January 28, 2022
Good morning! A year ago, Robinhood was on top of the world. What happened? I’m Hirsh Chitkara, and I miss the old Kanye.
It’s been a year since Robinhood weathered the memestock storm, and the company is now in much worse shape than many of us would have guessed back in January 2021.
Investor confidence won’t be bolstered much by yesterday’s earnings results. Total net revenues dropped to $363 million from $365 million in the preceding quarter. In the quarter before that, Robinhood reported a much better $565 million in net revenue.
Cue the acquisition rumors. JPMorgan Chase would make a lot of sense as a buyer, as Protocol’s Fintech team explained earlier this week. Plenty of other consumer finance companies would welcome Robinhood’s 17.3 million monthly active users, many of whom are young and primed to gain in net worth.
Why are things so bad? It’s easiest to blame Robinhood’s troubles on regulatory fallout from the memestock debacle.
Robinhood’s regulatory troubles have obscured the larger issue: The company lacks an enduring competitive edge.
So what’s next for Robinhood? The short-term outlook hinges on the markets. A crypto comeback would go a long way toward boosting Robinhood’s revenue and lessening net losses in upcoming quarters.
But that long-term plan seems to include a lot of wishful thinking. Tenev said on the call a lot of ex-Robinhood customers wanted to come back but “it wasn't as easy as it should have been for customers to come back to the platform.” Breakups are never easy.
As businesses grow during the pandemic, they also encounter pressing challenges to maintain that success. Among them is the pressure to strengthen their digital backbone, which leads to the question: How can companies find the ideal technology provider suited to their evolving needs?
Amy Klobuchar said lawmakers are getting behind Big Tech bills after “years of inaction”:
Tim Cook was coy about Apple's metaverse plans, but made clear that it's interested:
Remote’s Cassidy Williams said everyone wants a developer relations professional right now:
SoftBank’s Marcelo Claure is planning to leave his COO post. Claure reportedly got into a disagreement over compensation; he’d asked for a $2 billion payday.
Google wants all the blockchain experts. The company’s cloud unit formed a group focused on blockchain applications and wants to hire people with blockchain expertise.
Jake Chapman joined the Army Venture Capital Corporation as managing director. Chapman is a managing partner at Alpha Bridge Ventures.
Gee Rittenhouse is the new CEO of McAfee Enterprise. Rittenhouse most recently led Cisco’s Security Business Group.
Ward Schultz, Nancy Sansom and Alex Hoffmann joined Versapay’s leadership as CFO, CMO and EVP of Payments, respectively.
The Oculus Quest 2 has a new name. The VR headset is now called Meta Quest.
Apple’s supply-chain issues are going away, Tim Cook said during the company’s quarterly earnings call yesterday. He said supply chain concerns were worse in December than they were in September, but he expects them to let up by March.
Broadband services need nutrition labels, too. The FCC approved a plan that would require internet providers to offer labels including information like speed and data allowances.
Spotify’s decision to keep Joe Rogan around speaks volumes. The platform gets too much money and too many people to let him go, even if Rogan has crossed the line, according to The Verge.
And Apple Music is having a field day with it. It created a "We Love Neil" section in the app after Young's music was removed from Spotify in protest of Rogan, and has been not-so-subtly needling Spotify about it all over social media.
Google lengthened its leave benefits. The company added six additional weeks for parental leave and doubled the amount of time workers caring for seriously ill loved ones can take off.
Warner Music Group is introducing a concert hall in the metaverse. The group is opening a space in the virtual world The Sandbox where it’ll host concerts and other “musical experiences.”
One dating app wants to end those dead-end chats. The platform, called Thursday, only lets people use it on one day of the week (Thursdays, of course) in an effort to get people past the small talk faster.
TikTok wants to help people find credible information about anti-Semitism. Users who look up terms related to the Holocaust will be directed to the link aboutholocaust.org.
New emoji incoming! iOS 15.4, which is still in beta, has dozens of new emoji, including new hand gestures, faces and more.
There’s a crutch and a biting lip. There’s a pleading face that’s crying. There are two hands forming a heart and a finger pointing, as well as more-gender-inclusive icons, like a pregnant man. There’s also going to be a finger snap, which we think has a chance of becoming the new applause 👏🏻. Do you have a go-to emoji? Will any of these replace it? Reply to this email, and let us know!
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