There were several reports yesterday on the fate of Yik Yak, the flailing social messaging app that had been valued at around $400 million in 2014 by VC firms like Sequoia Capital and DCM. First by Fortune, and then by The Verge ― the latter of which mentioned that payments company Square was among the potential suitors.

  • Asset-light: As both stories said, this would be an acqui-hire of what likely amounts to just a small number of engineers. Nobody, including Square, has any interest in the actual Yik Yak IP.
  • Doublebacker: Sequoia partner Roelof Botha is on the board of Square, but the immateriality of this deal (were it to happen) makes it unlikely that it would rise to the level of a board vote. Also worth noting that Yik Yak is a reminder that even the best VCs can blow a deal in the exact same space as their greatest win, since Sequoia's partner here was WhatsApp lead Jim Goetz.
  • Location, location, location: The real appeal of Yik Yak for potential acqui-hirers may be getting to hire an Atlanta-based team (read: cheaper than a San Francisco-based team with the same skill set).

Go deeper

Virtual Emmys address chaotic year for American TV and society

Emmy Host Jimmy Kimmel during rehearsals Friday for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 30,919,638 — Total deaths: 959,332— Total recoveries: 21,152,996Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30p.m. ET: 6,799,141 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.