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TechCrunch Top 3
- What do you collect?: Collectibles, like trading cards, are big business, and eBay has gotten a big push in that space with a new move to acquire TCGplayer, a trading card trading platform, for up to $295 million. Aisha reports. She writes, “The company’s latest acquisition shows that eBay sees increased potential in trading cards, as the company notes that the deal allows it to ‘maintain its position as the preferred platform for trading card sellers.'”
- Ahead: Jagmeet tops the 15 Indian and South Asian companies selected for the seventh cohort of the Sequoia Surge.
- Not sure if Flow is up or down: We all already know that Andreessen Horowitz gave Adam Neumann $350 million for his new venture, Flow, which buys up rental spaces to create a community effect. Tim, Dominic Madori and Amanda offers three different perspectives on why both venture capitalists and founders may “misunderstand America’s housing problems.”
Startups and venture capital
There was a lot of news last week about former WeWork boss Adam Neumann raising more money to do what he does these days, but Horses offers us a story about how to do it differently in “The anti-Adam Neumann.”
Accelerators can be a bit hit or miss, but Haje took a closer look at Miko, who went through Disney’s tech accelerator, this week as well announced the launch in 140 countries with Disney and Pixar content. It’s a dream partnership for any startup, so it’s exciting to see how they do.
Feed your mind:
- Another step towards the feature: Manish and Kyle report it John Carmack, a game developer who co-founded id Software and was CTO of Oculus, is working on a new venture. Keen Technologies has raised $20 million from Sequoia.
- Strategic earnings made simple: Anita reports that Complete helps startups think through the “why” and “how” of employee compensationhaving raised $4 million in a round led by Accel.
- This slot machine is great – I keep winning: Founded in 1965 and, according to some accounts, the creator of the first modern ATMs, CSI agrees to $1.6 billion acquisition reports Kyle.
- The casting is even more Zen: Brian reports that the podcast recording platform Zencastr adds editing and distribution tools to become a full-service podcast offering.
- Do you know what they came up with this time?: Cabbage came from home puns Haje about the new Click & Grow home hydroponic system. But then he got grumpy about how expensive these things were and spent a couple of weekends built his own hydroponic system, and wrote a guide on how to create your own. You know, in case your to-do list wasn’t there quite a bit enough harrowing.
4 Ways Founders Can Increase Profits in Hard Times
Converting one-time customers into repeat customers takes on increased importance during a downturn. Acquiring a new user is a difficult task, but finding ways to reduce friction is an easy way to increase customer lifetime value.
One study found that password difficulties cause nearly 60% of consumers to abandon their cart before making a purchase.
If you’re trying to calibrate online sales, this TC+ guest post provides formulas to calculate lost lifetime value (LTV) due to churn on a monthly and annual basis. “In times of recession, you need to make things easier, not more complicated,” says Ari Jacoby, CEO and co-founder of Deduce.
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Big Tech Inc.
It just so happened that a trio of self-governing news stories hit around the same time, and Rebecca was there to deliver the goods. So, at the same time that Tesla says it will increase the value of your full self-driving beta software up to $15,000 in North America, YouTube has pulled a couple of videos from its website, where Tesla drivers demonstrated the controversial software with their children in the driver’s seat. Meanwhile, the UK government has said that self-driving manufacturers, not drivers themselves, will be responsible for accidents when the car is offline.