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Hello, Crunch Bunch!
Have you remembered to drink water today? You can’t live off coffee and Red Bull alone. Look after yourself, you good-looking but dehydrated startup nerds. We care about you, and we want you to thrive!
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s dive into the news! — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- What are you collecting?: Collectibles, like trading cards, are big business, and eBay got a big boost in this area with its new move to acquire TCGplayer, a trading card marketplace, for up to $295 million, Aisha reports. She writes, “The company’s latest acquisition shows that eBay sees increased potential in trading cards, as the company notes that the agreement offers a way for it to ‘maintain its position as a desirable platform for trading card sellers.’”
- ‘Surge’ing ahead: Jagmeet has the skinny on the 15 Indian and Southeast Asian companies selected for Sequoia’s seventh Surge cohort.
- Not sure if the ‘Flow’ is going uphill or down: We all know by now that Andreessen Horowitz gave Adam Neumann $350 million for his new endeavor, Flow, which is buying up rental units in an effort to create a community effect. Tim, Dominic-Madori and Amanda provide three different takes on why both venture capitalist and founders may have “misread America’s housing problems.”
Startups and VC
There was a bunch of news last week about ex-WeWork boss Adam Neumann raising more money to do whatever he does these days — but Connie brings us a story about how to do it differently in “The Anti–Adam Neumann.”
Accelerators can be a little hit or miss, but Haje took a closer look at Miko, which went through the Disney tech accelerator, and this week announced that it is launching in 140 countries with Disney and Pixar content. It’s a dream partnership for any startup, so it’s fun to see it work out for them.
Nourish thine mind:
- Another step toward the singularity: Manish and Kyle report that John Carmack, the game developer who co-founded id Software and was Oculus’s CTO, is working on a new venture. Keen Technologies raised $20 million from Sequoia.
- Strategic salaries, simplified: Anita reports that Complete helps startups think through the “why” and “how” of employee compensation, raising $4 million in a round led by Accel.
- This slot machine is great — I keep winning: Founded in 1965 and by some accounts the creator of the first modern ATM systems, CSI agrees to be acquired for $1.6 billion, reports Kyle.
- Casting even more zen: Brian reports that podcasting recording platform Zencastr adds editing and distribution tools in a bid to become a full-service podcast offering.
- Have you herb what they came up with this time?: The kale came from inside the house, puns Haje about the new Click & Grow at-home hydroponic setup. But then he got all grumpy at how expensive these things are, and spent a couple of weekends building his own hydroponic system, and wrote a guide about how to build your own. You know, in case your to-do list wasn’t quite harrowing enough.
4 ways founders can amplify revenue during hard times
Turning one-time customers into repeat buyers takes on heightened importance during a downturn. Acquiring a new user is a heavy lift, but finding ways to reduce friction is an easy way to boost a customer’s lifetime value.
One study found that password difficulties cause nearly 60% of consumers to abandon shopping carts before completing a purchase.
If you’re trying to recalibrate online sales, this TC+ guest post contains formulas for calculating lost lifetime value (LTV) due to churn on a monthly and annual basis. “In times of recession, you have to make things easier, not more difficult,” says Ari Jacoby, CEO and co-founder of Deduce.
Daily Crunch: Collectible trading card marketplace TCGplayer sells to eBay for $295M View Story