WEEK STARTING 3 FEB
CBA launched a new venture-building entity named 'X15 Ventures'. Startups looking to be part of the venture don't give up equity for funding (a la the corporate venture capital model, like Westpac's Reinventure), but rather become wholly owned subsidiaries of CBA. A new venture would secure the brand (trust), expertise & customer base of the bank. My view is that this has been designed for CBA employees, over a founder and / or entrepreneur looking for funding (who would want to give up ownership?). There's a lot of bright people at CBA, and I assume a number of business cases fall outside of traditional funding pools - this would be a good way to say 'We like your idea, take it to the ventures team'. This makes sense because said employees would know internal systems and processes, would hopefully understand the customer problem and have the security of their role / salary. Undeniably, this would provide motivation for employees to try and think of more innovative solutions to problems they are solving day-to-day. I looked up all the X15 team members and they are all from the CBA Ventures Team. So - I'd say this is more an internal restructure rebranded as a ventures entity. Link
Airwallex launched a borderless card. Link
Neobank 'Xinja' has banked $100m of deposits in less than three weeks, since launching their 'Stash' savings feature. Good rate + being new + swanky app = massive success. The real question now is if these savings deposits can start recurring and churn doesn't increase. I'd say their crowdfunding campaign had a lot to do this - they had around 1500 investors, of which presumably they have spare cash, and likely put money into the company they were also invested. Link
Google mysteriously removed how much it makes from cost-per-click (CPC) ads from their 2019 financial report, suggesting their value is diminishing. Link
Money transfer startup, Remitly, launched a neobank for immigrants. Super interesting. Link
More payments consolidation - Worldline is buying Ingenico for $8.6bn. (It is incredibly likely you've used an Ingenico payment terminal in the last week). Link
SoftBank is cutting costs hard as a result of the WeWork screw up last year. Zume Pizza (80% laid off) and GetAround (25%) as two examples. Link
We are 10% through the year. Link
We learned to write the way we talk. Link
Interesting take: Coronavirus has forced the world's largest work from home experiment. Link
Someone faked a traffic jam in Berlin by carrying around 90+ phones in a trolley, all connected to maps. Lol. Link
Answers at the end of the email
(a) What two homophonic words mean 'Rough in texture' or 'a semester-long class at school'?
(b) What European country comes last alphabetically?
(c) The largest peninsula on earth is mostly made up of which Middle Eastern country?