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On lying AIs - techcrunch

On lying AIs

A yellow-eyed cat tilts its eyes at the camera, gazing up from a grey bedspread. ‘London Trip’, is the AI’s title for this photo-montage ‘Memory’ plucked from the depths of my iPhone camera-roll. It’s selected a sad score of plinking piano and sweeping violin. The algorithm has calculated it must tug at the heart strings.  […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range - techcrunch

Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range

Whoever said you can’t make money playing video games clearly hasn’t taken a look at Unity Software’s stock price. On its first official day of trading, the company rose more than 31%, opening at $75 per share before closing the day at $68.35. Unity’s share price gains came after last night’s pricing of the company’s […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape - techcrunch

Conan O’Brien on how to embrace an ever-changing media landscape

“Like most of the best things in my life,” Conan O’Brien explains, with a wry smile, “the success of the podcast was a complete surprise.” The answer is a typically self-effacing one from the comedian. Since launching “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” nearly two years ago, the show has quickly risen up the podcasting charts […]
techcrunch - 16 hours ago
Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC, and SPAC as he SPACs the World with SPACs - techcrunch

Chamath launches SPAC, SPAC, and SPAC as he SPACs the World with SPACs

SPACs are going to rule the world, or at least, Chamath’s future portfolio. Chamath Palihapitiya, the founder of Social Capital, has already tripled down on SPACs, the so-called “blank check” vehicle that takes private companies and flips them onto the public markets. His first SPAC bought Virgin Galactic last year, and his second SPAC bought […]
techcrunch - 16 hours ago
Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent - techcrunch

Daily Crunch: Partial US TikTok ban is imminent

The Trump administration moves forwards with plans to ban TikTok and WeChat (although TikTok gets a partial extension), Unity goes public and we announce the winner of this year’s Startup Battlefield. This is your Daily Crunch for September 18, 2020. The big story: US TikTok ban is imminent The U.S. Commerce Department has released details […]
techcrunch - 16 hours ago
SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled - techcrunch

SaaS Ventures takes the investment road less traveled

Most venture capital firms are based in hubs like Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. These firms nurture those ecosystems and they’ve done well, but SaaS Ventures decided to go a different route: it went to cities like Chicago, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Lincoln, Nebraska. The firm looks for enterprise-focused entrepreneurs who are trying […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO’s The Perfect Weapon - techcrunch

Check out this never-before-seen clip from HBO’s The Perfect Weapon

At Disrupt 2020, we got a chance to see some never-before-seen footage from HBO’s upcoming documentary The Perfect Weapon. The documentary, which was executive produced by John Maggio, is based on the book by the same(ish) name written by David Sanger, Washington correspondent for the New York Times. We got to sit down for an […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1000 - techcrunch

Salesforce announces 12,000 new jobs in the next year just weeks after laying off 1000

In a case of bizarre timing, Salesforce announced it was laying off 1000 employees at the end of last month just a day after announcing a monster quarter with over $5 billion in revenue, putting the company on a $20 billion revenue run rate for the first time. The juxtaposition was hard to miss. Earlier […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is… Canix - techcrunch

And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt 2020 is… Canix

We started this competition with 20 impressive startups. After five days of fierce pitching in a wholly new virtual Startup Battlefield arena, we have a winner. The startups taking part in the Startup Battlefield have all been hand-picked to participate in our highly competitive startup competition. It was an unprecedented year as we moved all […]
techcrunch - 18 hours ago
Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers? - techcrunch

Are high churn rates depressing earnings for app developers?

It’s great to improve your subscription app’s retention rates, but don’t do it for the 85/15 split.
techcrunch - 19 hours ago
MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce - techcrunch

MIT engineers develop a totally flat fisheye lens that could make wide-angle cameras easier to produce

Engineers at MIT, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, have devised a way to build a camera lens that avoids the typical spherical curve of ultra-wide-angle glass, while still providing true optical fisheye distortion. The fisheye lens is relatively specialist, producing images that can cover as wide an area as 180 degrees […]
techcrunch - 19 hours ago
Battery tech superstars JB Straubel of Redwood Materials, Celina Mikolajczak of Panasonic coming to TC Mobility 2020 - techcrunch

Battery tech superstars JB Straubel of Redwood Materials, Celina Mikolajczak of Panasonic coming to TC Mobility 2020

It was a trickle at first that has evolved into a slow and steady stream. Now, a wave of new electric vehicles is building, promising to deliver an unprecedented number of models to North America, Europe and China over the next two to three years. There might not be a better time to dig into […]
techcrunch - 20 hours ago
Zoox becomes fourth company to land driverless testing permit in California - techcrunch

Zoox becomes fourth company to land driverless testing permit in California

Zoox, the automated vehicle technology startup that was acquired by Amazon this year, has been issued a permit from California regulators that will allow it to test driverless vehicles on public roads. The permit is not for all public roads in the state, but it’s still notable considering the company will be able to test […]
techcrunch - 21 hours ago
Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8’s CEO following its $100+ million summer financing - techcrunch

Amid layoffs and allegations of fraud, the FBI has arrested NS8’s CEO following its $100+ million summer financing

The tagline from today’s announcement from the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York says it all: “Adam Rogas Allegedly Raised $123 Million from Investors Using Financial Statements that Showed Tens of Millions of Dollars of Revenue and Assets that Did Not Exist”. Rogas, the co-founder and former chief executive and […]
techcrunch - 21 hours ago
The stages of traditional fundraising - techcrunch

The stages of traditional fundraising

What you think when you hear "seed funding" and "A rounds" might be different from what investors think. You both need to be on the same page as you move forward.
techcrunch - 21 hours ago
Chime adds $485M at a $14.5B valuation, claims EBITDA profitability - techcrunch

Chime adds $485M at a $14.5B valuation, claims EBITDA profitability

In the midst of IPO week we have to add another name to our future debuts’ list, namely Chime, which announced a huge new round of capital today. The $485 million Series F values the consumer fintech giant at $14.5 billion, a huge figure given that Chime was most recently worth $5.8 billion after raising […]
techcrunch - 22 hours ago
It’s game on as Unity begins trading - techcrunch

It’s game on as Unity begins trading

Unity Software, which sells a game development toolkit primarily for mobile phone app developers, raised $1.3 billion in its initial public offering. The company, which will begin trading today with the ticker symbol “U”, priced its shares at the top end of its expected range, selling 25 million shares at $52 per share. The company’s […]
techcrunch - 22 hours ago
Outschool, newly profitable, raises a $45M Series B for virtual small group classes - techcrunch

Outschool, newly profitable, raises a $45M Series B for virtual small group classes

Outschool, which started in 2015 as a platform for homeschooled students to bolster their extracurricular activities, has dramatically widened its customer base since the coronavirus pandemic began.The platform saw its total addressable market increase dramatically as students went home or campus to abide by COVID regulations instituted by the CDC. Suddenly, live, small-group online learning […]
techcrunch - 22 hours ago
The DeanBeat: My quest to defeat latency - venture beat

The DeanBeat: My quest to defeat latency

During the pandemic, I’ve been playing games and clogging up the internet like a lot of other gamers. On the highest level, the internet has held up. Comcast reports that despite surges in demand, it has been able to keep up with our constant need to see TikTok videos, Netflix shows, and play Candy Crush […]
venture beat - 23 hours ago
Trump to block TikTok and WeChat downloads in the U.S. from September 20 - venture beat

Trump to block TikTok and WeChat downloads in the U.S. from September 20

(Reuters) — The Trump administration will ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting Sunday night, a move that will block Americans from downloading the Chinese-owned platforms over concerns they pose a national security threat. Current TikTok users will see little change on Sunday and U.S. Commerce Department officials said they will […]
venture beat - 1 day ago
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techcrunch
Goldman Sachs’s CEO just called WeWork’s pulled IPO — which Goldman was underwriting — proof that the market works

Goldman Sachs’s CEO just called WeWork’s pulled IPO — which Goldman was underwriting — proof that the market works

techcrunch - 7 months ago

It’s hard to put a positive spin on terrible situation, but that didn’t stop Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon earlier today. Asked during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos about WeWork’s yanked IPO in September,  Solomon suggested it was proof that the listing process works, despite that the CFO of Goldman — one of the offering’s underwriters — disclosed last fall that the pulled deal cost the bank a whopping $80 million.

Reuters was on the scene, reporting that Solomon acknowledged the process was not as pretty as everybody would like it to be,” while also eschewing any responsibility, telling those gathered that the “banks were not valuing [WeWork]. Banks give you a model. You say to the company, ‘Well, if you can prove to us that the model actually does what it does, then its possible that the company is worth this in the public markets,'” Solomon said.

Investment banks had reportedly courted WeWork’s business by discussing a variety of figures that led cofounder Adam Neumann to overestimate how it might be received by public market shareholders. According to the New York Times, in 2018, JPMorgan was telling Neumann that it could find buyers to value the company at more than $60 billion; while Goldman Sachs said $90 billion was a possibility, and Morgan Stanley — which has been assigned as lead underwriter of many of the buzziest tech offerings over the last decade — reportedly posited that even more than $100 billion was possible.

Ultimately, the IPO was canceled several weeks after Neumann was asked to resign and WeWork’s biggest investor, SoftBank — which itself nearly tripled the company’s private market valuation across funding rounds — stepped in to rescue its now $18.5 billion investment in the company.

Solomon isn’t the only one defending some of the frustrating logic of IPO pricing in recent years. This editor sat down in November with Morgan Stanley’s head tech banker Michael Grimes, who has been called Wall Streets Silicon Valley whisperer for landing a seemingly endless string of coveted deals for the bank.

Because Morgan Stanley pulled out of the process of underwriting WeWork’s IPO (reportedly after WeWork rejected its pitch to be the company’s lead underwriter), we talked with Grimes instead about Uber, whose offering last year Morgan Stanley did lead. We asked how Uber could have been reportedly told by investment bankers that its valuation might be as high as $120 billion in an IPO when, as we now know, public market shareholders deemed it worth far less. (Its current market cap is roughly half that amount, at $64 billion.)

Grimes said matter-of-factly that price estimates can routinely be all over the place, explaining that “if you look at how companies are valued, at any given point of time right now, public companies with growth prospects and margins that are not yet at their mature margin, I think youll find on average price targets by either analysts who work at banks or buy-side investors that can be 100%, 200% and 300% different from low to high.”

He called that a “typical spread.”

The reason, he said, had to do with each bank’s or analyst’s guess at “penetration.”

“Lets say, what, 100 million people or so [worldwide] have have been monthly active users of Uber,” said Grimes during our sit-down. “What percentage of the population is that? Less than 1% or something. Is that 1% going to be  2%, 3%, 6%, 10%, 20%? Half a percent, because people stop using it and turn instead to some flying [taxi]?

“So if you take all those variable, possible outcomes, you get huge variability in outcome. So its easy to say that everything should trade the same every day, but [look at what happened with Google]. You have some people saying maybe that is an outcome that can happen here for companies, or maybe it wont. Maybe theyll [hit their] saturation [point] or face new competitors.”

Grimes then turned the tables on reporters and others in the industry who wonder how banks could get the numbers so wrong, with Uber but also with a lot of other companies. “Its really easy to be a pundit and say, It should be higher or It should be lower,” Grimes said. “But investors are making decisions about that every day.”

Besides, he added, “We think our job is to be realistically optimistic” about where things will land. “If tech stops changing everything and software stops eating the world, there probably would be less of an optimistic bias.”

sauce: techcrunch
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