Fed Increases Interest Rate; Uber Pays Massive Settlement For Breach; Stripe’s Value More Than Doubles
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THE MOST INTEREST-ING MAN IN THE WORLD
Jerome Powell doesn’t always discuss monetary policy, but when he does, he doesn’t use the word “accommodative.” JP has stricken the “a” word from the Fed’s lexicon, hinting that interest rates are at a neutral level (i.e. they don’t hurt or help the economy).
Janet Yellen’s successor and the rest of the Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to raise the Federal Fund Rate a quarter of a percent to a range of 2% to 2.25%. Of course, the move was about as surprising as Tilray’s freefall.
But Jerry Interest Rates is just getting started. The Fed’s new dot plot all but assures another interest rate this year. And its safe to assume the trend will continue into 2019.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “I bet Federal Open Market Committee post-presser happy hours are LIT.”
LIFE’S A BREACH
Leave it to a guy named Travis to f*ck shit up worse than Elon Musk left alone with a bag of shrooms and an SEC investigator. Uber is still trying to rid itself of the mess left behind by former CEO Travis Kalanick. One particularly sticky situation is the massive 2016 data breach that continues to haunt the ride-hailing provider.
Just months into Dara Khosrowshahi ‘s tenure, news broke that in October 2016 Uber suffered a massive data breach, did its best to cover it up … and even paid the hackers $100k to delete the data and move like real G’s: in silence like lasagna (read: not go public with the news).
When news did break in 2017, it was a bloodbath. Data including phone numbers and email addresses of some 57M riders and drivers were hacked.
The fallout included Uber firing its chief security officer, hiring a third-party regulator to monitor data-privacy and as of yesterday, paying the largest data-privacy related settlement in US history, $148M.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Hey Dara, do you even lyft bro?”
EARN YOUR STRIPE
Stripe, the company behind the tech that allows companies like Lyft and Shopify to easily accept payments, is now worth $20B. The company closed a funding round led by Tiger Global Management LLC worth $245M.
Since the beginning of 2018 fintech startups like Stripe have attracted more than $18B in VC money. About 4 times the amount invested in the space in all of 2017. Stripes most recent funding round more than doubled its previous $9B valuation.
Since the beginning of this year alone, Stripe has unveiled more than 3,200 new versions of its core API, which allows companies to accept payments online and via mobile devices. The recent valuation positions Stripe as one of the most valuable private companies in the world, and co-founder John Collison says the firm has no plans to go public any time soon.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Ironically, the investment request was sent over Venmo.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- For the second time in less than a week, Jeffrey Commerce and Amazon have announced a foray into brick and mortar. “Amazon 4-star” will sell only, you guessed it, items rated “4-star” or above on Amazon. The NYC concept showroom is further proof that owning 49% of all US retail sales that occur online is not enough to satiate Bezos’ bloodthirst.
- Define power-move: bidding up shares of a company you have a stake in via an auction that you’re part of vs. your arch nemesis … then offering to sell them the shares at the inflated price. Fox put on a clinic in the art of the deal, “losing” a weekend bidding war vs. Comcast for ownership of Sky, but not before ratcheting up the European provider’s valuation. Fox has agreed to sell its 38% stake in Sky to Comcast for “fair market value” … all with a sh*t eating grin on its face.
- The preferred survey provider of 8th-grade sociology students soared on its first day of trading. SurveyMonkey rose by more than 60% in its first day of trading after pricing well above its initial range, netting the firm $180M.
- Put your hands up for Detroit … I love this city. Cadillac, a GM brand, is getting back to its roots by moving back to Detroit after a short stint in NYC, in an attempt to appeal to a more luxury-focused crowd. Real estate prices in Detroit are hard to beat …
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