Pinterest’s ad sales are approaching $1 billion – with a B – USD in revenue. Uber and Lyft cut ties with a driver who secretly filmed hundreds of passengers. And Tesla is asking some of its suppliers for cash back to help it become profitable.
All three of today’s stories are from LinkedIn.
First up: According to CNBC, retail-centric social media firm Pinterest is close to earning $1 billion USD in revenue from ad sales. That’s double what it earned last year, when its sales revenue was $500 million USD. CNBC attributes the increase to Pinterest being popular with fashion and beauty brands. It’s also becoming more popular with investors: Pinterest is currently a private company, but its estimated value has increased from $12.3 billion USD last June to its current value of between $13 and $15 billion USD. Good news for Pinterest executives, since according to CNBC the company is planning to go public in the second quarter of 2019. Pinterest declined to comment on CNBC’s report.
Next: A report published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this weekend revealed that former Uber and Lyft driver Jason Gargac had installed hidden cameras in his vehicle and would post his rides to livestreaming website Twitch without his passengers’ knowledge. According to the Post-Dispatch, Gargac had uploaded approximately 700 rides since March, and earned about $3,500 through Twitch. Depending on the rider, his videos included names, homes, trash talk about relatives, friends, coworkers, and bosses, and naturally, drunk passengers throwing up. The Post-Dispatch identified around a dozen sources based solely on Gargac’s videos, which he argued were perfectly legal, even though he asked reporter Erin Heffernan to not use his full name in her story. Initially Uber simply offered disgruntled passengers $5 credit and a promise to never assign Gargac to them again, and both Lyft and Uber said that since St. Louis’s state of Missouri only requires one party to consent to filming, his streams were not illegal. After the investigation went viral, however, both companies banned Gargac, hopefully for life.
Finally, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is approaching some of its suppliers and asking for cash refunds, according to the Wall Street Journal. According to a memo obtained by the Journal, Tesla says it needs the money to help it become profitable and to keep its operation going. Tesla declined to comment on the Journal’s report but confirmed that it’s seeking a price reduction from suppliers. The company recently cut nine per cent of its workforce in an effort to become profitable.