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Highlights of the Week (August 20, 2021)

Highlights of the Week (August 20, 2021)
August 20, 2021

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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Welcome to our Friday edition of the Daily Stack where, if you’re just joining us, we wrap up the week’s Daily Stack topics and consider the week’s news stories. Let's go!

This week was a historic one for war-torn Afghanistan as the Taliban seized control of the country again. For a country whose citizens under 40 have never known the country outside of war (going back to Soviet involvement in the 1980s), the backslide is palpable. While nearly 20 years of involvement has been felt by 100s of 1000s of Americans and their families deployed overseas, the vast majority of the rest of us have been buffered by distance, no direct contact with military service people, and a non-stop news cycle with a short attention span. With a humanitarian crisis in effect, it’s a good time to consider our involvement and what happens next for Afghan refugees, especially the women who supported the U.S. military. 

Here’s a recap of this week’s top stories from PrivCo:

  • Monday we discussed Big Tech’s antitrust problem as more legislators are champing at the bit to break up giants Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple, for their anti-competitive behavior. So far, legal battles have done little to disrupt these disruptors, as the interpretation of old laws might need to consider updated concepts of monetary exchange between consumer and company (read: data). Learn more here.

  • For our Investor Highlight, we examined BlackRock’s deep pockets and private equity investments, particularly its ESG investments. The ethical and sustainable considerations might be appealing to retail investors and younger generations but aren’t a surefire way to ensure a better future for our people and planet (hint: many think systemic change comes from democracy, not capitalism). Find out more here.

  • If you’re like millions of Americans, you soothed yourself from the doomscrolling and cramped quarters of the pandemic by escaping through video games. The industry saw a steep increase in players and consumption over the last year-plus and continues to see huge investments in new players while other players successfully exit. Take a look at some of the top games and developers, here.

  • Yesterday, we looked at the business of baby-making through increased revenues and investments in private women’s health startups, particularly around fertility and family planning. Check out the revolutionary technology bringing record-breaking funding to the space, here.

Quick News:

🐤  Twitter’s integration into newsletter media takes flight

🚢  Worlds 3rd busiest port is jammed bumper to bumper

🤑  IVP Partners' top tips for SaaS startup fundraising

🍪  Global chip shortage has Toyota cutting 40% of its global production

🍿  Beat the heat this weekend with these 25 documentaries on Netflix

⚖️  The Good and Bad of Biden’s plans for Afghanistan

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1232 Companies | 155 Funding Activities | 78 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Airlift raises $85MM from Harry Stebbings & Josh Buckley

Delivery • Round B • Lahore, Pakistan

MobileCoin raises $66MM from BlockTower Capital

Cryptocurrency Payments • Equity • Millbrae, CA

Jnana Therapeutics raises $50MM from RA Capital Management

Pharmaceuticals • Round B • Boston, MA

Parallax raises $7MM from Grotech Ventures

Forecasting & Analytics • Round A • Minneapolis, MN

Rapid Robotics raises $36.7MM from Kleiner Perkins

Robotics • Round B • San Francisco, CA

Branch Messenger raises $48MM from Addition

Workflow Analytics • Round B • Minneapolis, MN

Terzo Technologies raises $3.2MM from Great Oaks Venture Capital

Optimization • Seed • Los Angeles, CA

Kiddom raises $35MM from Altos Ventures 

E-Learning • Round C • San Francisco, CA

Syntr Health Technologies raises $2.2MM

Medical Devices • Seed • Irvine, CA

HackerU Ltd. acquires Cybint 

E-Learning • Acquisition • New York, NY

mdf commerce, Inc will acquire Periscope Holdings for $259.9MM

CRM Software • Acquisition • Austin, TX


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