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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Of course, we are referring to that time of year when all the startup chaos continues apace, and we are just hanging on for dear life to see how it all ends, clinging to our cups of hot chocolate, as holiday-appropriate music is wrapping around us like a warm blanket. Ahhh. — Christine and Haje
The TechCrunch Top 3
- We’ll have what they’re having: Ron and Alex wrote last week about Coupa’s investors warning that a sale to private equity would not be good for the company. Well, today we learned that Thoma Bravo is acquiring Coupa as the private equity firm continues its M&A rampage. It should make for some interesting investor opinion: Ron reports that the company is being acquired for $81 a share, or $8 billion. Some investors were pushing for $95 a share.
- “Cloudy” skies ahead: Microsoft is acquiring a 4% stake in the London Stock Exchange Group as part of a 10-year cloud partnership, Paul writes.
- This chair is juuuuust right: Acquiring the right furniture is a battle between finding good-quality items and finding items that are in stock and don’t cost a fortune to obtain. Nigerian startup Taeillo raised $2.5 million in fresh capital to develop its online furniture store, which it says offers lower-priced items at a fraction of the wait time, Tage writes.
Startups and VC
FTX’s fallen CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, is scheduled to testify tomorrow as a witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, reports Jacquelyn. The committee is investigating the events that led up to FTX’s implosion, which resulted in the crypto exchange filing for bankruptcy last month.
And we have five more for you:
- Jumping Jack Flash, it’s a CO2, CO2, CO2: Sydney-based Pathzero helps investors track their portfolios’ carbon emissions, by Catherine.
- Time to wear eye masks, perhaps: Connie talks with economist Paul Kedrosky, wondering if ChatGPT is a “virus that has been released into the wild.”
- Where’s the money?: Potentially huge shake-up in university endowments, as proposed legislation would force U.S. higher education endowments to reveal where they invest, reports Dominic-Madori.
- Bringing robotics to more small biz: Robco links up with $14 million led by Sequoia to bring modular robotics to industrial SMBs, writes Ingrid.
- I am the gasman: Avarni is building a comprehensive dataset to analyze supply chain emissions, reports Catherine.
How to implement a video SEO strategy
For anyone who runs a website, “pivot to video” has become a sour joke.
If your startup is shaping up its video content strategy, a wholesale shift isn’t required: instead, conduct a content audit to identify areas where interactive content can drive growth, such as testimonials, product announcements and webinars.
In a guide for first-timers, SEORadar creator Mark Munroe shares a checklist for preparing a video SEO strategy that boosts traffic and generates leads.
“Getting a sustained jump in web traffic is every SEO strategist’s dream, and video is [a] no-brainer way to do it,” writes Munroe.
Three more from the TC+ team:
- You’re definitely doing this wrong: The one slide 99% of founders get wrong when fundraising, by Haje.
- Warm up the credit card, it’s shopping season: Private equity could be gearing up to shop for vulnerable tech companies, muses Alex.
- Here’s one we baked earlier: Eric Tarczynski contributes a post about the 5 lessons his firm learned from building a venture fund from scratch.
TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!
Big Tech Inc.
Layoffs seem to have hit the world of gaming. Ingrid reports that Playtika — a publicly traded Israeli technology company whose online gambling and other gaming titles have been played by hundreds of millions of people — laid off 610 workers, or about 15% of its staff. It also shut down three of its gaming titles amid a broader company restructuring.
Meanwhile, we are going to warn you right now, if you are not interested in anything Twitter is doing, skip down to the story listings. For the rest of you, in today’s “All Things Twitter” digest, we have a collection of stories, most related to Twitter Blue. Kyle has your details about Blue for Business and that gold check mark you keep seeing, while Ivan writes that Twitter will use phone number verification for future Blue subscriber purchases. Aisha has you covered on the Community Notes feature, and Rebecca reports on the verification process relaunch and what it means for Apple users.
Here is your refuge from Twitter news:
- And the winner is…: HBO/HBO Max and Netflix are tied for the most Golden Globe nominations. Lauren has more.
- What is it with the vans?: Electric cars seem to be no problem, but when you get into vans and trucks, that’s where it seems to break down. Kirsten reports that Rivian and Mercedes paused their plan to produce an electric commercial van.
- Who had this for their 2022 Bingo card?: If you had Jeff Bezos and GMA host Michael Strahan starring in a show together, you basically win. Lauren writes that the pair are involved in a new Blue Origin kids’ space show.
- Well, that was unexpected: Zack writes about Xnspy, which developed some stalkerware that spied on thousands of iPhones and Android devices.
- Someone doesn’t want to pay more: Uber has sued the NYC Taxi and Limo Commission to block a rate increase for its drivers, set to begin December 19, Rebecca reports.