There’s a new startup in town, and we’re lucky to say it’s an itnig company.
Factorial wants to make the HR role both easier and less time consuming through their cloud-based HR platform.
Many small and medium businesses don’t have a budget for a full-time HR person, so managing employees, their contracts, pay slips, time off, benefits, insurance and much more, is left to the CEO, the office manager or someone else.
All of these tasks, and more, are automated through Factorial, explains CTO and co-founder Pau Ramon Revilla.
Our customer interviews shows that HR managers use 80 percent of their time on cumbersome chores, and only 20 percent on building culture and boosting productivity. We want to flip those numbers.
Bringing the Zenefits model to Europe (and the world..)
Even though there’s several HR management platforms in Europe, they are not designed for the needs of small and medium businesses (payroll, benefits, time-management, etc.) that Factorial offers, says CEO and co-founder Jordi Romero:
The initial seed idea was to bring the Zenefits model to Europe.
Zenefits was born from newly introduced regulations that forced American companies to provide certain benefits for their employees, but European markets work very differently, and this is where Factorial comes in. They’re currently exploring what to offer in the different markets, and they’ll start in a few European countries, according to CEO Romero.
Usually all companies reinvent their own way of dealing with HR processes, using forms and excel sheets, which is very time consuming. We’ll change that.
Only three months ago Jordi and Pau didn’t have a product, but they’ve been building non-stop and have recently started on-boarding companies into their platform, according to CTO Ramon:
We’re testing what’s basically our MVP with 5–6 companies in Barcelona now, and so far the feedback has been good.
They’re currently raising their first round of funding, and will be using the next 6 months to build an international product, and then establish partnerships for benefits around Europe.
“The initial seed idea was to bring the Zenefits model to Europe” — Jordi Romero
Both Romero and Ramon are coming from executive positions in SaaS company Redbooth, where they worked as VP of business development and CTO.
We’re bringing a lot of valuable knowledge and experience from Redbooth on how to run a SaaS company, the metrics, how to convert users in to actual customers, and much more.
Factorial is meant for all small and medium businesses, but the first months their targeting startups, says CEO and co-founder Romero.
Tech startups usually have higher salaries, and are more creative in ways to compensate their employees. At the same time, they’re often very depending on efficiency and productivity, so it’s a very good fit for Factorial.
Factorial is one of six companies currently being built in itnig’s venture builder in Poble Nou, and all the other startups in the ecosystem are using Factorial.
We’re looking for great developers to help us build Factorial. As the CTO of Redbooth I’ve learned a lot about how to grow a team, create a good culture and to foster productivity and creativity. I’m looking forward to applying this knowledge in Factorial.
The perception that Disney is only a producer of children’s content is long gone. The company has managed to multiply by 10 its market capitalization in 10 years and I believe it will do it again in the next 10 years based on 3 factors: content, the entry in new businesses and spillover effects on current businesses.
Disney has been making movies for almost a hundred years. They have been movies for all the family but targeted to kids, which are the ultimate decision-makers when going to the movies. This is an example of the classical content they were producing up until the last 10 years.
Despite having a powerful content library, Disney has amassed the most impressive collection of content in the world via acquisitions:
21st Century Fox: 71B
Lucasfilm (2012): 4B
Marvel (2009): 4B
Pixar (2006): 7B
Hulu (2009): ??. They acquired 30% and an additional 30% with the acquisition of Fox
With the recent acquisition of Fox, there are only big four other movie studios left in the market: Sony, Warner Bros, Universal, and Paramount.
Just to give perspective. This is the list of the top 3 grossing movies for the last 3 years. Spoiler, they are all from Disney:
2017: Star Wars The Last Jedi (rubbish if you ask me), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (not great) and Beauty and the Beast.
2018: Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Incredibles 2.
2019: Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Aladdin (Still not counting with Toy Story 4, Spiderman, The Lion King, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker)
Having content as an asset in the movie industry is relevant because of the fact that over 90% of every year’s Top Box Office Hits are not original. Notice that the 9 hits mentioned above are not original content, including Captain Marvel which is a character well known despite debuting in theaters. Moviegoers are risk-averse and showing characters the public is familiar with is synonymous of success in a market where the production of a movie can cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Another essential part of the content are the actors. They give credibility to a movie and top talent can’t wait to appear on a superhero movie. Just look at the roster of Avengers Endgame with cameos from the likes of Robert Redford, Rene Russo, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Natalie Portman, William Hurt, Samuel L Jackson or Ken Jeong, the Asian character on The Hangover. All of this without accounting for the main characters. Where else can you see this?
One of the acquisitions mentioned is Hulu, a streaming platform in the US which also allows watching live content. I believe this is the future. Cable TV operators are doomed. The number of subscriber to Cable TV in the US has declined over the past years.
It’s clear the consumers are opting in to streaming on-demand platforms such as Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. That’s why Disney is launching Disney +.
This is a global trend. People across the world may not own a TV, but they have smartphones and internet connection. Netflix has launched a 3$ monthly cell-only subscription in India. Check this relentless growth of subscribers by Netflix.
Take a look at the last Shareholders report by Netflix, a public company that is burning billions every year -3,5B$ in 2019- and is expected to invest 15B$ in 2019 alone in new content. In my humble opinion, Netflix has by far the best streaming platform and the content is remarkably good, just look at the masterpiece Stranger Things season 3.
Netflix will be the main competitor of Disney, who will claw back its content from other platforms over the next years, reducing the earnings of licensing rights, but attracting customers to their platform. I believe there will be a time where platforms won’t share much content, but eventually, this will rise opportunities for multiplatform viewing apps and some years from now, platforms will reshare content once they settled a loyal customer base. Users will be subscribed to multiple platforms and they would still like to watch what’s best in every one of them. It’s not a winner take it all market.
My final bet is that there’s another big piece of content that is currently slipping away from streaming platforms, live sports. This is the last resort of traditional TV and cable TV operators who have been able to tell customers when and where to watch TV. This is no more, TV is dead.
Let’s get some perspective here. Disney is a corporation that currently (2019) has annual revenues of around 70B$ and a net income of around 13B$ (15–20%). Where do they make money from? This is a comparison YoY between the fiscal years ended on September 30th. of 2018 vs 2017. All areas grow except for merchandising. Figures in B$.
The main source of income is Media Network, which comes from ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC… Here’s the evolution of this revenue stream fro the last decade.
With the acquisition of Fox, this chart is going to experience a huge vertical shift.
PARKS AND RESORTS
Parks and resorts are the second biggest revenue stream of the Mickey Mouse company.
This is a chart with the number (in millions) of yearly by visitors by each park. Around 150 million people go to a venue managed by Disney somewhere on the planet. This can only be achieved by a great hospitality experience and the best content:
This is the revenue that comes from the distribution of movies and music.
The chart below displays the Box Office market share evolution. Disney has managed to multiply by 2,5 in ten years, and now with the inclusion of Fox, the market share could get just shy of 50%, which is ridiculous. This is a major spillover effect from the massive content acquisition.
DIRECT TO CONSUMER
This is where the new platform Disney + will come into play. Disney + is a SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) as far as we know. Other alternatives are AVOD (Advertising Video on Demand) where the users access for free but get adds (Youtube) and TVOD (Transactional Video on Demand) which is what Google is doing among others.
So far they have had Hulu in this category, but with the introduction of Disney +, this will become of the main revenue streams for Disney. Eventually, the main one if you ask me. My guess is that in one year, Disney + can produce revenues of about 20B$ and grow from there. This is what Netflix is doing right now.
The advantage of Disney + is that they already have the content and they would only need to produce specific content for the platform such as The Mandalorian or the Marvel spinoff series with Black Widow and more. That would imply big operating profits since most content has already been amortized. The downside, however, will be the loss of the licensing revenue they get from streaming onto other platforms included in the Studio section. I’m betting this will be a money-printing machine.
Disney is a company that has endured through decades and over the last years has taken on a path of content acquisition and generation that pays off very well. This is why I am “hodling” on its stock.