Recode Daily: 2019 IPOs will create a lot of millionaires in Silicon Valley — and maybe a few ex-Californians
Plus: Instacart apologized for its tip-theft controversy, but low wages are still a big issue; e-scooter company Lime raises $310 million while e-scooter injuries are on the rise; now yacht influencers are a thing.
2019 will create a lot of millionaires in Silicon Valley. It may also create a lot of ex-Californians. The highest-taxed state in the country has long motivated the wealthy to look for cheaper states in which to park their fortunes. And the most appealing time to flee is now, just before a historic amount of new money is created in a year expected to be the biggest IPO bonanza since 2000, slated to feature highly valued startups like Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, Slack, Peloton, and Pinterest. Looking to protect their money, some early executives who are potential new millionaires in California’s IPO gold rush are quietly talking about moving out of state to low-tax hideaways like Incline Village, Nevada. But California’s ruthless tax collectors have seen all these tricks before. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
Twitter finally shared how big its daily user base is — and it’s a lot smaller than Snapchat’s. For years, Twitter has been asking investors to judge the company by looking at user growth for its daily active users. The problem? Twitter never shared how many daily active users it actually had, which made the year-over-year growth hard to appreciate. That changed on Thursday when Twitter shared its daily user total for the first time: Twitter has 126 million daily users, which is 60 million fewer users than Snapchat (and a lot fewer users than the core apps owned by Facebook). The new metric matters to Twitter because it paints a picture that Twitter is growing. Twitter’s monthly active user base — the user metric it has shared quarterly since its IPO in 2013 — is shrinking, and has been for some time. So focusing on DAU instead of MAU lets Twitter show that it’s growing, which is a much happier story to tell. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]
After Instacart was accused of denying some contract shoppers their hard-earned tip money, the grocery delivery company apologized and agreed to change its policy to increase minimum pay to workers for deliveries, separate that pay from their designated tip money, and compensate workers who saw their tip funds redirected. The tip-theft controversy brought to light a deeper issue: Even when gig economy workers get their tips in full, many of them are being paid far below what most would consider a decent minimum wage — by some estimates less than $10 an hour after expenses. Meanwhile, convincing customers to buy their groceries online still has some high hurdles ahead: While 22 percent of apparel sales and 30 percent of computer and electronics sales happen online today, the same can be said for only 3 percent of grocery sales. [Shirin Ghaffary / Recode]