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Tech's Hollywood Moment

Tech's Hollywood Moment
April 4, 2022

The Daily Stack is a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform. Read our previous insights.
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The topic du jour within my group chat (consisting of techies, a nonprofit pro, a doctor, and a Hollywood actor) is the recent surge in televised depictions of women con artists: Anna Delvey, Elizabeth Holmes, and a bad vegan. We wonder why the sudden fascination with women behaving badly, or rising within the ranks of male-dominated spaces, or conning them.

Some of us see the representation as unfair, with men using the same hubristic borderline fraudulent tactics up and down Silicon Valley and Wall St. Some of us are excited to see women “leaning in” to spaces and fooling the institutions that have serve as gatekeepers to keep women out.

 

                                           Elizabeth Holmes, played by Amanda Seyfried

Equal Opportunity Offenders

In all fairness, it is not only women who have garnered the attention of Hollywood and its viewers. Former CEO Travis Kalanick of Uber and Adam Neumann of WeWork are also getting airtime under harsh scrutiny (and don’t forget the two Fyre Fest documentaries).

An excellent article written by Malcolm Harris for The Nation describes the “pump,” “drop,” “crash” formula as a wildly entertaining story arc that gave three Hollywood stars great material for acting but also demonstrated a system in which these unprofitable, capital-intensive businesses were able to raise endless capital. As Harris describes:

“An economy based on finance-led growth, as the US economy is, tends toward some unfortunate situations. Investors are compelled to make bigger and bigger bets as their wealth accumulates, crowding each other in the search for high returns amid a global slowdown in output.”

The Playground and the Players

Until the structure of the playground in which these characters play changes, there will be more Kalanicks and Neumanns. And that’s a good thing for some Hollywood actors.

Here are several companies raising vast sums of money so far in 2022:

  • Lineage Logistics raised $1.7BN in January at a $25BN valuation from private equity and hedge fund investors. The company offers cold food storage and logistics.
  • Fanatics raised $1.5BN in March at a $27BN valuation from BlackRock and venture capital firms. The company sells sports team merchandise and counts Jay Z as an investor.
  • Securonix raised $1BN as part of their $3BN valuation in February for the company's cyber security offerings.
Since last week, PrivCo has added:
31,413 Companies | 277 Funding Activities | 146 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:
 

 

Collectors Universe raises $100MM from D1 Capital Partners

Trading Cards • Equity • Santa Ana, CA
 

4C Medical Technologies raises $35MM from MicroPOrt CardioFlow Medtech Corp.

Health Care • Round C • Osseo, MN
 

Summit Wealth Systems raises $20MM from Arena Holdings

CRM • Round A • San Francisco, CA
 

SudShare raises $10MM from Origin Ventures

Laundry • Seed • Minneapolis, MN
 

Prizeout raises $25MM from Mark Cuban

Fintech • Round B • New York, NY
 

Terra Quantum raises $15MM from Lakestar 

Quantum Computing • Round A • Rorschach, Switzerland
 

National Instruments acquires Kratzer Automation AG

Autonomous Vehicles • Acquisition • Bavaria, Germany
 

Foundation Automotive Corp. acquires Southfork Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Dealership • Acquisition • Manvel, TX
 

Cosmic Wire announces acquisition of ArtsGalore for $31.5MM

Painting • Acquisition • Dubai, UAE
 

Paramount Global Surfaces acquires Stone Source

Building Products • Acquisition • New York, NY
 

The Aaron’s Co. acquires BrandsMart USA for $230MM

Appliances • Acquisition • Fort Lauderdale, FL

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