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Good Thursday Morning,
Daylight – Facebook had its earnings call yesterday, and Entrepreneurs should know this about the most influential public company in America. Its 4Q earnings handily beat expectations. The average price per ad went up 43 percent.
Mark Zuckerberg said changes to the News Feed had cut 50 million hours a day from the time users spent on it – about 2 minutes less each.
Daily active users in the United States and Canada actually fell to 184 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 from 185 million in the third quarter of last year. But Facebook still managed to generate a huge amount of revenue from the United States and Canada. The region accounted for $6.4 billion of revenue in the fourth quarter of last year, a 40 percent jump from the same period in 2016. Capex hit $2.26 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, a staggering 78 percent jump from the same period in 2016.
Facebook is a beast.
M&A – Japanese-based Fujifilm Holdings is set to take over Xerox in a $6.1 billion deal.
Style – Starbucks upgrading estimates on China. On Wednesday’s conference call, management provided new data that China/Asia-Pacific is expected to approach $5.5 billion in revenue in 2019, and are are raising 2019 consolidated revenue estimate by $500 million.
More than one million Twitter followers have disappeared since Sunday’s New York Times story about the proliferation of fake accounts. For less than a penny per user, a company called Devumi sells robotic, fake accounts to people who wanted to artificially increase their online influence. A con buying from another con. The journalism on this story was terrific and well done. By the way, NY attorney general opened an investigation on the company first thing Monday morning.
Economics – The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at its final meeting under its departing chairwoman, Janet Yellen. The rate remains in a range between 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent. Jerome Powell, a member of the Fed’s board since 2012, will take the oath of office as the new chairman on Monday.
Live Rounds – An international tribunal today reinstated most of the Russian athletes who had been barred from the Olympics for doping, but the I.O.C. said it still might not allow them to compete in the Winter Games this month in South Korea. They’ll play. Putin’s on it.
Buzzard’s Roost – Months after its enormous security breach, Equifax introduced an app to help customers lock access to their credit files. It didn’t work.
Hot – An amateur fossil hunter led experts to a rare cluster of dinosaur footprints on a slab of rock under a NASA parking lot in Maryland. At one end of the rock is a single footprint from a young, long-necked sauropod. At the other end is one from a nodosaur, an armored plant-eater as heavy as a small elephant. Alongside are smaller footprints from a baby nodosaur, following its parent. “I was in ecstasy as a tracker,” the fossil hunter said.
Culture – G.E. is the last survivor of the DOW index’s 12 original components from when it started in 1896, and has been in it continuously for more than 110 years. I predict it will get knocked off it in next 12 months. By the way, Jeff Immelt, the former G.E. chief, joined New Enterprise Associate as a venture partner yesterday.
Investment Banking – There’s a new “faircoin” cryptocurrency called Valor. The project raised $10 million in the first pre-sale round, is in the process of raising over $100 million in their second pre-sale round, and targeting a $1 billion public ICO in Q3. The team plans to distribute tokens to users all around the world in an effort to create less concentrated ownership.
Hedge Funds – One Equity Partners agreed to acquire a majority stake in Media Solutions, a provider of media processing, delivery and TV service platforms, from Ericsson.
IPO – MTech Acquisition, a blank check company formed to acquire a cannabis-related firm, priced its IPO, saying it raised a $50 million IPO of 5 million units priced at $10.
Venture Capital – Wag, a dog walking app, raised $300 million in funding.
Spotlight – Morning Report will return Monday morning. Confirmed members for Porsche, please see below.
Your seat has been reserved for our Entrepreneur Briefing at Porsche Headquarters on Feb. 2. The event is sold out, so please arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. You will need to show your driver’s license at the gate. Dress is business casual. With our large crowd, Porsche can accommodate us with beverage service only. Please plan to eat prior to event, if necessary.
8:30 a.m. – CEO RoundTable
9:00 a.m. – Alexander Nix, founder and CEO Cambridge Analytica. Analytics 3.0.
11:00 a.m. – Tour and Break
12:30 p.m. – Demo Laps
Directions to Porsche North America, One Porsche Drive, Atlanta, GA 30354
From Atlanta and Points North
From Points South of Forest Park
Please contact maranda@OxfordCenter.com with any questions you may have.
Exits – Red Hat acquired CoreOS, a container management startup, for $250 million.
Venture Capital – Asana, a productivity and collaboration service, raised $75 million.
GameMine, a mobile game publisher, raised $20 million.
Origami Logic, a provider of marketing performance measurement solutions, raised $15.2 million.
Halo Neuroscience, a developer of a neurostimulation headset, raised $13 million.
Astound, an enterprise software company applying machine learning and natural language processing, raised $11.5 million.
Funraise, a nonprofit fundraising software provider, raised $9.7 million.
VirZOOM, a virtual reality fitness game platform, raised $5.5 million.
Packback, a developer of AI-powered learning communities popular among college faculty, raised $4.2 million.
Engine Biosciences, a biotech company using genomics and AI aiming to accelerate drug discovery, raised $10 million.
Private Equity – APCT Holdings acquired Cartel Electronics, a maker of prototype and quick-turn rigid printed circuit boards for commercial applications.
H.I.G. Capital acquired Town & Country Holdings, provider of kitchen textiles, table linens, and other home products.
Capitala Group invested $15 million in debt and equity in US Bath Group, a provider of custom bathroom products.
Care Advantage acquired Ready Hands, a provider of personal care services for the elderly and disabled.
And that’s what’s ahead, Cliff