Weekly Refresh: TikTok Deal, Stripe Pays Workers to Leave SF, and More

by Joe Erbentraut
September 21, 2020
tiktok ban san francisco tech news
Photo: Shutterstock

TikTok on the clock. It was a busy and at times disorienting week in terms of new developments concerning TikTok’s future prospects in the United States. Initially, it appeared that SF-based database and enterprise software company Oracle was primed to be taking over the U.S. operations of TikTok in order to satisfy the Trump administration’s order that Chinese company ByteDance divest from the social media sensation in the U.S. Then, the matter looked even more complicated with a threat of the app disappearing from U.S. app stores. This weekend, President Donald Trump said a deal where Oracle and Walmart partner to take over 20 percent of TikTok’s U.S. business had his “blessing,” though the president’s comments on Fox and Friends Monday morning raised new questions about the deal’s status. [Built In SF + NPR + NY Times]

Bay Area dominates Forbes’ Cloud 100. Forbes released its latest ranking of top cloud computing companies, and Bay Area companies represented nearly half the list of 100. San Mateo-based Snowflake led the ranking, with SF’s Stripe coming in second. Hashicorp and Databricks also both made the top five nationally, based on their strong growth, sales, valuation and culture. [Built In SF]

Also in San Francisco9 Bay Area Startups, Led by Affirm, Raised Over $1.1B Last Week

IPOmg. Speaking of Snowflake, the company was responsible last week for what is said to be the largest software IPO on record. Its huge market debut left its valuation at some $70 billion. Meanwhile, Unity Technologies brought in more than $1.3 billion in its own IPO, bringing the gaming company’s valuation to $13.6 billion. [MarketWatch + VentureBeat]

Not acquirin’ about it. The week in Bay Area tech was also marked by a number of big ticket acquisitions. First, GPU maker Nvidia acquired the United Kingdom-based Arm from SoftBank for a mere $40 billion. Next, experience management company Medallia scooped up LA-headquartered Sense360 for some $44 million. Finally, in a deal estimated to be worth more than $1 billion, online real estate marketplace Opendoor was acquired by venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC Social Capital Hedosophia II. The deal sets Opendoor’s valuation at $4.8 billion. [The Verge + BusinessWire + CNBC]

Stripe offers employees $20K to leave SF. The payments processor just announced that it will pay its employees who leave the large tech hubs where it has a significant presence — SF, Seattle and NYC — between now and the end of the year a one-time payment of $20,000. The catch? They’ll also see their salary cut 10 percent going forward. [Bloomberg]

Brex jumps on the “remote first” train. Fintech company Brex is the latest tech startup to embrace remote work in light of the pandemic. It is now allowing most of its employees to work from home permanently. Other SF or Bay Area companies that have taken similar steps recently include Facebook, Twitter, Okta, Upwork and Coinbase. Don’t be surprised if that list continues to grow in the weeks and months ahead as companies decide what to do with their office leases. [SF Chronicle]

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