Welcome to this week’s Private Markets Express, a digest of small pieces of private equity news and knowledge gathered for your reading pleasure.
The leading streaming music service, Spotify, now has 60 million paying subscribers. That’s up from 50 million in March. Its closest competitor, Apple Music, has roughly 27 million subscribers. Music streaming revenues for the industry are projected to rise 37% to $9.1 billion in 2017. Spotify is also launching its Xbox One app today. According to The Verge, the new app looks and feels very similar to existing Android TV and PlayStation 4 apps, and it works in a similar way. Spotify for Xbox One is available today for free and premium users, and it supports Spotify Connect so you can log into the app using your phone and control playback and volume all from other devices.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk took to Instagram to post the first draft animation video showing a Falcon Heavy launching into space. Watch the video here. Nearly three times as powerful as the Falcon 9, the Heavy features three rocket cores, with two acting as strap-on boosters on the sides. According to SpaceX and as the animation video shows, these cores are all built to be fully reusable. The Falcon Heavy is set for its highly anticipated maiden launch this November. However, as Musk noted in his post, there’s a “lot that can go wrong in the November launch.” For example, each rocket core has to be able to return and land successfully, which is like landing three Falcon 9 rockets at the same time. A difficult task but definitely achievable for the revolutionary space company.
While the ride sharing company has been facing numerous difficulties as of late, Benchmark remains confident and is incredibly optimistic about Uber’s future. The firm took to Twitter in a series of tweets saying:
“1/Despite speculation to the contrary, Benchmark is incredibly optimistic about Uber’s future.
2/An Uber accountable to serving its entire ecosystem -riders, drivers & employees- stands to be one of the defining companies of our time.
3/We are long Uber: Benchmark’s comparative valuation analysis shows Uber could comfortably be worth over $100B in just two years.
4/We have immense confidence in Uber’s 1000s of employees & are excited about what they will accomplish with the right new CEO.”
The $100 billion valuation is significantly higher than Uber’s last round valuation of $66.6 billion. Uber is still searching for a new CEO after Travis Kalanick stepped down from his position.
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