But don’t take our word for it. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is leading a $1 billion funding round in logistics startup Flexport at a very sexy valuation of $3.2 billion, per Forbes.
What Flexport does: Uses software—and physical assets like warehouses—to help companies transport goods. In industry lingo, it’s known as a “freight forwarder.”
And SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son doesn’t write massive checks to just anyone (okay...he kinda does), so what’s special about Flexport?
Disruption: Flexport is bringing modern tech to an ancient industry, where vets use a combo of email, phone, and spreadsheets to track complex supply chains. Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen told Forbes, “Of the top 100 freight forwarders, we are the only one founded after Netscape.”
A kindred spirit: Petersen jives with Masa’s long-term approach (that 300-year plan tho) and his ability to help startups scale.
Bottom line: Forbes reports Flexport’s 2018 revenue was $471 million, and with logistics and transportation accounting for ~7.5% of U.S. GDP, there’s a lot more up for grabs.
Trump outlined a very high-tech ambition: challenging U.S. companies to go beyond 5G network technology to...6G tech.
FYI, wireless carriers around the world are gunning to get 5G to market first. AT&T launched 5G in 12 cities last year. And Verizon announced plans to launch in 30 cities by year-end.
But the real challenge to U.S. carriers isn’t each other. Major Chinese telecom Huawei is leading the pack in 5G (and looks poised to start on its own 6G soon).
Remember, the Trump administration has urged U.S. firms and allies to avoid Huawei tech in their 5G rollouts, alleging it could be spying for the Chinese government.
The U.S. is having trouble convincing those allies.
But Trump could be adopting a new tone. He made no mention of Huawei on Twitter yesterday, opting for a competitive spirit over “blocking out” rivals (as was the M.O. before).
Bottom line: Some have taken Trump’s Huawei omission as an olive branch. And with trade talks dragging on, the president could be looking to soften up Beijing.
It's just a rumor ... but he tells the story of being on the balcony with the Pope when the Pope was addressing the crowd in St. Peter's Square, below, and everyone was wondering who it was there on the balcony with Bernie.
Like the standing taco shell, Samsung’s new Galaxy Fold smartphone has earned its spot in the annals of folded-things-history. After teasing techies with a sneak peek in November, Samsung took yesterday for a little chest thumping and phone folding.
How ’bout some specs
The Galaxy Fold—essentially a phone that expands into a tablet—starts at $1,980 (wut) and is set for an April 26th release.
It boasts a 4.6-inch screen when sandwiched in half, but expands to 7.3 inches once opened. Oh, and don’t forget about its two (2) batteries and six (6) cameras.
The phone is also adapted for triple-app multitasking, meaning you can text your date while also looking up the bar where you’re meeting on Google Maps while (most importantly) stalking their Facebook. Finally, the innovation we’ve been waiting for.
And for all you skeptics out there…
We know what you’re thinking: The smartphone market is saturated.
You might be right-ish, given that Apple is looking beyond the iPhone for revenue sources in the face of lower demand. Plus, estimates show that more than 5 billion people around the world have mobile devices (more than half of which are smartphones).
But Samsung isn’t flinching. CEO DJ Koh said the Galaxy Fold “breaks new ground because it answers skeptics who say everything possible has been done, that the era of smartphone innovations is over, and that the smartphone is a mature technology in a saturated market.”
Zoom out, c/o Bloomberg: “It’s a leap that rivals the category shifts not seen since smartphones took off with a broad audience more than a decade ago.”
+ While we’re here: If you’re scared away by the price or you've been burned one too many times by a fitted sheet, Samsung also released four new varieties of its flagship Galaxy S10 smartphone yesterday, doubling its launch roster from years past.