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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Luxury fashion marketplace Farfetch opens trading on NYSE at $27, a pop of 35 percent

It’s been a strong year for tech IPOs so far, and it looks like today’s debut of Farfetch — a UK-based shopping site for luxury fashion — is on trend, so to speak. The company opened trading today — on NYSE under the ticker FTCH — at $27, making for a decent pop of 35 percent. The opening followed the company announcing late Thursday evening that it had priced its IPO at $20/share to raise $885 million from the sale of 44,243,749 Class A shares. This was above the expected range of $17 to $19, and gives the company a market cap of $5.8 billion.

The stock is now creeping up and is currently at $29.25/share.

This is generally a very strong showing for Farfetch, for e-commerce, and also for those who are working in the area of online sales focused not on bargains and the middle-to-lower end of the market, but the higher-priced end aimed at luxury goods — a market that was estimated to be worth $307 billion in 2017 and projected to reach $446 billion by 2025 (according to Bain, and cited in the original IPO filing).

Notably, in that filing, the company had put in a provisional marker for raising $100 million, which in the end was much lower than what it raised. At the time it was speculated that Farfetch would reach a valuation of anywhere between $6 billion and $8.37 billion — but it fell short of that.

As we have noted before, Farfetch was an early mover in the area of building e-commerce marketplaces specifically catering to the luxury fashion and other luxury goods industries. This end of the market was somewhat slow to embrace digital shopping: the belief was that for higher-end goods, you needed higher-end, more personalised and in-person service at beautiful boutiques.

With that backdrop, Farfetch started out by working with boutiques and fashion houses that had yet to establish any kind of online commerce profile of their own. “These sellers have been cautious in their adoption of emerging commerce technologies,” as Farfetch puts it in their IPO filing.

By pooling them together, Farfetch was able to create a high-end experience that was bolstered by its scale and reach. In the meantime, the average shopper for luxury goods has come a long way: at the younger end they are digital natives and expect to buy online (some even bypass sites altogether and only do so through messaging platforms), and there are a lot more of them, coming from cities far from fashion centers like London, Paris and New York. They may not always be able to fly instantly to buy pieces, but they can always click a mouse or tap their smartphone screens.

It’s still a relatively nascent market all the same.

“The luxury market is such a massive market, and so under-penetrated online. Only nine percent of sales happen online, and it’s a $100 billion opportunity,” said Danny Rimer, a partner at Index, one of Farfetch’s biggest investors.

(Farfetch’s most recent acquisition and major investment were both out of China to target these specific shoppers.)

“Farfetch is the leading technology platform for the global luxury fashion industry,” it notes in the prospectus. “We operate the only truly global luxury digital marketplace at scale, seamlessly connecting brands, retailers and consumers. We are redefining how fashion is bought and sold through technology, data and innovation. We were founded ten years ago, and through significant investments in technology, infrastructure, people and relationships, we have become a trusted partner to luxury brands and retailers alike.”

The company has turned into one of the leaders of the turn that the luxury fashion world has made to e-commerce. Farfetch had nearly 1 million (935,772) active consumers as of December 31, 2017, with that figure growing 43.6 percent over the year, making it the world’s largest marketplace for luxury goods.

But growth is somewhat slowing: in December 31, 2016, it had 651,674 active consumers, which was up 56.8 percent in the previous year.

In terms of its financials, in 2017 Farfetch had revenues of was $386 million, up 59.4 percent versus 2016; and $242.1 million in 2016, up 70.1 percent versus 2015.

The company says that it made an operating profit of $136.9 million for the first six months of this year (vs $94.4 million the year before in the same period), but it is also making a net loss (after deducting tax etc.): $68.4 million for the first six months of this year, up from $29.3 million in the same period a year before.

Gross merchandise value is growing. GMV in 2017 was $909.8 million, 55.3 percent up on 2016. The previous year it grew 53.4 percent ($585.8 million in 2016).

It’s also still early days for Farfetch and other companies (Matches is one big competitor) that are targeting the luxury fashion sector.

We’ll update this post throughout the day.


Source: TechCrunch

On-demand trucking app Convoy raises $185M at $1B valuation

CapitalG, the growth equity arm of Alphabet, has led the $185 million round in Convoy, its first investment in the Seattle-based tech-enabled trucking network.

The round brings Convoy’s total raised to $265 million and values the company at $1 billion. New investors T. Rowe Price and Lone Pine Capital participated in the financing alongside existing investors.

Convoy has long been backed by Greylock Partners, which led the startup’s Series A in 2015. Y Combinator is also a backer. In an unusual move last year, Y Combinator led a $62 million round in Convoy in what was the first time the accelerator deployed capital from its continuity fund into a late-stage company that was not a YC graduate.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Bezos Expeditions and former Starbucks president Howard Behar are also Convoy investors.

Founded by a pair of former Amazonians, Dan Lewis and Grant Goodale, Convoy is trying to transform the $800 billion trucking industry — no easy feat. Dubbed the ‘Uber for trucks,’ Convoy’s app connects truckers with people who need freight moved. With the new funding, it’ll expand nationwide and move beyond just freight matching.

“Trucks run empty 40% of the time, and they often sit idle due to inefficient scheduling,” Convoy CEO Dan Lewis said in a statement. “This is a drag on the economy, the environment, and the bottom lines of shippers and carriers alike. Convoy’s ability to serve our shippers and carriers with ground-breaking, innovative technology is already having an impact on these critical problems, and our partnership with CapitalG and other leading investors will accelerate this.”

According to GeekWire, Convoy is working on a new suite of tools to help truckers combine tasks so they waste less time. And it’s working to provide shippers access to tracking and pricing data through its platform.

As part of the deal, CapitalG partner David Lawee will join Convoy’s board of directors.


Source: TechCrunch

Trump’s new cyber strategy eases rules on use of government cyberweapons

The Trump administration’s new cyber strategy out this week isn’t much more than a stringing together of previously considered ideas.

In the 40-page document, the government set out its plans to improve cybersecurity, incentivizing change, and reforming computer hacking laws. Election security about a quarter of a page, second only to “space cybersecurity.”

The difference was the tone. Although the document had no mention of “offensive” action against actors and states that attack the US, the imposition of “consequences” was repeated.

“Our presidential directive effectively reversed those restraints, effectively enabling offensive cyber-operations through the relevant departments,” said John Bolton, national security advisor, to reporters.

“Our hands are not tied as they were in the Obama administration,” said Bolton, throwing shade on the previous government.

The big change, beyond the rehashing of old policies and principles, was the tearing up of an Obama-era presidential directive, known as PPD-20, which put restrictions on the government’s cyberweapons. Those classified rules were removed a month ago, the Wall Street Journal reported, described at the time as an “offensive step forward” by an administration official briefed on the plan.

In other words, it’ll give the government greater authority to hit back at targets seen as active cyberattackers — like Russia, North Korea, and Iran — all of which have been implicated in cyberattacks against the US in the recent past.

Any rhetoric that ramps up the threat of military action or considers use of force — whether in the real world or in cyberspace — is all too often is met with criticism, amid concerns of rising tensions. This time, not everyone hated it. Even ardent critics like Sen. Mark Warner of the Trump administration said the new cyber strategy contained “important and well-established cyber priorities.”

The Obama administration was long criticized for being too slow and timid after recent threats — like North Korea’s use of the WannaCry and Russian disinformation campaigns. Some former officials pushed back, saying the obstacle to responding aggressively to a foreign cyberattack was not the policy, but the inability of agencies to deliver a forceful response.

Kate Charlet, a former government cyber policy chief, said that policy’s “chest-thumping” rhetoric is forgivable so long as it doesn’t mark an escalation in tactics.

“I felt keenly the Department’s frustration over the challenges in taking even reasonable actions to defend itself and the United States in cyberspace,” she said. “I have since worried that the pendulum would swing too far in the other direction, increasing the risk of ill-considered operations, borne more of frustration than sensibility.”

Trump’s new cyber strategy, although a change in tone, ratchets up the rhetoric but doesn’t mean the government will suddenly become trigger-happy overnight. While the government now has greater powers to strike back, it may not have to if the policy serves as the deterrent it’s meant to be.


Source: TechCrunch

'Destiny 2: Forsaken' Is a Massive, Vital Expansion—But It Lost Me

Forsaken is a shot of energy to a game that has been limping since it released. And I’m just not that into it.
Source: Wired

How to Measure Things That Are Astronomically Far Away

Light-years, parsecs and more: these are the units for describing distances between planets and other astronomical objects.
Source: Wired

Eventbrite goes public, and everyone else is raising hella money

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we worked with an (excellent) skeleton crew. Our own Connie Loizos held down the fort with a guest that knew quite a lot: March Capital’s Jamie Montgomery.

There was a healthy blizzard of news to get through, so Connie and Jamie plowed ahead.

Up top, the Eventbrite IPO was big news. After a long path to going public, Eventbrite reported interesting revenue growth acceleration, attached to a standard set of GAAP net losses. (Standard in that most tech IPOs these days do not feature profitable companies.)

But Eventbrite’s IPO was just one thing going on the IPO front. X Financial also went public this week after a somewhat muted pricing event. But even that wasn’t all the IPO news. There was one more tidbit to hang our hat on: NIO’s recent IPO price see-saw.

Moving along, Uber may be going on a shopping spree, picking up either Careem (a rival car-sharing service) or Deliveroo (a competing food-delivery service), or both. Or neither! We’ll have to see when all the dust comes to rest.

But that wasn’t all! Ro has new capital to spend, bringing more drugs to the male health space. Oh, and UiPath raised a few hundred million as well.

And I think that that is it. Thanks for hanging with us over so many dozens and dozens of episodes. We think that you are just great!

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.


Source: TechCrunch

Siemen's Self-Driving Street Car Puts Autonomous Tech on Track

The company is developing autonomous street car tech, where vehicles on tracks make the challenge simpler, but still worth solving.
Source: Wired

'Red Dead Redemption 2' Goes 'GTA' and the Rest of the Week in Games

Tiny PlayStations ahoy! Let’s catch up on the week’s gaming news.
Source: Wired

How to Set Up Your New iPhone

Welcome to your new iPhone.
Source: Wired

Cloudflare Embraces Google Roughtime, Giving Internet Security a Boost

Syncing clocks online is vital to web security.
Source: Wired

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