Sign up here to get an overview of blog line’s biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox daily at 3 p.m. PT. It’s Friday the 13th, and I hope nothing bad happened to you today. In any case, the weekend has arrived! At the very least, you can follow the latest news about Terraform Labs – Binance has stopped trading Luna and UST – and some great podcasts from your favorite loglines. And be sure to get your seat for our June 1 blog line Live event in Columbus. See you on Monday! – Christine
The blog line Top 3
If Elon doesn’t buy Twitter, at least Snoop Dogg is ready to strike: Early this morning, Elon Musk tweeted that his proposed purchase of Twitter had been delayed. At the same time, he calculated the percentage of fake accounts via the social media channel. While he also tweeted that he “remains committed to the acquisition,” I enjoyed seeing Snoop Dogg tweet about his desire to try it maybe out if Musk doesn’t. His plan for that isn’t bad, actually. Eating out on Dineout: In some online M&A food ordering news, Swiggy said it was acquiring Dineout, the Indian equivalent of OpenTable. This puts Swiggy entirely in the hospitality industry, which has been dominated in the country for quite some time by Zomato, whose market cap has fallen to around $5 billion. It also represents additional consolidation within a mammoth market trying to make sense of the pandemic boost. More layoffs: Natasha and Amanda were already catching up on the countless tech layoffs last week, and sadly today have a new list featuring Section 4, Carvana, and Latch. Even Meta is not immune.
Startups and VC
On the hook: That’s what Better.com CEO Vishal Garg says about a $750 million loan to SoftBank. By taking personal responsibility for the loan, Garg is liable for any losses. However, the company could also be hit as any losses could force it to sell much of its Better.com holdings, which could negatively affect the stock. It’s still a mess, no matter how you look at it. Dress in indie brands: China-based Body404 is betting the West will embrace the next generation of clothing designers who want to give them something that’s not just a cheaper runway knock-off. It has paid off, as the company is now valued at $50 million after raising $50 million in March. Also interesting to note is that customers do not return the clothes – Body404’s return rate is around 2%, much less than the average of 10% in the fashion industry. Enjoy a good cause: Frank Reig, who helms Revel, a company that builds fast charging stations for electric vehicles, spoke with Rebecca about the company’s shift away from moped sharing and the distance Revel has traveled to get its adoption of electric cars. The company is led by advertising guru Sue Fennessy, who aims to divert ad funding away from social media giants like Facebook and channel it into charity. Watch and get paid: Our attention is valuable and is often drawn in different directions. WeAre8 wants to reward you for doing what DVR has made us skip for many years – watch ads.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Dutch’s $20M Series A Deck
As CEO and founder of the virtual veterinary care platform Dutch, Joe Spector initially planned to raise a $15 million Series A. Still, his pitch deck so skillfully blended the images of lovable pets with market research and traction stats that he is eventually rounded out $20 million closed.
With flair, Dutch’s deck tells a compelling story of how the company used its seed capital to launch a service, build a brand identity, build a team, and expand from 12 to 32 states within three months, writes Haje Jan Kamps in the weekly pitch. Break off the deck.
If you’re working on a pitch deck and need some inspiration, start here: All 17 slides are available to TC+ members.
(blogline+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can sign up here.)
Big Tech Inc.
Row, row, row your Peloton: That’s right, folks, Peloton is trying to end a tough week on a positive note by adding another oar to the competitive rowing machine market. After selling my Peloton bike in 2019, this caught my eye when I discovered a love for rowing. I hope the price tag is a bit kinder to my budget than the bike was.
Zoom is getting its customer service day: The video communications giant is acquiring conversational AI company Solvvy to deliver customer service experiences within Zoom’s toolset. Company stocks are in the news, so Zoom has chosen wisely.
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