17th September 2021
Good morning US start up, Colossal, has just raised $15m to embark on what has to be one of the most ambitious projects out there. It wants to bring woolly mammoths back from the dead. The pre-historic animals have been extinct for a few thousand years but Colossal thinks it can edit elephant genes, which already share more than 99% of the mammoth’s genome, to bring mammoths back to life.
- Supply chain headaches
- Design start up reaches $40bn valuation
Supply chain headaches
What’s going on?
Two of the biggest names on the high street are taking drastic action in response to supply chain issues.
M&S will close 11 stores in France as they can’t supply them with fresh and chilled foods since Brexit.
John Lewis is chartering a fleet of cargo ships to ensure its stock reaches stores in time for Christmas.
Why is this important?
Keeping your shelves stocked is the number one priority of any retailer but Brexit and global supply chain problems have made this challenging of late.
M&S blamed Brexit disruption to exports to Europe for its decision to shut 11 franchised shops in France. The stores are set to close by the end of the year.
The UK formally left the EU in 2020, but remained within its economic partnership until the start of this year, when a new, much looser free trade agreement began. Under the new trading arrangements, there are no tariffs or quotas on exports to the EU.
However, there’s been a huge increase in regulatory requirement, particularly with food standards, that make exporting certain products, such like sausages, pork pies and sandwiches more difficult, if not impossible.
John Lewis is doing all it can to stock shelves for the crucial Christmas period when it makes most of its profit. The department store is chartering extra ships to bring supplies from China.
Like many companies it’s been facing a host of supply chain problems caused in part by lorry driver shortages as many drivers opted to leave the UK when freedom of movement came to an end at the start of the year. Industry experts estimate that 100,000 drivers are needed to plug the shortfall.
Brexit and the pandemic have wreaked havoc on the flow of goods around the world. As economies have reopened post lockdown companies have struggled to keep up with the pent-up demand for goods.
John Lewis is now warning that these supply chain squeezes will fuel prices increases. And M&S could decide to shut the rest of its European operations if Brexit red tape make doing business in the continent too difficult.
Design start up reaches $40bn valuation
Sydney-based start up Canva wants to make graphic design accessible to non-design pros.
It’s the go-to design platform for small businesses and anyone who wants to make snazzy posters, presentations and social media content. In recent years it's also begun to cater for large corporations like Salesforce, Marriott and PayPal. In 2019, Canva said 85% of Fortune 500 companies use it.
Canva raised $200m at a whopping $40bn valuation, up from $15bn barely five months ago. With its new valuation, it's now the world’s most valuable female-founded and female-led start up. On top of that it’s now the world’s fifth-most valuable private start up just behind buy-now-pay-later giant Klarna.
Canva will use the new funding to double its 2,000-person staff over the next year and expand into web design and video editing tools.
The company has grown quickly since launching in 2013. It now has 60m users across 190 countries, and has been doubling revenue each year since it started and expects to exceed $1bn in revenue by the end of 2021.
Two of the company's founders, CEO Melanie Perkins and COO Cliff Obrecht, also said that they’d donate most of their combined 36% stake in the company to charity.
Stat of the day
Footwear brand Crocs expects to double sales by 2026 to $5bn
Other stories to keep you in the loop
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- Tobacco group Philip Morris wins control of British inhaler company Vectura
- Toilet paper start up, Who Gives a Crap, raises $30m
- Monzo confirms plans for buy now pay later product called ‘Flex’
- The UK is racing towards a winter energy crisis
- Adoption of Bitcoin as legal currency sparks protests in El Salvador
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