Welcome to this week’s Private Markets Express, a digest of small pieces of private equity knowledge gathered for your reading pleasure.
This weekend Uber, the ride-sharing giant, rolled out its newest service: UberBOAT, a travel and tech feature that just launched in Croatia. The service allows Uber users to request a speedboat at the tap of a button through the Uber app. UberBOAT offers two separate services: transfers from the coast to nearby islands and half-day or full-day adventures. General Manager of Uber in Croatia and Southeast Europe commented on the new service saying:
“By launching UberBOAT, we aim to provide a new way of exploring and traveling around the Croatian coast. Furthermore, I am pleased with the fact that we are launching this service at a time when, globally, Uber just exceeded five billion rides, which is an increase of three billion over the past eleven months.”
Despite the recent controversies surrounding the company, Uber continues to grow at an impressive rate while launching fascinating transportation features.
Lyft has been making some key strategic moves and partnerships throughout the year so far. To get a refresher, check out our recent blog post: Lyft Partners & Potential. Lyft, which is only available in the U.S., just announced that it has hit one million rides a day. According to TechCrunch, Lyft also says it’s seen 48 consecutive months of ride growth and is on track to hit an annualized ride rate of 350 million. Lyft co-founder John Zimmer said in a statement to TechCrunch:
“These important growth milestones are driven by a relentless and multi-year focus on our mission of improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Every day, more drivers and passengers are choosing Lyft because we have focused from Day 1 on embedding hospitality and service in everything we do. As we’ve reached service level parity, the Lyft experience has become a key differentiator.”
Dropbox, the enterprise cloud storage company has been named a top contender for an IPO in 2017 and may be finally on the path to going public. According to Reuters, Dropbox Inc is seeking to hire underwriters for an initial public offering that could come later this year. This would be the biggest U.S. technology company to go public since Snap Inc (SNAP.N). Valued at roughly $10 billion in its last fundraising round in 2014, the IPO will be a key test of Dropbox’s worth and the IPO market.
Here’s a quick rundown of what Dropbox disclosed about its financials this past year:
- July 2016: Cash-flow positive
- January 2017: “On pace for a $1 billion revenue run rate”
- March 2017: Secures new $600 million credit line
- April 2017: Profitable on EBITDA basis, also subtracting share-based compensation expenses.
And now Dropbox is said to be working towards an IPO. Stay tuned for more news.
On Wednesday, SpaceX successfully launched an Intelsat communication satellite on the third try. According to CNBC, previous launch attempts on Saturday and Sunday were foiled by last-second technical issues. The unmanned Falcon rocket blasted off Wednesday evening from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center and successfully delivered the satellite. However, because the rocket was lifting a heavy, nearly 15,000-pound satellite to a high orbit, lack of leftover fuel meant no booster landing was attempted. This is SpaceX’s third launch in just under two weeks.
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