Very interesting post. Super intrigued by the concept of virtual gifts as being the main source. Wondering if any of the large player such as Ali Baba, Baidu or Tencent have plans of entering the video streaming space, as a push from either of them could be an existential threat for Huya. I still feel that virtual gifts may not be the most sustainable revenue source, as one may not be compelled to give again once they have already done so.
Super insightful post! I have been following Upwork quite closely for a few years and believe in its strong future potential with the software engineering and data science requirements of small firms increasing. I do see some hope in the tackling some disintermediation using AI based on the interaction on the platform. In my view the push should be on developing a strong B2B sales force to sign up companies with recurring work who are less likely to disintermediate based on the services being offered to them.
I have not personally used Instacart but I wonder in a world where Amazon continues to innovate and build scale where Walmart is making a strong push and catching up by reducing it’s delivery timelines, could the space long-term have multiple players. The clear advantage Amazon has its Prime Membership that links to some many of Amazon services. Another risk is potential regulation on workers where federal or state could mandate them to have the same benefits of regular employees, something Uber and Lyft have been struggling with lately.
Great post!! Venmo is indeed a winner and continues to innovate by grabbing more share of our wallet and transaction. Moving forward I envision Venmo creating a whole fintech eco-system. The p2p money transfer market is a need across the globe and would be interesting to see Venmo capitalize on this opportunity by aggressive international expansion, while the biggest challenge would be the regulatory barrier involved abroad. Similarly another use case of cross-border transfers would be another lucrative expansion strategy, again with its own set of regulatory challenges such as AML. What I feel may be the largest opportunity maybe to add more value added features to the core app and allow for functionalities similar to something like Wealthfront. What Venmo has, is a strong active consumer base, stickiness to the platform will allow it to monetize in several areas in the coming years.
Back in undergraduate, when I first used the Terminal and found out about its monthly subscription costs, I distinctly remember saying that this will be disrupted in the next five year. Five years later, it still continues to dominate because of the reliability of data and high switching cost because of the wealth of information. Large barriers to entry exist and the business has been built over 4 decades, for any competitor this is a mountain of information to collect, store, process and verify. I still remain bearish on the product long-term, borrowing on the principles from BSSE, the market is ripe for a low-cost disruptor to enter and target the non-terminal consumers, not posing a threat to Bloomberg initially, but eventually moving upmarket and posing a legitimate threat, which may be made possible by machine learning or Artificial General Intelligence.
Very interesting post on how a national government through regulation is promoting local players to compete with international incumbents. Would be interesting to see if this models scales to other emerging or frontier economies. Would be interesting to see how UPI and Rupay aided in financial inclusion and were able to reach out to the unbanked population. A concern with a state backed payment system/ mechanism maybe privacy, as this could be used to monitor citizen’s purchase patterns to bring them into the tax net or monitor black markets. Overall, the success of RuPay makes for a great case study for other economies to promote local champions and boost Fintech.