The Platform Stack #4
Direct: The Rise of the Middleman Economy and the Power of Going to the Source “The very attributes that make middlemen good connectors also give them outsized power. In time, this enables them to expand their domains, entrench the need for their services, contort consumer decision making, and otherwise promote their interests at the expense of those they are meant to serve.”
The author argues that the costs of middlemen is multiplying and go beyond mere economic hazards and represent an artificial intermediary that diminishes the integrity of direct exchange. - Kathryn Judge
The “Hollow Abstraction” of Web3 Read/listen to know what happens when the proponents of Web3, Packy McCormick & Marc Andreessen are asked to articulate concrete use cases of Web3 without abstraction - Charlie Warzel (Galaxy Brain)
Alphabet is spending billions to become a force in health care “America’s five tech behemoths have spent billions on various health-care bets. Some of their earlier health-related investments are starting to pay off.” - The Economist🔒
“Digital Colonization” of Highly Regulated Industries: An analysis of Big Tech platforms’ entry into health care and education - Hakan Ozalp, Pinar Ozcan , Dize Dinckol, Markos Zachariadis
Spotify, Netflix, and Aggregation Ben Thompson revisits the Aggregation Theory and explains how Spotify’s is a better Aggregator than Netflix. “The only way you can truly control demand — the tell-tale sign of an Aggregator — is to have fully commoditized and infinitely scalable supply; streaming video fails on the former, and ride-sharing on the latter.” - Ben Thompson (Stratechery)
Dehumanization Is a Feature of Gig Work, Not a Bug - “Depersonalization of app workers is a feature, not a bug, of an economic model born of and emboldened by transformations that are underway across the global economy. This includes increasingly prevalent work arrangements characterized by weak employer-worker relations (independent contracting), strong reliance on technology (algorithmic management, platform-mediated communication), and social isolation (no coworkers and limited customer interactions).” Eric M. Anicich (HBR)
Flexing and floundering in the on-demand economy: Narrative identity construction under algorithmic management - Eric M. Anicich
Insiders at $12 billion ultrafast delivery startup Getir describe a culture that chews through workers, sends delivery people to the ER, and has 'zero' chance at profitability - Alex Bitter (Business Insider)
The Garden of Magic Eden - Li Jin reflects on the journey of Magic Eden to become the go-to platform for Solana NFTs. “Magic Eden has been able to navigate some of the key tensions that web3 startups face: decentralization vs. being accountable to users, rapid scale vs. prioritizing community input and ownership, and making bold product decisions in an industry where the rules of the game are still being defined.” - Li Jin (Li’s Newsletter)
Meta introduces Instagram Reels APIs for developers Meta slowly amps up the game to compete with TikTok - TechCrunch
The Surprising Reason Your Amazon Searches Are Returning More Confusing Results than Ever Jeff Bezos wanted to build the ‘everything store’—and now the company is drowning in China-based sellers hawking the same items under a dizzying array of brands - Christopher Mims (The Wall Street Journal)
Spotify’s Billion-Dollar Bet on Podcasting Has Yet to Pay Off Joe Rogan, Bill Simmons, and Call Her Daddy haven’t fixed the business.- Lucas Shaw (Bloomberg)
TikTok Turns On the Money Machine ByteDance’s hit video app is on track to triple revenue this year to $12 billion, threatening Facebook’s hold on social media. - Zheping Huang (Bloomberg)
Deal size > $10m; includes platform companies only; non-exhaustive list
Nomad Health, a seven-year-old, New York-based digital marketplace that connects nurses to short-term medical jobs, has raised $105 million in equity and debt funding funding co-led by Icon Ventures and earlier investor Adams Street Partners.
Gloat, a New York-based internal talent marketplace that allows people to be matched to internal career opportunities nabs $90 million/Series D led by Generation Investment Management.
Deliveree, a logistic & delivery platform that operates in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand raised $70 million/Series C from Gobi Partners and SPIL Ventures
ShopUp, Bangladesh’s largest full-stack B2B commerce platform for small businesses raised $65 million/Series B in funding round from Valar Ventures.
Solv, a Bangalore-based B2B e-commerce marketplace for MSMEs has raised over ₹300 Crore/Series A led by Japan-based SBI Holdings.
Statiq, one of the biggest EV charging network in India raised $26 million/Series A from Shell Ventures.
For more visit Funding rounds at Platfirms
EXITS & IPOs
Zomato acquires Blinkit for $568 million in instant-grocery delivery push Zomato has acquired Blinkit, a struggling 10-minute grocery delivery startup, in a $568.1 million all-stock deal as the loss-making food delivery firm looks to broaden its offerings at a time when its shares are trading far below last year’s debut price and less than half of the all-time highs. - TechCrunch
The Ecosystem Canvas: How To Design A Business Ecosystem - 11th July
In this Businesss Ecoystem Alliance webinar moderated by Stuart Crainer, co-founder of Thinkers50, Elisa Farri and Gabriele Rosani from The Management Lab by Capgemini Invent will introduce a concrete framework that can help executives bridge the gap between theory and practice: the Ecosystem Canvas. And Marco Gazzino, Head of Innovation at Enel X Global Retail, will share his experience applying the Ecosystem Canvas.
Since last week, Platfirms added:
7 Deals | 12 Platform Companies | 1 Acquisition
New Feature Alert
Platfirms now has Product Jobs Board. If you’re hiring you can post a job on this board for free for 30 days.
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