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VC Lindy Fishburne on the sudden democratization of science — and deep tech investing - techcrunch

VC Lindy Fishburne on the sudden democratization of science — and deep tech investing

Deep science investor Lindy Fishburne cofounded the seed- and early-stage venture firm Breakout Ventures several years ago, after cofounding Breakout Labs within the Thiel Foundation back in 2011, and she has made a wide array of interesting bets in the process. Among her firm’s portfolio companies is Cortexyme, a now publicly traded company that’s currently […]
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After TechCrunch broke the news yesterday that Coursera was planning to file its S-1 today, the edtech company officially dropped the document Friday evening. Coursera was last valued at $2.4 billion by the private markets, when it most recently raised a Series F round in October 2020 that was worth $130 million. Coursera’s S-1 filing […]
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Snowflake latest enterprise company to feel Wall Street’s wrath after good quarter - techcrunch

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Snowflake reported earnings this week, and the results look strong with revenue more than doubling year-over-year. However while the company’s fourth quarter revenue rose 117% to $190.5 million, it apparently wasn’t good enough for investors who have sent the company’s stock tumbling since it reported Wednesday after the bell. It was similar to the reaction […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
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In the world of early-stage startups, job titles are often a formality. In reality, each employee may handle a dozen responsibilities outside their job description. The choose-your-own-adventure type of work style is part of the magic of startups and often why generalists thrive here. However, as a company progresses and the team grows, there comes […]
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Tech stocks are getting hammered today, with previously high-flying shares of software companies taking even more damage. For a sector that has enjoyed a year in the sun, recent trading sessions have punctured a period of market adoration. It is too soon to say that the market is repricing tech stocks, but the selloff has […]
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In an age that everything goes viral on social media within a few hours, disinformation and black propaganda is the last thing that a business needs. An unhappy customer, competitors, or even foreign government-affiliated attackers can be the director of a wide-scale disinformation campaign. Big brands are usually the common targets of disinformation campaigns due […] The post 3 Ways Businesses Can Tackle Disinformation Campaigns appeared first on ReadWrite.
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We’re not digging into another IPO filing today. You can read all about AppLovin’s filing here, or ThredUp’s document here. This morning, instead, we’re talking about an old favorite: software valuations. The folks over at Battery Ventures have compiled a lengthy dive into the 2020 software market that’s worth our time — you can read […]
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SoftBank makes mountains of cash off of human laziness

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was yet another crazy week, but did our best to get through as much of it as we could. Here’s the rundown, in case you […]
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Virgin Galactic Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sells off remaining personal stake in the space company - techcrunch

Virgin Galactic Chairman Chamath Palihapitiya sells off remaining personal stake in the space company

The man who arguably ushered in the current SPAC rush with the merger of Virgin Galactic with his Social Capital Hedosophia holding company has divested the remainder of his personal holdings in the space tourism company. Chamath Palihapitiya, who serves as the Chairman of Virgin Galactic’s board, still holds 6.2% ownership in the company in […]
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Headquartered in San Francisco and Tokyo, Scrum Ventures is known for its accelerator programs focused on sports, food and smart city tech. Today it announced the launch of a new incubator program that will help startups from business partnerships with Japanese corporations. Called Scrum Studio, it will be spun out as an independent entity from […]
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techcrunch - 1 day ago
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techcrunch
Will ride-hailing profits ever come?

Will ride-hailing profits ever come?

techcrunch - 3 weeks ago

Uber and Lyft lost a lot of money in 2020. That’s not a surprise, as COVID-19 caused many ride-hailing markets to freeze, limiting demand for folks moving around. To combat the declines in their traditional businesses, Uber continued its push into consumer delivery, while Lyft announced a push into business-to-business logistics.

But the decline in demand harmed both companies. We can see that in their full-year numbers. Uber’s revenue fell from $13.0 billion in 2019 to $11.1 billion in 2020. Lyft’s fell from $3.6 billion in 2019 to a far-smaller $2.4 billion in 2020.


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But Uber and Lyft are excited that they will reach adjusted profitability, measured as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and even more stuff stripped out, by the fourth quarter of this year.

Ride-hailing profits have long felt similar to self-driving revenues: just a bit over the horizon. But after the year from hell, Uber and Lyft are pretty damn certain that their highly-adjusted profit dreams are going to come through.

This morning, let’s unpack their latest numbers to see if what the two companies are dangling in front of investors is worth desiring. Along the way we’ll talk BS metrics and how firing a lot of people can cut your cost base.

Uber

Using normal accounting rules, Uber lost $6.77 billion in 2020, an improvement from its 2019 loss of $8.51 billion. However, if you lean on Uber’s definition of adjusted EBITDA, its 2019 and 2020 losses fall to $2.73 billion and $2.53 billion, respectively.

So what is this magic wand Uber is waving to make billions of dollars worth of red ink go away? Let’s hear from the company itself:

We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss), excluding (i) income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of income taxes, (ii) net income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interests, net of tax, (iii) provision for (benefit from) income taxes, (iv) income (loss) from equity method investments, (v) interest expense, (vi) other income (expense), net, (vii) depreciation and amortization, (viii) stock-based compensation expense, (ix) certain legal, tax, and regulatory reserve changes and settlements, (x) goodwill and asset impairments/loss on sale of assets, (xi) acquisition and financing related expenses, (xii) restructuring and related charges and (xiii) other items not indicative of our ongoing operating performance, including COVID-19 response initiative related payments for financial assistance to Drivers personally impacted by COVID-19, the cost of personal protective equipment distributed to Drivers, Driver reimbursement for their cost of purchasing personal protective equipment, the costs related to free rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors, and others in need as well as charitable donations.

Er, hot damn. I can’t recall ever seeing an adjusted EBITDA definition with twelve different categories of exclusion. But, it’s what Uber is focused on as reaching positive adjusted EBITDA is key to its current pitch to investors.

Indeed, here’s the company’s CFO in its most recent earnings call, discussing its recent performance:

We remain on track to turn the EBITDA profitable in 2021, and we are confident that Uber can deliver sustained strong top-line growth as we move past the pandemic.

So, if investors get what Uber promises, they will get an unprofitable company at the end of 2021, albeit one that, if you strip out a dozen categories of expense, is no longer running in the red. This, from a company worth north of $112 billion, feels like a very small promise.

And yet Uber shares have quadrupled from their pandemic lows, during which they fell under the $15 mark. Today Uber is worth more than $60 per share, despite shrinking last year and projecting years of losses (real), and possible some (fake) profits later in the year.

sauce: techcrunch
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