Category Archives: unicorn

Startups Weekly: Uber’s headline-grabbing week and sextech at SXSW

I spent the week at SXSW, Austin’s really, really huge technology, music, comedy and film festival. It’s my first year making the trek down here for the event, which I did to interview sextech entrepreneur Lora DiCarlo founder Lora Haddock, whose robotics innovation reward was infamously revoked at this year’s CES. “I brush my teeth and I masturbate. It’s all normal,” she said, addressing the stigma surrounding female-focused pleasure tech. Haddock, during our chat, also announced the first-ever government grant for a sextech startup, a $99,637 funding […]

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African e-commerce startup Jumia files for IPO on NYSE

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange today, per SEC documents and confirmation from CEO Sacha Poignonnec to TechCrunch. The valuation, share price and timeline for public stock sales will be determined over the coming weeks for the Nigeria-headquartered company. With a smooth filing process, Jumia will become the first African tech startup to list on a major global exchange. Poignonnec would not pinpoint a date for the actual IPO, but noted the minimum SEC timeline for beginning sales activities […]

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Startups Weekly: What’s up with YC? Plus, mobility layoffs and Airbnb’s grand plans

Where to begin… Netflix darling Marie Kondo is hitting up Sand Hill Road in search of $40 million to fund an ecommerce platform, Y Combinator is giving $150,000 to a startup building a $380,000 flying motorcycle (because why not) and Jibo, the social robot, is calling it quits, speaking to owners directly of its imminent shutdown. It was a hectic week in unicorn land so, I’m just going to get right to the good stuff. Changes at Y Combinator Where to begin! Not only did the prolific […]

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Airbnb agrees to acquire last-minute hotel-booking app HotelTonight

As Airbnb gears up for its big leap into the public markets, it’s expanding its accommodations platform to include more than just treehouses and quirky homes. Today, the company has confirmed its intent to acquire HotelTonight, the developer of a hotel-booking application that lets travelers arrange last-minute accommodations. The deal was previously reported by The Wall Street Journal, which wrote in January that negotiations for the transaction had “gone cold.” Airbnb is expected to complete an initial public offering as soon as this year, though co-founder and […]

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Airbnb, Automattic and Pinterest top rank of most acquisitive unicorns

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor Companies raising supergiant VC aren’t getting any younger Coastal startups don’t have a monopoly on raising big at early-stage It takes a lot more than a good idea and the right timing to build a billion-dollar company. Talent, focus, operational effectiveness and a healthy dose of luck are all components of a successful tech startup. Many of the most successful (or, at least, highest-valued) tech unicorns today […]

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How to prepare for an investment apocalypse

Micah Rosenbloom Contributor Micah Rosenbloom is a venture partner at Founder Collective. More posts by this contributor Business school grads and quants are winning the battle to create the next P&G Startups need to respect the laws of retail physics Unlike 2000 and 2008, everyone in the startup world is expecting a crash to come at any moment. But few are taking concrete steps to prepare for it. If you’re running a venture-backed startup, you should probably get on that. First, go read RIP Good Times from […]

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Lack of transparency in healthcare startups risks another Theranos implosion

Are more Theranos -style scandals looming for investors in healthcare startups? A team of researchers associated with the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford thinks so. They’ve published a paper warning investors in life sciences startups that a systemic lack of transparency exists in their portfolio companies — creating the possibility for more multi-billion-dollar implosions and scandals like the one that toppled Theranos and its charismatic founder, Elizabeth Holmes. Indeed, one of the study’s authors, Dr. John Ioannidis, the co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford and director of the […]

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Startups Weekly: Squad’s screen-shares and Slack’s swastika

We’re three weeks into January. We’ve recovered from our CES hangover and, hopefully, from the CES flu. We’ve started writing the correct year, 2019, not 2018. Venture capitalists have gone full steam ahead with fundraising efforts, several startups have closed multi-hundred million dollar rounds, a virtual influencer raised equity funding and yet, all anyone wants to talk about is Slack’s new logo… As part of its public listing prep, Slack announced some changes to its branding this week, including a vaguely different looking logo. Considering the flack the $7 […]

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Private equity buyouts have become viable exit options — even for early-stage startups

Ajay Chopra Contributor Ajay Chopra co-founded Pinnacle Systems in his living room and grew it to a multi-billion dollar public company before becoming a venture capitalist with Trinity Ventures. More posts by this contributor Full autonomy is years away, but here’s what’s next on autonomy’s wild ride From the distributed workforce to the partnered economy About 13 years ago I faced an excruciating decision: whether to sell my company, Pinnacle Systems, to a private equity firm or to another large public company. I felt that both suitors […]

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5 unicorns that will probably go public in 2019 (besides Uber and Lyft)

There’s been plenty of fanfare surrounding Uber and Lyft’s initial public offerings — slated for early 2019 — since the two companies filed confidential IPO paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in early December. On top of that, public and private investors have had plenty to say about Slack and Pinterest’s rumored 2019 IPOs but those aren’t the only “unicorn” exits we should expect to witness in the year ahead. Using its proprietary company rating algorithm, data provider CB Insights ranked five billion dollar companies most likely to […]

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