FiftyThree, Maker of Popular Paper and Paste Apps, Gets Acquired
- Back in 2012, a Seattle-based startup named FiftyThree launched a drawing app designed for iPad, with a name that sounded like it was designed specifically for an Apple crowd: Paper.
- Tech writers described it as “the next great iPad app”, “a superbly designed sketching app,” and “a fresh canvas ready and waiting for your ideas, inspiration, and art.” FiftyThree later expanded to include an iPhone app, an optional subscription called Paper Pro, and Paste, a collaboration app.
- WIRED spoke to FiftyThree cofounder and CEO Georg Petschnigg about why he sold FiftyThree, the biggest changes he’s observed in the app economy over the past several years, and why he and his team ignored the words of Steve Jobs and made a stylus anyway.
- WIRED: So one of the things I’m hearing you say is Paper is a profitable program, Pencil was profitable for you...is FiftyThree profitable at this point in time?
Braavo raises $6M for its app financing business
- Braavo, a startup that provides financing to mobile app developers, is announcing that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding.
- The might not seem like much compared to the $70 million that Braavo announced raising last year, but that was debt financing, used to loan money to developers.
- Co-founder Mark Loranger told me Braavo was founded in 2015 in response to the “new dynamics” of mobile app businesses.
- Loranger described Braavo’s newer product as “more exciting” and “more data-driven.” It looks at user acquisition, user engagement and revenue, projecting how revenue would grow if a developer had more money for user acquisition — and then it can provide debt financing for that growth.
- GiveCampus Product Managers work with teams of engineers and designers to build products.
- The selected candidates will work directly with our co-founders to shape the company’s product suite, product strategy, and product team.
- To support this growth and accelerate it moving forward, we’re looking for a Director of Business Development -- an all-star hustler who is comfortable wearing all sorts of hats.
- To support this growth and accelerate it moving forward, we’re looking for a Business Development Associate -- an all-star hustler who is comfortable wearing all sorts of hats.
- This person will work closely with the Director of Business Development and our CEO to do whatever is necessary to grow the company.
Slack just raised a whopping $427 million to become a $7.1 billion company. Now, it has to defeat Microsoft
- Now, Slack can add one more to its win column, as it takes in a whopping $427 million in an investment round led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, with participation from T.
- That includes the $250 million mega-round it took in last September at a $5 billion valuation, in a deal led by Softbank.
- Also in September, Slack said it was at $200 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR), though it doesn't have an updated figure to share today.
- This $7.1 billion valuation makes it that much more unlikely that Slack will get bought up by a big tech company.
- If Amazon, for example, were to revisit its reported interest in buying Slack, it would likely have to pay a big premium over that valuation to seal the deal.
We just launched Plugged - a place where we write about gadgets for humans
- This is great, if you’re looking for something in particular, know exactly what your budget is, and what you’d like to use the product for.
- That’s why we’re launching Plugged: a beautiful new part of TNW where we discuss products in way that better suits the reader, and is just as enjoyable to read as all our other content.
- One day soon, products we write about will be categorized not by type, price, or how good they are, but by personality.
- Personally, I really like the way characters in Dungeons and Dragons are categorized; on two axes, one ranging from good to evil, the other from law to chaos.
- It allows us as writers to write for a certain type of person, and it allows you as reader to take on a ‘role’ in the content you get recommended.
TomboyX picks up $4.3 million Series A
- The company, founded by Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, offers gender-neutral underwear for an affordable price to folks who often aren’t represented in mainstream media.
- TomboyX started in 2013 after cofounder Fran Dunaway found herself struggling to find a Robert Graham-style button down shirt.
- After a brief run making fun, hip dress shirts, the founders realized that the brand name itself, TomboyX, was really resonating with customers.
- However, dress shirts didn’t exactly work as a hero product.
- Before that, TomboyX offered belts, buckles, shoes, and was centered more around a look than a specific product.
- Since, the company has stayed laser focused on underwear, swimwear and loungewear, and has seen 2000 percent growth over the last three years running.
- Dunaway says that TomboyX is the only apparel company who sells every item in XS all the way up to 4XL.
The guy in charge of Magic Leap’s ‘go to market strategy’ just left the company
- Magic Leap is supposed to launch its highly anticipated “mixed reality” headset soon.
- But the guy who’s in charge of marketing that headset to the world is leaving the company.
- Gattis describes his role at Magic Leap on his LinkedIn profile as leading “the Product Marketing discipline with responsibility for product definition, customer segmentation, and go to market strategy.” He has a history of helping launch big tech products.
- Before Magic Leap, Gattis ran marketing for HTC’s “connected products” division, including its virtual reality headset, the Vive.
- Before that, Gattis worked at Microsoft, where he helped launch the Microsoft Surface, according to his LinkedIn profile.
- It’s not the first time Magic Leap has had turnover at the top ranks of its marketing team.
- The company dealt with considerable turnover in marketing in late 2016, shortly after bringing in current CMO Brenda Freeman.
150-Year-Old MetLife Pilots Diabetes Insurance Payments on a Blockchain in Singapore
- MetLife has started tests on an automated insurance solution that will see enrolled pregnant women in Singapore get an automatic payout in case they are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
- According to MetLife, this is the world’s first automated insurance solution that employs blockchain technology in a pilot phase.
- Additionally, Vitana is the first insurance product focusing on gestational diabetes in Singapore where 20% of expectant mothers suffer from the condition.
- Some of the firms that partnered with LumenLabs to develop Vitana included electronic medical records provider Vault Dragon, blockchain tech firm Cognizant and reinsurer SwissRe. Additionally, LumenLab is also partnering with the Singapore Medial Group Women’s Health besides other clinics.
- MetLife’s Vitana is similar to an initiative by South Korea’s Kyobo Life where efforts were announced last year in April to develop blockchain applications that would see automatic claims payouts to medical insurance policyholders.
Westpac financial adviser stood to gain $3k bonuses for pushing BT products
- A Westpac financial adviser who gave poor advice to customers stood to gain thousands of dollars per customer in commissions for recommending BT super and insurance products, according to latest court documents.
- ASIC says it would have been cheaper to roll over all the super funds into a non-BT super fund, and the recommended life insurance had a higher premium and less coverage than the existing insurance policies.
- For selling the life and TPD policies, he stood to gain a bonus of up to $3878 in initial commissions and $352 every year after that in ongoing commissions.
- Conflicted remuneration, where advisers are paid a commission to push particular products, was banned as part of the Future of Financial Advice reforms but there is a carve-out that allows commission payments for agreements entered before July 2013.
Service as a SKU (2012)
- The biggest ecommerce opportunity today involves taking offline services and offering them for sale online (O2O commerce).
- The still-unfulfilled opportunity in O2O today is tantamount to tacking barcodes onto un-warehousable services by standardizing and normalizing the units being sold, something I call “Service as a SKU.” Just as Amazon figured out how to build the best warehouses and technology in the world for delivering boxes, somebody will do this for “unboxed” services, with customers driven not by discounts or scarcity, but rather by the Internet’s hallmarks of customer experience and convenience.
- To successfully create a SKU for every service, you need to normalize both the service provider (price/quality) and the service being rendered.
- It’s important to note that Service-as-a-SKU is not lead generation for offline services, nor is it just a glorified scheduling platform.
- Today, barcodes are a part of every mass-market product bought and sold throughout the world.