Following last week’s announcements at Stripe Sessions, the SaaS payments leader has now shared it is raising $250 million to continue its powerful growth trajectory. Stripe’s new valuation of $35 billion for this round of fundraising represents a 55% increase from where it was valued during its last fundraising round earlier this year.
This week, the e-commerce world is seeing Amazon test a new product feedback process by way of one-tap ratings. The new review feature is Amazon’s attempt to drive up the number of shoppers who leave useful reviews, as this is a driving force behind product sales for merchants on the platform. For now, a select group of Amazon customers will have access to the feature, which will be made available from a variety of pages on Amazon including “Your Orders” and “Write a Review.” While this is likely to encourage the number of positive reviews merchants see due to varying levels of motivation to write positive vs negative reviews, merchants should be attuned and respond to low-star reviews, inquiring after the customers issues.
Our friend David Hauser, the founder of Grasshopper, just launched his first book Unstoppable: 4 Steps to Transform Your Life. If you’ve heard of Grasshopper, you know David has no problem reaching his business goals. But after years of diet and exercise, he couldn’t get a grip on his health goals — until he started applying business principles to his own body and mind. This book gives you the framework he used to succeed. To celebrate the launch, click the link above to grab a copy for under $1 until Monday.
In market updates this week, the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates as a response to falling business investment due to trade uncertainties prompted by the US administration. The Fed’s main policy rate has now been reduced to a range of 1.75-2%, shortly after the New York Federal Reserve injected $75 billion in short term cash to stabilize markets. Interestingly, online business investment continues to increase, and will now continue to benefit from lower borrowing rates.
Finally, international news saw French President Macron commit a €5 Billion Investment from insurers and asset managers in French technology startups. The funding comes from nearly 40 venture capital firms and funds in the country, with the goal of creating 25 or more €1 billion French technology companies by 2025. Recent tax cuts had not proven effective enough to help burgeoning startups, resulting in this new initiative which, according to Macron, is intended to “create [France’s] champions.”
New in FE exclusive App listings this week we have a Wellness and Improvement App Portfolio listed at the $288,000 price point. This diverse portfolio of around 140 mobile apps has garnered millions of lifetime users due to its effectiveness and popularity. With over 2.7 million lifetime downloads and an incredibly high product rating of 4.7 stars, this business has seen steady revenue growth of around 187.5% compound annual growth rate over the 2015 to 2018 period. Please follow the link above to request a prospectus.
In events news, we are pleased to present the first in a series of “HOW TO” online business meetups, How to Build an 8-Figure Technology Business panel event! Join CEO Ismael Wrixen, Founder Thomas Smale and the FE team to hear from expert panelists who have built successful technology businesses and are ready to share their proven skills. Ticket Tailor Founder Jonny White, TaskDrive Founder David Henzel and SaaStock Founder and CEO Alex Theuma, among others, will speak on the panel before we open the floor for no-pitch networking with the fellow founders, entrepreneurs and investors in attendance. Doors open at 6pm, so make sure to click here to RSVP!
Continue reading below for more on Stripe, Amazon, the Fed and France’s tech scene.
- Diverse portfolio of c.140 health and wellness mobile Apps
- Millions of lifetime users standing testament to the portfolio’s effectiveness and popularity
- Over 2.7 million lifetime downloads with an incredibly high product rating of 4.7 stars
- Steady revenue growth with earnings rising at a c.187.5% CAGR over the 2015 to 2018 period
Yearly net profit: $95,000
Asking price: $288,000
- Vast content library, with over 235 informative articles covering diverse product range
- Strong organic search presence with keyword rankings for c.40,000 keywords
- Impressive traffic volume with over 348,000 visitors over the LTM
- Lean and scalable cost structure driving high net margins
Yearly net profit: $40,500
Asking price: $100,000
- Reputable brand with sixteen years of operational history in the high-growth code hosting niche
- Clear value proposition with tens of thousands of development teams serviced and a list of notable clients
- Steady cash flows with more than $21,000 in MRR supported by strong net margins
- Highly attractive SaaS metrics with high LTV of c.$1,650 and low customer churn of c.1.5% in the LTM
- Extensive list of essential features with positive reviews from third parties
Yearly net profit: $192,000
Asking price: $758,000
- Reputable brand with seven years of operational history
- Over 12 million visitors and 19 million page views in the past year
- Hundreds of articles published from authoritative government sources
- Dominant social media presence with over 1 million Facebook followers
Yearly net profit: $270,000
Asking price: $716,000
- Clear value proposition aimed at c.610 million LinkedIn users
- Productized digital service model monetized via recurring subscriptions
- Steady revenue growth with a high ARPO and LTV
- Fine-tuned process with robust systems and automation in-place
- Well-trained team staying on with the business post-sale
Yearly net profit: $199,000
Asking price: $375,000
- Wide selection of stylish and affordable products in the lucrative men’s apparel niche
- Steady revenues with over $250,000 in gross income throughout the LTM
- Hundreds of profitable SKUs with a high ARPO
- Highly automated operations allowing for minimal owner involvement
Yearly net profit: $55,000
Asking price: $130,000
In the News…
Stripe Raises New Round of Capital
Within the next several weeks, Stripe is set to close a deal for another round of funding totaling $250 million dollars at a pre-money valuation of $35 billion dollars. This week, Stripe announces several business developments pushing the payments business further into the lending and credit spaces. Named investors participating in the round are General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz, and Sequoia. TechCrunch reports Stripe President John Collison confirmed Softbank will not be investing this round after the sources claim not investing two years ago was a “big miss.” After continual financial success and growth over the past few years, Stripe reports they are still content remaining a private company in response to inquiry about a potential IPO. Stripe is currently focused on expanding its business model by growing operations in foreign markets and developing products as a global payments and treasury network. This week as Stripe Sessions, the company broke down the details of Stripe Capital and the new Stripe Corporate Credit Card.
Amazon Tests One-Tap Ratings
To make reviewing products easier and more accurate, Amazon is introducing a one-tap review system. The new feature gives shoppers the option to rate products on a five-star rating system on the “Your Orders” page by selecting the “Write a Review” button. Previously, shoppers we’re required to fill out several fields such as a review title and a written portion. This process deters some consumers from leaving reviews at all so, now those individuals can leave their honest product opinions without the extra time commitment. Amazon hopes the new feature will not only make rating products virtually effortless but that it will combat the issue of inauthentic incentivized rating. By increasing the number of genuine reviews, shoppers can more reliably refer to Amazon ratings when making purchasing decisions. After multiple fines and lawsuits, Amazon has banned incentivized reviews, but they continue to impact certain products which have a disproportionate amount of positive comments. The new one-touch five-star rating system will act reduce the negative impact of inauthentic reviews.
Federal Reserve Further Reduces Rates
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve further cut interest rate by a quarter point in response to negative activity in the economy. Stock purchasing increased as well as short-end bond yields. The market hoped this would be an indication of more rate cuts to come in the future, as reported to CNBC by MetLife Investment Management’s Chief Marketing Strategist, Drew Matus, but this week’s decrease turned out to be an insurance policy for anticipated economic decline. Insecurities in global trade continue to be a growing concern for the Federal Reserve, hense rate cuts to encourage investing. There is potentially a third cut coming in the fourth quarter of this year, but it is unconfirmed as it is not a pre-set policy and will depend on the economy’s performance.
Macron Commits €5 Billion to French Technology Startups
French President Macron has worked with French insurers and asset managers to pledge €5 billion to invest in native technology startups in France. This new initiative appears to be part of Macron’s attempts to build 25 or more unicorn tech companies in France by 2025. As a former investment banker, Macron appears to be placing heavy value on the need to “create…champions.” Working with some of the country’s biggest asset managers, including AXA SA, BNP Paribas and Natixis SA, Macron is hoping to attract foreign investment into French startups. The committed investments will follow a three year plan to directly invest into startups contribute to VC funds with the same aim.