Afternoon Coffee: Coupa announces Q3 financial earnings, with 31% revenue growth; US productivity increases; Uber to sell unit on self-driving cars

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Coupa announced its financial earnings from the third quarter, with revenue growing to a record $133 million, according to a press release late Monday.

Total revenue grew 31% year-over-year (YoY) despite the continued disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, subscription revenues counted $118.1 million, a 31% increase YoY.

Looking forward to the fourth quarter, total revenues are expected to be about $146 million. In the company’s earnings call, Coupa Chairman and CEO Rob Bernshteyn said the company saw meaningful growth in its sales pipeline while the corporate and mid-market businesses are scaling. In Bernshteyn's comments on an earnings call, he focused on traction of the firm's acquisitions, uptake of Coupa Pay, and a focus on "community" that ties in the firms community-based strategy in addition to diversity efforts at Coupa and its customers — and also ties in its acquisition of diversity solution specialist ConnXus. Wall Street analysts focused many questions on the LLamasoft acquisition, which we've analyzed here.

Also on the call, Coupa Chief Financial Officer Todd Ford gave more insight into the business results.

“The Q3 results exceeded the high end of the range of potential outcomes we analyzed when providing Q3 guidance,” Ford said.

The top line benefitted from an increased use of the company’s business spend management solution (BSM) and Coupa Pay offering, according to Yahoo Finance. Yahoo reports that Coupa’s earnings of 18 cents per share beat expectations.

US productivity increases 4.6% in third quarter

The US Labor Department reported Tuesday that US productivity increased 4.6% from July to September, while labor costs fell at a slower pace, according to the Associated Press.

Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work and is a major number determining living standards. As productivity rises, employers can pay workers more without having to up the price of their products. Estimates expected a 4.9% increase in productivity. Meanwhile, labor costs fell at a rate of 6.6% in the third quarter, the article reported.

“The data have been especially volatile quarter-to-quarter, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 on output, hours and compensation,” Rubeela Farooqi, a chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, told the Associated Press. “The underlying trend in productivity will likely moderate from the current pace over coming quarters.”

Uber sells self-driving research unit, invests $400 million in competitor

Uber announced it will sell its self-driving research unit — Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) — to Aurora Innovation while investing $400 million in ATG’s Silicon Valley rival, according to Axios.

The deal values Aurora at $10 billion, the article said. Uber’s decision to own 26% of Aurora will leave some opportunity for the company to keep some chips on the table for a future robotaxi service.

Uber has continued to offload unprofitable businesses while focusing on its core ride-hailing and food delivery businesses. The decision to abandon the self-driving car R&D is seen as an acknowledgement that autonomous vehicles are still a long way off, Axios said. Additionally, Uber’s self-driving efforts have faced controversy in recent years — like when a self-driving test vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, two years ago.

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