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  • Everything We Know About Dave Portnoy’s Pizza Fest

    If you are a fan of pizza and Barstool Sports, you might want to mark your calendar for September 23, 2023. That’s when Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports and the host of the popular One Bite pizza reviews, is hosting his first-ever food and music festival: Dave Portnoy’s One Bite Pizza Festival. The festival, which will take place at Maimonides Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, will feature more than 35 of the world’s greatest pizzerias, including some of Portnoy’s top-rated ones from his One Bite app and videos. Here are some of the names that have been announced so far: Lucali Sally’s Apizza Patsy’s Pizzeria Prince Street Pizza John’s of Bleecker Street DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies Di Fara Pizza Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana Angelo’s Pizzeria South Philly And many more! The festival will also offer interactive pizza experiences, such as a pizza-making workshop, a pizza-eating contest, and a pizza trivia game. Plus, all attendees will get complimentary access to an Italian Dessert Village, featuring NYC favorites like The Lemon Ice King, Ferrara Bakery, Sal & Jerry’s Bakery, and Caffè Arrone. But that’s not all. The festival will also have live performances from musical artists such as Teddy Swims, DJ Irie, and Pup Punk, a parody band featuring some of the Barstool personalities. And of course, Portnoy himself will be there to host the event and do his first-ever One Bite Live on the main stage. Sounds like a dream come true for pizza lovers, right? Well, there is one catch: the tickets are not cheap. The all-inclusive all-you-can-eat pizza tickets start at $149.99 and go up to $299.99 for VIP access4. That might seem like a lot of dough for a slice of pie, but Portnoy claims that it’s worth it. “Don’t sleep on these tickets before they all sell out,” he said in a video announcing the festival. "This is going to be the greatest day in the history of pizza." If you are interested in attending this culinary Mecca of pizza, you can register for the pre-sale now at and get your tickets starting Friday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m. ET. But hurry up, because they might sell out fast. And remember: one bite, everybody knows the rules.

  • How Scale AI Became a $7 Billion AI Data Powerhouse: Business Model Breakdown

    Scale AI, a San Francisco-based startup that provides data labeling and annotation services for artificial intelligence, has emerged as one of the most valuable players in the AI industry. The company has raised over $600 million from prominent investors such as Excel Founders Fund and Index Ventures and boasts a valuation of more than $7 billion. With that hefty valuation co-founder and CEO, Alexander Wang became the youngest self-made billionaire in 2021 at the age of 24 (in terms of paper valuation) In this article, We will break down Scale AI's business model, How is it they actually do? How much do they make money? What is Scale AI's future? Early Days of Scale AI So Scale AI was born in YC's 2016 batch from the minds of two prodigies: Lucy Guo and Alexander Wang. Lucy, a Carnegie Mellon University dropout and a Thiel Fellow, had worked at tech giants like Facebook (now Meta), Quora, and Snapchat. Alexander, a former tech lead at Quora while still in high school. The two met at Quora and decided to launch Scale AI together. The original idea behind Scale AI was to create an API for human tasks, offering an on-demand workforce to perform various tasks that were too difficult for algorithms. However, as the demand for AI training data soared, Scale AI shifted its focus to become a data labeling and annotation platform, helping big companies transform raw data into high-quality training data for AI development. In simple terms, Companies like Tesla give all their raw data (unlabeled data) to Scale which uses its AI and cheap labor to label roads, pedestrians etc. This helps Telsa to train its cars to not hit pedestrians making its Self-driving cars smarter. Scale AI's Business Model Data labeling and annotation is the main service that Scale AI offers today. Its core product is the Scale API, which allows customers to access a network of human annotators and machine learning models to label and annotate various types of data, such as images, text, audio, video, and 3D point clouds. They also offer two generative AI platforms, Scale Donovan for enterprises and Scale Donovan for the US government and defense, enabling smarter decision-making and better organization of data. The Scale API supports a wide range of use cases, such as autonomous driving, natural language processing, computer vision, robotics, and e-commerce. Some of Scale AI’s notable customers include OpenAI, Pinterest, Airbnb, DoorDash, Lyft, and Nuro. Scale AI claims that its data labeling and annotation services are faster, cheaper, and more accurate than other alternatives. The company also says that it uses advanced quality assurance processes and feedback loops to ensure the consistency and reliability of its data. In 2022, Scale AI made over $290 Million in revenue with a 61% Growth Rate according to Sacra Platforms. t is important to note that Scale AI's revenues are inflated due to the recent AI frenzy in the market. We saw this with Nvidia which recently crossed $1 Trillion in market cap, In the long term companies like Scale AI will definitely struggle after the AI buzz cools down and will have to look for sources to sustain its growth. Scale AI’s Criticisms One of the main criticisms that Scale AI faces is the ethical and social implications of its data labeling and annotation practices. Remotetasks, a Scale AI subsidiary hires a large pool of human workers, mostly from developing countries, to perform tedious and low-paid tasks sometimes less than $1/ per hour to label data. On the website's homepage, The company claims to pay over $15 million since its inception to over 240,000 workers. The data which these companies give to Scale AI may be sensitive or personal, This is a big concern regarding privacy and security. We did an interview with a Remotetask worker, He told us that the company pays him between $1~$2 for an hour of data labeling this rate also depends upon the type of tasks done by them. For example, If they label images by choosing between 4 options, they are paid less but if they describe the image for about 40 words, they get paid a $1 dollar more. Other big companies also do this, Google is notorious for not paying even a cent to data labelers. They promise to gift a hamper to the highest person on the leaderboard (who does the most tasks for free). The gift is also not fancy it contains a generic bag and bottle. Scale AI is also facing increasing competition from other players in the data labeling and annotation market, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, Labelbox, CloudFactory, and Appen. These competitors may offer similar or better services at lower prices or with more features. Scale AI will have to constantly innovate and improve its products and services to maintain its edge and reputation in the industry. Scale AI’s vision for the future of AI is to create a platform that can handle any type of data and any type of task. The company believes that by providing high-quality data for AI development, it can enable the creation of more powerful and beneficial AI applications that can solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. Scale AI also hopes to democratize access to AI by making it easier and cheaper for anyone to use its platform. As Alexander Wang said in an interview with Forbes: “We want to be the AWS for AI.”

  • How Orlando Bravo built a $130 Billion Software Powerhouse?

    Orlando Bravo is a billionaire private equity investor and the co-founder and managing partner of Thoma Bravo, a firm that focuses solely on software deals. He has been named "Wall Street's best dealmaker" by Forbes and "Private equity's king of SaaS" by the Financial Times. In today's article, We will explore how he built Thoma Bravo which has over $130 Billion in AUM. Orlando Bravo's Background Orlando Bravo was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where his grandfather and father ran a shipping business. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in economics and political science, and then earned a JD from Stanford Law School and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He started his career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where he developed an interest in software. He joined Thoma Bravo in 1998, when it was still called Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, and became a partner in 2003. He led the firm's early entry into software buyouts, convinced that software was the future of every industry. He also saw an opportunity to apply a strategy of operational improvement and growth acceleration to software companies, which were often undervalued and undermanaged. He split with his healthcare-focused partner Brian Cressey in 2008 and created Thoma Bravo with Carl Thoma, a software-dedicated buyout shop. Since then, he has overseen over 440 software acquisitions conducted by the firm, representing more than $250 billion in transaction value. He has also expanded the firm's strategy to include minority growth equity investments in software companies through its Growth platform. Bravo's Investment Strategy and Performance Orlando Bravo has a clear and consistent investment strategy that has delivered superior returns for his investors. He invests only in well-established software companies, especially those with clearly discernible moats, such as high switching costs, recurring revenue streams, loyal customers, and strong market positions. He avoids startups, turnarounds, or unproven technologies. He then works closely with the management teams of his portfolio companies to improve their operations, margins, and growth rates. He leverages his firm's expertise and network in the software industry to help them optimize their pricing, sales, marketing, product development, customer service, and M&A strategies. He also encourages them to invest in innovation and customer satisfaction. Big Exits Ellie Mae: Thoma Bravo acquired Ellie Mae, a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for the mortgage industry, for $3.7 billion in 2019. It helped Ellie Mae grow its revenue by 40%, expand its market share by 50%, and launch new products and services. It then sold Ellie Mae to Intercontinental Exchange for $11 billion in 2020, generating a 3x return on its investment. Qlik Technologies: Thoma Bravo took Qlik Technologies, a leader in data analytics and business intelligence software, private for $3 billion in 2016. It helped Qlik transition from a license-based model to a subscription-based model, increase its cloud revenue by over 300%, acquire new customers and partners, and enhance its product portfolio. It then sold Qlik to Bain Capital for $5.3 billion in 2021, generating a 1.8x return on its investment. Planview: It acquired Planview, a provider of project and portfolio management software, for $1.6 billion in 2017. It helped Planview grow its revenue by over 50%, expand its product offerings, and make strategic acquisitions. It then sold Planview to TPG Capital and TA Associates for $4 billion in 2020, generating a 2.5x return on its investment. Cority: It acquired Cority, a provider of environmental, health, safety and quality software, for an undisclosed amount in 2019. It helped Cority grow its revenue by over 40%, expand its global presence, and enhance its product capabilities. It then sold Cority to EQT Partners for an undisclosed amount in 2021, generating a reportedly high return on its investment. Big Buyouts Proofpoint: Thoma Bravo completed the take-private acquisition of Proofpoint, a leading cybersecurity and compliance company, for approximately $12.3 billion in 2021. This represents not only Thoma Bravo’s largest investment to date, but the largest cloud deal in private equity history. Thoma Bravo plans to help Proofpoint accelerate its growth, innovation, and customer success in the cybersecurity market. Medallia: They completed the acquisition of Medallia, a leader in customer and employee experience management software, for approximately $6.4 billion in 2021. Thoma Bravo intends to help Medallia expand its product portfolio, customer base, and global footprint in the experience management market. Talend: It is a leader in data integration and data integrity software, for approximately $2.4 billion in 2021. Thoma Bravo aims to help Talend accelerate its cloud transformation, innovation, and growth in the data market. Magnet Forensics: They completed the acquisition of Magnet Forensics, a provider of digital forensics software, for approximately CA $1.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) in 2022. Thoma Bravo plans to help Magnet Forensics expand its product offerings, customer segments, and geographic reach in the digital forensics market. According to its website, Thoma Bravo has achieved an annual gross internal rate of return (IRR) of 30% across all funds since inception. It has also surpassed $100 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2021. Orlando Bravo is different from other venture capitalists like Sequoia and Tiger Global in several ways. First, he is not a venture capitalist, but a private equity investor, which means he buys majority stakes in mature companies rather than minority stakes in startups. He does not take on the risk of backing unproven ideas or technologies but rather focuses on enhancing the value of existing businesses. Second, he is more focused and specialized in software than other private equity firms, which may invest in a variety of sectors and industries. He has developed a deep understanding of the software market dynamics, trends, opportunities, and challenges. He has also built a strong reputation and network among software entrepreneurs, executives, customers, and advisors. Third, he is more aggressive and ambitious in pursuing large and complex deals, such as taking public companies private or merging multiple software businesses. He has the ability to raise large amounts of capital from his investors and co-investors to finance these transactions. He also has the experience and skill to execute these deals successfully and create synergies among his portfolio companies. Other venture capitalists can learn from Orlando Bravo's secrets to success, such as: - Finding a niche and becoming an expert in it - Investing in companies with strong competitive advantages and loyal customers - Working closely with management teams to improve their operations and growth - Encouraging innovation and customer satisfaction - Pursuing large and complex deals that create value Conclusion Orlando Bravo is a successful private equity investor and the co-founder and managing partner of Thoma Bravo, a firm that focuses solely on software deals. He has achieved remarkable success in the software industry by following a clear and consistent investment strategy, improving the operations and growth of his portfolio companies, and pursuing large and complex deals. He is different from other venture capitalists in terms of his focus, specialization, and aggressiveness. He has also made a positive impact on the software landscape and society through his investments and philanthropy. He is a role model and a leader for anyone who wants to succeed in the software industry.

  • Reddit’s API War: How a Billion-Dollar Company is Killing its Best Apps

    If you are a fan of Reddit, you may have noticed that some of your favorite third-party apps are shutting down or announcing their imminent demise. In this article, we will explain the background and details of this drama, and what it means for the future of Reddit and its community. What is an API and why does it matter? An API, or application programming interface, is a set of rules and protocols that allow different software applications to communicate and exchange data with each other. For example, when you use a third-party app like Apollo to browse Reddit, the app sends requests to Reddit's API to fetch posts, comments, votes, messages, etc., and then displays them in a user-friendly interface on your device. The API also allows the app to send data back to Reddit, such as when you upvote a post, reply to a comment, or create a new post. APIs are essential for creating diverse and innovative applications that can leverage the data and functionality of existing platforms. However, APIs also come with costs and limitations. The platform that provides the API has to maintain servers, bandwidth, security, and updates to handle the requests from the apps. The platform also has to ensure that the apps using its API are following its terms of service, policies, and guidelines. Therefore, the platform may charge fees or impose quotas or restrictions on the apps that use its API. What did Reddit change and why? On May 25th, 2023, Reddit announced that it was revising its API pricing model effective from July 1st, 2023. The new model would charge app developers based on the number of requests they make to the API per month. The first 10 million requests would be free, but after that, each additional request would cost $0.002. This means that if an app makes 20 million requests in a month, it would have to pay $20,000 to Reddit. Reddit explained that this change was necessary to cover the costs of providing the API service and to ensure its quality and reliability. Reddit also claimed that this change would only affect a small number of apps that were making excessive or inefficient requests to the API. Reddit said that it had contacted these app developers in advance and offered them assistance and guidance on optimizing their apps and reducing their API usage. How did Apollo and other apps react? However, many app developers were not happy with this change and felt that it was unfair and unreasonable. They argued that Reddit was effectively pricing them out of business and forcing them to shut down their apps or pass on the costs to their users. They also said that Reddit had not given them enough support to make the necessary app changes. One of the most vocal critics was Christian Selig, the developer of Apollo. He posted a detailed explanation on his subreddit r/apolloapp about how this change would affect his app and his livelihood. He said that Apollo was making about 30 million requests per month on average, which would cost him $40,000 per month under the new model. He said that this was far more than what he was earning from his app through ads and subscriptions. He also said that he had not received any communication from Reddit about this change until May 25th, when he received an email informing him about it. Selig said that he had tried to optimize his app as much as possible over the years, but there were some limitations imposed by Reddit's API design and features that prevented him from reducing his requests further. He also said that he had tried to contact Reddit several times to discuss this issue and seek a solution, but he had not received any help from them. Selig said that he had no choice but to shut down Apollo by June 30th unless Reddit changed its mind or offered him a reasonable alternative. He also said that he loved working on Apollo, but he could not afford to lose money every month for doing so. Selig's post received a lot of support and sympathy from his users and other app developers who were facing similar problems. Many other third-party apps announced their plans to shut down or limit their functionality due to Reddit's API change. Some examples are Sync, RIF, Reddplant, Boost for Reddit, Slide for Reddit, Joey for Reddit, etc. How did Reddit's CEO respond? Reddit's co-founder and CEO, Steve Huffman, aka u/spez, decided to address this issue and answer some questions from the community in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on June 9th, 2023. However, instead of offering an apology or a compromise, he doubled down on his accusations against Selig and other app developers. He said that Reddit's API change was fair and reasonable and that it only affected a small number of apps that were making inefficient or excessive requests to the API. He said that Reddit had contacted these app developers in advance and offered them help and guidance on optimizing their apps and reducing their API usage. Huffman also singled out Selig and accused him of extortion and blackmail. He said that Selig had threatened to shut down Apollo unless Reddit paid him $20 million per year. He said that this was unacceptable and unethical behavior and that he could not see Reddit working with Selig in the future. Huffman's AMA was met with a lot of criticism and backlash from the Reddit community. Many users accused him of being dishonest, arrogant, and disrespectful. They said that he was ignoring the facts and evidence presented by Selig and other app developers and that he was trying to discredit them and shift the blame. They also said that he was harming Reddit's reputation and alienating its users by forcing them to use the official app or the website, which many users found inferior or unsatisfactory. What is the future outlook? As of June 13th, 2023, there has been no resolution or change in the situation. Reddit's API change is still scheduled to take effect on July 1st, 2023, and many third-party apps are still preparing to shut down or limit their functionality by then. Selig has not received any response or offer from Reddit and has confirmed that Apollo's last day of operation will be June 30th, 2023. The future outlook for Reddit and its community is uncertain and bleak. Many users are unhappy and frustrated with Reddit's decision and Huffman's attitude, and are considering leaving the platform or finding alternatives. Many app developers are disappointed and discouraged by Reddit's lack of support and appreciation for their work and are losing their motivation or passion for creating apps for Reddit. Many observers are wondering if Reddit is making a strategic mistake or a fatal error by alienating its loyal and passionate users and developers. Reddit may have some valid reasons for changing its API pricing model, but it may have also underestimated the impact and consequences of doing so. Reddit may have hoped to save some costs or improve some metrics by doing so, but it may have also lost some trust and goodwill from its community by doing so. Reddit may have tried to defend its decision or justify its actions by doing so, but it may have also damaged its reputation or credibility by doing so.

  • Page Twenty One HQ #4

    In this article, we talk about what's new happening on Page 21 HQ To readers, Page 21 HQ is a monthly company update to inform readers on what's happening inside the HQ as we believe transparency is critical in building an audience. What's new: Happenings at Page21 HQ Enterprise-focused newsletter brands More long-form content Paywall on business case studies By Numbers: The website's monthly visitors grew to 9,979 (Google Analytics) Pinterest views also dropped to 56K monthly view Website impressions increased to 137K YouTube channels views stayed flat at 87.7K views Website revenue grew by 26% while YouTube ad revenue dropped by 4.3% Next few months: We will focus on long-form content and of course TLDR News. The newsletter will remain our main focus, We hope to introduce more newsletter brands to cover more topics. Any news update will be posted on Twitter @prakhar.48 Thank You, See you next month!

  • Wall Street Pushes Jamie Dimon to Run for President in 2024

    Jamie Dimon, the chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., has been urged by some of his Wall Street peers to run for president in the next election after he hinted that he has considered pursuing a political career. Bill Ackman, the billionaire founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, said in a lengthy tweet that Dimon is a "great American" who has the "courage, character, judgment and leadership skills" to be president¹. Ackman added that Dimon has a "unique understanding" of the economy, business, government, and foreign affairs and that he would have his "full support" if he decides to run. Dimon, 67, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday that he loves his country and that "maybe one day" he will serve it in one capacity or another. He did not specify what kind of public office he had in mind, but his comments sparked speculation about his potential presidential ambitions. Dimon is among the most powerful and respected figures in corporate America. He has built a banking empire at JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank by assets, and his advice is sought by presidents, prime ministers, and central bankers. He has also been outspoken on various public policy issues, such as immigration, infrastructure, education, and health care. However, Dimon has also faced criticism and controversy for his role in the financial crisis of 2008-2009, when JPMorgan Chase received billions of dollars in government bailouts and acquired troubled rivals such as Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. He has also clashed with regulators over the bank's risk management practices and paid billions of dollars in fines and settlements for various misconduct cases. Dimon has repeatedly joked that he plans to remain atop JPMorgan Chase for five more years, no matter when he is asked. He has also been quick to shut down speculation of a presidential run that has cropped up periodically over the past decade. In 2018, he said he could beat Donald Trump in an election, saying he was "as tough" and "smarter" than him. Later that same day, he said he shouldn't have picked the fight and that he wasn't running for president. Some analysts have questioned whether Dimon would have a realistic chance of winning the presidency, given his age, his Wall Street background and his moderate political views. He has described himself as a "patriotic Democrat" who is "barely" a Democrat⁴. He has also expressed frustration with both major parties and the political gridlock in Washington. Still, some of his supporters believe that Dimon could appeal to a broad range of voters who are looking for a pragmatic and experienced leader who can tackle the economic and social challenges facing the country. They also point to his philanthropic efforts, such as the $500 million pledge to revitalize struggling US cities that he announced in 2018. Dimon has not given any clear indication of his plans for the future, but he has said that he will continue to serve his country in some way. "I love what I do," he said on Wednesday. "I love helping Americans, for helping countries around the world."

  • Ginkgo Bioworks: Rise and Fall of $15 Billion Biotech Unicorn

    Ginkgo Bioworks was a $15 Billion biotech company backed by investors like Cathie Wood, and Bill Gates. It specializes in using genetic engineering to produce bacteria with industrial applications for other biotech companies. Since its market debut, Ginkgo Bioworks stock has plunged by a whopping 80%. This is due to doubts about its valuation, technology, and business model. Scorpion Capital, a notorious short-seller, alleged that Ginkgo was faking its revenue through a complex scheme. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history, business model, and finances of Ginkgo Bioworks, and try to understand how it went from being a promising biotech unicorn to being accused of being a massive fraud. We will also explore the potential and challenges of synthetic biology as a field, and whether Ginkgo Bioworks has any real value or impact. History of Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo Bioworks was founded in 2008 by five MIT scientists: Tom Knight, Reshma Shetty, Jason Kelly, Barry Canton, and Austin Che. Originally named DNA 2.0, and was based on the idea that DNA could be used as a digital code to program cells like computers. The founders were inspired by the vision of synthetic biology, which aims to create novel biological systems and products that can address global challenges such as climate change, food security, and health care. The company’s name was changed to Ginkgo Bioworks in 2011, after the ginkgo tree, which is one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. The company’s logo is a stylized representation of the ginkgo leaf, which has a distinctive fan shape. The company’s motto is “The Organism Company”, which reflects its mission to engineer organisms for various applications in industries such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. Ginkgo Bioworks's Business Model Ginkgo's core technology is its platform that uses automation and machine learning to design, test, and optimize synthetic organisms in its “foundry”. The platform consists of software, hardware, and wetware components that enable rapid and scalable engineering of microbes. The software component includes tools for designing DNA sequences, simulating biological pathways, and analyzing data. The company’s business model is to offer its platform as a service to other biotech companies, saving them the cost and time of reproducing the initial stages of design in synthetic biology. The company charges its customers for the use of its foundry and also takes royalties or shares of its customers’ revenues. Although it should be noted that Ginko hasn't really invented anything new all of the hardware for their foundry are purchased from companies like Thermo Fisher and Pacific biosciences while Ginkgo has developed some proprietary software to operate these machines, The machines are commercially available to all of Ginkgo's competitors. The company has partnered with several companies such as Bayer, Roche, and Cargill, to engineer microbes for various applications such as producing nitrogen fertilizer, manufacturing antibiotics, and fermenting animal feed. Rise of Ginkgo Bioworks The company has been one of the most successful and well-funded biotech startups in the world, raising over $2 billion from investors such as Viking Global, Baillie Gifford, Bill Gates, and Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest. The company went public in September 2021 via a SPAC merger with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp., valuing it at $15 billion. The company also acquired the ticker symbol “DNA” from Genentech, who stopped using it after they were acquired by Roche. However, the company’s prospects have been challenged by a scathing short-seller report from Scorpion Capital, which accused Ginkgo of being a “colossal scam” and a “Frankenstein mash-up of the worst frauds of the last 20 years”. Even MIT magazine was not impressed by Ginkgo Bioworks’ story. The article questioned the company’s valuation of $15 billion, which is based on its vision and potential rather than its actual products and revenue. It seems that the magazine is not very supportive of its own alumni’s ventures, especially when they involve synthetic biology. Read the article. Short Report’s Allegations Scorpion Capital released a 175-page report on Ginkgo Bioworks, based on research and conversations with former and current employees of both Ginkgo and the companies it works with. The report made several damning allegations against Ginkgo, such as: Inflating its revenue with related-party transactions: The report claimed that most of Ginkgo’s revenue comes from providing research services to other entities that it created, funded, or controlled, such as Joyn Bio, Motif Foodworks, and Cronos Group. According to Scorpion Capital, The majority of its foundry revenue, an absurd 72% in 2020, and essentially 100% of its deferred revenue are derived from related-party “customers” it created, funded, controls, or influences via its ownership position and board seats. Investments into these entities by Ginkgo and its largest investors are recycled back to Ginkgo and recorded as deferred or current revenue. The scheme reflects its woeful, decade-long failure to derive real revenue from third-party customers, forcing it to cover it up with a ploy that we believe to be enabled by its largest holders. These entities are not independent third-party customers, but rather shell companies that exist to funnel money to Ginkgo and inflate its valuation. The report also alleged that Ginkgo uses accounting gimmicks to recognize revenue upfront from these entities, even though they have not paid any cash or delivered any products. An ex-employee of Ginkgo who worked at Intrexon stated that Ginkgo copied their playbook; says he’s “been around the block enough times to understand” Ginkgo’s related-party games; and noted it’s the same model where money is “going from the left hand to the right.” The report also accused Ginkgo of lying about its involvement in covid-19 vaccine and therapeutic development, and of overstating its potential in other markets such as agriculture, nutrition, and health. Ginkgo-Synlogic Scam Scorpion Capital accused Ginkgo of faking its revenue with its own subsidiaries, where Ginkgo creates, funds, or controls other entities that act as its customers. One example of such an entity is Synlogic, a biotech company that develops synthetic biotic medicines using Ginkgo’s platform. In June 2019, Ginkgo and Synlogic announced a scheme that involved an $80 million equity investment at a premium in Synlogic by Ginkgo and entry into a long-term strategic platform collaboration. However, the investment was not a cash payment, but rather a gave Synlogic the right to buy Ginkgo’s shares at $9 per share. The collaboration was not based on cash payments, but rather on research credits that Synlogic could use to access Ginkgo’s platform. Scorpion Capital exposed the Ginkgo-Synlogic scheme as a sham and a shell game, where Ginkgo is essentially paying itself to generate revenue. The report claimed that Synlogic is not a bona fide customer of Ginkgo, but rather a related party that is controlled by Ginkgo. The report pointed out that Ginkgo owns 13.5% of Synlogic’s shares, and that Ginkgo’s largest shareholder, Viking Global Investors, also owns 16.4% of Synlogic’s shares. Scorpion also claimed that Synlogic is not a viable company, but rather a money-losing venture that has no meaningful products or revenues. The report said that Synlogic has been burning cash at an alarming rate, with a cumulative net loss of $338 million since its inception. It also pointed out that Synlogic has no approved products or late-stage clinical trials, and that its lead candidate, SYNB1618, for phenylketonuria (PKU), failed to show any efficacy in a phase 2 trial. The report argued that Synlogic is dependent on Ginkgo’s funding and services to survive. Short Report’s Impact The report had a significant impact on Ginkgo’s stock price and reputation. On the day of the report’s release, Ginkgo’s stock price dropped by 24%, wiping out $4 billion of its market value. The stock price has continued to decline since then, reaching a low of $2.99 on January 12, 2022, down 71.8% from its IPO price of $10.604. On October 6, 2021, the same day as the report’s release, a class action lawsuit was filed against Ginkgo, Soaring Eagle, and their executives, alleging that they violated federal securities laws by making false and misleading statements about Ginkgo’s business, operations and prospects. On November 19, 2021, another class action lawsuit was filed against Ginkgo and its executives, accusing them of trying to conceal that most of Ginkgo’s revenue was generated through other entities it created, funded, or controlled. On December 9, 2021, Ginkgo disclosed that it had received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting information related to its revenue recognition policies and practices. Ginkgo's Financials Ginkgo’s total revenue was $478 million in 2022, representing an increase of 52% over 2021 and toward the high end of guidance. This revenue was mainly driven by its Biosecurity business unit, which provides COVID-19 testing and genomic surveillance services. Ginkgo’s Biosecurity revenue was $334 million in 2022, representing growth of 66% over 2021 and more than doubling the original guidance provided in March 2022. Ginkgo’s other main source of revenue is its Cell Engineering business unit, which offers cell programming services to customers across markets such as food, health, and consumer goods. Ginkgo’s Cell Engineering revenue was $144 million in 2022, representing growth of 27% over 2021. Ginkgo added 59 new Cell Programs to its platform in 2022, representing 90% growth over 2021 and toward the high end of guidance. However, Ginkgo also incurred significant losses in 2022. The company reported a net loss of $337 million in 2022, compared to a net loss of $217 million in 2021, an increase of 55%. This was mainly due to higher operating expenses, such as research and development, sales and marketing, and general and administrative costs. Ginkgo’s operating expenses were $815 million in 2022, compared to $434 million in 2021, an increase of 88%. For 2023, Ginkgo expects its total revenue to be between $500 million and $550 million, representing a growth of 5% to 15% over 2022. The company expects its Cell Engineering revenue to be between $200 million and $250 million, representing a growth of 39% to 74% over 2022. The company expects its Biosecurity revenue to decline by 10% to 20% because Ginkgo anticipates a decrease in testing demand as the pandemic subsides. Final Thoughts Ginkgo, like many other young companies in this field, has a big problem with huge net losses. The company lost almost $205 million in the quarter, or 11 cents per share, which was worse than what analysts expected by 2 cents. This loss was smaller than the same quarter last year, which had a big charge for paying employees with stock. But adjusted EBITDA was negative $100 million, compared to almost breaking even a year before. These big losses are making the company spend a lot of cash right now. Free cash flow was negative $110 million in the quarter, up from less than $25 million in the same quarter last year. This is not a big issue right now because the company had $1.2 billion in cash at the end of Q1, but it will need to be careful. The main issue here is that a lot of the net loss adjustments on the cash flow statement are because of paying employees with stock, which means investors are getting less ownership of the company every quarter. In short: Ginkgo Bioworks is a synthetic biology company that has been targeted by a short-seller report from Scorpion Capital, which accused it of being a colossal scam and a Frankenstein mash-up of the worst frauds. The report had a negative impact on Ginkgo’s stock price and reputation and triggered legal actions and investigations against the company. Ginkgo has denied the allegations and defended its business model and performance, and published a rebuttal to the report. The outcome of this dispute remains to be seen, as both sides have presented conflicting arguments and evidence.

  • Restaurant Brands Asia (RBA) Reports Strong Performance in Q1 FY23 Earnings Call Highlights

    Restaurant Brands Asia ($RBA), the quick-service restaurant company, held its Q1 2023 earnings call, highlighting impressive growth and outlining strategic initiatives for the future. Rajeev Varman, CEO of RBA, along with other key executives, shared the company's achievements and plans with participants. Here are the key highlights from the call: Strong Financial Performance: Gross profit margins remained robust at 66.5% throughout the year. The company targets a 67% gross profit margin for the upcoming year, with a further 2% improvement in the following years. Efforts to control costs and improve efficiency have shown positive results, with a target of 10% SSG regrowth by the end of FY2024. Expansion Plans: The company aims to reach 450 stores by FY2024, with a long-term goal of 700 stores by December 2026. In India and Indonesia combined, Restaurant Brands Asia plans to have 325 stores by reaching the milestone of 700 stores in the next three years. Focus on expanding Popeye's brand, targeting 25 stores by March 2023 in Indonesia. The company aims to achieve cash breakeven in Indonesia by FY2024. While this presents exciting growth opportunities, penetrating new markets like Indonesia will be challenging and expensive due to varying consumer preferences, local competition, and regulatory complexities. Building a Strong Dessert Portfolio: Recognizing the high consumption of desserts in the Indonesian market, Restaurant Brands Asia capitalized on this opportunity. Partnering with Nestle, the company launched its first branded dessert called "KitKat Fusion" at an affordable price of 16,000. The launch of KitKat Fusion resulted in three times the volume of sales and a significant increase in customer engagement. The company plans to launch innovative and affordable desserts throughout the year as part of its ongoing strategy. Enhanced Efficiency and Cost Management: Continued focus on driving down costs through increased buying quantities and decreased transportation costs. Efforts to reduce consumption and optimize utilities to combat inflationary pressures. Stabilization of investments made in Q2 2022, leading to a decrease in labor costs and improved cost-per-labor ratios. Advertising and Media Spend: The company's media spend, governed by its marketing fund, will remain at 5% of total revenues. Despite the inflationary environment, the company plans to continue investing in advertising and communication to promote its restaurants. The company has substantial resources within the 5% media spend to support its promotional activities. Competition and Growth Outlook: Recognizing the evolving competition, the company views every cuisine as a competitor, not just within the QSR category. Although there is competition from both national and local players, Restaurant Brands Asia remains confident in its in its ability to differentiate itself through its unique brand offerings, quality food, and excellent customer service. Digital Transformation and Technology: Restaurant Brands Asia continues to invest in digital initiatives to enhance the customer experience and drive sales. The company has successfully implemented online ordering and delivery services, which have contributed to increased sales during the pandemic. Ongoing efforts to improve digital platforms and loyalty programs are expected to further boost customer engagement and retention. Sustainable Practices and Social Responsibility: Restaurant Brands Asia remains committed to sustainability and social responsibility. Company has implemented various eco-friendly initiatives, such as reducing single-use plastic, optimizing waste management, and promoting energy-efficient practices. Furthermore, Restaurant Brands Asia actively participates in community outreach programs and supports local charitable organizations. International Markets and Future Expansion: Restaurant Brands Asia is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth potential in international markets. The company is exploring opportunities to expand its presence in other Southeast Asian countries, leveraging its successful business model. Strategic partnerships, joint ventures, and franchise agreements are among the avenues being pursued to accelerate expansion. Link to the Earnings Call Transcript: RBA BSE In conclusion, Restaurant Brands Asia's Q1 2023 earnings call showcased the company's strong financial performance, expansion plans, and strategic initiatives. With a focus on building a robust dessert portfolio, enhancing efficiency, and investing in digital transformation, the company is well-prepared to capitalize on growth opportunities while maintaining its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, it also faces obstacles such as market saturation, supply chain disruptions, and operational efficiency improvements. By addressing these challenges head-on and leveraging its brand strength and customer-centric approach, Restaurant Brands Asia can navigate the competitive landscape and continue its growth trajectory in the quick-service restaurant industry.

  • Is it time to ditch Chrome for Microsoft Edge? Here's why

    When it comes to browsing the internet, most people use Google Chrome as their go-to browser. As a long-time user of both Chrome and Edge, I can confidently say that Microsoft Edge has significantly improved than Chrome itself. From its better RAM management to its powerful features, Edge has become my go-to browser for all my browsing needs. In this article, I will explain why Edge is better than Chrome and why I made the switch. 1. RAM Management One of the biggest problems with Chrome is its high RAM usage. If you have ever used Chrome on a laptop or desktop with limited RAM, you know how frustrating it can be to have multiple tabs open and watch as Chrome eats up all of your available memory. Although Edge is built on Chromium, it offers much better RAM management. I have noticed that I can keep 10 -15 tabs open in Edge without any noticeable impact on my computer's performance. It also allows you to set a limit on CPU usage for individual tabs or even extensions and another feature is you can put tabs to sleep meaning the background process stops, which helps a lot if you're browsing 20 tabs at once. By Numbers: We ran a test on this and found that Chrome used more RAM on various tests. For example, with 60 tabs open, Chrome used 3.7 GB, while Edge only used 2.9 GB. 2. Advance PDF Reader Another advantage of Edge over Chrome is its PDF reader. Edge's PDF reader allows you to edit, highlight, and do much more with PDF files than Chrome's PDF reader does. This is a huge plus for me, as I often need to work with PDF files, and being able to edit them without having to use a separate program is a big time-saver. In addition, Edge's PDF reader is faster and more responsive than Chrome's, which makes it a pleasure to use. It also allows you to listen to your pdf, Read Along this feature is a text-to-speech tool that can read web pages and documents out loud. I find this feature helpful when I need to read a long article or document, but don't want to strain my eyes by reading it on the screen. 3. Temporary Download Another feature that I love about Edge is its ability to temporarily download files. This is a huge advantage for me because I often come across files that I need to view quickly, but don't necessarily want to download and clutter up my computer's hard drive. With Edge's temporary download feature, I can view the file without actually downloading it. This is a big convenience for me, and another reason why I have made the switch to Edge. 4. AI Integration Edge's integration of ChatGPT 4 in browsing allows you to summarize articles or PDF documents. You can also ask questions without opening another tab. This is a huge advantage for me as I am always looking for ways to streamline my workflow and save time. It also has Grammarly-like writing assistance including spelling, grammar, and synonym suggestions across the web plus it's free, unlike grammarly which cost $20. Although it should it pointed it is a beta version at the time of writing. Recently, Edge updated its UI which allows you to use certain apps on the side without opening other tabs like you can use Spotify on the side panel. It also has many other features like Maths Slover, Shopping Price Tracker, Edge's spinoff of Similar Web, AirDrop, etc. 5. Chrome Extensions in Edge Lastly, Edge has all the features of Chrome, as it is built on Chromium, an open-source version of Chrome. This means that you can download Chrome extensions from its web store and use them in Edge. This is a huge advantage for me as I have many Chrome extensions that I use on a daily basis. When switching to Edge from other browsers it instantly syncs all your bookmarks and extensions in under a minute. In conclusion, I highly recommend making the switch from Chrome to Edge. The benefits that Edge offers in terms of RAM management, PDF reader, Read Along feature, temporary download option, AI integration, built-in dictionary, and more make it the superior browser in my opinion. The user interface and ability to use Chrome extensions in Edge make the transition even easier. Editor Note: The article is not an AD or affiliated with Microsoft, At Page 21 we believe every interesting product story should be covered.

  • How Franchise Transforms the Hotel Industry: A Case Study of Hotel Chains

    The luxury hotel industry is undergoing a major transformation as more chains adopt the franchise model instead of owning and operating their own properties. This article will explore the reasons behind this trend and its implications for the future of the hotel industry. The hotel industry is a highly profitable business, despite being seasonal in nature. The price, quality of service, and amenities provided by the hotel depend on the type of hotel you go to. The hotel industry can be broadly classified into 4 main types – luxury, upscale, midscale, and economy. Today, We are going only going to focus on Luxury hotel chains like Hilton, Marriot, IHG, etc, and will understand why they are shifting their business model to franchisees. In this article: What is Franchise? How did Franchise transform Hotel Industry Pros & Cons Impact of Pandemic Future of Franchise Also, Read How Hilton Hotels Benefited from Franchising Model? What is Franchise? Franchising is a business model where a company allows independent business owners to operate under its name and brand while adhering to specific rules and guidelines. Think of McDonld's or Domino's. The hotel industry is no exception to this trend, with many hotel chains leveraging the benefits of franchising to expand their business, increase their market share, and offer greater convenience to their customers. This article explores how franchising has transformed the hotel industry, using case studies of successful hotel chains. How did Franchises transform Hotel Industry? In 2010, roughly 70% of branded hotels were franchised operations. By 2019, that figure rose to roughly 80%. Hotel companies are increasingly shifting towards franchising. While moving away from ownership of the real estate, they also earn a consistent stream of revenue from franchise agreements, while possessing more capital to invest (capital freed up by moving away from ownership) and expand their brand. Hence, this expansion implies that franchise hotels are more likely to outperform owner-operated hotels, as they are closer to economies of scale. Additionally, these corporations will possess fewer liabilities (as they don’t need to take on debt to buy real estate) and hence have stronger balance sheets. This will be rewarded with higher stock prices. The franchise model is a type of business model in which a business owner (the franchisor) shares their brand products, services, and business plan with a third party (the franchisee) so the franchisee can open their own branch under the franchise. For example, the franchisor would be a hotel brand, such as JW Marriot. The franchisee is the third party that owns the property – this could be an independent owner, a real estate company, etc. The franchisee pays a franchise fee to the franchisor to use their brand and receive support in operating their business. This fee will include initial investment and other smaller fees that cover aspects such as marketing, brand compliance, and quality control. Owners are often real estate investment groups or real estate investment trusts (REITs) that pool investor money to buy hotel real estate assets, namely the land, and buildings. These owners then usually franchise a hotel brand, sometimes known as Flags, to operate the hotel under. Pros & Cons of Franchising Hotels The hotel industry has been transformed by franchising in several ways: Rapid Expansion: Franchising allows hotel chains to expand rapidly without having to bear the financial and operational risks associated with direct ownership. Through franchising, hotel chains can expand into new markets and territories quickly and efficiently, leveraging the local knowledge and expertise of the franchisees. Increased Brand Recognition: Franchising enables hotel chains to increase their brand recognition and awareness, as each new franchisee adds to the brand's footprint and reputation. This is particularly important for smaller hotel chains that may not have the financial resources to invest in extensive marketing and advertising campaigns. Standardization of Quality and Service: Franchising allows hotel chains to maintain consistent quality and service standards across all their properties, regardless of location. Franchisees are required to adhere to strict operational and service guidelines set by the franchisor, which helps to ensure a consistent guest experience. Cost Savings: Franchising allows hotel chains to benefit from economies of scale, as franchisees are able to purchase supplies, equipment, and services at lower costs through group purchasing arrangements negotiated by the franchisor. Impact of Pandemic During the pandemic, restrictions placed on travel and stay-at-home orders issued by the authorities led to a sharp decline in hotel occupancies and revenues. Many hotels were forced to shut down, especially luxury hotels, resulting in many employees losing jobs. Economy class fared better. This explains why JW Marriot is leading in the industry – due to their well-recognized midscale brands. Since luxury hotels have higher operating costs, economy, and midscale hotels could still afford to stay open at lower occupancy rates, whereas luxury and upscale brands could not. It was observed that firms with a larger size, more leverage, and more cash flows were more resilient to stock declines. REITs were even worse hit, with share prices falling up to 70%, with smaller REITS faring even worse. Shareholder confidence fell as REITS were not able to pay dividends. There was a need for hotel businesses to change management and operations style to ensure employees’ and customers’ health and safety. Many individuals are still concerned about the coronavirus and actions being taken to prevent contagion and are unwilling to travel, dine, or stay at hotels. Future of Hotel Chains While the hospitality industry has experienced a severe downturn, it is expected to set back on its previous growth trend in the next couple of years. The number of travelers is on the rise, and incomes are also increasing in many developed countries. Almost half of international travel is for leisure, and hence the rise in the standard of living implies a growth in the luxury market. With location being an important factor for luxury hotels, most such hotels are situated in tourist destinations that will see a rise in tourists. Here is a quick comparison between Hilton Group, JW Marriot, and IHG.

  • How Franchising Transformed Hilton Hotels?

    Hilton is one of the largest and most successful hotel chains in the world, with over 6,600 properties in 119 countries and territories under 18 different brands. In this article, we will focus on how Hilton benefited from the franchising model, We will also explore what would have happened if Hilton did not use this model. Franchising Transformed Hilton Hotels Franchising model is a strategy that enables Hilton to expand its global presence and market share without investing too much capital or taking too much risk. According to Hilton’s annual report, out of 6,610 hotels under Hilton’s portfolio, 6,316 were franchised with 1,005,000 rooms. This means that about 95.5% of Hilton’s hotels were franchised. Franchising accounted for 52% of Hilton’s total revenue in 2020. Benefits of the franchising model for Hilton are: Revenue generation: This model allows Hilton to generate revenue from franchise fees and royalties paid by franchisees. These fees and royalties are based on a percentage of the franchisees’ revenue or profit. According to Hilton’s annual report, franchising accounted for 52% of Hilton’s total revenue, which was $4.3 billion out of $8.3 billion. Brand awareness: It enables Hilton to increase its brand awareness and recognition by having more hotels under its portfolio in various locations and segments. This can attract more customers familiar with and loyal to Hilton’s brands. According to Brand Finance’s 2021 report, Hilton was ranked as the most valuable hotel brand in the world, with a brand value of $10.8 billion. Operational efficiency: It allowed Hilton to focus on its core competencies, such as brand development, marketing, distribution, technology, and quality assurance, while delegating the day-to-day operations and management of the hotels to the franchisees. This can reduce Hilton’s operational costs and increase its profitability. According to Hilton’s annual report, franchising had an adjusted EBITDA margin of 85%, which was higher than any other business segment. The above chart explains how franchising the Hilton brand boosted its revenue growth, and helped it recover quickly from C-19. Challenges of Franchising Model for Hilton The franchising model also poses some challenges for Hilton that need to be managed carefully. Some of these challenges are: Quality control: This model requires Hilton to maintain the quality and consistency of its services and products across all its franchised hotels. This can be difficult to achieve when dealing with different franchisees with different standards and practices. Franchising also exposes Hilton to the risk of reputational damage if the franchisees fail to meet Hilton’s expectations or face legal issues. Franchisee relations: This model involves a complex and long-term contractual relationship between Hilton and its franchisees. This can create conflicts and disputes over various issues, such as fees, performance, compliance, termination, renewal, etc. Franchising also requires Hilton to balance its own interests with those of its franchisees and provide them with adequate support and incentives. Market saturation: If Hilton has too many franchised hotels in the same location or segment. This can result in competition among its own brands and reduce its market share and profitability. Franchising also limits Hilton’s ability to adapt to changing customer preferences and needs by imposing certain restrictions on its franchisees. If Hilton did not use the franchising model, it would have missed out on many opportunities and advantages that this model offers. Some of the possible outcomes are: Slower growth: Hilton would have relied more on other business models, such as management contracts or leases, which require more capital investment and risk exposure from Hilton. This would have limited Hilton’s ability to grow its global footprint and market share as fast as it did with the franchising model. Lower revenue: Hilton would have generated 50% less revenue from franchise fees and royalties paid by franchisees. This would have reduced Hilton’s income stream and profitability, especially during the pandemic when hotel occupancy and revenue declined significantly. Less brand value: Hilton would have had fewer hotels under its portfolio in various locations and segments. This would have lowered its brand awareness and recognition among customers who may prefer other hotel brands that offer more options and variety. This would have diminished Hilton’s brand value and competitive edge in the hotel industry. Catch up Quick Franchising model is a powerful and effective strategy that has transformed the hotel industry and enabled Hilton to become one of the largest and most successful hotel chains in the world. The franchising model offers many benefits for Hilton, such as revenue generation, brand awareness, and operational efficiency, as well as some challenges, such as quality control, franchisee relations, and market saturation. Without franchising model, Hilton would have faced slower growth, lower revenue, and less brand value. Therefore, franchising model is a key factor that contributes to Hilton’s success and leadership in the hotel industry.

  • Maersk Shipping: Deep Dive into the World's Largest Shipping Company

    If you have ever visited any shipping port you must have seen, the Maersk shipping container. They are the world's largest shipping company with annual revenue of $82 Billion. Maersk Shipping, also known as A.P. Moller-Maersk, is a Danish container logistics company that operates in over 130 countries worldwide. The company has been in operation for over 100 years and is recognized as the world's largest container shipping company. In this article, we will explore the history, operations, and global impact of Maersk Shipping. In this article: History of Maersk Maersk Operations Global Impact of Maersk Competition Analysis Acquisitions History of Maersk Maersk Shipping was founded in 1904 by Arnold Peter Moller and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company started out as a small shipping company that operated in the Baltic Sea, but over the years, it has grown to become a giant. In the 1960s, Maersk Shipping entered the container shipping industry, which was still in its infancy at the time. The company was one of the first to invest in container ships, which allowed for more efficient transportation of goods. Maersk Shipping continued to expand its fleet and operations throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and by the 1990s, it had become the largest container shipping company in the world. Operations of Maersk Maersk Shipping operates a fleet of over 708 vessels and has a total capacity of about 4.1 million TEU, this includes container ships, tankers, and supply vessels. This makes Maersk Shipping the second-largest container shipping company in the world by TEU, The biggest is Cosco Shipping, a Chinese-state-owned shipping line that beats Maersk by 4.3 million TEU. The company's operations are divided into four main segments: Ocean, Logistics & Services, Terminals & Towage, and Manufacturing & Others. The Ocean segment is the largest and includes Maersk's container shipping operations. The Logistics & Services segment provides freight forwarding, supply chain management, and warehousing services. Maersk Shipping's global reach is extensive, with operations in over 130 countries worldwide. Its biggest clients include Amazon, Disney, Microsoft, etc. Editor Note: The company doesn't disclose its client list, the above few names have been quoted on the basis of Bloomberg, not the company's site. Impact of Maersk Shipping Maersk Shipping's global impact is significant, as the company plays a crucial role in global trade and has a global market share of more than 16%. The company's container ships transport goods from all over the world, including consumer goods, raw materials, and industrial products. Even though Maersk is a global company, the majority of its revenue comes from the US ($13.6 Billion), then China ($3.3 Billion). In total, the company generated $81 billion in revenue in 2022. With a $15 Billion debt and $12 Billion of cash in the bank. Competition Analysis Maersk's biggest competition is with China's COSCO Shipping Line and MSC. If you don't know about MSC Shipping, they are a privately held company owned by the Aponte family. The domination of Maersk Line in terms of TEU capacity has been broken first time in 25 years by the MSC. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) with 4,832,709 TEU and 740 ships Maersk with 4,185,693 TEU and 696 ships CMA CGM with 3,409,776 TEU and 604 ships COSCO Shipping Lines (COSCO) with 2,886,908 TEU and 464 ships Hapag-Lloyd with 1,798,866 TEU and 246 ships Although by Revenue, Maersk's is the most profitable with an $82 Billion revenue which is 3 times higher than MSC ($28 Billion), it should be noted that MSC is solely owned by a family and Maersk is a publicly listed company with institutional investors. Here is a quick comparison between the top 5 shipping companies by revenue: Recent Acquisitions Maersk has focused on acquiring logistics and e-commerce companies to expand its end-to-end solutions portfolio. Some of the recent acquisitions by Maersk in this sector are: Pilot Freight Services, a U.S.-based provider of bulky delivery services for B2C and B2B customers, for $1.7bn in February 20221 LF Logistics, a Hong Kong-based contract logistics company with premium capabilities in omnichannel fulfillment and e-commerce, for $3.6bn in August 20222 Visible Supply Chain Management, a U.S.-based e-commerce logistics company focused on B2C parcel delivery and fulfillment services, for $838m in August 2021 At the time of writing, Maersk currently has over $11 Billion sitting in its bank and can easily acquire or pay off its $15 Billion of debt. In conclusion, Maersk Shipping is the largest and most dominant player in the container shipping industry, with a fleet of over 700 vessels and a global network of ports and terminals. The company's size and scale give it a significant competitive advantage, and it is constantly evolving and investing in new technologies and sustainable practices in order to maintain its position as a leader in the industry. While there are other shipping companies that are also significant players in the industry, Maersk remains the clear leader in terms of market share and revenue, and it is likely to remain a dominant force in the global logistics industry for many years to come.

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