🕶e8: Salesforce v. Microsoft: A Tale of Acquisitions and Heartbreak! Facebook calls it Libra, but is it Equal?
👋 Good Morning and Happy Sunday! Welcome to the e8 newsletter, a hand-picked collection of business and start-up news, resources for entrepreneurs, job/internship postings, and noteworthy trends that are happening this week! I hope you find this weekly newsletter informative and engaging!
👔 Salesforce v. Microsoft: A Tale of Acquisitions and Heartbreaks
The Microsoft-Salesforce rivalry began five long, long years ago when Microsoft, out in the market searching for a target, happened to land on Salesforce. The deal between the two fell through due to price negotiations. No hard feelings arose from the failed deal, but a year later, things turned sour when the companies showed down on a bid to buy LinkedIn. Salesforce urged regulators to review the deal on antitrust grounds, but the deal passed and Microsoft won out. Now, talks of Salesforce purchasing Slack are heating up. The move would come as a huge jab to Microsoft which had failed in its previous attempts to make a deal with Slack, and so created their competing “Teams” software in 2016. There’s some strong tension between these giants. Let’s see what each one brings to the table and how this possible Slack acquisition strengthens Salesforce’s fight!
I don’t think much introduction is needed here for the tech staple. We all know by now they have their hand in every pot or run their own competing product or service to capitalize on the many corners of the tech industry.
Sf is always going to be fighting an uphill battle. Although their resources are not nearly as broad, they are still in a strong position. The company has made pushes to expand into the AI space with purchases of multiple AI Firms (PredictionIO, MinHash, Tempo AI, RelateIQ). This also isn’t the first time that Sf has tried to break into the workplace collaboration sector. Back in 2010, Sf launched Chatter, a private social media network for businesses. Fast forwarding to 2016 they splashed $500m for cloud-document collaboration app Quip Inc. Neither gained much traction making all this Slack talk even more interest.
Pretty sweet stuff! I am an avid user of both Salesforce and Slack and a possible acquisition could open up a wide range of possibilities to cross-sell the two companies' products into each other's customer bases. I believe Salesforce adding Slack under its belt would perfectly complement their different current target audiences. For instance, Slack has wide market share inside fast-growing startups, while Salesforce’s products are seen within a wide range of megacorps. If you have been following the newsletter for a while, I believe there will be a select few big tech giants that maintain dominance in their respective market share, and as you can tell Salesforce is doing exactly that.
Salesforce has seen a lot of growth since Covid initially hit. Shares have risen over 50% as new businesses have adopted the service, and I personally don’t see any slowdown happening soon. It’s clear that the companies that have been slow to implement the new technologies into their daily operations will soon have to fully transition, supplying a continued market demand. Now the question is what features will be added and how they will stay relevant. Slack is testing the waters of broadening their appeal with the introduction of Slack Connect. The reason? Slack is trying something new, allowing text and video messages to be sent between different businesses. Furthermore, back in June they announced they would introduce video features that stem off Amazon's technology (a short business Zoom meeting alternative?).
All in all, I hope the deal goes through. We’ll keep our eyes close on this one in the coming weeks!
💰Facebook calls it Libra, but is it Equal?
Well well well, I know this is starting to be a more frequent topic on the newsletter but the Cryptocurrency markets had a huge week. Bitcoin was testing all time highs while finally hitting a correction on Friday. As institutions begin investing in this new technology, tech giant Facebook has been working on its own cryptocurrency to roll out to the world. Let’s see if this is going to be another DogeCoin situation (where Facebook relies on hype to carry the coin) or if this will be a more serious player moving forward!
What We Know?
When it was first unveiled, the Libra cryptocurrency was supposed to be a brand-new currency tied to a basket of fiat currencies and securities. Originally, it wasn’t to be based on a single real world currency, but rather on a mix of multiple currencies
According to the Financial Times, the Libra Association now plans to launch a single dollar-backed coin. It’ll compete directly with other stablecoins, such as USDC, PAX and Tether (USDT). The Libra Association still plans to roll out other currencies, but it’ll happen at a later time
Facebook will most likely launch its own Libra wallet at the same time. Originally called Calibra, the Facebook subsidiary was rebranded to Novi back in May
It’s unclear whether other members of the Libra Association also plan to launch their own Libra-based service at the same time. Members include Farfetch, Lyft, Shopify, Spotify and Uber
Wondering How The Coin Will Operate?
Libra will be managed by a Swiss-based nonprofit, and is currently backed by more than two dozen “Founding Member companies” such as Uber, Ebay, Lyft, Spotify, Visa, PayPal, Coinbase, a16z, and more. It’s evident that they have big players backing them, and unlike other cryptocurrencies, Libra will be back by “real” government backed assets (from central banks) to aid the stability of the price
Facebook is taking a unique approach by creating a seamless (and stable) way to transfer money, a goal to make it just as easy as to send a message to someone through Facebook messenger. To make things clear, Facebook’s Libra is not trying to challenge the current global financial system. Rather, they want to help expand the utility behind the coin (a.k.a transferring money) to underserved populations that might not have access to larger financial institutions/resources. This idea couples well with Facebook’s overall goal to connect people all across the globe. Interestingly enough, Facebook released a whitepaper for the coin and had noted that worldwide, almost two billion adults remain outside of the financial system with no access to a traditional bank, even though one billion have a mobile phone and nearly half a billion have internet access all of which Libra aims to fix.
Facebook says Libra will be made available to Messenger (2.7 billion current users) and WhatsApp users (2 billion), who can cash in their local currency to buy Libra. With such a large reach, I believe this is a strong leap towards commercializing cryptocurrency and making it a more accessible/reliable financial medium.
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💯Thank You For Reading, See You Next Week!
What's up, my name is Evan Hiltunen! I am a recent finance grad from Indiana University and financial analyst @ Goldman Sachs. I have a strong passion for start-ups, finance, and technology, and I hope you find this newsletter informative!
I’d love your feedback - feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org