|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||10.10 - 10.64|
|52 Week Range||5.47 - 12.03|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.00|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||10.63|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Dec. 27, 2019|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Retool, Inc., a startup that’s less than four years old, is worth almost $1 billion after raising money from some of Silicon Valley’s top investors including Sequoia Capital and executives from GitHub Inc. and Stripe Inc.The San Francisco-based company recently completed a $50 million financing that was led by Sequoia and values Retool at $925 million. That follows an earlier $25 million round. Other backers include GitHub Chief Executive Officer Nat Friedman, Stripe founders Patrick and John Collison, Brex Inc. founders Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, and Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham.Retool is riding a wave of interest in products that make it easier for developers to build applications and other software. The value of this part of the tech industry was highlighted in 2018 when GitHub, which helps developers share code and collaborate, was bought by Microsoft Corp. for $7.5 billion.While GitHub caters to mostly expert software developers, there’s huge demand for this type of support among less tech-savvy workers. That’s led to an explosion of low-code offerings that don’t require as much knowhow and no-code services, which need no prior coding knowledge.Retool is taking a low-code approach and the startup focuses on companies that need to build their own internal software tools. Instead of writing software from scratch, these customers can drag and drop Retool’s pre-made building blocks into place, and then use their own code to tweak or customize the final product.David Hsu, a 25 year-old software engineer, founded Retool in 2017 after realizing how much time he wasted building internal applications in a similar way over and over again. “Lots of engineers fundamentally don’t want to do that,” he said.The first few lines of code for Retool were written in March 2017. That summer, Retool presented at Y Combinator’s Demo Day, an almost sacred Silicon Valley ritual that showcases promising young startups twice a year. A $1 million seed round followed, and soon after the first customers started using Retool.The company says its service helps developers build applications up to 40 times faster while retaining the flexibility of writing their own code. Customers include Amazon.com Inc., Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, Progressive Corp., Peloton Interactive Inc. and Rakuten Inc.Bryan Schreier, partner at Sequoia, said he was drawn to Retool based on his experience at Google. Schreier oversaw a team building internal tools and he said most of his colleagues were “desperate to do just about anything else.”Schreier, a Retool board member, also noted that Hsu insisted on keeping Retool’s valuation below $1 billion. That milestone gains startups the coveted “unicorn” status, but the phenomenon has sometimes caused young companies to expand too quickly with disastrous results.“There is a tendency to glorify a billion-dollar valuation,” Hsu said. “We want to signal that to people that we are just getting started.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Ken Kutaragi, the legendary inventor of the PlayStation gaming console, is taking on one of the hardest jobs in robotics. And he’s getting paid nothing to do it.The founder of Sony Corp.’s gaming business is the new chief executive officer of Ascent Robotics Inc., a Tokyo-based artificial intelligence startup. Kutaragi, 70, wants to make affordable robots that can safely move around and do physical work alongside humans in factories and logistics centers, and aims to have a working prototype in about a year. He said he receives no salary to save precious capital.“The Covid-19 outbreak has turned the old argument about robots taking our jobs on its head,” Kutaragi said in his first interview since taking the helm in August. “It’s pretty clear now that if we want to arrive at a new normal, we need more and more robots in our daily lives.”The industry veteran is vague about how he plans to accomplish this, other than to say partnerships will be key to moving forward. Ascent has worked with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. on a robotic arm that can pick parts out of a jumble using a single camera as input. It’s also developing autonomous driving software in collaboration with an unnamed Japanese carmaker. The company uses a combination of data from sensor-studded Lexus hybrids cruising Tokyo’s streets and a simulations where the algorithms are trained to handle so-called edge-case scenarios.‘Fast and Furious’ Driverless Cars Aren’t as Crazy as They SoundThe challenge is that he is trying to combine two technologies that have so far over-promised and under-delivered: autonomous driving and collaborative robots. The world’s biggest industrial automation companies including Fanuc Corp., ABB Ltd. and Kuka AG have struggled to grow the market for machines that can work alongside humans. At the same time, cars that can drive themselves seem to be perennially just over the horizon.“If you are looking to combine robotics and mobility, you need someone in charge who understands technology,” Kutaragi said. “We are thinking globally, not limiting our sights to Japan.”Kutaragi has a track record of solving difficult technical and business problems. He started his career at Sony in the 70s, working on some of the electronics giant’s most successful projects including liquid crystal displays and digital cameras. In the 90s, he revolutionized video gaming by pioneering the loss-leader model of spending billions on developing cutting-edge hardware and then recouping costs through content licensing deals. Kutaragi also demonstrated a keen sense of technology trends, famously shipping the PlayStation 2 with a DVD player and spurring the adoption of the new laser disc technology.Since leaving Sony in 2007, he has sat on the boards of e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc., app developer SmartNews Inc. and GA Technologies, which runs an AI-powered real estate listings website. Kutaragi has served as Ascent’s outside board director since 2018 and took over the CEO post on Aug. 26. He owns about 22% of Ascent, which he acquired from founder Fred Almeida who has left the startup. Masayuki Ishizaki, who preceded Kutaragi as CEO, has become the company’s chief operating officer.Founded in 2016, Ascent has raised about $18 million to date and employs about 50 engineers, most of whom are foreigners. Kutaragi declined to say how much runway the company has left and whether it plans additional financing.“If we don’t do it, someone else out there will,” Kutaragi said. “Management is tough, but that’s how it was with PlayStation too. It’s something I’m good at.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Japan's Rakuten Inc <4755.T> launched low price 5G services via its cloud-based mobile network on Wednesday in a challenge to rival carriers under fire for high prices that could shake up the telecoms industry globally. The start of the next-generation service follows the launch of Rakuten's 4G services in April in a network based on cloud-based software and commoditized hardware that the e-commerce firm says has radically slashed entry costs. Rakuten is offering 5G plans for the same price as its existing plan - 2,980 yen ($28) before tax per month.