Business and Economy

Fastly, Zoom, Pinterest, Airbnb, Lyric, Uber, Luckin Coffee, Salesforce, MapAnything and Armory Square

Pinterest and Zoom price IPOs above projected ranges

It’s a big day for IPOs. Visually-oriented social media unicorn Pinterest priced shares for its offering at $19 apiece, above the projected range of $15 to $17. Videoconferencing powerhouse Zoom set a $36 per share price, also above expectations. Both begin trading today.

Luckin Coffee brews up $150M in fresh funding

Luckin Coffee’s epic run in China looks set to continue on news that the mobile, and delivery-focused coffee chain raised a fresh $150 million. BlackRock reportedly financed $125 million of the total, setting a valuation for the fast-growing caffeine enterprise of around $2.9 billion.

Salesforce acquires MapAnything

Salesforce announced that it is acquiring MapAnything, a provider of tools for companies to build location-based workflows, for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2009, Charlotte-based MapAnything previously raised $84 million in venture funding.

Armory Square raises $33M for upstate New York

Armory Square Ventures just raised a second fund of $31 million to invest in cities and towns in upstate New York, focusing on Ithaca, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.

Crunchbase: Six of the biggest challenges for CEOs

As a CEO, when challenges arise, the responsibility falls on you – and you alone. One CEO and founder talks through six of the biggest challenges she has faced in that role, along with tools for managing them.

Fastly files for IPO

The IPO party rages on. San Francisco-based Fastly is the latest high-valuation private company to file for a public offering. Financials for the company, which operates an “edge cloud platform” that puts applications and data closer to end users, reveal sharply growing revenues along with large losses.

Zoom and Pinterest pop in first-day trading

Meanwhile, in other IPO news, Pinterest and Zoom closed out their first day on the public markets on a positive note. Shares of Zoom zipped up more than 70 percent in first-day trading, while Pinterest rose 28 percent.

When unicorns act like VCs

Unicorns are far more likely to take in capital than invest in other startups. Yet sometimes they do play VC. A Crunchbase News analysis finds that roughly one in six U.S.-based unicorns have made at least one disclosed startup investment. The deal list includes some big ones, including this week’s $160 million Airbnb-led round for hospitality startup Lyric.

Uber spins out self-driving unit with $1B in funding

Uber announced it will spin out its self-driving car business after the unit closed $1 billion in funding from Toyota, auto-parts maker Denso and SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

Ride-hailing newcomers scale around safety

Smaller ride-hailing startups are finding room to step up and brand themselves around safety. While these players are small potatoes compared to industry leaders in terms of capital and user base, they’re targeting riders Uber and Lyft are leaving behind.

Crunchbase: Ultimate guide to performing market research

Market research seems like a straightforward concept, but there’s a lot more to it than a simple Google search. Here’s a guide on what you should know as you explore the ins and outs of your industry.

Cannabis startups spark joy for investors

The cannabis industry continues to light up. According to Crunchbase data, funding for private cannabis companies more than doubled from 2017 to 2018 with more than $1.3 billion directed toward the industry. So far, 2019 is off to a brisk start as well, with first-quarter funding more than double year ago levels, and Pax Labs securing $420 million in new investment.

StockX said to be next sneaker unicorn

The sneaker resale marketplace StockX is reportedly in advanced talks for a new round of financing at a valuation of at least $1 billion, to be led by DST Global. Founded about four years ago, Detroit-based StockX operates an online platform for buying and selling limited edition and high demand sneakers.

VCs back bot blockers, financial aid apps and daycare platform

In our Last Week In Venture series, Crunchbase News takes a look at intriguing rounds that may have fallen under the radar. The latest installment looks at Astroscreen, a developer of tools to stop bots from hijacking social media dialogue, Mos, provider of a single application for college financial aid programs, and MyVillage, a company that helps people start home-based preschool and daycare programs.

Startups need to worry about sanctions too

U.S. sanctions regulators are increasingly turning sights on the tech world. As enforcement ratchets up, it’s critical that companies don’t assume they aren’t exposed just because they are a startup.

Beyond Meat seeks over $1B valuation in IPO

Faux meat maker Beyond Meat is seeking a maximum valuation north of $1 billion in its upcoming IPO, according to a new filing. The alternative protein company’s planned debut raises questions (at least for tech writers) about which venture-backed companies warrant closest coverage.

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