Your ride has been canceled
- U.S. markets: Stocks came roaring back after one of their worst weeks in two years.
- Crypto: Bitcoin fell 7%, dipping below $8,000 after Twitter said it would ban crypto ads.
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Ride-Hailing in a Nutshell
After selling its Southeast Asia business for a 27.5% stake in Grab, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reassured employees that Uber would continue its global expansion, one 5-star rating at a time.
Sure, cutting costs will remain essential as Uber charges towards its 2019 IPO. But it can't afford to kick back and relax, since the ride-hailing industry is projected to grow to $276 billion by 2025.
Let's check out Uber's record on the world stage
Where Uber lost
- China: Uber backed out in 2016 and took a 20% stake in Didi. The Chinese rival is now worth $56 billion.
- Southeast Asia: With Uber's departure, Grab now controls most of SE Asia's Big Eight (think Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc.) Go-Jek-a moped-focused ride-hailer backed by Google-has claimed its territory in Indonesia.
- Russia: Yandex.Taxi has the country under lock and key. Uber left in 2017, taking a 36.6% stake in Yandex.
Where Uber is still fighting
- Brazil: Uber's got a good grip on Brazil, but it's battling things out with the country's local ride-hailer, 99, which was recently purchased by Didi.
- India: The country's local rival, Ola, operates in over 110 cities, while Uber operates in just 30. But Uber's fighting back, and Dara's putting a strong emphasis on expanding in India.
- Japan: Uber is taking a new approach-partnering with taxi companies in Japan's $16 billion industry. Because to date, Uber has captured less than 1% of monthly rides in Tokyo (the world's largest taxi market). We'll see if that helps as it faces off with Didi.
- Australia: Uber has got a foothold here, but Ola is moving into the region, fast.
Who will win?
Likely SoftBank. The Japanese tech conglomerate has stakes in pretty much every ride-hailer above.
But here's how we see it playing out: Despite what Dara says, Uber will face tough competition wherever it goes. And competition = lower prices = less profit. At some point or another, all ride-hailers will be faced with the same question:
Should we team up, or just keep beating each other to a pulp?
Monday in the Markets
The markets rebounded on Monday, with the Dow surging over 650 points. And amazingly enough, 80% of your friends and co-workers "called it"-what are the chances?
Here's the rundown:
Trade: The D.C.-Beijing brawl might not be as much of a brawl as we first thought. China could purchase more semiconductors and open its markets to the U.S. to help reduce the $375 billion trade deficit. Investors breathed a sigh of relief.
Europe: European stocks missed out on the party. Gloomy economic data has investors questioning if EU growth has hit a standstill. And some analysts are predicting a longer-term correction.
Tech: Microsoft carried the Dow and the Nasdaq after Morgan Stanley said it could hit a $1 trillion market cap by next year. Analysts said, 'watch out Amazon, Microsoft is coming for the cloud' and shares surged 7.6%.
What to watch this week:
- Personal income numbers for February (Thursday). Is America getting richer? Stay tuned.
- The Treasury is having a yard sale, looking to auction up to $294 billion in bills and notes.
- GDP, Corporate Profits (Wednesday), and Consumer Sentiment (Thursday)
The FTC Spills the Beans: It's Investigating Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg spent the weekend hoping something, anything would distract people from Facebook's Cambridge Analytica fiasco. But not even Sister Jean could salvage the (more) bad news: the FTC confirmed it's investigating the company's management of user data.
The statement: "The FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices."
Translation? The probe will look at whether Facebook violated a 2011 agreement over user privacy, which could result in millions of dollars in fines.
Facebook's hot-potato stock took another beating on the news
And if things don't get better fast, it could have its worst monthly performance since August 2012 (though it finished slightly up on the day).
But things don't appear to be getting better. Facebook's favorability rating dropped 28 points in an Axios/Survey Monkey poll. And it's playing defense again, after reports it logged some Android users' calls and texts.
In Record Flight, Qantas Connects London and Australia
Break out your ginger ale and mini-pretzels, Qantas flight 9 is officially in service-the first ever non-stop passenger flight to connect Europe and Australia.
In just the blink of an eye 17 hours, you can travel 9,009 miles between Perth in Western Australia and London, with a bird's-eye-view of countries like Sri Lanka, Oman, Iran, and Belgium.
So why connect London and Perth? Close business ties. As the largest producer and exporter of iron ore in the world, Western Australia is a mining company's idea of heaven. But to bankroll these capital-intensive mining operations, the industry has historically cozied up to London's financial firms.
So it's no surprise there's demand for non-stop travel, especially for mining execs like Robert Williamson. His thoughts on the flight? "It was surprisingly good."
What it means for the future of travel: Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, a super efficient jet, is making "ultra-long-haul" flights a viable commercial opportunity for airlines. Expect 17-hour flights to become less newsworthy...and more surprisingly good.
WHAT ELSE IS BREWING
- Remington has filed for bankruptcy protection.
- Activist investor Daniel Loeb announced a position in United Technologies (+3.54%).
- HQ Trivia is starting to roll out sponsored games. This week? Warner Bros. and Nike.
- Check out TechCrunch's feature on Morning Brew (+374%).
- Reporting earnings today: Lululemon, McCormick & Company, Sonic
Each week, we'll let you know about a company making waves. We'll tell you about the company, pitching you the good and the bad. Then we want to hear from you. Would you invest?
In 2003, Dave Portnoy was handing out his sports-themed newspaper for free at Boston train stops. Today, he's the president (or "El Pres") of that same company...now a digital media force: Barstool Sports.
It has a loyal base that verges on a cult-like following. "Stoolies," as the company's fans are known, will buy just about anything Barstool puts out, from t-shirts mocking NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to an obscure amateur boxing PPV in West Virginia (41,000 people paid to watch).
And what started out as a ragtag group of male bloggers has gained legitimacy in recent years. Erika Nardini, a former AOL exec, joined as CEO in 2016. And media bigshot Peter Chernin clearly sees a winner. He's invested $25 million in Barstool (owning a majority stake), most recently at a ~$100 million valuation.
But it's a lightning rod for controversy
When media brands are gingerly trying to toe the line of being "PC," Barstool is blowing right past it. Much of its content has come under fire for being sexist, specifically.
And the unending controversies have cost the company $$$. ESPN pulled the plug on a TV partnership after just one episode because it "erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content."
Which makes you wonder: just how many buttons can Barstool push till it pops?
TOGETHER WITH NASDAQ
It's not just March Madness in basketball. In the world of Exchange Traded Funds (or ETFs), things have never been more exciting. And there's no better expert to break it all down than senior ETF analyst at Bloomberg, Eric Balchunas. He gave a ton of insight on the ETF space to our friends at Nasdaq in this short video. Get smart on ETFs. Search #TradeTalks on Twitter for the latest trading trends, education and news.
STAT OF THE DAY
60 Minutes-No, not the time frame. The popular CBS television show. On Sunday, it recorded its highest ratings in a decade with a feature on adult film actress Stormy Daniels' alleged affair with Donald Trump. It was the most-watched episode (22 million viewers) since the Obamas gave their first post-election interview in 2008.
GUESS THE LOGO
A survey was taken among 100 brainiacs. Of those surveyed, twice as many brainiacs like rebus teasers as math teasers. If 18 brainiacs like both rebus teasers and math teasers and 4 like neither kind of teaser, how many brainiacs like math teasers but not rebus teasers?
(Answer located at bottom of newsletter)
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Guess The Logo
20 (See explanation)