customers, the revenue from last quarter is already booked for this quarter – all new sales theoretically represent incremental growth.” April 3, 2002: It’s Time To Put A Stop To Spam (Link) Summary: Hackers and spammers always find a way to exploit new technology. Spammers were so bad in 2002 that Gurley had to write about it. The problem lies in time spent deleting spam messages. Time that should garner more productive activities like business. This creates incentives for start-ups to solve such problems. But, the biggest risk facing these spam software companies is a false positive. False positives could delete an email that was legit — potentially costing companies millions in lost revenues.  Favorite Quote: “Email is fast becoming the preferred communication medium for many corporations. Moreover, email is also the baseline for many new cross-company workflow applications. We simply cannot allow a bunch of Viagra ads to put a dent in the evolution of the global economy.” Years: 2003 – 2005 January 6, 2003: 802.11 & Cellular: Competitor Or Complement? (Link) Summary: Gurley explains that WiFi is to 3G as the personal computer was to the mainframe. By understanding the mainframe/personal computing industry, you could “see” the future of WiFi and cellular data. No-one envisioned personal computers operating hundreds of websites or ERP systems. Yet technologists built products on top of the standardized mainframe. WiFi is no different. At the time, a ~$30 WiFi radio and a Pringles can could get you high-speed connectivity at a 10 mile distance. To Gurley, WiFi and cellular data are complementary. Like chips and salsa, with WiFi stealing incremental market opportunities over time.  Favorite Quote: “This exact thing is currently happening with 802.11. This tiny, and increasingly inexpensive radio is already shockingly versatile. The same $30 radio can be used to serve wireless connectivity in your office, connect both you PCs and your multimedia in your home, and provide coverage to a police force across an entire downtown area. Add a Pringles can as a directional antenna (no kidding!), and this $30 radio is capable of providing high-speed line-of-sight connectivity at a distance of 10 miles. In fact, the majority of the volume in the line-of-sight fixed wireless market has shifted almost entirely to low-cost 802.11 radios.” February 10, 2003: Software In A Box: The Comeback Of The Hardware Based Business Model (Link) Summary: Software companies might pitch their product inside a hardware offering, going against conventional Silicon-Valley logic. Gurley notes that while pure software businesses generate higher margins with lower capital intensity, it comes at a cost: software-only business models are harder to execute. Gurley saw the software-in-a-box path as the easier option because it addressed seven key issues:  Development complexity/Quality Assurance Performance Security Provisioning Reliability/Stability/Customer Service Pricing Distribution Favorite Quote: “There is a silver lining. The industry has changed in ways that improve the “business model” elements of selling hardware. The key driver is the standardization and general availability of hardware components, particularly those used in generic Intel-based 1U servers. As a result, the hardware is not a proprietary design, but rather a type of packaging. Think of it as an alternative to a cardboard box.” March 18, 2003: Pay Attention To BPM (Link) Summary: Business Process Management, or BPM, will change all of business. Gurley was so excited about BPM because it solved four main sticking points in an enterprise’s day-to-day process:  Codifying current processes Automating execution Monitoring current performance Making on-the-fly changes to improve current processes For the first time, employees could “hand off” applications to other employees inside the firm. This allowed for faster improvement and implementation of better processes throughout the organization.  Favorite Quote: “Of course, the real winners here will be customers that embrace BPM to further automate, enhance, streamline, and optimize their core business processes. These processes are the core intellectual property of most businesses. And just as the level of competition in manufacturing increased with JIT, the level of competition with respect to non-manufacturing business processes will increase with BPM. Companies that lead will succeed.” April 23, 2003: Dot-Com Double Take (Link) Summary: Many investors threw all “Internet Based” businesses out with the bathwater during the Dot-Com bubble. According to Gurley, that was clearly the wrong approach. Underneath the grime of pump-and-dump schemes, the Dot-com Bubble created durable, profitable businesses (like AMZN, GOOGL, Verisign, etc.).  Gurley saw four reasons why these left-for-dead Internet companies worked:  They weren’t bad ideas. Rationality set in first.  Quick capacity reduction.  Internet usage growth is systematic, not cyclical.  Favorite Quote: “Consumer spending may be down 5%, but online spending is still such a small percentage of overall consumer spending that growth results from the continued increase in online usage. With IT expenditures already at 50% of corporate capital expenditures, the opposite is true for traditional information technology spending.” June 10, 2003: In Search Of The Perfect Business Model: Increasing Marginal Utility (Link) Summary: Increased marginal utility (IMU) is the holy grail of capitalism. It’s also easier than ever to attempt IMU in our internet-based world. IMU means that for each incremental time a customer uses your product/service, they receive more value than the previous time they used it. You don’t need switching costs in an increasing marginal utility ecosystem. Why? Because switching costs lock in a customer in an “I win, you lose” scenario. In an IMU world, the customer feels left out if they don’t use your product or service. The goal: find companies that produce increased marginal utility for their customers.  Favorite Quote: “This may be the nirvana of capitalism – increased marginal customer utility. Imagine the customer finding more value with each incremental use. Some may suggest that this concept already exists in the form of volume discounts. However, this offers a vendor no real competitive advantage, as all of its competitors are likely to offer the same discount to large purchasers. Others may feel this is just a buffed-up version of “high switching costs.” On the contrary, increased marginal customer utility preempts the need to impose switching costs, which can be seen as “trapping” or “tricking” the customer. Instead, the customer who abandons increasing marginal customer utility would experience ‘switching loss.’” July 16, 2003: The Comeback Of The Mobile Internet (Link)  Summary: Mobile internet flourished thanks to the growth in cell phones. With cell phones, billions of people could access the internet, purchase items, and engage in content. In fact, cell phones will dominate the war against PCs. There are a few reasons Gurley believes this claim. First, cell phones are everywhere. Billions of people have them. Second, they’re portable, allowing users to kill time on apps and games. Third, people are more likely to purchase over the internet on their phones. Finally, IP addresses make it easy for billions of users to connect simultaneously.  Favorite Quote: “While a more carrier-friendly split may be good for the carrier’s bottom line, it could drive content providers to more generous carriers, rendering the greedy carriers’ offerings less attractive to users. Interestingly, one of the most successful content platforms, Japan’s DoCoMo service, is built around an extremely generous 91%-9% split, which is more favorable than all U.S. and European carriers’ current deals. The carriers are all walking a fine line between driving revenues and creating a viable ecosystem to encourage publishers to invest in content.” August 23, 2003: Much Ado About Options (Link) Summary: People worry too much about stock options and their impact on bottom-line earnings. Yes, there are certain instances where stock options balloon to large percentages of pre-tax earnings. But those are few and far between. Also, it doesn’t really matter whether a company grants options or restricted stock. Both offer employees skin in the game, and both cost the company roughly equal equity. That said, restricted stock incentivizes value retention. Whereas options incentivize value creation.  Favorite Quote: “In addition, restricted stock grants could encourage a form of widespread corporate conservatism. If an executive is granted $2MM worth of stock, he or she might have incentive to help increase the price to say $2.3MM, or 15%. That said, the incremental $300K is peanuts when it comes to protecting the value of the $2MM already on the table. There is a huge difference between corporate sustainability and corporate value creation. GM traded at $38 per share in 1994, and since it is $38 per share today, it has “sustained” value for the past nine years. Is this the type of behavior we hope to encourage?” October 7, 2003: Beware The Digital Hand (Link)  Summary: Digitization is great for consumers, but awful for consumer electronics producers. Semiconductors make electronics faster, cheaper and more powerful. Who reaps the rewards? The semiconductor industry. That’s where differentiation happens. Consumer electronics (CE) companies commoditize, forced to differentiate another way: supply chain. The CE leaders will be the ones with the shortest distance between their product and the customer.  Favorite Quote: “Digitization is creeping its way across the entire consumer electronics industry, as we slowly remove analog media and components from our lives. While this is good news for consumers who benefit from the low prices that the digital hand ensures, the quid pro quo for businesses is brutal competition.” December 18, 2003: Cleaning Up After The Ninth Circuit In An Attempt To Save The Internet (Link)  Summary: A regulated internet disproportionately hurts these four groups: consumers, IT businesses, American competitiveness, and RBOCs. Regulation hurts consumers in the form of higher prices to compensate for increased taxes. IT businesses hurt because if you slow the speed of internet adoption, you remove the runway for the IT industry. This translates into competitiveness issues as places like South Korea see 60%+ internet adoption. Finally, RBOC’s hurt because it would be a repeat of DSL regulations, which slashed growth and prompted the switch to cable modems.  Favorite Quote: “We should all know by now that rather than increasing competition, regulation typically reinforces monopolies and oligopolies. Startups will not and cannot prevail in heavily regulated industries. They lack the required resources and capital to manage fifty different utility commissions on a hundred different regulatory issues. For this same reason, you will never see a startup deliver an automobile in the U.S. as the regulatory red tape swamps all efforts. Increased regulation will do nothing more than ensure that new competitors and innovative solutions are permanently locked out of the market.” * * * That’s about where Substack cuts us off! Stay tuned next week for the next part of our Bill Gurley Chronicles Series! Tyler Durden Sun, 06/12/2022 - 15:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 12th, 2022

How New EU Sanctions On Russia Will Shake Up Global Energy Trade

How New EU Sanctions On Russia Will Shake Up Global Energy Trade By Greg Miller of FreightWaves, The Ukraine-Russia war has already shaken up global energy markets. Sanctions finalized Friday by the EU will shake them up a lot more — not only for the tanker industry but also for American diesel and gasoline consumers. The EU is a vastly larger buyer of Russian petroleum than the U.S., which banned imports from Russia in early March. The new EU sanctions will end Europe’s imports of Russian seaborne crude by Dec. 5 and refined products by Feb. 3, 2023. Perhaps even more importantly, the EU will phase in bans on EU insurance, reinsurance, technical services or any financial services for tankers carrying Russian crude and products to any country, including current buyers in India and China, over the same time frames. The U.K. is also set to ban insurance and reinsurance for such tankers. Over 90% of the world’s ships are insured in Europe and the U.K. The insurance ban could have “a dramatic impact on seaborne trade of Russian oil and oil products,” said brokerage and consultancy Poten & Partners. “The potential implications cannot be overstated.” Russia crude exports What does the new EU import ban have to do with U.S. fuel buyers? And how could tanker owners be affected? Since the war began, Russia has been able to keep its crude exports flowing. It is replacing lost sales to the West with sales to India and, to a smaller extent, China. Even before the ban, the EU has replaced 1 million barrels/day (b/d) in crude purchases from Russia, according to a Morgan Stanley report on Monday. But “there are limitations to the degree this ‘swap’ can extend further,” it said. As a result of those limitations, as well as supply contracts due to expire, it expects Russian crude production to decline by 1 million b/d between now and year-end. Lower crude production in Russia — to the extent it’s not replaced by OPEC, the U.S. and others — is a tailwind for oil prices. In tanker trades, the longer distance traveled by post-invasion Russian cargoes has boosted spot freight rates for Aframaxes (tankers with capacity of 750,000 barrels) and Suezmaxes (1-million-barrel capacity). These small and mid-sized tankers can be accommodated at Russian terminals. To the extent Russian cargoes are eventually replaced by Middle East exports, tanker demand would shift toward higher-capacity VLCCs (very large crude carriers; tankers with 2-million-barrel capacity), according to Evercore ISI analyst Jon Chappell. Yet there are a lot of moving pieces. Ship brokerage BRS made the counterargument Tuesday that the EU would source more crude from the U.S. — cargoes largely carried on Suezmaxes — leaving less U.S. crude to be exported to Asia, cargoes that move aboard VLCCs. Russia diesel exports The Russian export situation is much different in the product sector, particularly for diesel, than for crude, according to Morgan Stanley. With the EU ban on top of the U.S. ban, Morgan Stanley believes Russian petroleum products will have a much harder time finding sufficient alternate buyers. “If [Russian] refineries indeed struggle to find alternative buyers, it is likely that their own production would need to decrease. It seems likely that both crude oil production and refinery runs will decline over time, reducing supplies of both crude [and products] — especially diesel — to the rest of the world.” To the extent lost Russian flows can’t be replaced by new refinery output elsewhere, that’s more bad news for diesel buyers. The average retail price of diesel in the U.S. hit a new record high of $5.703 per gallon this week. EU restrictions on shipping insurance Those outside of shipping circles may not yet grasp the significance of the EU (and expected U.K.) ban on insurance for ships with Russian crude and products cargoes bound for non-EU destinations. “This is a critical measure” that will affect “a significant portion of the global tanker fleet,” emphasized Poten & Partners. “This will likely prevent many mainstream owners from lifting Russian cargoes,” said BRS. When the U.S. levied sanctions on tankers carrying Iranian and Venezuelan crude, exports ultimately kept flowing. Cargoes were loaded aboard older tankers with obscured ownership and no Western insurance and finance ties. Transactions were not conducted in U.S. dollars. Tanker owner Euronav (NYSE: EURN) frequently highlights this issue on conference calls, referring to it as the “illicit trade.” At last count, Euronav estimated that this fleet had stabilized at around 55-60 elderly VLCCs, plus around 30 Suezmaxes. ‘Illicit’ trade to surge? In order to maintain export flows after EU sanctions kick in, Russia and/or its cargo buyers would have to find enough replacement tankers, either by using already sanctioned Russian vessels or tapping the “illicit” fleet. According to BRS, “Although [the insurance ban] will discourage mainstream tanker owners from lifting cargoes, it will not likely discourage niche tanker owners whose vessels are already involved in the transport of illicit Iranian and Venezuelan oil.” The question is: Are there enough crude and product tankers available to enter this legally grey trade by the time EU sanctions kick in, beyond those already serving Venezuela and Iran? Poten estimated that “if the insurance ban takes most of the international fleet out of the equation,” Russia would need to secure services of 20 Aframaxes (for ship-to-ship transfer), 51 Suezmaxes and 43-48 VLCCs. “Finding these vessels and arranging insurance could be very challenging,” warned Poten. “It may also make it difficult for these vessels to get employed in regular international oil trades.” Tyler Durden Sat, 06/11/2022 - 08:10.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 11th, 2022

DocuSign Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2023 Financial Results

SAN FRANCISCO, June 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- DocuSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:DOCU), which offers the world's #1 e-signature solution as part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, today announced results for its fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2022. "We delivered solid first-quarter results, growing revenue by 25% year-over-year and adding nearly 67,000 new customers, bringing our total global customer base to 1.24 million. We also bolstered our leadership team with key new hires who, together with our existing team, are ensuring we're well-positioned to grow and scale our business," said Dan Springer, CEO of DocuSign. "With over a billion users worldwide, the proven value of our products, and the significant opportunity we have ahead of us, we're confident in our ability to successfully navigate the challenges of a dynamic global environment." First Quarter Financial Highlights Total revenue was $588.7 million, an increase of 25% year-over-year. Subscription revenue was $569.3 million, an increase of 26% year-over-year. Professional services and other revenue was $19.4 million, an increase of 13% year-over-year. Billings were $613.6 million, an increase of 16% year-over-year. GAAP gross margin was 78% for both periods. Non-GAAP gross margin was 81% for both periods. GAAP net loss per basic and diluted share was $0.14 on 200 million shares outstanding compared to $0.04 on 194 million shares outstanding in the same period last year. Non-GAAP net income per diluted share was $0.38 on 206 million shares outstanding compared to $0.44 on 208 million shares outstanding in the same period last year. Net cash provided by operating activities was $196.3 million compared to $135.6 million in the same period last year. Free cash flow was $174.6 million compared to $123.0 million in the same period last year. Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and investments were $1,063.8 million at the end of the quarter. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures has been provided in the tables included in this press release. An explanation of these measures is also included below under the heading "Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Other Key Metrics." Operational and Other Financial Highlights Executive Appointments. DocuSign appointed the following key new leaders: Steve Shute as President of Worldwide Field Operations. Steve brings nearly three decades of experience leading global enterprise sales and success organizations at large technology companies. Prior to joining DocuSign, Steve served as the President of Global Sales & GTM for Customer success at SAP. Jim Shaughnessy as Chief Legal Officer. Jim brings over 20 years of public policy and legal experience at technology companies. Prior to joining DocuSign, Jim spent 10 years at Workday where he served as General Counsel and Senior Advisor for Corporate Affairs. Jennifer Christie as Chief People Officer. Prior to joining DocuSign, Jennifer served as the Chief HR Officer for Twitter and Bolt. She was also the SVP of HR at American Express and served as Special Assistant to the President for personnel. Inhi Cho Suh as President of Product and Technology starting in July 2022, when she will transition off DocuSign's board of directors. Inhi has spent over 20 years at IBM, successfully traversing senior product and technology leadership roles. Jerome Levadoux as DocuSign's Chief Product Officer. Prior to stepping into the CPO role, Jerome was the Head of eSignature Products for DocuSign. DocuSign CLM Essentials. DocuSign introduced CLM Essentials, a fast, easy and affordable way to get started with CLM. CLM Essentials makes contract management accessible to medium sized businesses and departments that are looking for a quick solution to help automate many of the most common agreement processes — such as document generation, collaboration, workflows and repository. DocuSign Agreement Cloud 2022 Product Release 1. DocuSign announced many new product capabilities and enhancements with highlights in the following areas: Scheduled Send for DocuSign eSignature. Gives users the flexibility to schedule an agreement to be sent at a specific date and time. This improves response rates, by delivering agreements at the times optimal for the user. Other Agreement Cloud enhancements such as additional methods for ID Verification and AI-Assisted Data Capture for DocuSign CLM. Microsoft Partnership Expansion. On June 7, 2022, DocuSign announced an expansion of its global strategic partnership with Microsoft to offer new DocuSign Agreement Cloud integrations and capabilities across Microsoft's business solutions. As part of the agreement, Microsoft and DocuSign will also expand the use of each other's products within their own organizations. Microsoft will adopt DocuSign's products and services, including DocuSign eSignature and CLM, to streamline select e-signature and contract management workflows. Outlook The company currently expects the following guidance: Quarter ending July 31, 2022 (in millions, except percentages): Total revenue $600 to $604 Subscription revenue $583 to $587 Billings $599 to $609 Non-GAAP gross margin 79% to 81% Non-GAAP operating margin 16% to 18% Non-GAAP diluted weighted-average shares outstanding 205 to 210  Year ending January 31, 2023 (in millions, except percentages): Total revenue $2,470 to $2,482 Subscription revenue $2,394 to $2,406 Billings $2,521 to $2,541 Non-GAAP gross margin 79% to 81% Non-GAAP operating margin 16% to 18% Provision for income taxes $7 to $11 Non-GAAP diluted weighted-average shares outstanding 205 to 210 The company has not reconciled its guidance of non-GAAP financial measures to the corresponding GAAP measures because stock-based compensation expense cannot be reasonably calculated or predicted at this time. Accordingly, a reconciliation has not been provided. Webcast Conference Call Information The company will host a conference call on June 9, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET) to discuss its financial results. A live webcast of the event will be available on the DocuSign Investor Relations website at investor.docusign.com. A live dial-in will be available domestically at 877-407-0784 or internationally at 201-689-8560. A replay will be available domestically at 844-512-2921 or internationally at 412-317-6671 until midnight (ET) June 23, 2022 using the passcode 13728945. About DocuSign DocuSign helps organizations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements. As part of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, DocuSign offers eSignature, the world's #1 way to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time. Today, over a million customers and more than a billion users in over 180 countries use the DocuSign Agreement Cloud to accelerate the process of doing business and simplify people's lives. For more information, visit www.docusign.com, call +1-877-720-2040, or follow @DocuSign on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Copyright 2022. DocuSign, Inc. is the owner of DOCUSIGN® and all its other marks (www.docusign.com/IP). Investor Relations:DocuSign Investor Relationsinvestors@docusign.com Media Relations:DocuSign Corporate Communicationsmedia@docusign.com Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that are based on our management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management, and which statements involve substantial risk and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by terms such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "could," "intends," "target," "projects," "contemplates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue" or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions that concern our expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, among other things, statements under "Outlook" above and any other statements about expected financial metrics, such as revenue, billings, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP diluted weighted-average shares outstanding, and non-financial metrics, such as customer growth, as well as statements related to our expectations regarding our growth, the benefits of the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, and the anticipated benefits of our strategic partnership with Microsoft, including the implementation of new integrations or features and the adoption of certain products. They also include statements about our future operating results and financial position, our business strategy and plans, market growth and trends, and our objectives for future operations. These statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to our expectations regarding the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the easing of related regulations and measures as the pandemic and its related effects begin to abate or have abated, on our business, results of operations, financial condition, and future profitability and growth; our expectations regarding the impact of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic on the businesses of our customers, partners and suppliers, and the economy, as well as the macro- and micro-effects of the pandemic, including the pace of the digital transformation of business and differing levels of demand for our products as our customers' priorities, resources, financial conditions and economic outlook change; global macro-economic conditions, including the effects of inflation, rising interest rates and market volatility on the global economy; our ability to estimate the size of our total addressable market, and the development of the market for our products, which is new and evolving; our ability to effectively sustain and manage our growth and future expenses, achieve and maintain future profitability, attract new customers and maintain and expand our existing customer base; our ability to scale and update our platform to respond to customers' needs and rapid technological change; the effects of increased competition in our market and our ability to compete effectively; our ability to expand use cases within existing customers and vertical solutions; our ability to expand our operations and increase adoption of our platform internationally; our ability to strengthen and foster our relationships with developers; our ability to expand our direct sales force, customer success team and strategic partnerships around the world; the impact of any data breaches, cyberattacks or other malicious activity on our technology systems; our ability to identify targets for and execute potential acquisitions; our ability to successfully integrate the operations of businesses we may acquire, and to realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions; our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our brand; the sufficiency of our cash, cash equivalents and capital resources to satisfy our liquidity needs; limitations on us due to obligations we have under our credit facility or other indebtedness; our failure or the failure of our software to comply with applicable industry standards, laws and regulations; our ability to maintain, protect and enhance our intellectual property; our ability to successfully defend litigation against us; our ability to attract large organizations as users; our ability to maintain our corporate culture; our ability to offer high-quality customer support; our ability to hire, retain and motivate qualified personnel; our ability to estimate the size and potential growth of our target market; uncertainties regarding the impact of general economic and market conditions, including as a result of regional and global conflicts or related government sanctions; and our ability to maintain proper and effective internal controls. Additional risks and uncertainties that could affect our financial results are included in the sections titled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2022 filed on March 25, 2022, our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended April 30, 2022, which we expect to file on June 9, 2022 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), and other filings that we make from time to time with the SEC. In addition, any forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable as of this date. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons if actual results differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Other Key Metrics To supplement our consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use certain non-GAAP financial measures, as described below, to understand and evaluate our core operating performance. These non-GAAP financial measures, which may be different than similarly-titled measures used by other companies, are presented to enhance investors' overall understanding of our financial performance and should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. We believe that these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful information about our financial performance, enhance the overall understanding of our past performance and future prospects, and allow for greater transparency with respect to important metrics used by our management for financial and operational decision-making. We present these non-GAAP measures to assist investors in seeing our financial performance using a management view, and because we believe that these measures provide an additional tool for investors to use in comparing our core financial performance over multiple periods with other companies in our industry. However, these non-GAAP measures are not intended to be considered in isolation from, a substitute for, or superior to our GAAP results. Non-GAAP gross profit, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP operating expenses, non-GAAP income from operations, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per share: We define these non-GAAP financial measures as the respective GAAP measures, excluding expenses related to stock-based compensation, employer payroll tax on employee stock transactions, amortization of acquisition-related intangibles, amortization of debt discount and issuance costs, fair value adjustments to strategic investments, and, as applicable, other special items. The amount of employer payroll tax-related items on employee stock transactions is dependent on our stock price and other factors that are beyond our control and do not correlate to the operation of the business. When evaluating the performance of our business and making operating plans, we do not consider these items (for example, when considering the impact of equity award grants, we place a greater emphasis on overall stockholder dilution rather than the accounting charges associated with such grants). We believe it is useful to exclude these expenses in order to better understand the long-term performance of our core business and to facilitate comparison of our results to those of peer companies and over multiple periods. In addition to these exclusions, we subtract an assumed provision for income taxes to calculate non-GAAP net income. We utilize a fixed long-term projected tax rate in our computation of the non-GAAP income tax provision to provide better consistency across the reporting periods. For fiscal 2023, we determined the projected non-GAAP tax rate to be 20% tax rate. Free cash flow: We define free cash flow as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment. We believe free cash flow is an important liquidity measure of the cash that is available (if any), after purchases of property and equipment, for operational expenses, investment in our business, and to make acquisitions. Free cash flow is useful to investors as a liquidity measure because it measures our ability to generate or use cash in excess of our capital investments in property and equipment. Once our business needs and obligations are met, cash can be used to maintain a strong balance sheet and invest in future growth. Billings: We define billings as total revenues plus the change in our contract liabilities and refund liability less contract assets and unbilled accounts receivable in a given period. Billings reflects sales to new customers plus subscription renewals and additional sales to existing customers. Only amounts invoiced to a customer in a given period are included in billings. We believe billings is a key metric to measure our periodic performance. Given that most of our customers pay in annual installments one year in advance, but we typically recognize a majority of the related revenue ratably over time, we use billings to measure and monitor our ability to provide our business with the working capital generated by upfront payments from our customers. For a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, please see "Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below.   CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited) Three Months Ended April 30, (in thousands, except per share data) 2022 2021 Revenue:      Subscription $   569,251 $   451,935      Professional services and other 19,441 17,143           Total revenue.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJun 9th, 2022

Top Research Reports for Novo Nordisk, Toyota & Salesforce

Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO), Toyota Motor Corporation (TM), and Salesforce, Inc. (CRM). Thursday, June 9, 2022The Zacks Research Daily presents the best research output of our analyst team. Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO), Toyota Motor Corporation (TM), and Salesforce, Inc. (CRM). These research reports have been hand-picked from the roughly 70 reports published by our analyst team today. You can see all of today’s research reports here >>>Novo Nordisk shares have outperformed the Zacks Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry over the past year (+36.9% vs. +19.3%) on the back of the company’s promising diabetes drug, Ozempic, which is off to a solid start since its launch. The launch of Rybelsus also looks impressive. Novo Nordisk has one of the broadest diabetes portfolios in the industry. Ozempic, Rybelsus, Xultophy and Saxenda have been helping the company maintain momentum. Label expansion of these existing drugs is expected to boost sales.However, lower realized prices in the United States, loss of exclusivity for products and stiff competition affect sales. Also, sales are being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the supply challenges for Wegovy have hurt the stock. The patent expiry on some of the products in Novo Nordisk’s portfolio is a concern.(You can read the full research report on Novo Nordisk here >>>)Toyota shares have declined -7.0% over the past year against the Zacks Automotive - Foreign industry’s decline of -27.3%. The Zacks analyst believes that the company is also reeling under severe chip crunch compounded by the Russia-Ukraine war. The Japanese auto biggie has warned of unprecedented commodity inflation. It expects a sharp increase in material costs to adversely impact the fiscal 2023 income to the tune of ¥1.45 trillion. Supply-chain disruptions, tough labor market, logistical challenges and manufacturing inefficiencies will play spoilsports.In the light of such headwinds, the company expects its operating income to decline around 20% on a year-over-year basis in fiscal 2023. High Capex and R&D expenses on advanced technologies are also likely to dent near-term margins and cash flows of the company. Further, Toyota's rising debt levels play a spoilsport. Consequently, the stock warrants a bearish stance now.(You can read the full research report on Toyota here >>>)Salesforce shares have declined -25.7% over the year-to-date basis against the Zacks Computer - Software industry’s decline of -21.1%. The Zacks analyst believes the stiff competition faced by the company is a concern. Besides, unfavorable currency fluctuations along with increasing investments in international expansions and data centers are an overhang on near-term profitability. Nevertheless, Salesforce is benefiting from a robust demand environment as customers are undergoing a major digital transformation.The rapid adoption of its cloud-based solutions is driving demand for its products. Salesforce’s sustained focus on introducing more aligned products as per customer needs is driving its top-line. Continued deal wins in the international market is another growth driver. Furthermore, the recent acquisition of Slack would position the company to be a leader in the enterprise team collaboration solution space and better compete with Microsoft’s Teams product.(You can read the full research report on Salesforce here >>>)Other noteworthy reports we are featuring today include Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX), and Equinor ASA (EQNR).Sheraz Mian Director of ResearchNote: Sheraz Mian heads the Zacks Equity Research department and is a well-regarded expert of aggregate earnings. He is frequently quoted in the print and electronic media and publishes the weekly Earnings Trends and Earnings Preview reports. If you want an email notification each time Sheraz publishes a new article, please click here>>>Today's Must ReadNovo Nordisk's (NVO) Diabetes Drugs Aid Growth Amid RivalrySupply Chain Troubles & Escalating R&D Costs Ail Toyota (TM)Digital Transformation and Acquisitions Aid Salesforce (CRM)Featured ReportsAbbott's (ABT) Diabetes Care Business Grows amid Forex WoesThe Zacks analyst is impressed with Abbott's diabetes business arm performance in the first quarter 2022 led by strong growth in FreeStyle Libre. Yet, foreign exchange woes remain a concern.Order Growth Aids Raytheon (RTX) Amid Purchase Oder FallPer the Zacks analyst, a solid order flow from the Pentagon and its foreign allies should boost Raytheon. Yet, purchase order declines due to OEM order cancellation might hurt the stock.Strong Backlog to Support Caterpillar (CAT) Amid High CostsPer the Zacks analyst, improving demand in its end markets and robust backlog levels will support Caterpillar's top-line performance and help negate the impact of inflated input costs on its margins.Intuit (INTU) Rides on Product Refresh, Higher SubscriptionsPer the Zacks analyst, Intuit is benefiting from frequent product refreshes, which help it to gain customers. Moreover, increase in subscriptions is driving stable revenue growth for the company.Inflows Aid Blackstone's (BX) Asset Growth, High Costs a WoePer the Zacks analyst, net inflows, diversified products and revenue mix will likely drive Blackstone's assets under management growth. Higher costs due to investments in franchise might hurt profits.New Product Development, Wide Market Reach Aid Eaton (ETN)Per the Zacks analyst Eaton's operations in 175 countries across the world and development of new products through ongoing R&D investments will continue to drive demand and boost profitability.Wynn Resorts (WYNN) Banks on Non-Gaming Revenues, Traffic Low Per the Zacks analyst, Wynn Resorts is likely to gain from robust non-gaming business and expansion efforts in domestic markets. However, coronavirus-induced lower visitation in Macau is a concern.New UpgradesEquinor (EQNR) to Benefit From Rising Clean Energy DemandThe Zacks analyst is impressed by Equinor's massive investments in renewable projects, comprising solar and wind energy. This makes it well-poised to capitalize on the rising clean energy demand.Freight Demand, Dividends, Buybacks Aid C.H. Robinson (CHRW)The Zacks analyst is encouraged by C.H. Robinson's top-line growth owing to strong freight demand. The company's efforts to reward shareholders through dividends and buybacks are also impressive. Arrow Electronics (ARW) Rides on Solid Product PortfolioPer the Zacks Analyst, Arrow Electronics' expanding product portfolio across the infrastructure software, next-generation hardware and hybrid cloud architectures spaces, is a key driver.New DowngradesSupply Chain Troubles & Higher Costs to Hurt Ciena (CIEN)Per the Zacks analyst, pandemic induced global supply chain troubles and component shortages is a major concern for Ciena. Higher operating costs are weighing down on margin expansionInflation & High Freight Cost to Mar Gap's (GPS) PerformancePer the Zacks analyst, Gap has been witnessing higher freight expense, headwinds at the Old Navy brand, inflationary pressures and sluggishness in China. Due to this, Gap slashed fiscal 2022 view.Forex Volatility, High Debt Concern Manulife Financial (MFC)Per the Zacks analyst, Manulife Financial has been witnessing increase in financial leverage over the last few years. Foreign exchange volatility raises financial risk. Profiting from the Metaverse, The 3rd Internet Boom (Free Report): Get Zacks' special report revealing top profit plays for the internet's next evolution. Early investors still have time to get in near the "ground floor" of this $30 trillion opportunity. You'll discover 5 surprising stocks to help you cash in.Download the report FREE today >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Free Stock Analysis Report Salesforce Inc. (CRM): Free Stock Analysis Report Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report Novo Nordisk AS (NVO): Free Stock Analysis Report Equinor ASA (EQNR): Free Stock Analysis Report Raytheon Technologies Corporation (RTX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 9th, 2022