Fatigue and trouble and… startup purchases! • TechCrunch


Welcome to Startups Weekly, this week’s human-first update on startup news and trends. To get this in your inbox, Register here.

I think it took maybe three days after I roasted our dry M&A season to prove it wrong for the news cycle. This week we’ve seen Naver buy Poshmark , Duolingo buy the original company , Spotify buy content moderation tech company Kinzen , and, um, Twitter inching closer to a deal with Field .

When we see high-profile purchases happening in the near future, the human response is to think that a trend is emerging. Uh, I’d rather ask questions: Poshmark’s purchase is somewhat discounted, so what does that tell us about the state of marketplace startups and their valuations? Duolingo is finally becoming an acquisition-friendly company; What does it tell us about their priorities and expansion efforts? How does the Spotify acquisition play into the recent layoffs and shutdown of some original podcasts? Musk is preparing to buy Twitter after saying he wants to buy it, but that’s somehow news, wait, does anyone know what’s going on?

Bloomberg told me he wasn’t entirely wrong to think things were frozen. M&A in the United States has fallen for the past five quarters. The same report says, “Nearly $212 billion in deals were announced in the past three months, the lightest period since the second quarter of 2020.” At the same time, technology is a bright spot. Despite the slowdown in deals, the tech sector’s overall deal value is up 39 percent year-over-year, according to Bloomberg data. Big ones like Adobe’s $20 billion acquisition of Figma.

I’m always here to deliver a special treat, especially after last week. Let me know what you think by tweeting at me or replying to this post. If you missed last week’s newsletter, read it here: “Welcome to the scary season of startups.”

In today’s newsletter I will talk about liquid death and crypto advertising.

If you like this newsletter, do me a quick favor? Forward to a friend, share on Twitter. And fight me to thank you for reading myself!

Your favorite technology podcast

This week on Equity, your favorite podcast trio talks the numbers and nuances behind high-tech headlines. I mean, we’re biased, but who doesn’t love a deep dive into the top news each week? Remember that we have three podcasts a week: Equity Mondays are better paired with a cup of coffee and jamming on the week ahead. Justice Wednesday is a deep dive into a question or idea; And justice is to see what happened on Friday this week.

Here’s why it’s important: This week, one of the highlights of the podcast for me was our discussion of the $700 million valuation of Liquid Death. It’s especially exciting when you consider the recent news that Haus, a low-ABV alternative to traditional alcohol, is putting itself up for sale thanks to a funding round. Listen to our full conversation here, come for the Liquid Death, stay for Alex to discover his future son, Substack.

Image Credits: Liquid death

Dear bearer, bear me?

Point to this future trend for me to watch: We’re seeing more and more VC firms give some interest to people who refer successful deals. This week, Mary Ann looks at how a cross-border VC firm shares profits in a 20-founder LP.

Here’s why it’s important: This trend first popped up on my radar about a year ago, when Sahil Lavinia, founder and CEO of Gumroad, announced a new kind of scouting program. Longtime Startups Weekly readers will remember this old Green dictum: It’s hard to argue philosophically against greater transparency and distribution, but it’s also harder to articulate those goals in a way that actually works for those who want them.

Image Credits: Bel-Cheese / Getty Images

follow up

I’m experimenting with a new segment in Startups Weekly where we track an old story or trend each week to see what’s changed since our first look. This week, we’re keeping an eye on Kim Kardashian. A few weeks ago, we talked about Kardashian and trends in finance after she announced the launch of her private equity firm.

Here’s what’s new: She’s back in the news, but without the Twitter congrats. Kardashian fined $1.26 million by SEC for advertising crypto without disclosure. Her mistake? She should mention that she was paid $250,000 to publish a post about EthereumMAX EMAX tokens on her Insta story.

Anita and Dom say it very well, so I’ll put this link here for those who want to continue reading: “Let’s not defend Kim Kardashian by shilling crypto.”

Kim Kardashian

Image Credits: Spotify

A few notes

We’re less than a month away from TechCrunch Disrupt, and I’m already emotional. It will be a week of explosions, talks, insights and inevitability. Here’s the full agenda and where to get tickets.

  • First use special reader discount code “STARTUPS” for disruptive tickets. We’re less than a month away!
  • We also have specials for those affected by layoffs. If you’re fired, go here to get a free ticket to TechCrunch Disrupt’s Expo.

While I’m with you, let’s talk a little. As you know, I host Fairness, TC’s longest-running podcast, which comes out three times a week. We have some great audiences to listen to, including our crypto-focused show hosted by Chain Reaction and our founder-focused show hosted by Found. The TechCrunch podcast is also unmissable, so keep an eye out for all the good shows they’re putting out.

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Same time, same site, next week?



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