DIS­RUP­TORS

Shares - - TALKING POINT -

SPACEX

While SpaceX isn’t send­ing peo­ple into space yet, Tesla boss Elon Musk’s ‘other’ baby is al­ready on a path to trans­form space flight op­er­a­tions and eco­nomics. This is largely thanks to its own Fal­con 9 re-use­able rocket (well, part of it can re-land), tech­nol­ogy that is truly dis­rupt­ing SpaceX projects.

SpaceX runs many of Nasa’s projects and has Mars and be­yond in its sights. A new Fal­con Heavy rocket, de­signed to carry goods and peo­ple be­tween Earth and the red planet, could be a step for­ward, but it’s a grow­ing satel­lites in­dus­try that is likely to drive prof­itabil­ity, when it comes.

SpaceX re­mains pri­vately-owned but Google and Fi­delity In­vest­ments have poured more than $1.6bn of growth fund­ing into the com­pany. A stock mar­ket float isn’t out of the ques­tion in the medium to long term. (SF)

TEN­CENT

Of­ten com­pared to Face­book, in truth Ten­cent has built an ecosys­tem in its China back­yard that is far wider and deeper than its US peer. At the heart of this net­work is a wealth of mes­sag­ing and so­cial net­work­ing plat­forms, namely WeChat and QQ.

WeChat is a phe­nom­e­non and one of the world’s fastest grow­ing so­cial apps. Re­leased in 2011, the plat­form com­bines mes­sag­ing, so­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion and lots of mo­bile games, all in a sin­gle easy-to-use app that has more than 1bn monthly ac­tive users.

On­line pay­ments, shop­ping and leisure ac­tiv­i­ties are also wrapped into the plat­form, mean­ing users barely need to go any­where else.

QQ.com is China’s largest lo­cal lan­guage por­tal in­te­grat­ing news, in­ter­ac­tive com­mu­ni­ties, en­ter­tain­ment prod­ucts and widely-used ba­sic ser­vices. Vast growth po­ten­tial re­mains in China but Ten­cent is also eye­ing over­seas ex­pan­sion.

UK in­vestors can buy the Hong Kong-listed stock via most UK in­vest­ment plat­forms or they could get ex­po­sure by a va­ri­ety funds and in­vest­ment trust such as Martin Cur­rie Asia

Un­con­strained (MCP). (SF)

UBER

The busi­ness has com­pletely dis­rupted the taxi mar­ket and has as­pi­ra­tions to be a much broader trans­port group. Uber wants its app to be a one-stop-shop for ride hail­ing, bike and scooter shar­ing, car rentals and pub­lic trans­port.

It won’t be a smooth ride as Uber faces reg­u­la­tory, cul­tural and com­pet­i­tive hur­dles. Yet sig­nif­i­cant progress on the taxi side would sug­gest it has the vigour to over­come prob­lems.

Uber is ex­pected to float on a stock mar­ket in 2019. Morn­ingstar val­ued it at $110bn in July and fore­casts prof­itabil­ity in 2022. ‘We project that Uber’s net rev­enue will grow at a 27% av­er­age an­nual pace over the next 10 years to $82.4bn,’ it adds. (DC)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.