[CONFIDENTIEL] Revolut x Bitcoin, VC and early-stage, Google in London, YouTube …
It seems that each passing day brings a little more legitimacy to cryptocurrencies: today, it’s Revolut, the British fintech offering a mobile banking offer in 25 currencies, which adds Bitcoin, Litecoin to its portfolio of currencies. and Ether. On the occasion of the Disrupt Berlin conference, Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky announced that from Thursday, it will be possible to buy, hold and sell the three cryptocurrencies. If you run out of fiat money on your current account, Revolut can even convert your virtual currencies to top up.
Storonsky reported that during the week of testing, 10,000 customers traded for the equivalent of $ 1 million in cryptocurrency. Revalut promises to offer the most competitive rates on the market on cryptographic transactions, around 1.5% with no hidden fees which can add 5 to 9 points depending on the platform.
In two years, Revolut has claimed a million subscribers in Europe on its platform, who have carried out more than 42 million transactions. In France, where the French version of the mobile application has been available since September, the neobank has more than 150,000 users. The competitive landscape is denser in the mobile banking market – N26 or Orange Bank are Revolut’s direct competitors in France – and the differentiating roughness of this type is probably welcome to attract a clientele ofearly-adopters.
Venture capital funds have cut back sharply. For example, the number of venture capital investments in tech companies around the world has almost collapsed by half since 2014, from 19,000 to 10,000 this year, according to a PitchBook study. This is the most extreme fall since 2001.
According to TechCrunch, this decline is partly explained by the end of the craze around financing applications, which had jumped after 2010 thanks to the upturn in economic activity, coupled with the emergence of B2B applications responding to the new behavior of consumers. Same story on the side of SaaS financing, which has also clearly collapsed, the fault of the too large number of SaaS start-ups on the market. In 2014, almost 5,000 investments were counted in SaaS companies. That number has fallen by about 40% this year, falling to around 3,000 operations.
To a lesser extent, FinTechs still suffered a drop in funding. This is of the order of 10% in the space of three years. And for good reason, the market has matured since 2014. Players such as N26 or Revolut have established themselves while the young shoots entering the market are struggling to attract venture capital funds.
If the latter abandon companies that have just been born, they instead rely heavily on companies that have won leadership in their acidity segment. Thus, Airbnb, Spotify, WeWork, Lyft or SpaceX have no difficulty raising funds in spades. It is the rule of “Winner-takes-all”, valid in almost all of the American states during the American presidential election… but also among the VC.
“The party is over”, as Orelsan would say (yes). Investors are now turning to companies with a structured and secure model to the detriment of new players, who are struggling to add value to markets approaching saturation point.
Last month, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, accompanied by three Google executives, inaugurated the site of the new Google campus in the district of King’s Cross. A massive investment for the city as Brexit looms, which will create offices for 7,000 employees, “Another clear sign that London is open and remains entrepreneurial” according to the city councilor.
But this building also has another specificity, from which it takes its nickname, the “Landscraper” as opposed to skyscrapers : in fact, the construction is as long and horizontal as a skyscraper is vertical and high, a bit like an elongated Empire State Building. Google’s flagship in London, designed by Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, will be 1,082 feet long (around 330 meters), or 20 meters longer than The Shard, London’s tallest building.
The Landscaping will also feature a rooftop garden, running track, indoor basketball courts, and swimming pool. Its estimated budget is one billion pounds sterling (1.14 billion euros).
A few months ago, several advertisers decided to quit YouTube. The reason? Their content appeared on violent videos or videos with children in embarrassing situations. Since this announcement, the platform has removed the ToyFreaks channel, the channel of a father accused of mistreating his children, and has removed advertising on 2 million videos as well as on 50,000 accounts.
To reassure advertisers, Susan Wojcicki, spoke yesterday in a blog post. The CEO of YouTube has announced the recruitment of 10,000 additional moderators in 2018. These new employees will increase the workforce by 25% according to BuzzFeed.
Even if the backup is human, YouTube continues to work on algorithms to detect this inappropriate content. These machine learning tools have deleted 150,000 videos since June. “Today, 98% of the videos we remove for violent content are flagged by our machine learning algorithms», Reassures Susan Wojcicki.