Tesla struggled through the first half of 2019, amid doubts over consumer demand and whether or not the company could achieve profitability. But the stock bounced back in the second half of the year, hitting a bevy of new all-time high share prices and reporting profits in both the third and fourth quarters. Earlier this year, Tesla became the first U.S. automaker to hit a $100 billion market cap. That’s now grown to $140.5 billion—almost twice the combined size of rival automakers General Motors ($48 billion) and Ford ($36 billion). Only Toyota has a higher market cap at this point.
Those results included the company’s first direct disclosures of its Google Cloud revenue as well as that derived from YouTube ads. The latter was particularly overdue given that it comes nearly 14 years after Google bought the video-streaming company for $1.65 billion. YouTube ads generated a little over $15 billion in revenue in 2019, which would put the operation in the top half of the Fortune 500 all by itself.
Tech’s richest companies seem to be defying a Wall Street assumption that as a company gets bigger, it becomes difficult to find new ways to make money and maintain rapid growth. Alphabet said profits in the last quarter of 2019 were 19 percent more than a year earlier. Revenue rose 17 percent to $46.1 billion, slightly below Wall Street expectations. The company’s stock fell 4 percent in after-hours trading
“Throughout the course of 2019, we added 31 million daily active users, largely driven by investments in our core product and improvements to our Android application “said Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. “We’ve recently completed our 2020 strategic planning process and have aligned our teams and resources around our goals of supporting real friendships on Snapchat, expanding our service to a broader global community, investing in our AR and content platforms, and scaling revenue while achieving profitability in order to self-fund our investments in the future.”
Swedish skincare lovers turned out for Vogue’s Löwengrip masterclass on Wednesday, February 27 2019, to celebrate the launch of the Scandinavian brand into Myer stores around Australia and hear advice from Isabella Löwengrip, founder and creative director of Löwengrip, and Pingis Hadenius, founder and CEO of Löwengrip.
Twitter said that as of December 31, 2019, there were more than 1,700 Topics that people could follow in six languages. Topics get suggested automatically in people’s timelines, or they can browse all Topics. Alongside those, Twitter also revamping Lists as a new kind of alternative timeline approach that can be created by other Twitter users, which Twitter also bumps up with suggestions and the ability to share lists with other users.
With fund sizes increasing, especially in the earlier rounds, there’s more money being invested. But with the continual focus on unicorns, that money is being concentrated in fewer companies. In fact, in the U.S., we’ve seen the number of decks with six or more views drop by nearly a full percentage point from 2018 to 2019. But the trend is the opposite in Europe. The number of pitch decks that are being viewed six or more times is actually on the rise.
The whitepaper encapsulates change already underway at the IEEE that’s in line with AI ethics principles released in spring 2019 after years of work, according to John Havens, director of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous & Intelligent Systems. The report also follows an IEEE directive last fall to recognize “the global scale of the human-made and other environmental, social, and governance challenges that threaten to rapidly and critically impact the living conditions of current and future generations.”
“I followed the productive year they had in 2019 with the launch of their digital asset markets, completion of their technology stack and the ability to secure a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license,” Singh said about his new employer in a press release. “I look forward to joining the team of market professionals at ErisX and assisting in the next chapter of growth while managing the unique risks associated with a regulated digital asset platform.”
The bigger picture concerns tectonic shifts in Big Blue’s overall business strategy. Last year’s $34 billion acquisition of open source software giant Red Hat seems to be paying off. In its Q4 2019 results, IBM posted what analysts called surprising revenue growth: cloud and cognitive software revenue were up 9 percent, while Red Hat posted 24 percent revenue growth.
And though Chainalysis data show only 1.1 percent of bitcoin transactions were illicit in 2019, that proportion is growing: up 180 percent over the year before.
Clients will be able to securely store tokenized equity in a custody solution developed by Bitbond and von der Heydt in 2019. The solution received approval from the German financial regulator BaFin after changes in the law meant providers required a license to continue offering cryptocurrency custody.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2019, the Hercules, California-based firm reported $624.4 million in revenues compared to $616.8 million in the year-ago period. On a currency-neutral basis, quarterly revenues increased approximately 2 percent year over year. On average, analysts had expected revenues of $642.0 million for the quarter.
Oncimmune reported this week that its revenues for the first half of 2019 were £310,000 ($404,000), compared to £120,000 in the first half of 2018. R&D costs were £1.0 million, up from £690,000. The firm’s comprehensive loss for H1 2019 after tax was £5.8 million, compared to £3.9 million in H1 2018. Oncimmune’s cash balance at the end of the period was £7.5 million.
Illumina has appointed Scott Gottlieb to its board of directors. Gottlieb is currently a special partner at New Enterprises Associates and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He previously served as the 23rd commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration form 2017 to 2019. Prior to joining the US FDA as commissioner, Gottlieb was a clinical assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine.
Armonica Technologies, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based firm developing long-read DNA sequencing technology, has appointed Victor Esch as president and CEO. Esch has more than twenty years of executive and technical experience in the medical device industry, including as CEO of DNA Electronics and CEO of nanoMR, which DNA Electronics acquired in 2015. Esch was a founder of Powervision, which was acquired by Alcon in 2019. He also previously served as chief technology officer for EndoVasix.
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, GenMark also said that on Jan. 14, it entered into a separation agreement and general release with McNally. In accordance with the agreement, McNally is entitled to benefits, including a gross lump sum payment equal to six months of his base salary in effect as of the separation date; an amount equal to McNally’s target bonus percentage under the firm's 2019 bonus plan multiplied by a percentage tied to the achievement of the company-level performance targets under the plan; and an aggregate of 35,702 restricted stock units held by McNally as of the separation date.
Jay Flatley has become chairman of the board of directors at Illumina. Until the end of 2019, he was executive chairman, and from 1999 until mid-2016, he was Illumina's CEO. Previously, he was president and CEO of Molecular Dynamics, now part of GE Healthcare. Before that, he was VP of engineering and strategic planning at Plexus Computers, executive VP at Manning Technologies, and held various positions at Spectra Physics.
Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and founder of Bloomberg L.P. (the company behind the Bloomberg Terminal), entered the presidential race in November 2019, and has missed the first primary and caucus (New Hampshire and Iowa, respectively) due to joining late in the primary process (in comparison, former contender Andrew Yang entered the race in November 2017).
Even though the couple, who fans refer to as Zigi have been photographed together several times, there was no real confirmation of their relationship. However, Gigi made sure to put any rumours to rest by posting a Valentine’s Day tribute to Zayn on her photography account, Gisposible. She captioned the photo, “HEY VALENTINE Z on the farm ♡ Dec 2019.”
Sophia Genetics has named former Foundation Medicine CEO Troy Cox chairman of its board of directors, effective March 1. Cox will replace Antoine Duchateau, whom the company said will remain on the board. Cox, who also has held executive positions at US BioOncology and Genentech, joined the Sophia Genetics board in July 2019.