Startups Weekly: The mad dash to the public markets

Hello and welcome back to Startups Weekly, a weekend newsletter that dives into the weeks noteworthy startups and venture capital news. Before I jump into todays topic, lets catch up a bit. Last week, I wrote about the differences between raising cash from angels and traditional venture capitalists. Before that, I summarized DoorDashs acquisition of Caviar.
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Its Friday morning and I dont want to dig into another IPO prospectus. The startups dont care though, theyre in a mad dash to get to the public markets, reporters be damned.
This week, three billion-dollar venture-backed unicorns unveiled S-1 filings, the paperwork necessary to complete an IPO. First came WeWork, the $47 billion co-working giant beloved by SoftBank. Then came Cloudflare, a business that provides web security and denial-of-service protection for websites. Then this morning, after we all thought it was time for a breather, teledentistry company SmileDirectClub made its filing public.
Theres plenty to read on each of these high-profile IPOs; heres a quick reading list:
WeWork reveals IPO filing

WeWorks S-1 misses these three key points

Making sense of WeWorks S-1 (or trying to)
Cloudflare files for initial public offering

Cloudflare says cutting off customers like 8chan is an IPO risk factor

In its IPO filing, Cloudflare thanks a third co-founder: Lee Holloway

SmileDirectClub files to go public amid concerns from dental associations
On to other things
Startups Weekly: The mad dash to the public markets

Meet the startups in Y Combinators summer batch

As you may know, YC summer demo days are next week. A whopping 176 companies are expected to present and well be there reporting live, as usual. In preparation, weve been cherry-picking companies in the latest batch that interest us. Heres a look at our latest more to come:

Narrator wants to become the operating system for data science

This startup is building a weed breathalyzer for cops

Lokal wants to bring local news to 900M Indians in their regional languages

Holy Grail is using machine learning to build better batteries

Shiru is developing a protein replacement for food additives

Lumineye helps first responders identify people through walls

GradJoy is a fintech startup to help you knock out your student loans

Traces AI is creating a less invasive alternative to facial recognition tracking

Equity Podcast

This was a very special week for Equity. We taped two great episodes, one in which we hung out with Axios Dan Primack in Boston, the other featuring me recording out of a New York City Blue Bottle Coffee shortly after WeWork dropped its S-1 filing. You can listen to our latest episodes here and here. Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
Extra Crunch

In our latest installment of EC-1, in which go deep on an up-and-coming startup, TechCrunchs Eric Peckham tells the founding story of Kobalt, the worlds next music tech unicorn. Heres a passage from Peckhams extensive piece: You may not have heard of Kobalt before, but you probably engage with the music it oversees every day, if not almost every hour. Combining a technology platform to better track ownership rights and royalties of songs with a new approach to representing musicians in their careers, Kobalt has risen from the ashes of the 2000 dot-com bubble to become a major player in the streaming music era. It is the leading alternative to incumbent music publishers (who represent songwriters) and is building a new model record label for the growing middle class of musicians around the world who are stars within niche audiences.
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