21 November 2017

ACQUIRE - Procter and Gamble buys Native Deodorant for US$100M Cash

Native sells natural deodorant and a million online customers for US$100M Cash

According to a TechCrunch report last weekconsumer products giant Procter and Gamble is acquiring Native a natural deodorant brand, for $100 million in cash. San Francisco-based Native initiated business in 2015 and previously raised seed funding from Azure Capital Partners.

According to industry sources,  Procter and  Gamble recently announced they would be transparent about what’s truly in their fragrances by the end of 2019. This is a huge move considering “fragrance” is an umbrella term that can include a myriad of chemicals (which are not legally required to be disclosed).

Industry Analysts estimate the annual sales of Native to be between US$25-30 million per annum.

Native moved deodorant into a subscription based business. Procter and Gamble's acquisition price does not seem related to free cash flow or revenue. It seems to be more about acquiring an innovative approach to deodorant. In that respect this purchase is not unlike Unilever's earlier purchases of Dollar Shave Club and The Honest Company. Given the high cost and time required to develop a product and a subscriber ecosystem, acquisitions like this one may well become common place. 

20 November 2017

OPINION - Peter Hinssen on Ignorance and Innovation

A serial entrepreneur, advisor, keynote speaker and author, Peter Hinssen is one of the most sought-after thought leaders on radical innovation, leadership and the impact of all things digital on society and business.

Hinssen brings forward the idea that organizations need to have a percentage of people who Don't Know What They Are Doing to be innovative and bring forward the best result for the future. 

Hinssen points to emerging companies where the percentage of these people is much higher than in mature organizations. He shows that innovators in these legacy organizations spend a disproportionate amount of their time wrestling with those who Know What They Are Doing but will never generate a different result. 

19 November 2017

INNOVATE - An IoT Solution Improves Wine Making for Henry of Pelham

hop_img_hp_winebottlesLast week Bell announced it has partnered with BeWhere Technologies and Huawei to implement an automated Internet of Things (IoT) solution for the Henry of Pelham vineyard to help improve planning and sustainability programs.
By using wireless environmental sensors connected to Bell's LTE-M wireless network, the winery will be able to remotely monitor temperature and water levels, prevent vine disease, and ultimately improve the health of its plants, lowering operating costs and providing for years of maintenance-free data gathering.
"Unexpected adverse weather conditions can impact quality, yield and mortality of our crops," said Matthew Speck, Owner/Viticulturist of Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery. "Bell's solution will increase the density of our environmental monitoring. We'll be able to automatically act on temperature inversions by turning on fans when temperatures change, ensuring the health of our grapes and an optimal product for our customers. The solution is not only economical and scalable, it gives growers a good view of the vines' temperature needs to improve quality and drive sustainability."
In June, Bell announced it will launch an LTE-M (Long Term Evolution, category M1) wireless network in 2018 to support the rapidly increasing use of IoT devices on low-power, wide-area networks (LPWANs) in Canada.
LTE-M improves the operating efficiency of IoT devices by enabling very low power consumption and better coverage in underground and other hard-to-reach locations. In partnership with Huawei, Bell has successfully demonstrated these benefits in its Mississauga wireless innovation lab and in network field trials.
"Bell's LTE-M network combined with BeWhere's environmental sensors and cloud-based applications will provide Henry of Pelham with a perfect solution to help them do what they do best – produce fine wines," said Owen Moore, CEO of BeWhere. "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Bell, Huawei and Henry of Pelham on this project."
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:  LTE-M is intended to support a broad range of large-scale IoT solutions, including smart city services, smart metering, home automation, weather and environmental monitoring, asset tracking, supply chain management, security monitoring, transportation and logistics, as well as personal wearables for healthcare and accessibility applications.

18 November 2017

INNOVATE - Loblaws, Walmart and J B Hunt have Purchased the Heavy-duty Telsa Trucks

A Need to Reduce Carbon Emissions is driving Tesla sales

Loblaws has pre-ordered 25 of Tesla's new heavy-duty electric trucks called the Tesla Semi to join Walmart in adopting the new technology.

“It’s part of our commitment to electrify our fleet,” spokeswoman Catherine Thomas said. The company has committed to have a fully electric fleet by 2030. To accomplish this goal Loblaws would need to add 350 zero-emission tractors and more than 2,000 zero emission trailers to its fleet.

Related imageThe Ontario-based grocer says removing diesel from its transport trucks and refrigerated trailers could reduce more than 94,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing more than 20,000 cars from the road.

Reuters is reporting that Walmart and J B Hunt Transport Inc a major US hauler have also placed firm orders for the Tesla Semi. 

Wal-Mart said it plans to order a total of 15 Tesla trucks, five for the United States and ten for Canada. The company operates a fleet of about 6,000 trucks in the United States.

JB Hunt Transport Inc is the first major U.S. trucking company to announce an order for Tesla’s new “Semi” electric trucks, saying it has reserved multiple vehicles for use on the U.S. West Coast.

According to Reuters, about 260,000 Class-8 trucks are produced in North America annually, with a value of about $28.6 billion. The first deliveries of the Tesla Semi trucks are expected in 2019. Tesla has not identified any other buyers for the truck but claims it will be faster, easier and safer to operate than comparable diesel trucks.

Tesla claims that a fully loaded Semi consumes less than two kilowatt-hours of energy per mile and has a range of about 800 kilometres. That could save owners at least US$200,000 in fuel costs over 1.6 million km.

Some analysts believe China will also be an early adopter of this technology.