Hello! I’m advertising/media editor Lucia Moses, filling in for Matt Turner while he’s on paternity leave. Welcome to your weekly roundup of our hottest and most insightful stories of the past week.
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Now, on to the news: SoftBank has a big problem, and WeWork was just the tip of the iceberg. In the first week of 2020, four SoftBank-backed companies laid off 2,600 people in total as they struggle to get to profitability. As Megan Hernbroth has been reporting, startups from robot pizza-maker Zume to discount hotelier Oyo have swelled with backing from the Japanese investor, only to slash their workforces. And those layoffs don’t include the contractors that many of these companies rely on and who have fewer protections than full-time employees do.
Salesforce swirls with questions
And after a big year, Salesforce is at a pivotal time as this is the year Wall Street will want to see results from its $15.7 billion Tableau acquisition and how it makes good on lofty sales targets. Analysts are predicting everything from Salesforce doing more acquisitions to Google acquiring it to compete with Amazon and Microsoft and Marc Benioff stepping back from his co-CEO role to focus on advocacy.
Finance and Investing
PE shop Vista Equity Partners paid $100 million for 7Park to get in on the alt-data craze. Insiders describe the management turnover, amped up sales pressure, and change in strategy that followed.
Alternative data’s breakout year in 2018 brought interest from deep-pocketed investors hoping to cash in on the gold rush. But with new funding comes high expectations.
Construction tech is looking to disrupt an industry that’s been notoriously slow to embrace change — insiders say these are the 10 contech startups to watch in 2020
Demand for cheaper construction has led to the application of new tech like machine learning, robotics, and drones.
Goldman Sachs lost at least 36 partners last year. Here’s a list of all the names we know — and details from insiders about how the exits are being celebrated
They’ve being feted with marching bands, celebratory dinners, and video montages, to name a few.
‘High earner, not rich yet’: How to tell if you’re a ‘Henry,’ based on your salary, savings, and lifestyle
They earn over $100,000, are in their early 30s, and struggle to balance their lifestyle while still saving for the future, the experts say.
Online brokers like Robinhood are hyping fractional share trading — here’s why they want to get you hooked on $1 slices of stocks
They’re marketing the offering as a way for average customers to own popular but pricey stocks like Amazon and Alphabet.
Tech, Media, and Telecoms
Jeff Bezos said Amazon’s third-party sellers are ‘kicking butt’ — these are the 7 most important issues for Amazon marketplace merchants in 2020, according to experts
They include first-party suppliers moving to the third-party marketplace and more big brands ending their relationship with the retailer.
With Grubhub reportedly looking to throw in the towel, SoftBank may finally have a winner in the food delivery market. But it may have a loser too.
Grubhub has been profitable, but it’s duplicated some of the unprofitable practices of its rivals as growth has slowed.
Silicon Valley is facing an exodus of young employees. Here’s why one tech investor is betting on Pittsburgh to take up the mantle.
“We like to say, ‘If it’s good enough for Google to go to Pittsburgh, isn’t it good enough for XYZ?'” tech investor Patrick McKenna said.
The president of Marc Benioff’s Time reveals how he plans to restore the neglected title and make it a billion-dollar business
It plans to expand the title to verticals like health and business and is even eyeing acquisitions.
Netflix insiders describe how movie boss Scott Stuber made Hollywood stop worrying and love the streaming giant
He’s one of the streamer’s most important executives.
How Hearst’s effort to modernize its antiquated magazine business stressed out employees and led them to unionize
In a jittery media climate, many people want more certainty around pay raises and career paths.
Healthcare, Retail, and Transportation
Respira raised over $2 million to disrupt the embattled vape industry with a heat-free vaporizer. Here’s the pitch deck that made it happen.
It claims to be safer than traditional vaporizers.
$2.2 billion Bright Health just struck a deal to buy a health plan and gain a big foothold in the lucrative Medicare Advantage market
The acquisition would substantially increase Bright Health’s Medicare Advantage business.
Only 18% of the trucking industry’s governing boards are women and Morgan Stanley just highlighted it as a potential industry risk
The average trucking company had a corporate governance board gender-inclusivity rate of 18%, lagging other public firms.
Inside the sneaker empire of Urban Necessities, which brought in nearly $21 million in sales last year and has plans to expand globally
The multimillion-dollar company combines consignment with traditional buying.
‘We didn’t ask for a meditation app, we want to be able to pay our rent’: Starbucks is offering new mental health benefits, but employees are demanding different kinds of support
Some say free subscriptions for the mindfulness app Headspace don’t cut it.
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NOW WATCH: WeWork went from a $47 billion valuation to a failed IPO. Here’s how the company makes money.