Venture

Bad Haircuts, Expensive Robots, And We Eat Cereal As WeWork Dives

Welcome to the Crunchbase News Weekend Update. An email form of this post went out Saturday morning. Happy reading!

I used to get frustrated when I left a tech networking event without a lead on a scoop or a new source. But last night, while sitting an off-the-record dinner with other empowering women, I realized that a successful night might be more about finding empathy for the other side than scoring the next exclusive.

While it feels like tech and media are often at odds, I feel thankful to be in a city that makes space for both sides to be vulnerable from time to time.

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For more on the power of face-to-face interactions, read my final installment of the Loneliness In Tech series. It’s worth noting that the same power can be undermined through social media, as Mary Ann unpacked in her piece about a startup that is tackling cyberbullying.

On a lighter note, Crunchbase News wrote about funding rounds for cricket-inspired cerealchickpeas, and employee perk payments. Startups accelerated by nine-figure rounds included Rivian Automotive, a Michigan electric SUV and truck company, which landed $350 million, and Root Insurance, an Ohio insurance company, which landed the same sum. Also a ways away, we covered Brazil’s newest unicorn thanks to SoftBank: QuintoAndar.

Turning the tables, we covered two new funds this week: Bee Partners’ $43 million pre-seed fund and Work Life Ventures’ new $5 million seed fund to invest in the next Superhuman.

Then we tackled WeWork, from its up-and-down valuation, to its governance shakeup. With whatever energy you have left, read about its potential valuation haircut.

Despite WeWork, IPO momentum looks goodSophia covered SmileDirectClub, the controversial DIY teeth straightening company, and its less-than-shiny debut. She also jumped on Cloudflare’s early pricing days, and Jason mapped Airbnb’s investment strategy as it crawls toward a filing.

I’ll end on a human note. This week, I caught up with Maia Bittner, the co-founder of Pinch, for Proust Goes Tech. Read her interview to find out how she thinks ugly shoes and hoodies fit into tech’s history.

Until next week,
Natasha

P.S. Follow me (@nmasc_) and Crunchbase News on Twitter.  

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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