Applen haasteet terveydenhuollossa, Waymon uusi rahoituskierros ja Spotifyn Greenroom

Lisäksi analyysiä Shopifyn muuttumisesta maksupalvelualustaksi

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Apple ja terveydenhuolto

Wall Street Journalilla (WSJ) on kattava raportti siitä miten Apple on viime vuodet yrittänyt aktiivisesti laajentua terveydenhuollon saralla, ja miten tämä laajentuminen on ollu toistaiseksi hankalaa. Apple on mm. kokeillut Cupertinon toimistonsa lähistöllä olevien (työ)terveysasemien pyörittämistä

Apple has envisioned an audacious plan for healthcare, offering its own primary-care medical service with Apple-employed doctors at its own clinics, according to people familiar with the plan and documents. To test that and other bold healthcare ideas, it took over clinics that catered to its employees and built a team with scores of clinicians, engineers, product designers and others.

Today those ambitions, which aren’t widely known, have largely stalled as Apple has shifted the focus of its health unit to something it knows well: Selling devices, specifically the Apple Watch, according to people familiar with its strategy.

The new primary-care service hasn’t gotten off the ground, people familiar with it say. A digital health app launched quietly this year has struggled to keep users engaged, say people familiar with the app and the documents seen by the Journal. Some employees have raised questions internally about the integrity of health data coming from the company’s clinics that has been used to support product development, according to people familiar with their concerns and the documents.

Terveyspalvelut vaikuttaisi olevan Applen yksi kolmesta yrityksen tulevaisuuden tärkeästä palvelu- ja tuotelinjasta, lisätyn todellisuuden (AR) ja sähköautojen ohella. Artikkelissa mainitaan, miten Applen suunnitelmana on alentaa terveydenhuollon kustannuksia rakentamalla palvelukokonaisuus joka yhdistää yhtiön rakentamia laitteita, ohjelmistoja ja yllämainittuja palveluita, kuten terveysklinikoita.

Kokonaisuuden nimeksi on annettu Project Casper, ja se on edelleen toiminnassa. Applen toiveena on, että jos se saa todistetusti alennettua Casperilla terveydenhuollon kustannuksia, pystyisi yritys laajentamaan toimintaansa franchising-mallilla. Casperia on ollut kuitenkin toistaiseksi vaikea laajentaa alkuperäisen kokeilun ulkopuolelle. Applella ollaankin ilmeisesti keskittymässä jälleen enemmän nykyisten laitteiden, varsinkin Apple Watchin, terveysominaisuuksien laajentamiseen. Huhujen mukaan Apple Watchit pystyisivät tulevaisuudessa mittaamaan mm. verensokeriarvoja.

Waymon uusi rahoituskierros

Teknologiayhtiö Alphabetin tytäryhtiö, itseohjautuviin autoihin keskittyvä Waymo, ilmoitti eilen uudesta rahoituskierroksesta, jonka seurauksena yritys keräsi sijoittajilta 2,6 miljardin dollarin edestä uutta pääomaa. Kierrokseen osallistui Alphabetin lisäksi mm. Andreessen Horowitz ja Yhdistyneiden arabiemiirikuntien kansallisrahasto, Mubadala. Yhtiö kertoi asiasta blogissaan.

As we build, deploy, and commercialize the Waymo Driver, it’s gratifying to see so much interest in being part of our journey to transform mobility, making it safer, more accessible, and more sustainable along the way. So we’re proud to announce our latest investment round of $2.5 billion, with participation from Alphabet, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Magna International, Mubadala Investment Company, Perry Creek Capital, Silver Lake, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Temasek, and Tiger Global. We’ll use this latest round of investment to continue advancing the Waymo Driver, as well as continuing to grow our team.

With tens of millions of miles driven on public roads across 25 U.S. cities, and tens of billions of miles driven in simulation, our experience has shown us, and our investors, the massive opportunity ahead. We’re building and deploying the Waymo Driver to serve riders, deliver parcels, move freight, and eventually, to empower personal car ownership.

We’re the first company to operate a fully autonomous, public ride-hailing service - Waymo One, and we’ve served thousands of rider-only trips in Metro Phoenix. We’ve been driving in San Francisco and the Bay Area since we first started in 2009, and most recently San Francisco residents are seeing the Waymo Driver on our growing fleet of all-electric Jaguar I-PACE vehicles throughout the city. We’re building the most advanced technology stack for urban driving, and we’re partnering with key community organizations as we shape our product.

Asiasta uutisoi myös mm. The Verge, jonka artikkelissa dokumentoidaan myös sitä, miten Waymolta on viime aikoina irtisanoutunut useita korkeassa asemassa olevia johtohenkilöitä.

Asiaa hieman sivuten, Waymon kilpailija Cruise ilmoitti eilen saaneensa viiden miljardin dollarin lainan, suurimmalta sijoittajaltaan, autoyhtiö General Motorsilta.

Spotify julkaisi Clubhouse-kilpailijan

Musiikin suoratoistoon keskittyvä Spotify julkaisi eilen Clubhouse-kilpailijansa, Greenroomin. Yritys osti maaliskuussa Betty Labs nimisen yhtiön, joka teki Clubhousen tyylistä liveäänisovellusta nimeltä Locker Room. Locker Room keskittyi nimenomaan urheilufaneihin. Nyt Locker Room on uudelleen brändätty Greenroomiksi, ja tuote on myös enemmän linjassa Spotifyn brändin kanssa. Spotifyn blogista:

At Spotify, we’re constantly iterating and innovating the future formats of audio in order to enable creators and their fans to connect in new ways. So in March, when we announced the acquisition of Betty Labs, the creators of Locker Room, we marked the addition of live audio as part of the Spotify ecosystem. This move provides yet another opportunity for creators of all types to connect with their fans more deeply and meaningfully. 

Since bringing the Locker Room app into the fold, we’ve been working to expand its capabilities, with the goal of creating a live audio experience that will delight creators and listeners everywhere. And we wanted to do it with a Spotify twist that operated as an extension of the app already loved by 356 million listeners. That’s why we renamed it “Spotify Greenroom,” as our Founder and CEO, Daniel Ek, announced in an episode of the Spotify: For the Record podcast

Today, we’re making Spotify Greenroom available for the first time in its new form, available on iOS and Android in over 135 markets around the world. We’re building Greenroom with the creators and artists in mind who make Spotify great, optimizing for interactivity and deep connections between participants in live rooms.

Yksi Greenroomin erottavista ominaisuuksista on, että huoneita voi nauhoittaa sovelluksen sisällä, ja ne on helppo myöhemmin julkaista podcasteina. Tämä on toiminnallisuus mitä Clubhouse ja Twitterin Spaces eivät toistaiseksi tue.

Suosittelut 🕵️

Shopify onkin maksupalveluyritys jolla on verkkokauppa-alusta

Kuuntelin eilen lähinnä talous- ja NBA-podcasteja, joten minulla ei ole suositeltavana tälle päivälle mitään hyvää teknologiaan liittyvää podcast-jaksoa.

Sen sijaan jaan kaksi analyysiä eilisestä Shopifyn ilmoituksesta, että yhtiö alkaa tarjota Shop Pay maksupalveluaan Googlen ja Facebookin kautta myyville asiakkaille. Itselläni on tässä toki omakin lehmä ojassa, sillä teen parhaillaan Shopify-projektia.

Ensimmäinen analyysi tulee Ben Thompsonin Stratechery-uutiskirjeestä. Ben kirjoitti eilen päivittäisessä kirjoituksessaan (maksumuuri) siitä, miten Shopifyn maksupalveluliiketoiminta on kasvanut paljon nopeammin kuin yhtiön verkkoalustan tilausliikevaihto:

Subscription Solutions is what I imagine most people think of when they think about Shopify: you want to set up an e-commerce store on the web, so you go to Shopify.com and do exactly that with only the click of a few buttons. Obviously Shopify scales to far more complex operations, but the core idea of building on top of Shopify’s platform and paying on a subscription basis is consistent. At the time of Shopify’s 2015 IPO this was the lion’s share of the company’s business — $67 million in 2014 revenue out of $105 million total; it also, like most SaaS businesses, had high gross margins — 75% in 2014.

Subscription Solutions was Shopify’s only business for its first seven years of existence; merchants were responsible for acquiring and managing their own third-party payment gateways. That changed in 2013 with the launch of Shopify Payments, which fully integrated payment processing into the core Shopify Platform. Built on Stripe, Shopify Payments has always been optional (alternatives do incur a 0.15% processing fee), but also the obvious choice, particularly for merchants new to the platform.

Six years on and the higher growth rate of Merchant Solutions means that Shopify’s business has flipped from where it was at the time of IPO: Subscription Solutions has grown 126% to $909 million in 2020 revenue, and as you might expect from a SaaS business, gross margin has increased with leverage to 79%. Merchant solutions, though, has grown 517% to $2.0 billion in 2020 revenue, and is up to 41% gross margins as Shopify has been able to negotiate increased volume discounts, and also added on higher margin products like Shopify Capital (as a side note, Stripe’s margins on Shopify’s business must be thin indeed). While Shopify started as an e-commerce platform company with a payments business tacked on, its financial results increasingly are that of a payments business with an e-commerce platform that functions first-and-foremost as a funnel to said payments business, even as it still pays its own way.

Hyvin samanlaisen artikkelin julkaisi myös Protocol, jonka jutun keskiössä oli haastattelu maksupalvelusta vastaavan varapresidentin, Carl Riveran kanssa:

Why give non-Shopify merchants access to your checkout and payments tool?

It's pretty straightforward. Shopify's mission since forever is to make commerce better for everyone. After some time, we realized that the best way for us to make commerce better for everyone is to not just think about the merchants, but also to think about their customers and how we can accelerate them through the checkout. Now, we're not just going to think about Shopify merchants. We're also going to think about all the merchants and all customers.

Nopeet 🚀