eric-yuanZoom IPO Values Firm at $9 Billion

I am proud to announce that HMG Strategy National Partner Zoom has launched its IPO and has already outperformed market expectations. Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan is a good friend, and we offer him our sincerest congratulations. From my perspective, this IPO is a great step forward for Zoom and for the tech industry.

“In the offering, Zoom will raise just over $350 million and investors another $396 million, giving the San Jose, Calif-based tech company a market capitalization of $9.2 billion,” writes Alex Konrad of Forbes. “That makes Yuan, who founded the company in 2011, cloud computing's newest billionaire … Excluding unvested options, Yuan still holds more than 53 million shares of Zoom — giving him a net worth of $1.9 billion ahead of the stock's debut.”

innovation-2019-croppedMoveworks Raises $30 Million

I am also delighted to announce that Moveworks, an HMG Ventures company, has raised $30 million in funding. 

"Technology is the backbone of business productivity, yet, the average IT support ticket takes three entire days to resolve," says Bhavin Shah, the firm’s CEO and co-founder. "IT teams waste valuable time and money resolving the same issues over and over again.”

Moveworks provides the enterprise with an instant and autonomous solution that doesn't just log the issue -- it does the work, he says.

With Moveworks, companies can completely eliminate the need for IT staff to work on tasks such as provisioning applications, resetting passwords, unlocking accounts, managing email lists, and answering questions so they can focus on high-value activities.

“The three-year-old firm is coming out of stealth mode on the heels of a $30 million Series A investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Bain Capital with a product that can automatically complete a range of tech support chores,” writes Jillian D’Onfro of Forbes.

samsung-croppedSamsung Shares Drop Over Foldable Phones; Apple Plans Enhancements for iPhone Cameras

Smart makers Samsung and Apple were in the headlines this week. In Apple’s case, the news was good: Apple plans to improve the iPhone cameras. In Samsung’s case, however, the news was bad: Some of Samsung’s new folding phones seem to be breaking.

“Shares of Samsung Electronics dropped more than 3 percent on Thursday after multiple accounts emerged of its cutting-edge folding phone breaking ahead of the device's retail launch,” writes Eustance Huang of CNBC. “The phone, named the Galaxy Fold and priced at $1,980, has only been given to gadget reviewers so far, but several people have reported that their screens appear to be disconnecting and permanently flashing on or off.”

Also this week, Apple announced it would upgrade the cameras in its iPhone, citing the camera system as a competitive advantage in global markets.

“An improved camera system will be a major selling point for Apple's 2019 iPhone lineup, according to a research note from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,” writes Kif Leswing of CNBC. “Improved cameras and picture quality could give consumers a reason to upgrade from older models as iPhone sales growth has stalled in recent years. Camera quality is frequently cited as important factor in surveys about which features are critical to users who are deciding whether to upgrade.”

cyber-basics-croppedSome Insurers Use ‘War Exclusion’ Clause to Avoid Paying Cyber Crime Claims 

If you think your company’s insurance policies will provide protection from cyber attacks, you had better check the fine print. A compelling story in The New York Times explains how some companies have been caught off guard by their own insurers.

For example, when snack food giant Mondelez International was hit by cyber attackers in 2017, its insurer said it wouldn’t pay. The insurer “cited a common, but rarely used, clause in insurance contracts” called the “war exclusion,” which allows them to avoid paying for damages causes by war.

“The 2017 attack was a watershed moment for the insurance industry,” write Adam Satariano and Nicole Perlroth of the Times. ”Since then, insurers have been applying the war exemption to avoid claims related to digital attacks. In addition to Mondelez, the pharmaceutical giant Merck said insurers had denied claims after the NotPetya attack hit its sales research, sales and manufacturing operations, causing nearly $700 million in damage.”

I strongly recommend reading the Times article. I was surprised to learn that some insurers are trying to avoid paying cyber crime claims, and I certainly hope it’s not the beginning a long-term trend.