Coinbase, Clubhouse and the inevitable conflict of competition – TechCrunch

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Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange, announced this week that it will launch its own NFT platform to compete with OpenSea. Some techies pointed out that both Coinbase as well as OpenSea were backed by Andreessen Horowitz. This raises questions about potential conflicts between the two platforms. It is unclear if a16z sold any shares in Coinbase after it went public.

The idea of having two competitive companies in the same portfolio felt uncomfortable, as we discussed this week on Equity. This could affect how open each company is to its investors and, as we learned with Hinge Health if there are overlaps in advisers, it can lead to tension. It's an argument that is valid.

Is it me or is competitive conflict a given? Venture firms, especially one like a16z, grow and the notion that portfolio companies in booming industries like crypto or fintech should not overlap in vision seems unrealistic. Clubhouse, another venture firm backed by a16z, was faced with a whole wave of competitors upon its debut. I joked that it was only a matter time before one of the portfolio companies of the firm pivots to social media.

Competitive conflict will only increase in a world that is booming and has rapid deal-making. Startups are held to a higher standard if they copy others. A shared investor will not be your problem if a startup is able to copy your idea and win completely based on it. There should be processes to ensure that your board member doesn't sit in meetings with your closest competitor. But, outside of extreme cases, it is difficult to define what constitutes conflicts.

I know it sounds harsh, but this is my first reaction. You can always have your competitor's lunch. But in OpenSea, it might just mean that you need to go a little deeper.

You can follow me @nmasc_ on Twitter or listen to my Equity podcast. I was also a guest on Here & Now this week to discuss the evolution of edtechs!

Fund for South Asian female entrepreneurs

Being a South Asian woman, I was thrilled to see the new fund manager world receive a fresh influx of my people. Neythri futures Fund announced the closing of a $10 million fund that included investments from top South Asian women and men.

Here's what you should know: According to Mythili Sankaran (founding managing partner), the fund brought together 200 investors. These included 90% South Asian women, and 70% of first-time investors. AngelList was responsible for the creation of the fund. AngelList has been developing a suite SaaS tools to assist venture capitalists.

More money, less problems:

ClassPass has taken the plunge and walked off the treadmill to a new track

Mindbody acquired ClassPass in an all stock deal that got over half of the TC staff excited. Mindbody purchased ClassPass to fill the demand for workout classes, and Mindbody provided software that would allow boutique shops and fitness centers to run more efficiently.

Let's find out: It felt smart and sensual, which are two words that should be associated when talking about acquisitions.

The Mindbody/ClassPass entity can grow tremendously by combining its forces. Mindbody will offer the opportunity to sign up for ClassPass studios without booking software Lanman estimates that about one-third of ClassPass studios do not use booking software. Mindbody's consumer-facing company will be able to get access to the studios and double their experience by signing up to a ClassPass subscription. ClassPass could also be offered to gyms and studios who use Mindbody for their la carte bookings. Jordan Crook

M&A is gone

Two travel stories in one: A tale of two adventures

TechCrunch's Equity team examined how two travel-focused startups have reacted to the pandemic and adapted. One startup focused on flexible living while another chose to go into fintech.

Here's the scoop: TripActions grew from $0 in revenue up to $7.25 Billion in value. How did this happen? Mary Ann reports that TripActions leveraged the fintech product it had just launched one month before the pandemic. This gave it growth and the ability to help customers with expense management. This news reminds us that every startup is eventually a fintech company.

Fintech & friends:

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Talk soon

N

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