Microsoft’s $100 Million Hyper-Scale Data Centers Land In Africa

Microsoft’s $100 Million Hyper-Scale Data Centers Land In Africa

By Donitra Clemons

  • The reach of Silicon Valley is expanding throughout some countries in Africa

  • Microsoft will invest $100M into their Africa Development Center initiative

CBx Vibe:Property” Mr. Eazi Feat. Mo-T

Building on the “hyper-scale” data center model, Microsoft (MSFT +0.51%) started in South Africa, it has opened new sites called Africa Development Centers (ADC) in Kenya and Nigeria. As countries in Africa are increasingly viewed as the next frontier of the global tech landscape, foreign companies are allocating more funds towards developing Africa’s digital framework.

Why This Matters: Tech giants like Microsoft and Google (GOOG +0.95%) are establishing a greater presence on the continent, by launching hubs dedicated to learning and developing technologies including data science, AI, and cloud computing.

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Cultural Tree Huggers Push Impossible Foods To $2 Billion Valuation

Cultural Tree Huggers Push Impossible Foods To $2 Billion Valuation

By CultureBanx Team

  • Impossible Foods raised $300M from investors

  • Serena Williams, Jaden Smith, Trevor Noah and Jay-Z participated in the latest funding round

CBx Vibe:Hooked” SIIMBA SELASSIIE

Plant based meat alternatives company Impossible Foods just got a huge cultural endorsement and money from Serena Williams, Jaden Smith, Trevor Noah and Jay-Z. In its latest funding round they picked up another $300 million from investors with a new valuation of $2 billion, as they aim to completely remove animals from the food system by 2035.

Why This Matters: Jay Z famously rapped “Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week” and he along with others figured out in short order how to get in on the vegetable-based faux meat companies cap table. Impossible Foods has deals with big restaurant chains, including Red Robin (RRGB -0.09%), White Castle and Burger King, and it plans to launch in retail stores later this year.

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Disney Aims To Diversify Its Streaming Content With Hulu

Disney Aims To Diversify Its Streaming Content With Hulu

By Taylor Durham

  • Disney ups Hulu stake from 66% to 100% after taking over full operational control from Comcast

  • 74% of African Americans use their smartphones to watch video content

CBx Vibe:Can’t Tell Me Nothing” Kanye West

In a bid to command a larger share of the streaming market, Disney (DIS +0.02%) recently took full operational control of Hulu, Netflix’s (NFLX +1.83%) primary competitor. Disney and Netflix are currently head to head in the amount of content being produced through their platforms, attracting talent of color in-front of and behind the camera. With African American adults using video streaming services an average of 19 hours per week in 2018, making them the largest media consumers in the market, it will be important for Disney and Hulu to up the content geared towards this demographic.

Why This Matters: It’s been a buyer’s market for Disney, first with its groundbreaking $75 billion acquisition of Fox followed by increased control of Hulu. The corporate media giant expected Hulu to reach a minimum value of $27.5B by 2024 with 60 million subscribers to match. With Disney+ expected to arrive in homes this fall and plans for a total reboot of Hulu in the works, Disney is applying pressure on Netflix by enticing its viewers to sign up for its services.

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Rihanna Is Louis Vuitton’s Latest Response To Contemporary Culture

Rihanna Is Louis Vuitton’s Latest Response To Contemporary Culture

By CultureBanx Team

  • Rihanna is the first woman of color to have a label under LVMH

  • In 2018 the Louis Vuitton’s Fashion & Leather Goods business achieved organic revenue growth of 15%

CBx Vibe:Boss” The Carters

Culture and fashion have truly collided thanks to Rihanna’s luxury deal with European juggernaut LVMH Moët Hennessy (LVMUY -0.17%), the parent company of Louis Vuitton for her Fenty brand. The pop singer’s partnership marks two major milestones for the industry including, the first woman of color to have a label under LVMH and the first woman to start an original brand for the world's largest luxury group. With Fenty under the LVMH umbrella, will this help craft a larger conversation about representation and diversify the business of fashion from within?

Why This Matters: Rihanna’s Fenty brand is the first house established by the group since Christian Lacroix in 1987, and will join legacy brands like Dior, Givenchy and Fendi. She will be a 49.99% shareholder in Project Loud France, the official name of the company that owns the new label, via her company Denim UK Holdings, according to BoF. Louis Vuitton is the biggest revenue driver at the French luxury goods group LVMH. In 2018 the Fashion & Leather Goods business at the company achieved organic revenue growth of 15%.

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South Africa’s $200 Million Art Market Come Up

South Africa’s $200 Million Art Market Come Up

By CultureBanx Team

  • South Africa’s art market is valued between $140M - $200M

  • Irma Stern’s “An Arab Man” painting sold for $1.4M

CBx Vibe:The Louvre” Lorde

The African art scene is seeing a boom after an auction in March became the most successful one ever held on the continent, as investors poured millions of dollars into the sector. South Africa’s art market is now valued between $140 million to $200 million. Is the next phase for African artists finally getting their work valued at million dollar prices going to occur on the continent where it all started?

Why This Matters: Africa is arguably the last frontier art market due to a favorable U.S. dollar to South African rand exchange rate which now stands at $1 to 14 rand, is contributing to the art market growth in the region. At the auction they sold 106 million rand ($7.3 million) worth of art which was a record in Africa.

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The Uproar Continues After Uber’s Lackluster IPO

The Uproar Continues After Uber’s Lackluster IPO

By Christopher Pitts

  • Uber’s market cap is $70B

  • Approximately 22% of U.S. Uber drivers are Black

CBx Vibe:ATM” J. Cole

Ride hailing giant Uber’s (UBER 2.53%) failed IPO and driver discourse has caused many investors to worry. In the decade that Uber has existed they have yet to turn a profit, and in 2018 lost more than $3 billion, the equivalent on average of 58 cents per ride. Between global driver strikes and operating in the red, can the company mend its front life staff and turn a profit in the fiercely competitive ride sharing market?

Why This Matters: Approximately 22% of U.S. Uber drivers are Black, most of them using this as the primary means of income for family stability. Additionally, though strikes can result in change, it also can damage the employee-employer relationship. This IPO places the livelihood of Uber drivers in the hands of shareholders, whose only interest is currently the bottom line for a company with a market cap of $70 billion.

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When The Afrocentric Spiritual Movement Becomes Profitable

When The Afrocentric Spiritual Movement Becomes Profitable

By Majella Mark

  • Younger black generations are choosing to be spiritual, but not necessarily religious

  • There are over 1.1M hits on #voodoo on Instagram

CBx Vibe:I Put a Spell on You” Nina Simone

More black people are leaving western religions to explore pre-colonial spirituality and rituals. There is a dire need to find rooted foundation spiritually within black communities, especially with the hostile atmosphere witnessed lately. This provides business opportunities for those well versed in the practices of our ancestors, who can now use those skills to teach other as a lucrative enterprise.

Why This Matters: The normalization of African Diaspora spirituality has been showcased on popular shows like “American Horror Stories” and even commercially successful films like “Black Panther”. As we all get more in tune with our inner ancestral illurance, there are Botanica shops and Tarot Card readings making big money. In the age of Amazon’s (AMZN -0.52%) e-book dominance, specifically the market for brick-and-mortar religious and spiritual bookstores in the U.S. fell by 3% in 2018, according to The Parable Group. By comparison, new books and goods made up 45% of the top 20 religious products sold in the general retail marketplace.

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Hip Hop & ESports: The New Intersection of Tech & Culture

Hip Hop & ESports: The New Intersection of Tech & Culture

By CultureBanx Team

  • Hip Hop artists bring esports to the masses

  • In 2019, Esports is expected to surpass $1B in revenue

CBx Vibe:Human Video Game” The Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff

As the esports industry rises in value, hip hop artists and entrepreneurs are seeing the investment opportunities the sector provides. Esports is believed to be the next wave of competitive entertainment and everyone is taking notice, since its expected to surpass $1 billion in revenue in 2019. Hip hop in perpetuity is turning up the volume on esports growth by bringing in its loyal fan base.

Why This Matters: Esports is a subculture of gaming and hip hop is very prominent across the industry in several capacities. However, early research on gaming culture alluded to the lack of industry diversity, both in terms of gender as well as ethnicity, and meant that for a long time, primarily white men dominated the American-based video game industry, that has clearly changed. It’s estimated that 380 to 400 million people worldwide will watch esports this year, including 165 million regular esports viewers. Additionally, research firm Newzoo estimated $700 million was spent on esports ventures.

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Representation Is Finally Going Mainstream-ing

Representation Is Finally Going Mainstream-ing

By Alexandra Bacchus

  • Black millennials stream videos more frequently than any other group

  • Of the 200 television series of the 2016-2017 season, only 13.7% of the writers were minorities

CBx Vibe:Superstar” Lupe Fiasco

With unlimited storytelling space on streaming platforms, companies like Netflix (NFLX + 0.10%) are able to offer a wider variety of content representing multicultural audiences than network and cable television. Streaming services across the board are betting on representation by penning deals with the biggest names in black entertainment and culture as they look to have a bigger stake in the reported $1.2 trillion dollars in spending power African Americans possess.

Why This Matters: Black millennials stream videos more frequently than any other group, but a very small percentage of the people writing those shows and movies are people of color. Of the 200 television series of the 2016-2017 season, only 13.7% of the writers were minorities, according to the dean of social sciences at UCLA, Darnell Hunt. Networks have argued that there isn’t a large market for minority content outside of minority audiences, but data says otherwise. Shonda Rhimes, the television producer who brought Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder to prime time brought in non-black viewership of 68% and 69%, respectively.

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