Tag Archive | "Billion"

Walmart Competes Against Amazon for Flipkart Buy-In, $12 Billion Offered for Controlling Stake

US companies Walmart and Amazon are competing to acquire a controlling stake in Flipkart, India’s leading eCommerce company. Walmart has completed an in-depth due diligence on its proposed majority ownership in the Indian firm. However, rival Amazon also wants to put in a bid and offers a ‘breakup fee’ of $ 1 billion to $ 2 billion, a penalty to be paid in case the deal fails to proceed.

Unnamed sources revealed that Walmart is willing to pay $ 10 billion to $ 12 billion for a controlling stake of 51 percent or more, valuing Flipkart at roughly $ 20 billion. But the deal isn’t sealed yet because Amazon is reportedly interested as well.

Insiders privy to the matter disclosed that Flipkart’s board recently discussed the competing proposals. They seem to agree that Walmart’s offer is better since the US retailer will face fewer regulatory hurdles. On the other hand, Amazon is considered as Flipkart’s primary competitor. It will face tighter scrutiny for possible monopoly since both companies control the majority of India’s online retail market.

Founded by two former Amazon employees, Flipkart is taking on the eCommerce giant to have a piece of India’s expanding online retail market. According to Morgan Stanley estimates, eCommerce in the country is predicted to grow annually by 30 percent and will be worth $ 200 billion by 2026.

Because of its vast potential, Amazon is investing heavily in the emerging market. The eCommerce giant has spent $ 5 billion for its India operations but is losing to homegrown startups like Flipkart that know the market well.

Flipkart announced recent plans to construct a 4.5 million sq. ft. logistics facility in Southern India. This is significantly bigger than Amazon’s largest warehouse measuring 400,000-sq. ft. in the country. But the US online retailer also has 62 fulfillment centers and delivery stations located all over India.

Walmart’s entry will give the startup its much-needed funds to compete head-on with Amazon. Flipkart will also benefit from the retailer’s unparalleled experience in logistics and supply chain management.

The largest US retailer’s stake in Flipkart will depend on which of its shareholders are willing to sell. SoftBank, Tiger Global, and Naspers are just some of its largest investors. Insiders said that SoftBank prefers a deal with Amazon because of its success in online commerce. Tiger and Naspers will likely sell their holdings to Walmart for the right price, according to sources.

As of writing, Walmart, Amazon, and Flipkart have declined to comment on the matter.

[Featured image via Flipkart website]

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Dropbox’s Initial Public Offering is Priced at $21, Company Market Cap Reaches $9.1 Billion

Investors, especially those who specialize in picking tech stocks, will now have one additional company to consider as an investment option. A decade after its founding, Dropbox is now a publicly traded company starting Friday, March 23, 2018.

The San Francisco-based firm successfully hosted its IPO on Thursday where investors bought Dropbox share at $ 21. Popular for its cloud-based files storage and syncing service, the company was able to raise a whopping $ 750 million from the event.

The IPO price of $ 21 per share is already way above the $ 16 to $ 18 price range previously proposed by the company earlier this month. The final price was even higher than the latest estimate when Dropbox raised it to between $ 18 and $ 20 in its regulatory document filed on Wednesday.

At its current share price, Dropbox is now a publicly traded behemoth with a market capitalization of $ 9.1 billion. However, this amount still falls short compared to the $ 10 billion valuation it received during its last round of private funding in 2014.

Of course, many are fearful that the tech company’s valuation trend will go downhill after its IPO, which seem to hound some tech listings. For instance, investors had to wait for almost a year before Snapchat’s shares rebounded and started trading above its June 2017 IPO price of $ 17 per share. This is a turn off for short-term investors who do not wish to hold on to a share for too long.

But most investors remain upbeat on Dropbox’s future earning potential. The company is already cash flow positive and performed well last year. Its sales are on the rise, garnering a massive $ 1.11 billion in revenues for 2017 alone. The figure represents a 30 percent increase compared to 2016’s performance.

[Featured image via Dropbox]

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Salesforce Wants to Buy MuleSoft, $6.5 Billion Offered for Acquisition

In today’s ultra-competitive business environment where customer satisfaction is key to success, every company needs to have a proper Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy in place to stay ahead of the competition. This explains why the services of CRM-focused cloud computing companies such as the San Francisco-based Salesforce is in demand as they help other businesses polish their brand’s image while tapping into the full potential of their existing clientele.

But even CRM experts must evolve with the changing times to stay on top of the game, and this sometimes includes the plain old mergers and acquisitions route. Recently, Salesforce announced that it is willing to shell out some serious cash to buy API expert MuleSoft.

The deal is valued at a whopping $ 6.5 billion, which is expected to be finalized by July this year. At $ 44.89 per MuleSoft share, Salesforce is even willing to pay 36 percent on top of the current market price to sweeten the deal. However, it won’t be a pure cash transaction; Salesforce will pay $ 36 in cash as well as 0.0711 of its shares for every MuleSoft share.

Given the multitude of applications available to businesses, MuleSoft makes it easier for companies to connect, utilize and make sense of the jumble of data generated by their horde of apps and devices. The company is an industry leader in terms of integrating different APIs, making them work seamlessly in any cloud-based platform. Obviously, the company’s technical expertise is invaluable for Salesforce’s CRM and marketing services.

Aside from tech, the deal will also bring MuleSoft’s clientele within Salesforce’s reach. As an industry leader in cloud integration, Mulesoft runs a globe-spanning operation with around 1,200 clients across 60 countries, which includes Fortune 500 firms such as Coca-Cola, VMware, GE, Accenture, Airbus, AT&T, and Cisco.

The deal is ultimately geared toward improving Salesforce’s bottom line and, hopefully, help the CRM giant meet its rather ambitious revenue target. The company aims to increase its annual revenue to $ 60 billion by 2034. While MuleSoft only posted $ 300 million for its 2017 sales, Salesforce could tap into its tech expertise to improve its service and further boost its future revenue.

[Featured image via Salesforce]

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What Is A Many-To-Many Business And How Can This Model Produce Billion Dollar Outcomes

During the dot-com boom around the year 2000, and the years that followed (before I started this blog in 2005), I was a guy in his early twenties looking for a business idea to make my riches. At that stage, I had built a handful of websites. They were hobby…

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Cisco Ventures Into the Cloud, Acquires Broadsoft for $1.9 Billion

Cisco has just signed a check worth $ 1.9 billion for Broadsoft, a clear sign that the company is set on moving away from switches and routers and expanding its product portfolio.

Cisco, the world’s biggest producer of networking gear, announced on Monday that it offered Broadsoft $ 55 per share, a 28% premium over its closing price on Aug. 29. The market day ended with the two companies enjoying a rise in their shares, with Broadsoft enjoying a 1.5% boost before the bell.

News that Cisco was planning on acquiring the American telecom software company surfaced on Sunday, with the deal estimated to be valued at $ 1.71 billion based on its outstanding 31 million shares.

The arrangement between the two companies would also give Cisco a firmer stronghold in selling consolidated communications software to major telecommunication companies. It also heralds the company’s move from being a purely networking company to one that focuses on software and services delivered via the cloud.

The deal is expected to be wrapped up by the first quarter to 2018, after which Broadsoft employees will be joining Cisco’s communications technology division.

Broadsoft is known for supplying software and services that allow fixed-line, cable and mobile service providers to offer integrated communications over their IP networks. It has historically been offering its products to big telecom companies like AT&T and Verizon, which then resells the software to their clients. Meanwhile, Cisco has been placing all its attention on high-growth sectors like cloud computing, the Internet of Things and security.

While the move might have been surprising for some, Cisco’s management strongly believes the two companies complement each other. CEO Chuck Robbins said that the deal with Broadsoft will give their clients a way to better connect with their customers. According to Robbins, businesses have to think about how they interact with their customers when dealing with digital strategies. He also added that the “acquisition of Broadsoft actually gives us the most comprehensive set of collaboration solutions for our customers.”

Cisco’s Broadsoft acquisition is the company’s second large-scale purchase this year after scooping up AppDynamics for $ 3.7 billion in March. The company is also gearing up to acquire more companies. In May, Cisco agreed to purchase Viptela Inc., a software-based networking start-up, for $ 610 million. It also has plans to acquire Perspica, an analytics company focused on machine learning-driven operations. Cisco reportedly has plans to integrate Perspica’s engineering team with the AppDynamics group.

[Featured image via YouTube]

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Facebook Reaches a New Milestone — Two Billion Users!

Facebook has surpassed the two billion-user milestone, doubling their number of monthly active users in five years. The social media giant reached one billion monthly active users in October 2012, a few months after the company went public.

Facebook’s new milestone makes its user base larger than the population of any single country. In fact, its users represent more than a quarter of the world’s 7.5 billion people.

“As of this morning, the Facebook community is now officially 2 billion people!” CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

This new milestone marks Facebook’s growth from a college curiosity, which Zuckerberg started in 2004 in his dorm room, to the world’s largest social media network. In March, the Menlo Park-based company’s quarterly financial results reported that it had reached 1.94 billion monthly active users, a growth of 17 percent from a year earlier.

Each day, more than 800 million people “Like” something on the site. To celebrate the occasion, Facebook will start rolling out new features over the coming days that users will gain access to.

One of these features is Good Adds Up, a personalized video, featuring “inspiring stories of people using Facebook to bring communities together.” Another is Celebrating The Good People Do. “After someone reacts to a friend’s post with Love, wishes someone happy birthday or creates a group, they will see a message in News Feed thanking them,” says the site.

While Facebook has been making it a mission to get people to join more groups and communities on the site, Zuckerberg intends to raise that figure to a billion. According to him, 100 million users are currently part of “meaningful communities.”

Facebook defines an active user as a registered user who has logged in and visited Facebook through its website or mobile application, or used their Messenger program in the past 30 days. It does not, however, include users of the Instagram or WhatsApp networks but not Facebook. According to an estimate from last year, duplicate accounts may have represented some six percent of its worldwide user base.

Facebook has a bigger user population than other similar companies combined. In April, Twitter reported their monthly active users at 328 million. Snapchat estimated it had 166 million daily users by the end of the first quarter. WeChat, a service widely used in China, said in May that it had 938 million monthly active users in the first quarter.

Facebook has gained popularity outside the United States, Canada, and Europe. Those regions accounted for 38 percent of users three years ago, compared with about 30 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The company has rolled out optimized versions of its mobile applications, which use fewer data to increase usage rates in developing nations. It has been developing solar-powered drones that aim to extend internet connectivity around the planet.

The company uses its huge size advantage to lure advertisers, which topped five million in April, offering highly targeted marketing capabilities to advertisers based on data collected from their users.

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YouTube Tops 1 Billion Hours of Video a Day

Albert Einstein once stated ” For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained – and that’s our present universe.” This is his simple way of explaining why our universe is 99.9% matter and just a trace of anti-matter.

Now if you want an expanded explanation of Einstein’s matter/anti-matter quote, there are approximately 2,400 YouTube videos available for your viewing pleasure….so you better get started if you want to watch all of them. And yet the total running time of the 2,400 videos is a mere trace of the total hours of YouTube videos that are viewed in one day. That figure was announced yesterday by Cristos Goodrow, VP of engineering at YouTube, who stated on YouTube’s Blog Post that “…people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s incredible content every single day!”.

The head spins trying to compute all those hours. However, the real head spinning might be coming from the executives at the other video giants. A comparatively pint-sized 116 million hours are streamed on Netflix and 100 million hours streamed on Facebook according to Nielsen data.

So how does all of this daily video viewing translate into Google revenue? Well, on actual paper we don’t exactly know since YouTube’s viewership is not disclosed in Google’s earnings. But according to WSJ (via CNBC), in 2014 YouTube generated around $ 4 billion and broke even.

So if you’d rather press pause on the Einstein videos and instead watch a short clip reviewing Google milestone achievement, WSJ’s got you covered. The Journal points out that beginning in 2012, Google’s use of algorithms that pulled user data and increased video recommendations kept users watching longer. Actually, a heck of a lot longer.

Launched in May 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. (YouTube About Page)

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Over 1 Billion YouTube Videos Now Have Captions

“I envision a future where everything will be captioned, so the more than 300 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing like me will be able to enjoy videos like everyone else,” said Liat Kaver, a YouTube Product Manager focusing on captions and accessibility. “When I was growing up in Costa Rica, there were no closed captions in my first language, and only English movies had Spanish subtitles. I felt I was missing out because I often had to guess at what was happening on the screen or make up my own version of the story in my head. That was where the dream of a system that could just automatically generate high quality captions for any video was born.”

Google first launched a video captions option in 2006 followed by automated captions in 2009. Captions are now supported in 10 languages.

As YouTube grew, so did the number of videos with captions which now stands at over 1 billion. Kaver says that more than 15 million videos are watched each day with captions enabled.

Caption Technology

“One of the ways that we were able to scale the availability of captions was by combining Google’s automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with the YouTube caption system to offer automatic captions for videos,” says Kaver. “There were limitations with the technology that underscored the need to improve the captions themselves. Results were sometimes less than perfect, prompting some creators to have a little fun at our expense!”

Kaver says that one of their teams major goals has been to improve automatic caption accuracy via technological improvements in speech recognition, machine learning and increases in training data. “All together, those technological efforts have resulted in a 50 percent leap in accuracy for automatic captions in English, which is getting us closer and closer to human transcription error rates,” she says. “I know from firsthand experience that if you build with accessibility as a guiding force, you make technology work for everyone.”

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Google Removed 1.7 Billion Bad Ads in 2016

Google more than doubled the amount of ads it took down in 2016 from its platform compared to 2015, removing over 1.7 billion “bad” ads. Why take down so many ads? “Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself,” said Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Product Management for Sustainable Ads.

“We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads,” noted Spencer. “And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.”

Google’s Strategy for Taking Down Bad Ads

In 2016 Google expanded their definition of what a bad ad is in order to remove any ad that is misleading or deemed to be predatory. In July, for instance, they started banning ads for payday loans, which are considered a bad deal for the end user who often are poor to begin with. Google said that in just 6 months since implementing the ban over 5 million payday loan ads were removed.

Google also improved their bad ad technology. “We beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster,” said Spencer. “For example, “trick to click” ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015.”

More Key Bad Ad Actions Announced by Google
  • Disabled more than 68 million bad ads for healthcare violations.
  • Took down more than 17 million bad ads for illegal gambling.
  • Took down nearly 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users.
  • Detected and disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking ads.
  • Took down 7 million bad ads for attempting to trick our detection systems.
  • Suspended more than 1,300 accounts for tabloid cloaking, pretending to be news.
  • Took action on 47,000 sites for promoting content and products related to weight-loss scams.
  • Took action on more than 15,000 sites for unwanted software.
  • Disabled 900,000 ads for containing malware.
  • Suspended around 6,000 sites for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods.
  • Took action against 340 website owners impersonation news or other entities.

“While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here,” says Spencer. “As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.”

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Google Removed 1.7 Billion Bad Ads in 2016

Google more than doubled the amount of ads it took down in 2016 from its platform compared to 2015, removing over 1.7 billion “bad” ads. Why take down so many ads? “Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself,” said Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Product Management for Sustainable Ads.

“We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads,” noted Spencer. “And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.”

Google’s Strategy for Taking Down Bad Ads

In 2016 Google expanded their definition of what a bad ad is in order to remove any ad that is misleading or deemed to be predatory. In July, for instance, they started banning ads for payday loans, which are considered a bad deal for the end user who often are poor to begin with. Google said that in just 6 months since implementing the ban over 5 million payday loan ads were removed.

Google also improved their bad ad technology. “We beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster,” said Spencer. “For example, “trick to click” ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015.”

More Key Bad Ad Actions Announced by Google
  • Disabled more than 68 million bad ads for healthcare violations.
  • Took down more than 17 million bad ads for illegal gambling.
  • Took down nearly 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users.
  • Detected and disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking ads.
  • Took down 7 million bad ads for attempting to trick our detection systems.
  • Suspended more than 1,300 accounts for tabloid cloaking, pretending to be news.
  • Took action on 47,000 sites for promoting content and products related to weight-loss scams.
  • Took action on more than 15,000 sites for unwanted software.
  • Disabled 900,000 ads for containing malware.
  • Suspended around 6,000 sites for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods.
  • Took action against 340 website owners impersonation news or other entities.

“While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here,” says Spencer. “As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.”

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