Startups Weekly: Plaid's $ 5.3 billion acquisition is a textbook win for Silicon Valley

<pre><pre>Startups Weekly: Plaid's $ 5.3 billion acquisition is a textbook win for Silicon Valley

Hello everyone, my name is Eric Eldon and I am the new author of the Startups Weekly newsletter.

I will choose my favorite, explicitly start-up articles of the week for you from Extra Crunch (where I am now the editor) and TechCrunch (where I was the co-editor years ago … long story).

Some people tell us that TechCrunch doesn't treat startups the way they used to. I don't know if that's true, but it's definitely difficult to confuse our startup reporting with the rest of our news.

This newsletter highlights the best coverage of TechCrunch and Extra Crunch for startups to fix this.

I probably hate reading bad advice and analysis even more than you do, and not just because I've read a lot of it over the years as an editor. I also founded a few companies myself and had the opportunity to experience exits, failures and venture backing.

I will highlight articles that I think address something significant about building a business, and I will tell you why each article is worth reading.

There will also be some experiments. Thank you for reading! And if you want it in your inbox, you can subscribe here.

Everyone loves plaid

Plaid's product is unbearably boring for most people, but is already a well-known brand for its corporate users and throughout the startup world as its statistics and funding rounds have increased. The $ 5.3 billion result announced this week underscores its status as the top SaaS / Fintech startup story of the era and is also a popular platform for developers who need to sync users' payment information.

Alex Wilhelm was all over the news. In Visa's presentation, he explained buying Extra Crunch – it paid more than double Plaid's last review – and found the classic story of a large, slow incumbent strategically buying a hot younger company to grow in newer markets. Then he got comments for Extra Crunch from a number of analysts … who basically said the same thing.

You can now watch the latest TechCrunch Equity episode to hear him talk about it with our former VC Danny Crichton.

Atrium Exits Law Firm Business

Watch closely as Atrium closes the firm to focus on the technology company. Founder Justin Kan tells Josh Constine on TechCrunch that this is part of the development towards better technical service.

The law firm should convey the human touch in a way that machines can't, but Kan says lawyers are great at doing this as a third party.

Many SaaS startups are trying to tackle the back office processes of the 20th century. The change in Atrium will be another reason for them to use all-in software, even if people are not involved.

Brooke Hammerling

PR expert says he may not be doing PR at the moment

Brooke Hammerling, one of the most popular and feared people in technical communication, was in the middle of the key stories of the decade with young and old founders. And sometimes on the other side of me.

She knows her way around. Here is one of my favorite gems from the full interview with Jordan Crook about Extra Crunch:

If you are a young company, you are an unknown founder and you have your own attitude, you do not want to spend your money on PR too early.

You want to spend this money on product development, engagement and engineering etc.

Large funds are now doing the small rounds of financing

That is the word on the street from our former VC who was recently in San Francisco and visited his many friends and professional acquaintances. Danny conveniently put together his TechCrunch notes in his New York apartment and found them Everyone throws huge rounds [emphasis his] – and it's about being there for the future. The Plaid table cap is a good example.

One of my favorite quotes:

A VC told me last week (in paraphrase): "What is strange today is that you have companies like Sequoia appearing at seed rounds, but they don't really care about … anything." Evaluation, conditions, etc. This is all a game for the later rounds. "I think that's a bit of an exaggeration, but ultimately these $ 1 million checks are essentially a rounding error for the largest funds. The real return in the mega rounds is down the road.

He also Noticeable for TechCrunch that VCs seem particularly tired today. You can tell him what you think about these observations at

(Photo by David Becker / Getty Images)

Home robots are moving at CES

I've never been to CES and I don't plan to go there, but Brian Heater is always there and this year he came back thinking the home robot sector was getting serious.

His food for extra crunch:

There is a cynical (and probably at least partially correct) view that these types of deals are advertising stunts – large companies use CES to demonstrate how forward-thinking they think about new technologies. But there is something to be said about the show's position at the forefront of such technologies. The products are real, even if their wider use is hypothetical. At a time when Amazon used more than 100,000 robots in its U.S. fulfillment centers to enable next-day delivery, we are in real use.

Brian is holding a one-day TechCrunch conference in early March focusing on robotics startups at UC Berkeley for those who focus on this area. Last year's event was a great success and we look forward to the next one. Follow the link to learn more.

Will Silicon Valley Win Weed?

Eaze was one of the best-known cannabis distributors, but he may be running out of money now, report Ingrid Owen and Josh Constine. There are many structural reasons why a cannabis business is very difficult, legal, or otherwise.

However, it is interesting to see who is successful in the cannabis consumer market and why.

A local example is Berner, a high school dropout in San Francisco who became a budder and partnered with cannabis genetics to create and promote the Girl Scout Cookies strain and have also become an international rap star (the main theme is his weed) and clothing designer.

He is opening more and more cookies retail stores these days, including in Oakland and LA, and is shortening license and certification contracts with a wide network of partners (and claims to be rejected) huge acquisition offers). basically, His cannabis is also his modern multi-platform brand and the cool kids are thrilled. He doesn't seem to have any more money.