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Re/wind: Two IPOs, More Tinder Drama and Adele Still Owns You

Square and the Match Group go public, R.I.P. Rdio and more Gawker restructuring.

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Two multibillion-dollar tech companies successfully went public on Thursday, and a beloved and little-used music streaming service was laid to rest. Even more people left Yahoo, and more VCs predicted that the end is nigh for many unicorn startups. Here are the headlines that powered Re/code this week:

  1. Jack Dorsey took Square public on Thursday, and the company’s value increased by almost half in its first day of trading. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that it priced its initial shares at $9 the day before, well below the $11 to $13 range it had previously announced. In an interview with Re/code, Dorsey talked about how he wants to bring back Square Wallet, the mobile payments app that the company abandoned in 2014. He hinted that it could be resurrected through Square Cash, the company’s new money-transfer app for individuals and businesses, whose price Square has quietly raised twice in recent months.
  2. The IAC-controlled Match Group also went public on Thursday, and received a nice share-price pop, too, in spite of the controversy surrounding the IPO. On Wednesday, the London Evening Standard published an interview with Tinder CEO Sean Rad (Match Group owns Tinder), in which Rad seemed like he was daring himself to say progressively dumber things as the conversation went on. The Match Group was forced to revise its SEC filing to disavow the interview (the author cited analyst user estimates that may have violated SEC “quiet period” rules), and Vanity Fair journalist Nancy Jo Sales published an open letter to Rad in response to specific threats made about her in the Standard interview. Okay, then!
  3. Rdio, a much-beloved and little-used music streaming service started by the dudes behind Skype, closed down this week. Pandora bought what remained, for about $75 million, and it plans to offer an Apple Music-like streaming subscription service next year. Relatedly, the maker of the Aether Cone speaker also shut down; it was powered by Rdio.
  4. Gawker Media laid off seven people, opened up six new jobs, and announced that was pivoting to focus primarily on politics, as the 2016 election heats up. The company also brought in a new COO, Josh Albertson, formerly of Vox Media*.
  5. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures is the latest well-known investor to warn that the party is coming to a close for many unicorn startups with inflated valuations. Re/code reader and Martha Stewart Living CEO Daniel Dienst emailed us with an alternative term for such companies — “geldings.”
  6. Since the Paris attacks, major tech companies have kept mum about user data encryption, something that’s long been a point of tension between them and world governments. The dispute is shaping up to become a point of contention in the 2016 presidential election, even though it’s not clear how it figures into the way the Paris attackers communicated beforehand.
  7. Brent Bushnell and Eric Gradman, co-founders of the Two-Bit Circus, sat in the Red Chairs on this week’s episode of the “Re/code Decode” podcast with Kara Swisher. The pair discuss how pyrotechnics can turn kids on to STEM, and where you can catch their STEAM Carnival tour.
  8. Adele’s “25” dropped this week, and even though it’s one of the most anticipated albums of the year, it’s not available to stream. Why? Because Adele, like Taylor Swift, can make more money by forcing people to buy it instead of letting them stream it.
  9. Some rare good news from a big chipmaker! Intel revised its revenue guidance and general 2016 outlook upward, which made Wall Street pretty happy.
  10. Google has big plans for its cloud computing unit, aiming to make it an even bigger competitor to Amazon Web Services within the next few years. To help accomplish that, it has tapped VMware founder and Google board member Diane Greene as cloud chief.

* Vox Media owns this website.

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