Mixed Signals


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Mixed Signals
By Keith Teare • Issue #260 • View online
Global technology is creating a new class of companies valued at over $100B. But who is winning and who is losing, and how can we ensure the benefit is evenly spread?

Elad Gil is one of the World’s angel investors and a “helper of startups”. His LinkedIn profile says:
Entrepreneur, operating executive, and investor or advisor to private companies such as AirBnB, Airtable, Coinbase, Flexport, Gusto, Instacart, Opendoor, Optimizely, PagerDuty, Pinterest, Square, Stripe, Wish.
Co-Founder and Chairman at Color Genomics. Was CEO of Color from 2013 to fall 2016.
Previously, was the VP of Corporate Strategy at Twitter, as well as ran various product teams (Geo, Search).
Joined Twitter via the acquisition of MixerLabs, a company was co-founder and CEO of. MixerLabs ran GeoAPI, one of the early developer-centric platform infrastructure products.
Spent many years at Google, where I started the mobile team and was involved in all aspects of getting the team up and running. Involved with 3 acquisitions (including the Android team) and was the original product manager for Google Mobile Maps and other key mobile products.
Prior to Google, had product management and market seeding roles at a number of Silicon Valley companies. Also worked at McKinsey & Co. Received Ph.D. from MIT and have degrees in Mathematics and Biology from UCSD.
This week his 2019 article titled “Markets at 10x Bigger Than Ever” somehow found its way into my inbox. Despite almost 18 months of a global pandemic, it seems as pertinent as ever, except bigger. Take his note that Salesforce is valued at $120B. Well, it is now $222B. Or Google at $890B, now at $1.66T.
In 2019 he said that more companies would grow from a $1B valuation to $10B. Today it is clear that many will reach over $100B.
The driver is technology and global scale. Companies can get to be big, fast, in single markets and bigger still when global.
The G7 met last week and noted that global and big has often led to chaos in taxation and is set to levy a 15% global tax on all companies that make 10% profit outside of their home base:
Under what the G7 ministers called a “two-pillar” strategy, the new framework would apply to large global companies with a profit margin of 10 percent or more. Those firms would be required to pay taxes on 20 percent of profits they earn above the 10 percent threshold in the countries where they generated the revenue. 
This globalized policy-making is simply an acknowledgment that global and big is set to become more normal. And as if we needed more evidence that global tech will create disruption, the nation of El Salvador has decided to make Bitcoin a legal tender in the country. Previously the US$ played a key role. This is IMHO going to become a trend in developing nations with weak indigenous currencies. Bitcoin is a global first store of value.
Globalization also has victims. The Economist looks at Europe’s decline as a commercial center.
At the start of the 21st century 41 of the world’s 100 most valuable companies were based in Europe (including Britain and Switzerland but excluding Russia and Turkey). Today only 15 are.
The rise of China is key to understanding, as is the rise of global US technology players.
With the rapid creation of new global wealth comes the challenge of sharing it more evenly. This week two stories point to public trading of venture fund portfolios, enabling retail investors to participate in unprecedented growth. While SPACs seem to be slowed, IPOs and direct listings are not. But with Softbank’s investment in Mexican giant, Grupo Bursátil Mexicano (GBM) capital is throwing its weight behind vehicles that are available to small investors too. UK-based Seraphim Capital announced a stock market flotation too, joining already public Draper Espirit.
These trends are in stark contrast to First Minute Capital, also in the UK. It announced that 100 Unicorn founders had invested in its new private fund, including:
22 founders of $10bn+ businesses have also invested in the second Firstminute fund, as well as high-profile former and current chief executives of global tech companies and investors — such as Google’s Eric Schmidt.
So, mixed signals this week. Is it rain or is it shine? We discuss it in this week’s video.
Mixed Signals
Mixed Signals
Mixed Signals
Markets Are 10X Bigger Than Ever
The Rise of SPACs: IPO Disruptors or Blank Check Distortions?
Customers Love Free Stuff ... But That’s Not Your Problem - Above the Crowd
Bitcoin Legal Tender, A Financial Earthquake For Dollarization?
El Salvador becomes first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender after passing law
What is a Creator to Do?
How Facebook killed blogging—and Twitter reinvented it
Future of Media – a quick reality check – On my Om
Will Apple Mail threaten the newsletter boom? - Platformer
Global Taxes?
G7 seals breakthrough deal to tax global companies – POLITICO
Facebook Plays Defence
Why you can’t write for Bulletin, Facebook’s new Substack clone
Disrupting Venture Capital
100 unicorn founders back London-based VC fund Firstminute Capital - Sifted
Seraphim Capital venture fund focused on SpaceTech set to float - Proactive Investors UK
SoftBank pours up to $150M into GBM, a Mexico City-based investment platform
The super non-obvious guide to raising a Series B - Five Links (and three graphs) by Auren Hoffman
Tweet of the Week
Stanley Pignal

20 years ago, 41 of the world's 100 most valuable companies were in Europe. Now the figure is down to 15.

What on earth happened?

We take a look at this in this week's @TheEconomist cover package.


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Keith Teare, Palo Alto, California