It was an eventful week in tech news, beyond the usual quarterly-earnings hubbub. Uber, Stripe and other big-name startups inked major deals, and Google began winding down its one-time would-be Facebook killer. Here are the details:
Uber raised another $1 billion
(giving it $5 billion total) round that set the company’s value at more than $50 billion, the investors reportedly including Microsoft and Times of India owner Bennett Coleman and Co. Uber is planning to invest $1 billion in India
, whose startup market is heating up as Alibaba, Foxconn and SoftBank just plunked down $1 billion
to invest in Indian Amazon competitor Snapdeal.
Microsoft may be scaling back its smartphone hardware ambitions
, but the company is making a big bet on its operating system with Windows 10. The new software is much more competitive with Mac OS X, and Re/code’s Walt Mossberg likes it, but whether Microsoft will get developer love for its non-desktop devices is far from certain.
Google may have Internet balloons, but Facebook built an unmanned aircraft that it aims to use for connecting people to the Internet. Speaking of sky-high, the company beat Wall Street expectations
this week with a surge in mobile ad revenue. Oh, and Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting a baby girl
Google Express delivery workers are trying to unionize
, Google Glass is relaunching
with a focus on enterprise applications, and Google+ isn’t dying quietly so much as it’s being shoved out the door
. The company is making its push
for home services after acquiring Homejoy earlier this month.
Visa is investing in Stripe, in a deal
that values the digital payments startup at $5 billion (there are other investors, none of whom are putting in more than $100 million each); the two are also signing an agreement that further wrap up the companies’ businesses in one another.
Interim CEO Jack Dorsey was brutal and unsparing
when talking about Twitter’s disappointing growth numbers on the earnings call this week, which sent Wall Street into a tizzy. The exit of three major product executives
probably won’t calm the Street’s nerves.
NBCUniversal plans to invest $250 million in BuzzFeed
at a $1.5 billion valuation, and it’s also putting an undisclosed amount into Vox Media (the owner of Re/code), which puts the company’s value at $850 million.
Yelp’s stock plummeted earlier this week, and the company says a “unicorn bubble” is sapping it of revenue and talent
. Don’t expect Yelp to be the only major tech company to blame the rise of privately backed startups.
This week on the Re/code Decode podcast with Kara Swisher
, Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon talked about startups, the tech bubble, and niche fields like virtual reality and bitcoin. Walt Mossberg talked about Windows 10, and Ina Fried explained the recent car-hacking drama.
Snapchat is a secretive company, and the lack of publicly available information makes it tough to figure out the innards of its business. Here’s a number: Revenue could reach $50 million this year
(the startup was last valued at $16 billion), and it’s ramping up its CFO search as it looks to grow the dollars-and-cents end of its business.