Welcome to the Private Markets Express, a digest of small pieces of private equity knowledge gathered for your reading pleasure.
Our favorite music streaming service, Spotify, released more news that support the speculations that the company will be going public late 2017 or early 2018. According to Telegraph UK, Spotify has appointed four new directors ahead of a likely public listing. The four individuals are:
- Tom Staggs – former Chief Operating Officer of Walt Disney
- Padmasree Warrior, head of the US arm of NextEV (the Chinese electric car maker)
- Shishir Mehrotra, Youtube’s former head of product
- Cristina Stenbeck – owner of the Swedish investment firm Kinnevik
The appointments are subject to shareholder approval. Spotify is on of the most anticipated technology IPO’s in history. Investors are waiting. Earlier this month, it was reported that Spotify had hired Goldman Sachs, Allen & Co and Morgan Stanley to advise it on its listing.
This week the ride-sharing giant is launching another new service. Lyft is rolling out black car service under the name Lyft Lux and Lux SUV. The service started this week in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Jose. The service will offer riders the option of requesting a ride in a luxury, black vehicle with leather or leather-like seats.
According to the Lyft Help page;
- Lyft Lux is our most luxurious ride experience: an ultra-high-end black car piloted by a top driver,
- Lyft Lux SUV provides all the amenities of Lyft Lux in a more spacious, ultra-high-end black SUV that seats up to six.
This week Pinterest has added the capability of recognizing complete dishes to its Lens camera. The feature allows users to take pictures of dishes using the Lens features on cameras and find related recipes. Pinterest is also planning to add additional filters for its recipe searches like: finding vegan or vegetarian dishes, or dishes containing precise ingredients. The launch of the Lens feature and Pinterest’s ability to recognize dishes takes the company closer to creating the unique user experience it wants.
The on-demand grocery delivery service Instacart that just keeps growing announced this week that it has expanded it’s service in the Phoenix area to serve over 680,000 additional households. Instacart General Manager Sean Twersky commented saying:
“Phoenix residents have really embraced Instacart and we have been working hard to expand our delivery area to include even more homes. We are excited to announce expansion of our service to 65 additional zip codes and look forward to serving even more people in search of the time-saving convenience that the Instacart offers.”
The launch will also bring new jobs to the area with plans to bring on more than 100 new shoppers.
Did you know that Americans spend an average of 71 minutes on each grocery trip? That’s 1.5 million years spent, annually on grocery shopping. Instacart’s rapid expansion plans focus on giving customers something truly valuable: time.
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