Better.com CEO Vishal Garg Says He’s Seeking $750M SoftBank Loan – TechCrunch
Subscribe here to receive a roundup of TechCrunch’s Biggest, Most Important Stories, delivered to your inbox each day at 3pm PT.
It’s Friday the 13th and I hope nothing bad has happened to you today. At least the weekend is here! At least you can catch up on the latest news from Terraform Labs – Binance halted Luna and UST trading – and some great podcasts from your favorite TechCrunchers. And secure your “seat” for our TechCrunch live event on June 1st in Columbus. Until Monday! – Christine
The TechCrunch Top 3
- If Elon doesn’t buy Twitter, at least Snoop Dogg is ready to pounce: Elon Musk tweeted earlier today that his proposed purchase of Twitter has been put on hold while he figures out the percentage of fake accounts using the social media channel. Though he also tweeted that he “remains committed to the acquisition,” I enjoyed watching Snoop Dogg tweet his desire to maybe try if Musk doesn’t. His plan for this is actually not bad.
- Dine out: In some online food ordering M&A news, Swiggy said it is acquiring Dineout, the Indian equivalent of OpenTable. This puts Swiggy squarely into the hospitality sector, which has long been dominated in the country by Zomato, whose market cap has fallen to about $5 billion. It also represents additional consolidation within a huge market trying to make sense of its pandemic surge.
- More layoffs: Natasha and Amanda have been busy catching up on the myriad tech layoffs for the last week and sadly have another list today that includes Section4, Carvana and Latch. Meta isn’t immune either.
Startups and VCs
- On the hook: That’s what Vishal Garg, CEO of Better.com, says about a $750 million loan from SoftBank. By taking over the loan personally, Garg is liable for any losses. However, the company could also be impacted as losses could force it to sell much of its Better.com holdings, which could negatively impact shares. Still a mess no matter how you look at it.
- Dress up in indie brands: China-based Body404 is betting the West will embrace the next generation of fashion designers who want to offer them something that’s not just a cheap runway knockoff. Paying off, the company is now valued at $50 million after raising $50 million in March. It’s also interesting that customers don’t send the clothes back – Body404’s return rate is around 2%, much lower than the fashion industry average of 10%.
- Revel with a cause: Frank Reig, who heads Revel, a company that builds fast charging stations for electric vehicles, has caught up Rebecca to discuss the company’s transition from moped sharing and the distance Revel has traveled to drive electric vehicle adoption.
- Watch and get paid: Our attention is valuable and often diverted in different directions. WeAre8 wants to reward you for doing what DVR has allowed us to skip for many years – watch ads. The company is run by advertising guru Sue Fennessy, who aims to divert advertising funding away from social media giants like Facebook and put it to good use.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Dutch’s $20 million Series A deck
As the CEO and founder of virtual veterinary care platform Dutch, Joe Spector originally wanted to raise $15 million Series A, but his pitch deck so expertly blended the visuals of adorable pets with market research and traction metrics that he ended up with a $20 million round completed.
With flair, Dutch’s Deck tells a compelling story of how the company used its seed funding to launch a service, establish a brand identity, build a team and expand from 12 to 32 states within three months, writes Haje Jan Kamps in the weekly pitch deck teardown.
If you’re working on a pitch deck and need inspiration, start here: All 17 slides are available to TC+ members.
(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead. Sign up here.)
Row, row, row your peloton: That’s right folks, Peloton is looking to end a tough week on a positive note by adding another oar to the competitive rowing machine market. After selling my Peloton bike in 2019, this caught my attention as I discovered my love for rowing. I hope the price is a little cheaper for my budget than the bike.
Zoom gets its customer service tag: Video communications giant acquires conversational AI company Solvvy to offer customer service experiences within Zoom’s toolset. Company stocks are on the rise in the news, so Zoom seems to have made a wise choice.
Don’t miss these stories: