Tag Archives: Tech Insider

We took a 1,000-horsepower electric luxury sedan for a spin on the streets of Silicon Valley

Lucid Air

We have driven, reported on, road-tripped, and talked about our fair share of electric and hybrid vehicles at Business Insider. These are exciting times for a technology that was born more than 100 years ago, but only started to gain steam 20 years ago with the Toyota Prius.

Electric-vehicle sales in the US jumped by 37% in 2016, according to Forbes. There are now more than 30 battery-powered and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market in the US right now.

That growth has spurred a whole new class of EVs from investor-funded startups. Though many of these companies poach engineering and design talent from big-name automakers, the new companies themselves have never mass-produced a car before. It might be a stretch to call it an automotive renaissance, but it looks that way.

Still, one thing remains the same — it is incredibly difficult to start a car company. Tesla CEO Elon Musk probably knows this better than anyone. Tesla is the first American automaker to go public since Ford Motor Company in 1956 and it took Tesla and its stakeholders nearly two decades and many hundreds of millions of dollars to get there.

Lucid Air

And as we have learned recently from the embattled electric-car startup, Faraday Future, the business of designing and building cars can easily lose traction if just enough things go wrong.

Nevertheless, a handful of electric-car startups in California are undeterred, and they are vying to bring the next mass-produced luxury electric vehicle to market.

Lucid Motors is one of those companies. Founded in 2007 under its former name, Atieva, the Menlo Park-based company began developing its first electric vehicle in 2014.

The car, called Lucid Air, debuted last year as a 1,000-horsepower electric luxury sedan that Lucid said would rival Tesla’s highly successful Model S.

Lucid has 300 employees and is backed by Venrock — the same venture capital firm that led Apple’s Series A round in 1978. Lucid also counts China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Holding and Japan’s Mitsui as investors. Interestingly, Jia Yueting, Faraday Future’s only publicly known backer, is also an investor in Lucid.

A company spokesman told Business Insider Lucid has raised several hundred million dollars to date. The spokesman declined to give specific dollar figures. Lucid has a Series D round in the works.

The Lucid Air will be the first vehicle out of the company’s stable when it goes into production in early 2019, the company said. Lucid invited Business Insider to check out a nearly finished representation of the car at its headquarters in Menlo Park. Here’s how it went.

SEE ALSO: How Tesla emerged from the brink of bankruptcy to become America’s coolest car company

The Lucid Air is almost surreal when seen outside in natural light. It’s not a complete stretch to say it looks like a road-bound spacecraft.

Everything from the windshield forward evokes a nearly seamless appearance. It has a quietly commanding presence.

Quiet because it’s electric, of course. The Air will have either a 100 kWh battery capable of about 315 miles of range. An optional 130 kWh battery would be available as an option, which could offer 400 miles of range on a full charge.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Meet the 3 suits who ditched life in the City to launch a startup that makes 100% natural running snacks

Tribe cofounders

LONDON — Meet ex-lawyer Rob Martineau, ex-private equity analyst Guy Hacking, and ex-business insights exec Tom Stancliffe. They’re three men in their early thirties who ditched corporate jobs in the City of London to pursue a passion they all share: running.

In 2013, the trio ran 39 marathons in 30 days — raising close to $300,000 (£241,000) for a charity aiming to bring an end to child trafficking. The epic journey took them from Ukraine to Croatia, taking in nine countries in Eastern Europe along the way. Roughly 250 people joined them at various stages of the journey but Martineau, Hacking, and Stancliffe were the only ones to complete the whole run.

During the 1,000 mile (1,600km) run — known as Run for Love — the ex-corporates noticed that many runners, including themselves, were consuming vast quantities of synthetic supplements. And they weren’t always going down well.

“It’s common for athletes to have adverse reactions to highly synthetic stuff,” Martineau told Business Insider in Shoreditch, London. Indeed, some runners and cyclists are sick (or feel sick) when they take on certain supplements, particularly highly-refined energy gels. “It’s because our digestive system isn’t used to the density of the glucose and fructose,” added Martineau.

Tribe box

“We looked at what we saw on the market, and I suppose at that point we didn’t have any particular scientific background, but we didn’t like what we saw,” said Martineau. “Everything looked and felt it was full of rubbish.”

Off the back of Run for Love, the three men came up with the idea for a running supplement startup called Tribe.

Tribe ships completely natural energy and recovery supplements to the homes and offices of endurance athletes of all levels. Today, the startup has over 5,000 subscribers for its boxes, which are priced at £8.65 each and typically contain six items. Hundreds more are signing up every day, according to Hacking.

Tribe runners

Tribe’s energy bars and trail snacks include the Cacao & Orange bar, the Banana flavoured Tribe shake, and the Infinity Banoffee bar, as well as many others. They’re delivered in neat little boxes that are branded with inspirational running quotes and contain running recipes on the inside.

Tribe’s cofounders passionately believe that their products taste significantly better than what’s offered by the likes of Lucozade and Science in Sport (SiS). Although not all of the company’s products are to everyone’s taste, Hacking admitted. “The beetroot bar is a bit divisive.”

In order to support Tribe’s growth, the founders took financial backing and support from London design studio ustwo, which created the hit “Monument Valley” iOS game. Tribe has raised a total of £800,000 in investment and it is looking to raise an additional £1.5 million to £2 million series A round this May.

Tribe founders

But making and selling food supplements isn’t the only thing keeping Tribe’s cofounders busy.

Tribe also organises weekly runs across the UK that are organised by an army of volunteers. Last summer, it set out to hold a running festival of sorts in Oxfordshire, although the British summer didn’t cooperate for the 500 running enthusiasts that bought a £40 ticket. “It was one of the worst six hours of weather in the whole summer,” said Hacking.

Tribe’s cofounders are reverting back to their roots this summer with a mammoth endurance event that will see 1,000 runners and riders cover 2,000km (1,242 miles) from Sarajevo to London. The founders hope that the event, set to take place over a two-week period, will see an additional £1 million raised to fight human trafficking.

“We know we can make an enormous impact and have the adventure of a lifetime in the process,” said Martineau.

If you’d like to take part in the run, feel free to sign up here.

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NOW WATCH: This college student racked up $300,000 worth of frequent flyer miles by legally hacking United Airlines

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A startup founder explained how VCs came knocking after he did a deal with Apple (AAPL)

parking lot

Parkopedia, a London tech firm that helps people find parking spaces, immediately caught the eye of several investors last year after it signed a potentially-lucrative deal with Apple.

Eugene Tsyrklevich, the CEO and founder and 10-year-old Parkopedia, told Business Insider during an interview at his company’s office near London Bridge that several larger firms have also tried to buy Parkopedia.

“The more successful you become, the less money you need, and the more opportunities you have,” he said.

Tsyrklevich refused to disclose Parkopedia’s revenue numbers or how much the deal with Apple was worth but he did say his company has grown “50-100% year-on-year for a number of years,” adding that he now employs 60 people worldwide.

“We’ve had VCs and others reach out to us,” Tsyrklevich explained, adding that the investors apparently say: “‘Hey, I saw your new deal with Apple, let’s talk.'”

Parkopedia receives something like half a billion data points every single day on movements of drivers around the cities around the globe, according to Tsyrklevich. “We crunch that in the cloud on AWS [Amazon Web Services] to figure out what does it mean for parking availability. Then you as a driver, you say this is where I’m going, and we say there is a space or there is not a space.”

Last July, Parkopedia provided Apple with access to its database of more than 40 million parking services worldwide. Apple has embedded the data in the database into its Apple Maps platform, which is used by millions of people.

“Apple licenses our data globally,” explained Tsyrklevich. “We have a service that works in 6,000 cities and 75 countries around the world. When you search for parking on Apple Maps, you will get back information for parking from Parkopedia. So where it is and how you can pay and height restrictions and so on. So that relationship is relatively new and the first release was just rolling out the basic [features].”

apple mapsTsyrklevich said that Apple could eventually use Parkopedia’s technology to help Apple Maps users to reserve a parking space before they arrive, as opposed to just seeing whether it’s free or not.

“Things can take a bit longer working with a larger corporate,” said Tsyrklevich. “So there is no set date as to when it can go live.”

Tsyrklevich added: “Whenever you work with Apple, everything comes down to UX, and if anything needs to change on the UX side then that’s it, that’s going to take a long time.

“And they are internally as intense about design as they are on the outside. They’re very, very conscious of it. They really think it through. So I don’t think there’s a fixed deadline. And the other thing to understand is that they don’t tell us anything anyway. They did not tell us when our own feature was going launch.”

Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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NOW WATCH: Science says parents of unsuccessful kids could have these 6 things in common

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Here's why Snap is playing it safe with investors

Evan Spiegel

Snapchat executives hit the road on Friday to lure investors into what could be the biggest tech-sector stock offering in years. 

The schedule of meetings will take them to London on Monday, and New York on Tuesday, and eventually across the US. And if it’s like other high-profile tech deals of recent years, they’ll draw a standing room only crowd of analysts and fund managers looking to get a feel of what the buzz is about.

Already, though, Snap Inc. has raised some eyebrows on Wall Street. After people close to the company floated the idea that it would be valued at up to $25 billion — for months — it hits the road with a price range that puts its maximum value at closer to $22 billion.

It’s not a massive difference, but it was enough to raise the question of what happened. There are plenty of reasons for investors to be skeptical of the company’s disappearing message app. One is simply that its user base is young, and that means plenty of decision makers on Wall Street won’t even understand what it is. 

Snap knows this and one video posted on its website for investors Friday is simply a lesson on how the app works. People close to the company said that preliminary meetings with investors and analysts, late last year, included this lesson. 

Then there’s the question of its valuation. Even if $22 billion is lower than it might have sought, the company only reported $400 million of revenue in 2016 and no profits. Also, it has a share structure that means investors paying that will get no say in how it is run. 

So is that all getting baked into the price already? Maybe. Reuters reported that one reason for the slightly lower valuation reflected feedback from those preliminary meetings. 

Playing it safe 

One person close to the situation told Business Insider that Snap is playing it safe with the intention of going higher as soon as demand merits. Conversely, asking for the full $25 billion and being forced to roll it back if investor demand isn’t high enough would be a worse outcome that taints the company’s trading debut. 

Snapchat appThe company said Thursday it was seeking to price shares at $14 to $16, but this person — who asked not to be identified discussing the situation — said the only acceptable price, in reality, will be $16 per share or more. 

This person expects Snap’s order book to be oversubscribed, meaning there will be demand for more shares than it is selling.

“If you look at Twitter, Facebook, or Alibaba, there’s a pretty consistent playbook that many companies run,” a pre-IPO investor in Snap, who also asked not to be identified, told Business Insider. “They come up with range that’s very attractive and then they walk it up.”

A spokesperson for Snap declined to comment.

So is it worth it?

Among the risks investors are likely to focus on is a slowdown in user growth. In the fourth quarter, for example, Snap says it had 48% more users than a year earlier. That’s the slowest growth rate for any of the 12 quarters for which it reported numbers. 

“The deceleration in user growth is a clear indicator that Snap is losing its snap,” said Lee Bressler, portfolio manager at Carbon Investment Partners, a small hedge fund. “Instagram’s stories feature is a direct competitor and will continue to take market share. This could be the next Twitter, or worse, Myspace.”

Twitter, which went public in 2013, is struggling to grow its user base and investors who held the stock for the last three years have been punished for it: at about $16 a share currently, the stock is well below its IPO price of $26. 

twitter jack dorseySpiegel is set to respond to concerns around its slowing user growth in investor meetings. As Business Insider previously reported, he plans to emphasize quality of engagement over quantity of users. He wants his existing users to really enjoy the product and is focused on innovating to make it more usable. 

Part of that means users must have higher-end smart phones. Snapchat works best on iPhones, and while some problems persist on Android and other phones, Spiegel says he will not dilute the product to make it work on every phone.

So unlike Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion users around the world, Snap will not focus on non-iPhone-using customers in places like the developing world because those markets are not easily monetized. The logic is that advertisers want to reach North America and develop Europe rather than the rest of world. 

In the company’s roadshow materials, it said its biggest revenue opportunity is the growing budget for worldwide mobile advertising, which could reach $196 billion by 2020 from $66 billion currently.

Snap’s business is to “create the best camera platform so we can drive engagement and monetize that engagement through advertising,” Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan said in the video.

Growing revenue

Focusing on revenue growth makes sense for Snap’s executives because of the blistering pace at which sales are increasing. The company sold its first ad at the end of 2014, but really started to monetize the business with the hire of Khan in 2015. His team grew revenues from $58.7 million in 2015 to $404.5 million in 2016. Last summer, the company launched Snapchat Partners, an advertising API, to expand the advertising business.

mark zuckerberg facebook 64Consumer tech investors Goodwater Capital estimate Snap will grow revenue to $1.10 billion in 2017, $1.94 billion in 2018, and $2.75 billion in 2019. They estimate the company will turn its first profit in 2020.

Certainly, the company’s existing backers are betting that the stock will be more like Facebook — which is up 250% since its 2012 debut — and less like Twitter. 

Of course, Facebook’s stock famously tanked in the months after its debut, losing about half of its value and raising questions about its pricing, though the company has now far surpassed that initial valuation. 

“While on an absolute basis, the valuation appears high from an investor’s risk/reward perspective, I think Snap becomes very much the next Instagram, or possibly bigger,” the existing Snap investor, whose fund has a $150 million stake in the company, told Business Insider.

Instagram, a photo-based social media network, is owned by Facebook. 

Facebook has “consistently tried to kill Snapchat off,” the investor added. “It’s a risk, but what helps me sleep well at night is that Snap has consistently out-innovated Facebook for five years and I think that is likely to continue.”

SEE ALSO: SNAP’S ROADSHOW: Snapchat executives explain why investors should buy into their $22 billion IPO

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NOW WATCH: The best and worst months to rent an apartment in major US cities

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Tesla has sent investors on an epic roller coaster ride for years — look back at the craziest moments (TSLA)

Elon Musk

Tesla is headed into fourth quarter and full-year 2016 earnings next week with arguably the biggest head of financial steam in the company’s history. 

A surprise profit in the third quarter last year, coupled with Donald Trump’s win in the election and the assumption that an America-first manufacturing policy favors Tesla, has sent shares on an epic rally. The stock has risen as much as 50% of the past three months, surging toward $300 and ending last week above $270.

Tesla has watched its stock soar in the past, only to reliably plummet — or, if not that, the revert to trading levels that don’t register a $40-billion-plus market cap, right up their with the Ford Motor Company, but something close to $30 billion, which in the assessment of many market pros is, frankly, bonkers for a carmaker that sold only about 80,000 vehicles in 2016.

The roller-coaster ride that is Tesla investing has certainly been intense, but over the past two years some interesting new patterns have developed. It’s also worth taking into account that Tesla financial reporting and market value have gotten far more complex with the 2016 acquisition of SolarCity for just over $2 billion, a price that also bought Tesla billions in debt. 

I thought it might worth it to take a look back at Tesla’s history — a story in stock charts:

SEE ALSO: The idea that a unionized Tesla factory will be a great labor win is an overstatement

We’ll start with the all-time chart, showing Tesla’s share-price history since its 2010 IPO, when the company was trading below $20.

As you can see from the chart, Tesla was basically flat for several years after the 2010 IPO. In 2008, the carmaker had endured a near-death experience, and in the lead-up to the IPO and afterwards, it was selling only one car, the original Roadster. 

The game plan at this point was for CEO Elon Musk and his team to keep the lights on long enough the roll out Tesla’s first built-from-scratch car, the Model S sedan.

That happened in 2012, and for 2013, Motor Trend named the Model S it Car of the Year. At this point, the stock took off.

And as you can see, if you bought Tesla right after the IPO and held on, you’d be looking at an 1,000%-plus return today.

The Model S launch was a defining event for Tesla. This would mark the beginning of Tesla’s Wall Street story, the tale of a rapid-growth tech company. But ironically, it would also mark the moment at which Tesla started to become a car company.

Over the past three years, however, Tesla’s stock story has been one of extreme volatility: spikes and swoons.

Because Tesla took off so fast as a stock and quickly achieved an impressive market cap for a company that, in 2013, was selling almost no cars (even if the ones it was selling cost more $100,000 apiece), a stable price wasn’t in the picture. 

Investor confidence would soar, then collapse, with sentiment turning on ever news event, product announcement or delay, quarterly earnings report, and market-moving Muskian tweet.

Rapid run-ups were followed by jerky declines. Jagged recoveries presaged vertiginous descents. At one point, Musk himself said that the company was overvalued. Unlike the rest of the industry, with its slow, predictable stock behavior for publicly traded carmakers, and with its long business cycles, Tesla was behaving more like a Silicon Valley tech company.

Analysts fixated on the pace of deliveries as the best indicator of how Tesla was performing and whether there was sufficient demand for Tesla electric cars, in a market that otherwise didn’t seem to want them, to justify the monumental valuation. Eventually, Tesla began reporting quarterly sales, mainly to give Wall Street something to go on.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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I will never go on vacation without Snap's Spectacles, the sunglasses that record what you see

snapchat spectacles 8 (1)

When my gadget-loving boyfriend wore Google Glass in public for the first time, the thing I remember most is the stares. People squinted across trains and sidewalks at the utterly uncool head-mounted display built in the shape of eyeglasses.

So when Snap, the startup behind the disappearing messages app, unveiled Spectacles that can record what you see, we were both thrilled. Spectacles look cool compared to Google Glass — we aren’t embarrassed to wear them on weekend adventures and future vacations.

We recently took Spectacles out for a test run in San Francisco. Here’s what I thought.

SEE ALSO: REVIEW: Snapchat’s Spectacles live up to the hype, but have a ways to go

We set out for Lands End in San Francisco, a rocky, windswept walking path opposite the Golden Gate Bridge. It was sunny, and I wondered if people would notice my sunglasses.

At first glance, Spectacles look like normal sunglasses. But the yellow circles near the lens are a giveaway. They light up when you hit the record button on top of the frames.

With one tap, Spectacles will record what you see for 10 seconds.

Instagram Embed:
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Netflix's best food show is back — here's why you should be watching 'Chef's Table' (NFLX)

One of the best Netflix original series is one of the least-known: It’s called “Chef’s Table,” and it’s incredible

Chef's Table

“Chef’s Table” comes from David Gelb, the director behind the gorgeous and inspiring 2012 sushi documentary, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Gelb — and a crew of other directors — bring a passionate reverence to chefs and their creations that’s rarely found in food shows. 

Look no further than this crazy beautiful snippet of the opening of the first season, set to the “Winter” concerto of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” for an idea of what to expect:Chef's Table opening

As season three debuts on February 17, we’ve prepared a tasting menu full of reasons why “Chef’s Table” should be on your binge list this weekend.

SEE ALSO: The 27 best new restaurants in America

As of February 17, there are three full seasons of “Chef’s Table” on Netflix, plus a spin-off season dedicated to French chefs. Episodes run about 50 minutes apiece — with 22 episodes, that’s a ton of great show to watch.

The first of 22 nearly hour-long episodes stars an enigmatic and charming Italian chef named Massimo Bottura. He owns and operates the world’s top-rated restaurant, Osteria Francescana.

Like the director’s previous work, “Chef’s Table” is rife with slow-moving close-ups of food that make you want to jump into the screen. Try to restrain yourself.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SpaceX delayed a historic rocket launch just seconds before liftoff due to a familiar glitch

spacex falcon launch pad 39a cape canaveral flickr 32945170225_58129f00dc_o

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was poised for a debut flight on Saturday from a historic NASA launchpad — one used by Apollo astronauts and has idled since the end of the space shuttle program nearly 6 years ago.

However, issues with a device that has caused SpaceX headaches and delays both in 2015 and 2014, called a thrust vector control (TVC), spurred mission managers to delay just seconds before liftoff. The device helps maintain the rocket’s speed and direction.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who owns and operates SpaceX, took to Twitter to comment on the problem in a series of tweets.

“If this is the only issue, flight would be fine, but need to make sure that it isn’t symptomatic of a more significant upstream root cause,” Musk said. “All systems go, except the movement trace of an upper stage engine steering hydraulic piston was slightly odd. Standing down to investigate.”

The rocket was originally scheduled for launch at 10:01 a.m. ET from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, pending good weather. But the company was aware of a minor problem with the TVC, which is located in the motor of the second stage, or upper half of the rocket.

SpaceX has not flown from Florida in six months.

Flights were suspended after a rocket exploded as it was being fueled for a routine, prelaunch test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The accident destroyed the rocket and its cargo and heavily damaged the launchpad.

SpaceX resumed flying last month from a second launch site in California while it hustled to finish work on the shuttle’s old launchpad. Originally built for the 1960s-era Apollo moon program, the Florida pad was refurbished for the space shuttles, which flew from 1981 to 2011.

SpaceX signed a 20-year lease for the pad in 2014.

“My heart is pounding to come out here today. Not because you guys make me nervous, but because I’ve got a vehicle on this extraordinary pad behind me,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told reporters at the launchpad on Friday, about a day before the delay.

Enter the Dragon

Dragon Capsule

Perched on top of the rocket is a Dragon capsule loaded with about 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg) of supplies and science experiments for the International Space Station (ISS), a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.

NASA hired privately owned SpaceX and Orbital ATK to resupply the station after the shuttles were retired. The US space agency last year added a third company, privately owned Sierra Nevada Corp, for station cargo runs beginning in 2019.

By then, SpaceX intends to also be launching NASA astronauts, breaking Russia’s monopoly on flying crew to the space station.

Shotwell on Friday dismissed a Government Accountability Office report this week that said SpaceX and Boeing , which also is developing a space taxi for NASA, have too many technical hurdles ahead to make their 2018 deadlines for station crew ferry flights.

“The response to that report … is, ‘The hell we won’t fly before 2019!'” Shotwell said.

A backup opportunity for Saturday’s launch is for 9:38 a.m. ET on Sunday.

SpaceX has to wait until then because the ISS has to pass right overhead for the Dragon to catch up and dock with it, a company representative said during a live newscast on YouTube.

SEE ALSO: NASA is in a strange and expensive pickle with the Russians

DON’T MISS: A vital part of SpaceX rockets keeps cracking — but the company says it has a fix

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Elon Musk on going to Mars — ‘The probability of death is quite high’

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JPMorgan's head IPO banker on what to expect in 2017

Liz Myers

JPMorgan’s head of global equity capital markets, Liz Myers, can name a bunch of reasons 2017 could see a strong rebound in initial-public-offering activity around the world.

Myers, whose team topped league tables for equity capital markets revenue in 2016 as well as IPO volume share in 2016 and year-to-date, did just that in an interview with Business Insider earlier this month.

“We’re seeing quite a sentiment reversal in the IPO market this year, particularly in the US, where January marked the best start to the year since 2014,” Myers said.

While 2016 saw fewer than 100 IPOs in the US, she said a typical year would see as many as twice that number. She expects to see a more active market in 2017.

“Both issuers and investors are approaching the market more constructively this year,” she said.

“Combined with a pro-growth backdrop, we expect to see a notable increase in IPO volumes this year.”

Twelve deals have priced in the US in 2017.

Myers walked through numerous sectors, from industrials to financials to tech, and laid out her expectations. She also said we could expect to see more cross-border activity this year, with foreign companies choosing to list in the US.

Here is what’s on Myers’ mind.

A strong start

Of the companies that did go public in 2016, more than 70% are trading up right now, Myers said. That’s up from 52% around this time last year.

“This aftermarket momentum reinforces positive investor sentiment toward the 2017 IPO class,” she said. “Follow-on offerings also tend to increase in number and size when valuations trend positively post-IPO.”

For private-equity or venture-capitalist backers, that offers the chance to sell down their stakes.

Also, of the nine deals that priced last month, two priced above their ranges and two priced at the top of their ranges. There were no IPOs in January of last year to compare with, but two of the six IPOs to price in the whole first quarter of 2016 were below range, Myers said.

Healthcare, industrials, and tech

Though only nine deals priced in January, the breadth of sectors they fell under was a positive sign, Myers said. Those include energy, industrials, healthcare, and special acquisition companies, or Spacs.

Industrials are seeing a tailwind as markets anticipate accelerated growth and infrastructure stimulus spending, she said. Exploration-and-production companies in particular are seeing enthusiasm, especially oil-field services companies. That’s because, as oil prices rise, exploration-and-production companies begin to drill again, which means revenues start to increase because they once again have customers.

oil drilling

(Several oil-field services companies are making the most of the rotation out of other industries and into energy by filing under a special Securities and Exchange Commission rule, 144A, which is an exemption from the typical SEC registration requirements that allows companies to sell shares more quickly.)

In technology, Myers said she expected to see a continuation of activity in software and internet. She also expects to see healthcare deals as areas like cancer therapy continue to be well-received.

While last year saw a broad mix across sectors as well, the biggest difference Myers expects to see this year is more activity in financials — in both banking and insurance.

‘A more hospitable landscape’

In terms of the broader economic backdrop, Myers laid out three reasons for the current bullishness in the markets: infrastructure spending, broader fiscal stimulus, and deregulation.

One offset might be the impact of rising interest rates, which are generally viewed by the market as more of a headwind but which will at least benefit the financial sector.

“Financial-sector issuers are seeing meaningful valuation uplifts from the expectation of better margins in a higher rate environment,” Myers said.

Brexit supporters form a counter demonstration as Pro-Europe demonstrators protest during a Another important factor: This year is unlikely to be punctuated by any significant political catalysts as last year was.

“The uncertainties around Brexit and the US election slowed new issuance momentum in certain months in 2016,” Myers said.

While the markets rebounded quickly from the Brexit vote in the UK, and US President Donald Trump’s election has been followed by a strong market run, it was the period leading up to those two events that saw IPOs getting put on hold, Myers said. Even rumors and poll numbers suggesting the possibility of a Brexit outcome in the weeks leading up to that June vote were enough for European issuers to sit on the sidelines.

“This year we see a more hospitable landscape with the absence of such catalysts and a constructive, pro-growth economic backdrop,” she said.

Investor interest

Investor sentiment has been strong this year, Myers said, from both mutual funds and hedge funds. They are not weighed down by concerns about performance at the beginning of the year the way they are near the end of the year.

Most active managers did not meet their benchmark indexes in 2016 and so at the end of the year were hesitant to take any risk on a higher-volatility asset class like the IPO market.

“Early in the year, investors tend to be more open-minded about new deals and can have more flexibility to take on risk,” she said.

jose cuervoBut she said a variety of factors, not just investor demand, would be driving the IPO market in 2017. In financials, for example, it’s valuation.

“It has become more logical to monetize holdings or raise primary capital in the sector when valuations are trending back to normalized or historical levels,” she said.

In industrials, she said, “Investors are looking for ways to increase exposure to companies that could benefit from an infrastructure spending lift.”

And in technology, she said, it’s both supply and demand. Certainly, the continued demand for software and internet is helping encourage issuers to come forward. But issuers who have formerly raised capital in the private markets are now able to do so at attractive valuations in the public markets, too.

One area to watch

Myers covers IPOs around the world, and one market where her team has been active is Latin America.

“We have seen six equity offerings price in Latin America this year raising just over $3 billion,” she said. “To put the year in context — the last two years we saw $11 billion and $10 billion respectively raised — so this amounts to approximately one-third of the proceeds raised in each of the last two years.”

JPMorgan was on four of those deals.

Jose Cuervo and the cement company Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua priced their IPOs last week, listing on the Mexican stock exchange. JPMorgan was global coordinator for both companies.

Jose Cuervo’s $908 million deal is the largest in Mexico since October 2013, according to Ipreo Capital Markets.

In Brazil, JPMorgan was a bookrunner for the healthcare company Instituto Hermes Pardini, which also priced in February.

“There’s heightened enthusiasm around emerging markets this year,” Myers said.

SEE ALSO: Snap files for its IPO, revealing surging sales growth and huge losses

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The most popular workouts in 25 cities around the world

Yoga pose

Going to a gym is no longer the default choice of exercise for many people around the world.

From ballet-inspired barre classes to indoor cycling studios, there is an increasing number of options to choose from.

Using data from ClassPass, the Google Ventures-backed gym membership startup, these are the most popular workouts in the 25 cities it is active in.

YOGA: Sydney, Australia; Austin, Seattle, Columbus, Ohio, Colorado, Minneapolis, USA.

Yoga dates back to 10,000 years ago, according to some researchers, and it is now popular worldwide. Dozens of studies have linked a regular yoga practice to stronger, more flexible muscles, a healthier heart and, in people with depression and anxiety, a decrease in negative symptoms.

STRENGTH TRAINING: London, UK; Toronto, Canada; Chicago, Nashville, San Francisco, USA.

Strength training involves your muscles resisting some kind of weight — heavy or light. According to the author of “Strength Training for Fat Loss” Nick Tumminello says: “If you’re looking to lose fat, go with strength training.” And if you needed more convincing, it’s how model Kate Upton stays in shape!

CYCLING: Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, USA.

Indoor cycling studios have become increasingly popular as a way to burn a high number of calories. But experts have called the safety of cycling-studio brand SoulCycle’s workouts into question. 

 

 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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