Morning Report: Happy Fourth if you celebrate it. And happy “US Markets Are Closed And It’s Boring Day” if you don’t.
Good morning, and welcome to a day without trading—unless you don’t care about equities, preferring instead a roll of the dice. If that’s the case, I can confirm that Waves is up 12 percent in 24 hours, while Veritaseum has skyrocketed more than 50 percent in the last day.
If you are not a cryptokid, we can leave that behind and give ourselves a brief digest of the financial side of tech.
(If you need to catch up on the continuing sexual harassment scandal involving 500 Startups and other venture players, check the Crunchbase Daily from the last few days, and here’s the pertinent Techmeme hook.)
Uber v. EU
In the New York Times today there is an excellent piece detailing Uber’s latest setback in the European Union (EU). Uber’s woes center around the fact that it doesn’t want to be regulated like a taxi company. And the EU, perhaps unsurprisingly, may disagree.
Here’s the key passage:
Uber suffered a blow to its expansion plans in Europe on Tuesday after a senior adviser to the region’s highest court said that the ride-hailing service should have to abide by tough rules governing taxi services.
The recommendation, a nonbinding opinion by an advocate general for the Court of Justice of the European Union, adds to an array of challenges that Uber is facing worldwide.
This, you will recall, comes after a barrage of bad news from Uber — some details here — including a terrible culture, turnover issues including voluntary executive departures, non-voluntary exits like that of its now-former CEO, discrimination issues, and more. It’s been a terrible year for Uber.
To combat the bad press, Uber has reported some of its financial metrics, though they remain contentedly obfuscated by adjusted profit metrics and unclear changes to how the company counts certain ride revenue.
Microsoft’s Holiday Reorg (Job Cuts, etc)
Microsoft continues to rebuild itself in the cloud era, this time shaking up its sales teams.
The company, under its current CEO Satya Nadella, has been on a mission to rebuild itself in a SaaS world. And as part of that mission, the unthinkable keeps happening: open source software support, Linux on Azure, support for Apple’s iOS ecosystem, and more.
The company’s component cloud push itself has now led to changes regarding its sales structure, Here’s ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley on the latest:
Microsoft is now organizing its commercial field sales team around two customer segments: Enterprise and Small, Medium and Corporate (SMC), according to the memo. To address enterprise customers, Microsoft is focusing on its highest growth opportunities, [Microsoft exec] Althoff said, by operating across account teams for commercial and public sector; specialist team units focused on new business; and new “customer success units” that will focus on driving usage and consumption of products and services.
And there will be layoffs. The Journal notes that the cuts could come in the “thousands.” Happy Holiday.
Nerds Go Tech
Finally, we have another attempt by Silicon Valley to revamp the broader American political landscape. What will it look like this time? Here’s Recode’s Tony Romm:
Pincus, the co-founder of Zynga, and Hoffman, the brains behind LinkedIn, want to force Democrats to rewire their philosophical core, from their agenda to the way they choose candidates in elections — the stuff of politics, they said, that had been out of reach for most voters long before Donald Trump became president
I am sure that this will work immediately, and it will not end up an expensive boondoggle that mostly feeds political consultants.
I don’t mean to sound cynical. It seems very reasonable that tech should at least punch its weight in politics; losing battles to smaller industries must be an odd feeling. Regardless, let’s leave today with one more bite of Romm:
That’s the guiding principle behind Win the Future, a new project by the tech duo that’s launching in time for July 4. The effort — called, yes, WTF for short — aims to be “a new movement and force within the Democratic Party, which can act like its own virtual party,” said Pincus, its lead architect, during an interview.
From the Crunchbase Daily:
Dropbox said to prep for IPO
- Cloud storage provider Dropbox is quietly prepping for an IPO, according to a Reuters report citing unnamed sources. The IPO will be a key test of the company’s worth after it was valued at almost $10 billion in a private financing three years ago. The potential offering follows some disclosures about Dropbox’s earnings, including that it expects to have $1 billion in revenue this year.
McClure leaves 500 Startups
- Dave McClure has stepped down as general partner of 500 Startups, the seed-stage investment firm he founded in 2010. The resignation came at the request of other members of the firm’s management team following public revelation of sexual harassment claims.
SheWorx, Crunchbase partner to address fundraising bias
- As discussion around gender ethics and sexual harassment in Silicon Valley reaches a climax, the underlying question needs to be kept in focus: How do we fund more female-founded companies? SheWorx continues the movement to close the funding gap with their second list of female-founded companies fundraising in San Francisco. The first SheWorx100 list shared companies in New York.
Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.