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Daily Crunch: ClassPass becomes a unicorn

Anthony Ha

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1. ClassPass, finally a unicorn, raises $285 million in new funding

ClassPass launched in 2013 to give people an easier way to work out. The company partners with boutique fitness studios, letting users search through that inventory and book a class all from their smartphone.

Since launch, ClassPass has implemented several different business models, trying to find the right unit economics. More recently, the company has introduced variable pricing — instead of users paying a monthly fee for three, five or 10 classes per month, they could use their virtual ClassPass currency to sign up for classes and pay based on the demand around those classes.

2. Sonos sues Google over alleged patent infringement on smart speaker tech

The lawsuit specifically calls out Google for five alleged patent violations, including technologies that allow their speakers to wirelessly communicate and synchronize with each other. Sonos also claims that Amazon is infringing on its IP, but that the company can only afford to take on one tech titan.

3. App Store customer spending hit record $1.42B from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Eve

Apple this morning released a year-end retrospective of its Services business, which includes the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud and, new in 2019, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Card. To date, App Store developers have earned more than $155 billion, Apple says — and a quarter of those earnings came in the last year alone.

4. Here’s everything Google announced at CES 2020

Just about everything Google is showing off at CES 2020 is focused around the company’s voice-powered AI helper, Google Assistant, with new features like webpage reading, scheduled actions, sticky notes and speed dial.

5. What to expect in digital media in 2020

As we start 2020, the media and entertainment sectors are in flux. New technologies are enabling new types of content, streaming platforms in multiple content categories are spending billions in their fight for market share and the interplay between social platforms and media is a central topic of global political debate. (Extra Crunch membership required.)

6. Getaround is latest SoftBank portfolio company to announce layoffs

The Information, which first reported the news, pegs the layoffs at 150 employees, amounting to around a quarter of the company. In the report, CEO Sam Zaid seemed to lay at least some of the blame for the layoffs on the effects of SoftBank’s recent struggles.

7. Ben Horowitz will explain how to create and sustain culture at TC Early Stage SF

In addition to authoring multiple books with practical advice for entrepreneurs, Horowitz sits on the boards of 14 portfolio companies, including Okta, Lyft, Foursquare, Genius, Medium and Databricks. So there should be plenty to learn from him at TC Early Stage come April 28 in San Francisco.