Most tech companies aren’t WeWork

With the recent emphasis on Uber and WeWork, much media attention has been focused on high-burn, “software-enabled” startups. However, most of the IPOs of the last few years in tech have been in higher capital efficiency software-as-a-service startups (SaaS).

In the last 30 months (2017 2H onwards), a total of 21 U.S.-based, VC-backed SaaS companies have gone public, including Zoom, Slack, Datadog and others1. I analyzed all 21 companies to understand their fundraising and revenue-generating trajectories. A deep dive into the individual companies’ trajectories can be found in this Extra Crunch article.

Here are the summary takeaways from this data set:

1. At IPO, total capital raised2 was slightly ahead of annual run-rate revenue (ARR)3 for the median company

Here is a scatterplot of the ARR and cumulative capital raised at the time each company went public. Most companies are clustered close to the diagonal line that represents ARR and capital raised matching each other. Total capital raised is often neck-and-neck or slightly higher than ARR.

For example, Zscaler raised $148 million to get to $146 million of ARR at IPO and Sprout Social raised $112 million to get to $106 million of ARR.

It is useful to introduce a metric instead of looking at gross dollars, given the high variance in revenue of the companies in the data set — Sprout Social had $106 million and Dropbox had $1,222 million in ARR, a 10x+ difference. Total capital raised as a multiple of ARR normalizes this variance. Below is a histogram of the distribution of this metric.

The distribution is concentrated around 1.00x-1.25x, with the median company raising 1.23x of ARR by the time of its IPO.

There are outliers on both ends. Domo is a profligate outlier that had raised $690 million to get to $128 million of ARR, or 5.4x of ARR — no other company comes remotely close. Zoom and Datadog are efficient outliers. Zoom raised $161 million to get to $423 million of ARR and Datadog raised $148 million to get to $333 million of ARR, both representing only 0.4x of ARR.

2. Cash burn is a more accurate measure of capital efficiency and may diverge significantly from capital raised (depending on the company)

How much capital a company raised tells only half of the story of capital efficiency, because many companies are sitting on a significant cash balance. For example, PagerDuty raised a total of $174 million but had $128 million of cash left when it went public. As another example, Slack raised a total of $1,390 million prior to going public but had $841 million of unspent cash.

Why do some SaaS companies end up seemingly over-raising capital beyond their immediate cash needs despite the dilution to existing shareholders?

One reason might be that companies are being opportunistic, raising capital far ahead of actual needs when market conditions are favorable.

Another reason may be that VCs that want to meet ownership targets are pushing for larger rounds. For example, a company valued at $400 million pre-money may only need $50 million of cash but could end up taking $100 million from a VC that wants to achieve 20% post-money ownership.

These confounding factors make cash burn — calculated by subtracting the cash balance from total capital raised4 — a more accurate measure of capital efficiency than total capital raised. Here is a distribution of total cash burn as a multiple of ARR.

Remarkably, Zoom achieved negative cash burn, meaning Zoom went public with more cash on its balance sheet than all of the capital it raised.

The median company’s cash burn at IPO was 0.77x of ARR, quite a bit less than the total capital raised of 1.23x of ARR.

3. The healthiest SaaS companies (as measured by the Rule of 40) are often the most capital-efficient

The Rule of 40 is a popular heuristic to gauge the business health of a SaaS company. It asserts that a healthy SaaS company’s revenue growth rate and profit margins should sum to 40%+. The below chart shows how the 21 companies score on the Rule of 405.

Among the 21 companies, eight companies exceed the 40% threshold: Zoom (123%), Crowdstrike (119%), Datadog (76%), Bill.com (56%), Elastic (55%), Slack (52%), Qualtrics (44%) and SendGrid (41%).

Interestingly, the same outliers in terms of capital efficiency as measured by cash burn, on both extremes, are the same outliers in the Rule of 40. Zoom and Datadog, which have the highest capital efficiency, score the highest and third highest on the Rule of 40. And inversely, Domo and MongoDB, which have the lowest capital efficiency, also score lowest on the Rule of 40.

This is not surprising, because the Rule and capital efficiency are really two sides of the same coin. If a company can sustain high growth without sacrificing profit margins too much (i.e. score high on the Rule of 40), it will over time naturally end up burning less cash compared to peers.

Conclusion

To apply all of this to your favorite SaaS business, here are some questions to consider. What is the total capital raised in multiples of ARR? What is the total cash burn in multiples of ARR? Where does it stack compared to the 21 companies above? Is it closer to Zoom or Domo? How does it score on the Rule of 40? Does it help explain the company’s capital efficiency or lack thereof?

Thanks to Elad Gil and Denton Xu for reviewing drafts of this article.

Endnotes

1Only includes U.S.-based, VC-backed SaaS companies. Includes Quatrics, even though it did not go public, as it was acquired right before its scheduled IPO.

2Includes institutional investments prior to the IPO. Does not include founders’ personal capital investment.

3Note that this is not annual recurring revenue, which is not a reporting requirement for public companies. Annual run-rate revenue is calculated by annualizing quarterly revenue (multiplying by four). The two metrics will track closely for SaaS businesses, given that SaaS revenue is predominantly recurring software subscriptions.

4This is a simplified definition as it will capture non-operational uses of cash such as share repurchase from founders.

5Revenue growth is calculated as the growth rate of the revenue during the last 12 months (LTM) over the revenue during the 12 months prior to that. Profit margins are non-GAAP operating margins, calculated as operating income plus stock-based compensation expense divided by revenue over the last 12 months (LTM).

IBM snaps out of revenue doldrums, breaking a five-quarter losing streak in Q4

International Business Machines is living a case study of a large, established company vying to transform. Over the last decade, the technology elder has struggled to move into areas like cloud and AI. IBM has leaned on a combination of its own R&D abilities and deep pockets to push into modern markets, but has struggled to turn them into revenue growth.

At one point, Big Blue posted 22 sequential quarters of falling revenue, a mind-boggling testament to how hard it can be to turn around a juggernaut. More recently, IBM shrank for another five consecutive quarters, a streak it broke with yesterday’s news that it had beat analyst expectations. 

The quarter brought modest, but welcome revenue growth. Perhaps more importantly, the company’s top line expansion was co-led by the old IBM mainframe business and its newest champion, Red Hat.

IBM can be happy for the positive financial news, for now at least, but it needs to repeat the result. The challenge it faces moving forward will include finding a way to continue revenue growth while modernizing its product line and ensuring that its huge Red Hat purchase continues to perform.

Netflix adds 8.8M subscribers despite growing competition

Netflix grew by 8.8 million net subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to its latest earning report, putting its growth well ahead of its forecast of 7.6 million.

The company says it has 167 million paid memberships worldwide, with more than 100 million outside the United States. It also reported stronger-than-expected financials, with revenue of $5.47 billion and earnings per share of $1.30, compared to analyst estimates of $5.45 billion and EPS of 53 cents.

That’s all despite the launch of two major streaming services, Disney+ and Apple TV+, with more competition coming this year from WarnerMedia’s HBOMax and NBCUniversal’s Peacock.

Netflix addresses the competitive landscape in its letter to shareholders, arguing that there’s “ample room for many services to grow as linear TV wanes,” and noting that during Q4, “our viewing per membership grew both globally and in the US on a year over year basis, consistent with recent quarters.”

Netflix also points to Google Search Trends showing much higher interest in its original series “The Witcher” than in Disney+’s “Mandalorian,” Apple TV+’s “Morning Show” or Amazon’s “Jack Ryan.”

Google Trends

That might seem like an unfair comparison, especially since Disney+ is only available in a handful of countries so far, but Netflix argues, “If Disney+ were global we don’t think the picture would be much different, to judge from the ​NL results​ where Disney+ first launched.”

In fact, Netflix says “The Witcher” is on-track to become “our biggest season one TV series ever,” with 76 million member households choosing to watch the show. It also says 83 million households chose to watch the Michael Bay-directed action film “6 Underground.”

If you’re wondering about the slightly awkward “chose to watch” phrasing — yep, Netflix is switching up the (already controversial) way that it reports viewership. While it previously shared the number of accounts that watched at least 70% of an episode or film, it’s now looking at how many members chose to watch a show or movie, and then actually watched for at least two minutes (“long enough to indicate that the choice was intentional”).

The company says this increases viewer counts by an average of 35%.

“Our new methodology is similar to the BBC iPlayer in their rankings​ based on ‘requests’ for the title, ‘most popular’ articles on the New York Times which include those who opened the articles, and YouTube view counts,” Netflix says. “This way, short and long titles are treated equally, leveling the playing field for all types of our content including interactive content, which has no fixed length.”

One dark cloud in the earnings report is what appears to be slowing growth, with 7.0 million projected net additions in Q1 of this year, compared to 9.6 million net adds in the first quarter of 2019. Netflix attributes this to “the continued, slightly elevated churn levels we are seeing in the US,” as well as more balance between Q1 and Q2 growth this year, “due in part to the timing of last year’s price changes and a strong upcoming Q2 content slate.”

As of 4:51pm Eastern, Netflix shares were up 0.41% in after-hours trading.

As Indian startups raise record capital, losses are widening

Indian tech startups secured nearly $14 billion in 2019, more than they have raised in any other year. This is a major rebound since 2016, when startups in the nation had bagged just $4.3 billion.

But even as more VC funds — many with bigger checks — arrive in India, the financial performance of startups remains a cause for concern.

Whether it’s mobile payments or education learning apps, each startup today faces dozens of competitors in their category. Many of these sectors, such as social commerce and digital bookkeeping, are just beginning to see traction in India, which has resulted in investors backing a large number of similar players.

This has meant more marketing spends; to create awareness among consumers (or merchants) and stand out in a crowd, many firms are heavily marketing their services and offering lofty cashbacks to win users.

What is especially troublesome for startups is that there is no clear path for how they would ever generate big profits. Silicon Valley companies, for instance, have entered and expanded into India in recent years, investing billions of dollars in local operations, but yet, India has yet to make any substantial contribution to their bottom lines.

If that wasn’t challenging enough, many Indian startups compete directly with Silicon Valley giants, which while impressive, is an expensive endeavor.

How expensive? Here’s an exhaustive look at the financial performance of several notable startups and major firms in India as disclosed by them to local regulators in recent weeks. These are Financial Year 2019 figures, which ended on March 31, 2019. Some of the filings were provided to TechCrunch by business intelligence platform Tofler.

Flipkart

Flipkart, which sold a majority stake to Walmart for $16 billion last year, posted a consolidated revenue of $6.11 billion for the financial year that ended in March. Its revenue is up 42% since last year, and its loss, at $2.4 billion, represents a 64% improvement during the same period. The ecommerce giant this year has expanded into many new categories, including food retail.

BigBasket

BigBasket delivers groceries and perishables across India and became a unicorn this year after it raised a $150M Series F led by Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, the U.K.’s CDC Group and Alibaba. The startup posted revenue of $386 million, up from $221 million last year. Its loss, however, more than doubled to $80 million from $38 million during the same period.

Grofers

BigBasket rival Grofers, which raised $200 million in a financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund, reported $62.6 million on revenue of $169 million. The company’s chief executive and co-founder, Albinder Dhindsa, has said that the startup is on track to sell goods worth $699 million by the end of FY 2020.

MilkBasket

Milkbasket, a micro-delivery startup that allows users to order daily supplies, reported revenue of $11.8 million, up from $4 million last year. During this period, its loss widened to $1.3 million, from $130,000 last year.

Lenskart

Lenskart is an omni-channel retailer for eyewear products. Earlier this month, it raised $275 million this month from SoftBank Vision Fund. It posted a revenue of $68 million — and its loss shrank from $16.5 million to $3.8 million in one year.

Rivigo

Rivigo, a five-year-old startup that is attempting to build a more reliable and safer logistics network, raised $65 million in July this year. Its revenue increased 42% to $143.8 million while its loss also increased to $83 million.

Delhivery

SoftBank-backed logistics firm Delhivery, which raised $413 million earlier this year from SoftBank and others, said its revenue has grown 58% to $237 million since FY18, while its loss has almost tripled to $249 million.

China-based NIO’s shares skyrocket as the Tesla rival beats investor expectations

Shares of NIO, a China-based electric car manufacturer, are soaring this morning after the company’s Q3 2019 earnings beat investor expectations. NIO’s surprise win comes directly on the heels of Tesla, a competitor, announcing the delivery of its first cars made in China, NIO’s home market.

NIO went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018 for $6.26 per share. Its value has plunged as a public company, seeing its per-share price fall to as little as $1.19. Today, after its earnings report, NIO shares are up more than $1 apiece, to $3.47 per share as of the time of writing. That new price represents a gain of a touch less than 44% in today’s trading.

Earnings

NIO managed to beat both revenue and profit expectations in the quarter. And, the company’s forecast for its next quarter’s car deliveries show a sharp rise in automotive deliveries.

According to Yahoo Finance, investors expected NIO to lose $0.34 per share in Q3 on an adjusted basis off revenue of $230.8 million. In fact, NIO reported $257.0 million in revenue leading to an adjusted $0.33 per share loss. NIO managed a top-and-bottom beat while growing its total revenues by 21.8% compared to the sequentially preceding quarter, and 25% compared to the year-ago period.

While NIO did beat expectations, it remains a company deep in its investment cycle. That’s a polite way of saying that it loses lots of money. For example, in its most recent quarter, NIO’s gross margin on selling automobiles came to -6.8%. That was a bit worse than its year-ago result of -4.3%, if better than what it managed earlier in Q2 2019.

NIO’s core business can’t even cover its cost of revenues, let alone the operating costs of the rest of the company. This means that the company is consuming cash, putting an end date on its ability to operate without more cash.

As NIO put it in its earnings letter (emphasis: TechCrunch):

The Company operates with continuous loss and negative equity. The Company’s cash balance is not adequate to provide the required working capital and liquidity for continuous operation in the next 12 months. The Company’s continuous operation, which has also constituted the basis of preparing the Company’s third quarter unaudited financial information, depends on the Company’s capability to obtain sufficient external equity or debt financing. The Company is currently working on several financing projects, the consummation of which is subject to certain uncertainties. The Company will announce any material developments or information subject to the requirements by applicable laws.

So, NIO needs more money. Luckily for it, with a newly risen share price the firm has a better shot at selling more of itself to raise the capital it needs to stay in business and grow.

And grow it intends, with a written expectation of delivering “over 8,000” vehicles in Q4 2019, which it notes is about two-thirds more than it managed in Q3 2019; so NIO is telling investors that its revenue will be sharply higher in the current period than it was in the preceding three-month period.

All good news for NIO, even if Musk and company are breathing down its neck. And good news for the 2018 IPO class.

China-based NIO’s shares skyrocket as the Tesla rival beats investor expectations

Shares of NIO, a China-based electric car manufacturer, are soaring this morning after the company’s Q3 2019 earnings beat investor expectations. NIO’s surprise win comes directly on the heels of Tesla, a competitor, announcing the delivery of its first cars made in China, NIO’s home market.

NIO went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018 for $6.26 per share. Its value has plunged as a public company, seeing its per-share price fall to as little as $1.19. Today, after its earnings report, NIO shares are up more than $1 apiece, to $3.47 per share as of the time of writing. That new price represents a gain of a touch less than 44% in today’s trading.

Earnings

NIO managed to beat both revenue and profit expectations in the quarter. And, the company’s forecast for its next quarter’s car deliveries show a sharp rise in automotive deliveries.

According to Yahoo Finance, investors expected NIO to lose $0.34 per share in Q3 on an adjusted basis off revenue of $230.8 million. In fact, NIO reported $257.0 million in revenue leading to an adjusted $0.33 per share loss. NIO managed a top-and-bottom beat while growing its total revenues by 21.8% compared to the sequentially preceding quarter, and 25% compared to the year-ago period.

While NIO did beat expectations, it remains a company deep in its investment cycle. That’s a polite way of saying that it loses lots of money. For example, in its most recent quarter, NIO’s gross margin on selling automobiles came to -6.8%. That was a bit worse than its year-ago result of -4.3%, if better than what it managed earlier in Q2 2019.

NIO’s core business can’t even cover its cost of revenues, let alone the operating costs of the rest of the company. This means that the company is consuming cash, putting an end date on its ability to operate without more cash.

As NIO put it in its earnings letter (emphasis: TechCrunch):

The Company operates with continuous loss and negative equity. The Company’s cash balance is not adequate to provide the required working capital and liquidity for continuous operation in the next 12 months. The Company’s continuous operation, which has also constituted the basis of preparing the Company’s third quarter unaudited financial information, depends on the Company’s capability to obtain sufficient external equity or debt financing. The Company is currently working on several financing projects, the consummation of which is subject to certain uncertainties. The Company will announce any material developments or information subject to the requirements by applicable laws.

So, NIO needs more money. Luckily for it, with a newly risen share price the firm has a better shot at selling more of itself to raise the capital it needs to stay in business and grow.

And grow it intends, with a written expectation of delivering “over 8,000” vehicles in Q4 2019, which it notes is about two-thirds more than it managed in Q3 2019; so NIO is telling investors that its revenue will be sharply higher in the current period than it was in the preceding three-month period.

All good news for NIO, even if Musk and company are breathing down its neck. And good news for the 2018 IPO class.

Adobe turns it up to 11, surpassing $11B in revenue

Yesterday, Adobe submitted its quarterly earnings report — and the results were quite good. The company generated a tad under $3 billion for the quarter, at $2.99 billion, and reported that revenue exceeded $11 billion for FY 2019, its highest-ever mark.

“Fiscal 2019 was a phenomenal year for Adobe as we exceeded $11 billion in revenue, a significant milestone for the company. Our record revenue and EPS performance in 2019 makes us one of the largest, most diversified, and profitable software companies in the world. Total Adobe revenue was $11.17 billion in FY 2019, which represents 24% annual growth,” Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen told analysts and reporters in his company’s post-earnings call.

Adobe made a couple of key M&A moves this year that appear to be paying off, including nabbing Magento in May for $1.7 billion and Marketo in September for $4.75 billion. Both companies fit inside its “Digital Experience” revenue bucket. In its most recent quarter, Adobe’s Digital Experience segment generated $859 million in revenue, compared with $821 million in the sequentially previous quarter.

Obviously buying two significant companies this year helped push those numbers, something CFO John Murphy acknowledged in the call:

Key Q4 highlights include strong year-over-year growth in our Content and Commerce solutions led by Adobe Experience Manager and success with cross-selling and up-selling Magento; Adoption of Adobe Experience Platform, Audience Manager and Real-Time CDP in our Data & Insights solutions; and momentum in our Marketo business, including in the mid-market segment, which helped fuel growth in our Customer Journey Management solutions.

All of that added up to growth across the Digital Experience category.

But Adobe didn’t simply buy its way to new market share. The company also continued to build a suite of products in-house to help grow new revenue from the enterprise side of its business.

“We’re rapidly evolving our CXM product strategy to deliver generational technology platforms, launch innovative new services and introduce enhancements to our market-leading applications. Adobe Experience Platform is the industry’s first purpose-built CXM platform. With real-time customer profiles, continuous intelligence and an open and extensible architecture, Adobe Experience Platform makes delivering personalized customer experiences at scale a reality,” Narayan said.

Of course, the enterprise is just part of it. Adobe’s creative tools remain its bread and butter, with the creative tools accounting for $1.74 billion in revenue and Document Cloud adding another $339 million this quarter.

The company is talking confidently about 2020, as its recent acquisitions mature and become a bigger part of the company’s digital experience offerings. But Narayan feels good about the performance this year in digital experience: “When I take a step back and look at what’s happened during the year, I feel really good about the amount of innovation that’s happening. And the second thing I feel really good about is the alignment across Magento, Marketo and just call it the core DX business in terms of having a more unified and aligned go-to-market, which has not only helped our results, but it’s also helped the operating expense associated with that business,” he said.

It is no small feat for any software company to surpass $11 billion in trailing revenue. Consider that Adobe, which was founded in 1982, goes back to the earliest days of desktop PC software in the 1980s. Yet it has managed to transform into a massive cloud services company over the last five years under Narayan’s leadership.

The $100M ARR club

Hello and welcome to a lightweight series I’m writing while I recapture my footing at TechCrunch. It’s lovely to be back, and I’m excited to chat about what’s going on with private companies, public markets and the space between the two.

I wonder what the average revenue (trailing, say) of a unicorn is today, and if that figure is higher or lower than it was a year ago, or three years ago.

There’s a lot of wiggle room in the question; on one hand, the average age of a unicorn has likely gone up as there are far more born over time than exist in the cohort. At the same time, I’d guess that as unicorn creation accelerates, it leads to companies with less revenue than before making the cut. How does it shake out?

I have an email address now ([email protected]), so let me know what you think. Best answer gets a free Diet Coke.

Now, to work. Today we’re chatting about a revenue threshold that’s a pretty good demarcator for what a unicorn should be; rare, valuable, and fundamentally desirable.

$100 Million

Back when the unicorn phrase was coined (here at TechCruch.com, recall) six years ago, it excluded a collection of startups that were special in their own right. Private companies worth $1 billion were rare enough then to deserve their own moniker, an aspirational label that quickly became uncomfortably normal as companies held off on launching IPOs and venture capitalists raised ever-larger funds.

In recent years, as troubled augmented-reality shop Magic Leap showed with its high valuation and vanishingly small revenues, some startups have earned the unicorn tag without having a business at all.

Firms with valuations that their revenues can’t back are in similar straits. In the post WeWork era, some unicorns are starting to look a bit long in the tooth. I suspect that the companies in most danger are those with slim revenues (compared to their valuation), poor revenue quality (compared to software startups), or both.

That said, there is a club of private companies that are really something, namely private companies that have managed to reach the $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) threshold. It’s not a large group, as startups that tend to cross the $100 million ARR mark are well on the path to going public.

For example, Bill.com is going public this week (the B2B payments company prices Wednesday and trades Thursday; we’ll cover it as it gets out). According to its own amended S-1 filing, Bill.com (backed by Emergence, MasterCard, TTV Capital, and others) reached the $100 million ARR mark in Q2 2019. In the third quarter of this year, its subscription revenue grew from $25.2 million to $28.5 million. Not bad.

Asana announced that it had crossed the threshold back in February on the back of “a period of eight consecutive quarters of revenue growth acceleration, measured on a percentage basis.” It’s still private, though considering a direct listing next year.

But not every $100 million ARR startup is going public. Yet, at least. WalkMe crossed $100 million ARR in Q2 2019 as well, though its IPO plans are opaque. And just last week, Druva announced that it crossed the $100 million ARR mark.

Reaching nine-figure annual recurring revenue matters; try to stop a modern software company at that scale and you’ll struggle.

100 > 1,000

Given that startups which generate high-margin, recurring revenue — which is to say, software startups — are richly valued, aren’t all $100 million ARR companies already worth $1 billion, defeating our point? After all, if the two categories are synonymous, why bother to tease them apart?

Uber’s losses top $1 billion, trumping better than expected revenues

Better than expected revenues couldn’t divert investor attention from the fact that Uber still managed to lose more than $1 billion in the most recent quarter as the company’s stock fell in after-hours trading.

There are bright spots in the latest earnings report, not least that the company managed to stanch the bleeding that had cost the company over $5 billion in the previous quarter.

Revenue grew to $3.8 billion, up from $2.9 billion in the year-ago period, representing a 30% boost. But even as Uber’s core business shows signs of stabilizing and its core markets continue to show growth, its other business units appear to be hemorrhaging cash at increasingly high rates.

“Our results this quarter decisively demonstrate the growing profitability of our Rides segment,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, the company’s chief executive, in a statement. “Rides Adjusted EBITDA is up 52% year-over-year and now more than covers our corporate overhead. Revenue growth and take rates in our Eats business also accelerated nicely. We’re pleased to see the impact that continued category leadership, greater financial discipline, and an industry-wide shift towards healthier growth are already having on our financial performance.”

Losses in earnings at the company’s Uber Eats business grew 67% to $316 million from $189 million in the year-ago period. And performance in the company’s freight division looks even worse. Losses in freight ballooned by 161%, growing to $81 million from $31 million in the same quarter of 2018.

Also contributing to the company’s losses for the quarter were stock-based compensation expenses, which added another $401 million to the tallies against the company.

Given that the lock-up period is about to end for institutional investors, that could spell even more trouble for the company — as institutional investors who bought into the company before its public offering may look to sell.

That said, Uber has taken a number of steps to correct its course and put the company on a path to profitability, which Khosrowshahi says should happen in the next two years.

In October, the company announced the last of three rounds of sweeping layoffs at the company that saw 1,185 staffers lose their jobs. Khosrowshahi called the layoffs a chance to ensure that the company was “structured for success for the next few years.” In an email to staff, he wrote, “This has resulted in difficult but necessary changes to ensure we have the right people in the right roles in the right locations, and that we’re always holding ourselves accountable to top performance.”

With the layoffs behind it, Uber can now focus on some of the big operational challenges it had set for itself through the reorganization that the company has announced. That includes adding new features and technologies to its Uber Eats delivery program (despite what recent losses at GrubHub may imply about the food delivery business) and pressing forward with another darling of the tech set these days — the company’s financial services platform.

The launch of this new platform, coupled with a slew of announcements from the company in September, show that Uber may have dialed back on its ambitions, but not by much. As Khosrowshahi said at the event, “We want to be the operating system for your everyday life…. A one-click gateway to everything that Uber can offer you.”

Apple beats on Q4 earnings after strong quarter for wearables, services

Apple’s iPhone sales still make up over half of its quarterly revenues, but they are slowly shrinking in importance as other divisions in the company pick up speed.

Apple’s stock remained largely unchanged after-hours following the release of its Q4 earnings. The company delivered earnings per share of $3.03 versus the street’s estimate of $2.84 on revenue of $64 billion compared with expectation at $62.99 billion.

The big story continues to be major growth in Services, iPad and Wearables while iPhone and Mac sales continue to shrink year-over-year.

As you’ll remember, Apple no longer reports unit sales of its iPhone, Mac and iPad lines, something that is largely the result of declining unit sales and higher average selling prices. Services, Wearables and Other, and iPad saw year-over-year gains, while the iPhone and Mac lines are still seeing revenue slumps.

  • iPhone sales were down 9% year-over-year, to $33.36 billion
  • Services were up 18% YoY, to $12.5 billion
  • Mac sales were down 5% YoY, to $6.99 billion
  • “Wearables, Home, and Accessories” were up 54% YoY, to $6.52 billion
  • iPad sales were up 17% YoY, to $4.66 billion

The company is continuing to add to some of its highest-growth businesses. The company announced the release of a new high-end set of AirPods yesterday, which will likely increase average selling prices among its wearables division. The company also has a number of paid services, including Apple TV+, that will be launching soon.