7 Ways Ignitia is working with you to create a safe working environment in a post Covid-19 world

1. Increased Cleanings- We have doubled the amount of cleaning in our space, eliminated high contact touch points, provided cleaning and hand sanitizers at entrances as well as key locations around our space to keep you safe, healthy and clean.

2. Direct Access, No Elevators- We are a ground floor retail establishment. You never need to walk through a large public space or go upstairs or an elevator to get access to your office.

3. Private offices allow social distancing- Each office is designed to be a small private space with full glass enclosures. Teams can take multiple offices to allow social distancing but not lose the value of being onsite.

4. One way hallways- As we re-open our space our hallways are now one-way directional loops as well as split in half so that you don’t risk bumping into someone and can maintain social distancing.

5. Low population density- Our offices are larger than most coworking spaces per desk and desks can be removed. This allows for a lower population density throughout our space.

6. Isolated HVAC Systems- Our airflow system is set up to be separated into 3 parts. The air is pulled in from the rooftop of the building and is piped individually into each office. The split of different zones keeps air circulating within the space without having to share the air with the entire space.

7. We are working with you- We are all in this together, we will work with you and your team to make special accommodations to make sure you are comfortable and safe.


Twilio Acquires SendGrid for $3 Billion

Business communications platform Twilio announced last week it has reached an all-stock deal for email specialist company SendGrid for $3 billion.

The Terms of the Deal

When plans for the acquisition were initially announced four months ago, the original amount of the deal was for $2 billion. However, due to the rising price of both company’s stocks since the initial announcement, that price was raised by an additional $1 billion. In the deal, SendGrid shareholders received $53.99 of aggregate value per share of SendGrid common stock. This number represents an exchange ratio of 0.485 shares of Twilio Class A common stock per SendGrid share based on Twilio’s January 31, 2019 closing price.

Filling a Need

Twilio - which had a reported value of $2 billion at its IPO in 2016 - allows software developers to make and receive phone calls, send and receive texts, and perform other communications via its web services API’s. SendGrid is a customer communications platform specializing in transactional and marketing emails. The merging of the two companies fills a hole in Twilio’s communication offerings. After the acquisition, Twilio will command a platform offering complete phone, text, and email communication capabilities.

A Satisfied CEO

According to Twilio co-founder and CEO Jeff Lawson, “Effective customer engagement is a strategic
imperative for every company. With SendGrid now a part of Twilio, our goal is
to provide a complete platform for every form of customer engagement. Through
our mutual developer-first approach, we empower the builders of the world to
create magical customer experiences unique to every interaction.”

A Mutually Beneficial Merger

Together, the two companies manage more than 140,000 active customer accounts which are responsible for more than 600 billion annualized interactions. According to SendGrid CEO Sameer Dholakia, “As we join forces today, I’m more confident than ever that we can accelerate our vision of creating one unquestioned platform of choice for developers and companies around the world and help them transform the way they engage with their customers.”


Fiserv to Acquire First Data for $22 Billion

It was announced today fintech company Fiserv will acquire First Data in a deal worth $22 billion. 

Terms of the Deal

In the all-stock deal, First Data shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.303 Fiserv shares for each share of First Data common stock they own. The .303 number represents a premium of the 5-days volume weighted average of First Data shares as of yesterday’s closing. The resulting transaction equates to a deal worth roughly $22 billion in equity value. If the transaction is approved, Fiserv shareholders will own 57.5% of the resulting company, while First Data shareholders will retain the remaining 42.5%. 

Fiserv: A History of Fintech Services

Founded in 1984, Fiserv has long been a provider of financial services technologies to U.S. banks. In 2015, both American Banker and BAI ranked Fiserv third in revenue among technology providers to U.S. banks. According to a company statement, Fiserv expects to report GAAP revenue of $5.82 billion for 2018, a figure which represents a 2% increase from the prior year. 

First Data: A History of Transaction Technology

First Data - which went public in 2015 - provides electronic transaction technology to merchants, financial institutions, and customers alike. The company operates in over 100 countries, and its technology is found at more than 6.2 million merchant locations. The company's technology is currently used by over 4,000 financial institutions, and boasts more than 3,000 transactions per second, which add up to more than $2.4 trillion in funds processed per year. 

A Merger of Mutual Admiration

In a statement regarding the merger, Fiserv CEO Jeffery Yubuki remarked, “We admire First Data for its excellence in merchant acquiring and global issuing services, and the tremendous progress they have made under Frank’s leadership. We expect this combination to catalyze and support an enhanced value proposition for our collective clients and their customers.” The statement of mutual admiration was echoed by First Data CEO Frank Bisgnano in stating, “I have long admired what Fiserv has achieved over the years, and I look forward to working with the talented associates of both companies as we set a higher standard of innovation and service in the industry,” 

If the deal is approved as expected, Fiserv CEO Jeffery Yabuki will become the CEO and chairman of the combined company, while First Data CEO Frank Bisignano will become the president and COO, as well as joining the board of directors.

The deal is expected to close sometime in the second half of 2019.


Rubrik Doubles Valuation to $3.3 Billion

Today it was announced cloud data management company Rubrik has raised $261 million in Series E funding at a $3.3 billion valuation. 

Doubling the Company's Valuation

The most recent round was led by Bain Capital Ventures and saw participation from existing investors LightSpeed Ventures, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures, and IVP. At $3.3 billion, the new round of funding more than doubles Rubrik’s previous valuation of $1.3 billion, which was reached when the company raised $180 million in Series D funding last April. To date, Rubrik has raised more than $553 million after five rounds of funding. 

Innovating a Unicorn

The most recent round of funding makes Rubrik one of the highest valued companies in enterprise software. This is largely due to the fact Rubrik has become one of the key players in the data management area of backup and recovery. One of the most important innovations Rubrik created was the ability for company’s to allow their on-site servers to backup to the cloud. Such innovation allowed Rubrik to join the ranks of unicorn startups more than two years ago. 

Innovating for the Future

The new round of funding will reportedly be used for further innovations as well. In the company release Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha stated, “Our previous fundraising in 2017 was focused on global expansion and increasing our reach into the enterprise market. Now, with thousands of customers around the world, industry-leading customer satisfaction ratings, and numerous analyst and industry awards, we have customers asking us to solve new challenges. This new capital will speed the introduction of exciting new products in 2019 that will solve those customer challenges and significantly expand our strategic footprint in the enterprise.”

A Top-Tier Startup

According to NetPromoter, Rubrik has a customer satisfaction rating of 82%, which is among the highest in the industry. Along with this rating, the company’s also enjoys a customer satisfaction with customer service rating of 98.6%. Currently, Rubrik has over 1,400 employees across the globe, and in 2018, Rubrik was ranked in the top 10 of LinkIn’s Top Startups for the second year in a row. 

Satisfied Investors

To those most familiar with the company, it's no wonder Rubrik enjoys such success. According to Bain Capital Ventures partner Enrique Salem, “Rubrik has won the trust and loyalty of large enterprise customers around the globe by offering a simple and reliable solution that solves the challenge of protecting and managing data in a hybrid cloud world.”  It is just such sentiment which seems to ensure Rubrik is well positioned to enjoy continued success well into the future.


Postmates Raises $100 Million at $1.85 Billion Valuation

Food-delivery startup Postmates has raised an additional $100 million in Series F funding at a $1.85 billion valuation.

A Large Round of Funding Before an IPO

The latest round of funding comes just four months after Postmates closed a $300 million round of Series E funding which, at the time, valued the company at $1.2 billion. The most recent round - led by Tiger Global Management, BlackRock, and Glynn Capital Management – will perhaps be used to reduce the amount the company will look to raise when it goes public, as it is anticipated in the first half of 2019. 

A 2019 IPO in a Crowded Rideshare Market

As reported, Postmates has begun preparations for an anticipated 2019 IPO. With several other large competitors also slotted to go public in the new years, exactly how Wall Street will respond to the food delivery company's IPO is anyone’s guess. Though Postmates was one of the first to enter the mobile food delivery marketplace, other major players such as Uber Eats and the SoftBank-backed DoorDash have prevented Postmates from ever totally cornering the market. 

Carving Out a Niche

Nevertheless, Postmates has carved out a very nice little niche for itself in the mobile food delivery space. As of the end of 2018, the company was reportedly completing 5 million deliveries per month and generated more than $400 million in 2018 annual revenue. Currently, the company operates in more than 550 cities. 

One of the First Successful Delivery Apps

Founded in 2011, the company quickly grew to signup drivers and franchises to partner with across the country. Postmates quickly expanded to over 44 U.S. markets, and saw the lion’s share of the on-demand delivery market, until Uber launched Uber Eats in 2014. To date, Postmates has raised more than $678 million after eleven rounds of funding. 


Altria Controversially Invests $12.8 Billion in Juul at a $38 Billion Valuation

 

It was announced recently, Altria Group - the owner of Philip Morris - will acquire a 35% in e-cigarette maker Juul Labs for $12.8 billion. The deal values Juul at $38 billion.

A Controversial Deal

The deal is not without critics however. According to Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns, ‘We understand the controversy and skepticism that comes with an affiliation and partnership with the largest tobacco company in the US. We were skeptical as well. But over the course of the last several months we were convinced by actions, not words, that in fact this partnership could help accelerate our success switching adult smokers. We understand the doubt. We doubted as well.’

Assuaging Juul Employees

According to the terms of the deal, Altria’s stake in the company will be capped at this 35%. In order to assuage concerns of employees, it was also announced a $2 billion dividend will be set aside to be dispersed between Juul’s 1,500 employees. This dividend likely comes in response to dissatisfaction voiced by employees when news of the talks broke last month.

Advocacy Groups Alarmed

The announcement of the deal also has many advocacy groups up-in-arms. In responding to the deal, CEO and president of The Truth Initiative - famous for its anti-smoking campaigns - remarked, "This investment gives the tobacco industry direct access to a new pipeline of millions of youth e-cigarette users, most of whom were not smokers in the first place.”

Large Player in a Growing Industry

The vaping industry itself has been booming. The number of vapers in the United States has grown from just over 7 million in 2011, to more than 40 million in 2018. Currently, the global vaping market generates over $22 billion annually, as compared to just $4 billion five years ago. According to Grand View Research, this number is also expected to climb to over $47 billion by the year 2025. Juul is currently the industry's largest company.

Health Concerns Remain

The full extent of the health risks associated with e-cigarttes are not yet fully understood. However, some 49% of vape users do claim they use e-cigarttes to ween themselves from tobacco. Whether or not the long term effects of vaping are as bad as traditional cigarettes is yet to be determined.

 

 

 

 

 


5 Tips For Managing Generation Z

Just as the workforce begins to fully integrate Millennials, a new generation is on the horizon: Generation Z. According to estimates by 2019, this generation - born between 1996 and 2010 - will have as many as 30 million members enter the U.S. workforce. So today, Ignitia explores what employers may expect from this emerging generation.

A Driven Generation

For starters, Generation Z is highly motivated. Having watched their parents struggle through the Great Recession, Generation Z does not expect anything to come easy. As such, they are prepared for a tough job market. And prepared to struggle to get ahead. Having heard the horror stories from their older Millennial siblings drowning in debt, and unable to find work, Generation Z has entered a survival mindset. Unlike Millennials however, Generation Z has no expectations of anything being handed to them and are fully expecting to have to work harder than their peers to get ahead.

An Entrepreneurial Generation

That said, Generation Z is very entrepreneurially minded. Generation Z has little interest in climbing the corporate ladder. Recognizing that Millennials have largely dispensed with the office culture of the Baby Boomers, Generation Z expects such benefits to come as the norm. Such benefits include making their own hours, and the ability to work from home. As such, many members of Generation Z also show a high prevalence for working independently. As the first generation born with technology in hand, they are very capable of finding answers on their own. But when they can’t, they expect their supervisors to provide answers to them quickly. As a generation that’s grown up during the startup boom, a way to satisfy Generation Z is to allow them to assume ownership of the projects they oversee. Such feelings of project ownership allows them to feel as though they are participating directly in a company’s success which goes a long way toward keeping them satisfied.

A Practical and Savvy Generation

As the first generation born into social media, Generation Z is extremely discerning. With a few simple searches, they will know what you’re company is all about. And they will do the research. Companies with a philosophy of giving are also largely appreciated. While they take diversity and inclusion as a given, they also surprisingly display a reported propensities toward Conservatism, especially with regard to financial matters.

A Stressed Generation

One of the greatest needs of Generation Z is the need to feel secure. Having never known a world that was not at constant global war with terrorism, or under the near-constant threat of seemingly weekly mass casualty events, security is of paramount importance to Generation Z. From the growing income gap, to record rates of student loan debt, and a shrinking middle class, Generation Z knows it has an uphill climb to face. And they feel it. Knowing this, employer are well served to provide atmosphere's that feel safe and secure.

A Generation That's Tough to Retain

As the first generation to grow up flipping between screens, Generation Z is excellent at multitasking. That said, their attention is fleeting. This goes for job interests as well. They will show no qualms about moving on to the next best thing. That said, they are extremely fast learners, are able to digest large amounts of data quickly, and are very open to new ideas. And they want real benefits from their work. While the novelty of a ping pong table or snacks may have been enough to satisfy Millennials, Generation Z wants more concrete benefits. They want a 401k. Healthcare. And an employer who respects them. That said, if you are able to keep them happy, you will be unlikely to find a more dedicated or capable workforce for the 21st century.


How Dataminr Detects Global Events First

When it comes to utilizing AI technology for business applications, few companies have pioneered a more groundbreaking innovation than, Dataminr. By using proprietary AI technology and machine learning, the NYC-based startup stays one step ahead of the competition when it comes to knowing about high impact events and breaking news from around the world. Today, Ignitia takes a closer look at what makes this hot new startup so special.

Founded in 2009 by a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and former speaker at the United Nations, Ted Bailey, Dataminr's goal is to allow its clients to become aware of high impact events and breaking news long before any major news outlet has reported on it.

How it Works

In today's world, social media is where news stories break first before any major news outlet has the chance to report them. What Dataminr realized was that social media has created a massive network of frontline eye-witnesses reporting the news in real time. So what Dataminr created was a highly sensitive AI technology that constantly scans all social media platforms looking for the instant breaking news begins to post. These breaking news stories are then converted into real-time notifications sent to their clients alerting them to potentially impactful news stories before anyone else has heard about them.

Practical Applications

Such foreknowledge has far reaching implications. One of the largest areas of impact Dataminr has had is with corporate security. By becoming aware of threats to property and personnel early on, Dataminr's allows its clients to mitigate risk and apply contingency plans as soon as possible. Along with security, Dataminr clients often use the knowledge gained early on to make profitable business decisions in response to occurrences before they are mainstream knowledge. Corporate PR firms have also been using the service to gain valuable forewarnings of situations that may need commented on as early as possible. Along with the business applications, first responders can also use the information to get a jump on disaster relief and preparations ahead of traditional means. Dataminr's early warning system has not gone unnoticed by newsrooms either. According to Dataminr's website, over 350 newsrooms currently use the technology to find breaking news as early as possible.

The Early Response

With a reported revenue growth of 2318% between 2013 - 2016, Dataminr was named 69th on Deloitte's Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies of 2017. This distinction comes in addition to Dataminr's 2016's recognition by CNBC of Dataminr as one of the 50 Most Disruptive Companies in Tech. Since its founding, Dataminr has closed over $183 million from six rounds of funding, the largest round of which was a reported $130 million, Series D fund closed in March of 2015 led by Fidelity Investments. At the moment, Dataminr is headquartered in midtown Manhattan and employs roughly 250 people. Though no one knows what the future holds, the one thing that is certain is that when it arrives Dataminr will be the first to know.

 

 

 

 

 


Ignitia Office Leveraging Creative Direction for Business EVENT

Ignitia Office is proud to host an expert panel on how design can impact your business and influence your customers.

Sign up for the event here

"At Leveraging Creative Direction for Business Growth, we'll look at the close relationship between creative direction, business strategy, & growth, while speaking with an awesome group of creatives operating in unique roles." Dave de Cespedes

PARTICIPANTS 

Justin Huxol- Founder of HuxHux
Tyler Hopf- Creative Director, IrisVR
Tiffany Jen- Designer at Facebook
Pedro Motta- Creative Design Manager at Coach

Moderated by:
David de Cespedes, Co-Founder of Superform

Some key questions we'll be focusing on: 
What is Creative Direction in 2018?
What are some ways in which strong Creative Direction drive business growth?
How do I know if creative initiatives are a success? How can they be improved?
How does creative direction facilitate competitive advantage?
What does the future of Creative Direction look like?

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions & join in on the conversation!
Drinks & light snacks will be provided.

 

Event will be held in the main lounge of Ignitia Office

 

SCHEDULE

6:30 PM - Refreshments & Networking
7:00 PM - Leveraging Creative Direction Discussion
8:00 PM - Q+A
8:15 PM - Networking
8:45 PM - After-party at Berg'n next door!


How Lemonade is Disrupting the Insurance Industry

Few startups have had a better 2017 than Manhattan-based, Lemonade. Now, after closing a new $120 million round of Series C funding, the insurance startup seems poised to have an even better 2018.

The Mission

According to Lemonade’s co-founder and CEO, Daniel Schrieber, the idea came from the fact that the insurance industry has such a reputation. “If you play the word association game with “insurance,” words like “paperwork,” “hassle,” and “fighting” present a pretty abysmal picture of the industry.” Knowing this, Schrieber and co-founder Shai Wininger, set out in April of 2015 to change all that.

The Plan

Traditionally when someone pays a monthly insurance premium, half of the money goes into a company fund to pay claims and the other half the company keeps for expenses and profit. With Lemonade, the amount the company keeps is only 20% and the other 80% of a premium goes into the company’s claim fund. At the end of each year, if there is money left in this fund (which there almost always is), that money is donated to charities of customer’s choosing. This idea of a company giving money to charity instead simply keeping it for themselves is novel to the insurance industry and seems to be resonating with the altruistic millennial generation; a generation who actively seek to support companies that contribute to the greater good. All of this has earned Lemonade the coveted B-Corp claims. Investors have also noticed.

In December 2015, Lemonade announced it had secured $13 million in seed round funding led by the Aleph and Sequoia Capital groups. Nine month after this, in August of 2016, Lemonade secured another $13 million in Series A funding led by these same groups. Four months later, Lemonade secured another $34 million in Series B funding as well. Then, one year later in December of 2017, Lemonade closed a substantial Series C fund worth $120 million, led by SoftBank. All told, Lemonade has secured $180 million in funding and the company’s financial stability has been rated A-exceptional by insurance financial stability organization, Demotech.

The Benefits

Perhaps the best benefit to customers however is the price. Renters insurance can be purchased seamlessly through the company’s app for only $5 a month. Home-owners insurance costs just $25. Along with the low costs, another advantage to Lemonade’s model is the speed at which claims are paid. In the past, one of the great hassles in dealing with insurance companies was the exorbitant lag time between submitting your claim and receiving your funds. Through advanced bot and machine learning technologies, Lemonade has reduced this wait time significantly, and most claims are paid within a matter of minutes.

The Results

According to Schrieber, out of the over 723,000 people with renters insurance in New York City alone, in just over two years in business Lemonade has captured more than 4.2% of that market. This figure also includes over 27% of NYC’s newly insured as well. These numbers easily put Lemonade among the top 10 largest insurance companies in New York. This is a remarkable achievement, especially in light of the fact that the average age for the other companies among this group is over 104 years old. All tremendous achievements indeed.

Going forward, what Lemonade hopes to achieve is no less than a full-sail shakeup of the culture of the $4.6 trillion insurance industry. How large a portion of that industry the team will transform remains to be known, but what is known is that they are taking their best shot. To both customers and investors alike, all of this makes this new insurance company as refreshing as a tall glass of Lemonade.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnrVe76zZrE