A 300 times return, inside McDonald’s CEO change, and what’s next for WeWork

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A 300 times return, inside McDonald’s CEO change, and what’s next for WeWork

Category : entrepreneur


While most of Wall Street was focused on deal talks between Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade this week, another financial services deal caught my eye. 

Honey, which makes a browser extension that surfaces coupons while you shop online, sold to PayPal for $4 billion in cash. As Melia Russell reported, the acquisition gives new meaning to the term “sweet deal.”

Honey faced rejection from VCs for two years before raising a seed round of $1.8 million in 2014 from Mucker Capital, Bam Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, SXE Ventures, and an angel investor. 

Richard Jun, a cofounder and managing director of Bam Ventures, told Melia Bam put $150,000 into Honey’s seed round. Its investment is worth 300 times that after the acquisition, which comes out to $45 million.

The deal is emblematic of an evolution in the payments space, where more companies are looking to move beyond just moving money.

An Andreessen Horowitz general partner told Shannen Balogh for example that Uber and Apple are just the start, and eventually every company will want to be a fintech. Citi Ventures meanwhile is betting on cars that pay their own bills, and its co-head of investing envisions a future where your devices make payments without you.

Inside McDonald’s CEO change

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook’s termination as CEO earlier this month following a relationship with a female coworker sent shock waves through the massive fast-food chain, according to Kate Taylor. 

This week she published three stories on the CEO change focused on the immediate aftermath of Easterbrook’s exit, and new CEO Chris Kempczinski’s efforts to win over employees and franchisees since. Check them out:

  • The chaotic aftermath of the McDonald’s CEO’s termination
  • The new McDonald’s CEO’s quest to win over the massive fast-food giant
  • The 1,000 word memo McDonald’s new CEO sent to help calm down employees after his sudden, turbulent takeover

Marcelo Claure

Marcelo Claure.

What’s next for WeWork

WeWork this week laid off 2,400 employees, and Meghan Morris got the inside track on the all-staff meeting that followed.

The embattled company’s path to profitability will focus on six pillars, chairman Marcelo Claure said at the meeting, while four men were named to executive roles.

Some WeWork employees believe working for the company has hurt their careers, Julie Bort reported. Meanwhile, WeWork’s competitors say they’re ready to hire hundreds next year as they expand.

In related news:

  • Adam Neumann personally invested tens of millions in startups while he ran WeWork. Troy Wolverton asked founders who took his money to reveal what it was like.
  • Megan Hernbroth reported that Zume, the robotic pizza maker that SoftBank valued at $1 billion, has lost several top execs and appears to have moved away from robots, even as it seeks new money.


It’s not just WeWork that’s seen layoffs as we head towards the end of the year.

  • Juul laid off 650 workers after federal investigations rocked the company. Tanya Dua talked to some of those who were affected to find out how it was handled and what they saw leading up to it.
  • Graham Rapier got the inside track on Lyft’s deal with Gett, which will see 99 engineers in Belarus move to Lyft and roughly 100 US employees laid off.
  • Lauren Johnson was first to report the closure of storied ad-tech company IgnitionOne, and published the letter it sent to shareholders. 
  • Patrick Coffee reported that Spotify laid off about 30 in ad sales after missing internal revenue goals.
  • Dell-owned Pivotal is preparing for as many as 150 layoffs ahead of its $2.7 billion acquisition by VMware, Rosalie Chan reported. Employees are openly protesting management over it.
  • Jeremy Berke got the internal memo revealing why hot California cannabis startup Canndescent quietly laid off 16 workers just days before closing a big funding round.

What have we missed? Let me know!

— Matt

An invitation

We’re hosting an event focused on smart cities in Washington, DC on Tuesday, December 10. The event will explore the impact of various technologies transforming cities, mobility, digital equity, the evolving regulatory and policy environment — and the investment opportunities these innovations create.

Speakers include Lindsey Parker, chief technology officer for the City of Washington, DC, and Michael Sherwood, the director for innovation and technology for the City of Las Vegas.

Click here for more information, and to apply to attend!

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About Author

Sammy Singh

Global VC, Founder, and entrepreneur extraordinaire as featured in Inc. Magazine, Bloomberg, and Forbes. Sammy Singh is a graduate of UCLA and Wharton School of Business as well as a former student of Loyola University of Chicago. Sammy is best known as a renowned financial technology global entrepreneur and has founded over 26 different firms across industry and all over the world. He is a venture capitalist,a TV/ Film actor, tax specialist, and marketing solutions strategist. Connect with Sammy Singh on social media below!

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