Hi there. As you read this, I am hopefully making my way from Washington to Munich for this weekend's DLD conference, where I am moderating several sessions.
Today's Login is 1,130 words, a 4-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
John Chen may be the CEO of BlackBerry, but even he has to sometimes remind people the company is still in business.
Why it matters: BlackBerry no longer manufactures phones, but it makes more than $1 billion in revenue per year selling things like security software, an operating system widely used in cars and patent licenses.
Quick recap: BlackBerry bought embedded operating system QNX in 2010, exited the smartphone business in 2016 and started letting Chinese phone maker TCL sell BlackBerry-branded phones. Since then, it has been a software-only company.
By the numbers:
In an interview at CES last week, Chen talked about the company, its remaining businesses and why he thinks BlackBerry needs to be more aggressive.
Between the lines: Getting a bigger place in the car is a key priority for BlackBerry. The company's QNX operating system has been used primarily for in-car infotainment systems, but that is rapidly declining in value and now amounts to only $2–$5 per car.
But software for cars overall is a growth business as cars move toward autonomy and add features like automatic braking, parking and lane detection. Those types of systems can produced in the $10–$20 in software revenue per car.
"A car is going to end up with 100 million lines of code," Chen said. "It's amazing. That's much bigger than the lines of code in an F-14 fighter."
Yes, but: Getting automakers to adopt new technology is tough work and often takes years, Chen said.
According to an Amazon-commissioned survey out Thursday, small businesses see revenue growth from selling on the platform and don't rely on Amazon alone for their online sales, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
Why it matters: The survey results offer a touch of counter-programming for Amazon as it girds itself for criticism of its market power at a House antitrust subcommittee hearing Friday. That session features a small business that has publicly complained about the online retail giant's tactics.
The details: The survey by International Data Corp. questioned 350 small and medium-sized businesses about their online sales strategy. Some key findings:
What they're saying: Shari Lava, a research director at IDC, said Amazon wanted to learn more about how small businesses are thinking about the company amid the broader techlash.
What's next: At the House hearing Friday, David Barnett, founder of the phone grips company PopSockets, will air his frustrations with Amazon to lawmakers who have been probing the tech industry for potential anti-competitive behavior.
Apple has purchased Xnor.ai, a Seattle-based startup that specializes in putting artificial intelligence on devices rather than running programs "in the cloud" on centralized servers.
Why it matters: Doing AI work on devices is a key trend, especially for Apple, as it makes it easier to offer privacy protections. Apple, for example, does all of its automated tagging and categorization of photos on its devices.
What they're saying: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," the company told Axios, offering the telltale statement it gives when it makes an acquisition.
Seattle-area tech site GeekWire first reported the deal earlier Wednesday, pegging the purchase price at $200 million.
One casualty of the acquisition appears to be the loss of a "people detection" feature in Wyze security cameras that had been licensed from Xnor.
Meanwhile: AI2 Incubator, which helped launch Xnor.ai, is announcing today it has raised a $10 million fund from investors including Madrona Venture Group, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins and Two Sigma Ventures, along with a number of highly successful entrepreneurs and executives.
The big picture: The new fund and successful exits of AI2 companies is also a boost for the Seattle-area tech scene, which has long been dominated by just two big players — Microsoft and Amazon.
Onetime Google engineer Andrés Ugarte has a new mission: helping people more easily track their finances. On Thursday, he launched Copilot, an iPhone app that tries to do just that.
Why it matters: There have been all kinds of efforts in this space, from Quicken to Mint. But frequently, users who set out to monitor their spending don't stick with it.
What they're saying: "People end up giving up on personal finance services because they require constant user input to ensure data is correctly categorized," Ugarte explained to Axios.
Details: Copilot is available now for $2.99 per month (initial launch price), with a one-month free trial.
May we all have the confidence of this woman playing the Canadian version of Family Feud.