What YGCC is Reading

What YGCC is Reading #325

Uber, which started as a ride-hailing service, has long dabbled in other categories, including meal deliveries with its Uber Eats service. Uber's delivery service took on new importance and became Uber's biggest source of revenue. The company reported that revenue from Eats reached $1.2 billion in the second quarter, double a year earlier. However, Uber's Rides business revenue plummeted 67%, to $790 million. Overall, Uber lost $1.8 billion during the second quarter. Contributing to the loss was nearly $400 million in restructuring costs as the company cut roughly 25% of its workforce. In July, Uber announced a deal to buy the on-demand delivery startup, and former Eats competitor, Postmates for $2.65 billion.

  • Brainstorm potential reasons why Uber would like to acquire Postmates. 

  • Uber has hired your team to help it reverse the trends of declined revenue. What factors you would like your team to look at when approaching this problem?


Read more: 

Uber's delivery service is now bigger than its rides business (CNN)

What YGCC is Reading #324

Disney's "Mulan" has been delayed multiple times since the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year. People may be curious why they cannot put "Mulan" on digital platforms even with a captive audience stuck at home, clamoring for content. There are several financial and symbolic reasons. Financially, Disney invested a lot of time and money ($200 million on production only) to make sure the film would be a hit in the US and China — the No. 2 movie market in the world. However, since there is no Disney+ in China, putting "Mulan" on digital would be wasting the potential to gain more profits globally. Beyond the money, it’s very important to maintain the exclusive, event-like feel of going to the movies. Studios may balk at releasing big films at home because that would train audiences to expect it going forward.

  • Estimate the market size of Mulan in the US and China

  • If your client was a movie producer who produced a movie targeting the US market only, how would you advise the client on whether or not to release it on a digital platform?


Read more: 

Here's why you can't watch 'Mulan' on Disney+ right now (CNN)

What YGCC is Reading #323

Doctor On Demand, a venture-backed telemedicine company, raised $75 million in series D financing as the demand for virtual visits surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will use the funds to build out its technology and invest in its virtual primary care and behavioral health platform. Doctor On Demand doubled its covered lives in the past six months and has more than 98 million members now. Last year, the company teamed up with Humana to launch a new virtual primary care model, which gives patients access to both medical and behavioral health through video visits with lower monthly premiums. While COVID-19 has driven a sharp increase in the utilization of Doctor On Demand’s urgent care and behavioral health services, more than half of the company’s 2020 future growth is focused on the continued expansion of its virtual primary care offering. Not only are patient appointments up, but provider interest has grown as well. The company has 1,000 providers in the pipeline who want to join its virtual services. As virtual care increases, the company sees opportunities to integrate telehealth with remote monitoring devices to improve healthcare services to patients.

  • Estimate market size for remote monitoring devices using reasonable assumptions.

  • Conduct Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis on remote monitoring service and conclude whether Doctor On Demand should invest in it.


Read more: 

Doctor on Demand lands $75M to invest in virtual primary care, behavioral health (Fierce Healthcare)

What YGCC is Reading #322

Like companies in all industry sectors, many biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are struggling to understand and find strategies to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak. For many companies, the impact of the pandemic on the conduct of clinical trials has forced both smaller biotechs and Big Pharma to make tough decisions to pause ongoing trials and reconsider timelines for data readouts, regulatory reviews, and product launches. For example, Provention Bio recently paused a Phase 3 trial in type 1 diabetes and Iveric Bio temporarily stopped a pivotal trial in geographic atrophy. These decisions are not limited to smaller companies. Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer have announced pauses or delays in multiple development programs. In the longer term, delays in clinical trials may lead smaller companies to need additional funding at a time when their stock values have likely dropped and market conditions are not optimal. Many companies may be forced to make difficult cuts or prioritize development opportunities. Delays in clinical trials are also likely to cause delays in projected launch timelines.

  • What kind of projects (clinical trials) are most affected by COVID-19 in the short term? 

  • Brainstorm the potential impact of delays in the projected launch timeline of a drug.


Read more: 

COVID-19 & Clinical Trials: Understanding The Long-Term Impact (Clinical Leader)

What YGCC is Reading #321

Opportunistic investors have been on the hunt for cheap companies to take over since coronavirus roiled financial markets. US investment groups have made a $7bn bid to acquire CoreLogic, which is the first large unsolicited takeover attempt for a real estate data analytics company since pandemic hit. Despite CoreLogic having a strong market position as a provider of data and analytics for the real estate and mortgage industries, the investors believe the company’s management strategy failed to help its growth and bolster its value. They would like to find new ways to reignite growth at CoreLogic, increase operating efficiency and improve the overall allocation of scarce capital resources.

  • What factors would you consider in order to evaluate whether US investment groups’ acquisition of CoreLogic was worth the price?

  • How would you help CoreLogic drive their revenue growth? 


Read more: 

US investors launch $7bn hostile bid for CoreLogic (FT)

What YGCC is Reading #320

Increased at-home coffee consumption during the pandemic has translated into a relative boom for coffee subscription services that send bags of artisan beans to their doorsteps and some smaller-scale coffee roasters. Several coffee subscription services, like Bean Box and Trade Coffee, observed a two- to four-fold increase in its overall sales and an even more significant increase in the number of new customers. As the customer base grew, they also noticed similar trends in buying habits: People consistently purchased on the middle to the higher end of the products. Data from consumer research firm Nielsen showed that whole-bean sales, which are considered the high-end of the retail coffee sector products, had more considerable sales growth than the less-premium ground and instant products. The temporary or permanent closure of coffee shops has also forced high-end coffees into the direct-to-consumer market.

  • The cost of having a 12-ounce bag of coffee delivered every two weeks ranges from $15 to $22. How would you suggest Bean Box price its monthly subscription service?

  • In what ways can a small local cafe increase its profits during its temporary closure?


Read more: 

Coffee drinkers are seeking out subscriptions and higher-end beans amid the pandemic (CNN)

What YGCC is Reading #319

When shoppers go to stock up on items to eat at home, they find less variety on grocery store shelves. This is because 1) items are selling out more quickly than they used to; 2) major food companies increase production lines on their most popular items and cut down fringe offerings to meet the increasing demand for some products. With smaller product portfolios, companies can speed up the production process, and narrow their advertising, distribution and sales efforts. However, some customers were disappointed when they didn't find the items they were looking for. Retailers like Walmart worked with suppliers to prioritize the most productive products to help maximize the production of high demand items and will work with suppliers to increase assortment.

  • Brainstorm the major reasons for a food supplier to increase the complexity in the supply chain before the pandemic.

  • Please help the food suppliers predict the customers’ behavior and demand after the pandemic. How would you help them adjust their supply chain?


Read more: 

Why brands like Oreo are cutting back on wacky flavors right now (CNN)

What YGCC is Reading #318

Slack is partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a multi-year agreement to deliver solutions for enhanced enterprise workforce collaboration. As part of the deal, all Amazon employees will start to use video-conferencing and business communication platform Slack. Slack will migrate its voice and video calling features over to Amazon’s Chime platform, AWS’s communications service that lets users meet, chat, and place business calls. Voice and video conferencing is a particularly weak point of Slack compared to Microsoft Teams and this new integration will probably vastly improve it in the future. Slack will also use Amazon’s cloud services as its preferred partner for storage, computation, database-use, security, analytics, machine learning and future collaboration features. This partnership allows both companies to scale to meet demand and deliver enterprise-grade offerings to customers and allows Slack to compete more efficiently with Microsoft’s Teams platform.

  • What are the advantages and potential risks of the partnership between Slack and AWS? 

  • How would you help Slack to win the competition in the area of business communication?


Read more: 

AWS and Slack Join Forces to Deliver the Future of the Enterprise Workplace (Businesswire)

What YGCC is Reading #317

Instagram announced updates aimed at helping creators make money directly on the platform. At the beginning, although influencers are free to negotiate their own brand deals, Instagram doesn’t pay creators directly or give them a percentage of sales. On Wednesday, Instagram introduced new monetization features for influencers, including ads on IGTV videos, digital badges that fans can purchase through Instagram Live, merchandise sales through Instagram Shopping, and expansion of Brand Collabs Manager, which facilitates sponsored campaigns between companies and creators. With its new monetization features, Instagram hopes to retain influencers and convince creators that its platform can support their work both functionally and financially.

  • Brainstorm the potential financial benefits of these new monetization features for Instagram.

  • What non-financial factors should Instagram consider when launching the new monetization features? How can they mitigate any risks associated with these factors?


Read more: 

Instagram Wants Its Influencers to Make More Money (NYT)

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