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PE HUB Wire Highlights, 10.17.18

Sponsors circle Eagles Landing Family Practice; Commonfund adds $100 mln in feeder to recently closed fund; Why no mass consumer adoption of digital payments?

It’s Wednesday. How is everyone doing?

Yesterday, I stopped by Bloomberg’s Sooner Than You Think conference. One of the big questions was why consumers have yet to adopt digital payments on a mass scale. Personally, there are too many products out there and not every business accepts the same thing. I still have to use cash from time to time in local bodegas.

“Today’s environments to make payments can be complex,” said Colleen Taylor, EVP, New Payments, MasterCard. “What you need to see is simplicity so the consumer has a consistent and a simple experience for all types of payments.”

I also wasn’t shocked to learn that Starbucks has the most successful mobile app. This year, 23.4 million people ages 14 and over will use the Starbucks app to make point-of-sale purchases, ZDnet said in May. Apple Pay is close behind with 22 million people.

Now I was there for only half the event but the most entertaining segment at Sooner Than You Think came from Ben Lerer, founding CEO, Group Nine Media. When asked where all the $10 billion startups were in NYC, Lerer jokingly said the question was unfair. “NYC is several decades behind [Silicon] Valley. There are tons of $1 billion startups.”

Lerer strongly maintained that Facebook is not going away, even though it’s currently facing challenges. “Facebook is really strong. Mark is steps ahead in terms of the company.”

He compared Facebook to Twitter, which is much smaller and has a clear strategy. In contrast, Facebook is multifaceted and is so big that it has problems with internal communications. Lerer also said he wouldn’t be surprised if someone bought Twitter. “The 10 biggest tech companies all have money,” he said.

DealsLLR Partners has invested in Edlio, which provides community engagement technology for K-12 public, private and charter schools. Read our brief here.

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