Welcome to Startups Weekly, a new take on this week’s start and startup trends. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.
I think it took maybe three days after roasting our rather dry M&A season for the news cycle to prove me wrong. This week saw Naver acquiring Poshmark, Duolingo buying its first company, Spotify acquiring content moderation technology company Kinzen, and Twitter getting closer to closing a deal with Musk.
When we see high-profile acquisitions happening in close proximity, the human reaction is to think a trend is forming. uh. I’d rather ask questions: The Poshmark acquisition is at a slight discount, so what does that say about the state of startups in the market and their valuations? Duolingo is finally becoming a takeover-friendly company; what does that tell us about their priorities and expansion efforts? How, if any, does the Spotify acquisition play a role in the recent layoffs and the shutdown of some original podcasts? Musk is ready to buy Twitter after saying he wants to buy Twitter, but that’s somehow news because wait, does anyone know what’s going on?
Bloomberg tells me I’m not entirely wrong in thinking things have slowed down. M&A in the United States has fallen in the past five quarters. The same report says that “about $212 billion in deals were announced in the past three months, the lightest since the second quarter of 2020.” At the same time, technology is a bright spot. Despite deals slowing, the tech sector’s total deal value is up 39% year over year, Bloomberg data claims. It’s the big ones, like Adobe’s $20 billion acquisition of Figma.
I’m always there to add nuance, especially after a particularly eventful week. Let me know what’s on your mind by tweeting to me or commenting on this post. If you missed last week’s newsletter, read it here: “Welcome to the spooky season in startups.”
In today’s newsletter I will talk to you about Liquid Death and crypto advertising.
If you like this newsletter, will you do me a quick favor? Forward to a friend, share on Twitter and tag me so I can thank you for reading for yourself!
Your favorite tech podcast
On Equity this week, your favorite podcast trio spoke to the numbers and nuances behind the main tech headlines. I mean, we’re biased, but who doesn’t love a weekly deep dive into the top news? Remember, we have three podcasts a week: Equity Monday is best paired with a cup of coffee and catching up on the week ahead; Equity Wednesday is a deep dive into a question or a thought; and Equity Friday is a look back at what the hell happened this week.
Here’s why it’s important: This week, the highlight of the podcast for me was our discussion of the $700 million worth of Liquid Death. It’s especially interesting when you look at recent news that Haus, a low ABV alternative to traditional alcohol, is putting itself up for sale due to a failed financing round. Listen to our entire conversation here, come for the Liquid Death, stay ahead when Alex is going to give his future baby a Substack.
Dear bear, carry me?
Mark this as a future trend for me to look at: We’re seeing more and more VC firms dedicating some of their carry interest to people who refer successful deals to them. This week, Mary Ann explored how a cross-border VC firm shares profits across its 20-founding LP base.
Here’s why it’s important: This trend first came on my radar about a year ago when Gumroad founder and CEO Sahil Lavingia announced a new type of scouting program. Readers of Longtime Startups Weekly will remember this evergreen version from back then: It’s hard to argue philosophically against greater transparency and distribution in entrepreneurship, but it’s also hard to achieve those goals in a way that helps those who need it most. need.
I’m experimenting with a new section in Startups Weekly where we follow an old story or trend every week to see what has changed since our first look. This week we follow up on Kim Kardashian. A few weeks ago, we talked about Kardashian and the financialization of trendsetters after she announced the debut of her private equity firm.
Here’s what’s new: She’s in the news again, but without congratulations on Twitter. Kardashian was fined $1.26 million by the SEC for advertising crypto without disclosure. Her fault? She should have mentioned that she was paid $250,000 for posting a post about EthereumMAX’s EMAX tokens on her Insta story.
Anita and Dom say it best, so I’m putting this link here for people who want to keep reading, “Let’s not defend Kim Kardashian for shilling crypto.”
A few notes
We’re less than a month away from londonbusinessblog.com Disrupt and I’m already emotional. It will be a blast, a pep talk, a realization and a week not to be missed. Here is the full agenda and here you can buy your tickets.
- First use the code “STARTUPS” for a special reader discount for Disrupt tickets. We’re less than a month away!
- We also have a special for people affected by layoffs. If you’re fired, go here to get a free ticket to londonbusinessblog.com Disrupt’s Expo.
While I have you, let’s talk some more. As you know, I co-host Equity, which goes out three times a week and is TC’s longest-running podcast. We also have some besties to listen to, including our crypto-focused show going through Chain Reaction and the founder-focused show going through Found. The londonbusinessblog.com Podcast should not be missing either, so watch all the good shows they put out.
Seen on londonbusinessblog.com
Google is making good on its $1 billion plan to support Africa’s digital economy, but there’s still a long way to go
Amazon is scaling down Scout delivery robot program
If it’s agtech, it’s climate change: how the crisis is shaping investor strategies
AI music generators can be a boon for artists, but also problematic
Seen on londonbusinessblog.com+
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Same time, same webpage, next week?