Author: Katie Roof

Equity podcast: Stocks swing after earnings for Tesla, Apple, Spotify, Snap

It was another big week for earnings on “Equity,” TechCrunch’s podcast about venture capital and the tech business. But this week, it wasn’t all good news. Spotify stumbled after its first quarterly report since joining the stock market. Tesla shares were down after Elon Musk’s unusual earnings call. Snap hit a record low after failing to gain traction with its redesign. Apple, however, surprised Wall Street when iPhone sales didn’t disappoint. We also recapped the successful IPOs for DocuSign and Smartsheet. Our special guest this week was M.G. Siegler, general partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures). In a previous life, he wrote for...

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Pandora shares up 8% after surprise earnings beat

Pandora’s quarterly earnings report was music to investor’s ears. The digital radio platform reported a better-than-expected first quarter report after the bell on Thursday, sending shares up 8% in after-hours trading. Wall Street liked that the company showed a sizable increase in subscriber revenue, posting $104.7 million, a 63% increase from last year. Pandora has 5.63 million paid listeners, up 19% from the same timeframe in 2017. By contrast, Apple Music says it has 40 million subscribers and Spotify has 75 million, so Pandora is a distant third in terms of paid users. But the competition is already reflected...

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Birchbox ownership changes hands after beauty business does recap

Beauty-in-a-box brand Birchbox has changed up its ownership structure. The New York-based startup, which has raised almost $90 million in funding from noted venture firms like Accel Partners and First Round Capital, has a new majority owner in hedge fund Viking Global, sources confirm to TechCrunch. First reported by Recode, Birchbox made some changes to its cap table after failing to find a suitable buyer. We are told that the details are still getting finalized, but that Viking is expected to take on a majority stake after investing about $15 million. Viking previously led Birchbox’s $60 million funding round in 2014. Birchbox did not respond for comment.  Birchbox has managed to become a household name amongst its targeted demographic of female millennials, but its business has faced challenges amidst growing competition. Ipsy, Glossybox, Sephora and Allure Magazine are amongst the many beauty sample box subscriptions that consumers can buy. Its boxes retail for just $10 per month. And while they are able to find discounts and partnerships with beauty brands eager to partner with Birchbox, it can still be hard to keep distribution costs down, while also spending on sales and marketing to grow the business. Birchbox hopes that consumers will buy more full-sized products off of its website. Recaps are not uncommon, but they are usually a sign that a startup is struggling. However, it is an opportunity for Birchbox to...

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DocuSign raises $629 million after pricing IPO

DocuSign priced its IPO Thursday evening at $29 per share, netting the company $629 million. It was a better price than the e-signature company had been expecting. The initially proposed price range was $24 to $26 and then that was raised to $26 to $28. The price gives the company a valuation of $4.4 billion on the eve of its public debut, above the $3 billion the company had raised for its last private round. The IPO has been a long-time coming. Founded in 2003, DocuSign had raised over $500 million over the course of 15 years. The company brought...

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Amazon up 7% following earnings beat

Amazon reported first-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday, sending shares up 7% in after-hours trading after its significantly better-than-expected report. The company reported earnings per share of $3.27, well above the $1.26 that analysts had been expecting. Revenue was $51.04 billion, above the $49.78 billion that Wall Street forecast and a 43% increase from the same time last year. The growth was driven by its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing business, which was up 49% year-over-year, accounting for $5.4 billion in revenue. “AWS lets developers do more and be nimbler, and it continues to get even better every day,” said CEO Jeff Bezos, in a statement. “That’s why you’re seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row.” Amazon also saw strong growth at home, up 46% in North America across its businesses. Shares closed at $1,1517.96 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $735...

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Ceridian up 42% following payroll software IPO

Stock market investors greeted payroll software company Ceridian with enthusiasm on its debut Thursday. After pricing above its expected range at $22 per share, the stock shot up 42%, closing above $31 by day’s end. Ceridian helps clients ranging from BlackRock to Trader Joe’s keep tabs on personnel including payroll, benefits and onboarding. Its clients pay it a fee per employee per month. “The platform is designed to ease administrative work for both employees and managers, creating opportunities for companies to increase employee engagement,” reads the prospectus.  ADP and Workday are amongst its competitors. It was a large tech offering,...

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PayPal shares tick up after surpassing expectations for the quarter

PayPal reported its first-quarter results after the bell on Wednesday, sending shares up about 3% in after-hours trading, due to better-than-expected numbers. Adjusted earnings per share were 57 cents, above analyst estimates of 54 cents. Revenue for the quarter was $3.69 billion, up 24% from last year. Analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance had been expecting $3.59 billion. This comes from $132 billion in total payment volume, with $49 billion coming from mobile transactions. The company touted four consecutive quarters of accelerating revenue growth. PayPal also raised guidance, expecting revenue for the year to between $3.78 and $3.83 billion. PayPal broke out results for Venmo, its popular peer-to-peer payments app. It processed $40 billion in payments over the last year and $12 billion in the first quarter. PayPal added 8.1 million active accounts. Its average customer makes 34.7 transactions per year, an 8% increase from prior years. PayPal repurchased 23.6 million shares of common stock last quarter, returning $1.83 billion to shareholders. PayPal shares have doubled in the past year, but at $74, shares are beneath the high of $85 we saw last quarter. The company dipped following its last earnings report on news that eBay is looking to partner with competitor Adyen.  PayPal and eBay were previously the same company, but the two separated in 2015. PayPal is the larger of the two businesses, with a market cap of nearly $88 billion. eBay...

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Rocketrip raises $15 million to reward cost-saving employees

If your company lets you expense the nicest hotel when you travel, why wouldn’t you? But what if you got to split the savings with your employer by selecting a less expensive hotel? A New York-based startup called Rocketrip believes most employees will opt to save companies money if they are incentivized to do so. It’s built an enterprise platform that rewards employees with gift cards if they go under budget on travel and transportation. After five years of signing up business clients like Twitter and Pandora, Rocketrip is raising $15 million in Series C funding led by GV (Google Ventures) to...

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