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Toil and trouble and … startup acquisitions! • TechCrunch


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I think it would probably take three days after I started my rather dry M&A season for the news cycle to prove me wrong. This week we saw Naver gets the PoshmarkDuolingo buy its first companySpotify acquires content moderation technology company Kinzenand, um, Twitter is getting closer and closer to reaching an agreement with Musk.

When we see famous acquisitions happening close together, the human reaction is to think that there is a trend forming. Open. I would like to ask more questions: The Poshmark acquisition is somewhat discounted, So what does that tell us about the state of startups in the market and their valuations? Duolingo eventually became an acquisition-friendly company; What does that tell us about their priorities and expansion efforts? What role does the Spotify acquisition play, if any, in recent layoffs and closure of some original podcasts? Musk is getting 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 to think things have slowed down. M&A in the US has declined in the last 5 quarters. The same report states that “transactions worth about $212 billion 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 fact that transactions are slowing, the total value of technology transactions is still up 39% year-on-year, according to Bloomberg data. Those are big things that have a lot of weight, such as Adobe acquires Figma for $20 billion.

I’m always here to provide nuance, especially after a particularly hectic week. Let me know what you think by tweeting about me or replying to this post. If you missed last week’s newsletter, read it here: “Welcome to the spooky season in startups.”

In today’s newsletter, I’ll be talking to you about Liquid Death and Cryptocurrency Advertising.

If you like this newsletter, please help me quickly? Forward it to friends, share it on Twitter and tag me so I can thank you for reading myself!

Your favorite tech podcast

On Equity this week, your favorite trio of podcasts talked about the numbers and nuances behind the top tech headlines. I mean, we’re biased, but who doesn’t love to dig deep into the top news? Remember we have three podcasts per week: Equity Monday is best paired with a cup of coffee and updates on the last week; The fourth equity is to dive into a question or a thought; and Equity Friday is a look back at what happened this week.

Here’s why it’s important: This week, the highlight of the podcast for me is our discussion of Liquid Death’s $700 Million Valuation. It is particularly interesting when you consider the recent news that Haus, a low ABV alternative to traditional wine, is selling itself due to a broken funding round. Listen to our full conversation here, go to Liquid Death, stay if Alex will get his future child a Substack.

Image credits: Liquid death

Dear, carry me?

Flag this for a future trend for me to consider: We’re seeing more and more VC firms giving a portion of their interest to people who refer successful deals to them. This week, Mary Ann reviewed how a cross-border VC firm is sharing profits in the LP base of 20 founders.

Here’s why it’s important: This trend first hit my radar about a year ago, when Gumroad founder and CEO Sahil Lavingia announced a new type of scouting program. Longtime readers of Startups Weekly will remember this evergreen story from back then: It’s hard to argue philosophically against more transparency and allocation in entrepreneurship, but it’s also hard to implement that goal in a way that really helps those who need it most.

Image credits: Say-Cheese / Getty Images

The track

I’m testing a new section in Startups Weekly, where each week we follow an old story or trend to see what has changed since our first glance. This week, we’ll be following Kim Kardashian. A few weeks ago we talked about Kardashian and the financialization of trend-setters after she announced the launch of her private equity firm.

Here’s what’s new: She’s back in the news, but no congratulatory Twitter. Kardashian gets fined $1.26 million by SEC to promote crypto without disclosure. Her mistake? She should mention that she was paid $250,000 to publish a post about EthereumMAX’s EMAX token on her Insta story.

Anita and Dom speak the best, so I’m just putting this link here for those who want to continue reading: “Don’t Defend Kim Kardashian For Cheap Crypto.”

Kim Kardashian

Image credits: Spotify

A few notes

We’re less than a month away from TechCrunch Disrupt and I’m already thrilled. It will be an explosion, a short talk, a realization and a week not to be missed. Here is the whole program of workand this is where you can get your ticket.

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

While I have you, let’s talk more. As you know, I co-host Equity, which comes out three times a week and is TC’s longest running podcast. We also have some close friends to listen to, including crypto-focused program made by Chain Reaction and Founder-focused program run by Found. TechCrunch Podcast is also impossible to miss, so pay attention to all the good shows they are putting on.

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Same time, same site, next week?

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