Discover more from Decentralized Economy by Connor Leech
Decentralized Economy #13
Bold action from the Federal Trade Commission & Securities and Exchange Commission. New startup funding rounds, features on Employbl and tech job listings.
Hey it’s been a while but back with another newsletter about decentralizing the economy. In this issue I’ll put out some stories from the web about macro factors that are decentralizing power in the United States. I’ll also share recent startup funding rounds and some improvements we’ve made to Employbl. If you’re looking for a new job in tech reply to this email and I’ll do what I can to help.
Decentralized Economy News
These are links of things happening in the American economy to decentralize economic power.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which is in charge or reviewing and challenging mega-mergers is updating it’s requirements so that companies have to provide basic info when they file to acquire another business. The basic info includes things like why they’re trying to acquire the company, what other companies they’ve acquired and current business relationships. The FTC is an understaffed agency that has to review thousands of mergers each year as financiers buy up and consolidate our economy. This change has Wall Street investment bankers that make their money on mergers & acquisitions (M&A) freaking out and that’s a good thing. Read more
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is cracking down on Private Equity (PE) middlemen. Private Equity companies take money from insurance companies, institutional funds, wealthy people and pensions to invest in buying things outside of the stock market… i.e. equities that are private. Private. Equity. Get it? (That hadn’t clicked for me for a long time..) There are a lot of stories about PE firms buying up private companies like hospitals or cybersecurity companies like SolarWinds then firing everyone or degrading the quality. Also when a PE fund buys a company the company assumes the debt, not the PE firm, which I’ve never understood. Anyway the economic model is a large part of why we can’t have nice things like an American manufacturing sector or Toy R’ Us. The SEC is putting new rules on the investment side, mandating the PE firms disclose their fees and provide independent valuations of their portfolio companies to investors. The rules are aimed at increasing transparency and driving down fees. Read more.
Meta is trying to say that because they paid $5 billion for breaking the law in 2020 they don’t have to follow the law in the future or respect the FTC administrative order to stop monetizing the personal data of minors. Monopolies use their excess profits to buy lobbyists, lawyers and politicians. I’m glad Lina Khan at the FTC is standing up to them. Read more.
There’s a West Coast 🦀 crab 🦀 monopoly run by Pacific Seafood but small fisherman are fighting back to decentralize economic power. Read more
It’s hard to make a living in font design since one company Monotype, which acquired MyFonts controls most of the market. They take a whopping 50% of whatever independent font designers can sell their fonts for. These winner-take-all marketplaces that buy up competitors need to be regulated. If every font looks the same to you this is one reason why. Read more.
The T-Mobile CEO told Congress that if they bought Sprint it would add thousands of jobs. Instead they’re firing tens of thousands — from 81,000 employees down to 66,000 employees. When executives talk to politicians they promise the moon then turn around and do whatever they want. There should be penalties. Read more.
Amazon might be buying ESPN from Disney. Big companies collude. We should break them up. Read more.
Google and Nvidia are pumping money into AI startups like Hugging Face that will be big customers for them. There’s precedent of people going to prison for fooling Wall St analysts with inflated revenue numbers. At a $4.5 billion valuation there could be something fishy going on here. 🤖 Read more.
Recent Funding rounds
These are recent private market funding rounds of newish startups in the American tech scene.
Thunderbirds.me out of Orlando, Florida raised a $4 million dollar seed round for Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Generative AI, NLP, LLM framework. They get the prize for the most buzzwords. Gotta work in blockchain and Web3 somehow 😜
Treehouse AI electric vehicle charging startup out of Detroit, Michigan raised a $10 million Series A.
Daybreak Health raised $13 million Series B from Union Square Ventures, Y Combinator and Lightspeed Venture Partners to help teens connect with therapists. I think some Venture Capitalists are definitely going to be sending their kids to therapy with this app. Won’t be long before school districts are buying in.
Axena Health out of Massachusetts raised $26 million to help women with pelvic floor disorders.
And many more.. I’m working on building more functionality for you to explore the data yourself. For now head over to the funding rounds page on Employbl.
Startup Job Openings
Lots of startups hiring now! If you’re looking for a new job head on over to the Jobs page to view active, open roles. Please reply with what type of job you’re looking for and I’ll do my best to help.
New & Updated Pages on Employbl
These are some updates & improvements we've made to the Employbl website.
Added a new page featuring Venture Capital Firms. You can click on the name of each VC to learn more about the firm and see the portfolio companies. I’d like to display recent investments the firm has made on those pages too 📈
Discover companies that use various tech stacks like AWS, Python, Next.js or Laravel. Very excited about this as it’s important for job seekers to be able to target companies that use the same tools as they do.
Working on building a new employer onboarding flow. If you’d like to feature your tech company or startup with a badass, premium profile on Employbl let me know! We’re working on the signup process now :)