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NXP Semiconductor delivers mixed results as mobile and IoT chip demand falters

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NXP Semiconductor delivers mixed results as mobile and IoT chip demand falters

Shares of NXP Semiconductor N.V. fell in extended trading today after the chipmaker delivered mixed quarterly results and guidance for the first quarter of fiscal 2023 that came in below expectations.

The company reported a net income for the fourth quarter of $602 million, with earnings before certain costs such as stock compensation coming to $2.76 per share, just shy of Wall Street’s forecast of $2.77 per share. Revenue for the period rose 19%, to $3.31 billion, beating the $3.3 billion consensus estimate by a whisker.

NXP President and Chief Executive Kurt Sievers (pictured) said in a statement that while the company’s automotive chip business has “performed very well” over the last year, its consumer internet of things and mobile chipmaking units were hit by a “softening demand environment” in the second half of 2022.

“We have adopted a vigilant operational stance, aiming to improve service to those customers who continue to experience material shortages while managing the distribution-channel inventory levels well below our long-term targets,” the CEO added.

NXP sells a wide portfolio of computer chips to customers in multiple industries. The company is best known for its automotive semiconductors that power everything from car infotainment systems to tire pressure monitoring systems and vehicle-to-vehicle communications. In addition, NXP sells chips for identification, wired and wireless infrastructure, lighting, consumer, mobile and computing applications.

Wall Street investors have grown nervous about the semiconductor industry in recent months, with larger players like Intel Corp. and Nvidia Corp. reporting significant demand struggles and growing inventories. However, auto-focused chipmakers like NXP have managed to avoid the worst of the downturn.

The continued demand for automotive chips was evident in NXP’s breakdown of its sales, as that business unit accounted for more than half of its overall revenue in the quarter. The automotive segment delivered $1.8 billion in sales, up 17% from a year earlier.

However, it was a much grimmer picture in NXP’s other business segments. For instance, the Industrial and IoT segment reported revenue of $605 million, down 15%, while sales of mobile chips were flat at $408 million. NXP’s “communications, infrastructure and other” segment suffered a 5% drop, with revenue of $494 million.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2023, NXP is forecasting earnings of between $2.82 and $3.22 per share on revenue of $2.9 billion to $3.1 billion, lower than Wall Street’s guidance of $3.14 per share in earnings and $3.17 billion in revenue.

Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. told SiliconANGLE that NXP has been a notable standout in the chipmaking sector, growing its full-year revenue by about 10% while the majority of its rivals have seen sales fall off a cliff. “The question is whether or not NXP can keep this up,” Mueller said. “Most likely NXP is going to be heading downwards in the not-too-distant future.”

Investors may be inclined to feel the same way. NXP’s stock fell more than 3% in late trading on the report, having declined just over a percentage point in the regular session on a down day for the overall market.

Photo: NXP Semiconductor

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Blockchain security startup Hypernative bags $9M to prevent crypto hacks

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Blockchain security startup Hypernative bags $9M to prevent crypto hacks

Hypernative, a cryptocurrency security startup that focuses on protecting against hacks, today said that it has raised $9 million in seed funding to help Web3 companies prevent losses from cyberattacks.

The seed round was led by Boldstart Ventures and IBI Tech Fund, with strategic investments from cryptocurrency firms Blockdaemon, Alchemy, and Nexo, as well as CMT Digital and Borderless and a number of angel investors.

The company created a security platform that uses data both on and off blockchains to predict and prevent potential cyberattacks that target economic, governance and community threats in real time. The company calls its first product the “Pre-Cog” platform because of its ability to capitalize on signals before an attack happens using machine learning models to monitor incoming data.

According to the company, the platform has already detected over 764,000 risks and triggered more than 33,000 alerts on 14,000-plus monitored protocols. It uses its platform to allow its customers to react in real time to potential threats that could affect their crypto assets before or even while an attack might be happening to mitigate any damage that might happen.

“We created Hypernative early last year when we saw huge amounts of money getting stolen or phished or scammed in crypto,” said Gal Sagie, chief executive of Hypernative told Techcrunch. “We saw huge gaps between tools that existed and money being invested, so we wanted to create something to help prevent [attacks].”

According to a report from Immunefi, a bug bounty and security services platform for Web3, the crypto industry lost approximately $3.9 billion due to hacks, fraud and scams in 2022 with cyberattacks representing over 95% of that total. Although many of these attacks could have been prevented by proactively fixing vulnerabilities, it’s not always possible to catch every error or bug in the wild.

This is where Hypernative’s Pre-Cog platform steps in order to warn react and prevent attacks before or as they’re happening. It allows security teams at crypto businesses to receive alerts and act rapidly by exporting the alerts to internal application programming interfaces, Slack, email or Telegram so that engineers can know quickly.

The platform is designed for protocols to enhance security beyond auditing and proactive defense, allowing teams to monitor key metrics and anomalies. For asset managers and traders, it also detects risks in portfolios in advance and real time by identifying potential risks before a transaction is initiated, this means that users can be more confident about their activities. Hypernative is easily integrated into both protocol security controls and trading wallet automated trading systems.

“Until now, there are no systems that not only accurately predict and alert on hacks before they happen but also provide actionable advice to stop them,” said Ed Sim, founding partner at Boldstart Ventures. “The opportunity in front of Hypernative is massive as stopping zero-day attacks will go a long way towards rebuilding trust in the crypto ecosystem.”

Hypernative’s ideal clients include hedge funds, exchanges, asset managers, traders and market managers and anyone who interacts with crypto and blockchain protocols who might end up in a position where they need to react quickly to an attack or any other type of incident.

Photo: Pixabay

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Top 10 Low Risk Tips For Starting Your Own E-commerce Company

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Top 10 Low Risk Tips For Starting Your Own E-commerce Company

Tech layoffs have hit hard. Starting in 2022, major brands including Spotify, Google and Microsoft have been laying off tens of thousands of workers. In the wake of the already tumultuous Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation, many Americans have been thrust into a state of panic concerning their current and future employment.

The good news is, there are low-risk ways to start your own e-commerce company. For example, in 2021, more than 100,000 new American brands joined Amazon. Amazon’s U.S. selling partners have sold over 3.9 billion products – that equals 7,500 items every minute – and averaged about $200,000 in sales per seller.

“Today, Amazon is a preferred partner for nearly two million selling partners worldwide – most of which are small and medium-sized businesses,” says Claire O’Donnell, director of selling partner empowerment, communities and trust at Amazon. “Our selling partners are incredibly important to us, and we work hard to provide them with effective resources to run and launch successful businesses. We offer a robust suite of tools and services, lending programs, and free educational services like Amazon Small Business Academy and Amazon Seller University to make sure it’s easy for anyone to start selling in Amazon’s store and connect with a global customer base.”

Shan Shan Fu is the founder of Millennials In Motion, an e-commerce brand that sells products on Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, Etsy and Poshmark. She also serves as head of business development at Trivium, an award-winning Amazon advertising and management agency.

Here are Fu’s top 10 tips for starting an e-commerce company with her low-risk, low-investment method:

1. Look for products that have high demand and low competition. Using tools such as Helium 10’s Magnet, you can discover which keywords are being searched on Amazon. Look for products with at least 5,000 monthly searches and less than 1,000 competitors.

2. Create barriers to entry to avoid your product getting copied. Avoid “commodity products,” which are products that anyone can sell. Make your product unique with better features, better design, and/or better functionality. Patent your product, if possible. Work within a particular niche and expand from there.

3. Start with small and light products if you are low in initial cash investment. These products will cost less to ship and less to store than big, heavy, bulky products.

4. If you are on a tight budget, use your smartphone to take pictures and harness apps like GIMP and Canva to edit them. GIMP (similar to Adobe Photoshop) is a free app that allows you to cut out your product and paste it on a white background. Canva is a drag and drop website where you can create beautiful, poster-like images for your product listing pages.

5. Sell your own clothes and belongings on Poshmark in order to get the hang of e-commerce. Honing your skills by selling some of your own goods on Poshmark first will teach you about writing product descriptions, shipping and fulfillment, and customer preferences.

6. Launch on Etsy to test products before expanding your business. For Etsy, you don’t even need a barcode; only images and a product description are required. By testing first, you can save on the cost of launching. The bottom 80 percent of products will not survive.

7. Target your demographic with PickFu. PickFu.com allows you to ask your target demographic if they like your products for only $1 per response. Use it to test photos and product ideas so you don’t waste time or money on a bad product launch.

8. Once you have figured out the top 20 percent winners on Etsy and PickFu, then launch the product on Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service. It’s important to launch on Amazon using FBA because this will get you the “Prime” badge, which can significantly increase your sales. Plus, you will no longer have to deal with customer service or order fulfillment, as Amazon will handle it all for you.

9. Invest in Amazon advertising. The pay-per-click platform is a low-cost way to generate sales and increase your organic ranking.

10. Later, you can launch products on Shopify to build your brand and catch sales from influencers. The Shopify app called Shogun allows you to create easy drag-and-drop brand websites. Divert influencer traffic here because Shopify has the lowest fees.

Tracy Sun is the cofounder and SVP of seller experience for Poshmark. She has this to say about Shan Shan Fu. “Our community and their triumphs are the heart of Poshmark and Shan Shan Fu is truly a reflection of that. Her ability to grow her side hustle into a thriving full-time reselling career serves as inspiration to many. Her journey is a testament to the entrepreneurial freedom found through reselling. We are so proud she is a member of the Poshmark community.”

Fu’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from China in the 1990s. Although her father was trained as an engineer and her mother as a doctor, they were not able to pursue their professional careers once they arrived in America due to their degrees not being honored. They had to start from scratch. After working in grocery stores for a long time, Fu’s father decided to move to Mexico and start an import/export business. He met with great success. Since then, Fu felt called to follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps.

The greatest challenges of running her own e-commerce business, Fu says, are lack of stability and uncertainty. Also, for women’s clothing, a return rate of 20 to 30 percent is not uncommon. This can eat into your profit margins. You may face cash flow problems when you have to pay for inventory and advertising upfront, even though you may not sell the products until months later. That is why Fu recommends her “low-risk, low investment method.”

That said, Fu loves what she does and, she remarks, when you love what you do, it’s like doubling your lifespan. “Now, instead of enjoying just time after work and on weekends, you enjoy time during work,” she explains.

To people looking to tap into their life purpose by starting their own e-commerce companies, Fu offers this advice. “Self-reflection is the first step. Assess and rank your primary joys and drivers for happiness. When you understand what makes you happy, get ready to overcome your fear of failure, procrastination, and lack of progress by embracing the idea of being uncomfortable. When you are uncomfortable, that means you are successfully pushing yourself forward.”

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