💰 Is Google About to Make Its Biggest Acquisition Ever?

Plus TikTok Fights Against Ban, and Amazon AI 'Walkout' Technology was a Hoax

💰 Google is Considering a Massive ~$30B Acquisition of HubSpot

💰 Google has a HUGE $110B cash reserve - over half the size of the entire economy of Greece - and may soon be putting some of that Scrooge McDuck size money pile to work with an acquisition of HubSpot, a $34 billion marketing automation company.

💡 About HubSpot

According to its website, “HubSpot is a customer platform with all the software, integrations, and resources you need to connect your marketing, sales, and customer service.”

Here are some key facts about Hubspot:

  • 💰️ Listed on the stock market in 2014 under ticker $HUBS

  • 🏢 Over 194,000 customers, including Headspace, Discord, and Soundcloud

  • 🤑 Pricing starts at over $1,000/month

  • 💸 Generated $2.2 billion of revenue in 2023 with a net loss of $176.3 million

  • 📈 The stock is up over 64% in the past year

👀 What We Know So Far

The deal is far from certain, and all we know so far is that Alphabet has met with investment bankers to discuss a potential acquisition, including how much it should offer.

Even so, investors are reacting positively to the news, with HubSpot stock up 7.5% and Google up 1.3% this week (despite a red week for the S&P 500).

💰 Google’s Biggest Acquisition Ever?

With Hubspot now worth over $34 billion, such a deal would be a huge financial commitment even for Google - nearly one-third of it’s $110 billion cash reserve.

This would be Google’s largest acquisition by a mile, roughly 3x bigger than the $12.5B acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

💡 Google’s Biggest Acquisitions:

  1. Motorola Mobility (2012): $12.5B

  2. Nest (2014): $3.2B

  3. DoubleClick (2007): $3.1B

  4. Looker (2019): $2.6B

  5. Fitbit (2007): $2.1B

  6. YouTube (2005): $1.65B

  7. Waze (2007): $1.3B

Google's CEO Sundar Pichai also recently announced job cuts, and forking out huge sums while cutting jobs is never the most popular decision…

🛑 Regulatory Hurdles

One big factor Google will no-doubt be considering is whether such a mega deal would make it through the intense anti-trust regime.

Authorities in the US, UK, and EU have been cracking down on big mergers including Adobe's $20 billion bid for Figma which was halted in December.

However, many argue that the deal wouldn’t give Google dominance, as HubSpot has major competitors including Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, SAP, and more.

Either way, these types of deals generally come with hefty break-up fees, so Google will want to be confident that it’s not wasting its time and resources before moving forward.

👇 What are your thoughts on the potential acquisition? Join the discussion on Blossom!

⚡️ New Features on Blossom PRO!

🤯 We just hit 3,000 members on PRO! A huge thank you to all the folks who’ve signed up, each PRO subscription helps us continue to improve and grow the app! 👏

🥳 We just launched a new feature on PRO and have another coming within a week. Here’s what’s new:

  • 📊 NEW: Returns Breakdown widget - see your returns broken down by Price Gains and Dividends so you can get the full picture of how your portfolio is performing!

  • 📆 COMING SOON: Dividend Calendar - see both what dividends are coming up and track the upcoming ex-dates of your holdings so you can buy more before the cut-off!

We’re working hard to make PRO better and better and have lots of exciting features in store for this quarter so stay tuned!

If you haven’t already - definitely give PRO a try with our 1 week free trial 🙌

💸 TikTok Highlights $24 Billion Impact on US GDP Amid Potential Ban

📊 TikTok just released a report from Oxford Economics (commissioned by TikTok) claiming it boosted the US economy by $24B and sales for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by $14.7B. TikTok also claims to have supported the creation of 224,000 jobs.

😬 This is TikTok’s latest attempt to build public support amid US attempts to ban the platform (which we covered in depth a few weeks ago).

🥊 TikTok Fights Back Against Ban

Back in March, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that could lead to TikTok’s ban in the US unless ByteDance, its Chinese parent company, sells its American assets.

For the bill to become law however, the Senate would also need to pass it, so TikTok has initiated an ad campaign (watch it here) in key battleground states, aiming to sway Senate opinion.

The other side is fighting back, with former Vice President Mike Pence launching his own campaign advocating for the platform's ban, pointing to national security concerns and calling TikTok “digital fentanyl.”

🫣 Meta - Staying out of Politics

In contrast to TikTok, Meta made a bold move to stay out of politics, with a new setting that essentially shadow-bans political content.

While you can turn this setting off, it is on by default and is a huge move in advance of a big election year.

Outraged users are complaining that this is limiting political discourse and questioning how Meta will define ‘political content.

What are your thoughts on Meta shadow-banning political content?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

🛒 Amazon’s AI “Just Walk Out” Technology is Just 1,000 Workers in India

Despite being marketed as an AI-driven checkout solution, it turns out that Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology heavily depended on manual labor by 1,000 low-paid workers in India watching videos from Amazon Fresh stores to ensure billing accuracy 🤣

🚶 “Just Walk Out” Technology

Debuting in 2016, the technology was designed to streamline the shopping experience by eliminating traditional checkout lines. It was said to utilize a combination of sensors, cameras, and deep learning algorithms to automatically detect when products are taken from or returned to shelves and automatically charge the customer.

"What if we could weave the most advanced machine learning, computer vision, and AI into the very fabric of a store so you never had to wait in line?"

Amazon’s goal was to enhance customer satisfaction and efficiency, particularly in their Amazon Fresh grocery stores and Amazon Go convenience stores.

…More like “Just a Phase” Technology 😬

Amazon reported this week that it would be phasing out the technology from its stores after the team ‘repeatedly missed goals’ to cut down on human reviews, which were reportedly required for 700 out of every 1000 transactions.

Many are labeling the phase-out a smart move, saying Amazon Fresh has enough challenges building a compelling model around the complicated and razor-thin margin business of physical grocery retailing without having to worry about complicated and buggy technology.

“We’re doing a fair bit of experimentation today in those stores to try to find a format that we think resonates with customers… We’ve decided over the last year or so that we’re not going to expand the physical Fresh [stores] until we have that equation.”

- Amazon CEO Andy Jassy in February 2023

Amazon plans to replace “Just Walk Out” with the “Dash Cart,” a smart shopping cart equipped with a screen and scanned, in a bid to continue towards its goal of streamlining the shopping experience.

📈 Amazon ended the week up 2.4%, although whether this is in response to the news or other market factors is uncertain.

🎙️ Top Discussions this Week

👇 Click to see the full post!

🗞️ What else you might’ve missed:

  • 🤖 OpenAI Sees ‘Tremendous Growth’ in Corporate Version of ChatGPT

  • 🚘️ Tesla stock falls 6% this week

  • 🛢️ Oil prices just rose above $90

  • 📺️ Paramount stock drops after buyout rumors

  • 🏰 Disney defeats activist investor Nelson Peltz in proxy fight

  • 🏦 RBC Fires CFO Ahn After Probe Into Personal Relationship