x5: Snapchat IPO, Lululemon’s Mens Concept Store & Instagram Albums

X5-Feb06 


Snapchat going public in March could spur more tech IPOs

Snapchat’s intention to go public has been in the news since late last year. Its confidential filing was a way for the company to test the waters and see how Wall Street would react. Snapchat has now decided to file for an IPO publicly this week that is rumoured to be valued at $25 billion.

Why This Matters

In the past, Wall Street had been skeptical about tech companies going public. Yet, 2017 could be a big year for tech IPOs with Snapchat leading the way. These businesses have now proven themselves to be strong sources of revenue that justifies buying for shareholders. The trend seems to have caught on north of the border as well with Canadian companies like Vision Critical, Real Matters and Hootsuite considering public offerings of their own.

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Instagram to allow posting multiple photos at once

It won’t be too long before people will be able to create Instagram albums. This feature was added in the latest Android beta release and was initially meant to be a feature for Instagram’s advertising platform. Once this comes into effect, users will be able to create carousel-style albums that people can scroll through.

Why This Matters

Instagram has been quickly innovating and adding more features, putting more pressure on Snapchat ahead of its IPO. The carousel feature will create new content creation possibilities for both influencers and businesses looking to create more of a story. However, it makes us wonder how users will interact with the platform where each photo is meant to have a consistent look in the feed. With the big changes Instagram has been making lately, we’re keeping a close eye on how users are affected by them.

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Café X replaces baristas with robots

Café X is an experimental new coffee kiosk that just opened its first US location in San Francisco. The fully-automated shop will allow customers to order through an app and have their lattes made and delivered by an industrial robotic arm.

Why This Matters

Even though Café X is by no means built for scale, it could help iron out the kinks in food service automation and be adopted by other industries. The kiosk allows for faster service and more consistency in recipes. In theory, as they do begin to tweak and scale the technology, this will lead to lower overhead costs and shorter wait times for customers in a rush.

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Lululemon opens mens-only concept store in Toronto

Lululemon is a brand that has become almost synonymous with yoga and has connected very strongly with women. Unfortunately, that has made it difficult for the brand to make an impact with its line of menswear. The local men’s-only concept store in Toronto is its attempt to break into that market by focusing more on running and strength training than yoga.

Why This Matters

Lululemon has taken more of a Starbucks-style approach with this retail location. Clothing only takes up a portion of the space. The store is set up to be more of a community, with couches, a ping pong table, and tablets mapping out running routes in the neighbourhood. They also host yoga for runners classes every Thursday, still keeping in touch with the core Lululemon brand. It is an interesting tactic that could build stronger brand loyalty among a skeptical audience.

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Tesla drops ‘Motors’ from its name

According to a new SEC filing, Tesla Motors is now simply Tesla, Inc., opening the door to much bigger offerings. This comes on the back of the ever-growing autonomous vehicle market, the purchase of Solar City and the launch of energy saving solutions for home like the Powerwall and solar roof tiles.

Why This Matters

With this move, Elon Musk is showing that Tesla is more than just a car company. Tesla has already shown that it could soon have divisions in cars, artificial intelligence, manufacturing and energy-saving technology. It’s been a recent trend of the bigger tech companies creating more all-encompassing names. For example, in 2007, Apple dropped the “Computer” from their name as they branched out into software, cell phones and online retail among other things.

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