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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch on January 21, 2022! I normally try to pep up my little intros in this missive. But today, I’m going to avoid astroturfing my own mood to just say, hey, what’s up with the stock market? After a period of time when things only went up, did we flip the coin? I’m not going to say I love it, but hey, at least it’s the weekend. – alexander
TechCrunch’s top 3
- Is Microsoft buying a union? Raven Software’s QA department forms a union at Activision Blizzard. TechCrunch called the move “the first union to form at a major US gaming company.” Given that Microsoft is supposed to buy parent company Raven Software, the union situation has an even more interesting flavor than most of the tech union news we’ve seen recently.
- The VCs wanted to create Facebook’s Slack competitor: The internal work tool of Facebook that he has transformed into a product will not leave the scope of the Meta company. TechCrunch learned that VCs wanted the social giant to spin it up to a valuation north of $1 billion, but Team Zuck didn’t bite.
- Netflix’s poor results prove the pandemic business is over: After reporting numbers that left Wall Street less enthusiastic, Netflix’s stock value fell today. The result and the resulting investor reaction underscores our general belief that pandemic trading is behind us. Recall that in late December, TechCrunch asked if the era of ultra-rich tech valuations was behind us. The answer? Yeah, it looks like it.
- If you are working on business expenses, please withdraw your check: As Ramp, Brex and Airbase face off in the United States, Moss’s work to build a corporate spending giant in Europe is attracting allies. The rich, it turns out the company just landed $86 million. The company is now worth nearly $600 million, thanks to its latest stock sale.
- Please print me one (1) mocktail: One of the funniest bits in a series of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy novels is The Dumb Spaceship That Can’t Make Tea. He can, to paraphrase, do something that is close tea, but not quite. It’s an endless way of saying that beverage printing isn’t a new concept. But it’s a new reality, at least for my brain. Cana Technology has just unveiled what it calls “the world’s first molecular beverage printer”. Who we ask: can he make tea? Either way, it sounds stupid.
- Europe -> Africa: The African tech startup market is accelerating. It’s known. But what if you are building a business, say in Europe, and want to expand into the African market? Venture capital firm Partech’s new accelerator Chapter54 is working on precisely this problem, reports TechCrunch.
- Another Israeli VC is setting up a new fund: 2022 is shaping up to be a hot year for the Israeli tech scene, with Entrance Capital announcing a $300 million fund. This is the second new fund from Israel so far this year that we can name. So much for a slowdown, yeah?
In the Secfi report on the state of stocks of stock options 2021
It’s great to have a stake in the business you’re helping to build, but when employees don’t know the best way to exercise their stock options, they usually end up with a bad deal.
Last year, startup employees paid about $11 billion in avoidable taxes by exercising their options after exit, rather than before exit, according to Secfi data.
In a post for TechCrunch+, CEO Frederik Mijnhardt shared his analysis of the biggest stock option trends of 2021, including why, despite stellar IPOs, most employees couldn’t. exercise their options only after exit, significantly increasing their tax liability.
“Looking to 2022, it appears that the current industry trend toward large funding rounds and longer release times means that for the average startup employee, the total cost to exercise stock options will continue to rise,” says Mijnhardt.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams grow. You can register here.)
Big Tech inc.
- Peloton (a little) responds to production stories: Yes, the company is “resetting our production levels for sustainable growth,” its CEO admitted in a memo that dealt with something of a flurry of stories about Peloton’s consumer demand. More when the company declares its earnings, because this story is far from over.
- Intel could build a huge factory in Ohio: Building chips is expensive and hard to run. So it’s good news that Intel plans to “build two chip factories outside of Columbus, Ohio.” All of the work could cost 20 billion dollars. Score a point for domestic production, I guess.
- IBM manages to divest its Watson Health unit: Francisco Partners is buying the asset, but we don’t know for how much. Watson’s push appears to be stumbling toward a conclusion, selling for a price that should be a fraction of what IBM paid to compile the company’s assets behind its health-focused AI push.
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