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Tesla Seeks Fresh Funding

 2 min read / 

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Editor’s Remarks:
Tesla has announced a new round of funding as it prepares to launch its new Model 3 electric car. The Model 3 is Tesla’s first stab at a mass-market vehicle and is billed as its big shot at turning profitable, but Elon Musk’s company has a long way to go if it’s to buttress its balance sheets against the risks associated with the sheer size of the investments it must make to start production. It has now secured a $1bn injection, already covering about half of the $2bn-$2.5bn of capital expenditures that Tesla estimated it would make in the first half of 2017, on things like property and equipment purchases. Tesla will start limited Model 3 production in July before ramping things up to 5000 cars per week in 2017. The 400,000 pre-orders it has received for the Model 3 could be seen as an opportunity for the company to turn profitable and silence critics who accuse Musk of treading water, buoyed by government subsidies, or as a challenge to avoid simply blowing up its chronic negative cash flows to much bigger sizes.

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How Much Do World Leaders Make?

 1 min read / 

head of state salaries

It is well-known that Singapore pays the upper echelons of its government very handsomely. The tiny Southeast Asian city-state deliberately pegs its top government salaries to an index of what the nation’s most distinguished lawyers, bankers and businessmen earn in order to keep the bureaucracy meritocratic and competitive. The difference in pay, however, between Singapore’s head of state and that of Hong Kong – the second country on this list – is stark: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pulls in more than twice as much as Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying. The US comes in at fifth on this list, with an annual salary of $400,000 paid out to its president. However, incumbent president Donald Trump has refused to take the salary for the duration of his premiership and instead receives a nominal $1.

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America’s Favourite Beers: Lighter the Better

 1 min read / 

American Beer

Just this week, the world’s largest brewer (by a long way), AB InBev, decided to invest heavily in the burgeoning American craft beer industry. However, as the above chart shows, the established brands – and particularly their “light” ranges – dominate American beer sales. Nevertheless, in a pattern that has already graced Canada and the UK, craft breweries are gaining traction in the market as modern drinking tastes change. Meanwhile, Budweiser has teamed with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send barley seeds on a round trip mission to space so that its owner, AB InBev, can call itself the first to provide astronauts on Mars with a beer.

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What Is the World’s Largest App Store? It’s not Apple’s…

 1 min read / 

App Store

With over 2.8m different apps in its app store, Google comes out ahead of Apple, which can boast just 2.2m. This result reflects the broader Android/iPhone debate that has raged for several years now. Each phone has its own legion of fans but the sheer number of apps available on Google Play is now adding another dimension to the ongoing competition. Until recently, it was widely accepted that iOS apps generated higher revenues than their Android counterparts but the tables seem to be turning. Accordingly, commentators expect that a recent spike in Android users and the concurrent increase in spending on Android apps will make them more profitable than iOS apps in 2018. Google has also introduced Instant Apps, which essentially enable users to try out apps without actually downloading them in order to save storage space, data and time. Developers are currently building Instant App versions of their software to enable users to try out their offerings merely by pressing a “Try Now” button on the Google Play store. Apple is unlikely to have overlooked this innovation and a similar feature will probably grace the App Store sometime soon.

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