In this week’s news: Pepsi is crowdfunding a smartphone?!

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Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Catalyst Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Pepsi Crowdfunds a Phone, Meet the “P1” Android
China residents seeking a mid-range smartphone may be interested in Pepsi’s recently released P1, an Android device heavy on hardware and light on price. Joining the likes of Caterpillar and Marshall’s in releasing branded smartphones, Pepsi’s P1 will be manufactured by by China-based Shenzhen Scooby Communication Equipment and branded with a homescreen background featuring Pepsi’s logo and an embossed logo on the phone’s backside. P1 features a 5.5-inch, 1,080p display; 1.7GHz MediaTek processor; 2GB of RAM; 16GB of onboard storage; and a 3,000mAh battery, among other features. It’s available via a Chinese crowdfunding campaign and, if successful, will hit the market next month for $200 (though backers can reserve it for cheaper). Read more about Pepsi’s P1 from DigitalTrends.

Alliance vs Uber: Lyft, Didi, Ola, and GrabTaxi Partner to Take On Uber’s Asian Growth
Ridesharing, carsharing, and taxi-hailing apps Lyft, Didi Kuaidi, Ola, and GrabTaxi have partnered to work together on technology and service development. According to TechCrunch, the companies will still handle “mapping, routing and payments through a secure API” in their respective countries. They plan to continue growing as regionally focused companies within the partnership, not to merge or grow one company more than another. Focusing on cross-platform apps, the companies say, will let them serve a large number of customers more continuously as they travel between the various markets. All four share common VC backers and, collectively, the group has raised $7 billion in funding. In contrast, Uber has raised $8.21 billion and is reportedly raising another $2.1 billion. Get additional details from TechCrunch.

Employee-Owned WinCo Supermarkets Rival Walmart in Price, Product, & Experience
Walmart, Costco, and other superstores are paying close attention to WinCo, a chain of roughly 100 supermarkets in the western U.S., due to its ability to offer lower prices via an employee-owned business model. As a co-op, WinCo poses a threat to these big box and warehouse retailers, as they can more easily keep prices low while keeping employees happy. Time reports that prices are cut through a variety of strategies, including buying goods directly from farms and factories, not accepting credit cards, and asking customers to bag their groceries. WinCo stores are minimalist, and without a large variety of merchandise, also contributing to low prices. The company is expecting to double in size every five to seven years, threatening the livelihood of incumbent retail chains. Learn more about WinCo from Time.


We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts are of this week’s news stories? Email Catalyst Companies’ Founder Jeremiah Owyang to share your thoughts.


Image from Dianne Rosete used under Creative Commons license.

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