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Pinterest's IPO team wants to convince investors that it has more in common with Google than Snap (SNAP)

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 3:22pm

  • Pinterest's IPO team wants investors to see the company as a visual search engine in line with Google, according to a source familiar with the pitch.
  • The team has also taken pains to dispel the notion the Pinterest is a social media site or comparable to the photo-sharing app Snapchat, which has sunk in value since it went public in 2017, the person said.
  • Pinterest is expected to go start trading on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "PINS."
  • Visit Businessinsider.com for more stories.

Pinterest wants investors to know it's not like Snapchat. 

During recent meetings with investors ahead of its upcoming IPO, Pinterest's team has gone to pains to position the company as a visual discovery tool. A key part of the sales pitch during Snap's recent IPO roadshow, according to a source familiar with the matter, is that the company has more in common with the early days of Google's search engine business than with the photosharing teen sensation Snapchat.

Establishing that identity is crucial as Pinterest prepares to begin trading on Thursday, in an $11 billion tech IPO clouded by some unfortunate comparisons.

The most recent high-profile social media company to go public, Snap priced its shares $17 a pop in its 2017 IPO only to watch them sink below $5 by the end of 2018. Snap's pitiful performance in the public markets was on investors' minds as Pinterest made the rounds, the person told Business Insider. 

And of course, there's been the recent price fluctuations for Lyft, which went public on March 29 above its price range only to fall far below in the following weeks of trading.

Silbermann versus Spiegel

Pinterest founder and CEO Ben Silbermann has played an important role in efforts to make a good impression with investors and to stand apart from Snap, whose CEO Evan Spiegel has had a rocky relationship with Wall Street, the person said.

As founders, both Spiegel and Silbermann have dual class structures which empower them to maintain voting control over the company, even if they sell much of their stakes. So a good first impression from Silbermann could go far with investors as they weigh whether to invest in a company where their shares don't enable them to impact decisions.

Read more: Zoom raised its IPO price range and could begin trading Thursday with $9 billion valuation

Despite its rejection of the social media label, some of Pinterest's underwriters compared the company to Twitter and Facebook, in part because of business models which rely on advertising, the person said. 

Some investors were concerned about the difficulty of advertising on Pinterest, compared to a company like Facebook, the person said. In response, Pinterest's team argued that the nine-year-old company was still very early in building out its advertising business.

It's still to be seen how these concerns will impact where the stock prices.

On April 8, the company set a price range of $15 to $17 a share for a high valuation of $11.3 billion — a down round for the company which was last valued at $12.3 billion on the private markets.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the company could price above this range. The company is expected to set a price on Wednesday night and to start trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "PINS".

Pinterest generated $755.9 million in revenue in 2018, up 60% from $472.9 million in 2017. The company lost $63 million in 2018, down from $130 million in losses in .2017.

Pinterest also uses average revenue per user as a metric for measuring growth, a common metric for companies that rely on advertising revenue. In 2018, Pinterest's global ARPU was $3.14, up 25% from 2017. In the US, its 2018 ARPU was $9.04, and internationally it was just $0.25.

Read more:

SEE ALSO: One of PagerDuty's earliest investors shares why he went big on the IT-management company before it reached $1.76 billion

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Trump is squirming under pressure from Bernie Sanders and Democrats on all things taxes

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 1:45am

  • Taxes. They're an inevitable reality for working Americans; one of the two certainties in life, an often-repeated quote attributed to the Founding Father Benjamin Franklin tells us.
  • And they're a subject that President Donald Trump cannot shake: He famously never released his tax returns prior to being elected to the nation's highest office, breaking a 46-year-old tradition, and he along with a Republican-controlled Congress passed a major tax bill in 2017 — one of his campaign promises.
  • The all-things-taxes scrutiny is also ratcheting up now that the 2020 election season has begun. Democratic candidates vying for the nomination are doing what Trump has not: making their tax returns available to the public.
  • Candidates are also offering a different system, where the wealthiest people and corporations would pay higher taxes in order to fund other programs. Sen. Bernie Sanders is one of those candidates and he offered his ideas to Fox News viewers on Monday night.
  • On Tuesday, Trump tweeted his response.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Taxes. They're an inevitable reality for working Americans; one of the two certainties in life, an often-repeated quote attributed to the Founding Father Benjamin Franklin tells us.

And they're a subject that President Donald Trump cannot shake: He famously never released his tax returns prior to being elected to the nation's highest office (breaking a 46-year-old tradition), and he along with a Republican-controlled Congress passed a major tax bill in 2017.

Questions about Trump's taxes have only intensified since his election. Democratic lawmakers, who now control the House of Representatives, have issued subpoenas for documents related to several ongoing investigations, including asking for Trump's financial information.

On Monday, the Financial Services Committee requested records from Deutsche Bank, and last week the House Ways and Means committee extended its deadline for the IRS to turn Trump's tax returns over to the committee (after the Treasury said it would miss the initial April 10 deadline).

And given that tax day just passed this week — the first one with Trump's new tax law in place — the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is still being scrutinized. (And according to Politico, they are "deeply unpopular.")

The tax scrutiny is also ratcheting up now that the 2020 election season has begun. Democratic candidates vying for the nomination are doing what Trump has not. They are making their own tax returns public.

Sen. Kamala Harris released 15 years of returns over the weekend, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke published 10-year's worth on Monday, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders, after not releasing his tax returns during the 2016 election.

Several Democratic candidates are also proposing a different tax system, one where the wealthiest 1% or corporations pay more so that programs like Medicare for All can be funded. For example, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts proposed a wealth tax that would impose a fee on one's cumulative net worth, in addition to the tax on regular income they earned for the year, according to The New York Times.

Sen. Sanders offered his vision for a new taxation system during a Fox News town hall on Monday. He also discussed his newly-released returns and called out Trump on both the tax law and his still-unreleased tax returns.

"I pay the taxes that I owe." Sanders said. "And by the way, why don't you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes."

Sanders' returns revealed that he and his wife made more than $1 million in 2017 and in 2016, and therefore plopping him in the IRS's top 1% bracket, The New York Times reported, meaning he pays 26%. Sanders made waves in 2016 for railing against "millionaires and billionaires." He has explained his increase in revenue by pointing to his best-selling book.

During the town hall, Sanders called the tax system "absurd" and criticized major corporations that don't pay federal taxes.

"We have an absurd tax system, and while millions of people today are paying actually more in taxes than anticipated, Amazon, Netflix, and dozens of major corporations, as a result of Trump's tax bill, paid nothing in federal taxes," Sanders said. "I think that's a disgrace."

On Tuesday night, a day after the Fox News town hall, Trump tweeted his response.

"Bernie Sanders and wife should pay the Pre-Trump Taxes on their almost $600,000 in income. He is always complaining about these big TAX CUTS, except when it benefits him," he said. "They made a fortune off of Trump, but so did everyone else - and that's a good thing, not a bad thing!"

"I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)!" he continued. "I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!"

Trump also tweeted frustration with Fox News, a network he usually reserves for praise, apparently for having hosted Sanders, saying in part, "What's with @FoxNews?"

Sanders quipped back over social media: "Looks like President Trump is scared of our campaign. He should be."

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NOW WATCH: Paul Manafort faces over 7 years in prison for conspiracy and obstruction. Here's what you need to know about Trump's former campaign chairman.

Reed Hastings says Netflix has 'no big appetite, no big need' for mergers (NFLX)

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 8:11pm

  • Netflix hasn't made many acquisitions to date, and doesn't plan to go on a shopping spree now, CEO Reed Hastings said Tuesday.
  • The company still has plenty of room to grow by just focusing on developing new shows and movies and improving its service, he said.
  • Hastings' comments follow some major Hollywood mergers, and come amid pressure on new player Apple to get in the game.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Don't expect Netflix to make any big acquisitions anytime soon.

That was the word from CEO Reed Hastings Tuesday on a webcast following the streaming media giant's first-quarter earnings report. In its more than 20 years of existence, Netflix has only made a few minor acquisitions, he noted. It's not planning on changing its ways now and getting more active in the mergers-and-acquisition market, he said.

"I don't think investors have too much to worry about there," Hastings said. Netflix, he continued, has "no big appetite, no big need."

Hollywood has seen some big mergers of late. On Monday, Hulu announced that it had bought AT&T's shares in the streaming company. Last month, Disney completed its purchase of 21st Century Fox. Last year, AT&T snapped up Time Warner.

Meanwhile, some analysts have been urging Apple, which is due to launch its own streaming media service later this yearto buy some studios or content producers to bulk up its library of movies and TV shows.

Read this: The 'clock has struck midnight' for Apple: It needs to buy a major Hollywood studio this year or lose the streaming war to Netflix and Amazon

But Hastings doesn't think Netflix needs to play in that market. Despite being the largest streaming video service with 149 million paid subscribers worldwide, it has plenty of room to get bigger, he said.

"We've got clear sailing ahead," Hastings said. "If we can produce the world's best content, if we can deliver it with the best user interface, then we can grow for many, many years ahead. So that's what we're focused on."

Netflix's first-quarter results beat Wall Street expectations, but it warned that its second-quarter subscriber growth would be slower than analysts expected. It also said it expected its operations and investments to burn through $3.5 billion in cash this year, about $500 million more than it previously projected. 

SEE ALSO: Apple needs to get serious about video. Here are 3 Hollywood studios it could buy to boost its new streaming service.

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Intel dropped a bombshell and said it's giving up on the 5G smartphone business: 'There is no clear path to profitability and positive returns' (INTC, AAPL, QCOM)

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 8:09pm

  • Intel will abandon the market for smartphone 5G modem chips, the company said on Tuesday.
  • The news came on the same day that Apple, Intel's customer for 5G modem chips, settled a lawsuit with Qualcomm relating to the technology.
  • The move marks the first big strategy change by new Intel CEO Bob Swan, who took the reins in January, and it represents a remarkable turn of events for the company that once provided the silicon in the majority of consumers' computing devices.
  • Shares of Intel were up 4% in after hours trading following the announcement. 

Chipmaker Intel said on Tuesday that it is exiting the 5G modem business, effectively ceding the market for smartphones on the eve of what's expected to be the biggest wireless market technology transition in years. 

The company said it will focus its 5G wireless efforts on network infrastructure. But, when it comes to the smartphone modem business, CEO Bob Swan said in a statement, "it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns."

Shares of Intel was up as high as 4% in after hours trading following the announcement.

The news came on the same day thatiPhone maker Apple and Qualcomm settled litigation involving 5G modems.

Apple had previously selected Intel to supply the modem chips for its future 5G smartphones. But Intel said in its announcement on Tuesday that it "does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space."

The timing of the Apple settlement and the Intel announcement did not appear to be a coincidence and was quickly remarked upon by industry observers. 

"We just don't know which one came first," said Patrick Moorhead, the president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy. 

"Did Apple say 'Intel is too much risk, I need to go back with Qualcomm' or was this Intel saying 'This business isn't great and I don't want to pour more resources into it'?" Moorhead said. 

Intel chips were once inside 8 out of 10 PCs. Now it's giving up completely on being inside smartphones.

5G, or fifth generation, is the next major evolution in wireless technology. Compared to today's 4G wireless networks, 5G networks are expected to provide blazing fast data speeds for consumers. But smartphones will require new chips to take advantage of the forthcoming 5G networks, setting the stage for an upgrade cycle that could boost revenues for chipmakers and device companies.

Intel appeared to be having trouble with its schedule for producing the 5G chips, Moorhead said. As a result, Apple was putting its iPhone business at risk if by relying on Intel for the modem chips.

"Qualcomm's core business is modems and modem IP," he said. "It's their core business, it's what they do."

The news represents the first major strategy change by Swan sincetaking the reins as permanent CEO in January, after Brian Krzanich resigned following a company investigation into a past relationship with an employee.

Intel's decision to pull the plug on modem chips means the company is effectively abandoning the market for smartphones, the most popular platform used by consumers for computing today. It's a remarkable turn of events for a company that once provided the microprocessors at the heart of roughly 80% of the world's PCs and was synonymous with consumer computing devices. 

Intel was famously slow to adapt its business from PCs to smartphones, and had been fighting an uphill battle trying to claw back market share in the mobile market for years. The change announced on Tuesday is a recognition that fighting for modems was not worth the effort, given the massive, hundreds of billions of dollar opportunity on the datacenter side, where Intel is much stronger, said Moorhead.

Here is Intel's full announcement:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 16, 2019 – Intel Corporation today announced its intention to exit the 5G smartphone modem business and complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices. Intel will also continue to invest in its 5G network infrastructure business.

The company will continue to meet current customer commitments for its existing 4G smartphone modem product line, but does not expect to launch 5G modem products in the smartphone space, including those originally planned for launches in 2020.

"We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the 'cloudification' of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns," said Intel CEO Bob Swan. "5G continues to be a strategic priority across Intel, and our team has developed a valuable portfolio of wireless products and intellectual property. We are assessing our options to realize the value we have created, including the opportunities in a wide variety of data-centric platforms and devices in a 5G world."

Intel expects to provide additional details in its upcoming first-quarter 2019 earnings release and conference call, scheduled for April 25.

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NOW WATCH: Watch Google unveil Stadia, its new video-game platform that streams across devices without a console

This pitch deck helped raise $43 million for a startup with a new twist on the biggest trend in software development

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 7:21pm

  • Kong offers a service that helps companies manage their application programming interfaces, which are the snippets of code that are used to build apps.
  • Kong's service can limit API requests, allow access to only specific developers, and monitor who's connecting with the APIs.
  • The company just raised $43 million in series C funding to build out its service.
  • Below is the pitch deck it used to secure the new funds.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Augusto Marietti thinks his company is in the right position to benefit from one of the biggest trends in software development.

At the heart of most contemporary software development are application programming interfaces, which are the bits of code that programmers use to build features into their apps or services. Though created by specific developers or platform makers, they're frequently shared with other app and service makers. For example, developers use Facebook's APIs to allow users to log in to their apps with Facebook credentials.

Marietti's startup, Kong, offers a service that allows companies to control the use of their APIs. Its service acts as a kind of gatekeeper; it can restrict access to particular developers, limit the number of times particular APIs are accessed, and keep track of how often particular ones are being used.

In recent years, there's been an explosion in APIs, "which creates the need for an API broker like Kong to exist," he said.

Kong has actually been around for about a decade, albeit not in its present form. In 2009, Marietti launched Mashape, which was intended to be a marketplace for APIs. But he and his team soon found that they needed a way to manage all the requests for those APIs. They called the technology they built — a kind of firewall or proxy for APIs — Kong.

Two years ago, Marietti and his team shifted their focus to building on the API proxy technology. They sold off the marketplace and renamed their startup Kong.

"It was a 10-year journey," he said. "But in reality, Kong is a two-year's baby."

Marietti wants Kong to do more than just manage APIs

The basic Kong proxy service is available free as open-source software. But the startup sells on a subscription basis a more advanced version that offers additional features, including a graphical interface, enhanced security, and the ability to analyze incoming requests.

Customers basically redirect incoming API requests to Kong. The company's paid service can monitor incoming requests and alert customers to potentially harmful ones. It can also process incoming requests to filter out sensitive information, such as credit-card numbers, or to format them so customers' computers can process them more easily.

Investors have been enthusiastic about Kong's revised business model. The San Francisco company raised $18 million in a series B funding round around the time it switched gears two years ago. And last month, it announced it had raised another $43 million in a series C round that was led by Index Ventures.

Read more: This CEO was so broke he had to crash on Travis Kalanick's couch — now he's raised $18 million from Andreessen Horowitz

Marietti plans to invest about 80% of the new funds in two areas — research and development and sales and marketing — with the rest going to operations. The company's 10- to 20-year vision is to build what he calls a service-control platform, which would allow customers to manage all of their services from creation to testing to implementation.

That envisioned offering is "much bigger than a load balancer, API management, or integration market," he said.

Here's the pitch deck Marietti and his team used to raise their $43 million in new funding:

SEE ALSO: This serial founder thinks pitch decks are passé. Here's what his startup used instead to raise $45 million in new funding.







See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Uber has dangled $100 million at Dara Khosrowshahi if he can convince investors, or a buyer, that the company is worth $120 billion

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:40pm

  • Dara Khosrowshahi has a huge potential payout riding on Uber's IPO valuation hitting $120 billion and staying there for 90 consecutive days.
  • He'd also get that payout for selling the company for $120 billion. 
  • A source tell us his incentive is worth $100 million or more.

Dara Khosrowshahi could get a huge payday — totaling more than $100 million according to a source — if Uber's IPO valuation hits $120 billion and stays at that level for 90 consecutive days.

The Uber CEO will also get the payout for selling the company for $120 billion, according to a disclosure the company's  its S-1 documents.

Read: Here's who's getting rich on Uber's massive IPO

Although we know that Khosrowshahi is seeking the $120 billion valuation, Uber publicly confirmed the figure in the S-1's footnotes about Khosrowshahi's compensation and financial incentives, as first spotted by Axios's Dan Primack. 

The CEO will be granted 1.75 million in stock options that he can buy for $33.65 a share that vest over four years, should the company's market capitalization reach $120 billion for 90 consecutive days, the company said. Plus the CEO will be instantly awarded 185,735 shares that are otherwise earmarked to be doled out over time as part of his performance-dependent shares.

This is in addition to other batches of options and performance-based grants. Because Uber hasn't yet released key details about its IPO, we don't know how much money Khosrowshahi stands to gain from buying 1.75 million shares at that $33.64 strike price, but all told, it's a package worth at least $100 million, a source tells us.

This is backed up by our own back-of-the-envelope math based on when Softbank bought its 16% stake in Uber at about $33 a share. That share price valued the company at $48 billion. So if Uber can more than double that valuation, and the stock price doubles, those 1.75 shares would be worth over $117 million. 

Khosrowshahi currently holds 200,000 shares and was paid a $1 million salary last year, plus a $2 million cash bonus. Uber also covers a number of his expenses such as help with his tax bill ($98,357 in 2018 for that).

Then again he gave up over $180 million of stock options when he left Expedia to take the Uber job, Primack notes. 

The question is: how does Khosrowshahi convince investors that Uber is worth $120 billion today? Especially when looking at the financials: $11.3 billion in revenue in 2018, a $3 billion loss on operations (although it logged $987 million in net income, mostly from $5 billion worth of divestitures, it said, such as selling its Southeast Asia business to Grab). On top of that, Uber has $6.9 billion in long-term debt.

Answer: It needs to show Wall Street a big, huge growth story. 

This growth story rests on a couple of pillars: 1) the rideshare business, in which Uber is already the dominant player. Uber is telling investors that this is a "$5.7 trillion market opportunity" in its prospectus.

2) Its meal delivery business, Uber Eats, which Uber says is a $795 billion opportunity.

3) The Uber Freight business, in which Uber's software matches carriers with shippers — a $700 billion market opportunity, Uber says.

And, last but far from least, investment in "advanced technologies, including autonomous vehicle technologies," it says.

Uber describes a world where its fleet of robot taxis work arm-in-arm with human Uber drivers. It has not put a market value on self-driving cars. But one person tells us that Uber's self-driving car unit could be valued internally by investors at $10 billion minimum.

For comparison, GM's Cruise (backed by Honda) was valued at about $15 billion in 2018, according to Pitchbook while one Wall Street analysts pegged Google spinoff Waymo at roughly $75 billion in 2018.

SEE ALSO: The amazing life of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi — from refugee to tech superstar and a huge IPO

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One of America's biggest trucking companies is getting squeezed by Trump's trade war (JBHT)

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:08pm

  • JB Hunt missed revenue and profit expectations for the first quarter, sending shares down more than 4%
  • The company cited the Trump administration's tariffs as a factor behind the weak results.
  • Watch JB Hunt trade live.

The effect of President Donald Trump's trade war are beginning to show up in corporate results. The trucking company JB Hunt mentioned the tariffs as a factor when discussing its weak first-quarter results on its earnings call Monday. Shares were down more than 4% following the results.

While an array of concerns were cited, the trucking company highlighted particular weakness in the major West Coast market. On the call, management said the supply of Chinese goods has slowed due to the threat of tariffs. The additional tariffs, which were supposed to go into effect March 1, would have raised prices on Chinese imports, decreasing US demand. 

"West Coast was down versus what we anticipated," said JB Hunt Executive Vice President Terrence Matthews. "I think the data that we've seen is that China in February, not only between — because of Chinese New Year but because of the potential tariffs that were supposed to go in in March 1st. Goods shipped, I think, is down 20%-plus now to see that land into a much slower West Coast volume."

As part of its trade strategy, the Trump administration placed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods coming to the US. China has responded with tariffs on $120 billion of US goods, which are focused on agricultural, and politically sensitive, states such as Ohio

The Trump administration has also threatened to place tariffs on the remaining $255 billion of Chinese goods, amounting to more than $500 billion annually. The implementation of those additional tariffs has been extended several times as negotiations continue.

The trade war is costing US consumers over $1 billion per month, according to a study by economists at the Federal Reserve, Princeton, and Columbia University.

The weakness cited by JB Hunt is a clear indication that the tariffs are starting to show real affects on a wide variety of sectors, including agriculture and trucking. JB Hunt is based in Arkansas, but operates throughout the country. 

In an additional sign of a cooling economy, JB Hunt cited an overall softening of demand for truck drivers.

"There is still some tight markets out there, Northern Cal, the PNW, Chicago, Ohio, through to the Northeast, where we still have some extra incentives zone to hire drivers," Matthews said. "But in the rest of the areas, it softened up. We're not taken wage reductions with drivers, but it's eased up some."

Recently, there has been some debate as to whether the US has been suffering from a "truck-driver shortage." The industry research group The American Transportation Research Institute has been sounding the alarm on a driver shortage, which it ranked as the top industry concern for the second year in a row. 

However, a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found evidence opposing that view.

JB Hunt was up 9% year to date. 

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NOW WATCH: The founder and CIO of $12 billion Ariel Investments breaks down how his top-ranked flagship fund has crushed its peers over the past 10 years

Netflix now expects to burn through $3.5 billion in cash this year. That's about $500 million more than it previously forecast. (NFLX)

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 6:07pm

  • Netflix now expects its operations and investments to consume $3.5 billion in cash this year.
  • It previously projected it would burn through about $3 billion in cash this year.
  • The company's operations and investments have consistently burned through cash since 2011, leaving it with a large and growing amount of debt.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Netflix's cash-burn problem is going to get even worse before it gets better, the company said on Tuesday.

The streaming-video service provider now expects its operations and investments to burn up $3.5 billion in cash this year, company officials said in a letter to shareholders. That's about $500 million more than its operations and investments consumed last year — and about $500 million more than the company projected in January.

Netflix made a change to its corporate structure that will increase its taxes this year, the company said in the letter, which it released as part of its first-quarter earnings report. The company also plans to invest more than it previously expected in real estate and other infrastructure, it said.

Read more: Netflix slides after beating Q1 subscriber growth estimates but giving weak guidance for the months ahead

But Netflix promised the company's free cash flow, which represents the net amount of money a company generates from or consumes in its operations less the amount it invests in property, equipment, and other long-term assets, would start to turn around next year.

"We're still expecting free cash flow to improve in 2020 and each year thereafter, driven by our growing member base, revenues, and operating margins," the letter said.

Despite recording regular profits, Netflix has posted negative free cash flow every year since 2011. The difference between its reported bottom line and its cash outflow is largely because of an accounting issue that's a result of its huge and ongoing investments in original shows and movies. The company typically makes those investments — and spends real cash — on such content years before it has to recognize their cost on its income statement.

In order to finance its cash deficits, the company has repeatedly gone to the bond market to sell debt. The company's long-term debt now stands at $10.3 billion, up from $6.5 billion at the end of the first quarter last year.

SEE ALSO: The 'clock has struck midnight' for Apple: It needs to buy a major Hollywood studio this year or lose the streaming war to Netflix and Amazon

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The CEO of billion-dollar startup Airtable explains why its founders decided on a corporate culture before they even had a product

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 5:58pm

  • Howie Liu and his cofounders at Airtable intentionally took a different path in starting the company than many other entrepreneurs, he said.
  • They started by trying to establish the values and principles of the company they wanted to build, rather than first creating a product or developing a business plan.
  • They thought that focusing on values would help create a sustainable business and give them long-term guidance, he said.
  • The company is now one of the hottest startups around, and raised $160 million in venture capital last year, most recently at a valuation of $1.1 billion. 
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Many startups are born out of an idea for a new product or an insight into a potential business opportunity.

But not Airtable.

Before its founders figured out the service it would offer or how it would make money, they talked through the principles that would guide the company they were creating, CEO Howie Liu told Business Insider in a recent interview. He and his cofounders believed that a company's culture and values were more important to its longterm success than its initial product or business model. Indeed, they felt like those values could help guide the development of its business model and products.

"We were very ... intentional on day one in terms of talking through what is going to be the guiding principle set for our company many years down the road," Liu said.

Airtable offers something that, at first glance, looks a lot like a simple spreadsheet. So you might think that Liu and his cofounders were focusing on upending the the market for Excel or Google Sheets.

But in reality, they had much broader ambitions, Liu said. And those aims were ones they talked about right from the beginning, even before they launched their service. They wanted to focus on disrupting the traditional method of writing software and make it more accessible to everyday people, he said.

"In the same way that Apple democratized personal computing, we wanted to democratize the act of software creation," Liu said in a follow-up email.

The bet on values seems to be paying off

The bet Liu and and cofounders made to focus on values seems to be paying off. Airtable is one of the hottest enterprise software startups around. It raised $160 million in venture funding last year — most recently at a $1.1 billion valuation, and has some 80,000 customers, including half of the Fortune 1,000. It's generating enough revenue and cash flow now that Liu says it can continue to run its business without any more outside financing.

Read this: The CEO of hot startup Airtable says that the company's financials are strong enough to go public, even though he doesn't want to

The decision of Liu and his partners to initially focus on values came out of years of conversations with his cofounders and from their collective experiences in the tech industry. The three met in college at Duke, where they bonded while brainstorming startup ideas.

After college, Liu founded a startup that was eventually acquired by Salesforce. Andrew Ofstad, his cofounder and Airtable's chief product officer, worked for giant consulting firm Accenture, helping clients develop products before joining Google product team. Liu's other cofounder, Emmett Nicholas, Airtable's chief technology officer, worked as an engineer at Stack Overflow, the mega-popular Q&A site for developers. 

Through their various experiences in the tech industry, three continued to talk about startup ideas, both about products and the kinds of companies they wanted to build. While they officially launched Airtable's product in 2015, the discussions that led to the company started more than two years before that, Liu said.

"In Airtable's case, [the launch of the product] was very organic," he said. The idea for the company, he continued, "developed slowly over the course of years."

Airtable is increasingly resembling its founders' vision

As Airtable's service has evolved, its founders' vision has become more apparent. Its service has evolved into a kind of advanced database program that allows users to input not just text and numbers, but digital objects ranging from photos to documents.

And customers can now use its service to create bespoke applications. Hollywood studios are using it to help manage the post-production process with their films, major festivals are using it to track lost-and-found items, and people are using it to help plan their weddings.

Focusing on values and principles before products and business models may seem a bit odd, almost like putting the cart before the horse, Liu acknowledged. But he and his team wanted to avoid the mistakes other entrepreneurs had made, he said. 

Founders who start with a product often end up with something that becomes an accidental business, something that's more of a feature than the foundation of a real company. By starting out with guiding principles, Liu and his founders felt they could focus instead on building a sustainable and influential business.

"In some sense, it's a little bit contrived to talk about [values and principles] before you actually have anything — like, you haven't even gotten to basic product-market fit, you have zero employees, you have, like, nothing," Liu said in the interview. "But at the same time ... it's almost especially important to talk about it then, because otherwise once you get moving and into the thick of things, if you don't have that clear set of values ... it becomes really hard to retrofit that."

In Airtable's case, the company's initial values have helped steer Liu and his team ever since, helping them to focus on their longterm vision.

"We knew from day one that we had to value excellence over expedience, craft over convenience," he said. "We weren't just replicating existing products," he continued, "but creating something new and truly original. That required us to value open-ended, imaginative thinking."

Got a tip about a startup or other tech company? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Here's the pitch deck corporate travel service Lola.com used to raise $37 million in new funds

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The 100,000-point bonus for Marriott's new luxury card is a no-brainer if you book at least a couple stays a year — but you only have until April 24 to get it

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 5:23pm

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • This is the last chance to earn a 100,000-point welcome bonus on the new Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.
  • The offer ends on Wednesday, April 24: If you apply before then, you'll earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
  • The card has a high annual fee, but the value of its benefits and rewards negate the fee — and then some.
  • Marriott's small business credit card — the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card — is offering the same bonus, but it also ends on April 24.

In January, Marriott wrapped up a major rebranding of its loyalty program, combining it with the Starwood Preferred Guest program to create a single entity: Marriott Bonvoy.

Despite some bumps, there's excellent value to be had from the program, and from its rewards credit cards.

As part of the rebrand, Marriott revamped its co-brand rewards credit cards, and launched introductory welcome bonuses on the new products — but only for a limited time.

There are two personal cards, but one of them — the Bonvoy Brilliant AmEx, which is the premium card — will lower its bonus after Wednesday, April 24.

Until April 24, new cardholders who open the  Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, formerly called the SPG Luxury Card, can earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when they spend $5,000 on the card in the first three months.

Read more: 8 of the best credit card offers this month — including 2 huge hotel bonuses that end soon

While the card has a high $450 annual fee, it's easy to get much more value from it than you pay for that fee, especially if you stay at Marriott hotels semi-frequently.

Right off the bat, the card offers up to $300 each year in statement credits for purchases at participating Marriott hotels, which can apply to room charges. That effectively brings the fee down to just $150.

It also offers a free night award each year on your card-member anniversary, which can be redeemed at any hotel that costs 50,000 points per night or less. Depending on how you redeem the free night, when you consider it with the annual statement credits, that should completely negate the fee — and potentially turn a profit.

Plus, last month, Marriott and AmEx added an additional benefit to the card: an up-to-$100, on-property credit during any eligible stay at a Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis hotel or resort. Any time you stay for two or more nights at an eligible property, you'll get up to a $100 credit on your bill for things like food, drinks, or spa services. Just make sure to select the "Luxury Credit Card Rate" when you search for hotels. It's generally the same as the regular Marriott Bonvoy member-discount rates, but opts you in to receive the credit.

The card also offers complimentary Gold elite status, and comes with a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership.

The card earns 6x points at participating Marriott hotels, 3x points at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with the airline, and 2x points on everything else.

The non-premium Marriott credit card — the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, which is issued by Chase — is also offering a limited-time 100,000 point bonus after you spend $5,000 in the first three months, but that one doesn't end until May 2.

Additionally, Marriott's small business credit card — the Marriott Bonvoy Business AmEx — is offering 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months, but like the Bonvoy Brilliant, it ends on April 24.

Click here to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card from Insider Picks' partner, The Points Guy.

SEE ALSO: The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and benefits of 2019

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I've had all three of Chase's main Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards — here's how I rank them from best to worst

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 4:52pm

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

Whether you're new to travel rewards or an avid points-collector, Chase's Ultimate Rewards program offers valuable points that are quick to earn and a breeze to redeem and transfer. Getting the right Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card (or two) will help you travel more for less this year.

What are Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Ultimate Rewards is Chase's ultra-flexible, high-value travel rewards program. If you have a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, you can use them to make travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

This portal allows you to redeem your points for flights, hotel stays, rental cars, tours, cruises, and more. You can even book once-in-a-lifetime experiences using your Ultimate Rewards points. Each point has a flat-rate value of 1¢ each, but holding any of the three cards below will bump each point's value up to 1.25¢ to 1.5¢ for travel purchases.

However, arguably the best feature of Chase's Ultimate Rewards program is that your points can be transferred to a list of partner airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. This can squeeze upwards of 4¢ out of each point if you're lucky enough to spot a high-value redemption opportunity.

Airline transfer partners include Aer Lingus, British Airways, Air France KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United, and Virgin Atlantic. You can also transfer your points to hotel partners, which include IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Hyatt.

Altogether, this makes Chase's Ultimate Rewards one of the most beloved programs in the credit card rewards game. I've been able to use my points to book travel experiences I never could have afforded otherwise, including stays in the Park Hyatt New York, a five-star hotel near Central Park that goes for $1,000/night, and the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, a resort on Costa Rica's Pacific coast that goes for $600/night.

I've accumulated over 250,000 Ultimate Rewards points by opening all of Chase's main Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards, which is worth at least $3,750 in travel expenses. Here's how I would rank all three cards.

Read more: 10 lucrative credit card deals new cardholders can get in January 2019 — including the best Southwest offer we've ever seen

Least favorite: Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining
  • 25% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Ultimate Rewards portal
  • $95 annual fee

Don't get me wrong, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent rewards credit card. If the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the worst of Chase's main Ultimate Rewards credit cards, that only speaks to the quality of Chase's Ultimate Rewards program.

You'll get a generous sign-up bonus that's worth at least $750 in travel if you can hit the minimum spend requirements. This is probably the best feature of the card, although getting 2 points for every $1 you spend on eating out or traveling and a 25% bonus on travel redemptions are also lucrative perks for frequent travelers.

But ultimately, the sign-up bonus is this card's most exciting feature. I held onto this credit card for a year before realizing I could get a lot more value by upgrading to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Read more: 5 reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a powerhouse within the increasingly competitive credit card space

Runner-up: Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining
  • 50% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Ultimate Rewards portal
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, up to $100 every four years
  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • $450 annual fee

The list of premium perks and lucrative credits on the Chase Sapphire Reserve makes this one of the most valuable credit cards on the market, so don't let the annual fee scare you away.

The easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit alone knocks the annual fee down to $150, which is very easy to make up for with the rest of the card's benefits. The 50,000-point sign-up bonus ends up being worth the same as the 60,000-point one offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred since the 50% redemption bonus makes it worth $750 toward travel. Add the extra points you'll earn on travel and dining and the free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, and the card has paid for itself.

My favorite Chase Sapphire Reserve feature, though, is easily the free Priority Pass Select membership, which will get you free access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. This pass will make you actually want to book flights with long layovers just so you can take advantages of fancy lounges with free booze and hors d'oeuvres. Priority Pass has even added a number of airport restaurants to its program where you'll get a $28 dining credit each visit, which has saved me hundreds on airport dining.

Favorite: Chase Ink Business Preferred

  • 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and select advertising purchases
  • Unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 25% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Ultimate Rewards portal
  • $95 annual fee

Given that the Sapphire cards tend to get the most attention, this might be Chase's most underrated credit card.

There are a lot of reasons to love the Chase Ink Business Preferred, not least of which is the fact that it offers the most valuable sign-up bonus of any Chase credit card. In fact, I signed up during a limited-time promotion and earned 120,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the sign-up bonus alone — worth at least $1,500 in travel.

You'll also earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel, just like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, instead of earning 3 points per $1 on dining as well, you'll earn a bonus on purchases like shipping, utilities, and advertising. This can be a huge bonus for the self-employed and small business owners who have a lot of business-related expenses.

You won't get the luxury perks and travel credits associated with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and you'll only get a 25% bonus on travel booked through Chase's portal rather than 50%. In exchange, though, you'll only have to pay a low annual fee of $95.

This is a business credit card, which means you have to have a valid business in order to apply. That doesn't mean you need to be operating a brick-and-mortar with 12 employees or even have a registered business, though. A valid business can be anything from the freelance work you do to side gigs like coaching and tutoring to selling items on Etsy and eBay.

One major perk of applying for a business rewards credit card is that the application and credit card activity won't show up on your credit report. Instead, it will appear on a separate business credit report, which in turn will help you build your business credit score.

Pairing up Chase credit cards for maximum rewards

It's wise to try out one of Chase's Ultimate Rewards credit cards to make sure you enjoy the program before going all in. If, like me, you get a lot of value out of Ultimate Rewards points, the best way to earn a lot of points quickly is by pairing up multiple Chase credit cards.

I pair the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which I use for travel and dining purchases, with my Chase Ink Preferred, which I use for business purchases. This allows me to double-dip two of Chase's most lucrative sign-up bonuses and earn 3 points per $1 on a wide range of purchases, all while being able to redeem my Ultimate Rewards points at the 50% bonus rate.

The most popular way to pair up Chase cards, though, is to pair one of the three cards mentioned above with one of their cash-back credit cards — the Chase Freedom or the Chase Freedom Unlimited — which earn bonuses on other spending categories. As long as you hold an Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card, you can convert your cash back to Ultimate Rewards points for increased value.

Finally, if you're saving up points or miles for a hotel chain or airline that happens to be on Chase's list of transfer partners, you can get a hotel or airline credit card as well to boost your points balance. Chase offers co-branded credit cards with Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, United, British Airways, Southwest, and more.

Read more: Southwest just announced an unheard-of deal for its credit cards — you'll get the coveted Companion Pass simply by opening one

The bottom line

Don't let annual fees or "business" designations scare you away from a rewards credit card. While the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the easiest choice, I've earned far more value from my Chase Ink Business Preferred and my Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Luckily, whether you're looking to travel in style or want a basic rewards credit card, Chase offers a wealth of ways to both earn and redeem Ultimate Rewards points.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy Click here to learn more about the Chase Ink Business Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy Click here to learn more about the Chase Freedom from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy Click here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy

SEE ALSO: The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks of 2019

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Lexus just introduced a luxury minivan, but it's probably off limits to Americans

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 4:27pm

  • Lexus introduced the brand's first minivan on Tuesday at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show.
  • The Lexus LM will soon be available for sale in China and is designed to only be a posh family van, but it can also be optioned as a luxurious executive limo.
  • It's unlikely that Toyota, Lexus's parent company, will ever offer the LM for sale in the US.
  • The Lexus LM will be offered with either a traditional V6 engine or a four-cylinder hybrid. 
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

On Tuesday, Lexus unveiled its first minivan at the 2019 Shanghai Motor Show. Dubbed the Lexus LM, the luxury minivan will soon be available for sale in China and a few other select markets in Asia. 

Toyota, Lexus's parent company, is unlikely to ever bring the LM stateside as its US minivan strategy is focused on the Kentucky-built Sienna. 

Read more: Volkswagen is a showing off a new pickup-truck concept that could give America the cheap truck it has been waiting for.

The LM will be available in both four and seven-seat configurations. The seven-seat LM will feature second-row captain's chairs with a third-row bench, perfect for use as a plush family hauler. The four-seat LM is more suited for executive limousine duties. 

In four-seat limo guise, the LM will come available with reclining captain's chairs, a 26-inch entertainment screen, a 19-speaker sound system, noise reducing glass, and an in-car refrigerator. 

The LM is based on Toyota's Japanese market Alphard passenger van. However, the prominent spindle grille and chrome-accented body make this van unmistakably Lexus.

Power for the LM 350 will come a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 while the LM300h will be powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine paired with a hybrid drive system. 

The LM will be offered with both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. 

The 2019 Shanghai Auto Show will be open to the public from April 8 to April 25. 

SEE ALSO: Check out the hottest cars and concepts coming to the 2019 Shanghai motor show

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Qualcomm soars after agreeing with Apple to drop all litigation (QCOM, AAPL)

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 4:12pm

  • Qualcomm shares surged late Tuesday after the company and Apple reached an agreement to dismiss all litigation related to their royalty dispute.
  • The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm, though a press release did not specify its terms.
  • Watch Qualcomm and Apple trade live.

Shares of the chipmaker Qualcomm surged 23% on Tuesday, its largest one-day gain since December 29, 1999, after the company and Apple agreed to drop all litigation related to their royalty dispute. 

The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm, though a press release did not specify its terms. The agreement ends all ongoing litigation, including with Apple's contract manufacturers.

Read more: Apple settled a smartphone modem chips patent case with Qualcomm amid opening arguments and Qualcomm's stock is surging

The two tech giants reached a six-year license agreement effective on April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend.

The settlement also includes a chipset-supply agreement, which according to CNBC suggests Apple will buy Qualcomm chips again for future iPhones.

The litigation between the companies dates back more than two years, when Apple sued Qualcomm in January 2017.

Apple shares were little changed following the announcement. 

 

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Goldman Sachs' search for new clients could see it working with cemeteries and Native American reservations as it looks to grow a $35 billion business

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 3:39pm

  • Goldman Sachs has worked with nonprofit groups like endowments and foundations since 2009. The firm is now considering advising more non-traditional groups, like cemeteries and Native American reservations, as it continues expanding. 
  • The firm's institutional client services business, which was set up in 2009 to manage money on behalf of nonprofits and sits within the consumer and investment management division, is a major growth area.
  • Groups like nonprofits don't have the resources to manage their money in-house, so they're increasingly outsourcing the work. 
  • Those outsourced assets hit $1.1 trillion across the industry last year, and could grow another $500 million over the next five years.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Goldman Sachs, which has long managed money for the country's wealthiest individuals and companies, is looking farther afield for new clients. 

The firm started a business called Institutional Client Services in the consumer and investment management division in 2009 to manage money for nonprofit groups too small to do it themselves. The platform currently manages $35 billion on behalf of more than 500 endowments and foundations. These clients often include the groups that Goldman's wealthy individual clients run, donate to, or otherwise advise: ballets, hospitals, and local nonprofits, among others. 

See more: 'It's good to be Rich': Meet the Goldman Sachs banker who has built a private investing empire that goes head-to-head with Blackstone — and you've probably never heard of him

The firm's head of private wealth management in the Americas, John Mallory, said Goldman is now thinking even more creatively about potential ICS clients, which could include Native American reservations and cemeteries, to broaden its reach. The expansion comes as CEO David Solomon targets wealth management as a major growth area.

The endowments and foundations that ICS advises have about $25 million to $500 million in assets. Mallory said there are about 6,000 nonprofits that fit that "strike zone," with more opportunities for Goldman to target.  

"There are all sorts of interesting pools of capital out there that you don't necessarily think of in the context of nonprofits," he said.

Native American tribal governments, for example, have grown their capital significantly with casino operations. In 2017, Indian gaming revenues hit $32.4 billion, up 4% from 2016, according to the most recent figures from the National Indian Gaming Commission.  

Another attractive pool of capital, Mallory said, comes from cemeteries. They're required to put money, regulated by states, into an endowment. Those funds ensure the site is maintained forever, even after all the plots are sold. 

"Who would've thought, cemeteries?" Mallory said. "People pre-fund the plots they'll ultimately be buried in on behalf of their family to avoid the family being burdened with those costs. They have a huge pool of money that needs to be invested." 

ICS's work is known in the industry as an outsourced chief investment officer, or OCIO. It's become an increasingly attractive business for both consultants and asset managers: according to a study last month from BlackRock and Cerulli Associates, US OCIO assets hit $1.1 trillion last year and could reach $1.7 trillion in five years. About a quarter of those 2018 assets were held by nonprofits. 

Goldman does OCIO work for other groups, too, including corporate pensions and sovereign wealth funds. 

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BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says he sees a 'risk of a melt up, not a melt down' for markets (BLK)

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 3:31pm

  • BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that markets face the risk of a "melt-up" in an interview with CNBC.
  • He said he felt the probabilities leaned towards a sudden upswell in markets, leading to new highs, where investors face the "risk" of being underinvested
  • The CEO of the $6.5 trillion asset manager cited the Fed's dovish stance as a reason for the positive outlook.
  • Watch BlackRock trade live.

As the S&P 500 approaches all-time highs, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink sees markets at risk of a "melt-up, not a melt down," according to an interview with CNBC

"Despite where the markets are in equities we have not seen money being put to work. We have record amounts of money in cash," the CEO said.

While Fink did not commit to a specific market target, he felt the probabilities leaned towards a sudden upswell in markets, leading to new highs, where investors face the "risk" of being underinvested (and underperforming their peers). "I would clearly tell you at this moment, most investors are exposed by being underinvested at this time."

A market that is "melting up" can prove to be self-fulfilling as investors chase returns driven more by a fear of missing out as much as improvements to corporate fundamentals or improving economic sentiment. For the same reason, "melt-downs" can also be self-fulfilling as investors swing from greed to fear.

Markets have had extreme volatility with the S&P plunging 14% in the fourth quarter of 2018 before recovering to within 1% of previous peaks by April 2019. One important factor, beyond shifting investor sentiment, has been the changed outlook from the Federal Reserve.

Fink also alluded to this when asked why he had shifted from his normally bearish or neutral sentiment. He noted that investors had radically changed their outlook once it was clear the market no longer faced the prospects of a rising rate environment.

The Fed has notably "paused" rate hikes after raising rates four times last year. In addition, the European Central Bank has indicated its willingness to be accommodative in the face of market volatility.

"Central Banks who are, if anything, more dovish than ever, they're not changing their behaviors related to QE anymore. There is a shortage of good assets," said Fink.

BlackRock itself has benefited from this market resurgence, reporting earnings well ahead of expectations. The $6.5 trillion asset manager rose nearly 3% as a result.

Fink also relayed that there was room to run in the IPO market despite the initial choppy trading of Lyft. 2019 has already seen the IPO of three multi-billion companies with several more, including Pinterest and Uber, looking to hit the public markets in the next few weeks.

"I think everybody is looking for a new story. And so, when you have these IPOs it's a new story," Fink said.

BlackRock is up 18% year to date.

 

 

 

 

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After nearly 10 years of testing tools and apps to track my money, I keep coming back to an old-school system for 3 reasons

Sun, 04/14/2019 - 10:27am

  • After nearly 10 years of writing about money, Cheryl Lock has tested all kinds of tools and apps to track her finances.
  • No matter what, though, she finds a simple Excel spreadsheet fits her needs best for three reasons: It keeps her honest, it allows her to track multiple systems, and it allows for flexibility.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

My days start and end with the most basic money management tool you’ll find — an Excel spreadsheet.

I’ve been a personal finance writer for about a decade now, and I’ve tested many fancy online tools and apps and resources. Still, despite all the latest helpful technology, I keep coming back to my trusty Excel document. Here’s why.

1. It keeps me honest

Although it’s tedious, as soon as I can after every purchase, I physically log it into my Excel document to keep a running total of my monthly credit card purchases against my overall budget. I categorize things with color blocks — yellow for purchases that will be paid out of my husband’s and my joint checking account, white for those I’ll cover out of my own funds, purple for my health insurance payment and other health-related items — and so on and so forth.

!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");i.id=c,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css",i.media="all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="https://www.myfinance.com/";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}();

 

I know there are online tools that do this for you — allow you to set categories that the system automatically puts into buckets. I’ve used these, and what I found was that I was always double-checking the system for errors or switching the buckets around anyway. So I figured, why not cut out the middleman?

2. It’s the best way I’ve found to track my multiple systems

My elaborate Excel system actually includes multiple sheets which, yes, can get cumbersome. However, for a Type A dork like myself, I'm not bothered. I keep four Excel docs:

  1. One that tracks our monthly joint expenses against our budget
  2. One that tracks my own monthly credit card purchases against my own personal budget
  3. One that tracks the full year of expenses for which I’m solely responsible (versus what my husband pays for with his salary) against the income I plan to earn for each month (since I’m a freelancer, this can vary, but tracking it this way helps me set monthly goals)
  4. One that tracks what is currently in my checking account against the bills that will need to be paid in the near future
!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");i.id=c,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css",i.media="all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="https://www.myfinance.com/";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}();

That’s a lot of documents, and I could probably consolidate somewhat, but I’ve used this system for years, and it works.

It takes me about 20 minutes each morning to check the Excel sheets against my checking and savings accounts to make sure everything looks accurate, and I usually close out the day by doing a quick five-minute check back, as well.

3. It allows for flexibility

As a freelancer, my income can be sporadic and varied. Some months are busier than others, and I often have to wait a while for checks to come in. Having a system that allows me to manually move things around as needed makes tracking much easier.

!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");i.id=c,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css",i.media="all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="https://www.myfinance.com/";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}();

 

Budgeting and personal finance is all about finding the system that works best for you, the one that will best help you stay on track with your goals. I love that there are so many products available these days to help people better manage their money. However, if you feel like you’ve tried them all and you still haven’t found a system you love, allow me to suggest the simple Excel document. It just may surprise you.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Goldman Sachs.  Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Goldman Sachs.

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Millennials are building multimillion-dollar beauty empires on their massive Instagram and Snapchat followings, and it's disrupting a centuries-old industry

Sun, 04/14/2019 - 10:07am

  • From Rihanna to Emily Weiss, more young women are disrupting the beauty space with cosmetic lines that thrive on social media.
  • While millennials are leading the way with the industry's disruption, other generational outliers — notably 21-year-old Gen-Zer Kylie Jenner and 62-year-old Anastasia Soare — are also key players in the trend.
  • Over time, beauty industry marketing has evolved from word-of-mouth and traditional ad campaigns to Instagram tutorials and user-generated content, making it easier than ever to launch a new brand.
  • This has opened the door for celebrities and influencers to create their own beauty brands and sell them to their strong social media followings, transforming fanbase numbers into revenue.
  • This has given rise to a new generation of wealthy women, who sit on top of beauty empire fortunes they created with their own digital prowess.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Social media has minted a new type of money maker: the "selfie-made billionaire."

That's what Natalie Robehmed of Forbes dubbed Kylie Jenner, the world's youngest self-made billionaire ever. 

Jenner's $1 billion net worth comes largely from her eponymous cosmetics line, Kylie Cosmetics, which launched in 2015. Three years later, revenue was an estimated $360 million, the company worth $900 million, Robehmed reported. 

While Jenner may be one of the more extreme examples, she isn't an anomaly — a long history of women have accrued wealth by building beauty empires. The first female self-made millionaire, Madam CJ Walker, built her fortune off a line of hair care products she developed in 1905, according to Isis Madrid of Broadly. Beauty mavens Estée Lauder and Bobbi Brown started their brands decades before the millennium.

In 2018, Jenner was a newcomer to Forbes' richest self-made women list, along with Forbes' other "Instagram-savvy makeup moguls" — Anastasia Soare, Huda Kattan, and Kim Kardashian West, who all also have their own beauty lines.

Then there's Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of cult beauty brand Glossier. On March 19, the direct-to-consumer beauty brand hit unicorn status with new funding that put its value at $1.2 billion, reported Katie Roof and Yuliya Chernova of The Wall Street Journal

While these women aren't the first of their kind to build wealth by tapping into the beauty industry, they are part of a growing number of women who have successfully done so by leveraging social media. What's changed isn't the idea of starting a cosmetics line, but how millennials are disrupting the process in today's technological age while propelling fast company growth and amassing personal fortune.

Read more: Meet the 7 women who made Forbes' richest self-made women list for the first time, including almost-billionaire Kylie Jenner

Estée Lauder and Bobbi Brown got their start through word-of-mouth

"Getting a brand known has from the beginning involved word-of-mouth and getting attention from an influential journalist," Geoffrey Jones, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of the book "Beauty Imagined," told Business Insider.

Consider Estée Lauder: "She gave away 80 of her lipsticks as table gifts for a charity luncheon in the Waldorf-Astoria," Jones said. "The rich guests then walked over to the nearby Saks Fifth Avenue to ask for it."

In 1947, Lauder received her first major order for $800 worth of products from Saks. She grew her business with traditional print advertising and word-of-mouth campaigns, believing that women who liked her products would spread the word. In 2018, the company reported $13.68 billion in net sales and Bloomberg estimated the Lauder family to be worth $24.3 billion.

The beauty behemoth now has nearly 30 brands in its portfolio; in 1995, it acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, making the line's namesake founder a millionaire, reported CNBC's Catherine Clifford

Being bought by a big firm is a sign of success, Jones said. Bobbi Brown, who told Inc. she began the line with $10,000, also favored a word-of-mouth strategy. By talking to strangers and friends, she found a business partner, landed a mention in Glamour magazine, conducted market research, connected with a Bergdorf Goodman cosmetics buyer, and secured regular appearances on The Today Show, according to Clifford.

But that was before the disintegration of traditional distribution channels, which Jones said has happened over the past decade.

Look no further than Soare's Anastasia of Beverly Hills line to see this shift in action. According to Forbes, it's one of the first beauty companies to use a successful social media strategy — but Soare didn't begin that way.

The aesthetician first became a celebrity favorite in the early 1990s for perfecting the eyebrow. In 2000, she took the traditional route, launching her first line of products in 20 Nordstrom stores, reported Forbes. But it didn't really take off until Soare took to Instagram in 2013 with a viral social media campaign, which helped land her products in Sephora.

Today, the company's Instagram has 19 million-plus followers, and the company has a Forbes estimated value of $1.5 billion. Soare herself is worth an estimated $1 billion, making her one of the world's richest self-made women.

Read more: This self-made billionaire built her fortune after fleeing communism in Romania in the 80s and building a salon beloved by Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian

A shift to digital means brands can make the consumer an influencer

As Soare's success indicates, "Social media has become the new door-to-door," Jensen said, adding it "allows consumers to research, investigate, and gather information on everything from ingredients to brand values to see if they align to their own. The brands that use social media well are leveraging it to build a two way street of communication with their followers and because of that, they get buy-in to the brand."

Consider Weiss, who realized that social media was "transforming the way beauty products were talked about and bought," and intended to disrupt the industry, wrote Amy Larocca of The Cut, hailing her as the millennial Estée Lauder.

"There are a handful of beauty conglomerates, and it's difficult for them to innovate," Weiss, who uses social media as market research, previously told Business Insider. "Beauty has really gone online, because that's where the customer is."

In 2010, she launched the blog Into the Gloss. It soon became popular among beauty mavens, amassing 10 million page views per month, according to Alyssa Goacobbe of Entrepreneur — a solid platform on which to launch the first four Glossier products in 2014.

Instead of aiming at wholesale, Weiss intended to crowdsource — through social-media platforms, affiliate sponsorships and links, and gossip, wrote Larocca. As Gaby Del Valle of Vox puts it, Glossier's success lies in treating its customers like influencers.

To market a new blush, Cloud Paint, Weiss hired makeup artists to use it on Oscar-attending celebrities and post the results on social media, Giacobbe wrote — regrams resulted in 1,700 user-generated images in one week; by one month, Instagram had 6,368 Cloud Paint images.

In a recent podcast interview, Weiss said that Instagram "has been an incredible tool to show a lot of user-generated content." 

While Weiss' net worth is unknown, the $1.2 billion value of Glossier says enough.

Read more: This beauty startup has become so popular that it has 10,000 people on a waitlist for lipstick

A social media following equals revenue for celebrities foraying into beauty

"Having a large social media following equates to sales," Jensen said.

A strong social media presence is so directly tied to revenue that it can lay the whole foundation for a beauty empire's success — those with stardom and a following already have a fanbase with built-in customers, and nowhere is that more visible than in Kylie Jenner's and Rihanna's respective beauty empires.

"It's the power of social media," Jenner told Robhemed. "I had such a strong reach before I was able to start anything."

Jenner launched Kylie Cosmetics to 50 million Instagram followers on her personal account, reported Sarah Grossbart for E! News. Nearly four years later, that number has more than doubled. "With more than 100 million Instagram devotees, she need only post a selfie touting her shade of the day and her young followers clamor to add it to their carts," Grossbart wrote.

Dubbed "Cosmetics Queen" by Forbes, Jenner continues to push direct-to-consumer Kylie Cosmetics by sharing products, announcing launches, and previewing new items to her 175 million-plus followers across Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, Robhemed reported. 

"I don’t pay for advertisements," Jenner told Fast Company. "I don’t do commercials. Social media is the only way I push it: Snapchat, Instagram."

She didn't sign her first distribution deal until three years later, with Ulta, which she pushed with her "usual social media," Jenner told Robhemed — it sold an estimated $54 million worth of products in the first six weeks.

Read more: How Kylie Jenner became the world's youngest self-made billionaire, from starring in a reality TV show at age 9 to running a $900 million cosmetics empire at 21

Similarly, Rihanna, who has an estimated $260 million net worth and nearly 69 million Instagram followers, launched Fenty Beauty at New York Fashion Week in 2017 — and she first alluded to with an Instagram teaser. In just one month, it made $72 million in earned media value (the potential value it would have earned if paid for all exposure on social media platforms), outpacing Kylie Cosmetics according to a Tribe Dynamics' Cosmetics report released by WWD.

About 132 million people watched Fenty beauty tutorials in the first month of its launch, reported Janice Williams of Newsweek. Within its first 40 days, Fenty brought in $100 million in sales, according to Vogue.

"Fenty Beauty’s social media game has had a clear impact on its success," Williams wrote. "While Rihanna's social media handle flooded Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube with photos, videos and tutorials, millions of people used their own social media accounts to show off their products and offer testimonials."

In its first year alone, Fenty made $566 million, reported the Business of Fashion, citing an LVMH report — it took Estée Lauder 10 years to earn $500 million, according to WWD.

Read more: Rihanna is reportedly launching her own line with one of the biggest luxury companies in the world as her fashion empire continues to grow

Youtube creators translate their personalities into beauty brands

Not every beauty influencer is a celebrity — some gained notoriety because of YouTube or Instagram, and successfully translated their social media personalities into massive beauty brands and multimillion-dollar net worths.

Huda Kattan, called one of the most influential beauty bloggers in the world by The New York Times, began sharing makeup tutorials, how-to videos, and tips on Instagram and YouTube in 2010. Her following grew so much that when she launched synthetic and faux mink lashes in 2013, they sold out on her first day. Today, she has over 577 million Instagram followers between her personal and private accounts and 3.1 million YouTube subscribers.

Kattan told CNN Instagram was the turning point. "It was the catalyst that changed everything," she said. "It changed the dynamics in which people not only communicate but are inspired as well."

Retail sales for Huda Beauty hit $1.5 million the first year — revenue for 2018 was expected to be $300 million, according to Forbes. Forbes valued her company at $1 billion and Kattan herself worth $500 million, based largely on their "valuation of her stake in the company." 

It's a similar success story for influencer Michelle Phan, who got her start sharing beauty tutorials and guides on YouTube — 40,000 people watched her first video the first week; the now defunct channel has nearly 9 million subscribers.

Phan, reportedly worth $50 million, parlayed that success into the cosmetics industry with makeup subscription company Ipsy in 2011, valued at $800 million with more than 1.5 million subscribers just five years later, according to Yahoo. In 2013, she launched her own cosmetic line for L'Oreal called EM Cosmetics. 

"Influence is the new power — if you have influence you can create a brand," Phan told Forbes.

Beauty is booming

It's easy to see why more influencers and celebrities are entering the beauty space — and the effect they're creating when they do. The beauty industry has grown exponentially over the last three decades, Jones said. As of 2010, the beauty industry had global sales of $330 billion worldwide, according to "Beauty Imagined."

"In the past, luxury brands sold through department stores and mass brands sold through drugstores," Jones said. Now, though, "the whole market has fragmented, providing the opportunity for the launch of many new brands."

Over 1,000 beauty brands have entered the prestige market since 2015 because it's lucrative, healthy, and profitable, Larissa Jensen, beauty analyst at The NPD Group, told Business Insider.

It's also easier than ever before to create and launch a brand, Jennifer Walsh, co-founder of retailer Beauty Bar, consultant, and brand marketer, told Business Insider. And the power of digital has made it even easier to reach consumers.

"For decades, we had to rely on print media and TV to introduce a brand or products," she said. "Now, we can have our own channel online. If you have a great product, beautiful packaging, and are good at storytelling, you can truly get your message/product out to others quickly."

SEE ALSO: We did the math to calculate exactly how much money billionaires and celebrities like Jeff Bezos and Kylie Jenner make an hour

DON'T MISS: A rise in discreet wealth is creating a new type of status symbol, and the elite are spending their money on 5 key lifestyle choices to keep up with it

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17 hot cars we can't wait to see at the 2019 New York Auto Show

Sun, 04/14/2019 - 9:14am

New York has long been one of the marquee events in the annual auto show calendar. It's also the first major US show to take place after the annual super fest that is the Geneva Motor Show. 

But don't you worry. There's still plenty of automotive hotness to go around.

Read more: 18 hot cars we can't wait to see at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

For over 115 years, the New York Auto Show has been one of the largest car shows in the US and a place for carmakers to see and be seen.

While there are fewer fanciful concept cars to be seen, New York is expected to be a hotbed for new production models ranging from family sedans and compact SUVs to luxury cars and supercars. 

Brands expected to make a splash includes Cadillac, Lincoln, Dodge, Ford, Audi, Mercedes, Acura, Hyundai, Subaru, Toyota, and Maserati. 

Read more: We drove an all-new $90,000 Range Rover Velar SUV to see if it has what it takes to challenge Mercedes and BMW. Here's the verdict.

The 2019 New York International Auto Show will be open to the public from April 19 to April 28 at the Javits Center.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the coolest and most important cars we expect to see at this year's show:

SEE ALSO: 7 ways to make your car last longer and save you money

FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content!

The major US auto brands will be out in force this year. Cadillac will officially introduce its new CT5 sedan at the show.

Lincoln is set to launch a new compact SUV called the Corsair.

Lincoln's parent company Ford will show off its new 2020 Escape compact crossover.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A day in the life of Playboy's Playmate of the Year, who wakes up at 7:30 a.m., works out with a private trainer twice a week, and helps run a non-profit for women

Sun, 04/14/2019 - 9:00am

  • Jordan Emanuel is Playboy's 2019 Playmate of the Year.
  • She also works as a Playboy Bunny at the recently opened Playboy Club in New York City.
  • Emanuel wakes up at 7:30 a.m., does a 10-step skincare routine, works out with her personal trainer, and spends the day on modeling shoots and auditions or working at the non-profit for women she co-founded.
  • She starts her Playboy Bunny shift at the club at 7:30 p.m, but she gets there early because it takes at least 30 minutes to put on her Bunny costume.
  • Here's a look at her typical day, as told to Business Insider.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

At New York City's Playboy Club, which opened in September 2018, 30 years after the last original club closed down, Playboy Bunnies in their iconic costumes and bunny ears serve drinks to patrons in a swanky lounge setting.

Jordan Emanuel is one of those Bunnies. She works at the Playboy Club on Tuesday nights and she's also Playboy's Playmate of the Year. Being a Playmate is a role that can entail appearing in the magazine, working special events, and acting as an ambassador for the brand.

Read more: A Playboy Bunny is not the same as a Playboy Playmate. Here are the 2 key differences.

But Emanuel's time is spent on much more than her Playboy work. When she's not working at the club as a Bunny, Emanuel's days are taken up by sessions with her personal trainer, modeling shoots and auditions, and working at the non-profit she co-founded, Women With Voices.

"What's great about everything that I do is that it doesn't necessarily require 100% of my time," Emanuel, 25, told Business Insider. 

"I genuinely just like the rotation of keeping it fresh and interacting with new people," she said.

Read more: The creative director of NYC's Playboy Club says he looks for 2 qualities when hiring a Playboy Bunny — and that one red flag will keep someone from getting the job

The Playboy Club's creative director, Richie Notar, told Business Insider in November that one of the main things he looks for when hiring a Playboy Bunny is someone who has something interesting going on in their lives outside the job.

"One of the things that I would like to do ... is focus on people that have something interesting outside of this," Notar said. "I want them to be interesting in different ways other than just bringing you a drink."

Emanuel certainly seems to fit the bill. Here's a look at a typical day in her life. 

SEE ALSO: I visited New York's new Playboy Club, where Playboy Bunnies serve drinks in their iconic costumes and members pay up to $100,000 a year — and it wasn't at all what I expected

DON'T MISS: The creative director of New York City's Playboy Club says that he looks for 2 qualities when hiring a Playboy Bunny — and that one red flag will keep someone from getting the job

Jordan Emanuel is Playboy's Playmate of the Year and a Playboy Bunny at the Playboy Club in New York City.

As a Playmate, she has appeared in the magazine and works special events. But that side of things doesn't take up much of her time at the moment. "As of now, it's more sporadic events and appearances," Emanuel said. "In November I did a video promoting voting and registering to vote."

In addition to her work with Playboy, Emanuel has been doing print and commercial modeling work for about two years.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and all 27 other banks working on Uber's mega-IPO (LYFT)

Sun, 04/14/2019 - 8:45am

  • Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs won the top banking roles on the upcoming Uber IPO, which could reportedly raise up to $100 million for the ride-hailing company.
  • Despite the competition between Uber and Lyft, which went public at the end of March, 11 of Uber's 29 banks are on both IPOs.
  • Here are all 29 banks underwriting Uber's IPO
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs won the top two slots on Uber's impending IPO — joining with 27 other banks to fill underwriting roles for the company, according to Uber's S-1, filed publicly on Thursday.

Despite the competition between Uber and its ride-hailing rival Lyft, the list of bankers has quite a bit of cross-over with the 29 banks on Lyft's own IPO which went down the end of March.

Uber is planning to raise $100 million in the IPO, at a valuation between $90 billion and $100 billion, Reuters reported, making it a top contender for the largest IPO for the year. Those numbers could change between now and the still unknown-date when Uber actually lists on the NYSE.

Read more: JPMorgan and Credit Suisse will get paid almost equal amounts for helping take Lyft public, and it's part of a growing trend for IPO fees

Up to the final months, the IPO competition between Lyft and Uber was fierce. People familiar with the process described strict rules barring some banks from working on both transactions. Yet Uber's S-1 reveals that 11 of the smaller underwriters actually managed to get their names on both IPOs.

The highest ranked double-dipper was RBC Capital Markets, which was the sixth bank on Lyft's cover sheet, and the seventh on Uber's cover sheet.

Read more: Lyft's bankers are trying to compare the ride-hailing app to Grubhub and luxury retailer Farfetch — here's their pitch to investors

The other double-listed banks are JMP Securities, Raymond James, Academy Securities, Cowen, Loop Capital Markets, Canaccord Genuity, CastleOak Securities, Mischler Financial Group, Siebert Cisneros Shank and the Williams Capital Group.

Here are all 29 banks on Uber's IPO:

  • Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC
  • Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith
  • Barclays Capital Inc.
  • Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
  • Allen & Company LLC
  • RBC Capital Markets, LLC
  • SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc.
  • Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
  • HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
  • SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc.
  • Mizuho Securities USA LLC
  • Needham & Company, LLC
  • Loop Capital Markets LLC
  • Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., L.L.C.
  • Academy Securities, Inc.
  • BTIG, LLC
  • Canaccord Genuity LLC
  • CastleOak Securities, L.P.
  • Cowen and Company, LLC
  • Evercore Group L.L.C.
  • JMP Securities LLC
  • Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc.
  • Mischler Financial Group, Inc.
  • Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.
  • Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
  • William Blair & Company, L.L.C.
  • The Williams Capital Group, L.P.
  • TPG Capital BD, LLC

SEE ALSO: Uber spent $3.3 billion on acquisitions in 2018 and 2019 — 10-times more than Lyft

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