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The number of pandemics looks better. It will be a few more months before the US elections and a growing number of tech companies have successfully ventured into the public market this summer. Hardly imaginable conditions that surpass the present in the near future, whether you traditionally have a bank, do a direct listing or get into a SPAC vehicle.
We covered the frenzy this week to see what other startups can learn about the way these companies have arrived at this point. Here are the headings for everyone from Asana to Unity.
But first, watch this specific episode of our Wednesday Equity podcast where the team is checking the news. And for faster (ish) reading, Extra Crunch subscribers should also read Alex Wilhelm's “super long summary” of the companies.
With losses on the rise, Asana is confident it has the ticket to a successful listing
Palantir and the great mystery of revenue
The bullish case for Palantir's direct listing (EC)
Leaked S-1 says Palantir was fighting an order that requires its encryption keys
Palantir's S-1 alludes to the controversial work with ICE as a risk factor for its business
Unpacking the Sumo Logic S-1 File (EC)
A quick look at Snowflake's IPO filing
Industry experts say Snowflake is ahead of the file S-1 by full force
Unity's IPO numbers look pretty … unreal?
Sequoia beats gold with Unity's IPO registration
Regarding the latter, be sure to check out our popular Deep Dive from last year, which details how Unity became a premier gaming engine.
Finally, one final EU headline to prepare you for another week of official S-1 news, leaked filing information, upcoming IPO rumors, IPO controversy, etc.
SaaS stocks survive the gains and keep the market for software startups warm
They don't know about SPACs
Special-purpose acquisition firms are an older model of financial instruments used to get companies public. This has become a hot trend in the past few years as more and more tech startups try to figure out liquidity events. Here's Connie Loizos, who put together a long list of questions and answers about SPACs and concludes that the trend is long-term:
(One) investment banker says he sees less interest from VCs in sponsoring SPACs and more interest from them in selling their portfolio companies to a SPAC. As he notes, "most venture firms tend to be slightly earlier and private market investors, but long-term PE firms, hedge funds, and mutual funds that are only long-term investment funds are growing across the board."
That could change if (A * SPAC founder) Kevin Hartz has something to do with it. "We are actually in the valley, talking to all funds and only trying to train the risk funds," he says. "We have had a lot of inquiries. We believe that we (famous VC) Bill Gurley will very soon be moving from a direct listing champion to a SPAC champion."
In the meantime, Hartz asks whether his SPAC already has a specific goal in mind. He also has problems with the word "goal".
Hartz says: "We prefer" partner companies "." One target, he adds, "sounds like we're trying to murder someone."
Within the nearly 200 companies of Y Combinator's Summer 2020 Demo Day
After YC's first remote-only demo day this spring, the venture company switched from recorded to live pitches at the seed stage. The theinformationsuperhighway team was on hand to cover the 192 presentations on Monday and Tuesday of this week. We've put together these two handy guides to help you find your newest competitor, employer, or perhaps investments:
The 98 companies of Y Combinators Summer 2020 Demo Day 1
The 94 companies of Y Combinators Summer 2020 Demo Day 2
The staff also selected around a dozen favorites for Extra Crunch subscribers each day:
Our 11 favorite companies from Y Combinator's S20 Demo Day: Part 1
Our 12 favorite startups from Y Combinator's S20 Demo Day: Part 2
(Check out this special demo daily issue from Equity for a free audio overview.)
A company wasn't there – a startup called Trove, which provides SaaS tools for internal compensation and has just started a big new round from Andreessen Horowitz. Natasha Mascaren has more.
What Investors Are Saying About Startup Cities In 2020: Chicago Edition
Cities around the world have developed strong tech scenes, but these startup hubs are at the center of potential disruption from pandemic issues and remote working opportunities. We ask investors around the world how their home bases are doing. This week Matt Burns visits top investors in Chicago to find out about the technical future of the largest city in the Midwest. Here is Constance Freedman from the proptech-oriented fund Moderne Ventures, who is investing in the midst of all these changes:
World-class startups still need world-class feeders so I don't expect expansion to go that far, but maybe density or proximity to work will become less important to those who work there. This could lead to more cities, including Chicago, rising.
What does this mean for the startup ecosystem in Chicago? I think Chicago is ready to do well. The city is affordable right from the start … around 50% cheaper than the hubs on the west or east coast. When I live in Chicago, I can afford space, I can enjoy my city, and I have good transportation if I want to get out of the city and move to the suburbs. Chicago has a strong ecosystem of universities and capital that it can sustain and become more attractive to those (technicians and investors) who moved to the coast in the first place and now realize they don't have to be there. When people migrate to live where they really want to live, with the lifestyle they want, close to the family they want to be with, they look for more local opportunities and this can be some great talent bring back to Chicago and other markets outside the coasts.
Chicago has long been known for banking, real estate, healthcare, and insurance. I think these and other sectors are well positioned. The greatest opportunity for us (and any major city) is to fill the education gap, which leads to the income gap, and from there the sky's the limit!
Meanwhile, Mike Butcher is working on surveys across Europe and would love to hear from you if you are an investor in Paris or Warsaw.
All about theinformationsuperhighway (Disrupt Time)
Conan is coming to disrupt 2020
Meet the Disrupt 2020 "TC10"
Presentation of theinformationsuperhighway Disrupt's Asia Sessions
Learn how to scale startups with Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins and Jessica O. Matthews at Disrupt
Peter Fenton from Benchmark comes to Disrupt
At Disrupt, learn why embedded finance is the future of fintech
Laura Deming, Frederik Groce, Amish Jani, Jessica Verrilli and Vanessa Larco come to Disrupt
Eren Bali from Carbon Health and Othman Laraki from Color will be at Disrupt 2020
Black founders can get tactical advice from Disrupt
Five real reasons to join Disrupt 2020 online
Hear from seasoned edtech investors about the nighttime market boom at Disrupt 2020
Startup Alley Exhibitor: Register for the VC-led webinar on Fundraising and Hiring Best Practices
Here's how to get a second shot on Startup Battlefield
Two more weeks for early bird prices for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020
Get your student discount pass for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020
Register for our final pitch-off next week on September 2nd
Additional crunch discount for military, nonprofit, and government employees
In the course of the week
The pandemic has likely killed VR arcades for good
Femtech is facing growth beyond fertility
Five proven ways to attract and hire more diverse talent
Will automation eliminate data science positions?
Eduardo Saverin on the "world of innovation behind Silicon Valley"
The ban on H-1B visas creates opportunities for nearshore business partnerships
Meet the startups from Brinc's first online demo day
What can growth marketers learn from lean product development?
Alexa von Tobel: Eliminating risk is key to building a startup during an economic downturn
As DevOps launches, engineers are flying high for site reliability
How to set up a startup and draw up your first contract
COVID-19 increases the demand for low-code apps
Synthetic biology startups whet the appetite for investors
Funding for mental health startups will increase in 2020
According to Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, frugal founders have more control
From Alex Wilhelm:
Hello and welcome back to Equity, theinformationsuperhighway's venture capital-focused podcast (now on Twitter!) Where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This is the fourth episode of the week that puts our production calendar to the test. Fortunately, we managed to hold it together amid the tide of news that the past few days have brought. It's been a good week for our schedule change, with the main episode of the show coming to you around Friday morning on Thursday afternoon.
Change is good.
But this time our hosting line-up was unchanged. Natasha Mascarenhas and Danny Crichton and I whined with Chris Gates about the mix. Here's what we got into:
- TikTok's CEO is out, the bids are faltering, and who will end up owning a piece of all of TikTok's global operations is not clear. Walmart is apparently in the mix which feels very 2020.
- The New York Stock Exchange has received SEC approval for a new type of direct listing that allows the publicly traded company to sell a block of shares during the normal price discovery process. This means that any bankers who set a price and offer roadshows to various groups of investors could go the way of the buffalo.
- Maybe over time? That was our attitude after reading this note from Bill Gurley and the latest SEC news.
- But while the world of direct listings is getting more interesting, the SPAC world is flying. Desktop Metal is brought to the public through a SPAC which is fascinating. A younger unicorn from Boston that goes public this way is eye catching!
- And then two rounds of funding, the first from Finix, which can't stop expanding its Series B. And Mural, which spawned the greatest Series B we can remember.
And with that we all go to bed. Was tired. No more news, thanks!
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