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TechCrunch’s Top 3
- What do you collect?: Collectibles like trading cards are big business, and eBay got a big boost in that area with its new move to acquire TCGplayer, a trading card marketplace, for up to $295 million. Aisha reports. She wrote: “The company’s latest acquisition shows that eBay sees increased potential in trading cards, as the company notes that the deal offers it a way to ‘maintain its position as a preferred platform for trading card sellers.'”
- ‘Surge’ ahead: Jagmeet is short of the 15 companies from India and Southeast Asia selected for Sequoia’s seventh Surge cohort.
- I’m not sure if the “Stream” goes up or down: We all know this by now Andreessen Horowitz gave Adam Neumann $350 million for his new venture, Flow, which buys up rental units in an effort to create a community effect. Tim, Dominique-Madori and Amanda provide three different views on why both the venture capitalist and the founders may have “misunderstood America’s housing problems.”
Startups and VCs
There was a ton of news last week about former WeWork boss Adam Neumann raising more money to do whatever he’s doing these days — but Horses presents us with a story about how to do it differently in “The anti-Adam Neumann.”
Accelerators can be a little hit or miss, but Hadje take a closer look at Miko, who went through Disney’s tech accelerator, this week as well 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 for them.
Feed your mind:
- Another step towards uniqueness: Manish and Kyle report this John Carmack, the game developer who co-founded id Software and is the CTO of Oculus, is working on a new venture. Keen Technologies raised $20 million from Sequoia.
- Strategic salaries made simple: Anita reports that Complete helps startups think through the “why” and “how” of employee compensationraising $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 ATMs, CSI agrees to be acquired for $1.6 billion, reports Kyle.
- Casting even more Zen: Brian reports that the podcasting recording platform Zencastr is adding editing and distribution tools in an effort to become a full-service podcast offering.
- Did you pick up what they came up with this time?: The kale came from the house, puns Hadje for the new Click & Grow hydroponic installation at home. But then he got annoyed at how expensive these things were and spent a few weekends build your own hydroponic system, and wrote a guide on how to create your own. You know, in case your to-do list isn’t like that quite a lot painful enough.
4 ways founders can increase their income in tough times
Converting one-time customers into repeat buyers takes on increased importance during a downturn. Acquiring a new customer is hard work, but finding ways to reduce friction is an easy way to increase customer lifetime value.
One study found that password difficulties cause nearly 60% of users 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 should be making things easier, not harder,” says Ari Jacoby, CEO and co-founder of Deduce.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can register here.)
Big Tech Inc.
It so happened that three news stories about driverless cars appeared at about the same time and Rebecca was there to deliver the goods. So at the same time Tesla says it will increased the price of its complete self-management software up to $15,000 in North America, YouTube pulled two videos off its site, where Tesla drivers demonstrated the controversial software with their children in the driver’s seat. Meanwhile, the government in the UK said this self-driving producers, not drivers they themselves will be responsible for accidents when the car is in autonomous mode.