Massive blackout hits Puerto Rico after fire erupts at an electricity plant
Screenshot via CycloforumsPR
A big fire erupted at an electricity plant that powers most of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and a blackout swept across the U.S. territory of 3.5 million people.
The Electric Power Authority said two transmission lines of 230,000 volts each failed for reasons still being investigated. Spokeswoman Yohari Molina said in a phone interview that it was unclear when power would be restored.
The island’s fire department said it extinguished a blaze at the power plant in southern Puerto Rico that serves a majority of customers on the island. Heavy storms were affecting the area where the plant is.
Authorities said the outage caused 15 fires across Puerto Rico as a result of malfunctioning generators, including at the upscale Vanderbilt hotel in the popular tourist area of Condado and at the mayor’s office in the northern coastal town of Catano. All those fires were put out and no one was injured, officials said.
The blackout snarled road traffic across the island and the government had to cancel train service in the capital of San Juan and close a busy traffic tunnel in the island’s southern region. Businesses, universities and government offices shuttered early, creating even more chaos on roads.
"I call on people to cooperate and respect drivers and government officials … to avoid any regrettable incidents,“ Transportation Secretary Miguel Torres said.
The outage angered many Puerto Ricans who are struggling with power bills that are on average twice that of the U.S. mainland. People took to social media to demand where exactly their money is going.
The power company has faced numerous allegations of corruption and is struggling with a $9 billion debt that it hopes to restructure. Company officials have said they are seeking more revenue to update what they say is outdated equipment.
Puerto Rico is mired in a decade-long economic slumps and the territory’s government is working to restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt that the governor has said is unpayable.
However, it seems that all this excitement might be a *bit* premature.
According to a statement delivered to Entertainment Weekly, the NFL debunked the report, stating that it was “not true.”
The sporting body had previously told the publication that they were in talks with many artists.
“We have had conversations with several fantastic artists about the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show,” they wrote earlier in the week. “However, at this point we do not have a final decision. We’re happy there is so much excitement about the show.”
The NFL told EW that “[n]othing has changed from what we said earlier in the week.”
Similarly, Natalie Ravitz, SVP Communications at the NFL, also denied the reports via Twitter.
.@usweekly ignored my on record response: we’ve had conversations w several fantastic artists about SB Halftime Show but no final decision
Similarly, there have been rumors that Britney Spears has been lined up to perform at the show in Houston. The singer, who previously joined Aerosmith at the event back in 2001, said that she’d be up for doing the show.RCA Records/VEVO
So what does this mean about Gaga?
Well, it doesn’t mean that the Lady Gaga, who just released her new single “Perfect Illusion,” won’t be performing at the event. The singer is said to have wowed those organizing the event with her rendition of the national anthem at last year’s event, so it’s a distinct possibility that she *may* still get the booking. We just won’t know until the NFL and Pepsi confirm it.
SIDE NOTE: How amazing would it be if Britney AND Gaga performed at the Super Bowl show and Gaga brought out Beyoncé for “Telephone?” We’d probably explode with excitement.
A startup worth over $1 billion had $83 million in revenue last year — and it just filed to go public
(Coupa CEO Rob BernshteynYoutube/Coupa) Coupa, a financial software company last valued at over $1 billion, has just filed to go public.
The filing is the latest in what’s turning out to be one of the slowest tech IPO market ever. Only 5 tech companies have gone public this year.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most interesting numbers from Coupa’s filing:
It had $83.6 million in revenue in 2015 (up 66% year-over-year)
It lost $46 million last year. But its net loss is shrinking, as it lost $24.3 million in the first six months of this year, slightly down from the $25.1 million net loss recorded in the same period of last year.
It spent 65% of its revenue on sales and marketing. That dropped to 58% in the first six months of this year.
Holds ~$80 million in cash as of July 2016. Coupa’s raised $169 million in total in private funding.
Coupa is best known for its procurement software that helps companies buy suppliers and manage suppliers, though it also offers other financial software.
Coupa last raised $80 million in June 2015, when it was reportedly valued at over $1 billion. That means the company earned the coveted “unicorn” status with less than $100 million in annual revenue.
That makes Coupa’s IPO an interesting case to watch as its annual revenue is much smaller than that of some of the other tech companies with similar valuations.
Twilio, for example, had $167 million in revenue in 2015, the same year it first became a startup worth $1 billion. Nutanix, who raised at a $2 billion-plus valuation in August 2014, had $241 million in revenue in 2015 (fiscal ended July 2015). Talend, a French company that went public in July, now has a market cap of ~$750 million, although it had $75 million in revenue last year.
In any case, Coupa’s IPO should be a nice pay day for Battery Ventures, who owns over 16% of the company. Its CEO Robert Bernshteyn owns 5.8% share of the company.