Pley, that hot start-up that rented Legos by the month inexplicably failed.

Pley, that hot start-up that rented Legos by the month inexplicably failed.

So yeah, I decided with WeWork and $TSLAQ and assorted unicorn b.s (like TIL that Softbank put $300M into a dog walking app can you believe that?) even though I’m busy with normal things, I am rekindling VCrap. On a whim I decided to look up a company I heard about a few years ago, a hot start-up that secured $6.75M series A …to rent Legos by the month. That was in March 2014. In Feb,…

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Bloomberg: WeWork floats “governance change” to salvage IPO

Bloomberg: WeWork floats “governance change” to salvage IPO

As per Bloomberg: WeWork desperately scrambles to salvage an IPO being spurned by the investing public by floating a “governance shakeup” although any reforms would still leave Neumann with total control over what happens because of the share structure. Also, the article opines that nobody is sure what governance changes remain to be made, given that “The company already has taken some steps, such as adding a woman to its board and having Neumann return…

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VentureCrapital initiates coverage on $TSLAQ

VentureCrapital initiates coverage on $TSLAQ

I had all but mothballed this project because, frankly, I was neglecting it. But lately I’ve been feeling like some kind of inflection point has been reached. When multiple unicorns are underwater or in danger of going underwater on their IPOs ($TLRY, $SNAP, $UBER, that other one…. ) or at least looking like they should be under water ($BYND) and then WeWork looking like it may not even make it to the gate…. combined with yield curve…

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Unicorns Jump The Shark: WeWork IPO In Danger of being Shelved

Unicorns Jump The Shark: WeWork IPO In Danger of being Shelved

For some reason the investing public seems to be giving the WeWork IPO a suboptimal reception. After multiple reductions in the IPO sticker price, from 40B down to 20B and now perhaps even less, the lead investor Softbank is recommending that the IPO be shelved. For some reason when the CEO cashes out 700 million ahead of the IPO in a company whose losses exceed total revenues people aren’t overly eager to put in more money….

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WeCash-out, before IPO

WeCash-out, before IPO

The WSJ today reported on how WeWork co-founder and CEO Andrew Neumann has extracted $700,000,000 in share sales and loans from his money-losing, pre-IPO unicorn. So far Neumann has purchased 4 homes around New York, funded an elementary school his kid goes to, and paid $14,000,000 for a 13,000 squarre foot crib in the Bay area that has a guitar-shaped romper room. He also buys properties and leases them back to WeWork. All very confidence instilling for…

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Munchery is over.

Munchery is over.

On demand food delivery start-up Munchery is bankrupt and shutting down effective immediately. They’ve burned through $125 million in VC, their last round was $87 million in 2015 at a $300 million valuation. Apparently the early effects of this are bare shelves in Amazon’s Go Stores. It’s like a Lehman Brothers moment which could cascade throughout the entire dime-a-dozen mobile food-on-demand-delivery service start-up sector. Read more.

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Canada’s “Disrupted”, eh

Canada’s “Disrupted”, eh

The inaugural post of this blog was a review of Dan Lyon’s “Disrupted”, which put a point to the unicorn economy, where money losing companies crowd out real businesses by sucking up all the oxygen in the space. That bubble hasn’t popped …yet, although it may this year. In the meantime, here is another personal account of life within some VC-darling branding darling, this time up here in Canada. Read it here…

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What went wrong at Social Capital?

What went wrong at Social Capital?

“Social Capital arrived in Silicon Valley seven years ago with a charismatic co-founder, former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya who also owns a piece of the Golden State Warriors. It raised more than $1 billion and made early bets on companies like Slack.” …and then it all went to shit. This Axios article tracks the implosion. (Sometimes I think by building a real company that actually has a real service and a customer base for 20…

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Mad Catz delisted from NYSE, files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Mad Catz delisted from NYSE, files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Peripheral maker Mad Catz has thrown in the towel after unsuccessfully scouring for (pick one), bank financing, an equity infusion or sale of assets. Apparently after enjoying a fairly solid business as a peripheral and game controller manufacturer during the  Playstation Era, the company tried to expand into publishing with an ill-fated JV with Harmonix to release Rock Band 4. The rest is, as they say, history, but in a more literal and fatalistic sense….

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