Startup Kangaroo Indicates Plans to Close; Roblox Rewards CreatorsRead More

Venture Capital

Where Did All the Vests Go?: Inside Venture Capital’s Summer Disappearance Act

Hi, welcome to your Weekend! 

If you’re reading this from somewhere along the Mediterranean or the East End of Long Island, you’re apparently not alone. As my colleague Erin Woo reports in this week’s cover story, a sizable chunk of tech’s investing class has traded deal-chasing for chaise-lounging recently.

While a summer slowdown is sort of the norm for tech—it is mid-July after all, who wants to close deals?—some suspect that the Valley’s Griswolds act is also a clean excuse. “I think it has way way less to do with the fact that it is ‘summer’ now and more that no one knows how to price in this market.”

That’s what our “intern” Sam Lessin—the Slow Ventures VC married to my boss Jessica—wrote in for The Information’s sharp new Forum site. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should. It’s got positive early-2000s-message-board vibes that others are already admiring.

And while you’re at it, take a minute to fill out your Profile for our new reader Directory. Next week, I’ll share some data about our readers’ favorite weekend destinations. Expect sand.

the big read

‘If I Miss a Deal, It’s—Whatever’: Venture Investors Throw in the Beach Towel

It’s summertime and for Silicon Valley’s VCs—if not its startup founders—the living is easy. “Almost the entire industry has closed their laptops and gone to Europe,” said Katelin Holloway, a founding partner at Seven Seven Six. But while the dealmakers are taking a long-overdue breather, founders are left to sweat it out. Erin reports on our summer of disconnect.  

the 1:1

‘The Truth Had Been Distorted Beyond Recognition’: Lulu Cheng Meservey on Joining the Activision Board and Defending Free Speech on Substack

More outspoken than even her company’s founders, the 36-year-old head of communications at Substack is making a name for herself as a ferocious free-speech fighter. Adam Lashinsky chats with Meservey about her willingness to defend bad takes on the internet and her two-way vetting of Activision. 

my life's work

How an Invite and a Pivot Changed Everything for the Founders of Atoms

To call Waqas Ali and Sidra Qasim’s startup journey “improbable” would be an epic understatement. When they arrived at Y Combinator from Pakistan in 2015, they weren’t yet fluent in English. Seven years later, they’re the inspirational figures behind Atoms, the craft sneaker brand and mask manufacturer whose wares have been worn by Brad Pitt, Serena Williams, and Colin Kaepernick.

Watching: Stars throwing shade at their VFX team
If you ever find yourself publicizing a Marvel film that is heavily dependent on visual effects, maybe don’t dump on the VFX artists? That’s essentially what “Thor: Love and Thunder” director Taika Waititi and star Tessa Thompson did in a “Notes on a Scene” video they recorded for Vanity Fair. The VFX community was not pleased, with defenders taking to Twitter to slam Marvel’s poor working conditions, low pay, and bad bedside manner. If either Waititi or Thompson have apologized, they’ve kept their mea culpas analog.

Reading: A made-for-Bollywood cricket scam
Indian cricket is no stranger to match-fixing scandals. But the sport has never seen a scam quite as brazen—and hilarious—as the one pulled off by a group of farm laborers  in a remote village of Gujarat. Using five HD cameras, some clever video editing and a live YouTube feed, the group faked a pro cricket season for an audience of Russian gamblers. The details, as captured by the Times of India, are pure Holly—or Bolly—wood. We’d cast Dev Patel as the group’s plucky ringleader who, having just returned from eight months working in a Russian gambling pub, hires 21 of his closest friends to pretend to be pro cricketers, umpires and BBC announcers, and then watches the rubles flow in.

Noticing: The legal complaint of the century
You’ve no doubt heard that Twitter is suing Elon Musk. But have you read the actual legal complaint? It is the “Gone Girl” of court filings: a page-turning two-hander written by a legal department with so many axes to grind, they should automate an ax factory. “Musk apparently believes that he—unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law—is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away,” writes the Twitter legal team. (One legal commentator’s reaction: “Real, genuine, Biglaw joy.”) Musk’s lawyers have already begun to rebut the claims. But the comebacks have been a little lackluster lately.

Makes You Think

This way, they can still add value from the beach!

Until next Weekend, thanks for reading.


Weekend Editor, The Information

Jon Steinberg is the Weekend Editor at The Information. He is a former editor-in-chief of San Francisco magazine and senior editor at New York magazine, where his work won many National Magazine Awards.
Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Blackstone Plans to Back Tech Startups in $2 Billion–Plus Lending Push
Viral Patel, global head of technology investing for Blackstone Credit. Art by Clark Miller.
Private equity giant Blackstone is gearing up to make its first major push into lending to startups and technology companies—joining a corner of the debt market that’s quickly heating up. The firm expects to invest at least $2 billion in technology debt deals over the next few years, including venture debt, deals with pre–initial public offering startups and deals with...
Latest Briefs
Warby Parker Slashes Revenue Guidance, Moves Forward With Brick-and-Mortar Expansion
China Investigates Executives at Big Semiconductor Investment Fund
SoftBank Expects $34 Billion Gain From Sale of Alibaba Shares
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Data Point Google Facebook
Why Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai Are Worried About Productivity
Executives at Facebook parent Meta Platforms and Google parent Alphabet are feeling the pressure, so they’re giving employees a kick in the pants.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read
‘He’s Making Up a World He Wants to Attack’: How Vivek Ramaswamy Became a Right-Wing Culture Warrior
Riley Moore had never met the man seated next to him. The state treasurer of West Virginia, Moore had come to a conservative retreat in the state’s storied Greenbrier resort in May 2021 to talk about a letter he and 14 other Republican state treasurers had just written to the Biden administration’s climate envoy, John Kerry.
Illustration by Jesus Escudero.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Debt Is Back for Startups Shut Out of IPO Market
Tech startups that had been eager to go public this year have been forced to put those plans on ice amid the market meltdown.
Art by Clark Miller.
Venture Capital Startups
Venture Capital’s Limited Partners Warn of Fundraising Slowdown
The era of easy money could be over for venture capital firms. Although VC fundraising has so far matched last year’s brisk pace, limited partners—the people and institutions that invest in VC funds—say a slowdown is afoot.
Enterprise Power List Venture Capital Enterprise
Introducing The Information’s Enterprise Tech Power List
The biggest battle in tech is happening where most consumers can’t see it: the cloud. And a new cast of executives and investors are increasingly calling the shots—making decisions about the future of the battle with trillions of dollars at stake.
Photo by Alaska Air Group.
For Meta’s Next CFO Susan Li, Metaverse Dreams Mean Real-World Challenges
When Meta Platforms reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline last month, the Facebook parent company also made a key promotion with little fanfare: 36-year-old finance executive Susan Li would become chief financial officer in the fall, replacing longtime CFO Dave Wehner, who held the role for eight years and would transition to a strategy role.