Dark Side of The Loon
Play • 21 min

Alex talks about the struggle inside Facebook over how to deal with misleading posts from politicians. Cory gets the inside story from Nick Bastone about struggles at Alphabet's Loon, the experimental company that's tried to bring internet connectivity to rural areas.

Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton Fintech Podcast
Eyal Shinar, Co-Founder of Fundbox - Disrupting B2B Financing
Miguel Armaza sits down with Eyal Shinar, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Fundbox, a company focused on disrupting the $21 trillion B2B commerce market by launching the world’s first B2B payments and credit network. Since its inception in 2013, Fundbox has raised more than $300 million dollars from leading investors like Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Spark Growth Capital, and Jeff Bezos. We talked about - Company origins - Customer acquisition and distribution strategies - Entrepreneurial challenges - Reflections around the PPP loan program in the US and the company’s incredibly meaningful role at the height of COVID to disburse and fund these loans to small businesses. - His thoughts on the key and strategic roles of fintech and tech during the pandemic - Lessons for entrepreneurs - And a whole lot more! Eyal Shinar Eyal Shinar is the Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of Fundbox. Prior to his current role he served as a vice president at Battery Ventures where he led many projects and investments in the areas of finance, machine learning and software as a service. Additionally, Shinar was one of the first employees of Old Lane, a $5.5 billion New York-based global hedge fund (later acquired by Citigroup), and also worked for Castle Harlan, a leading $6 billion NYC-based buyout firm. Shinar earned his MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. About Fundbox Fundbox is a leading financial technology company focused on disrupting the $21 trillion B2B commerce market by launching the world’s first B2B payments and credit network. With heavy investments in machine learning and the ability to innovatively analyze transactional data, Fundbox is reimagining B2B payments and credit products in new category-defining ways. Fundbox has received numerous accolades for innovation including the prestigious Forbes A.I. 50, Red Herring North American 100, Forbes Fintech 50, CB Insights Fintech 250, Benzinga 2019 Fintech Listmakers, Forbes Billion Dollar Startup To Watch among others. Since the company’s founding in 2013, Fundbox has raised more than $300 million from a blue-chip group of investors led by Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, Spark Growth Capital, and Jeff Bezos.
31 min
Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong
Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong
Carol Yin and Bernard Leong
Reflections and Predictions on China and SoftBank in 2020 with Shai Oster
Fresh out of the studio, in episode 338, Shai Oster, the Asia Bureau chief for The Information is back on his annual review with us again to discuss the state of China technology giants and SoftBank in the time of COVID-19 pandemic and predict what is to come in 2021. Starting the conversation, Shai reviewed the predictions he made in 2019 and explored the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on how they played out in 2020. From there, Shai reflected on the year that dominated the headlines in 2020: the diffusion of the China-US tensions to other regions: India and Australia against China tech giants, Tik Tok's problems in the US, Ant's botched IPO and SoftBank's attempt to go private. Last but not least, Shai offered his predictions for 2021 and what is to come for the Chinese technology giants and SoftBank for the year ahead. Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion: * * Shai Oster (@beijingscribe, LinkedIn, TheInformation Profile), Asia Bureau Chief in The Information * So since your last appearance on the show, what have you been up to? * 2019 Predictions: * China & US: Trump’s impeachment * China economy: growth * Tiktok will retreat from US, scale back & renew focus china, maybe India, Southeast Asia and Africa: accurate * Huawei * The shift of Chinese money to other markets * 2020 Events that shook China and SoftBank: The China-US tensions have exacerbated and percolated to other regions now (and that includes Australia and India) to Chinese companies: 1/ India banning 47 apps including Wechat, Tik Tok and many apps from China and 2/ Australia and US banned Wechat. * Let’s go to India first, given that the major unicorns are invested by Chinese tech giants, for example, PayTM by Alibaba, and the rise of local giants such as Reliance Jio backed by a strong US consortium: Facebook, Google, Silver Lake Partners, KKR, how do you see the challenges moving ahead for Xiaomi, which is dominant in India as well? * How do you think the Biden administration will handle the current tensions with China? * In the year ahead, do you think China will come down hard on US companies that are heavily invested here, like Apple or Starbucks Coffee? * Currently, the Chinese government has directed the local companies to be self-reliant, and specifically in the semiconductor industry, does that mean that we will see the decoupling of the supply chain accelerate much quicker? * Given that Tencent owns a few major gaming companies, for example, Epic, and with the recent lawsuit between Apple and Epic, do you see a possibility that the US government will pressure Tencent to divest their holdings in the US? * Tik Tok’s problems in the US and elsewhere: First, Kevin Mayer, the former CEO of DisneyPlus was poached and then became the CEO of Tik Tok US and Group COO, and subsequently resigned in July 2020, given the Trump’s administration insistence that the company has to be sold. Finally, after talks with rumors that Microsoft might acquire the entity completely, the eventual decision is that Oracle becomes the beneficiary of being an investor (along with Walmart) for Tik Tok US to ensure that data resides in the US. * What are your thoughts on Tik Tok’s current situation in the US? * Can ByteDance grow further given that there is so much pushback from other markets? * Where do you see ByteDance’s growth markets are? Will be they turn inwards towards domestically or expand to other markets where the push back is lesser, for example, Southeast Asia? * The Botched IPO of Ant Financial and what’s going to be next? * The Chinese government has ended Ant Financial’s IPO with direct interference from President Xi as reported by various outlets. What are the causes in your opinion as to why the IPO ended up not happening? * What are the implications for Alibaba Group as a whole with Ant Financial not able to IPO? * What must Ant Financial do in order to convince the authorities to allow them to IPO? * The billion-dollar question: Will Ant Financial eventually IPO? * A lot of people did not realize that the Ant Financial IPO has left a lot of money on the table in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, do you think that the companies which are going to IPO in HKSE will benefit from this event? * Does this offer a lesson to how Chinese tech companies should conduct themselves? Which companies do you think might run into trouble with the state? * COVID-19 Pandemic: * Which tech companies in China are the major beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic? * China has managed the COVID-19 pandemic much better than the US. What are the implications to the Chinese economy from now with the various successful vaccines, for example, Pfizer vaccine being approved? * SoftBank in 2020 and its current strategy to go private * After the Wework debacle, SoftBank has gone on a few different directions: 1/ Selling their Alibaba stake, 2/ Sell ARM to NVDIA and Boston Dynamics to Hyundai, 3/ Ran a stock market gambit with futures in tech, 4/ DoorDash’s IPO giving them 10B gain that will write off Wework’s investment, and 5/ quietly buying back shares to go private? * How do you assess SoftBank’s performance in 2020 and do you think that with DoorDash’s success, will SoftBank Vision Fund 2 happen? * Has SoftBank’s enormous influence on the tech industry waned after WeWork’s debacle? Where do you think that they will spend the remainder of the $100B Vision Fund on? * Do you think that SoftBank will go private according to Tim Culpan’s analysis on Masa’s strategy? Do you think that SoftBank will manoeuvre and make a comeback after being private? * 2020 is now closing to the end, what are your predictions for 2021 so that we can have a future conversation a year from now? * Closing * Any recommendations? * Shai's recommendations: Rui Ma and Ying Ying Lu, Techbuzz China podcast and subscribe to The Information with the key breaking news it broke in 2020. * How does our audience find you? Editor's note: Our team in Analyse Asia thanked our audience for your support and wished everyone a Happy New Year 2021. The episode is recorded in the last week of 2020. Podcast Information: * * RSS Feed * Apple Podcasts * Himalaya * Spotify * Libsyn * Google Play * Overcast FM * SoundCloud * Luminary * Twitter * Facebook Video * Facebook Page * Linkedin * Stitcher * Castbox * RadioPublic * Acast * PodBean * ListenNotes * TuneIn The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack. analyseasia · Reflections and Predictions on China and SoftBank in 2020 with Shai Oster
1 hr 7 min
Evolving for the Next Billion by GGV Capital
Evolving for the Next Billion by GGV Capital
GGV Capital
Becoming Shopify | Evolving eCommerce ep.1
Today on the show, we have Harley Finkelstein, the President of Shopify. Shopify is a leading global e-commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market and manage a retail business of any size. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Shopify powers over 1 million businesses and more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as AllBirds, GymSharks, PepsiCo, Staples, and many more. Harley has been with the company since 2010. Prior to his current role, Harley founded numerous startups and ecommerce companies. He is currently an advisor to Felicis Ventures. Harley holds a Bachelor degree in Economics from Concordia University and a J.D./M.B.A. joint degree in Law and Business from the University of Ottawa. This episode is co-hosted by GGV colleague Robin Li. Based in New York, Robin invests in eCommerce, social, consumer internet, and digital economy. For the full transcript of the show, go to nextbn.ggvc.com Join our listeners' community, go to nextbn.ggvc.com/community Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or assets are for illustrative purposes only; such references do not constitute any recommendation to either buy or sell such securities or assets and are not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision, nor do they constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services. Any information provided by third parties in this content does not reflect the views of GGV Capital and its subsidiaries or affiliates. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon, when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by GGV Capital. Any investment or portfolio company mentioned, referred to, or described is not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by GGV Capital, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results.
49 min
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
Fintech Insider Podcast by 11:FS
11:FS
494. News: Could the 2020s be THE decade for fintech?
Our expert hosts, Simon Taylor and Sarah Kocianski, are joined by some great guests to talk about the most notable fintech, financial services and banking news from the past week. This week's guests include: Shamir Karkal - Co-founder and CEO of Sila, former Co-founder and CTO of Simple Bradley Riss - Chief Commercial Officer, Checkout.com We cover the following stories from the fintech and financial services space: BBVA says that it is shutting down banking app Simple, and will transfer its users to BBVA USA London’s Checkout.com becomes Europe’s most valuable fintech at $15bn Plaid and Visa end plans for their monster merger, almost a year after it was announced Online lender SoFi to go public through merger with SPAC FCA sounds alarm bell over high risk crypto assets as banks won’t accept transfers from crypto wallets Two guesses left to access £175MILLION bitcoin account This podcast is brought to you by Jack Henry Digital (https://hubs.ly/H0w__kt0) the pioneer and creator of personal digital banking that helps community financial institutions strategically differentiate their digital offerings from those of MegaBanks, BigTechs and FinTechs. This podcast is also brought to you by Mitek (https://bit.ly/3bAy2HL)(NASDAQ: MITK). Mitek is a global leader in mobile capture and digital identity verification solutions built on the latest advancements in computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Mitek’s identity verification solutions enable an enterprise to verify a user’s identity during a digital transaction, which assists businesses operating in highly regulated markets to reduce financial risk and meet regulatory requirements while increasing revenue from digital channels. Financial services, marketplaces and other organizations around the world use Mitek to reduce friction creating the digital experiences their customers expect. Mobile Deposit® and Mobile Verify® are used by millions of consumers for check deposit, new account opening and more. The company is based in San Diego with offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris and St Petersburg. Learn more at www.miteksystems.com. Banking as a Service is deconstructing the banking stack. It's enabling brands to embed finance more easily, and to tailor financial products to specific customer needs. This is presenting new opportunities for specialised providers and offers banks extra revenue streams. Download our report for a comprehensive, no BS view of what Banking as a Service is and what it means for the industry. Head to bit.ly/bankingasaservice (https://bit.ly/bankingasaservice). Fintech Insider by 11:FS is a podcast dedicated to all things fintech, banking, technology and financial services. Hosted by a rotation of 11:FS experts including David Brear, Simon Taylor, Jason Bates and Sarah Kocianski and joined by a range of brilliant guests, we cover the latest global news, bring you interviews from industry experts or take a deep dive into subject matters such as APIs, AI or digital banking. If you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to subscribe and please leave a review Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fintechinsiders where you can ask the hosts questions, alternatively email podcasts@11fs.com! Special Guests: Bradley Riss and Shamir Karkal.
58 min
Acquired
Acquired
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Bitcoin
We had to do it. After 12 years and 3,000,000x appreciation, we kick off Season 8 with the best investment of all-time and our biggest episode ever: Bitcoin. From the first bitcoin transaction of 10k for two Papa John's pizzas (worth about $350m today!!) to $40k+ BTC and maybe the moon beyond, we cover the whole crazy, improbable journey of how a single 8-page PDF document changed the world of money — and perhaps the world itself — forever. If you love Acquired and want more, join our LP Community for access to over 50 LP-only episodes, monthly Zoom calls, and live access for big events like emergency pods and book club discussions with authors. We can't wait to see you there. Join here at: https://acquired.fm/lp/ Sponsors: * Thanks to Tiny for being our presenting sponsor for all of Acquired Season 8. Tiny is building the "Berkshire Hathaway of the internet" — if you own a wonderful internet business that you want to sell, or know someone who does, you should get in touch with them. Unlike traditional buyers, they commit to quick, simple diligence, a 30-day or less process, and will leave your business to do its thing for the long term. You can learn more about Tiny here: http://bit.ly/acquiredtiny * Thank you as well to Vouch and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * https://bit.ly/acquired-vouch * http://bit.ly/acquiredcapchase The Bitcoin Playbook: (also available on our website at https://www.acquired.fm/episodes/bitcoin ) 1. Technological paradigm shifts are ideal opportunities for attacking incumbents. * The traditional finance system worked fantastically well for 500 years, but it wasn't built for the internet. The fact that sharing your bank account or credit card number is required in order to transact, but there's no really robust way to protect against fraud when doing so, provided the perfect seam for a new entrant. Bitcoin and its creators saw this shortcoming and created a new form of money that worked like email. 2. In the early days of a network-effect system, usage matters more than use-cases. * Because the value of a network grows as a function of Metcalfe's Law (value = # of engaged participants squared), in the early days simply growing the number of engaged participants matters more than the specifics of what those participants are actually doing. As the network's value grows, it will become attractive to successively more groups of users and use cases. * Bitcoin started as the domain of researchers and fringe libertarians, then illicit transactions (Silk Road), then speculation (the ICO boom) before finally reaching adoption by the mainstream investment community. Each wave built enough monetary value in the network to make it attractive to the next set of users. Similarly Facebook went from sharing photos of attractive undergrads to how billions communicate, and Airbnb went from ratty airbeds to ~10x larger than any hotel chain, all within a few short years. 3. Distributing network value out to its participants creates large incentives for adoption. * Rewarding miners with bitcoin itself created a huge incentive for participants to join and stay in the Bitcoin network. Although this dynamic got a bad rap during the ICO bubble when it was overused and overpromised by grifters and scammers, it remains a powerful strategy and will likely be used more going forward. * Perhaps most excitingly, this incentive unlocks massive new potential for open-source software development: people who work on open-source software (or provide other functions) can now receive direct value for their contributions, without being employed in any traditional sense. 4. Just HODL, baby. (aka let your winners run) * You can get rich quickly by getting in early on a winning investment. But you can only get really rich by holding a compounding asset for an extended period of time. Sequoia learned this lesson painfully with its Apple investment in the 1970's: selling its entire position for just a ~$6m profit within a few years. Similarly, anyone who bought 1,000 bitcoin for $10 a piece in 2012 could have sold them for $1m four years later in 2016. But four years on from that, they're now worth $35 million. If you continue to believe Bitcoin has a bright longterm future (which, to be fair, you may not!), what could they be worth in 2024? 5. We're only just realizing the implications of digital scarcity. * For its entire existence before Bitcoin, computing and the internet was all about turning scarcity into abundance. (via infinitely replicable + easily distributable software and other digital goods) For the first time in history, Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain have introduced the opposite: scarce, non-replicable digital assets. Native digital currency (Bitcoin) and smart contracts (Ethereum) are the first big outcomes of this advancement, but there may be many more seismic shifts to come. Links: * Satoshi's Whitepaper: https://www.bitcoin.com/bitcoin.pdf * Matt Huang's "Bitcoin for the Open-Minded Skeptic": https://www.paradigm.xyz/Bitcoin_For_The_Open_Minded_Skeptic.pdf * Nellie Bowles's "Everyone Is Getting Hilariously Rich and You’re Not": https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/style/bitcoin-millionaires.html * Square’s $50m investment in BTC: https://images.ctfassets.net/2d5q1td6cyxq/5sXNrlEh2mEnTvvhgtYOm2/737bcfdc15e2a1c3cbd9b9451710ce54/Square_Inc._Bitcoin_Investment_Whitepaper.pdf Episode Sources: * Full list of episode sources available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16QCDNm2qzG3Bn5h1j1KXisxL_JGT7egDx7czX9ThHLY/edit?usp=sharing
3 hr 12 min
Equity
Equity
TechCrunch, Chris Gates, Alex Wilhelm, Danny Crichton, Natasha Mascarenhas, Grace Mendenhall
Equity Tuesday: Everyone's raising money, and Wrike exits yet again
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This is Equity (Monday) Tuesday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here — and make sure to check out last week's two episodes, covering all the news sans ecommerce, and then all the ecommerce news. We're here on a Tuesday due to an American holiday, but that short break did not mean that the world's news volume slowed down in the slightest. Here's the rundown: * From the weekend: The story of a fired GitHub employee ended as you expected it would, with a small twist; the Microsoft company's head of HR is leaving. Not sure from this remove is this is a firing, or merely finding someone to axe over the error, but the fact that they are leaving stood out. * Auto1 Group is going public, and Sequoia wants a piece. * In more news from German, Personio has put together a $125 million round at a $1.7 billion valuation. * And Grab, the Southeast Asian food delivery and ride-hailing goliath could raise $2 billion in a 2021 US IPO. * Turning to this morning: The WhatsApp-India saga continues, Citrix is buying Wrike for $2.25 billion, and American stocks are looking up this morning. * On the funding round front: LeoCare raised €15 million from Felix Capital, Ventech and Daphni. PPRO raised $180 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion. And Darwinbox raised from Salesforce Ventures, something that we did not know that the American corporate VC did. * Finally, read this crypto piece. And that's that for today, we are back in short order on Thursday afternoon!
8 min
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