Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Canadian and Italian prime ministers bickered publicly at the G7 summit over LGBTQ rights, Tubi has been accused of gender discrimination, and parties are a big market for this cofounder. Happy Tuesday!
– Party time. Shreya Murthy cofounded Partiful in 2020. In a way, she had the worst timing—and the best timing.
The tech platform helps people plan events. Rather than rounding up emails, Partiful hosts send a link to their invited guests, who enter their phone numbers to receive communications via SMS.
Of course, 2020 was a tough time for partying. Although in-person events slowed for a while, pandemic lockdowns made people appreciate the value of real-life social connections, Murthy told me at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit last week. “In the past, we almost took socializing for granted,” the Partiful CEO said. “And that’s really changed.”
But over the past three years, Partiful has become popular with Gen Z users, and its branding leans into that audience. The startup has used the taglines “[parties] for hot people” and it was christened the “least cringe” way to get people to go to your party by the New York Times.
But other cohorts are quickly adopting it as well. Chipotle recently partnered with Partiful to run a Cinco de Mayo promotion, though Murthy says Partiful isn’t trying to attract corporate users. (She notes that party hosts don’t gain direct access to their attendees’ contact information, making the platform incompatible with business marketing.)
Another early challenge was investors’ reluctance to back two young female founders with a “party-planning startup,” Murthy remembers. (Her cofounder is CTO Joy Tao.) “Very few people took us seriously,” she says.
But investors have come around, too, won over by Partiful’s growth and society’s renewed appreciation for in-person connection following COVID lockdowns. Partiful raised a $20 million Series A round last year from backers including Andreessen Horowitz and Initialized Capital.
“Parties are not this frivolous waste of time. They’re how we build community. There’s something electrifying about being in a room with people,” Murthy says. “It’s not a new consumer behavior—it goes back to our days of forming into tribes. Something that has the potential to touch the lives of everyone—yeah, that’s a big market.”
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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Round 2. Writer E. Jean Carroll is seeking new damages from Donald Trump for insults he made on CNN one day after Carroll won an assault and defamation case against the former president. The earlier verdict awarded Carroll $5 million in damages from Trump. The new filing argues that Trump's comments on CNN "show the depth of his malice toward Carroll" and she seeks a “very substantial" additional sum. New York Times
- What's next? The question of who will succeed Jamie Dimon as CEO of JPMorgan has resurfaced as leaders of other Wall Street institutions have announced plans to step down. Analysts say Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak, co-CEOs of JPMorgan's consumer and community banking, are at the top of the list of potential contenders. If one of them is promoted, she will have to figure out what's next for the massive financial institution. New York Times
- Behind closed doors. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been sounding the alarm over the debt ceiling in public for weeks. In private, those warnings are even more fierce. In two closed-door conversations, she said that independent forecasters have confirmed her estimate that the country will run out of money in early June, an estimate that some Republican senators have questioned. Axios
- Out in the open. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had an unusually public spat over LGBTQ rights at the G7 summit last week. Meloni has instructed city councils to only document the biological parent of children born to same-sex couples, which she says follows a court ruling. Trudeau said he was concerned with Italy's position on the matter; she called him a “the victim of fake news." Bloomberg
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Fetch founder Melonee Wise will be the CTO at Agility Robotics. At Mercedes-Benz, Melody Lee was named CMO and Heike Scheuble was promoted to managing director of Mercedes-Benz Vans. Rachana Desai Martin will be the chief government and external relations officer at the Center for Reproductive Rights. Asha Talwar is going to be the CEO of Covey. Hero Media hired Lauren Maillian as the president of digital innovation.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- Beyond business success. Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden and founder Reese Witherspoon built the production company behind Daisy Jones & The Six and The Last Thing He Told Me six years ago. Candle Media acquired the company for $900 million in 2021. But Harden says Hello Sunshine owes much of its success to its push for greater representation across the entertainment industry. Fast Company
- A.I. dangers. Timnit Gebru, the former Google A.I. ethicist who departed shortly after issuing a warning about inequality in A.I., said she endured discrimination on racial and gender lines while in academia and tech. Now, she hopes to bring awareness to who benefits and who could lose in A.I. innovation through the organization she founded, Distributed AI Research Institute. The Guardian
- Class action. Fox's streaming platform Tubi has been accused of gender discrimination. Tubi’s former chief people officer Sarah Ekstrom said in a proposed class-action suit that she was fired months after raising concerns about women's treatment at the company. The lawsuit claims that Tubi paid women 28% less than men and offered them fewer promotions. (Tubi has called the claims "meritless.") Bloomberg
- Keeping the faith. Elise Hoffmann is part of the trio behind Washington, D.C.-based investing firm Marshfield Associates. The firm takes a somewhat unconventional approach to investing by avoiding buzzy tech and sticking to stocks they believe in—even through rough patches. Case in point: They snapped up Chipotle's cheap stock during the E. coli health scare; shares quadrupled over the next four years. Forbes
ON MY RADAR
Inside a billionaire bee colony Forbes
Samantha Irby is in her ‘ancient era’ Elle
Creating psychological safety for Black women at your company Harvard Business Review
Janelle Monáe is back from the future and ready to play Rolling Stone
“I’m telling you, anything interesting you want to do, anything meaningful you want to accomplish, it is waiting for you. It is possible for you. But it is on the other side of a big risk‚ on the other side of a big bet.”
–Today coanchor Savannah Guthrie telling Georgetown Law grads about her "big bet" to interrupt her journalism career to go to law school
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