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Months after rejecting $17 billion bid, Zendesk sells to private equity group for $10.2 billion – londonbusinessblog.com

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Hello folks, and welcome to the Friday edition of Daily Crunch. As you may have seen, the Supreme Court today made a major decision on abortion, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade by declaring that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion. While the outcome was expected – a draft of the decision leaked months ago – the implications for the tech industry are only beginning to become clearer. Stay tuned as my colleagues and I dissect the developments.

In other news, londonbusinessblog.com’s Summer Party yesterday was a huge success — thanks to everyone who showed up! Not to sound like a broken record, but in terms of events, don’t forget the upcoming TC Sessions: Robotics in July. And on the distant horizon, londonbusinessblog.com Disrupt returns to San Francisco on October 18. I can’t wait to see your smiling faces there.

Do you need reading or listening material in between? Consider checking out londonbusinessblog.com’s podcast and newsletter library. I bet there’s a backlog big enough to keep you busy – and more importantly, informed! † Kylea

The londonbusinessblog.com Top 3

  • Step aside, there’s a new copilot in town: To prove that GitHub isn’t the only platform with the chops to launch an AI-powered pair programmer, Amazon this week debuted CodeWhisperer, a tool that can auto-complete entire functions based on just a comment or a few keystrokes. code. As Frederic writes, Amazon has trained the system — which currently supports Java, JavaScript, and Python — on billions of lines of publicly available open source code and its own codebase, as well as publicly available documentation and code on public forums.
  • Please hold on while your company is being acquired: Zendesk has struggled lately, with activist investors hounding the customer service software provider for change and misguided attempts to boost valuation. Still, today’s news of the Zendesk acquisition came as a surprise, if only because of its sudden presence. Ron notes that the $10.2 billion transaction — led by Permira and Hellman & Friedman — gave investors a way to some return on their investment, albeit below the $17 billion offer they received in February.
  • Who needs megapixels when you have Benjamins? Leica makes great digital cameras. But for the special edition, the limited-run Leica MA Titan, the German imaging company decided to go the analog route. The titanium-clad MA Titan takes film, and – as if that wasn’t unattainable enough – costs a dazzling $20,000. hi reports on this, noting that Leica only sells about 100,000 cameras a year. Perhaps it can be forgiven for asking a premium.

Startups and VC

In drug-related news, a startup called Wondermed raised $4.6 million to provide at-home, ketamine-assisted treatments to patients. Now you may be wondering: is this safe? Wondermed claims it is, just like rivals mindbloom and Health on an excursion† But of course they would. hi There’s little suspicion about how easy it is to get approved for ketamine treatment, but points to clinical trials proving the drug’s efficacy as a therapeutic option for anxiety and depression.

Elsewhere in the tech:

  • Deliver the goods — for a price: With proof that the direct delivery market isn’t roasted yet, Zomato this week acquired Blinkit, a struggling 10-minute grocery delivery startup, for a $568.1 million deal. manish reports that investors have questioned Zomato’s expansion into the space, given its punishingly high costs and low margins.
  • Hold my battery: Parcel-carrying drones are cool. What’s not cool is that they have to switch their batteries and charges once they land. Fortunately, there is a startup for that. Airrow makes a device that works in the same way as a CNC machine or 3D printer, Brian reports, with a portal moving along the X and Y axes to get the battery from the charger to the drone and back again. How cool is that?
  • The battle is real: It’s never good to see a startup, fresh from raising capital, lay off a significant portion of its workforce. That’s what happened this week to Ro, who laid off 18% of his full-time workforce to “manage costs, increase efficiency of [its] organization, and better allocating our resources to [its] current strategy.” Natasha notes that former and current employees have previously spoken of the health tech company’s inability to monetize meaningful revenues from newer products.
  • Looking for a long-term partner: Communication is important in any relationship, but it doesn’t always happen right away. That’s why Hinge this week introduced “Dating Intentions,” a new profile feature designed to encourage users to make their expectations clear. From AishaThe composite choices include “life partner,” “long term,” “long term, open to short term,” “short term, open to long term,” “short term,” and “find out my dating goals.”
  • When life gives you lemons, turn to crypto: Solana, a startup founded by former Essential engineers and designers, is shifting focus to cryptocurrency. CEO Anatoly Yakovenko announced this week that its first product, the Osom OV1, will be an Android smartphone that supports decentralized apps that rely on the Solana blockchain. The reactions have been mixed, Jacquelyn reports.
  • Do not eat the lentils: Daily Harvest blames lentils, especially leeks and lentils, for the health problems some of its customers have experienced. Following a Wall Street Journal article, the company recalled its French lentil and leek crumbs product, which has reportedly required some people to undergo surgery to remove their gallbladders and may have contributed to liver damage and fever. Daily Harvest is valued at over $1 billion and is backed by a number of celebrities, Aisha notes, including Bobby Flay, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Serena Williams.

Twitter Space: M13 managing partner Karl Alomar discusses fundraising during a recession

close up cranesbill kingfisher in tropical garden singapore.

Image Credits: Getty Images/dblight

On Monday, June 27 at 11:30 a.m. PT / 2:30 p.m. ET, M13 managing partner Karl Alomar joins senior editor Walter Thompson on a Twitter Space to share tactics and strategies for founders planning to raise money during this downturn.

Alomar led startups through the dotcom crisis of 2000 and the Great Recession of 2008 and will talk about whether investors still prioritize growth over profit and how to identify the evidence points that founding teams need to define for their next raise.

We will answer questions, so please follow @londonbusinessblog.com on Twitter and set a reminder for Monday’s chat

(londonbusinessblog.com+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here

Big Tech Inc.

The future has arrived. Kind of. San Francisco residents can now pay for a ride in an autonomous taxi, courtesy of Cruise’s ride-hailing service. darrell writes that Cruise’s offerings will initially only operate between 10pm and 6am and on designated city streets, but those limits could change in the future. It depends on how smooth the service is.

Meanwhile, India’s central bank is tackling fintech startups, reports manish† The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed dozens of suppliers that it prohibits the practice of loading “non-bank prepaid payment instruments” – prepaid cards, for example – using lines of credit. Some affected founders are telling the story that incumbent banks lobbied the RBI to make a decision in their favor.

In other news:

  • Fresh coat of paint: As part of a broader update to Chrome, Google has announced a handful of new features for the latest version of Chrome on iOS. One of the major additions is that the Chrome app gains access to Google’s Enhanced Safe Browsing feature that proactively warns you about dangerous web pages, Lauren writes. Other updates include changes to the user interface and the ability to set Google’s password manager as the autofill provider.
  • The slow pace of electric: What’s not to like about EVs? The wait. From JaclynRising demand for this year’s most highly anticipated EVs is destroying order books and extending waiting lists. Rising supply chain costs mean customers of the Lyriq and other EVs could pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more for a vehicle that arrives months later than expected. Unfortunately.
  • Streaming still difficult: Ivan reports that Netflix fired 300 people this week, the company’s second wave of layoffs in 2 months. Among the headwinds facing the company are the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the COVID pandemic and password sharing. Netflix lost more than 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter and expects to lose 2 million in the second quarter.
  • Almost as good as the real thing: Frederic writes that at its re: MARS conference, Amazon announced Synthetics in SageMaker Ground Truth, a new feature for creating an almost unlimited number of images of a given object in different positions and under different lighting conditions. It aims to help create synthetic data for training AI models in situations where real-world data is not abundant.
  • Spyware reaches Android: Security researchers at Outlook recently linked a previously unattributed Android mobile spyware called Hermit to Italian software house RCS Lab, Bag reports. Now, Google threat researchers have confirmed many of Lookout’s findings and are alerting Android users whose devices have been hacked by the spyware.


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