Tech Snapshot | Amazon, Apple, Tesla, Salesforce | Aug 24-28
Amazon obtains a Part 135 air carrier certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), making it a step closer to launching drone delivery in the US. Amazon stated it will now begin testing drone delivery, but hasn’t announced when it will officially be available to the general public. CEO Jeff Bezos first announced a “30-mins or less drone delivery” in 2013, and claims to have logged thousands of flight hours. Amazon is the third company to have received this certificate, behind UPS and Wing (a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company).
UPS has already begun delivering medical supplies and medications in North Carolina and Florida, and Wing launched drone delivery in Virginia. Drone delivery is an exciting new frontier that we can all look forward to.
Two of the most valuable tech companies in the world, Apple (4-to-1) and Tesla (5-to-1), split their stocks on Monday, August 31.
What does stock splitting mean? Basically every 1 stock of Apple has split into 4 stocks, each for ¼ of the original value (and similarly with Tesla stock which has split into 5 stocks for ⅕ of the value). The total value of each company has not changed though; imagine taking 1 whole pizza and cutting it into 4 slices. You still have the same amount of pizza.
Both Apple and Tesla assert they decided to stock split to make their stocks more appealing to more investors. Though investors may be enticed by the cheaper buy-in, the math doesn’t change. You could buy 1 slice of pizza for less money, but it is still only 1 slice compared to the original whole pizza.
Experts claim stock splits are not an indicator of a company’s future success. So, stock splits are something to be aware of, and not much more than that. Happy investing!
Despite Salesforce’s 26% increase in stock price, their best day ever, last Wednesday, Salesforce has announced it has cut 1000 jobs (2% of its workforce) to “reallocate resources for continued growth.” Salesforce employees who were laid off are given 60 days to find new jobs within Salesforce. Otherwise, Salesforce will offer severance and pay for 6 months of pay benefits.
Despite a company’s shares surging by 26%, it does not necessarily mean that all employees are secure in their job positions. What is important to a company is how their organization aligns with current and future business priorities. Founders, take note. Employees, be up-to-date on your job skills.
Mumbai-based Eruditus works with top international universities to offer 100+ executive-level courses, and has raised $113M from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic establishment founded by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. Eruditus will use the funding to scale its business and obtain more students.
Eruditus maintains relationships with top-tier universities, such as MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge, and many more to develop higher education courses for students, which ranges from $5,000-$40,000.
Chinese electric vehicle startup Xpeng Inc. (XPEV) IPO’d in the U.S. and raised $1.5B, selling 99.7 million shares for $15 each. Xpeng, with HQ in Guangzhou and offices in the Silicon Valley and San Diego, raised $500M in Series C earlier this summer and plans to develop electric vehicles for China’s middle-class. Xpeng currently has 2 electric vehicles on the market and is planning a third (a sedan) for 2021.
Warby Parker, an e-commerce giant for eyeglasses, has closed a $245M funding round and is now valued at $3B. Though COVID-19 has impacted the retail market, Warby was able to pivot some parts of their business. They launched a “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, which promised that for every pair of glasses purchased, Warby would donate a pair of glasses to people in need. They have also used their lab in New York as a distribution center to facilitate the donation of N95 masks to healthcare workers. Warby has been in business for over 10 years and is continually launching new services, such as a virtual try-on feature that uses AR to try on their range of eyeglasses.
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Research contributed by Stephanie Heinsohn