🚀 Twitter takes Musk to court
Plus, how to expand as a marketplace startup!
👩⚖️ Twitter sues Elon Musk. Twitter is taking Elon Musk to court in an attempt to force him to complete his acquisition of the company. Musk announced he was terminating the $44 billion deal last week due to concerns over bot activity. Twitter’s suit claims that Musk is using bots as “an escape,” while speculating that his real concern is a decline in the stock market that has impacted his net worth.
The first court hearing for the case will be held on July 19 - while Twitter wants to go to trial this September, Musk is pushing for a February 2023 start date.
⚖️ Celsius Network declares bankruptcy. A month after freezing withdrawals, crypto lender Celsius has declared bankruptcy, claiming a $1.2B deficit. CEO Alex Mashinsky wrote that “poor asset deployment decisions,” combined with a downturn in the broader crypto market that created a “run on the bank,” led to the bankruptcy claim. Celsius has 1.7M users and another 100k creditors who the company owes a combined $4.7B to - there is likely to be a multi-year unwinding process.
📦 Prime Day hits new high. ICYMI - Amazon hosted Prime Day last week, the company’s annual two-day event featuring discounts on tens of thousands of items (for Prime members only). Third-party data suggests that U.S. Prime Day sales totaled $12B, an 8.5% increase from last year. Top selling items included the newest Apple Watch, Beats by Dre headphones, and Lego sets. Thousands of creators hosted livestream sales, which racked up more than 100M views.
💖 Match swipes right on The League. Dating behemoth Match Group, which owns Tinder and Hinge, announced it has acquired The League - a dating app for the “overly ambitious.” The League was founded in 2014, and adds new members via an admissions process. Members can use the app for free as a “guest,” or pay a membership that starts at $74 per week. The acquisition price was not disclosed.
what we’re following 👀
Snap is rolling out a full-featured platform for Web (no longer mobile-only!).
Getting fewer likes on your IG posts? You’re not alone - new data suggests that engagement for feed posts has dropped as the app prioritizes Reels.
Airlift, Pakistan’s most valuable startup, is officially shutting down.
New blog post alert! Justine published a piece on consumer marketplace expansion with her GSB classmate (and founder of Leland, a marketplace startup) John Koelliker.
Most marketplaces launch with a focus on one category or geography. For example, Amazon only offered books and DoorDash was limited to Palo Alto. Eventually, they have to expand - but it can be hard to know when is the right time and where to go next. Startups have limited resources, so these types of decisions are crucial!
We talked with operators & investors across 30+ successful marketplaces and wrote a guide to when, where, and how to expand. You can click through to the tweet ⬆️ to see our main takeaways, or read the full post - there’s some fascinating examples of both successful and failed expansions.
A few of the topics we cover:
What types of marketplaces should expand most quickly?
Should you allow competitors to pressure you into expanding?
How should you prioritize across multiple expansion opportunities?
Is it okay to “do things that don’t scale” when kickstarting a new market?
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