Category Archives: Snap

The Wing poaches Snap’s comms director

Women-focused co-working space The Wing has hired Rachel Racusen as vice president of communications. Racusen has been the director of communications at Snap, the developer of Snapchat, since late 2016. Racusen’s exit represents the latest in a series of departures at the “camera company.” Earlier this year, the company’s chief financial officer Tim Stone stepped down. Shortly after, The Wall Street Journal reported that Snap had fired its global security head Francis Racioppi after an investigation uncovered that he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an […]

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Snap is channeling Asia’s messaging giants with its move into gaming

Snap is taking a leaf out of the Asian messaging app playbook as its social messaging service enters a new era. The company unveiled a series of new strategies that are aimed at breathing fresh life into the service that has been ruthlessly cloned by Facebook across Instagram, WhatsApp and even its primary social network. The result? Snap has consistently lost users since going public in 2017. It managed to stop the rot with a flat Q4, but resting on its laurels isn’t going to bring back […]

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Unicorns aren’t profitable, and Wall Street doesn’t care

In Silicon Valley, investors don’t expect their portfolio companies to be profitable. “Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies,” a bible for founders, instead calls for heavy spending on growth to scale in an Amazon -like fashion. As for Wall Street, it’s shown an affinity for stock in Jeff Bezos’ business, despite the many years it spent navigating a path to profitability, as well as other money-losing endeavors. Why? Because it too is far less concerned with profitability than market opportunity. Lyft, a ride-hailing company […]

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Still a year away from launch, Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi keeps adding talent

Video won’t start rolling on Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new bite-sized streaming service with the billion-dollar backing until the end of 2019, but talent keeps signing up to come along for their ride into the future of serialization. The latest marquee director to sign on the dotted line with Quibi is Catherine Hardwicke, who will be helming a story around the creation of an artificial intelligence with the working title “How They Made Her,” according to an announcement from Katzenberg onstage at the Variety Innovate summit. […]

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Brex has partnered with WeWork, AWS and more for its new rewards program

Brex, the corporate card built for startups, unveiled its new rewards program today. The billion-dollar company, which announced its $125 million Series C three weeks ago, has partnered with Amazon Web Services, WeWork, Instacart, Google Ads, SendGrid, Salesforce Essentials, Twilio, Zendesk, Caviar, HubSpot, Orrick, Snap, Clerky and DoorDash to give entrepreneurs the ability to accrue and spend points on services and products they use regularly. Brex is lead by a pair of 22-year-old serial entrepreneurs who are well aware of the costs associated with building a startup. […]

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Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman announce the name of their stealthy mobile video startup

Onstage at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman unveiled the name of their highly anticipated mobile video company known until now as NewTV. The name is Quibi, short for “quick bites,” per a note on its new website: “Something cool is coming from Hollywood and Silicon Valley — quick bites of captivating entertainment, created for mobile by the best talent, designed to fit perfectly into any moment of your day.” The short-form video service, launching next year, will operate on […]

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Sequoia backs Maven, a virtual health clinic for women

Despite the increase in women in the U.S. workforce and public pledges from several high-profile CEOs to close the gender pay gap, women, especially working mothers, often find themselves without the resources necessary to succeed at work. Maven, a digital health startup and benefits platform focused on improving access to healthcare for women, has emerged specifically to help businesses help their female employees. Maven has garnered the support of Sequoia Capital, a household name in Silicon Valley and a venture capital firm that has seldom backed female-focused businesses. […]

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Meet SelfieCircus and 8 more in Snapchat’s new startup accelerator

Snapchat is hedging its bets as its social network shrinks. Today Snap Inc. revealed the first class of its startup accelerator called Yellow that offers $150,000 in funding and creativity-centric business education in exchange for what a source says is a seven to 10 percent equity stake — in line with other accelerators like Y Combinator. The nine companies will take up a three-month residency in one of Snap’s buildings in Venice, Calif., near Los Angeles. The accelerator class ranges from augmented reality and journalism studios to […]

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Openbook is the latest dream of a digital life beyond Facebook

As tech’s social giants wrestle with antisocial demons that appear to be both an emergent property of their platform power, and a consequence of specific leadership and values failures (evident as they publicly fail to enforce even the standards they claim to have), there are still people dreaming of a better way. Of social networking beyond outrage-fuelled adtech giants like Facebook and Twitter. There have been many such attempts to build a ‘better’ social network of course. Most have ended in the deadpool. A few are still around with […]

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