Amazon delivers early iPad Pro Black Friday deals
Amazon is now taking up to $249 off Apple’s latest 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. You’ll find between $149 and $199 off most models, matching a number of Amazon all-time lows along the way. While we may see better deals come Black Friday, this is the advertised price to this point, so you may want to jump right in today and save your time later.
Apple’s latest iPad Pro sports a new Liquid Retina edge-to-edge display with ProMotion, True Tone, and wide color. Other features include Face ID, 12MP camera, four speakers, and up to 10 hours of battery life, all of which are powered by Apple’s new A12X Bionic chip. Best of all, you can easily use it for features like Sidecar on macOS Catalina. Check out all of the best early iPad Pro Black Friday deals right here.
Apple Watch Series 5 now up to $80 off
Amazon is now taking up to $80 off Apple Watch Series 5 models. You’ll find the largest discounts on GPS + Cellular configurations, with today’s deal being the biggest price drop we’ve tracked to date. Many listings are discounted by $50. Best Buy is currently charging full price across the board. The latest from Apple delivers a new always-on Retina display, 30% larger screen than Series 3, and a swimproof design. Improved features like heart rate tracking, ECG, and a new compass are a few of the other notable upgrades here. Of course, you’ll still get fitness tracking and the usual suite of notifications.
Make sure to put your savings towards good use and pick up an extra Apple Watch band. There are plenty of options out there, which you can find in our roundup starting at $5. Check out all of our top picks right here.
Beats headphone deals from $90
Amazon offers Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones in various colors for $200. Today’s deal is as much as $150 off the regular going rate, although you typically find them around $300, and a new Amazon all-time low in select colors. This is also the expected Black Friday price.
Beats Studio3 offers up to 12-hours of playback on a single charge alongside an “an ergonomic bellow that creates a flexible custom fit.” You’ll also find active noise cancellation here, making Beats Studio3 a solid option for long flights or noisy environments where a little extra quiet goes a long way. Includes Apple’s W1 chip for fast wireless pairing. Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless Headphones are also on sale for $90, down from the usual $120 price tag.
UE’s WONDERBOOM Speaker is a great gift at $40
Target offers the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Bluetooth Speaker in Subzero Blue for $40. Also at Best Buy. Originally $100, it’s selling for around $60 at other retailers. Today’s deal is $10 less than our previous mention. So far, we know that this is likely to be the Black Friday price as well. UE’s WONDERBOOM is perfect for summer with its compact size and 10-hours of battery life. Bright colors and a 360-degree design make it an ideal companion during the warmer months and plenty of fun during winter as well. Its small footprint makes it easy to tote along wherever adventures take you. Learn more in our hands-on review.
NETGEAR’s new Orbi Mesh System gets $50 discount
Best Buy’s official eBay storefront offers the new NETGEAR Orbi Dual-Band 802.11ac Mesh Wi-Fi System Four-Pack for $250. Also available as part of Best Buy’s early Black Friday sale. Usually selling for $300, today’s offer is good for a $50 discount, marks the very first price drop we’ve seen, and is a new low. Featuring four mesh routers, NETGEAR’s newest Orbi system can provide up to 6,000-square feet with 1.2Gb/s network throughput. Other notable inclusions here enter in the form of dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, Disney Circle internet monitoring, and more. Learn more in our announcement coverage.
— 9to5Mac.com (@9to5mac) November 4, 2019
9to5Mac Deal of the Month:
The OWC USB-C Travel Dock is a 5-port travel dock with up to 60W of power passthrough capability and small enough to fit in your pocket. It includes 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a USB-C port with power passthrough, an SD card reader, and HMDI 2.0 port with support for 4K displays. The OWC 10-port USB-C Dock includes five USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (including a USB Type-C) and can charge laptops with up to 60W of power. Also included is Ultra-High-Speed Gigabit Ethernet, a front-facing SD card reader, Mini DisplayPort interface, combo audio in/out port, and an included Mini DisplayPort to HDMI 4K adapter. Both come in four color options– silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold– to match your MacBook.
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These ten enterprise M&A deals totaled over $40B in 2019
It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion. This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would…
It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion.
This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would have been good for third place last year behind IBM’s mega deal plucking Red Hat for $34 billion and Broadcom grabbing CA Technologies for $18.8 billion.
Contributing to this year’s quieter activity was the fact that several typically acquisitive companies — Adobe, Oracle and IBM — stayed mostly on the sidelines after big investments last year. It’s not unusual for companies to take a go-slow approach after a big expenditure year. Adobe and Oracle bought just two companies each with neither revealing the prices. IBM didn’t buy any.
Microsoft didn’t show up on this year’s list either, but still managed to pick up eight new companies. It was just that none was large enough to make the list (or even for them to publicly reveal the prices). When a publicly traded company doesn’t reveal the price, it usually means that it didn’t reach the threshold of being material to the company’s results.
As always, just because you buy it doesn’t mean it’s always going to integrate smoothly or well, and we won’t know about the success or failure of these transactions for some years to come. For now, we can only look at the deals themselves.
Jumia, DHL, and Alibaba will face off in African ecommerce 2.0
The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom. Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition. To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and…
The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom.
Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition.
To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and opportunity, perhaps more than any other market in the world. Across major African economies, many of the requisites for online retail — internet access, digital payment adoption, and 3PL delivery options — have been severely lacking.
Still, startups jumped into this market for the chance to digitize a share of Africa’s fast growing consumer spending, expected to top $2 billion by 2025.
African e-commerce 2.0 will include some old and new players, play out across more countries, place more priority on internet services, and see the entry of China.
But before highlighting several things to look out for in the future of digital-retail on the continent, a look back is beneficial.
Jumia vs. Konga
The early years for development of African online shopping largely played out in Nigeria (and to some extent South Africa). Anyone who visited Nigeria from 2012 to 2016 likely saw evidence of one of the continent’s early e-commerce showdowns. Nigeria had its own Coke vs. Pepsi-like duel — a race between ventures Konga and Jumia to out-advertise and out-discount each other in a quest to scale online shopping in Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.
Traveling in Lagos traffic, large billboards for each startup faced off across the skyline, as their delivery motorcycles buzzed between stopped cars.
Covering each company early on, it appeared a battle of VC attrition. The challenge: who could continue to raise enough capital to absorb the losses of simultaneously capturing and creating an e-commerce market in notoriously difficult conditions.
In addition to the aforementioned challenges, Nigeria also had (and continues to have) shoddy electricity.
Both Konga — founded by Nigerian Sim Shagaya — and Jumia — originally founded by two Nigerians and two Frenchman — were forced to burn capital building fulfillment operations most e-commerce startups source to third parties.
That included their own delivery and payment services (KongaPay and JumiaPay). In addition to sales of goods from mobile-phones to diapers, both startups also began experimenting with verticals for internet based services, such as food-delivery and classifieds.
While Jumia and Konga were competing in Nigeria, there was another VC driven race for e-commerce playing out in South Africa — the continent’s second largest and most advanced economy.
E-tailers Takealot and Kalahari had been jockeying for market share since 2011 after raising capital in the hundreds of millions of dollars from investors Naspers and U.S. fund Tiger Global Management.
So how did things turn out in West and Southern Africa? In 2014, the lead investor of a flailing Kalahari — Naspers — facilitated a merger with Takealot (that was more of an acquisition). They nixed the Kalahari brand in 2016 and bought out Takelot’s largest investor, Tiger Global, in 2018. Takealot is now South Africa’s leading e-commerce site by market share, but only operates in one country.
In Nigeria, by 2016 Jumia had outpaced its rival Konga in Alexa ratings (6 vs 14), while out-raising Konga (with backing of Goldman Sachs) to become Africa’s first VC backed, startup unicorn. By early 2018, Konga was purchased in a distressed acquisition and faded away as a competitor to Jumia.
Jumia went on to expand online goods and services verticals into 14 Africa countries (though it recently exited a few) and in April 2019 raised over $200 million in an NYSE IPO — the first on a major exchange for a VC-backed startup operating in Africa.
Jumia’s had bumpy road since going public — losing significant share-value after a short-sell attack earlier in 2019 — but the continent’s leading e-commerce company still has heap of capital and generates $100 million in revenues (even with losses).
Airbnb’s New Year’s Eve guest volume shows its falling growth rate
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in…
Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.
It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in this coming year’s technology exit market. Expect the NYSE and Nasdaq to compete for the listing, bankers to queue to take part, and endless media coverage.
Given that that’s ahead, we’re going to take periodic looks at Airbnb as we tick closer to its eventual public market debut. And that means that this morning we’re looking back through time to see how fast the company has grown by using a quirky data point.
Airbnb releases a regular tally of its expected “guest stays” for New Year’s Eve each year, including 2019. We can therefore look back in time, tracking how quickly (or not) Airbnb’s New Year Eve guest tally has risen. This exercise will provide a loose, but fun proxy for the company’s growth as a whole.
Before we look into the figures themselves, keep in mind that we are looking at a guest figure which is at best a proxy for revenue. We don’t know the revenue mix of the guest stays, for example, meaning that Airbnb could have seen a 10% drop in per-guest revenue this New Year’s Eve — even with more guest stays — and we’d have no idea.
So, the cliche about grains of salt and taking, please.
But as more guests tends to mean more rentals which points towards more revenue, the New Year’s Eve figures are useful as we work to understand how quickly Airbnb is growing now compared to how fast it grew in the past. The faster the company is expanding today, the more it’s worth. And given recent news that the company has ditched profitability in favor of boosting its sales and marketing spend (leading to sharp, regular deficits in its quarterly results), how fast Airbnb can grow through higher spend is a key question for the highly-backed, San Francisco-based private company.
- 2009: 1,400
- 2010: 6,000 (+329%)
- 2011: 3,1000 (+417%)
- 2012: 108,000 (248%)
- 2013: 250,000 (+131%)
- 2014: 540,000 (+116%)
- 2015: 1,100,000 (+104%)
- 2016: 2,000,000 (+82%)
- 2017: 3,000,000 (+50%)
- 2018: 3,700,000 (+23%)
- 2019: 4,500,000 (+22%)
In chart form, that looks like this:
Let’s talk about a few things that stand out. First is that the company’s growth rate managed to stay over 100% for as long as it did. In case you’re a SaaS fan, what Airbnb pulled off in its early years (again, using this fun proxy for revenue growth) was far better than a triple-triple-double-double-double.
Next, the company’s growth rate in percentage terms has slowed dramatically, including in 2019. At the same time the firm managed to re-accelerate its gross guest growth in 2019. In numerical terms, Airbnb added 1,000,000 New Year’s Eve guest stays in 2017, 700,000 in 2018, and 800,000 in 2019. So 2019’s gross adds was not a record, but it was a better result than its year-ago tally.
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