Slack, Coca-Cola, Snapchat and more...

The Business And Finance News You Need To Know
Charlie Richardson
23 January 2021
Slack, Coca-Cola, Snapchat and more...

Vaccine talk is tedious. But with two-billion-dollars on the table, Pfizer and German biotech, BioNTech (it's in the name), are burning the midnight oil and have four mRNA COVID vaccine candidates on the table. This could be the first vax approved for humans and unsurprisingly the U.S. government is getting giddy... The dose... Between Pfizer, BioNTech, and their manufacturing partners, they're talking about the production of 1 billion + doses by the end of next year.The cost... For America, the government will cough up $1.95bn while Americans will pay nothing for the vaccine.The IF... If the vax wins approval from the FDA. With larger, late-stage tests are taking place this month. What's the rush? 4 million people now infected with the virus in America and with a political hat on... Trump's approval ratings are lower than ever.

Now here's your weekly round-up of the business and finance news you need-to-know. | In a flashSnap 'Minis' Gives It Some HeadspaceCoca-Cola Lacks The Snacks To Cushion LockdownCutting No Slack For Microsoft Snap 'Minis' Give It Some Headspace | What happened and why... Snap (-9.51%) was in a funk until lockdown landed. Ever since, engagement and the stock price, have catapulted to near Snap highs. And now, with the wind in its sails, the disappearing social app has partnered with meditation-app, Headspace. 🧘 Digitox... Snap was rotting through 2018 but the Gen-Z social expert clearly got the investor message - do something - and it did... Last year... Snap launched in-app games to keep users busy and it seemed to do the trick.This week... Snap launched 'Minis' - mini-app experiences within the chat that allows customers to experience bitesize versions of other apps. To ensure Mini kicks off in the right frame of mind, Headspace's first mini landed with 3 minutes of the soothing, dulcet tones of the founder, Andy Puddiscombe. And it all ties in nicely with the company's mission to improve the health and happiness of the world. At first glance, Mini's look a win-win... For Headspace... The tie-up opens the doors to 229 million daily Snappers.For Snap... Minis, and the free-access for users to Headspace, could be the first glance into a very busy marketplace. Snap is aiming to emulate aspects of the popular Chinese “super-app” model. Novel to us Luddites in 'the west', the mini-apps model is a mainstream game in Asia, where WeChat has 1 million+ mini-apps that allows users to perform a bunch of tasks. | The Takeaway 👻 I shall call it... mini-Store... With Apple and Google charging 30% at the door for revenues and subscriptions via their App marketplaces, Snap might just have something big in the making. With Gen-Z and younger Snap's total bread-and-butter, the purchasing power might not be there but the market size certainly is. Coca-Cola Lacks The Snacks To Cushion Lockdown | What happened and why... Like it's bigger, badly-aging brother Pepsi, Coca-Cola's (+5.36%) sales and profits plunged with little in the way of blotting-paper to cushion the fall. Whilst Pepsi saw gains in unhealthy and some less-unhealthy snacks last week, Coca-Cola's liquid diet always made it more vulnerable than its diversified rival. 🤔 Get things going... Not many are keener for a return to business-as-usual than Coca-Cola execs. Around 54% of Coke's sales come from entertainment venues that are well and truly, shut-up for shop. With entertainment in lockdown and Pepsi giving them the heads-up, investors were over-prepared for the bleak numbers... Stock pop... Shares in Coca-Cola fizz 5% on the news that the company has turned a corner.On the mend... Coke execs are pointing to light at the end of the tunnel, with May and June marking some improvements and that was all investors wanted to hear. | The Takeaway It's always Coca-Cola... With Coke numbers playing the sequel to Pepsi, Investors had a good idea of the damage done and what to expect. What they didn't expect was talk of a return so soon. With America desperate to open for business and even talk of a return of crowds to arena's soon, investors are seeing a pretty empty Coke glass, half-full. Cutting No Slack For Microsoft | What happened and why... Now they're big enough, Slack (+3.86%) is going in swinging. The working-comms giant has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft in Europe (with the EU) that accuses the tech giant of 'sneakily' integrating its Teams software with the company's cloud-based software, Office 365. ✍️ Slack is banking on some nifty legal work. The comms-master is accusing Microsoft of illegally abusing its market power by tying-up the purchase of its rival product, Teams, into its enterprise software, Microsoft 365... which happens to have almost 43% of the market. What Slack wants... EU regulators to move quickly “to ensure Microsoft cannot continue to illegally leverage its power from one market to another by bundling or tying products.”Split it up... Slack wants the Windows-maker (not glass) to be forced to sell Teams separately to Microsoft 365 customers at a separate price - rather than bundling it with the existing suite and absorbing the cost. | The Takeaway Who? Those guys...? Slack has consistently claimed Microsoft Teams is not a real competitor, as the tech giant is focused on video calls and meetings. Well, even the most ardent of Slackites know that's not true. Sure, you can go Slack + GSuite but you don't go Slack + Teams. Microsoft and Slack are in a battle for the future of workplace comms. Miaow... Microsoft claimed Slack doesn’t have the “breadth and depth” to reinvent work, and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has previously said that Microsoft is “unhealthily preoccupied with killing us.”