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The Quiet Rise of Google’s New Head of Search

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When Google CEO Sundar Pichai reshuffled his most senior executives earlier this summer, he gave one of the biggest jobs to Prabhakar Raghavan, a former Yahoo research director who had earned acclaim within Google for technology predicting what Gmail users planned to type. Raghavan now heads search and ad products, business lines that together generated $135 billion in revenue last year, or 83% of its total—units Pichai once led. 

Raghavan, 59, will now play a pivotal role in helping Google rebound from what could be its worst year as a public company. He comes to the position after holding various functions at Google, including oversight of the team that launched Zoom competitor Meet, and authoring foundational academic work on web search. He’s expected to move more aggressively than his predecessor to jump-start revenue growth from search engine ads, which fell 10% in the second quarter. Success here is fraught with risks: Antitrust investigators are already scouring for proof that Google leverages its search power to quash competition.

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/the-quiet-rise-of-googles-new-head-of-search

Venture Capital

The Startup Trap Quibi Fell Into (and I Almost Did Too)

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This week, Tom and Jessica broke the news that Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg had told people the video startup might have to shut down and then—a day later—reported the shutdown officially.

I’m very proud of their excellent work, and I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with digital media startup stories. I am, after all, a digital media founder. And in every story I read about a failed or successful media startup, I can’t help think back to my own experience these past seven years at The Information.

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/the-startup-trap-quibi-fell-into-and-i-almost-did-too

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Venture Capital

Next Week’s Earnings Traffic Jam: The Information’s Tech Briefing

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It may be hard to believe, but next week is the last week before the election. Perhaps for that reason, the five big tech firms all decided to release their September quarter profit details next week. That’s fine, except that four of them—Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook—decided to do it on the same day, Thursday, at about the same time.

Twitter is also reporting that day. So expect a traffic jam of earnings reports on Thursday. But don’t worry, we’ve got your covered: Read down for details on what’s expected for each.

Next week will have other big tech news: On Wednesday, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai will appear before a Senate committee examining “whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has outlived its usefulness.” Expect some fireworks from that hearing!

Source: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/next-weeks-earnings-traffic-jam-the-informations-tech-briefing

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Private Equity

Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint

This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth […]

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This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth mode, and investors back into the check-writing arena.

Boston has been an exemplar of the trend, with early pandemic caution dissolving into rapid-fire dealmaking as summer rolled into fall.

We collated new data that underscores the trend, showing that Boston’s third quarter looks very solid compared to its peer groups, and leads greater New England’s share of American venture capital higher during the three-month period.

For our October look at Boston and its startup scene, let’s get into the data and then understand how a new cohort of founders is cropping up among the city’s educational network.

A strong Q3, a strong 2020

Boston’s third quarter was strong, effectively matching the capital raised in New York City during the three-month period. As we head into the fourth quarter, it appears that the silver medal in American startup ecosystems is up for grabs based on what happens in Q4.

Boston could start 2021 as the number-two place to raise venture capital in the country. Or New York City could pip it at the finish line. Let’s check the numbers.

According to PitchBook data shared with TechCrunch, the metro Boston area raised $4.34 billion in venture capital during the third quarter. New York City and its metro area managed $4.45 billion during the same time period, an effective tie. Los Angeles and its own metro area managed just $3.90 billion.

In 2020 the numbers tilt in Boston’s favor, with the city and surrounding area collecting $12.83 billion in venture capital. New York City came in second through Q3, with $12.30 billion in venture capital. Los Angeles was a distant third at $8.66 billion for the year through Q3.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/23/boston-startups-expand-regions-venture-capital-footprint/

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