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Postmates cuts losses in Q2 as it heads towards tie-up with Uber - techcrunch

Postmates cuts losses in Q2 as it heads towards tie-up with Uber

Popular food delivery service Postmates is in the process of merging with Uber in a blockbuster $2.65 billion deal that would see it join forces with its food delivery competitor, Uber Eats. The deal remains under antitrust scrutiny, and has not yet been approved for closing. The deal is expected to close in the first […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Reviewing the new Apple Watch - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Reviewing the new Apple Watch

We’ve got an in-depth review of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple gives Facebook a temporary break on App Store fees and Alexis Ohanian is raising a new fund. This is your Daily Crunch for September 25, 2020. The big story: Reviewing the new Apple Watch Brian Heater has already been writing about the Apple […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Black founders face a unique set of challenges - techcrunch

Black founders face a unique set of challenges

The notion that Black people in America need to work twice as hard as others to succeed may be a depressing sentiment, but it has been deeply ingrained into the psyches of many African-Americans. At TechCrunch Disrupt, several Black founders spoke about some of the burdens that come along with being a Black person in […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
NASA commissions report to show its economic impact: $64B and 312K jobs - techcrunch

NASA commissions report to show its economic impact: $64B and 312K jobs

Perhaps anticipating budget pushback from the federal government, NASA has released its first ever agency-wide economic report, documenting the agency’s impact on the nation’s jobs and cash flow. Everyone knew NASA was impactful, but now we know exactly how impactful it is, some $64 billion and over 300,000 jobs worth in FY2019. It seems clear […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
4 things to remember when adapting AI/ML learning models during a pandemic - techcrunch

4 things to remember when adapting AI/ML learning models during a pandemic

The progress seen in AI/machine learning leading up to and during the pandemic cannot be ignored, but this crisis brings with it a unique opportunity for updates and innovation in modeling.
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Alexis Ohanian files for a new $150M fund, with a nod to his Olympian family - techcrunch

Alexis Ohanian files for a new $150M fund, with a nod to his Olympian family

According to an SEC Filing, Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and early-stage VC firm Initialized Capital, is raising a new fund, named 776, with a target of $150 million. The filing comes three months after the entrepreneur left Initialized Capital and a month after The Information first reported on his plans. Ohanian declined to […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Nikola’s Steve Girsky eyes his next transportation investment - techcrunch

Nikola’s Steve Girsky eyes his next transportation investment

Steve Girksy, the former GM vice chairman, consultant and investor whose special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merged with hydrogen electric startup Nikola this summer, is in talks to back self-driving trucks startup TuSimple, according to four people familiar with the deal. The capital would come from Girsky’s VectoIQ LLC, a consulting and investment company he […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Privacy data management innovations reduce risk, create new revenue channels - techcrunch

Privacy data management innovations reduce risk, create new revenue channels

Investments in privacy tools and management practices now are almost certain to deliver major business dividends in the future.
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Want to hire and retain high-quality developers? Give them stimulating work - techcrunch

Want to hire and retain high-quality developers? Give them stimulating work

Not only is it the right way to treat your team, but when developers are more stimulated, the standard of their work goes up, along with productivity levels and general morale.
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
BioBidet Prodigy Smart Toilet:  Adding Tech to the Bathroom - readwrite

BioBidet Prodigy Smart Toilet: Adding Tech to the Bathroom

Thanks to Bio Bidet’s line of products, smart technology has arrived in the bathroom. This includes their latest offering, the Prodigy Smart Toilet. About BioBidet BioBidet is an industry leader in bathroom technology with a focus on sustainability through a reduction in water and paper use. The Prodigy 770 Smart Toilet The Prodigy 770 is […] The post BioBidet Prodigy Smart Toilet: Adding Tech to the Bathroom appeared first on ReadWrite.
readwrite - 9 hours ago
Apple is (temporarily) waiving its App Store fee for Facebook’s online events - techcrunch

Apple is (temporarily) waiving its App Store fee for Facebook’s online events

Last month, Facebook introduced support for paid online events — and since many of the businesses offering those events have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic, the company also said it would not collect fees for the next year. At the same time, it complained that Apple had “dismissed” its requests to waive the App Store’s […]
techcrunch - 9 hours ago
Don’t miss the Q&A sessions at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020 - techcrunch

Don’t miss the Q&A sessions at TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

It’s nearly October, startup fans and that means TC Sessions: Mobility 2020 is right around the corner. On October 6 & 7, you’ll experience an incredible two-day agenda packed with the top leaders, visionaries, makers and investors, and they’re ready to drop serious knowledge about crucial trends, issues and challenges related to mobility and transportation […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Twitter warns developers that their private keys and account tokens may have been exposed - techcrunch

Twitter warns developers that their private keys and account tokens may have been exposed

Twitter has emailed developers warning of a bug that may have exposed their private app keys and account tokens. In the email, obtained by TechCrunch, the social media giant said that the private keys and tokens may have been improperly stored in the browser’s cache by mistake. “Prior to the fix, if you used a […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
The highest valued company in Bessemer’s annual cloud report has defied convention by staying private - techcrunch

The highest valued company in Bessemer’s annual cloud report has defied convention by staying private

This year’s Bessemer Venture Partners’ annual Cloud 100 Benchmark report was published recently and my colleague Alex Wilhelm looked at some broad trends in the report, but digging into the data, I decided to concentrate on the Top 10 companies by valuation. I found that the top company has defied convention for a couple of […]
techcrunch - 11 hours ago
Calling Helsinki VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC - techcrunch

Calling Helsinki VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC

TechCrunch is embarking on a major new project to survey the venture capital investors of Europe, and their cities. Our <a href=”https://forms.gle/k4Ji2Ch7zdrn7o2p6”>survey of VCs in Helsinki will capture how the city is faring, and what changes are being wrought amongst investors by the coronavirus pandemic. (Please note, if you have filled the survey out already, […]
techcrunch - 13 hours ago
European Commission to appeal decision that reversed Apple’s $15B State Aid tax bill in Ireland - techcrunch

European Commission to appeal decision that reversed Apple’s $15B State Aid tax bill in Ireland

It’s not over until it’s over for Apple and its ongoing tax headache in Europe. Today the European Commission announced that it plans to appeal the July 2020 ruling that overturned the original $15 billion fine that it leveled against Apple and Ireland over State Aid and taxes, as it believes the General Court “made […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Cambridge Analytica’s former boss gets 7-year ban on being a business director - techcrunch

Cambridge Analytica’s former boss gets 7-year ban on being a business director

The former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced data company that worked for the 2016 Trump campaign and shut down in 2018 over a voter manipulation scandal involving masses of Facebook data — has been banned from running limited companies for seven years. Alexander Nix signed a disqualification undertaking earlier this month which the UK […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
This new Southeast Asian fund has its eye on Chinese cross-border firms - techcrunch

This new Southeast Asian fund has its eye on Chinese cross-border firms

As U.S.-China relations remain tense, Southeast Asia becomes the darling for investors and tech companies from both sides as they seek overseas expansion. Behemoths like Google, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance have elbowed into the region. Some set up shop, while others formed alliances and took stakes in local startups. Now five prominent investors originating […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Indonesian cloud kitchen startup Yummy gets $12 million Series B led by SoftBank Ventures Asia - techcrunch

Indonesian cloud kitchen startup Yummy gets $12 million Series B led by SoftBank Ventures Asia

Yummy Corporation, which claims to be the largest cloud kitchen management company in Indonesia, has raised $12 million in Series B funding, led by SoftBank Ventures Asia. Co-founder and chief executive officer Mario Suntanu told TechCrunch that the capital will be used to expand into more major cities and on developing its tech platform, including […]
techcrunch - 21 hours ago
Google Meet and other Google services go down - techcrunch

Google Meet and other Google services go down

Google’s engineers aren’t having a good day today. This afternoon, a number of Google services went offline or are barely reachable. These services include Google Meet, Drive, Docs, Analytics, Classroom and Calendar, for example. While Google’s own status dashboards don’t show any issues, we’re seeing reports from around the world from people who aren’t able […]
techcrunch - 1 day ago
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techcrunch
Paper-rich startup employees look for ‘pre-wealth’ help to lock down stock options

Paper-rich startup employees look for ‘pre-wealth’ help to lock down stock options

techcrunch - 8 months ago

For Silicon Valley’s potential startup millionaires, compensation packages staked on future promises of wealth are where the action is, but what happens when these employees get laid off or have to leave before an exit?

When Wouter Witvoet left a startup that he had joined as employee #4, he felt relatively prepared, having set aside $50,000 to exercise his available stock options, only to be informed by HR that he was also liable to pay taxes on said options so he was about $1.8 million short with 90 days to settle up.

“I ended up losing my entire equity stake,” Witvoet tells TechCrunch.

Witvoet later founded Secfi, which is just one of a handful of entities looking to establish itself in the hot “pre-wealth” management space with what it calls forward purchase agreements enabling startup employees to exercise stock options and wait until an IPO or exit to make payments.

Looking to leverage paper wealth is hardly a new trend, but more institutional investors are eyeing the non-traditional opportunity as high-growth startups get harder to access. For some of the hedge funds and private equity funds playing around in this space, these deals represents a back door into the paydays of mature IPO-bound startups at a discount.

There are a number of players with hundreds of millions at play. Section Partners has $120M in committed capital and calls it option exercise financing a “lifeline” for employees facing option expiration. Troy Capital Group’s Quid has partnered with Oaktree Capital Management on a $200 million fund. The Bay Area ESO Fund has been providing this financing to startup employees since its founding in 2012.

Secfi, which has raised $7 million in venture funding from investors including Rucker Park Capital, Social Leverage and the Weekend Fund, had previously been acting as a go-between for multiple firms, but is announcing today that they’ve partnered with New York hedge fund Serengeti Asset Management, locking down a $550 million debt facility.

Taking out run-of-the-mill loans to exercise options with the assumption that a great exit inevitably awaits your startup is an awful call. These forward purchase agreements are backed by the options themselves so the recourse is limited to the options in question. If your startup succeeds, you’ll be paying the company back the principal, plus an interest rate and an equity rate, i.e. a good chunk of your upside. If your startup endures a WeWork-like fiasco, no one is coming after your car.

With more late-stage startups pumping the brakes on spending and eyeing layoffs, there aren’t many great resources for affected employees looking to see what their options are worth. Many end up finding themselves going down Quora rabbit holes, browsing for information that is rarely one-size-fits-all. Educating on an individual basis has its merits, but most of these options financing firms are also trying to get HR departments at companies to do a bit of the marketing for them through partnerships with the startups themselves.

As more money gets directed from these behemoth funds toward “pre-wealth” financial services, you can expect to see more startups like Secfi popping up hoping to offer potential startup millionaires a platform that extends beyond the pathway to options upside.

sauce: techcrunch
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