This is a daily newsletter that covers trending business, tech and finance stories. If you enjoyed the newsletter, please share it with a friend who’d find it useful.
Or… invite friends to the newsletter through our referral program for Amazon gift cards.
YouTube is Testing 🧪 Ads on Its Short Video Product YouTube Shorts
Video platform YouTube has started testing ads on its short-form video feature YouTube Shorts to encourage more creators on its platform and compete with rivals like TikTok and Instagram.
YouTube Shorts was rolled out about two years ago during the growing popularity of short-format videos. It was mainly launched to compete with other platforms like TikTok, and Instagram, among others.
However, since the product did not generate sufficient revenue, it only served as smaller content pieces for creators to attract audiences to their channels and larger videos.
Now, the company is looking to change these things by testing different ways creators can make money on Shorts.
In the pilot project, YouTube is testing app install ads; however, the company is also reportedly trying out other formats of ads.
It looks like monetizing the ‘Shorts’ product has become very important for YouTube as the viewership of short videos is growing and rewarding creators for their short-term videos could ultimately bring in more viewership and revenue for the company.
Ford Motor Slashes Over 500 Jobs ✂️ as it Looks to Overhaul Workforce
Ford Motors has cut its workforce in the United States by 580 headcounts as part of its ongoing restructuring plans to separate its electric and internal combustion engine divisions into different units within the company.
The job cuts include nearly 350 salaried and 230 contract workers. The slashes took place largely in the engineering department, as the automaker is testing vehicles with traditional combustion engines to electric cars and trucks that require completely different skill sets.
In a statement, Ford said, “We continue to align staffing around the critical skills needed to deliver our products, services, and the Ford+ plan.”
It added saying, “As part of the ongoing management of our business, we will continue to align our staffing to meet our future business needs and plans.”
Ford notified the employers of the 230 contract employees, and the team leaders informed their 350 salaried workers individually to conclude their service by the end of the week.
The company will provide eligible employees with benefits and severance equal to up to nine months of pay based on service and career transition services.
BlackRock Introduces Blockchain-Based Exchange-Traded Fund
Investment management firm BlackRock has announced the launch of its blockchain-focused ETF, a fund that provides investors with exposure to the crypto and blockchain industry without requiring them to directly own digital assets.
The company has labeled the iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC) as part of the “megatrends product suite.”
Besides launching the ETF, the investment firm also published a paper outlining three major areas- industrial renaissance, upshots of medical breakthroughs, and new consumers & the power of the purse.
Rachel Aguirre, BlackRock’s head of the US iShares product, said that the ETF is a “gradual entry point into the blockchain ecosystem,” and it comprises holdings like crypto exchanges, crypto miners, and underlying technologies.
The ETF reportedly includes 41 separate holdings, with crypto exchange firm Coinbase making up 11.45% of the fund, closely followed by Marathon Digital Holdings (11.19%), and Riot Blockchain (10.41%).
Galaxy Digital and Hive Blockchain Technologies are the other two major holdings. The fund currently has nearly 9% of its total assets in cash.
Solar Energy Products Provider Sun King Nabs $260 Million in Series D Funding 💰
Sun King, a Kenya-based provider of solar energy products for off-grid homes in Africa and Asia, has raised $260 million in its Series D funding round.
The funding was led by BeyondNetZero, the climate investing venture of General Atlantic, along with M&G Investments’ Catalyst team and Arch Emerging Markets Partners.
Founded in 2007, Sun King (formerly Greenlight Planet), is the world’s largest off-grid solar energy company, serving solar home energy products for 1.8 billion people across Africa and Asia who lack access to reliable electricity.
Through its innovative product design, affordable pay-as-you-go financing, and a grassroots field team of more than 15,000 agents providing installation and service, the company has powered the lives of over 82 million people.
Sun King plans to use the fresh funds to expand its product line, including larger solar systems equipped with AC-electricity inverters (capable of powering larger appliances like refrigerators) and new products such as mobile phones.
In addition, the company is planning to use the funds to expand its geographical footprint.
Around the Web 🌐
Senate Building of Mexico Installs Its First Bitcoin ATM: The Senate building in Mexico has installed its first Bitcoin ATM, a sign of the country’s growing interest in Bitcoin. The ATM, which was installed with the support of several legislators, including Miguel Angel Mancera, head of the parliamentary group of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), will allow legislators to carry out electronic currency purchase and sale operations.
If you like the content in this newsletter, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll like my podcast, “Success Story”, where I unpack the playbooks of entrepreneurs, executives and other high performing individuals.
Latest Episode 👇
If you enjoyed the newsletter, please share it with a friend who’d find it useful.