finance

Reddit files for IPO and will let some longtime users buy shares

After years of speculation, Reddit has officially filed paperwork for an Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The company, which plans to use RDDT as its ticker symbol, will also allow some longtime users to participate by buying shares.

In a note shared in the company’s S-1 filing with the SEC, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said that many longtime users already feel a “deep sense of ownership” over their communities on the platform. “We want this sense of ownership to be reflected in real ownership—for our users to be our owners,” he wrote. “With this in mind, we are excited to invite the users and moderators who have contributed to Reddit to buy shares in our IPO, alongside our investors.”

The company didn’t say how many users might be able to participate, but said that eligible users would be determined based on their karma scores while “moderator contributions will be measured by membership and moderator actions.”

The filing also offers up new details about the inner workings of Reddit’s business. The company had 500 million visitors during the month of December and has recently averaged just over 73 million “daily active unique” visitors. In 2023, the company brought in $804 million in revenue (Reddit has yet to turn a profit). The document also notes that the company is “exploring” deals with AI companies to license its content as it looks to expand its revenue in the future.

Earlier in the day, Reddit and Google announced that they had struck such a deal, reportedly valued at around $60 million a year. “We believe our growing platform data will be a key element in the training of leading large language models (“LLMs”) and serve as an additional monetization channel for Reddit,” the company writes.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/reddit-files-for-ipo-and-will-let-some-longtime-users-buy-shares-234127305.html?src=rss

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Rivian is laying off 10 percent of its salaried employees

Electric car maker Rivian announced on Wednesday that it’s laying off 10 percent of its salaried workforce to cut costs after facing a quarterly loss. The Amazon-backed company reported that it lost $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023 and said that it expects to build 57,000 electric vehicles in 2024, the same number it built last year.

“Our business is facing a challenging macroeconomic environment — including historically high interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty — and we need to make purposeful changes now to ensure our promising future,” Rivian’s founder and CEO wrote to employees in an email, CNN reported. "We must strategically prioritize our growth areas of the business, including the launch of Peregrine and R2 as well as investing in our go-to-market capabilities."

As part of its plans to cut costs, Rivian will shut down a factory in Illinois in the middle of this year and will upgrade its manufacturing line to boost production rates by 30 precent.The company is expected to unveil the R2, a compact SUV in the $40,000 to $60,000 range, on March 7, although deliveries of the vehicle won’t start until 2026.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/rivian-is-laying-off-10-percent-of-its-salaried-employees-010440428.html?src=rss

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Twitch is increasing channel subscription prices for the first time

Amazon has been looking to bolster Twitch's bottom line for a while. After laying off around 500 workers and reducing how much streamers make from Prime subscriptions, the streaming service is increasing the price of its subscriptions for the first time.

Twitch says it's "updating prices in several countries to help streamer revenue keep pace with rising costs and reflect local currency fluctuations." The first markets to feel the impact of those changes are the UK, Canada, Australia and Turkey.

As of March 28, Tier 1 subscriptions and gift subs will be more expensive in the UK, Canada and Australia. A base/gift sub is going up from £5 to £6 in the UK, $7 CAD to $8 in Canada and $8 AUD to $9 in Australia. Tier 2 and 3 prices will remain the same in those countries.

In Turkey, Twitch is significantly increasing the price of all three tiers. For instance, a Tier 1 sub will soon cost 43.90 lira ($1.42) instead of 9.90 (32 cents) — the value of the Turkish lira has plummeted over the last 15 years.

These price changes only apply to subscriptions bought on the web. Twitch says it will update prices on its mobile apps in the coming months. It's currently more expensive to buy a sub on the Twitch iOS app. The service also expects to update pricing in other countries later this year.

On the plus side, streamers will have the same revenue share, so they'll earn more from subscriptions in the UK, Canada, Australia and Turkey. Twitch recently announced changes to streamer payouts from Prime subscriptions. They'll soon earn a (generally lower) fixed amount for each Prime sub, dispensing on the subscriber's location. Meanwhile, it'll soon be easier for smaller streamers to qualify for the Partner Plus program and benefit from a better subscription revenue split.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/twitch-is-increasing-channel-subscription-prices-for-the-first-time-181202078.html?src=rss

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Walmart is buying smart TV maker Vizio for $2.3 billion

Walmart is buying Smart TV manufacturer Vizio for $2.3 billion, the US retail giant announced as part of its latest earnings report. While Walmart has long been one of the major sellers of Vizio TVs, the company says the acquisition "enables a profitable advertising business that is rapidly scaling" via the company's SmartCast OS. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval. 

Vizio sells solid mid-range TVs, most equipped with its SmartCast operating system that supports free ad-supported content. The company recently refreshed its lineup with a more intuitive user interface and faster startups and app switching

Walmart, meanwhile, prominently features the brand on its shelves (along with TCL), as anyone who has gone there lately has probably noticed. The retailer already has its own TV house brand, ONN, but those sets are very much on the low end, usually selling for under $500. 

More importantly, the companies plan to combine their respective ad businesses. Walmart already has a $2.7 billion ad business, but Vizio would increase its access to key consumer info like viewership data. It would also effectively give Walmart more eyeballs for its ads — for instance, companies that sell goods at Walmart could also run ads on Vizio TVs, all of which could be tracked by the retailer. 

"We believe the combination of these two businesses would be impactful as we redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment," said Walmart VP Seth Dallaire. "Our technology will help bring a scaled, connected TV advertising platform to Walmart Connect," added Vizio CEO William Wang. 

The acquisition may also be a counter to Amazon's in-house Fire TV business, both in terms of television retailing and advertising, as The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Amazon has one of the largest ad businesses in the US behind Alphabet and Meta, and smart TVs help it gather personalized consumer data for targeted advertising. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/walmart-is-buying-smart-tv-maker-vizio-for-23-billion-130725953.html?src=rss

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An earnings typo sent Lyft’s stock price into the stratosphere

In an absolutely bananas turn of events, a typo in an earnings report caused Lyft shares to skyrocket nearly 70 percent after Tuesday’s closing stock market bell, as reported by CBS. There was an extra zero in the report that suggested a five percent margin expansion in 2024, instead of a .5 percent margin. This sent investors into a tizzy, as the company has long struggled to turn a profit.

The mistake was even present in Lyft’s slide deck, which was part of that earnings report, and an accompanying press release. The company quickly corrected the mistake, calling it a clerical error, but the stock surge had already begun. Lyft CFO Erin Brewer addressed the issue in an earnings call yesterday evening which caused the stocks to reverse course. It’s worth noting that the earnings report was still good news for Lyft, even without that mistake, so the stock price experienced a more stable increase of around 35 percent.

Now, onto the blame game. Lyft CEO David Risher appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to take responsibility for the mistake, saying “look, it was a bad error, and that’s on me.” Risher went on to note that it was “super frustrating” for everyone on the team and said that he could see a fellow employee’s “jaw drop” when discovering the issue.

The good news? Even with that adjustment, this is Lyft’s best day since the company’s initial IPO offering back in 2019. Yesterday’s earnings report indicated $1.22 billion in revenue for the quarter, an increase of four percent from last year. Bookings increased 17 percent for the quarter, accounting for $3.7 billion. Risher called it a “great quarter.”

A misplaced zero on a spreadsheet isn’t the ridesharing giant’s only concern. Thousands of Lyft and Uber drivers are going on strike today to demand better pay and safer working conditions. The striking workers are primarily clustered around ten major US airports, though it’s only planned to last for a few hours.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/an-earnings-typo-sent-lyfts-stock-price-into-the-stratosphere-193904095.html?src=rss

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Instacart cuts 250 jobs after reporting increased revenue

Another day, another layoff occuring in the tech world. Instacart, the popular grocery delivery and pick-up service has announced the termination of 250 employees — about seven percent of its workforce. The layoffs are primarily individuals from middle management or who work on advertising through platforms like Google Ads and Roku. Most of the layoffs will go into effect by March 31 with Instacart estimating that the process will cost the company between $19 million and $24 million due to factors like severance pay and employee benefits.

Instacart released the news along with its fourth-quarter earnings. Despite choosing to layoff employees, the company reported a six percent increase in revenue, jumping from $803 million to $804 million, year-over-year. At the same time, Instacart is seeing the voluntary departure of three of its executives: the chief operating officer, chief technology officer and chief architect.

The layoffs follow only a short time after Instacart's September 2023 IPO. Unlike many companies that barely (or didn't) survive the COVID-19 pandemic, Instacart thrived. It allowed people to stay and still receive their groceries and other necessary items. Now, it exists in 5,500 cities and, like most companies of the past year, is focusing on building its AI capabilities. But, despite its increased revenue, the company's layoffs signal that not everything is going as planned over at Instacart

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/instacart-cuts-250-jobs-after-reporting-increased-revenue-112503431.html?src=rss

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