Maria Montero

Weekly startups: Spotify becomes acquisitive and Instacart shits

Has anyone else listened to season one of StartUp, Alex Blumberg’s OG Gimlet podcast? I did, and felt like a proud mom this week reading stories from Spotify’s first major acquisition of its podcast production company, Gimlet. Spotify It also bought Anchor, a podcast monetization platform, which marks a new era for the podcasting industry.

On top of that, Himalaya, a free podcast app I’d never heard of until this week, raised a whopping $ 100 million in venture capital funding to “establish itself as a new force in the podcast distribution space.” , according to Variety.

The podcasting business definitely took center stage, but Lime And Bird made headlines, as usual, a new unicorn has emerged in the mental health space, and it turns out Instacart has been ruining its independent contractors.

As mentioned, Spotify, or say SsheathIfy, gobbled gimlet and anchor. More on that here and a full analysis of the deal here. Key point: it is the beginning of podcasting; expect a lot of venture investing and increased M&A activity in the years ahead.

The most exciting moment this week came when reports surfaced that Instacart was offsetting their salaries with advice from clients. An independent contractor has filed a class action lawsuit against the food delivery business, claiming that “they intentionally and maliciously used themselves to pay the plaintiff’s wages despite Instacart it maintained that 100 percent of the advice of the clients went directly to the buyers ”. TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey has the full story here, as well as the Instacart CEO’s apologies here.

Slack was confidentially submitted for publication this week, its first public step toward an IPO or direct listing. If you choose the latter, as Spotify did in 2018, it won’t issue any new stocks. Instead, it will sell existing shares held by internal employees, employees and investors, a move that will allow it to avoid a roadshow and some of the exorbitant Wall Street IPO fees. Postmates filed confidentially, too. The 8-year-old company has chosen JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to lead its next float.

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman comments on “Reddit Redesign” during the third day of the Web Summit at Altice Arena on November 8, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Horacio Villalobos-Corbis / Contributor)

It was particularly difficult to decide which was the most notable deal this week… But the winner is Reddit, the online platform for chatting about niche topics: r / ProgMetal if you’re Crunchbase editor Alex Wilhelm . The company is raising as much as $ 300 million at a $ 3 billion valuation, according to TechCrunch’s Josh Constine. Reddit has been around since 2005 and has raised a total of $ 250 million in equity funding. The next round of Series D is said to be led by Chinese tech giant Tencent with a previous valuation of $ 2.7 billion.

The second place for the week’s deal is Calm, the application that helps users reduce anxiety, sleep better and feel happier. The startup brought in an $ 88 million Series B with a $ 1 billion valuation. With 40 million downloads worldwide and more than a million paying subscribers, the company says it quadrupled revenue in 2018 from $ 20 to $ 80 million and is now profitable – not a word you hear every day at Silicon. Valley.

Here’s your weekly reminder to send me tips, suggestions, and more at [email protected] or @KateClarkTweets.

I listened to the Bird CEO’s conversation with Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures last week and wrote some key takeaways, including the challenges of seasonality and safety in the scooter business. I also wrote about an investigation by Consumer Reports that found that electric scooters were the cause of more than 1,500 accidents in the US I should also mention that the Unicorn e-scooter Lime finally closed its highly anticipated round with a $ valuation. 2.4 billion. The news came just days after the company beefed up its executive team with a CTO and a hired CMO.

Databricks Raises $ 250M in $ 2.75B Valuation for its Analytics Platform Relex Retail Technology Platform Raises $ 200M from TCVRaisin Raises $ 114M for its Pan-European Savings and Investment Products Market Ike Autonomous Truck Startup Raises $ 52MSignal Sciences Gets $ 35 Million to Protect Web Apps Ritual Raises $ 25 Million for Subscription-Based Women’s Daily Vitamin Little Spoon Gets $ 7 Million for its Organic Baby Food Delivery Service For Humanity Raises $ 4 Million to Ditch Its Routine single-use plastic matinee

We didn’t spend a ton of time talking about the growing tech-driven, venture-capital logistics sector, but a startup in the space got a lot of attention this week. Turvo looted three Uber keys Cargo employees, including two of the unit’s co-founders. What does that mean for Uber Freight? Well, it’s probably not a ton… From my conversation with Turvo’s newest employees, Uber Freight is a rocket waiting to take off.

Who knew that investing in brands focused on women could generate returns for investors? I was just kidding, I knew it and this week I have even more proof! This is L., a retailer of pads, tampons and condoms made from organic materials that are sold to P&G for $ 100 million. The company, founded by Talia Frenkel, launched outside of Y Combinator in August 2015. According to PitchBook, it was backed by Halogen Ventures, 500 Startups, Fusion Fund, and a few others.

Speaking of ladies doing things, Bessemer Venture Partners promoted Talia Goldberg to partner this week, making the 28-year-old one of the youngest investment partners in the Silicon Valley venture fund. Additionally, Eclipse Ventures of Palo Alto, after a $ 500 million fundraiser, added two general partners: former Flex CEO Mike McNamara and former Global Foundries CEO Sanjay Jha.