Odds and Ends 

Startups Weekly: SoftBanks second act

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the week’s noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into today’s topic, let’s catch up a bit. Last week, I noted some challenges plaguing mental health tech startups. Before that, I wrote about Zoom and Superhuman’s PR disasters. Remember, you can send me tips, suggestions and feedback to kate.clark@techcrunch.com or on Twitter @KateClarkTweets. If you don’t subscribe to Startups Weekly yet, you can do that here. accelerating its IPO plans and targeting a September listing. We don’t…

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WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has reportedly cashed out of over $700 million ahead of its IPO

Adam Neumann, the co-founder and chief executive of the international real estate co-working startup WeWork has reportedly cashed out of more than $700 million from his company ahead of its initial public offering. The size and timing of the payouts, made through a mix of stock sales and loans secured by his equity in the company, is unusual, considering that founders typically wait until after a company holds its public offering to liquidate their holdings. Despite the loans and sales of stock, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, Neumann remains…

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WeWork gets into the food business, backing the superfood startup of big wave surfer Laird Hamilton

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has been described as an avid surfer, one who has been known to grab his board and go, both in the Hamptons in Long Island, where he reportedly owns a home, as well as in Hawaii. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that WeWork is now also investing in a so-called superfood company that was created several years ago by big wave surf star Laird Hamilton, who Neumann was apparently surfing alongside just last week. In a video call with Neumann on Monday, a Fast Company reporter noted…

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Why Silicon Valley needs more visas

Henrique Dubugras Photo courtesy of Flickr/jvoves While it might sound counterintuitive, immigrants create more jobs and make our economy stronger. Research from the National Foundation of American Policy (NFAP) has shown that immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies doubled their number of employees over the past two years. According to the research, “WeWork went from 1,200 to 6,000 employees between 2016 and 2018, Houzz increased from 800 to 1,800 employees the last two years, while Cloudflare went from 225 to 715 employees.” We’ve seen the same growth at Brex. In just one year…

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In venture capital, its still the age of the unicorn

Howie Xu At the time, the piece defined a new breed of startup — the $1 billion privately held company. When Lee did her first count, there were 39 “unicorns”; an improbable, but not impossible number.. Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a global herd with 376 companies on the roster and counting. But the proliferation of unicorns begs raises certain questions. Is this new breed of unicorn artificially created? Could these magical companies see their valuations slip and fall out of the herd? Does this indicate an irrational exuberance…

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Data.world raises $12M to help Fortune 500 companies close the great data divide

Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Warby Parker and a long list of other startups of the 21st century have appointed C-level employees to roles focused exclusively on data science. These digital-age companies have established “data cultures,” which provide employees broad access to high-quality data, advocate for data literacy and have data-driven decision-making processes, according to Carl Anderson, who previously led data analytics and data science at Warby Parker and WeWork. Fortune 500 companies are still a long way from this ideal. Data.world, a sort of social networking site for data projects and teams,…

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In its push to compete in Southeast Asia, WeWork is pouring $500 million into the region

Less than two weeks ago, WeWork took the wraps off a new massive round of funding $500 million from the Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, the Japanese internet giant SoftBank, Greenland Holdings, and China Oceanwide. Now, the company is announcing that its pouring that exact amount $500 million into expanding into Southeast Asia and Korea. As part of that effort, it has also spent an undisclosed amount to acquire a 1.5-year-old, Singapore-based co-working company Spacemob. Spacemobs founder and CEO, Turochas Fuad will become managing director of Southeast Asia for…

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WeWork has acquired venture-backed Fieldlens

WeWork, the seven-year-old, New York-based co-working juggernaut that more recently entered into the business of co-living, has been making a series of small acquisitions with some of the $1.8 billion that it has officially gathered from investors. Its latest acquisition: Fieldlens, a 5.5-year-old mobile communication system for the construction industry that aims to replace calls, texts, emails and all the other back and forth thats typically sent between building owners, contractors, subcontractors, architects and everyone else involved in a construction project. WeWork was already one of Fieldlens biggest customers and,…

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