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Multiple factors rally US stock markets in 2017

on December 28, 2017

There was much hype surrounding the technology and social media company Snap Inc., which debuted in March for investors who could see beyond Snap’s comedy filters that make us laugh.

“It can have e-commerce in there. It can have payments in there. Down the road, maybe you can get some gaming in there. So they have two or three levers that they can pull to keep the user base engaged and monetize them,” Santosh Rao of Manhattan Venture Partners said.

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The Battle For Supremacy In The Music Streaming Space And What It Means For Marketers

on December 13, 2017

Streaming music has arrived in a major way. It’s become the preferred medium of music consumption and a key growth engine for music industry sales, accounting for 62% of the U.S. music business. There’s an ongoing battle for dominance between Spotify, Apple, Google and Amazon for a slice of the music business that is expected to remain on a strong growth trajectory.

To help put things into perspective, I recently spoke with Santosh Rao, Head of Research at Manhattan Venture Partners, about some of the major moves happening in the space, the opportunities for marketers and why Spotify could reign supreme.

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Uber chief weighs trip to London to lobby against ban

on September 27, 2017

Uber will do anything to keep the PR image, they don’t want any negativity,” said Santosh Rao, analyst at Manhattan Venture Partners. “So they will give in more now. This is the right time to demand concessions from Uber because they need to get it right, they cannot lose Uber UK.”

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Disability rights advocates sue Uber over inaccessibility

on July 20, 2017

Uber’s whole value proposition is that it’s cheaper, quicker and easier. But this week the ride-sharing service was accused of being not so easy for people who are disabled. The group Disability Rights Advocates, filed a class-action lawsuit against Uber. The suit argues the company discriminates against New York City riders with disabilities because it doesn’t offer enough wheel-chair accessible vehicles.

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Can Uber ever make money?

on June 26, 2017

The upheaval at Uber will leave the next chief executive facing an even bigger challenge in how to solve one of the main conundrums about the company: how does the business of booking a car actually make money. Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners comments that “subscription models are always very beneficial. There is visibility, it is a nice recurring revenue model. To the extent that they can get it, that is great.”

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Lyft, Waymo partnership could push Google self-driving tech to commercialization

on May 16, 2017

Waymo LLC’s partnership with Lyft Inc. on self-driving cars is moving it one step closer to commercialization. Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, said he believes Lyft sensed an opportunity to gain more control over self-driving technology following its partnership with GM. And it was a competitive move against its rival.

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Breaking Down Spotify’s Potential Non-IPO: Why Would the Company Roll the Dice on a Direct Listing?

on April 10, 2017

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Spotify — long rumored to be planning an IPO in the next year — might remix its plans. Instead, the report claimed the world’s largest streaming service would go public with a direct listing, rather than an Initial Public Offering, an option that is much more common for smaller companies that don’t expect a big publicity splash when entering the market, and one that is exceedingly rare for a company that, well, makes a big splash with just about every move it makes.

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Why Spotify Might Skip the Traditional IPO Process and Go Public Via a ‘Direct Listing’

on April 6, 2017

If Spotify’s interest in a direct listing is genuine, it would also demonstrate that the Swedish company isn’t in need of the kind of cash that is typically raised by issuing new shares and selling them via an IPO, said Santosh Rao, an analyst at Manhattan Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. “It does show that they might not need the money because they wouldn’t be issuing new shares,” Rao said in a phone interview. “But if you want real movement in the stock, if you want the stock to find its value, you have to go through the traditional bidding process.”

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This New Snapchat Feature Could Be the Boost Snap Inc. Needs

on April 6, 2017

Snap Inc. has launched a new search function in its Snapchat app to help users more easily discover photo and video stories. This change moves Snap closer to becoming a major online video hub, and is likely to help the company increase advertising revenue and grow its user base.

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Why Spotify Might Need to Steal a Page From Netflix’s Blockbuster Script

on March 29, 2017

When asked about his relationship with major media conglomerates, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings often says that competition is good for the industry. Yet while Spotify may want to reach profitability, it first has to reach a position of strength relative to its largest rivals, argues Santosh Rao, who heads up research at Manhattan Venture Partners, the venture capital firm. “Spotify could be profitable even now, even with this structure, but they are spending a lot on marketing and other services to try to expand their offerings,” Rao said in an interview.

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