Tag Archives: Public
Pinterest is betting big on ads and e-commerce as it heads to the public market, breaking away from its hobbyist beginnings as it aims to show investors it can eventually turn a profit.
The online bulletin board plans to grow by making it easier for users, or pinners, as Pinterest calls them, to buy products. That would include making ads more relevant, expanding internationally, and using technologies like Lens, its visual recognition tool, to recommend more products.
“We plan to improve the utility of our service by making it easier for Pinners to go from inspiration to action,” the company said in its first public filing on Friday with regulators ahead of its planned initial public offering. “In particular, we want to make Pinterest more shoppable.”
Pinterest is the second in a crop of high-profile, highly-valued tech companies that are expected to hold IPOs this year. Lyft has already filed publicly, while Uber, Airbnb, and Slack are expected to do so.
Pinterest posted $ 755.9 million in revenue in 2018, up from $ 472.9 million the previous year—a 60% increase. By 2021, Pinterest’s ad revenue will grow to $ 1.7 billion, says research firm eMarketer.
Pinterest will have help from its new head of engineering, Jeremy King, who formerly served as chief technology officer for Walmart. King, touted by Pinterest as an “expert in e-commerce development” in announcing his hire yesterday, is expected to help the company with improving Lens.
Regardless, Pinterest is still hemorrhaging money. The company lost $ 63 million in 2018, but that was far less than in 2017, when it lost $ 130 million. And though it has a growth plan, Pinterest admitted in its filing that it still has a long way to go to reach profitability.
“We are in the early stages of our monetization efforts, and there is no assurance we will be able to scale our business for future growth,” the company said.
Most of Pinterests’ user growth is abroad, while most of its revenue is from U.S. users. That means the company must either figure out how to jump start growth in its U.S. user base or better leverage its overseas users for revenue.
The number of Pinterest’s international monthly active users has tripled since the first quarter of 2016. Yet during the same time period, U.S. users only grew 20%.
Pinterest, founded in 2010, didn’t start seriously selling ads until 2014 in the U.S. Now, it’s focused on expanding international ad sales, of which there’s plenty of room for growth.
Pinterest’s collected $ 3.16 in revenue from each of its 82 million active U.S. users. But the company’s 184 million users overseas accounted for only nine cents of revenue each.
Pinterest’s plans for making money recall those of rising competitor Instagram, which is also trying to help consumers shop—and make some money in the process. But unlike Instagram, Pinterest believes it captures attention of consumers when they’re looking for inspiration for their wardrobe or still mapping out an idea for specific DIY home project.
And that, according to Pinterest, is what gives the company a competitive advantage.
The last time you renewed or got a new contract in place with a big pubic cloud provider, how did your negotiations go? For most enterprises this past year, such negotiations did not go very far. These days, the amount of money on the table is much larger, and the public cloud providers are starting to negotiate more like enterprise software providers—like IBM, Oracle, Adobe, and SAP—than like public cloud utilities.
So, I am commonly asked, “How do I negotiate with my cloud provider when they already know that I’m dependent on them as my cloud platform of choice?”
Here are three tips that will give you some advantages, even if your back is up against the cloud wall.
FILE PHOTO — Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto show in New York, U.S. on February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
(Reuters) – Activist investor Carl Icahn sued Dell Technologies on Thursday, alleging that the computer maker did not disclose financial information related to its plans to go public by buying back its tracking stock (DVMT.N).
Icahn, who owns 9.3 percent of Dell, called the proposed deal a “conflicted transaction that benefits the controlling stockholders, at the expense of the DVMT stockholders”.
Dell in July said it would pay $ 21.7 billion in cash and stock to buy back shares tied to its interest in software company VMware Inc (VMW.N), returning the company to the stock market without an initial public offering.
Icahn and other hedge fund investors have resisted the plan, saying the proposed deal massively undervalues the tracking stock.
“We believe this is a threat blatantly deployed in an attempt to coerce DVMT stockholders to vote in favor of the merger, or else risk the unknown consequences of the forced IPO conversion,” Icahn said on Thursday.
Both Dell and Icahn were not immediately available for comment.
Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty
TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba Memory Corp, the world’s No. 2 producer of NAND flash memory chips, will go public as soon as the autumn of next year, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.
Toshiba Corp sold Toshiba Memory in June to a consortium led by Bain Capital LP, which also included Apple Inc, South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix, Dell Technologies and Seagate Technology.
When asked about the Kyodo News report, a spokesman from Toshiba Memory said there is no change to its plans to go public in the next two to three years and that it has not made a decision on when specifically it will launch its initial public offering.
The sale of the chip unit helped save Toshiba Corp from years of financial crisis brought about by accounting scandals and billions of dollars in cost-overruns at its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.
Reporting by Yoshiyasu Shida, writing by Stanley White; Editing by Vyas Mohan
(Reuters) – Dell Technologies Inc said on Monday it would pay $ 21.7 billion in to buy back shares tied to its interest in software company VMware Inc (VMW.N), paving the computer maker’s way back to the public market without an initial public offering.
Dell said the cash and stock deal will value its equity at between $ 61.1 billion and $ 70.1 billion, more than twice the $ 24.9 billion that founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell and buyout firm Silver Lake paid to take company private in 2013.
The transaction will allow Dell to bypass the traditional IPO process, which would likely have involved grilling by stock market investors over its $ 52.7 billion debt pile.
It also means Dell will not have to raise any new money, because it will pay for the deal by issuing new shares and a $ 9 billion dividend it will receive from VMware.
Going public gives Michael Dell and Silver Lake the option to eventually sell down their stakes, even as they affirmed on Monday they had no plans to do so. Following the deal, Michael Dell will own 47 percent to 54 percent of the combined company, while Silver Lake will own between 16 percent and 18 percent.
A new public security gives Dell currency it can use to pay for acquisitions beyond cash. The security which Dell is buying back is a so-called tracking stock tied to its 81 percent economic stake in VMware. VMware specializes in virtualization, a technology which allows multiple systems and applications to run at the same time on the same server, which can cut companies’ IT costs.
Dell issued the stock in 2016 to buy data storage company EMC Corp for $ 67 billion, because it could not pay for the whole deal in cash. EMC owned the majority stake in VMware, which Dell inherited.
Such a security “tracks” or depends on the financial performance of a specific business unit or operating division of a company rather than the operations of a company as a whole.
Dell will exchange each share of VMware tracking stock (DVMT.N) for 1.3665 shares of its Class C common stock, or $ 109 per share in cash for a total cash consideration of not more than $ 9 billion.
Dell said it will list its Class C shares on the New York Stock Exchange following the completion of the deal that will eliminate its tracking stock. Following the deal, investors who owned the tracking stock will in aggregate account for between 20.8 percent and 31 percent of Dell’s ownership.
The transaction represents a premium of 28.9 percent to the closing price of the tracking stock on Friday. The stock was up 10 percent at $ 93 in afternoon trading. VMware shares also rose 10 percent to $ 161.75.
“We believe that this development is positive for VMware shares not only because it avoids the reverse merger scenario, but also because there is the possibility of VMware being taken out by Dell in the future as a ‘second step’ following this transaction,” FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi wrote in a note.
A STRING OF DEALS
Michael Dell has turned to dealmaking to transform his company from a PC manufacturer into a broader seller of information technology services to businesses, ranging from storage and servers to networking and cyber security.
His strategy is in sharp contrast to that of rival HP Inc (HPQ.N), which separated in 2016 from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HPE.N), based on the reasoning that having two technology companies focusing separately on hardware and services would make them more nimble.
Dell’s strategy is beginning to pay off, as companies look to one-stop shops to help them manage their IT infrastructure on the cloud. Dell reported consolidated adjusted cash flow of $ 2.4 billion in its latest quarter, up by a third year-on-year. Its total debt has also gone down by $ 4.6 billion since the EMC deal.
“Dell is a very different company than it was five years or so years ago. And we’re seeing tremendous momentum inside the business,” Michael Dell told analysts on a conference call.
Dell had also said earlier this year it was considering a full merger with VMware. However, a special committee of VMware’s board of directors formed to safeguard the interest of VMware minority shareholders pushed back against the terms that Dell was proposing, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Reporting by Carl O’Donnell in Bangalore and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty
DETROIT (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) will provide Waymo with thousands of Pacifica hybrid minivans as Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit begins rolling out its first public ride-hailing service later this year, the companies said on Tuesday.
Depending on its scope and scale, the agreement could put pressure on the likes of Uber Technologies Inc and General Motors Co to speed up their efforts to start self-driving commercial ride-hailing services.
Waymo is part of a growing number of vehicle manufacturers, technology companies and tech startups looking to develop so-called robo-taxis over the next three years in North America, Europe and Asia. Most of those companies have one or more partners.
Fiat Chrysler provided Waymo with 100 Pacifica minivans refitted for self-driving testing in 2016, then 500 in 2017.
“Our partnership with Waymo continues to grow and strengthen; this represents the latest sign of our commitment to this technology,” Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said in a statement.
The companies said the automaker would start delivering “thousands” of minivans in late 2018. Waymo is due to begin offering a ride-hailing service to the public in Phoenix later this year.
“The additional Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used to support Waymo as it expands its service to more cities across the United States,” the companies said.
Asked for details on the length of the agreement, a spokeswoman for Fiat Chrysler said the companies would not disclose terms.
Last week, Waymo said it began testing self-driving vehicles in Atlanta, bringing to 25 the total number of U.S. cities in which it is testing.
“The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said.
Last November, Uber said it planned to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo as part of a non-exclusive deal from 2019 to 2021, marking the transition of the U.S. company from an app used to summon a taxi to the owner and operator of a fleet of cars.
Earlier this month, GM said it was seeking U.S. government approval for a fully autonomous car, one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal, to enter the automaker’s first commercial ride-sharing fleet in 2019.
Reporting By Nick Carey
SEATTLE (Reuters) – PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) new electric Semi trucks, the largest-known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday.
Tesla has been trying to convince the trucking community that it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks.
Early orders reflect uncertainty over how the market for electric commercial vehicles will develop. About 260,000 heavy-duty Class-8 trucks are produced in North America annually, according to FTR, an industry economics research firm.
PepsiCo’s 100 trucks add to orders by more than a dozen companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc (JBHT.O), and foodservice distribution company Sysco Corp (SYY.N). Reservations to date are at 267 Tesla trucks, according to a Reuters tally.
PepsiCo intends to deploy Tesla Semis for shipments of snack foods and beverages between manufacturing and distribution facilities and direct to retailers within the 500-mile (800-km) range promised by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk.
The semi-trucks will complement PepsiCo’s U.S. fleet of nearly 10,000 big rigs and are a key part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by a total of at least 20 percent by 2030, said Mike O‘Connell, the senior director of North American supply chain for PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay.
PepsiCo is analyzing what routes are best for its Tesla trucks in North America but sees a wide range of uses for lighter loads like snacks or shorter shipments of heavier beverages, O‘Connell said.
Tesla did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Tesla unveiled the Semi last month and expects the truck to be in production by 2019.
O‘Connell declined to say how much PepsiCo paid to reserve its trucks, when it placed its pre-orders, or whether it plans to lease the trucks or buy them outright. Tesla initially asked $ 5,000 per truck for pre-orders but that amount has since risen to about $ 20,000.
Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Peter Cooney
When he uploaded his first YouTube video, there was no way Kumar could have expected that he’d become a public face of H-1B visas: an advocate—and a whistleblower—for a way of life he can barely tolerate.
On his channel, Kumar Exclusive, Kumar serves as an everyman narrator of the experience of recipients of the coveted H-1B skilled worker visa, which allows foreign workers to fill technical jobs in America. His dispatches offer both user-friendly how-tos (how to find a job, how to avoid scams, how to win at an American-style interview) and warnings (tales of abusive bosses, short-term contracts, employees faking resumes to win visas, and companies that use lies to tempt foreign workers to the West). On YouTube, he’s amassed a small group following, whose members regularly watch his dispatches to gain practical advice for securing their spots as technical workers abroad.
Kumar’s first video was an afterthought—something he made on his lunch break. He’d left the low-slung office building where he worked processing data, sat in his car, and filmed with his cell phone on the dashboard. Quickly, he learned two things: There was an audience for his videos; he loved making them. It was also a distraction from his life on said visa, where he spends his time circling the country in search of short-term jobs that pay crap wages. His wife doesn’t like his hobby; she worries it’ll hurt his visa renewal. His friends have pointed out the people that threaten him, regularly, in the comments section.
None of this has stopped Kumar from filming thousands of videos. After all, he tells me, what else is he supposed to do?
“I don’t sleep, Alexis,” he says.
In a way, Kumar’s life is one big, messy juxtaposition. Our interview is yet another example of this. He’s eager to talk to me about the crappiest parts of the H-1B visa. Then again, our calls are frequently interrupted, because Kumar is looking for his next gig and needs to pick up call waiting in case it’s a recruiter.
By the time he got his H-1B visa, Kumar had been trying to enter the program for almost a decade. H-1B visas—which are granted each year to just 85,000 recipients, who hail predominantly from India and China—are tough to get; demand far outweighs supply. Though his bachelor’s degree was in literature, Kumar went back to school to earn a technical degree that would make him eligible for the program. Back in India, he’d been laid off from his government job when he received the news: His visa application had been approved.
The visa was tied to a job in New Jersey. The company would sponsor him and pay him a starting salary of $ 55,000 a year. In the summer of 2008, Kumar’s employer sent a plane ticket and he boarded a flight to Newark, leaving his wife and young son with his mother-in-law.
It felt like a fresh beginning. But quickly, he realized, he’d been unaware of the fine print. That job in New Jersey wasn’t quite a job—it was a project that would last for an uncertain amount of time. On paper, H-1Bs are tied to a specific company, making changing jobs or advancement difficult. (That’s one of the reasons the more flexible Optional Practical Training visa, or OPT, has become more popular.) But in practice, H-1B recipients are responsible for ensuring their continued employment, with jobs that could end at any moment.
Reading Kumar’s resume from his time in the United States, it would seem like he was working as a spy, or running from the law. In the 10 years he’s lived in America, he’s held jobs in over a dozen different cities. In 2010 alone he worked in North Carolina, Montana, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. (The project in Massachusetts lasted just 36 hours.) Eventually, he developed a system: He’d roll into town and stay in a motel while he looked for a more permanent place to live.
Kumar’s first job lasted just a few months. He picked up another project, this time in Maryland. He stayed in a motel for a week while he looked for housing, eventually decamping to the home of an Indian acquaintance, where he paid $ 700 a month for a room in the basement. When that job ended, he found another in Pennsylvania. He found himself criss-crossing through a strange country, whose small towns were proving trying.
The next year, he returned to India for surgery. But his visa required that he return to America within a few weeks, before he’d fully recovered. He was on bed rest, staying with a friend in Michigan, when he picked up his next contract—this time in North Carolina. He packed up his van and drove. Kumar was lonely; he was in pain. He cried for most of the trip.
By 2011, he’d saved up enough money for his wife and sons to join him. (That’s right: He now had two sons; his second son was born during the years he was working abroad.) Eventually, Kumar settled on the environs of Rochester, which is when he started commuting. He was hesitant to uproot his family for his erratic schedule, so he found himself driving wherever he got a project.
On Sunday evenings he’d drive 375-miles to a small Rhode Island city from Rochester. During the week he’d stay in a motel, and then dart off on Friday evenings for the trip back home. Another commute, this time to Ohio, was grueling enough that he thought about uprooting his family. But his manager was elusive on how long the job would last. His family stayed put.
Kumar says that the videos were a natural progression from his daily life. Despite his problems, Indian acquaintances often asked him for dispatches on his life in America. Once he started filming the videos, Kumar found that he had lots to say. His earliest videos are filled with practical advice. In one, titled “[sic] How to Get First Job,” he gives basic advice. (“Your resume is not your autobiography, if you put everything in the resume then what do you speak of in the interview?”) In another, called “Work Culture in America,” Kumar advises on how to get along with colleagues who might be annoyed by being around a foreigner. Over the years, his videos have become more controversial. He warns prospective visa recipients on what to avoid: fake job postings, lawyers who run away with H-1B money, and vendors who try to convince immigrants that fees should come out of their own pocket. He considers himself, in many ways, a truth teller.
Over the course of more than a thousand videos, Kumar’s production quality has improved a bit. Instead of speaking from memory, he now types up his points and reviews them off of a sheet of paper. He still films in his car or office, while pointing the camera at himself, selfie-style. Sometimes he films videos solely intended to delight. Last month, a Kumar video titled “[sic] The Beauty of America in fall season, NY,” showed a lake surrounded by trees with brilliant orange and red leaves.
In his YouTube bio, Kumar writes that the “highest ambition for any Indian” is coming to America, learning from the West, and returning back to India to change the system. And, as Kumar is the first to point out, without the H-1B program, he never would’ve gotten the chance to come. But that experience has been grueling. His kids, however, are thriving in American school. He’s not like other Indian parents, he tells me. He doesn’t force his kids to study; he doesn’t care if they become doctors. His oldest son, who is in seventh grade, likes basketball and dreams of going pro. He thinks adjusting to life back in India would be hard for them.
At one point, when his wife’s visa expired, Kumar suggested that she fake her resume and apply for an H-1B. Unlike her husband, she decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has tested its first driverless car on public roads, it said on Friday, as carmakers race against each other and tech firms to tap into new technologies.
Last October, a pod heavily adapted from a compact Renault car was the first autonomous car to take to Britain’s streets as part of government-backed trials aimed at seeing more widespread use of such vehicles by 2020.
Politicians are trying to make it as easy as possible to test new driving technologies in Britain, seeking to build an industry to serve a worldwide market expected to be worth around 900 billion pounds ($ 1.2 trillion) by 2025.
An Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is currently being debated in parliament to set out how new technologies will operate in Britain.
JLR hopes the testing will allow it to understand more about how self-driving vehicles interact with other cars and road infrastructure such as traffic lights and how models can replicate human behavior whilst driving.
“By using inputs from multiple sensors, and finding intelligent ways to process this data, we are gaining accurate technical insight to pioneer the automotive application of these technologies,” said Nick Rogers, the firm’s Executive Director for Product Engineering.
The testing is taking place in the central English city of Coventry, the historic heart of the British car industry, where JLR is headquartered. Trials will continue into next year.
Major automakers are seeking to head off the challenge not just from each other but also from technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, which is also developing autonomous vehicles.
Waymo said earlier this month that it will launch a ride-hailing service with no human behind the steering wheel and has been testing the fully self-driving cars on public roads in the U.S. state of Arizona.
($ 1 = 0.7548 pounds)
Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Hugh Lawson
The Guardian S integrates the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform and the Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, and leverages Windows 10 for the tablet …