Venture Bytes #38 – Is Uber-Ola Partnership Next?

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Venture Bytes #38 – Is Uber-Ola Partnership Next?

on September 19, 2017

The two lead articles are on Uber and Bitcoins, respectively. Following Uber’s recent decision to scale back operations in Russia, on the heels of its exit from China, we explore the possibility of a similar retrenchment in India with a partnership agreement with Ola – the incumbent leader. The Bitcoin article is our take on Howard Marks’ recent comment that the Bitcoin mania is a classic pyramid scheme.

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Venture Bytes #37 – Uber – Our CEO Pick

on July 5, 2017

The two lead articles, Uber – Our CEO Pick and Which Way to Exit – IPO or M&A?, are very topical given the current events. As dust settles following a series of scandals that rocked Uber, outsiders are left to wonder how will they fix this? The answer is simple: a new CEO with uber qualifications. We have identified the ideal candidate for the job opening. The second article is our take on the IPO or M&A exit decision that private companies will have to make in the face of tepid to poor reception by public market investors for unprofitable companies.

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Venture Bytes #36 – A Cloud for All

on June 30, 2017

The two lead articles “A Cloud for All” and “Cryptocurrencies Go Parabolic” are on the growing ubiquity of cloud computing and the parabolic rise of cryptocurrencies, respectively. In just the last month, several tech giants have paved the way for making advanced machine learning and cloud computing technology increasingly available to smaller firms, pointing to a greater emphasis on cloud technology and advanced artificial intelligence as the future of computing. In the second article we have put in perspective the massive runups in several cryptocurrencies.

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Venture Bytes #35 – Net Neutrality – Back to the Future?

on June 7, 2017

The two lead articles are on the net neutrality debate and Snap’s new search feature respectively. Net Neutrality is a hot button issue and appears to be reverting back in favor of the broadband carriers, if the new FCC commissioner gets his way. Snap’s new search feature could improve the content discovery on the site and make it more attractive to new users and advertisers.

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Venture Bytes #34 – Google Misfires

on April 5, 2017

This first lead article titled “Google Misfires” is our take on the backlash from the major brands following the improper ad placements on YouTube. The second article “A Stumble or a Fall” handicaps Samsung’s odds of winning back the trust and reputation with its new Galaxy S8 phone, given that hardware companies – unlike software and services companies – don’t get the benefit of three strikes before they are out.

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Venture Bytes #33 – Snap Out of It

on March 6, 2017

This edition’s two lead articles are titled “Snap Out of It” and “A Culture of Smoke & Mirrors”. The Snap article highlights the risk of basing the bull case of the story on the Millennial user base, which tends to be trendy and fickle. The second article is our take on the recent sexual harassment issue at Uber and the general culture in Silicon Valley firms.

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Venture Bytes #32 – All Competition is Local

on February 1, 2017

We have two lead articles. The first “All Competition is Local” is a nod to strong competition from local incumbents in the international markets. The second lead article is titled “AI has Arrived”. With the technology maturing, funds flowing and the pace of acquisitions accelerating, AI has arrived and is well positioned to be transformational.

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Venture Bytes #31 – Riding Out the Regulatory Turbulence

on January 4, 2017

For this edition of VB we are back to two lead articles. The first one: “Trump Rally and the Binary Impact” touches on the regulatory skirmishes that the gig economy companies are facing – and continue to face – as the debate over creative disruption and the status quo rages on. The second article: “Infrastructure Investment Benefits Go Beyond the Industrial Sector” states our case that the Technology sector will be a big beneficiary of the infrastructure spending that President-elect Trump has promised to unleash.

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Venture Bytes #30 – Trump Rally and the Binary Impact

on December 12, 2016

The lead article, Trump Rally and the Binary Impact, suggests that both the public and private markets have reasons to worry and rejoice in anticipation of how the dust will settle.

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Venture Bytes #29 – Is Public the New Private?

on November 21, 2016

The two lead articles are Is Public the New Private? and It’s the Content Stupid. The first one looks at the public valuations and the second is our takeaway from the AT&T – Time Warner proposed merger.

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Venture Bytes #28 – Exposure Hunters and 2016 IPOs

on October 20, 2016

The first lead article, Exposure Hunters and 2016 IPO, is our commentary on the recent spate of successful tech IPOs. The second lead article is titled Streaming Music Hitting its Stride in India is a look at the streaming music landscape in India.

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Venture Bytes #27 – The Myth of One

on September 23, 2016

The first lead article, The Myth of One, is our take on the common belief across the tech land that there will be one winner in a category. There seems to be very little evidence to suggest this is accurate and a fair amount of evidence to suggest it is false. The second lead article is titled Are Bots the New Apps? Bots are in the spotlight lately. Facebook set the ball in motion with the recent launch of bots on its messenger platform. While the applications of bots are appealing. It is still early days as a number of factors have to line up before we see mass adoption.

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Venture Bytes #26 – Buffeted by Risk

on August 17, 2016

The first lead article, Buffeted By Risk, is a commentary on the recent volatility and the dramatic asset re-pricings in the public markets. We believe it might be time to commit to a cogent understanding, ignore the short term signal and stay a rational course. The second lead article, Unicorns Find Religion in Debt Financing?, looks at takeaways from the recent debt rounds by the tech unicorns. We don’t see any negative implications from these debt deals and believe companies are being opportunistic in the face of low interest rates, opportunity to minimize dilution, and ultimately gaining financial flexibility without giving up control. 

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Venture Bytes #25 – Blockchain

on June 9, 2016

The first lead article, From Wild West to Wall Street, is on Blockchain. Seven years after the release of the open-source software, the Blockchain technology is gaining traction, albeit gradually and selectively.
The second article, May (Not) Jobs, is our take on May’s employment report. We believe payrolls and employment are sending worrying signals and markets are tunnel visioned in on the interest rate implications. A large and growing body of evidence suggests that the economy has been and continues to roil many and disappoint even more.  

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Venture Bytes #24 – Employment Report

on May 9, 2016

The first article, April Payrolls and the Island Conceit, is our take on the April employment report from The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The second lead article, And the Winner is…? is a look at the potential bidders for Yahoo’s core assets and the likely winner.

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Venture Bytes #23 – What a Difference a Month Makes

on April 4, 2016

The first one, What a Difference a Month Makes, is a commentary on the interplay between public and private market valuations. We believe as private shares continue to grow and emerge as an asset class, the correlations between public and private share price movements appears to be growing. In the short run that is encouraging. In the longer run, that is good to know. The second lead article, Pre-IPO Returns Top Post-IPO Returns, looks at the returns of 20 tech IPOs since 2011. The key conclusion of our study is that the return spread between pre-IPO investing and post-IPO investing is glaringly wide, in favor of pre-IPO investing. The return, it turns out, far outweighs the risk.

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Venture Bytes #22 -Good News – Bad News

on February 16, 2016

The first one, Good News – Bad News, is our take on the last employment report from The Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a nutshell, the report generally aligns with our belief that technology itself, investment and the macro economy, are setting up to create a period, the next 18 months, that will be all about operationalizing and cost savings. The rising wage data and slowing productivity reports of the last weeks support this thesis. The second lead article is on the key takeaways from a proprietary on-the ground survey that our partner in India conducted to understand the competitive ecommerce landscape in India. Not surprising, Flipkart appears to be the leader in all categories, with Amazon India and Snapdeal not far behind. Interesting data. 

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Venture Bytes #21 – Over the Shoulder

on December 28, 2015

Over the Shoulder, our glance back at 2015 and a look ahead to 2016. We see 2015 as a “crossroads year”. We expect a pause before another steep climb as we integrate new technologies and prepare for another rapid ascent.

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Venture Bytes #20 – Clicks over Bricks?

on December 14, 2015

Clicks over Bricks?, highlights a few data points from this years Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days. The main takeaway is that while the headline suggests a sharp rise in e-tailing, a closer look at the numbers shows that e-tailing is still a long ways from becoming the primary method of shopping. 

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Venture Bytes #19 – E Vs R Tailing

on November 19, 2015

This week’s lead article, E vs R Tailing, is a commentary on the distinct divergence of performance between e-tailers and brick and mortar retailers, based on third quarter earnings reports. As we anticipate and try to factor future conditions, a rising predilection for eCommerce is starting to take shape as likely trend.

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Venture Bytes #18 – Interest Rates

on November 4, 2015

This week’s lead article, Interest Rates and Rating Interest, is a commentary on the relationship between interest rates and asset prices, a relevant topic in the face of expected increase in interest rates. 

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Venture Bytes #17 – Indian E-Commerce: A Vibrant Opportunity

on October 16, 2015

This week’s lead article is Indian E-Commerce: A Vibrant Opportunity, is a commentary on the e-commerce opportunity in India.

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Venture Bytes #16 – Can’t Rise From the Ashes While Denying the Fire

on September 24, 2015

This week’s lead article is Can’t Rise From the Ashes While Denying the Fire, is a commentary on the pre-IPO tech valuations. We believe the best and most heady days are on pause. The worst days are not coming back.

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Venture Edition #15 – Return to Risk-On

on August 27, 2015

This week’s lead article, Return to Risk-On, is topical given the turmoil in the public markets. Across growing geographies we are now seeing sudden and pronounced displays of the inherent risk of risk assets. We are also seeing a sudden, mass re-acknowledgement of risk. Many start-ups will find a positive path through the difficulty that is worsening and spreading through public markets, commodity prices, developing world currencies and macro economies. We will see more caution and cautiously funded evolution and a bit less hype and claims to revolution.

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Venture Bytes #14 – Digital Ads – Time to Follow the Growing Crowds

on August 17, 2015

This week’s lead article is titled Digital Ads – Time To Follow The Growing Crowds. Digital advertising spending in the emerging markets lags the developed markets. Twitter, for instance, gets 36% of its total revenues from international markets when 77% of its user base is international. Facebook gets 51% of revenues from the international markets when a whopping 85% of its monthly active users are outside the United States and Canada. What gives? We believe digital ad platforms need to proactively position themselves to follow the growing crowds.

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