It was a difficult week. Journalists in the US have been hit hard by layoffs, from HuffPost to BuzzFeed News to Verizon Media Group, which owns this site. The government entered closure on Day 35 before President Donald Trump agreed to a short-term contract to reopen it for three weeks. In the start-up world, a former high-flying, venture-backed startup for foodstuffs crashed and burned, leaving a cluster of small businesses in the rubble.
Some good things have happened too – we will come to that.
Munchery does not pay his debts
In an email to customers on Monday, Munchery announced that the operation will be discontinued with immediate effect. However, it did not tell any of its suppliers, small businesses in San Francisco, who had been delivering baked goods to the startup for years. I talked to several of these business owners about what they owe and what the sudden disappearance of Munchery means to them.
If you have not read John Carreyro's "Bad Blood," stop reading this newsletter and get a copy. If you enjoy reading, watching and listening to the Theranos saga as much as I do, you'll be glad to hear that new Theranos content is being released this week. Called "The Dropout", a new ABC documentary and an accompanying podcast about Theranos with never before aired paragraphs. In addition, TechCrunch's Josh Constine rates the Theranos documentary "The Inventor," premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week.
offer of the week
Confluent, the developer of streaming data technology that processes huge amounts of information in real time, announced a $ 125 billion Series D round of 125 million dollars (5 times more than the series' rating) C). The round was led by existing investor Sequoia Capital, which also included other leading VCs Index Ventures and Benchmark.
Wag founders dig dogs for bicycles
Jonathan and Joshua Viner, founders of the SoftBank-backed startup Wag, launched Wheels, an electric bike startup this week, for which $ 37 million was provided by Tenaya Capital, Bullpen Capital, Naval Ravikant and others.
I do not think we need more bike share startups, at least they will be a bit more sophisticated. This model is distinguished by its modular design, which includes interchangeable parts and batteries, resulting in a 4x longer product life. https://t.co/iDXepjf0BK
– Kate Clark (@ KateClarkTweets) January 23, 2019
Go-Jek is making progress on a $ 2B round
Headquartered in Indonesia, Go-Jek has completed a first installment of the $ 2 billion dollar round it expects after a series of existing investors, including Google, Tencent and JD.com, are holding approximately $ 920 million, according to TechCrunch's Southeast. Dollar has agreed Asia reporter Jon Russell. The deal, which we know could be announced next week, will estimate Go-Jek's business at around $ 9.5 billion.
There has been a lot of nonsense about direct quotes since Spotify decided to go public on the unusual route in 2018, but what exactly is a direct quote? Services, regulation, venture capital and capital market activities? "
Your weekly reminder to send me tips, suggestions, and more to email@example.com or @KateClarkTweets.
Through telemedicine and direct-to-consumer sales platforms, startups streamline the historically challenging process of access to contraceptives. The latest effort to secure a major round of funding is The Pill Club, an online birth control service. This week, consumer-oriented investor VMG Partners led the $ 51 million B series.
More seed capital
Sunil Nagaraj spent years in startups at Bessemer Venture Partners, but was keen to meet with younger companies and become self-employed. He did so in the summer of 2017, and now Nagaraj said he closed $ 30 million of Ubiquity Ventures' debut fund. March Capital Partners, the Los Angeles-based venture capital firm, raised $ 300 million for its latest fund. Zynga founder Mark Pincus reportedly collects up to $ 700 million for a new mutual fund called Reinvent Capital, which focuses on publicly traded tech companies seeking strategic reorganization.
Finally, meet the startups in the 20th Alchemist cohort
Among other things, a startup for mental health, a construction technology company and a fintech company. Take a look at the startups that have just completed Alchemist's six-month accelerator program.
Stop talking to me
If you enjoy this newsletter, be sure to read TechCrunch's risk-related podcast Equity. In this episode available here, Crunchbase Editor-in-Chief Alex Wilhelm, Silicon Valley TechCrunch Editor Connie Loizos, and I talked about the downfall of Munchery, the Pill Club's mission to make birth control more accessible , and the slowdown of the VC in China.