Welcome to this week’s Private Markets Express, a digest of small pieces of private equity knowledge gathered for your reading pleasure.
This week, the fastest growing ride-sharing company in the US announced that it will be ready to launch across New York on June 29. Lyft promised to have its mobile app up and running in all areas of the Big Apple the first day the state’s new ride-hailing law takes effect. Furthermore, the Maryland Board of Public Works has approved contracts allowing travelers to use select ride-sharing services to travel to and from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The airport will establish dedicated zones for Lyft and Uber, which will pay $2.50 for each ride. This contract formally integrates the ride-sharing services into the airport’s ground transportation system.
SpaceX, the rocket company led by Elon Musk, made history last week. The company successfully launched and delivered the Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission marked a milestone for SpaceX as it is the first recycled cargo craft to be used in a delivery. Read more about this event in our previous post: SpaceX makes history launching its used Dragon cargo craft successfully.
SpaceX also secured the X-37B launch contract, which will be the first mission that SpaceX performs for the U.S Air Force.
According to a Reuters article, NASA named 12 astronauts on Wednesday to the U.S. space agency’s first new class of space fliers in five years. The candidates include a SpaceX engineer. The new astronauts will have two years of training before they are eligible for flight assignments. A busy week for SpaceX! A historic launch, first mission with the Air Force, and an astronaut in training!
Pinterest, the media company with seemingly endless possibilities, raised $150 million at a valuation of $12.3 billion from private investors last week. Previously, the company raised $367 million at an $11 billion valuation in 2015. According to an article on Zacks, it took only nine months for Pinterest to go from 50,000 unique monthly visitors to 17 million unique monthly visitors. It took Facebook 16 months and Twitter 22 months to achieve the same goal. According to Recode, Pinterest is forecasting over $500 million in ad revenue this year from its 175 million monthly users. This represents growth of 67%, up from $300 million in 2016. A company spokesperson also told Recode:
“We’re very happy with our revenue trajectory but aren’t sharing specifics about our revenue projections at this time. With regard to an IPO, we don’t have any current plans for an IPO right now because we’re focused on growing the business.”
Pinterest is one of the last popular social media companies to go public or be acquired. With Snap’s successful IPO earlier this year, investors are eagerly awaiting word from Pinterest.
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