Nerdshala+ roundup: Singapore’s fintech buzz, SaaS slump, amplified marketing strategies

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Brett Taylor is on a roll: On Monday, he became chairman of Twitter’s board, and a day later, Salesforce named him its co-CEO and co-chair.

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Enterprise reporter Ron Miller looks back on Taylor’s career to better understand how the one-time Google product manager co-led one of the world’s most valuable companies.

To get a full perspective, Ron interviewed four analysts:


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  • Liz Herbert, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
  • Holger Muller, Analyst, Constellation Research
  • Brent Leary, Founder and Principal Analyst, CRM Essentials
  • Jason Wong, Analyst, Gartner

Leary said Taylor’s rise indicates that Salesforce founder Marc Benioff is getting ready to transition “to the next phase of his life, whatever that may be.”

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However, Müller said the division of power is successful only when the senior partner abdicates responsibilities. This will be a first for Benioff, and we’ll see how it pans out.

Thanks for reading, and have a nice weekend.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, Nerdshala+
@your hero

How to Execute an Amplified Marketing Strategy

image credit: Aaron’s mother (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Every blog post, tweet and Instagram story is an opportunity to explain to customers (and your board) how the company creates value or is one step ahead of the competition.

But quality will always beat quantity when it comes to content marketing; Googlebot may be hungry for new links, but potential customers demand expertise and insight.

“Marketers need a new action plan that sets creativity before quantity, audience before engine, and connections as top priorities,” says Lindsey Tjepkema, CEO of audio and video content marketing platform Cast.

mother in law talk about selling

Companies offering software as a service have been writing their own ticket in recent years, but are we entering a bear market?

Last month, WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund was at a 52-week high of $65.51, but by this week, that figure had dropped to $53.

“That’s a drop of 19.1%,” writes Alex Wilhelm at The Exchange. “Or, 90 basis points under the 20% required for a particular asset… to reach technical bear-market territory.”

With $3B expected in 2021, Singapore is becoming a fintech capital

image credit: Tonnaja (Opens in a new window)/ Getty Images

Singapore has a population of less than 5 million, but according to KPMG, fintech investment in the nation-state will reach $3 billion this year, a significant portion of the global total of $42 billion.

By comparison, investors channeled $4.8B to Canadian fintech startups in the first half of the year.

One factor driving Singapore’s fintech success is its high consumer adoption rate, but its government directly supports related initiatives through the Green Finance Action Plan.

Super App Grab Starts Trading on Supersized SPAC Combination

Singapore-based Grab started out by offering ride-hailing services, but has since grown into a “super app” that offers everything from food delivery to online payments.

The company went public on Thursday via SPAC in what appears to be the largest-ever U.S. debut by a company based in Southeast Asia. But by the close of the market, the stock had fallen 21% to $8.75.

Looking back, a question asked by Alex Wilhelm before he started trading sounds pretty accurate:

“What are investors looking for in the company to give them enough confidence to leave billions in their accounts and bid their shares higher?

Unbundling of Vocational Education and Entrepreneurship Education

Concept of creative ideas and innovation.  The human brain is connected to a light bulb.

image credit: jayk7 (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Workers who want to accelerate their professional development no longer need to take tens of thousands of loans.

Online education options are cheap and numerous, and “access to coaching and mentoring at the individual and group levels is improving,” writes Rhys Spence, head of research at European edtech-focused fund Brighteye Ventures.

To get a holistic understanding of opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs, he designed a market map that charts professional learning startups.

“These companies focus on a combination of both B2C and B2B models and have had great success on the B2B front,” says Spence.

“It is a convenient way for employers to provide their team with opportunities for continuous personal development, tailored to their interests and preferences.”

China banning foreign IPOs would be surprising

Tencent, Didi and other China-based startups were able to go public in the US due to a complex loophole known as a VIE, or variable-interest entity.

A VIE establishes an offshore company that allows non-Chinese citizens to impose restrictions on foreign ownership.

“The model was always risky,” Alex Wilhelm explained, “but now the Chinese Communist Party is considering doing away with the side-step of its own regulations, which could have a devastating effect on the country’s VC market.”

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