Apple posts record quarter thanks to Christmas sales

There were increases in the iPhone, Mac computers, the Apple Watch and apps. Also: SAP takes over the fintech Taulia from San Francisco and Wetransfer has canceled the IPO.
Although the latest iPhone models did not bring any major changes, Apple managed record sales.

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Despite the global component shortages, Apple had another record quarter with a profit of 34.6 billion US dollars. That was a good fifth more than a year earlier. The iPhone group benefited from the Christmas business. Sales rose by around eleven percent to 123.9 billion dollars, also a new record. The numbers exceeded analysts' expectations, with Apple shares up more than 3 percent in after-hours trading.
The growth driver was once again the iPhone. Sales of the smartphone rose to $71.6 billion, up 9 percent year-on-year. There was also significant growth in the Mac computer, Apple Watch, accessories and apps sectors. The business with the iPads declined somewhat. [More at Bloomberg, Handelsblatt, Wall Street Journal and CNBC]
On Gründerszene you can read today: Hygiene articles for women: "There is really nothing in this area that is really sustainable and still works well." That's what Ines Schiller thinks, and that's why she founded the sustainable tampon startup Vyld, which wants to produce tampons from algae . Schiller got the idea of doing something with algae at some point when she was completing further training to become a marine guide in South Africa. [More at start-up scene]

And here are the other headlines of the night:

SAP takes over the Fintech Taulia from San Francisco. Taulia offers financial solutions for suppliers and their customers via the platform. With the acquisition of the majority stake in the startup, SAP is expanding its financing business. According to Group CEO Christian Klein, the price is less than one billion euros. SAP also published final figures for the fourth quarter and for the full year 2021. The group recorded success in the cloud business, with 1,300 customers already using the core software S/4 Hana. The new, more precise information on cash flow, which according to the SAP forecast due to investments in 2022 will fall from five to up to 4.5 billion euros, caused the share to drop by seven percent. [More at Reuters and Handelsblatt]
Wetransfer, the Dutch file-sharing service, has abruptly canceled its IPO in Amsterdam. Wetransfer had planned to go public this week, targeting a valuation of up to $810 million. In a statement, the company cited "volatile market conditions" as the reason for abandoning the IPO. The IPO was to be the first major IPO of the year in Europe. [More at The Information]
The EU Commission has approved the planned purchase of the Kustomer company by the Internet group Meta, subject to certain conditions. Kustomer offers customer service platforms and chatbots that automatically answer customer inquiries. For the approval, however, Meta must meet conditions, including the group must guarantee competing providers certain access. Last August, competition watchdogs raised concerns about the takeover, fearing it would restrict the customer service software market. [More at Handelsblatt and Techcrunch]
According to Elon Musk, the “Tesla Bot” is the most important product that the US manufacturer is currently working on. The tech billionaire said that while it may be years before the robot is ready for mass production, it is already more important than electric vehicles. Tesla presented the concept for the humanoid robot called "Optimus" in August. According to Musk, the robot will stand 5 feet 7 inches tall, weigh about 120 pounds, and do dangerous and repetitive work. [More at Axios, Bloomberg and CNBC]
Investments: Fireblocks, a crypto startup, has raised $550 million in a Series E round. The round was co-led by D1 Capital Partners and Spark Capital. The New York-based company is now valued at $8 billion, four times its July valuation. Fireblocks offers a range of cryptocurrency-related services, including tools for minting digital tokens. Esusu, a US fintech that targets immigrants and minorities and offers rental reporting and data solutions, has raised $130 million in a Series B funding round. This makes the four-year-old startup one of the few black-owned unicorns in the United States. The round was led by Softbank Vision Fund 2. [More at Bloomberg and Techcrunch]
Our reading tip on the start-up scene: Bad ratings, too high a commission and the dwindling quality: the Viennese learning platform Gostudent has been criticized by teachers and customers since last year's growth. What does founder Felix Ohswald have to say about this? [More at start-up scene]
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