May 4, 2022

Today's Topics

Hi! We have 3 charts for you today exploring:

  • Lyft behind. The economics of ride-hailing aren't stacking up.
  • Roe v. Wade. The landmark abortion ruling could be overturned.
  • Peak NFT. Interest in non-fungible tokens is waning.
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Getting Lyft behind

Lyft is the latest company to report less-than-great earnings and get a stern reckoning from investors. Shares in the ride-hailing company are down more than 34% at the time of writing after the platform warned that it was struggling to attract drivers.

The primary appeal of ride-hailing, getting customers a driver in minutes at low prices, falls down pretty hard if riders have to wait 15 or 20 minutes for a driver, which is why Lyft is offering financial incentives to attract new drivers. That is a reasonable strategy, but it's concerning when the company's economics weren't stacking up to begin with. The last 17 quarters have seen Lyft burn through more than $6.8 billion — a staggering amount for a company that has never really recovered fully from the pandemic.

Lyft eats?

Investors were connecting the dots on Tuesday evening, with Uber shares falling before the company had even reported its own set of results this morning. Uber hasn't completely escaped, with its shares also down about 10%, but thanks to a strong rebound in its mobility business and another solid performance from its food delivery business, Uber claims it can see a path into the black. Without a food delivery business to lean on, and with driver incentives yet to fully roll out, Lyft can't say the same.

A leaked draft of a US Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision in 1973 that protects a woman's right to an abortion — has thrown the US into a political fervor usually reserved for presidential elections.

The leak, which is now being investigated, would give states the ability to set their own laws on abortion which could include a ban.

The relevant data

Some context on the topic:

  • The abortion rate has been steadily dropping in the US, falling more than 50% since 1980.
  • In relative terms the rate has fallen most in teenagers, with the abortion rate down 83% from its peak for women aged 15-19, partly explained by a drop in teenage pregnancy itself.
  • Americans views on abortion have been remarkably unchanged in the last 25 years. The latest data from Pew shows 59% of US adults believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% believe it should be illegal in all or most cases.
  • Around 18% of all pregnancies ended in abortion in 2017 in the US.

Unsurprisingly page hits on the Roe v. Wade Wikipedia page skyrocketed yesterday, becoming the most-widely read page on the English version of the site.

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Not Fussed Thanks

We might have had peak NFT (non-fungible token).

The latest data from aggregator shows that the volume traded in NFTs has dropped steeply in recent weeks, as NFT-mania slows down. Daily traded volumes in the "NFT art" category are down more than 94% in the last 30 days, compared to the busiest 30 day period from last year, while Google search interest for the term NFT has more than halved from earlier this year.


One part of the NFT market that has held up are "collectibles" — collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which routinely trade for more than $500k+ and double up as a membership card to the "Yacht Club". Trading volumes in Bored Apes, and other high profile projects, have stayed elevated, with ~$15m worth of Bored Apes changing hands per day in April.

That's a lot in nominal terms, but in the context of traditional financial markets it's still small. We picked one of the smallest stocks in the S&P 500 index at random, Campbell Soup Company, and found that it traded more than $57m a day in April, almost 4x the Bored Ape volume.

More Data

1) It's good news for your shed-turned-guest-house, Airbnb reported revenue that was up 70% on last year, as travel demand rebounded strongly.

2) Who we spend our time with as we get older.

3) Women accounted for 45% of all new Fortune 500 company board appointments last year, according to a new report. The share of women on boards has gone up from 19% in 2015 to 29% in 2021.

4) The EU has proposed a plan for a total ban on imports of Russian oil.

5) Data chaos be gone: 96% of companies surveyed by Flatfile have said they've run into problems with data onboarding. If your business is one of the 96%, try Flatfile's data onboarding platform.**

6) Interesting chart shared on Twitter showing the percentage of NYTimes headlines that mentioned the name of the sitting US President.

7) Fascinating blog from Twitter Engineering on the rise of Wordle and its place in conversations on Twitter.

**This is sponsored content.

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