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1. Spotify is buying The Ringer to boost its sports podcast content
Spotify is doubling down on its podcast strategy with a big acquisition to grow its sports coverage: It announced that it’s buying The Ringer, the popular network of podcasts created and run by broadcaster Bill Simmons, with around 30 podcasts in its mix and approximately 100 million downloads per month.
“The trend that we are investing in here is that radio is moving online,” CEO Daniel Ek said in the earnings call today. “We have bought the next ESPN.”
2. Three years after raising $450M, Andreessen is back with a new $750M life sciences fund
So far, the firm has only had one exit from its life science portfolio: the $65 million acquisition of Jungla by the genetics testing firm Invitae back in 2019.
3. Disney+ already has 28.6M subscribers
On yesterday’s earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger said the streaming service — which launched in November — has grown to 28.6 million paying subscribers as of February 3. The company also says it plans to launch Hulu internationally next year.
4. The Zebra raises $38.5M as the insurance marketplace race heats up
The Zebra joins competing startups, including Insurify ($23 million), Gabi ($27 million) and Policygenius ($100 million) in raising new capital this year. Alex Wilhelm looks at why venture capitalists are putting so much money into this market.
5. Russia’s push back against big tech has major consequences for Apple
Apple’s long-running policy of not preloading third-party software onto its devices is coming up against a new piece of Russian legislation requiring every smart device to be sold with certain applications already installed. Inside the country, the policy has even been called the zakon protiv Apple, or the “law against Apple.” (Extra Crunch membership required.)
6. Tier Mobility, the European e-scooter rentals startup, adds new COO and CCO to executive team
Following Tier Mobility’s $60 million Series B late last year, the e-scooter rentals startup has been busy bolstering its C-suite.
7. Deliverr lands $40M Series C to bring two-day shipping to any merchant
Deliverr doesn’t own a warehouse or a delivery truck, but the startup is helping e-commerce companies not named Amazon achieve Amazon-like two-day shipping. Based on its understanding of markets, the company moves goods to different parts of the country, stores them in available warehouse space and uses the warehouse’s own picking systems to grab the goods.