Business

Nasdaq At Records Highs, Uber’s Newest Crisis, And Welcome To Q4

Morning Report: What’s happening during the first work day of the fourth quarter? Some big wins, some chaos, and more.

Fresh into the fourth quarter as we are, the News team is writing its third quarter report. You can expect a look at the global venture market, the U.S. venture market, dives on states we find the most exciting, and more. All that will start dropping soon, so strap in and make sure you are following us on Twitter.

Public service announcements aside, today is notable for two reasons.

First, the Nasdaq set a new record high today, breaking the 6,500 mark. Amidst national tragedy, the accomplishment seems utterly trivial. And as part of a market upswing coming in the later years of a massive bull cycle, records of this sort become banally quotidian. All the same, here is the chart:

And second, there is more chaos at Uber, still the leading global unicorn in terms of its private-market valuation.

To summarize, its former CEO exercised a right that is under legal challenge to appoint two members to Uber’s board, without telling the new CEO or the rest of the board. Chaos, as you can imagine, ensued. The new CEO wants to clean up Uber’s reputation and get the company public. The old CEO seems more bent on throwing spaghetti at the walls provided that he can’t have all things his way. This episode is a very good reason to not vest founders with God-tier control options. (Corporate governance, it’s going to be big.)

Kicking off this quarter, that’s where we are on either side of the private-public divide. Hang tight for fresh dives into the venture world.

From The Crunchbase Daily: 

Uber board moves draw CEO’s ire

  • Former Uber chief Travis Kalanick appointed two more people to the company’s board. They are Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox, and John Thain, former CEO of Merrill Lynch. The decision apparently didn’t go over well with Uber’s new chief, Dara Khosrowshai, and the company issued a statement calling the appointments “a complete surprise to Uber and its board.”

KSQ Therapeutics raises $76M

  • KSQ Therapeutics, a drug development company that uses genomic screening tools, has raised $76 million in a financing round led by Flagship Pioneering and joined by Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, and Alexandria Equities. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company also announced that it hired a new CEO, former Genzyme chief David Meeker.

Toronto dominates Canada startup scene

  • Canada’s three big entrepreneurial ecosystems are in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. But it’s Toronto that is far and away the biggest startup hub, home to nearly half of the venture capital dollars invested in Canada since 2012, Crunchbase News reports… In other news we recap the first season of our Proust Goes Tech series
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