Unpacking Pinterest’s IPO expectations

For seven years, Pinterest has been considered a “unicorn,” boasting a valuation larger than $1 billion since its 2012 Series C funding round. Before that, it was considered an underdog, puzzling some investors with its “digital pinboard” and preference for “quality growth.” Now, as the company takes its final step toward its Thursday NYSE initial […]

Birth control delivery startup Nurx taps Clover Health’s Varsha Rao as CEO

Varsha Rao, Airbnb’s former head of global operations and, most recently, the chief operating officer at Clover Health, has joined Nurx as its chief executive officer. Rao replaces Hans Gangeskar, Nurx’s co-founder and CEO since 2014, who will stay on as a board member. Nurx, which sells birth control, PrEP, the once-daily pill that reduces […]

Airbnb officially owns HotelTonight

Airbnb has completed its acquisition of the last-minute hotel booking application, HotelTonight, the company announced on Monday. The deal is Airbnb’s largest M&A transaction yet, and will accelerate the home-sharing giant’s growth as it gears up for an initial public offering. Airbnb reportedly began talks to acquire HotelTonight months ago, and finally confirmed its intent […]

WTF is Baillie Gifford?

The SoftBank Vision Fund has been screaming from the venture headlines the last few months, driven by eye-popping rounds (and valuations!) into some of the most notable startups around the world. Yet, SoftBank isn’t the only player rapidly buying up the cap tables of top startups. Indeed, another firm, more than a century old, has […]

Baillie Gifford’s Charles Plowden on 110 years of investing

“It is our contention that the investment industry may be experiencing a peak of its own, in this case the point of the maximum rate at which it extracts value from its clients’ assets. Let’s call it Peak Gravy.” That’s a recent quote from Tom Coutts, who is one of a few dozen partners at […]

The IPO wave of 2019 won’t upend the Bay Area housing market

Issi Romem Contributor Issi Romem is chief economist for Trulia and a fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley. His work has been featured in the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and more. The impending wave of San Francisco tech IPOs is substantial […]

Startups Weekly: US companies raised $30B in Q1 2019

Let’s start this week’s newsletter with some data. Nationally, startups pulled in $30.8 billion in the first quarter of 2019, up 22 percent year-on-year, according to Crunchbase’s latest deal round-up. A closer look at the numbers shows a big drop in angel funding and a slight decrease in mega-rounds, or financings larger than $100 million. […]

India’s OYO enters Japan in partnership with SoftBank

Fresh from closing a notable investment from Airbnb, India’s OYO has expanded its footprint into Japan. The move comes through a joint venture with investor SoftBank — which led OYO’s $1 billion round last year through its Vision Fund — which will cover hotel-based accommodation and home rentals. Financial details around the joint venture were […]

Airbnb confirms stake in India’s OYO, sources say it invested $150M-$200M

Airbnb is continuing to widen its focus beyond “unconventional” hotels as it gets ready for a much-anticipated IPO. Following its acquisition of HotelTonight last month, the company has picked today (April Fools’ Day) to confirm that it invested in India’s OYO — a startup that manages budget hotels and other stays. The deal has been […]

Forge acquires IRA Services to expand offering for private company shares

Forge, the marketplace for trading private company shares formerly known as Equidate, announced that it will be acquiring custodial trust company IRA Services for a purchase price of $55 million. IRA Services is a trust company that provides custodial services for retirement accounts managed by individuals and mid-to-large sized Institutions. Stripped of financial jargon, the […]