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The term “LUPA” is an acronym, coined for a group of 4 establishments that came into existence a couple of years ago. They are also known as “PAUL” and as of right now considered to be among the biggest stakeholders for the consumer populace worldwide.
The P represents Pinterest, a photo bulletin board social network, A is for Airbnb, the famous mini rental service that has made traveling and accommodation procedure very easy, U is for Uber, the worldwide renowned lift establishment, and Lyft, which came into limelight almost 10 years ago, providing competition for Uber.
All 4 organizations have been recently linked with becoming publicly traded firms on the stock exchange market. One major perk of an organization going public is that it enables them to gather funds through investors; these funds are then used to promote the business.
Founded in late 2009 by Ben Silbermann, who serves as Chief Executive Officer, and Evan Sharp, who is the current CPO, Pinterest Inc. is an online social network, based in California, that allows users to interact via photo, GiFs, and video content sharing.
As of last year, the establishment can boast of a staggering 300 million-plus users every month. As of September 2010, the firm could only manage roughly 11000 active members. Following its collaboration with popular phone organization, Apple Inc. the following year, which they released a mobile app on iPhones and iPads, the firm saw a major increase in online users, making them ranked amongst the top 50 websites that year. By the end of the year, Pinterest Inc. was having a mean of 40 million visits every month.
Over the next couple of years, Pinterest made considerable strides in progress, removing the “invite” function as a prerequisite to join the online presence, taking away the policy that enabled them to sell subscribers’ contents at its discretion, and allowed users to switch account type from personal to business without having to set up an account afresh.
In early 2019, Pinterest Inc. submitted a proposal to go public. By April, it became public knowledge that Pinterest Inc., having a net worth in the region of $10 billion, had become a publicly traded establishment, with its founders, Silbermann and Evan, having a current net worth estimated at $1.5 billion and $1 billion respectively.
As of the end of the first financial quarter of 2020, Pinterest Inc. reported growth in earnings of over $270 million, over 33% increase from the previous year’s Q1, with an increased number of subscribers to over 365 million people. For the firm, the coronavirus has seen them lose revenue that they gain from placing ads but has also resulted in improved traffic on the online presence. Nonetheless, the establishment suffered a net income loss of $140 million.
This firm was set up in 2008 by Brian Chesky (Chief Executive Officer), Joe Gebbia (Chief Product Officer), and Nathan Blecharczyk (Chief Strategy Officer), who are all individually valued at $3 billion in net worth. Airbnb Inc. is a US-based organization, that serves as the “middleman” between people, and travel & lodging services, taking a percentage off every booking as payment. Airbnb Inc. is the shortened form of AirBed & Breakfast and is only involved in short-term bookings for its customers.
The idea of the establishment came about when the founders decided to put mattresses in their sitting room, “making” it a Bed & Breakfast. The firm started as a website, with its initial customers coming in the summer of 2008. It wasn’t until the following year when Paul Graham invested in the business for a percentage of the organization. Using the money gotten, the founders traveled, further gathering investors and users. In March, the firm had about 2500 listings for rent.
In early 2012, Airbnb Inc. spread its reach outside of the US, setting up listings in France, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Russia. The expansion was such a huge success, that they began to target Asian nations towards the end of the year, beginning in Singapore.
Over the years, Airbnb Inc. continued to grow, hitting its 10 millionth guest in late 2013, got charged and fined in 2016, for violation of rural housing conditions, launched its restaurant booking application in early 2017, and by late 2019, averaged 2 million housed guests per night.
In 2016, Airbnb Inc. reported an 80% increase in earnings. The largest-ever margin increment the firm had recorded since its inception. By 2018, they announced profits in the region of $200 million, only to experience loss of up to $320 million the following year.
With the coronavirus pandemic, several businesses have taken hits, with Airbnb Inc. taking a major hit. Given the mandatory quarantine in homes, losing a drop in reservations between 40-90%. As such, the firm’s net value has dropped by over $5 billion, resulting in the establishment having to let go of up to 2000 workers.
Although Lyft is a major competitor in the customer lift economy, Uber Inc. is well renowned. Founded in 2009 by Garrett Camp, and Travis Kalanick, Uber Inc. is well known for its customer lift service, as well as food drop off service known as Uber Eats, which was formed in 2014. Also based in California, Uber Inc. was initially known as Ubercab, up until 2011.
Uber Inc. however, does not provide vehicles for the drivers, all chauffeurs are expected to own their cars, or lease a vehicle and then sign up with the service. The transportation service however has a couple of screening measures, to ensure that all potential employees must meet a particular set of requirements before being hired. The system runs by customers employing the use of the app to hail rides and the closest chauffeur to the location is then redeployed via the app to said location.
At the end of the first quarter of 2020, the firm recorded bookings earnings in the region of $16 billion, with the use of lifts declining due to a rise in competition, and the food drop-off system thriving. With the current pandemic, however, the passenger-transport service has been needing rides, with the restriction of the movement worldwide. The food delivery system however has flourished, with people ordering from the convenience of their homes.
As of last year, Uber Inc. had over 10 million subscribers around the globe. Just like any other transport-based establishment, Uber Inc. has been involved in many criticism related reports regarding how they treat their workers, and the unruly conduct of some drivers in relation to the passengers, making the service banned in some cities in the state. As of right now, they are a publicly traded firm and have been since 2019.
Arguably Uber Inc.’s biggest competitor, Lyft Inc. is a publicly-traded organization, started in 2012 by Logan Green (Chief Executive Officer), and John Zimmer (President) and has her headquarters in California, US. The organization deals in a transport-based system, with the use of cars, scooters, and even bicycles. Narrowly losing out to Uber Inc., the firm is regarded as the 2nd Largest ridesharing establishment in America. Unlike Uber Inc., their reach is only currently within the US and Canada. The firm was however not referred to as Lyft Inc. until 2013 when it was changed from the initial name “Zimride”
The service initially employed the use of Facebook to connect drivers and passengers until they developed the mobile app. The Lyft Inc. transport system has different variants, with potential passengers afforded the luxury of selecting the kind of vehicle they want, i.e, color, and number of seaters, depending on what is needed. The scooters however are located at different stops, costing $1 and 15 cents every minute of the ride.
The mode of operation for the car transport and the food delivery system is pretty much similar to that of Uber Inc., with Lyft Inc. taking more extreme measures to ensure that the drivers hired have clean records, after receiving nearly 35 lawsuits in 2019 about sex-offense related crimes. Regardless of this controversy, the service averages 1 million rides every day.
In 2018, the firm announced losses in the region of $911 million, recording another loss of around $460 million the following year. In the current pandemic, their profits have only declined, with the absence of the need for transportation systems, Lyft Inc. is surviving based on the innovation of their food delivery system, which was launched in April 2020.
Lyft Inc.’s founders Green and Zimmer are currently valued at around $11.5 billion and $550 million respectively.
The rise of these new generation firms could not have been predicted at their startups and have since defied the odds and risen to stardom. Amongst the lot, only Airbnb Inc. is currently the only non-publicly traded establishment, although they are expected to file for their IPO in the nearest future. The “PAUL” firms have all been severely affected by the current coronavirus pandemic, losing millions in profits. Nonetheless, they are all expected to bounce back from the current situation as soon as things normalize.