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We’ve made it to Friday, folks. If you’re anything like me, that means finishing the workday with a well-deserved nap and reruns of “The Office.” Tweet, toot or Post at me about your favorite way to end the week.
Mark your calendar for a Twitter Space event on Tuesday, December 13 at 1 p.m. PST/4 p.m. EST featuring Builders VC investor Andrew Chen, who will speak with Walter about the role tech reporting plays in shaping ecosystems.
See you Monday! — Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- Knock, knock, there’s a competitor at your door: Significant M&A in the food delivery space was only a matter of time, and Romain has details about a big one — Getir acquiring its competitor Gorillas in a deal that the Financial Times originally reported is valued at $1.2 billion.
- Bye bye, Twitter Toolbox: Twitter tried to make it work with third-party developers, but alas, the company decided to make a clean break by shutting down some of its developer initiatives, including Toolbox. Ivan has more.
- Tesla’s China boss gets a new gig…afactory: Rita is following a story about Tom Zhu, who oversaw Tesla’s China Gigafactory and has now been tapped to work his magic stateside leading Gigafactory Texas.
Startups and VC
More layoffs this week as Ingrid reports on Primer, an e-commerce infrastructure startup based in the U.K. that announced it would lay off one-third of its staff amid some restructuring to manage current and proposed commerce market conditions.
And we have three more for you:
- Going dark: Kirsten reports that executives at Brodmann17, a computer vision technology startup, made the decision to shut down after realizing it would not be able to bring its products to market.
- What are your symptoms?: Japanese health tech startup Ubie secured $19 million in new funding to bring its AI-powered symptom checker technology to the U.S., Kate reports.
- Making that dollar work for it: Kate also has a story on Akros Technologies, which raised $2.3 million in new capital to inject some artificial intelligence into asset management.
How to respond when a VC asks about your startup’s valuation
When a VC inevitably asks about your valuation expectations, it is a trick question: If your response is too high, it’s a red flag, whereas a lowball figure undervalues the company.
“We’re letting the market price this round” is an appropriate reply, but only if you’ve already gathered substantial data points from other investors — and can fire back with a few questions of your own, says Evan Fisher, founder of Unicorn Capital.
“If that’s all you say, you’re in trouble because it can also be interpreted as ‘we don’t have a clue’ or ‘we’ll take what we’re given,'” said Fisher.
Instead of going in cold, he advises founders to pre-pitch investors from their next round and use takeaways from those conversations to shape current valuations.
In the article, Fisher includes sample questions “you will want to ask every VC you speak with,” along with other tips that will help “when they pop the valuation question.”
Three more from the TC+ team:
- Taking that exit: Tim writes about Vanguard’s decision to get out of a carbon emissions initiative and what prompted the move.
- SPAC is back: Getaround is now a public company after braving a chilly SPAC environment that has left other companies in the cold. Alex has more.
- Bridging blockchain and the physical world: That’s what Jacquelyn writes Solana founders want to see happen as the company and others pick up the pieces and move on from the FTX collapse.
Big Tech Inc.
We are over here with our mouths open upon learning that crypto news publication The Block received some significant — and undisclosed — loans from former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s company Alameda Research. As a result, CEO Michael McCaffrey is out and Bobby Moran, the company’s chief revenue officer, takes the role but as Jacquelyn and Alex write, the now conflict of interest will take some time to repair, if it can even be done.
As we wait for the Federal Trade Commission to send news of Microsoft’s fate with Activision, Kyle writes that the cloud services giant acquired a different company, this time Lumenisity, a startup developing high-speed cables for transmitting data.
And three more for you:
- Looking for that special gift?: Natasha L has some suggestions for your fitness-loving buddy, while Haje has some gift ideas to ensure your other friends are well caffeinated.
- Meet Slack’s new CEO: When Slack announced that Lidiane Jones would be its new CEO, Ron wanted to shed some light on her career and how she got where she is today.
- Exposed: Carly reports that CommonSpirit Health confirmed that data from over 620,000 patients was stolen during a ransomware attack in October.