11 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

This week two major tech companies went public, Pandora acquired Rdio and Lyft financials leaked. The Cribs crew visited the visually stunning Minted HQ, and we discussed the rentpocalypse with the CEO of Zumper on Bullish. These are our biggest stories of the week.

1. As terror attacks put France into a national state of emergency last Friday, tech companies launched into disaster response mode. AirBnB contacted all hosts in Paris asking if they could take in those stranded in the city. Facebook let users alert their friends they were safe. Google offered free calls to Paris via Hangouts, as did Skype, Verizon and Sprint. Uber turned off surge pricing in the city for the weekend, despite initial reports to the contrary. Twitter helped people find a place to stay with the hashtag #PorteOuverte and kept the rest of the world informed. Tech companies did what many businesses did during a time of emergency: They lent a helping hand.

2. Just as soon as it was reported that Pandora was in talks to buy Rdio, the two sides have confirmed that an acquisition is indeed taking place. Pandora acquired “key assets” from Rdio for $75 million in cash as Rdio filed for bankruptcy and shut down.

3. Black Friday came a week early for Amazon shoppers. Amazon announced it will actually begin selling its Black Friday deals on Friday, November 20 instead of starting sales the day after Thanksgiving as is customary in the U.S. Amazon instead is offering 8 days of holiday deals with 10 “higher quality” deals starting at midnight on Thanksgiving, and up to 10 more on Black Friday.

cat in amazon box

4. Are tech IPOs back in style? Square made its NYSE debut with a little pop, trading as $SQ. The payments company opened at $11.20 per share and continued climbing. The company first priced its IPO at $9, an offering that raised $243 million and valued the company at around $2.9 billion.

5. After a bizarre interview from Sean Rad on the day of its IPO pricing, Tinder owner Match Group listed as a public company, spinning out from its parent IAC. The company raised $400 million with its IPO priced at $12 per share, and opened for trading as $MTCH at $13.50/share, a pop of 12.5%.

6. Lyft’s president John Zimmer announced that the ridesharing company reached an annualized gross revenue run rate of $1 billion in October, which likely represents the total quantity of payments between drivers and riders. However, keep in mind that the company has not recorded $1 billion in gross revenue; instead it reached that point on a run rate basis. Sarah Buhr and Katie Roof report that while Lyft is raising a half a billion dollar round, its financials still look wobbly.


7. Google and ASUS launched the $85 Chromebit, a Chrome OS desktop on an HDMI stick. Frederic Lardinois writes that in many ways, it’s a larger, bulkier version of the old Chromecast stick. Just like that device, it comes with a dedicated charger, but unlike the Chromecast, it also features a USB port.


8. John Biggs spent an afternoon with the 21 bitcoin computer, which is essentially a version of previously-built Raspberry Pi miners. The company’s goal is to put something like this bitcoin system into every phone and computer. He writes that while it’s very cool, it isn’t quite the bitcoin droid we’re all looking for. That said, it’s a fascinating proof of concept.

9. Turns out Google+ isn’t dead. As Google continues to wean itself off Google+, the shift included a complete redesign of Google+, focusing on the parts of the service that are working well. Drew Olanoff sat down with Bradley Horowitz and Luke Wroblewski to discuss what’s next.

10. Facebook launched Fundraiser, a new fundraising tool to help non-profit organizations raise money, and improved the Donate button. But wait, could this turn into a Kickstarter competitor?

11. Box’s recent platform push is more than a new product direction for the company. The service may become a key revenue driver for the enterprise-facing productivity company. Alex Wilhelm sat down with Aaron Levie and new head of platform, Jeetu Patel to dig into the matter.