15 June 2018 Courier Weekly

Streetwear conquers the world

PLUS: Scooter business valuations – Podcast revenues – Farmyard breweries – Startup visas

The rapid rise of a $75bn industry.

The latest Courier hit newsstands around the world this week (get your copy here) and includes an in-depth look at the multi-billion-dollar streetwear industry.

What started as a bunch of kids obsessed with sneakers and skate brands has infiltrated luxury fashion and become an international style juggernaut. Supreme regularly has queues of people waiting to get their hands on the latest stock, while streetwear brands have collaborated with the likes of Louis Vuitton (Supreme), Nike (Off-White) and Moncler (Kith). It’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

We spoke with the man who saw it all coming – David Fischer, founder of media brand Highsnobiety – about where it can go from here.

Electric scooters continue their US takeover.

After filling the streets and pavements of San Francisco with its two-wheeled machines and raising £112m in Series C funding, US-based scooter-hire startup Bird continues to make headlines.

This week it announced it’s after another £150m in funding – which, if successful, will give it a whopping £1.5bn valuation. Competitor Lime Bike, which provides scooter and bike sharing, has raised £188m in funding this month, boosting its valuation to £560m.

Such scooter-sharing companies aim to help decongest streets and speed up short-distance travel. These cheap (starting at as little as 74p per ride), dockless electric scooters can be picked up and dropped off anywhere and accessed via an app.

Not everyone is happy, though. San Francisco Public Works (which is responsible for the city’s streets) has impounded nearly 400 scooterssince 13 April.

Advertisers bet big on podcasts.

Podcasts have been steadily growing in terms of quality, number of networks and listener figures, but recent news from Google could see the medium truly take off into the mainstream.

It’s been revealed that the tech giant is building a new podcasting app, which will make it easier for listeners to find new episodes and subscribe to their favourite series.

The latest Hot Pod newsletter from podcasting expert Nicholas Quah has an interesting explainer on how much money podcasts actually make from advertising. Last year in the US, podcasts generated £235m in ad revenue. It’s expected to keep growing in the coming months.

We previously spoke to the founder of Muddy Knees about how they built a revenue-generating podcast and events series.

Farmers start to diversify.

With ever-more convincing vegan ‘meat’ products coming to market, farmers are finding ways to diversify beyond meat, cheese and eggs.

The Carter and Stevens farm in the US state of Massachusetts has been in operation since the 1930s, and this piece in the New York Times digs into its recent addition of a brewery.

The Ginger Pig is a famous example of a UK farm that has expanded successfully into retail; it now has eight butcher’s shops, as well as its farm in Nottinghamshire.

Meanwhile, this article from Countryfile (although a bit old) looks at how UK farmers are padding out their businesses, offering camping and other outdoor activities as well as hosting festivals.

The UK has announced a ‘startup visa’.

Home secretary Sajid Javid this week announced a new visa route for people wanting to set up business in the UK during London Tech Week.

By making the visa process easier for entrepreneurs, the UK is hoping to bring in new businesses and continue its reputation as a leader in innovation – presumably in a bid to allay fears over Brexit, which is just around the corner.

The visa will launch in spring 2019, and applicants will need endorsements from either universities, businesses or accelerators to apply.

Estonia and Australia have also recently proposed new visas to attract global talent. In February, Estonia announced its digital nomad visa, while the Australian government unveiled a new visa scheme in March to encourage tech talent from across the globe to move to the country It will begin trialling the visa on 1 July.