Apple to lower App Store fees for smaller developers

Apple to lower App Store fees for smaller developers
Software developers who netted less than $1 million from the App Store this year will qualify for the 15 percent rate next year. (AP)
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Updated 18 November 2020

Apple to lower App Store fees for smaller developers

Apple to lower App Store fees for smaller developers
  • Apple takes a 30 percent cut of most purchases made on the App Store
  • Apple’s App Store fees and rules have come under fire from software firms

Apple on Wednesday said it plans to start a program to lower its App Store commissions for software developers who make $1 million or less in proceeds each year from the store.
Apple takes a 30 percent cut of most purchases made on the App Store, although the commission drops to 15 percent for subscriptions that remain active for more than a year.
Apple said Wednesday developers will automatically get the lower 15 percent rate if they generate $1 million or less in proceeds – defined as the portion of App Store purchases that the developer keeps – in a calendar year.
Apple’s App Store fees and rules have come under fire from both large software firms such as Microsoft Corp, Spotify Technology and Match Group Inc. as well as numerous startups and smaller companies that allege the fees deprive consumers of choices and push up the price of apps.
Apple has responded by saying its rules apply evenly to developers and that the App Store provides an easy way to reach its huge base of users without having to set up payment systems in the 175 countries where it operates.
Apple said the new program will start on Jan. 1, 2021.
Software developers who netted less than $1 million from the App Store this year will qualify for the 15 percent rate next year. If the developer’s proceeds rise above the $1 million threshold the next year, Apple’s standard rates kick in for the rest of that year. If the developer’s proceeds fall below $1 million in a given year, they become eligible for the lower rate the next year.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our global economy and the beating heart of innovation and opportunity in communities around the world,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a statement.
Apple said it will give more details on which developers qualify next month.


KBW Ventures increases stake in US cellular seafood company

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, KBW Ventures' founder and CEO, at the Milken Institute. (Supplied)
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, KBW Ventures' founder and CEO, at the Milken Institute. (Supplied)
Updated 19 January 2021

KBW Ventures increases stake in US cellular seafood company

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, KBW Ventures' founder and CEO, at the Milken Institute. (Supplied)
  • BlueNalu produces a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells
  • KBW Ventures invests in companies with transformative technologies and business models

DUBAI: KBW Ventures, the company founded by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, was among a group of backers who agreed to refinance $60 million of debt held by a Californian cellular agriculture seafood company, it was announced on Tuesday.

BlueNalu produces a variety of seafood products directly from fish cells. In addition to the latest debt financing, it previously raised $4.5 million in early 2018 and $20 million in 2020.

The San Diego company aims to use the funding to open a 40,000 square foot pilot production facility as part of its bid to launch a pilot program and eventually distribute its products across the US.

“The team at BlueNalu is driven to produce cell-based seafood products that are healthy for consumers, humane for animals, sustainable for our planet and provide increased food security to each nation in which we go to market,” said Lou Cooperhouse, BlueNalu president and CEO.

“This recent round of funding will allow us to continue advancing our mission and the next phase of our commercialization plans, while we continue to develop strategic partnerships that we expect will provide us with global market reach during the coming years.”

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al-Saud, founder and CEO of KBW Ventures, added: “We have increased our stake in BlueNalu by investing for the second time. Our commitment to inject further capital is based on the company’s impressive forward roadmap, detailing a clear path to ramping up production and bringing its first product to market at this crucial period in the pandemic. KBW Ventures is pleased to play a role in the largest round ever for a cell-based seafood company, aligning ourselves with mission-driven businesses that seek to solve the world’s food security issues sustainably.”

Amir Feder, BlueNalu’s CFO, said the company is confident it can penetrate the lucrative $200 billion global seafood market and that it is in the process of signing up a series of international strategic partners.

Last month, KBW Ventures also increased its investment in a Singapore-based biotech company aiming to produce lab-grown dairy products. TurtleTree Labs raised $6.2 million as part of its latest round of funding. Besides KBW Ventures, other investors included Green Monday Ventures, Eat Beyond Global and Verso Capital.

Founded in 2019, TurtleTree Labs, which has offices in San Francisco and Singapore, will use the funds to accelerate research and production of functional, bioactive proteins and complex sugars found in human milk.

The company hopes these will have potential benefits in gut and brain health, which can be applied to both infant and senior nutrition and offer a viable alternative to animal-based dairy products.

KBW Ventures invests in companies with transformative technologies and business models. Its other investments include the Colorado-based pet food firm Bond Pet Foods and California’s Beyond Meat.