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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Volkswagen's electric I.D. R will challenge the Nurburgring in 2019 – Roadshow

It’s already beaten the Nio EP9 at Goodwood’s hillclimb.
Source: CNET

Hyundai developed airbags that can handle multiple collisions – Roadshow

Not all accidents involve just a single collision, after all.
Source: CNET

'Black Panther' and Netflix Just Got Historic Oscar Nominations

Unprecedented Oscar nods for Netflix and Hulu, ‘American Gods’ returns, and more of the week’s top culture news
Source: Wired

The Roku Premiere 4K HDR is only $1 more than the non-4K model – CNET

Add high-falutin’ streaming to your TV for just $30.
Source: CNET

Elliott Management letter puts eBay on notice to improve stock performance, sell StubHub

Elliott Management, a NYC investment firm known for its activist streak, released a letter today sent to eBay’s management. The letter put the company on notice that the stock needs to do better, much better. And it outlined a five-step plan, including selling StubHub, it believes can get eBay there.

Elliott is making this request as managers of funds owning more than 4 percent of eBay’s stock. It believes that with some tweaks, the company stock, which sits at $33.71 this morning (up over eight percent) could be worth substantially more. In fact, the company believes if eBay follows its advice it could increase the stock price to $55-$63 per share.

Elliott, which doesn’t tend to be subtle in its assessments of a company’s performance, didn’t pull any punches in its statement regarding the letter to eBay. “Despite its remarkable history as one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms, eBay as a public-company investment has underperformed both its peers and the market for a prolonged period of time.”

While the letter took great pains to compliment the company, pointing out that it has successfully morphed from an auction marketplace for used goods to a full-fledged e-commerce marketplace in its own right, it was clear that it believed eBay is grossly underperforming.

The firm dug into the issues, as it sees them, in the letter itself. “Over the past five years, eBay’s total return has been more than 100% lower than peers and ~35% to ~65% lower than the technology indices. Moreover, eBay has declined 20% over the past year alone relative to a roughly flat equity market,” Elliott wrote in the letter.

It went on, “Most disappointing, however, is that this significant underperformance has occurred despite strong end-market performance. As the broader internet universe has flourished, especially e-commerce peers, eBay’s stock has floundered.”

The company didn’t just complain though. It outlined a five-step plan to improve the stock. For starters, it wants eBay to look carefully at moving StubHub and eBay’s classified properties and concentrate more fully on the core marketplace, which it believes is the true gem here.

Along those same lines, the company wants eBay to revitalize that marketplace, which it believes has been mishandled badly. “eBay’s Marketplace is a strategically valuable asset that has weathered prolonged, self-inflicted misexecution. Management should turn its singular attention to growing and strengthening Marketplace,” Elliott wrote in the letter.

It also believes the company could improve its operational efficiency. “Today eBay suffers from an inefficient organizational structure, wasteful spend and a misallocation of resources,” Elliott wrote. Next, it wants more capital returned to stockholders and, finally, it needs a management review and greater oversight.

eBay did not respond to an email request for comment on this proposal. If that changes, we will update the article.


Source: TechCrunch

Dosh raises $40M on $300M valuation as its cash back app passes $50M doled out to shoppers

When it comes to reaching would-be customers today, one of the biggest investments that brands and retailers will make is in advertising, to the tune of nearly $630 billion globally. Now, a startup called Dosh, which offers cash back on purchases, is announcing that it has raised $40 million to take on the advertising industry, with the pitch that its app provides a more targeted and guaranteed way of getting consumers to bite.

The funding — $20 million in equity and $20 million in venture debt — is led by Goodwater Capital and Western Technology Investment. Previous investors PayPal, BAM Capital and Anthem Venture Partners also participated. Sources close to the company confirm that the funding was done on approximately a $300 million valuation. It’s raised $96 million in total, including both equity and debt.

“Instead of taking all in equity we decided to split because of the strength of the company at the moment,” said Ryan Wuerch, Dosh’s founder and CEO, in an interview, who said the funding would be used for hiring, business development and technology investment. “We want to be opportunistic.”

It was only nine months ago that Dosh last raised dosh, $44 million on a $241 million valuation. In the interim, the startup has been on a roll — at one point, in the holiday spending period, hitting number-one among US shopping apps and clocking in some $50 million in cash back to its users, doubling those returns since last April. It now has 3 million card-linked subscribers and more than 150,000 retailers and brands signed up to its platform.

Up to now, Dosh’s business model has been to forge deals with retailers and brands — partners include Nike, Toms, Gap, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, Jack In The Box, and more — and payment card providers like Visa and MasterCard. When a user links up a card, and she or he buys something from the retailers and brands that have connected with Dosh, the user gets money back. That money can in turn be paid into your bank account, your PayPal account, towards further purchases, or to charity. Dosh itself makes money by taking a cut on each transaction, although it does not provide details of its percentage.

Going forward, the idea will be to continue to expand its business along the same lines by building more technology into the platform to make the offers you are getting more targeted to what you might be most likely to buy, and to use the same tech to increase rewards to entice you to buy things that you may be less likely to naturally buy.

The company’s viewpoint is that a direct cash reward is a much stronger driver for retail intent than advertising can ever be, and because of how Dosh links up with card providers, it’s much easier to see how an offer is linked to an actual purchase.

“When you think about advertising over the years, at first all you had was radio and TV and print with little attribution,” Wuerch said. “Now digital gives you clicks and impressions, but true attribution is when you get to the consummation of the purchase, which is what we are able to show. The tech that we built and continue to build enables us to understand consumers.”

Given the billions that are spent on advertising today, even moving the needle a little to get more retailers working with Dosh on more deals could prove very lucrative to the company… and its investors.

“Dosh’s mission is to put billions of dollars of wasted advertising spend directly into consumers’ pockets,” said Chi-Hua Chien, co-founder and managing partner at Goodwater Capital leading its investment in Dosh. “They are the clear leader in the rapidly growing card-linked offers market and we are confident this latest round of funding will accelerate their achievement of that mission.” (And to be clear there are many others in the same space of offering cash back on purchases, such as Drop and Ebates.)

Offers are specific to people on the platform. Wuerch explained it, he and I might both get offers for Sam’s Club cash back, but because he visited the store three days ago and is a very regular visitor, whereas I never go there, we may have very different cashback offers on the table.

Loyalty programs have become a strong driver for how people purchase goods and services. Amazon Prime is perhaps the strongest example of how that is being played out in e-commerce: to keep people using Amazon, under one umbrella, Amazon is offering users free and fast shipping on a range of items, plus access to services that ordinary customers will not get, all for a single monthly fee.

Dosh is taking a very different approach, in that it has “no plans” said Wuerch to ever move into e-commerce, instead focusing specifically on physical retail experiences.

“Our goal is to drive consumers into stores, and we have found that the cash stimulus really does create a change in consumer behavior,” he said.

Today, Dosh is only in the US, and Wuerch said that international expansion is likely to come in 2020. Whether that will come by way of organic growth or acquisition remains to be seen. In the UK, for example, Quidco provides a similar cash back experience to users.


Source: TechCrunch

The iPhone is reportedly going OLED-only in 2020

Apple could drop LCDs from the iPhone line next year, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. That interesting — if not altogether surprising — revelation in buried in a piece about a Japan supplier’s struggles in the wake of disappointing iPhone XR sales.

The news, which comes courtesy of people familiar with the matter, makes sense, as prices for the display technology should drop, making it more attainable for more people. Whether Apple is giving up on the budget take on its flagship remains to be seen, but the XR appears not to have gotten the reception the company was banking on.

Apple has downplayed any disappointment, noting that the cheaper handset (starting at $250 less than the XS) has been the “most popular iPhone” since going on sale in October. But handset sales are ebbing across the board — a phenomenon that’s hardly specific to Apple.

Besides, moving to a higher end technology across the board is just part of the inevitable march of progress, though the company is still expected to release an LCD-sporting successor to the XR later this year. A number of competitors, meanwhile, will be dipping their toes into the foldable display waters in 2019, though that technology isn’t expected to go fully mainstream any time soon.

2020 will also reportedly be the year Apple makes the move to a 5G iPhone.


Source: TechCrunch

Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft announced seven new low-cost Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $300 to take on Chromebooks and iPads in the education market, along with a new Microsoft Allora stylus for students using the Surface Go tablet.

The post Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Fender American Acoustasonic Telecaster: Pricing, Specs, Release Date

Fender’s new American Acoustasonic Telecaster has a unique digital system on board that gives it a tremendously varied sonic palette.
Source: Wired

Patent application reveals what’s to come after AMD’s Graphics Core Next

A published patent application from AMD has revealed a new type of graphics processor core which could make a big difference to the capabilities of its GPUs if it finds its way into them in the future.

The post Patent application reveals what’s to come after AMD’s Graphics Core Next appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

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