The Information

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Clouds Hover Over TikTok: The Information’s Tech Briefing

What price would shares in ByteDance, owner of the hugely popular TikTok app, fetch today? ByteDance last raised money at a $75 billion valuation, and its shares traded at even higher levels recently on secondary markets. Today, though, investor interest might be just a bit weaker.TikTok has been banned in India, its biggest market, and now the Trump...

Facebook, Google Ad Market Rebounds From April Bottom

Digital advertising, the main source of revenue for Facebook and Google, just finished one of its most difficult three-month stretches ever. The bright side for these firms: The ad market looks to have hit rock bottom in April, and since then, ad prices and ad spending have been creeping back up to pre-pandemic rates, say advertising executives. Ad...

Under Armour Seeks Buyer for MyFitnessPal App

A few years ago, Under Armour made a splashy entrance into the burgeoning market for digital fitness apps with a series of acquisitions. Now, as the coronavirus batters its business, the sports apparel maker has decided to part ways with the biggest of those deals.Under Armour is looking to sell MyFitnessPal, an app it bought in 2015 for around $475...

Why Uber’s Postmates Deal Doesn’t Deserve Celebration: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Uber's 6% stock price rise on Monday suggests investors like the company's $2.65 billion acquisition of Postmates. And it is, in theory, a way to shore up Uber Eats' restaurant food delivery in some U.S. cities and consolidate the market.But investors should curb their enthusiasm. Postmates’ share of the U.S. market in recent years has fallen—it dropped...

Microsoft Expresses Interest in Acquiring Warner Game Unit

Microsoft has expressed interest in acquiring the games division of Warner Bros., the publisher behind popular game franchises based on Batman, Harry Potter and other characters, according to two people familiar with the situation.An acquisition of the business, which consists of game development studios scattered around the U.S., Canada and the U.K.,...

How Five Startups Responded to Economic Upheaval

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the tech startup landscape, driving some companies out of business and pushing others to the brink. Yet some firms that make products suited to remote working and social distancing have seen their sales rise sharply. Other companies have managed to quickly reconfigure their operations to support new customers and...

The Tech and Media Culture War That Isn’t

Reporters, tech investors and executives like to think they are at the center of the world. And this week, based on conversations on Twitter, it briefly felt like they were. For months, a handful of outspoken venture capitalists have been attacking journalists for 1) downplaying coronavirus earlier this year and 2) just generally being horrible traffic-seekers...

The Information’s 411 — A Little More Moderation

We talk with John Redgrave, the CEO of content moderation startup Sentropy, about the challenges of curbing hate speech online. Then Cory checks in on the state of the travel industry with Jon Staff, the CEO of vacation startup Getaway.

Lemonade’s IPO Lesson: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Next time a venture capitalist like Bill Gurley complains about the IPO process, expect them to use Lemonade’s IPO as Exhibit A. The insurance tech firm priced its IPO at $29 a share this week, implying a market capitalization well below its most recent private valuation of $2.1 billion.Yet when Lemonade stock started trading Thursday morning, it quickly...

Pharrell Williams, Ron Conway Teaming Up for New Venture Fund

Veteran tech investor and SV Angel founder Ron Conway is working with Grammy Award–winning musician Pharrell Williams to raise a venture capital fund, according to two people familiar with the matter. The new fund aims to make investments in startups led by underrepresented minorities.The pair are currently in discussions with limited partners. News...

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