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Shop Like a Billionaire 🛍️

PLUS: Trillion Dollar Dreams 🤑

Hi Everyone. This is Take Off. We're like a hidden Easter egg in your favorite video game - surprising, delightful, and adding an extra layer of fun to your tech news consumption.

Here's what we're serving up today:

  • Shop Like a Billionaire 🛍️

  • Trillion Dollar Dreams 🤑

  • Wednesday Wires 💰

  • Asteroids ☄️

Shop Like a Billionaire 🛍️

Today, we’re gonna talk about what everyone is talking about - Temu.

In case you’ve not been using the Internet for the past year, Temu is the new Chinese E-commerce platform which has taken the US by storm. And it’s EVERYHWERE. 

**Scrolls through social media** - sees ads for Temu.

**Searches any product on Google** - sees ads for Temu.

**Watches the Super Bowl** - You guessed it: sees ads for Temu.

Heck, even the Amazon delivery guy asked me about it yesterday.

Shop Advertise Like a Billionaire

It doesn’t matter if you went for a bathroom break during one of the Super Bowl commercials because Temu made sure that you watch their ad. How?

By airing not 1, not 2 but a staggering 6 ads during SuperBowl 2024, spending an estimated $42M ($7M/ad) which doesn’t take into account the $10M the company offered in give-aways.

Meta recently announced some smashing results and we think Temu had a little something to do with their amazing ad revenue. 

The company mentioned that China-based advertisers now account for 10% of its annual revenue and the effect of certain Chinese companies (**cough Temu, **cough Shein) cannot be understated. 

Chinese advertisers contributed 5 percentage points to Meta’s worldwide growth totalling a revenue of $13.5B, out of which Temu is estimated to have spent $1.2B.

Temu was launched only in 2022 but spending billions of dollars has seen it become one of the fastest-growing websites in the US last year, according to Similarweb. 

It saw its web and mobile traffic increase by more than 700% YoY, reaching an average of 92.2M monthly visits. It came in second only to OpenAI. 

Who’s the Sugar Daddy?

Now you might be thinking: Where’s the money coming from? 

Well, Temu has DEEP pockets, thanks to its daddy - PDD Holdings.

Pinduodo, Temu’s parent company, is one of China’s largest E-commerce companies - bigger than Alibaba and JD.

This growth strategy is reminiscent of the one PDD used in China to rival Alibaba by luring shoppers with rock-bottom prices and extraordinary subsidies.

After carving out a market share, the company then turned profitable as it scaled back on customer acquisition, generated more ad fees from merchants and moved into higher-margin categories. 

Do you think Temu can take on goaliths like Walmart and Amazon?

Trillion Dollar Dreams 🤑

Do you want $7 trillion? Don’t we all want $7 trillion? 

Well that’ll be one thing we have in common with OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman.

Bored of merely shaping the future of AI conversation, Altman's now zeroing in on the tech world's Achilles' heel: the humble computer chip.

He wants to revamp global computer chip production, ensuring there's enough silicon firepower to propel the AI revolution forward.

After all, OpenAI's insatiable need for these high-tech chips to educate their sophisticated LLMs is no small potatoes. 

We're talking about a plan that's "outlandishly large" even by the standards of people who think in billions for breakfast.

Now, who's got that kind of cash lying around? Enter the United Arab Emirates, with its oil money riches, leading the charge in talks to fund Altman's grand plan. 

Alternatively, Altman could also simply compete in a Mr. Beast video.

But wait, there's more. Altman's not just throwing out big numbers because he wants an Apple Vision Pro for himself. 

He's got the foresight to see the towering costs of training these advancing AI models. The semi-conductor industry has been growing swiftly the last couple of years and the onset of AI is projected to make the growth only faster.

It is estimated that the training cost of GPT-4 was north of $100M, so to say that training these models is costly is itself an understatement. 

And it is believed that future AI progress might be demanding resources that dwarf the current global tech arsenal, energy supplies that would belittle the world's largest power plant, and an amount of training data that boggles the mind. 

Explain that shopping list to your accountant

By the numbers 

  • $7 trillion is 219 times the $32 billion that TSMC, the world's largest chip manufacturer, ran up in capital expenditures in 2023. 

  • It's also 206 times the $34 billion cost of the Manhattan Project, adjusted for inflation. 

  • It’s enough to buy approximately 1.4T tacos from Taco Bell. 

We’ll take the tacos to go.

The bottom line: All this talk of trillions should not be taken literally. Instead the best way to think about it is as a flag planted in the discourse — the idea (almost certainly false) that there is no sum of money that's too big to invest in AI.

☄️ Asteroids ☄️

YouTube clinches the streaming crown in the U.S. with 8.6% TV screen share, leaving Netflix trailing at 7.9%. With over 1 billion hours of daily watches, it's clear viewers crave user-generated content. 📺👑

Walmart's retail universe expands, snagging TV star Vizio for $2.3B, aiming to dazzle the ad galaxy & enrich home entertainment experiences. 📺💫

Apple hit with a €500M fine over Spotify's beef on app store exclusivity, stirring the EU's antitrust pot. Apple's tune may need adjusting as it dances around app store policies & potential bigger fines. 🎵🔒

💼 Cogig - All-in-one tool to manage flexible jobs

⏯️ AdGenAI - Create high performing ad variations with AI

💰️ Pilot - One team for all your accounting needs

🤝 Circleback - AI-powered meeting notes and workflows

💰 Wednesday Wires 💰

Bioptimus dives into AI's biology frontier with a $35M seed to decode life's code, leveraging exclusive data & expert brains. A spin from Owkin's DNA, it's set to revolutionize how we fight diseases and understand our biology. 🌐🔬

Planity, the French startup, is cutting through the beauty industry clutter with a €45M Series C, styling 40,000+ salons with sleek SaaS for booking. No snips attached, just a flat fee for fabulous management. 💇‍♂️💅

Scribe automates the art of knowledge sharing, soaring with 400% revenue growth & bagging $25M Series B. It's making corporate wisdom shareable at the click of a button, embraced by 97% of Fortune 500. 🧠💼

AI Jane: Artificial intelligence investment journalist building an easy to read ai investing email newsletter. Get smarter about investing in ai in 5 minutes.

The Aurorean: This newsletter scours 100+ sources so you don’t have to. The Aurorean is your guide to discover the essential news, research, beauty and humor in science every week.

The EV Universe: Keep up with the electric vehicle industry.

The AI Entreprenuers: Jetpack to success with 58,000 AI-loving empire builders.

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