Some time ago, I gave up on the idea of finding a thread that connects each story in the weekly Extra Crunch roundup; there are no unified theories of technology news.
The stories that left the deepest impression were related to two news pegs that dominated the week — Visa and Plaid calling off their $5.3 billion acquisition agreement, and sizzling-hot IPOs for Affirm and Poshmark.
Watching Plaid and Visa sing “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” in harmony after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block their deal wasn’t shocking. But I was surprised to find myself editing an interview Alex Wilhelm conducted with Plaid CEO Zach Perret the next day in which the executive said growing the company on its own is “once again” the correct strategy.
Full Extra Crunch articles are only available to members
Use discount code ECFriday to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription
In an analysis for Extra Crunch, Managing Editor Danny Crichton suggested that federal regulators’ new interest in antitrust enforcement will affect valuations going forward. For example, Procter & Gamble and women’s beauty D2C brand Billie also called off their planned merger last week after the Federal Trade Commission raised objections in December.
Given the FTC’s moves last year to prevent Billie and Harry’s from being acquired, “it seems clear that U.S. antitrust authorities want broad competition for consumers in household goods,” Danny concluded, and I suspect that applies to Plaid as well.
In December, C3.ai, Doordash and Airbnb burst into the public markets to much acclaim. This week, used clothing marketplace Poshmark saw a 140% pop in its first day of trading and consumer-financing company Affirm “priced its IPO above its raised range at $49 per share,” reported Alex.
In a post titled “A theory about the current IPO market”, he identified eight key ingredients for brewing a debut with a big first-day pop, which includes “exist in a climate of near-zero interest rates” and “keep companies private longer.” Truly, words to live by!
Come back next week for more coverage of the public markets in The Exchange, an interview with Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg where he shares his plans for taking the company public, a comprehensive post that will unpack the regulatory hurdles facing D2C consumer brands, and much more.
If you live in the U.S., enjoy your MLK Day holiday weekend, and wherever you are: Thanks very much for reading Extra Crunch.
Senior Editor, TechCrunch
Rapid growth in 2020 reveals OKR software market’s untapped potential
After spending much of the week covering 2021’s frothy IPO market, Alex Wilhelm devoted this morning’s column to studying the OKR-focused software sector.
Measuring objectives and key results are core to every enterprise, perhaps more so these days since knowledge workers began working remotely in greater numbers last year.
A sign of the times: This week, enterprise orchestration SaaS platform Gtmhub announced that it raised a $30 million Series B.
To get a sense of how large the TAM is for OKR, Alex reached out to several companies and asked them to share new and historical growth metrics:
“Some OKR-focused startups didn’t get back to us, and some leaders wanted to share the best stuff off the record, which we grant at times for candor amongst startup executives,” he wrote.
5 consumer hardware VCs share their 2021 investment strategies
For our latest investor survey, Matt Burns interviewed five VCs who actively fund consumer electronics startups:
- Hans Tung, managing partner, GGV Capital
- Dayna Grayson, co-founder and general partner, Construct Capital
- Cyril Ebersweiler, general partner, SOSV
- Bilal Zuberi, partner, Lux Capital
- Rob Coneybeer, managing director, Shasta Ventures
“Consumer hardware has always been a tough market to crack, but the COVID-19 crisis made it even harder,” says Matt, noting that the pandemic fueled wide interest in fitness startups like Mirror, Peloton and Tonal.
Bonus: Many VCs listed the founders, investors and companies that are taking the lead in consumer hardware innovation.
A theory about the current IPO market
If you’re looking for insight into “why everything feels so damn silly this year” in the public markets, a post Alex wrote Thursday afternoon might offer some perspective.
As someone who pays close attention to late-stage venture markets, he’s identified eight factors that are pushing debuts for unicorns like Affirm and Poshmark into the stratosphere.
TL;DR? “Lots of demand, little supply, boom goes the price.”
Poshmark prices IPO above range as public markets continue to YOLO startups
Clothing resale marketplace Poshmark closed up more than 140% on its first trading day yesterday.
In Thursday’s edition of The Exchange, Alex noted that Poshmark boosted its valuation by selling 6.6 million shares at its IPO price, scooping up $277.2 million in the process.
Poshmark’s surge in trading is good news for its employees and stockholders, but it reflects poorly on “the venture-focused money people who we suppose know what they are talking about when it comes to equity in private companies,” he says.
Will startup valuations change given rising antitrust concerns?
This week, Visa announced it would drop its planned acquisition of Plaid after the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to block it last fall.
Last week, Procter & Gamble called off its purchase of Billie, a women’s beauty products startup — in December, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission sued to block that deal, too.
Once upon a time, the U.S. government took an arm’s-length approach to enforcing antitrust laws, but the tide has turned, says Managing Editor Danny Crichton.
Going forward, “antitrust won’t kill acquisitions in general, but it could prevent the buyers with the highest reserve prices from entering the fray.”
Dear Sophie: What’s the new minimum salary required for H-1B visa applicants?
I’m a grad student currently working on F-1 STEM OPT. The company I work for has indicated it will sponsor me for an H-1B visa this year.
I hear the random H-1B lottery will be replaced with a new system that selects H-1B candidates based on their salaries.
How will this new process work?
— Positive in Palo Alto
Venture capitalists react to Visa-Plaid deal meltdown
After news broke that Visa’s $5.3 billion purchase of API startup Plaid fell apart, Alex Wilhelm and Ron Miller interviewed several investors to get their reactions:
- Anshu Sharma, co-founder and CEO, SkyflowAPI
- Amy Cheetham, principal, Costanoa Ventures
- Sheel Mohnot, co-founder, Better Tomorrow Ventures
- Lucas Timberlake, partner, Fintech Ventures
- Nico Berardi, founder and general partner, ANIMO Ventures
- Allen Miller, VC, Oak HC/FT
- Sri Muppidi, VC, Sierra Ventures
- Christian Lassonde, VC, Impression Ventures
Plaid CEO touts new ‘clarity’ after failed Visa acquisition
Alex Wilhelm interviewed Plaid CEO Zach Perret after the Visa acquisition was called off to learn more about his mindset and the company’s short-term plans.
Perret, who noted that the last few years have been a “roller coaster,” said the Visa deal was the right decision at the time, but going it alone is “once again” Plaid’s best way forward.
2021: A SPAC odyssey
In Tuesday’s edition of The Exchange, Alex Wilhelm took a closer look at blank-check offerings for digital asset marketplace Bakkt and personal finance platform SoFi.
To create a detailed analysis of the investor presentations for both offerings, he tried to answer two questions:
- Are special purpose acquisition companies a path to public markets for “potentially promising companies that lacked obvious, near-term growth stories?”
- Given the number of unicorns and the limited number of companies that can IPO at any given time, “maybe SPACS would help close the liquidity gap?”
Flexible VC: A new model for startups targeting profitability
12 ‘flexible VCs’ who operate where equity meets revenue share
Growth-stage startups in search of funding have a new option: “flexible VC” investors.
An amalgam of revenue-based investment and traditional VC, investors who fall into this category let entrepreneurs “access immediate risk capital while preserving exit, growth trajectory and ownership optionality.”
In a comprehensive explainer, fund managers David Teten and Jamie Finney present different investment structures so founders can get a clear sense of how flexible VC compares to other venture capital models. In a follow-up post, they share a list of a dozen active investors who offer funding via these nontraditional routes.
These 5 VCs have high hopes for cannabis in 2021
For some consumers, “cannabis has always been essential,” writes Matt Burns, but once local governments allowed dispensaries to remain open during the pandemic, it signaled a shift in the regulatory environment and investors took notice.
Matt asked five VCs about where they think the industry is heading in 2021 and what advice they’re offering their portfolio companies:
- Morgan Paxhia, managing director, Poseidon Investment Management
- Emily Paxhia, managing partner, Poseidon Investment Management
- Anthony Coniglio, CEO, NewLake Capital
- Matt Shalhoub, managing partner, Green Acre Capital
- Jerel Registre, managing director, Curio WMBE Fund
CBD for IBS
Central to the efficacy of CBD for pain or inflammation relief is the dosage that you use. Unlike a standard pain relieving or anti-inflammatory medication, where the dosage is clearly spelled out on the back label, using CBD can be much more tricky.
Truthfully, it is hard to prescribe a “one size fits all” for CBD dosing. General CBD dosing guidelines state that it is best to start small (i.e. 5mg) and make note of how it affects your body. If you do not find it is sufficient, then you can begin to gradually up the dosage.
If you are using an edible gummy, measuring 5mg will be easy. However, if you are using CBD oil for IBS, it can be a bit more complicated to measure out 5mg. You can use this as a guideline: most CBD oil bottles will come with a dropper that can hold 1 ml of liquid. If your CBD bottle contains 500 mg of CBD, for example, then you can estimate that there are 0.05 mg of CBD per drop. This number, of course, will vary depending on the amount of CBD that is in your particular bottle, but you can base your dosage off of this mathematical formula.
There are other factors that will affect what is the correct CBD dosage for you, such as your age, weight, and even your body chemistry, which can be a rather abstract thing to measure. This means that discovering the correct dosage for you really comes down to a matter of trial and error.
Colombia Joins International Cannabis Market
Colombia is a country that’s been at the forefront of drug markets for quite some time, with a government ready, willing, and able to make updates to laws as needed. In its newest turn, Colombia is building its international cannabis export market, and creating new legislation to bring in more revenue.
In today’s world of cannabis, you can choose the THC you like the most. There’s delta-9 which is the standard THC. And then there’s delta-8 THC, a newer version which causes less psychoactive reaction, and less overall anxiety. Which THC is better? Check out our sweet Delta-8 THC deals and figure out which one works best for you.
Cannabis and Colombia
Colombia has been one of the more lax countries when it comes to cannabis use, partly because the country has had so many drug issues and drug violence, that it has made laws specifically to try to combat these issues. One of them was to decriminalize most drugs in 1994. This decriminalization wasn’t as precise as it should have been, and in 2012, a specification was made to clarify just how much a person could have for personal use and/or possession without being arrested. The amount was set at 20 grams or less to avoid prosecution. This was still only intended for private use, and did not decriminalize public use.
Things got a little sticky in 2018, when then president Ivan Duque signed a decree giving law enforcement the ability to confiscate personal use quantities if caught. The decree did not break with decriminalization in that it didn’t threaten criminal sanctions, but it did instate a fine of up to 208,000 pesos. The following year (2019) the Constitutional Court ruled that parts of the decree were unconstitutional and abolished punishments for up to 20 grams, while still allowing law enforcement to confiscate contraband.
Sale, supply, and trafficking crimes are all predictably illegal. Having more than 20 grams can be considered possession with an intent to sell. The maximum prison sentence is 20 years, which is a stricter penalty in the country than for rape. Being caught trafficking can land a person in prison for up to 30 years.
CBD for High Blood Pressure
Yes, because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD has the potential to assist the cardiovascular system and specific heart conditions. Studies discuss these health properties, but more shockingly a U.S. Patent granted in 2003 already discovered this about CBD. It reads:
“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties….This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.”
Many diseases, including those that affect the heart, stem from excess inflammation. In particular, inflammation can lead to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and stroke. So, taking in the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD can be very beneficial. Also, antioxidants from high-quality CBD oils can fight free radicals and can lower the risk of developing heart disease.
If It Looks And Smells Like Marijuana, It Must Be >>> CBD Hemp Flowers?!
Cannabis is a popular topic of discussion and actually proved a favorite subject for centuries relating to its varied properties. The plant’s current compound in the spotlight is cannabidiol or CBD from the hemp species with its buds.
Read why cannabidiol is just beginning to evolve. If you happen to follow the highlights relating to the hemp CBD flower, you must be aware that these are near doppelgängers to the marijuana species. With the appearance being so uncanny, the initial thought would have to be whether the smell would compare.
With the hemp and marijuana plants deriving from cannabis, the guess would be that both would offer what many describe as a skunk-like, earthy, pungent aroma that accompanies the marijuana side. As a matter of fact, CBD strains’ smell can be very similar to that of marijuana strains. Still, it’s dependent on preservation techniques, variety, terpenes, ripeness, and other factors not so clear-cut as a blatant comparison would provide.
High CBD Hemp Flower Strains And Their Distinct Aromas
A CBD flower strain is a hemp bud offering substantial cannabidiol levels but traces to negligible THC. When hemp breeders learned of the scientific discovery of CBD and its massive appeal, they began to cultivate plants with a greater abundance of the cannabinoid to the point there is currently a vast array of strains comparable to marijuana without the mind-altering effects from THC.
The determining factor for the smell in each strain is compounds referred to as terpenes. These are not only found in cannabis but rather most herbs, vegetables, and fruits. These are naturally occurring chemical compounds meant to protect vegetation against attack from predators, instead, welcoming pollinators. The ecosystem relies on terpenes as a necessary resource.
With the bud itself, CBD and the other chemical components look to the terpenes as an essential element responsible for strengthening the other individual compounds’ properties.
There is a broad range of terpenes, each with distinct odors, such as pinene with an aroma of pine or limonene known for its scent of citrus. The individual hemp buds will breed and grow with unique sets of terpenes in varying concentrations based on their profile. Because of this, each CBD flower will have a one-of-a-kind smell based on that profile. Find out what to look for when select buds at https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/three-things-to-consider-when-choosing-your-cbd-hemp-flowers.
Terpenes And The CBD Hemp Flowers Aromas
Nature comprises over 200 various terpenes, with some more common within the cannabidiol flowers than others creating specific smells for the hemp buds. There isn’t a universal smell that comes with the product.
Each will be unusual to itself because each will have a distinctive profile, unlike another. Even if the terpene is the same as another plant, there will be a slight distinction in levels. Some terpenes and the aromas they present include:
- Most Abundant: Myrcene is among the most common found in hemp strains, responsible for that earthy smell all too familiar for many users. Also described as skunk-like and musty, this is the one that would most compare to the odor of marijuana.
- Second On The List: Limonene is a pleasant compound boasting a citrus scent reminiscent of oranges or tangerines, exceptionally fresh and vibrant.
- Like A Bouquet: Linalool is one that offers a bouquet of flowers in specific strains of hemp buds, and you can also find the terpene in herbs with an incredible aroma like lavender.
- Hot And Spicy: Caryophyllene provides a robust spicy odor reminiscent of what you would find in black pepper, cinnamon, basil, or rosemary, very apparent and emphatic.
- Like Your In The Forest: Pinene, either beta or alpha, merely smells like a pine tree. That’s an aroma that can be especially enjoyable in the winter or around the holidays.
- Rare Beauty: Terpineol is a rare find, but if you do, you will enjoy the scent of lilacs.
- For Those Who Smoke: There are smokers anxious to quit tobacco or nicotine. Geraniol is an option that has a tobacco aroma. While smoking a strain with this smell, you will psychologically fool yourself into believing you’re indulging in cigarettes. These are perhaps an ideal way to break a nasty habit. What the mind believes is so.
For those who choose to smoke the hemp buds, smells intensify with this consumption. The aroma you achieve is a tell as to the quality of the product. Once pressed, a good bud will release a potent flavor allowing the user evidence of its integrity.
If you find hemp CBD flower strains that have no smell or offer an odor of grass or hay, you don’t want to purchase these. A good quality offering will exude an essence that will help you make an appropriate choice between the different options.
The aroma is genuinely a sign of a high-grade product. A flower’s terpenes should be intense and have characteristics separating the buds one from another like earthiness, floral, fruity, citrus, or other designations to make each a distinct selection from another.
When you smoke different strains to see which one you prefer, you will recognize why terpenes considerably contribute to the pleasure of the experience. But more notably, their therapeutic attributes combine with the other chemical components of the plant to enhance the effects of CBD, making the cannabinoid that much more beneficial for the user.
PowerOfEvil on TSM’s Spring Split playoff preparation: ‘A lot of things are going to change in the next couple of days’
‘Bitcoin Senator’ Lummis Optimistic About Crypto Tax Reform
Dogecoin becomes the most popular cryptocurrency
Betfred Sports, Represented by SCCG Management, Signs Multi-year Marketing Agreement with the Colorado Rockies
Astra’s 100-year plan: Q&A with CEO Chris Kemp
Critical Vulnerability Discovered in a Firewall Appliance Made by Genua
How you can get someone’s Snapchat password?
4-parter on Coinbase “IPO” – Part 1 = 5 Reasons Why It Matters
‘Farpoint’ Studio Impulse Gear Announces a New VR Game Coming This Year
Partners produce rotor blade 3D-printed tool on Ingersoll 3D printer
Bitcoin Price Analysis: Back Above $50K, But Facing Huge Resistance Now
Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager and a Former CFTC Chairman Reportedly Invested in Crypto Firm
Most Popular Software Trends for 2021
NEXT Chain: New Generation Blockchain With Eyes on the DeFi Industry
What to expect tomorrow at TC Sessions: Justice 2021
Institutional Investors Continue to Buy Bitcoin as Price Tops $50K: Report
How AI is Transforming Cybersecurity in 2021?
Instacart raises $265M at a $39B valuation
Why March 2021 may see Bitcoin register yet another pullback
QuickSwap DEX Offers Credit and Debit Card Support
AI1 week ago
IBM Reportedly Retreating from Healthcare with Watson
AI1 week ago
Tesla Working on Full Self-Driving Mode, Extending AI Lead
Automotive1 week ago
Tesla Semi critic Bill Gates almost admits that he shorted TSLA in the past
Automotive1 week ago
SpaceX rapidly builds, tests Starship Moon elevator for NASA
Nano Technology1 week ago
CEA-Leti & Dolphin Design Report FD-SOI Breakthrough that Boosts Operating Frequency by 450% and Reduces Power Consumption by 30%: Joint Paper Presented at ISSCC 2021 Shows How New Adaptive Back-Biasing Technique Overcomes Integration Limits in Chip Design Flows
Automotive1 week ago
Tesla Model 3 captures IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Award for third straight year
Amb Crypto1 week ago
Oxygen Protocol to list OXY tokens on BitMax
Cyber Security1 week ago
Interview With Ian Thornton-Trump – Cyjax
AI1 week ago
Symbio emerges from stealth with $30 million to automate industrial assembly
Blockchain1 week ago
PancakeSwap Review: Leading AMM on Binance Smart Chain
PR Newswire1 week ago
Adverty outlines a unique opportunity to boost monetisation significantly with seamless in-game advertising on the Unity platform
Automotive1 week ago
SpaceX Falcon boosters likely to surpass Elon Musk’s prime rocket reuse directive