Equity on Smash Notes

Equity podcast.

April 10, 2020

Equity is TechCrunch’s venture capital podcast. In each episode, you'll hear the stories behind the money that runs Silicon Valley. TechCrunch reporter Alex Wilhelm teams up with Danny Crichton and the most notable VCs in the industry to analyze who's raising, who's selling out and who's going public.



Recently updated notes

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a brief jumpstart for your week.

A big thanks to start to the whole Equity crew for doing a stellar job last week with the show while I was on vacation, especially to Danny for taking on this particular installment of the podcast. Equity Monday is still pretty new, frankly, so him stepping up and into the role was a huge boon. Thanks, Danny.

Right, so, what did we talk about today?


  • In the face of outrageous police action and systemic racism, most of tech -- both public and private, alike -- said something or did something in the last few days. We go over some of the latest statements and pledges from the VC and startup world in the episode, but do take a look for yourself and decide if what's been done and said is enough.


  • For more, read this.

  • Coming up this week: Zoom earnings. Zoom's earnings report matters a bit more than a regular digest of three-months' worth of corporate performance. The company is a key plank in the group of companies are have been buoyed by COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that investors that have made similar bets will have their eyes on the videochatting giant's results. And, SaaS and cloud stocks are trading at all-time highs. If Zoom can turn in good numbers, that run might be able to continue.


  • Tia Health put together nearly $25 million for women-centric telehealth.


  • Beam, a micromobility startup headquartered in Singapore, raised $26 million.

  • And, finally, fintech layoffs. I was off last week but was a bit surprised at the number of fintech companies that were cutting staff. Why? Well, we have a guess or two on that count. (You can read more here, and here, from our own Natasha Mascarenhas for background).

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week's show took a break from regularly scheduled programming. Our co-host Alex Wilhelm, who usually leads us through the show, was on some deserved vacation, so Danny Crichton and Natasha Mascarenhas took the reigns and invited Floodgate Capital's Iris Choi to join in on the fun. It's Choi's fourth time being on the podcast, which officially makes her our most tenured guest yet (in case the accomplished investor needs another bullet point on her bio page).

This week's docket features scrappiness, a seed round, and a Startup battlefield alumnus.

Here's what we chewed through:



  • LeverEdge raised seed funding to get you and your friends a volume discount on student loans. Fintech has been booming for years now, and startups often crop up around the painful wolrd of student loans. Yet this startup still caught our eye, and it has a little something to do with its choice to use collective bargaining power as its modus operandi.


  • Stackin' raises $12.6M Series B for a text-messaging service that connects millennials to money tips, and eventually other fintech apps. According to CEO Scott Grimes, Stackin' wants to be the "pipes that port people around fintech." We get into if the world needs a fintech app marketplace and how it targets younger users.

  • D-ID, a Startup Battlefield alumnus, digitally de-identifies faces in videos and still images and just raised $13.5 million. We're all worried about our privacy concerns, so the funding news was a refreshing change of pace from the usual headlines we see around surveillance. Now the company just needs to find a successful use case beyond the goodness in people's hearts.

  • ByteDance, the Chinese parent company that owns TikTok, hit $3 Billion in net profit last year, reports Bloomberg. TikTok also recently snagged former Disney executive Kevin Mayer for its CEO. This one, as you can expect, made for an interesting conversation around privacy and bandwidth. We even asked Choi to weigh in on Donald J. Trump's recent tweet threatening to regulate social media companies, since Floodgate was an early angel investor in Twitter.

  • We ended with a round table of sorts on how the future of work will look and feel in our new world, from college campuses to offices. We get into the vulnerability that comes with being on Zoom, the ever-increasing stupidity of "manels", and how tech talent might be flocking to smaller cities but investors aren't just yet.

And that was the show! Thanks to our producer Chris Gates for helping us put to this together, thanks to you all for listening in on this quirky episode, and thanks to Iris Choi for always bringing a fresh, candid perspective. Talk next week.

Key points in this episode

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a brief jumpstart for your week.

This is a messed-up edition, because we are both hosting Equity Monday on Tuesday (because that makes sense) and our normal host Alex Wilhelm is on vacation, leaving (editor’s note: poor and massively underpaid) managing editor Danny Crichton to wake up early on the first day of the workweek to talk to himself in front of a microphone.

Here’s what we (okay I) talked about this morning:

Equity will be back Friday morning with more. Welcome to the week!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

First, a big thanks to everyone who took part in the Equity survey, we really appreciated your notes and thoughts. The crew is chewing over what you said now, and we'll roll up the best feedback into show tweaks in the future.

Today, though, we've gone Danny and Natasha and Chris and Alex back again for our regular news dive. This week we had to leave the Vroom IPO filing, Danny's group project on The Future of Work, and a handwashing startup (?) from Natasha to get to the very biggest stories:



  • Brex's $150 million raise: Natasha covered the latest huge round from corporate charge-card behemoth Brex. The party's over in Silicon Valley for a little while, so Brex is turning down your favorite startup's credit limit while it stacks cash for the dowturn.


  • Spruce raises a $29 Series B: Led by Scale Venture Partners, Spruce is taking on the world of real estate transactions with digital tooling and an API. As Danny notes, it's a huge market and one that could find a boost from the pandemic.


  • Masterclass raises $100 million: Somewhere between education and entertainment, Masterclass has found its niche. The startup's $180 yearly subscription product appears to be performing well, given that the company just stacked nine-figures into its checking account. What's it worth? The company would only tell Natasha that it was more than $800 million.


  • Clubhouse does, well, you know. Clubhouse happened. So we talked about it.

  • SoftBank dropped its earnings lately, which gave Danny time to break out his pocket calculator and figure out how much money it spent daily, and Alex time to parse the comedy that its slideshow entailed. Here's our favorites from the mix. (Source materials are here.)

And at the end, we got Danny to explain what the flying frack is going on over at Luckin. It's somewhere between tragedy and farce, we reckon. That's it for today, more Tuesday after the holiday!

Key points in this episode

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a brief jumpstart for your week.

A few housekeeping notes. First, the main, long-from Equity episodes still drop every Friday, so if you are behind, check your podcast feed. Also, we're running a listener survey which you can find here, in the last ep's shownotes. And finally, I am off next week, so Danny Crichton will take over Equity Monday for us. I'll be right back.

All that behind us, here's what we talked about this morning:

Equity will be back Friday morning with more. Welcome to the week!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Are you a regular Equity listener? Take our survey here!  **_https://forms.gle/QPU3sx3Hqv14Duuy9 _We talk about it on the show, and it's embedded below in case you don't want to click a link.**

From home once again this week, Danny, Natasha, Alex, and Chris got together to pull the show together. But unlike last week's episode (catch up here if you are behind), this week's show features a game that actually worked. It's at the end, as you'll see.

But before that piece of the puzzle, there was a bunch of news to go over. We had to leave SaaS valuations, the Liftoff List, Brex, and FalconX on the floor, but there was still so much good stuff to cover:

Then we played our game. Please hold us to account. And if you have listened to the show for a while, take our survey! It's right after this next sentence.

Key points in this episode

The full interview here

Hunter Walk thinks your TAM slide is stupid.

That's one viewpoint that the seed-stage investor shared with TechCrunch that made us laugh during our recent conversation. Walk joined us for an Extra Crunch Live chat late last week that was a mix of advice and insight about what the seed-stage Homebrew partner looks for in founders and companies to invest in.

In the case of founders, "attitude matters as much as aptitude sometimes," Walk said, adding that "grit" and "resilience" are things he favors in entrepreneurs. Why do those qualities matter? Walk cited the Mike Tyson quip about everyone having a plan until they get punched in the face, saying that "building an early-stage startup, you get punched in the face almost daily."

Form one line, folks considering building a new company.

We also dug into fintech, where Walk and his Homebrew partner Satya Patel have made a number of investments that have turned out well, including Plaid, Finix, Chime and so on. According to Walk, his firm has made investments into the startup category across funds because it felt that two things were going to happen. First, that "a lot of data that had been siloed and unavailable was going to become available," citing Plaid as an example of the trend.

Second, that the top-down model of building tooling that made chiefs happier than front-line workers was going to flip in the financial world. New software was going to look quite different and focus on the individuals' needs. Chime, the American neobank, was his example of this trend bearing out in the market.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week.

Another weekend at home, another week's starting from the same spot. How are you holding up? Do you miss your commute yet? Just want to get some breakfast from a kitchen other than your own? I feel you.

But it is Monday all the same and that means it's time for Equity, so let's get to it. You can hit play above and following along with notes:


  • Kingsoft Cloud's IPO went well. Very well, in fact. Far better than expected if we're being honest. The company was recently gross-margin negative and is now public? In this economy?

  • Vroom has filed privately to go public, which is pretty wild given that the capital markets are theoretically closed.

  • Earnings this week are pretty light but keep an eye out for Cisco, JD.com, Sony and Tencent.

  • Over the weekend, bitcoin crashed around 10 or 12 percent, depending on how you do the math. Right before the halvening. Surprised? I was.


  • Shiprocket raised $13 million and Ermetic raised $10 million in two neat early-stage rounds worth your time.

And finally, a call to arms. TechCrunch was once a dude in his backyard writing blogs and generally being mad online. It was great! Since then, blogs have grown up, sold out, been re-sold, and generally become part of the landscape if you are being generous (or part of the furniture if you aren't). Surely there's room for new, kickass media companies. Who is building one? They would be a real contrarian.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Every week we write this post with some opening line akin to wow, what a week, huh? This is yet another one of those weeks. Perhaps this is just life now, and every week will stretch before us, similar to what Gandalf said after killing that Balrog, that "every day was as long as the life age of the Earth."

Anyhoo, we recorded Equity to try and make a little sense of the week as there was a lot going on. So, Natasha, Danny, and Alex once again gathered to parse it all. Here's a rough digest of the topics from this episode:



  • Techstars' virtual demo days. Natasha and Alex are listening in to as many Techstars virtual demo confabs as they can along with other TC staff, pulling out favorites as we go. Today we dug into what is working, and what isn't with virtual demo days.

  • While VC Twitter might make it seem like every firm is open for business, that is not the reality. We talk about signaling risk, external signs a firm is investing, and throw pro rata chat around in between.


  • Peanut, a social network for women, raised $12 million and that is the good news we needed this week. Think of it as a better, cleaner and more intimate version of your favorite Facebook group. About 1.6 million are on the platform.


  • Every Mother raised a small sum to bring safety and community to pre and post natal workouts for mothers.


  • Robinhood's Series F. The new Robinhood round values the company at around $8.3 billion, a huge number but one that wasn't as high as we might have expected, given how much its valuation used to grow between new funding events.


  • Airbnb cut 1,900 people in a devastating round of layoffs for the travel and hospitality company. We discuss o-founder and CEO Brian Chesky's detailed blogpost about the cuts, and whether it is better to be a public or a private company during this pandemic.


  • Uber cut staff this week, and pumped money into a massive Lime downround that may see it offload its own micromobility business onto the smaller company. Not a good week for Uber, not a good week for Lime.

We didn't get to chat API funding rounds or the unicorn retreat, or even really riff on earnings. There's so much going on! But, we'll be back Monday morning so sit tight.

Key points in this episode

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a jumpstart for your week.

Equity had a busy last few days, so to help you catch up: Friday's episode was a lot of fun (Duolingo, Figma, OMERS, and aquafaba), and we also dropped an Equity Shot on Saturday, digging into the first major technology earnings week.

But this morning we were busy digging through what's happened over the last few days, and what's to come. Here's the rundown:

We wrapped asking that's going to come for companies that were still speculative businesses before the slowdown. They're going to vaporize, right?

Key points in this episode

Happy Saturday and welcome back to an Equity Shot, a short-form episode of Equity where we drill into one particular topic. There was so much news this week in our main areas of focus -- startup funding rounds, new venture funds, that sort of thing -- that we had to exclude earnings from the main show! (But really, check it out, as it was a good time.)

Sad, I know. Everyone surely noticed the loss, but we gathered once again on Friday afternoon to dig into the results all the same. A big thanks to Danny, Natasha and Chris for gathering 'round one more time to get through:



  •  SaaS and enterprise earnings: We dug into Microsoft's results (TechCrunch coverage here), along with notes on quarterly results from Atlassian, Zendesk and ServiceNow. The gist is that big corp SaaS did fine in Q1, but there are varying levels of concern regarding the future.


  • Subscription content: Spotify is doing fine and Netflix smashed it, according to Danny (TechCrunch coverage here, and here, respectively). Spotify also managed to eke out the world's funniest net income result, while Netflix shot forward like a hare from a trap. In short, we may be listening to fewer podcasts, but we sure as hell aren't getting off the couch.


  • Advertising shops: While the advertising world melts down in spectacular fashion, tech shops that are ad powered did kinda OK. Facebook did what it always does, wowing with results and this time telling investors that April was looking better than March. Snap grew like hell, surprising investors, even if its overall cost structure is broken when compared to its revenue. Twitter was the miss of the bunch, struggling the most after telling investors it was still seeing COVID-19 issues in April. And, finally, Alphabet did Google things, so its stock went up, COVID-19 be damned.

We avoided Tesla because who can be bothered, and managed the shortest note on Apple ever recorded on a business podcast. All that and we had some fun. Hugs from Equity; we'll be right back Monday morning!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

What a week. Are you still standing? Did you make it? If you are upright and typing, congratulations, you're top-decile. If you're reading this from bed, that's fine too. We understand.

The week was so busy that we actually ran a bit long this week, with lots left on the cutting room floor. So, with the full team aboard this week (Danny, Natasha, Chris, Alex), we got into the following:

We wrapped with a new Danny segment called "Luckin Watch" and will be back with a special ep on Saturday. Stay tuned!

Key points in this episode

Get the whole discussion with Charles Hudson HERE

Last week, we kicked off our Extra Crunch Live interview series with an interesting chat with Charles Hudson, the general partner of Precursor Ventures.

Charles Hudson founded Precursor Ventures to invest in pre-seed and seed-stage companies. Earlier this year, the firm filed paperwork to put together a $40 million third fund after previously raising two main funds and one $10 million “opportunity” fund.

Key points in this episode

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a jumpstart for your week.

Regular Equity episodes still drop each and every Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years, don’t worry — we’re only adding to the mix. You can catch last week’s show with Danny Crichton and Natasha Mascarenhas right here if you haven't yet.

Unlike some weeks when the weekend's crop of news and thought runs fallow, our recent interlude was stuffed with things to talk about:


  • Sequoia China and Starbucks are tying up, which is especially notable after the Luckin Coffee story came crashing back to Earth.

  • A survey concerning UK startups showed cracks in the EU's largest startup market, measured by VC activity.

  • It's earnings week, with everyone from Apple to Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, Spotify and Tesla reporting. Strap in for the busy week. It's going to be a lot, but should help us figure out what has been going on in the stock market.

  • Codota raised $12 million, and we think that its product is neat.

  • A new pre-seed/seed fund has raised €50 million in fresh capital, which is notable given the global economic slowdown.

And then, finally, this essay from Founder’s Fund John Luttig, which I encourage you to read. It's something that everyone is reading, and thus you must even if you don't want to. We chat about it on the show, but read it yourself anyways. If it's right, we're in for a sea change in the startup world. For good, or at least until there's a new leap forward in tech or technology product distribution. (You can read more on the idea of a SaaS slowdown here.)

 

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we had a choice of all sorts of news, but as we cut the show together as a group Danny pushed all the funding rounds up. So, when Alex and Natasha jumped into the show we had a bunch of good news to cover. We're avoiding COVID-19 news, but the pandemic is just a part of the broader stories we want to tell. For the foreseeable future, coronavirus will be always be part of our interviews. But the conversation can't start and stop there.

So what was on the docket? Three things: Accelerator news for the early-stage founders, funding rounds, of course, and some layoff news that was worth mentioning as it might trickle down beyond the unfortunate hosts. 

Here's the rundown:

We didn't get to talk through some Silicon Valley or European venture capital data, not to mention what we're seeing in Boston because we ran out of time! More soon.

 

Key points in this episode

Good morning and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a brief jumpstart for your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop each and every Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years, don’t worry — we’re only adding. In fact, last week's show (with Danny Crichton and Natasha Mascarenhas) was a blast, and you should check it out.

This morning, however, we had a lot to get through, so let's go over the show's rundown:



  • Changes are afoot in Israel regarding employee comp and startup valuations.

  • The UK is coming to the aid of its startups at a notable cost.

  • Alibaba is dropping serious coin on new cloud infra, reminding us that there's more to the world than Washington state.


  • Alan, a French insurtech startup, has raised $54.4 million.

  • It's earnings week, with a number of major tech companies joining other large American companies in reporting results. Q1 2020 is whatever. What everyone wants to know is how bad the rest of the year is going to be.

And, finally, Marc's latest essay. I should probably write about it more broadly, but as we said this morning: "Aspirational construction of the future is a concept that many people associate with America," and demanding that we harken back to our halcyon days is no sin. That said, we’ll need to do work as a country to set the groundwork needed to make an explosion in entrepreneurship and building possible -- like providing healthcare to all citizens so that folks can quit their jobs without losing care, making room for new businesses to rise.

Still, it's good for Marc to get hyped up and mad at our current state, and he has the money to do something about it. So, let's see what he does about it.

 

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week the Key Three were back with Danny Crichton, Natasha Mascarenhas, and Alex Wilhelm taking on the news while Chris Gates kept everything perfect.

Alex apologizes for the math error you'll hear, naturally. 36 divided by four, is, of course, nine.

Turning to the show, as has been the case every single week since we cannot recall when, we had a hell of a packed agenda.; there were new funds to talk about, there were rounds aplenty. As the unicorn era hands the baton to the COVID-19 downturn, there still more than we can get through each week.

But we did manage all that follows:

And, breathing out, that was the show. Thanks for sticking with us through the pandemic and not having a commute. It's a treat to have you here.

 

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week.

Before we jump into today’s show, don’t forget that the long-form Equity that started in the unicorn era and continue in today's changed world still drops on Friday. We had a blast last week, so make sure to catch up.

That said, there was a lot to go over this morning, so let's get into what we had to discuss:


  • Global spend patterns are changing, helping some startups and slowing others. But notable in the mix is how well grocery delivery is doing; if the change will be enough to turn uncertain bets like Instacart into sure things, however, is not yet clear.

  • Earnings are finally nearly here. We'll see the big names start to disclose results next week. In the next three weeks or so we'll hear from Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix and Spotify. The results will help us understand how the market is doing; and, by proxy, how startups are performing.

  • Quoting from our script this morning: "Would it be great to know how startups are doing without resorting to our chronic use of public proxies? Yes. Any startup who wants to kick off that trend can send in reports of how their Q1 went and what they expect in Q2 and the other two quarters of 2020 to EquityPod@TechCrunch.com. That’s probably the easiest way to get your company on the show, so, please do write in with specifics."

  • We took a look at the latest rounds from Kargoand Pangea.app.

  • Finally, SoftBank's huge Vision Fund bill is coming due. I almost can't believe these numbers. What a mess.

And that's the show for today. Stay safe, and we'll be back Friday morning to cap off whatever this week winds up becoming.

 

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

The whole crew was present this week: NatashaDanny and Alex, along with our intrepid producer Chris. And like the last few episodes it was good to have everyone around as there was so very much to get through. Even better there was a lot of good, non-COVID-19 news to cover. Yes, there were bad tidings and some COVID-19 material as well, but, hey, not everything can be fun.

We started with a look at Clearbanc and its runway extension not-a-loan program, which may help startups survive that are running low on cash. Natasha covered it for TechCrunch. Most of us know about Clearbanc's revenue-based financing model; this is a twist. But it's good to see companies work to adapt their products to help other startups survive.

Next we chatted about a few rounds that Danny covered, namely Sila's $7.7 million investment to help build technology that could take on the venerable and vulnerable ACH, and Cadence's $4 million raise to help with securitization. Even better, per Danny, they are both blockchain-using companies. And they are useful! Blockchain, while you were looking elsewhere, has done some cool stuff at last.

Sticking to our fintech theme -- the show wound up being super fintech-heavy, which was an accident -- we turned to SoFi's huge $1.2 billion deal to buy Galileo, a Utah-based payments company that helps power a big piece of UK-based fintech. SoFi is going into the B2B fintech world after first attacking the B2C realm; we reckon that if it can pull the move off, other financial technology companies might follow suit.

Tidying up all the fintech stories is this round up from Natasha and Alex, working to figure out who in fintech is doing poorly, who's hiding for now, and who is crushing it in the new economic reality.

Next we touched on layoffs generally, layoffs at Toast, AngelList, and not LinkedIn -- for now. Per their plans to not have plans to have layoffs. You figure that out.

And then at the end, we capped with good news from Thrive and Index. We didn't get to Shippo, sadly. Next time!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am

Key points in this episode

Get the full interview https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/08/talking-venture-b2b-and-thesis-driven-investment-with-work-benchs-jon-lehr/

Earlier this week, the Equity crew caught up with Work-Bench investor Jon Lehr to get his take on the current market, and how his firm goes about making investment decisions.

The conversation was a treat, so we cut a piece of it off for everyone to listen to. The full audio and a loose transcript are also available after the jump.

What did Danny and Alex learn while talking to Lehr? A few things, including what Seed II-level investments need these days to be attractive (Hint: It's not a raw ARR threshold), and what's going on in SaaS today (deals slowing, but not for select founders; relationships are key to doing deals today), and why being a VC is actually work.

But what stood out the most was how Lehr thinks about finding investment opportunities. While some VCs like to cultivate images of being gut-investors, cutting checks based on first meetings and the like, Lehr told TechCrunch about how he researches the market to find pain-points, and then the startups that might solve those issues.

You can listen to that bit of the chat in the clip below:

Extra Crunch subscribers, the rest of the goodies are below. (A big thanks to Danny for cleaning up the written transcript.)

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week.

Before we jump into today's show, don't forget that the long-form Equity that we've done for more than three years still drops on Friday. Last week's was a particular delight, so make sure you're caught up. Ready? Let's go.

This weekend was busy, with Quibi launching, folks in the UK attacking 5G towers and Skype trying to steal some of Zoom's thunder. News was dominated, as always, by COVID-19, this time leading to a stock market bump as some data from the disease appeared to take a short breather with -- depending on which tracker you favor -- fewer folks contracting the infection in the last 24 hours than the day prior; investors are hunting for any positive signal to trade on, and that appears to have been enough.

What's coming up this week? Not earnings, or at least not the sort of earnings reports that we care about. Instead, we're keeping eyes peeled for Q1 VC data and economic information from the United States. Here in the States Friday is off, remember, so this is a short week.

Next, two venture rounds:



  • Valispace, a Germany-based startup that also has folks in Portugal, raised €2.2M recently led by JOIN Capital. The startup calls itself “Github for hardware,” which TechCrunch summarized as a “collaboration platform for engineers, allowing them to develop better satellites, planes, rockets, nuclear fusion reactors, cars and medical devices” with a browser-based app.

  • And Vertical Future just raised £1.1M. It's doing vertical farming, a topic that I've read about every few years but now appears to really be a thing! That's exciting. Vertical Future raised a bigger round last year, and is generating food today in production sites.

Finally, we close with a question: How many more startups are going to die this year, compared to 2019, and what do their deaths mean for staff and investors alike? Will the end of so-called "tourist" money harm young companies or will it merely cull the silly?

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

How are you holding up? Are you keeping up? And most importantly, are you hydrating yourself? There's so much news lately that we're all falling a bit behind, but, hey, that's what Equity is for. So, Natasha, Danny, and Alex got together to go over a number of the biggest stories in the worlds of private companies.

A warning before we get into the list, however. We're going to be covering layoffs for a while. Don't read more into that beyond a note to this unfortunate situation. We try to talk about the most important news, not what brings delight or joy to our hearts (because if that was the case, we would be all over mega-rounds). That in mind, here's this week's rundown:

And that's what we got through. The Equity crew is doing its best to bring you the news, but make sure to let us know what you think. We're at equitypod@techcrunch.com every day of the week. And we're thankful for it. Take care of yourselves.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week.

If you missed Friday's main episode, it was a fun one so take the time if you have the minutes; we're settling into a new hosting lineup that is shaping up to be our best ever, so we're having a blast even if we have to record remotely instead of in the same room.

This morning was a bit of a mixed bag. The world is still in pretty bad shape as societies and governments work to combat COVID-19 and the private and public markets convulse. But there was still news to be found, so we hit on a few key news items, including: The return of HQ Trivia at a perfect time, Microsoft's booming cloud services demand and the return of tech layoffs.

Not all news was bad, however, as we looked at three early-stage funding events and three seed rounds from Indo, Kaizo, and Lanistar.

Looking ahead left us little joy other than to note that it is very nearly earnings season; Q1 2020 business results should prove to be the most interesting in memory given how much the world changed during the three-month period. Regardless of whether or not you care about the financial side of business or not, it's going to be a wild ride.

Wrapping today, unicorn layoffs are back in a big way. Bird, TripActions, ZipRecruiter, and others are cutting staff in big chunks. A lot of folks hired to help companies scale look pretty expensive when growth turns negative; layoffs suck and a struggling economy is crap for everyone, but the business cycle is real, so it's not a huge shock to find ourselves here today. We're going to cover the cuts, but only with a grimace and good thoughts for the laid off.

And that's it for this week. Other than that the new Trivium single is epic, we're out of here.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on 

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

The three of us were back today -- Natasha, Danny and Alex -- to dig our way through a host of startup-focused topics. Sure, the world is stuffed full of COVID-19 news -- and, to be clear, the topic did come up some -- but Equity decided to circle back to its roots and talks startups and accelerators and how many pieces of luggage does an urban-living person really need?

The answer, as far as we can work it out, is either one piece or seven. Regardless, here's what we got through this week:


  • Big news from 500 Startups, and our favorite companies from the accelerator's latest demo day. Y Combinator is not the only game in town, so TechCrunch spent part of the day peekin' at 500 and its latest batch of companies. We got into some of the startups that stuck out, tackling problems within the influencer market, trash pickup and esports.


  • Plastiq raised $75 million to help people and businesses use their credit card anywhere they want. And no, it wasn't closed after the pandemic hit.

  • We also talked through Fast's latest $20 million round led by Stripe. Stripe, as everyone recalls, was most recently a topic on the show thanks to a venture whoopsie in the form of a check from Sequoia to Finix.1 But all that's behind us. Fast is building a new login and checkout service for the internet that is supposed to be both speedy and independent.

  • All the Stripe talk reminded us of one of the startups that launched so it could beat it out: Brex. The startup, which has amassed over $300 million in known venture capital to date, recently acquired three companies.

  • We chatted through the highlights of our D2C venture survey, focused on rising CAC costs in select channels, the importance of solid gross margins and why Casper wasn't really a bellwether for its industry.

After that we had two quick hits, namely Natasha's look at how tech internships cancellations are impacting our future workforce, and the latest from Slack.

And that wraps up what felt like a refreshing show. We hope you think so too, and thank you for listening. Stay healthy, all.

Key points in this episode

Get the full interview here

As efforts to flatten the spread of COVID-19 pushes employees from their offices, remote work is undergoing a surge in popularity.

Well-known remote-work friendly companies like Zoom have seen a rise in usage, while Slack has already reported that it is successfully converting new users into paying customers, which is pushing up its growth rate.

The pandemic is creating economic and social upheaval, but for a specific cohort of software companies that help distributed teams work together, it’s proven useful in business terms. But even before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, execs from a standout project management company swung by TechCrunch HQ to chat with the Equity crew about their business and growth: Monday.com. 

What does an interview with Monday.com’s Eran Zinman (co-founder and CTO) and Roy Mann (CEO) have to do with COVID-19? Well, if remote-productivity-friendly services Slack and Zoom are seeing usage spikes amidst the changes, Monday.com is likely benefiting from similar gains. And during our chat with the company’s brass, the pair told TechCrunch that their company had crossed the $130 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) mark by mid-February. Add in a COVID-19 usage boost and perhaps Monday.com (which doesn’t have a free tier) is seeing its growth accelerate.

Previously, Monday.com announced that it had reached the $120 million ARR mark, and TechCrunch had inducted it into the $100 million ARR club earlier this year.

Revenue expansion was not our only topic. We also chatted with the pair of execs about customer acquisition costs and how to a run a SaaS business without terrifying burn. The Monday.com crew had more news up their sleeve, like when they expect the unicorn to become cash-flow positive. 

We’ve excised a larger-than-usual chunk of the interview for sharing as there’s a lot to take in:

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week.

Equity was busy last week, so catch up if you missed anything. We interviewed the CEO of Y Combinator, hosted a call with the TechCrunch staff digging into our favorite Demo Day companies, hosted Equity Monday on a Tuesday, held a call with Niko from General Catalyst, and hosted a guest -- remotely! -- on the regular Equity episode. It's been busy.

This morning, however, was very nearly a repeat. The things that were bad last week are still bad this week. Still, there were a few things to go over:

In fact, that round was such an oddity that we ran a search of big rounds this morning on the show instead of looking at some Seed financings. We'll get back to Seed next week.

Looking ahead, there isn't much to celebrate. We are stuck between earnings cycles and every conference has been cancelled or moved online. Oh, and SaaS valuations are falling. That said, we still expect to be exhausted by the evening every day of the week.

So, let's stick together and do our best to help one another. I look forward to starting the week with a different topic for once; Equity Monday was effectively born on the doorstep of the COVID-19 world. But we won't get there without collective action. We can all help.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week's episode was a testament to making do, as we've had to cancel some trips, juggle a few guests, and get up and running as a podcast that have guests dial in without losing our stride. So, this week Danny and Natasha and Alex were joined by Unshackled VC's Manan Mehta.

And it went pretty ok, aside from a hiccup or two, expect Equity to still feature guests as often as it makes sense, even if we're currently locked out of our own studio. Anyhoo, a combo of local recording, remote video setups, and Chris handling the dials meant that we were able to talk over all the good stuff:

All told there were some laughs, and we spent a good few minutes before mentioning COVID-19. It was good fun to have the crew on for a classic Equity episode, and a big thanks to Manan for coming aboard under less-than-optimal circumstances.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years, don’t worry — we’re not changing the main show.

For folks hunting for our longer form work, here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton and Natasha Mascarenhas, and here's yesterday's interview with YC boss Michael Seibel.

Equity Monday is a day late this week as I was off yesterday, but it's here today and what a mess the world is at the moment. That was a key theme of the show, but not the only thing that we mentioned. Here are some other bits of news that caught our eye:

Looking ahead there's little to anticipate aside from Tencent earnings. So, instead, meet Hourly, a neat company that just raised $7.2 million.

Hourly

Hourly provides a software solution for labor tracking and payroll processing, noting industries like construction, service, and light industry on its website. If a company has a workforce that gets paid by the hour (the company's name is a tip-off), Hourly wants to help them keep tabs on the labor, and help them pay for it.

The startup charges for its tooling on a recurring basis, a regular setup for a modern software product delivered as a service. After paying some modest base prices, time tracking costs $8 per employee per month, while its payroll service costs a bit more at $10 per employee per month. According to Hourly CEO Tom Sagi, the company may bundle the two services in the future and offer a discount of perhaps 20% for companies that buy both.

Time tracking and payroll, however, aren't the only ways that Hourly generates revenue.

Growth

Hourly also drives top line through its workers compensation insurance product, which it refers to as "powered by" itself and "backed by A rated carriers." According to Sagi, the company currently generates about half its revenue from workers comp commissions.

That means that Hourly has a two-part SaaS business and a technology-powered insurance business. (Sagi detailed to TechCrunch the ins and outs of worker comp payments, employee classification and more; it's reasonably complex, perhaps providing the startup with a moat of sorts.) If that sounds pretty impressive for a company that just put together $7.2 million, it is—at least compared to how much other startups seem to get done before a round of that size.

How did Hourly get so far with so little money? The firm bootstrapped, hiring engineers in Colombia -- the firm now has 10 staffers in that country, but is headquartered out of Palo Alto -- to reduce costs. Keeping its costs low let Hourly avoid outside capital—aside from things like family funding and credit cards—before today. And that means that for its external capital base, the company feels somewhat product mature.

That maturity is letting it bring on larger clients. According to Sagi, Hourly has been increasingly "appealing to larger companies," which he clarified to mean firms with 20 people or more. Larger customers means larger contract values, which can mean faster growth.

What else?

Oh just the closing of the unicorn exit window for some time. Aside from distressed sales, what sort of company would want to exit in a time like this? More from the Equity crew soon, hang tight.

Key points in this episode

Get the full interview here: https://tcrn.ch/2Qg56Jx

Y Combinator’s Demo Day has historically drawn crowds of investors and journalists into a big warehouse to watch hundreds of startups come out to the public for the first time ever. Think two minute pitches, a big audience, and tons of networking opportunities after. 

This year, citing COVID-19 concerns, the accelerator canceled its in-person Demo Day and moved it to online-only, and a week earlier than expected. You need to be pre-approved to access the list of companies, and over 1,200 investors RSVP’d. 

So while there won’t be the usual flurry of live tweets and on the ground reporting, TechCrunch caught up with YC CEO Michael Seibel to get the behind-the-scenes on this year’s batch, nonetheless. It’s Seibel’s second equity appearance, so we skipped the housekeeping and got right into the good stuff.

Seibel got into how YC’s scrappiness led them to Demo Day’s new format, and how investors weighed in on changes within the incubator. Other topics we got into include his advice for what companies are thinking about applying, and what in the world a YC post-mortem is.

Seibel, recalling his early days in startupland in 2006, also hinted at a sector he thinks might be making a comeback soon: software.

“Once people realize that getting software up and running and getting customers is faster and cheaper than almost any other startup idea, they're going to rush to that. And so it's going to be really exciting to see what people do on their nights and weekends and what products people start working on,” he said.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Today was something a bit special. We'd originally hoped to have this episode in person, as a group, but the world isn't flying as much right now so we had to make do. Regardless, please say hello and welcome Natasha Mascarenhas to the Equity crew.

Natasha has worked for the Boston Globe, the SF Chronicle, and, most recently, covering venture capital for Crunchbase News. TechCrunch is lucky to have her, and the Equity team is stoked that she's coming aboard our hosting team. When she's not podcasting, she will be reporting on early stage startups and venture capital trends for TechCrunch and ExtraCrunch.

Don't worry, Danny and Alex aren't going anywhere. Equity is now, happily, back to its original three-part hosting crew. This means we can do a better job week in, and week out.

Alright! Enough of all that, let's talk news. Here's what we went over today:

Equity has been busy lately. We put together a huge interview with Jason Lemkin, and held a live chat this week. We're tinkering with new things as we try to do more, and better for you all. Chat you all Monday morning!

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Click here to listen to the full interview with SasStr's Jason Lemkin https://tcrn.ch/2TPZ7vK

With the markets in turmoil and fear running rampant through the global economy, you might not think that it’s a great time to start a company. According to at least one well-known venture capitalist, however, it’s a great time to start up.

TechCrunch recently caught up with former founder and active venture capitalist Jason Lemkin to chat about the world of software-as-service companies, better known by their acronym moniker “SaaS.” Lemkin swung by TC HQ in San Francisco to spend some time with the Equity crew to discuss all things SaaS, markets, and startups.

Long-time Equity listeners will recall that this is not the first or even second time that we’ve had Lemkin on. He was, after all, our first guest, and a repeat for Episode 100. But as it’s Equity’s third birthday, and his SaaStr conference was just around the corner (now postponed), we had Lemkin back to dig deep into one of our favorite startup categories.

So let’s get nerdy about SaaS.

Is now a good time?

After the jump you can listen to the full audio from our interview (it’s a little over 45 minutes, so feel free to download it and take it with you; there’s an excerpt in the main Equity feed as well). But I wanted to share my favorite portion of the chat with everyone, even if you’re not part of Extra Crunch.

When we spoke to Lemkin the stock market had taken lumps, albeit nothing quite like we’ve seen in the last week. Still, when we asked about the potential for a cloud slowdown, Lemkin was not convinced that a secular cloud slowdown (as SaaS’s penetration into enterprise IT spend, it’s growth rate will slow) would be bad for startups operating as part of the modern, subscription software movement.

Why? There’s so much spend left to build for that there’s lots to build. And, perhaps more importantly, incumbents SaaS firms are so large now that they can afford to let smaller companies get pretty damn big before they pay attention. 

“All the SaaS leaders,” according to Lemkin, “are at a billion, two billion, [...] in ARR. The Zendesks, the Shopifys, the Hubspots. And they don’t have time” to bother with small companies. Before, in his telling, a $5 million ARR SaaS company would have raised competitive eyebrows from market leaders. Today that bar has been raised to as high as $100 million.

That’s good news for your local startup scene. Hit the clip if you’ve had a long, hard week and want some optimism:

As you can see, I initially missed his point about market size, and what the growing cloud pie means for startups. But by the end I’d come around: Because the big SaaS companies need to add $100 million, $200 million, or even $300 million in revenue each year, small software startups just don’t scan. Think of it as temporary invisibility for all SaaS startups until you’re probably too big to stop.

In the full interview we also went over Jason’s current venture fund, investing cadence, discussed vertical SaaS, his advice for the middle class of SaaS, how to think about venture debt, SaaS consolidation, software in India, and the Slack versus Microsoft scrap. It’s a lot of fun, so let’s get into it.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years, don’t worry — we’re not changing the main show. (Here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton in which we took a look at the new Kleiner fund.)

This morning was more of the same. More COVID-19 bad news and stock market worry. But this weekend saw other, new issues, like a collapse in oil prices and record low yields in Treasuries. What happens when all U.S. government notes yield less than 1%? We're about to find out.

For us this morning what matters is that COVID-19 is still spreading, the global stock markets are still falling, and domestic equities are about to get hit hard, if pre-market trading is any indication. Currently stocks are flashing about 5% losses as we write to you.

Skipping the show's order, here's what on our minds this morning:


  • What happens to private market valuations now as the public market continues to reprice? When does sentiment shift?

  • What happens when startups pull back spend and hunt for slower, but more efficient growth?

  • Finally, what happens to all the companies looking to go public? Like Asana (more here), Procore (notes here), Accolade (our coverage), not to mention Postmates, DoorDash (read this), and Airbnb (more here). Currently, it looks like we could jet into Q2 2020 with two venture-backed, non-biotech IPOs under our belts.

Finally on the show, we did get to mention Seed rounds for Airmeet, Sama, and Vivoo. Those, at least, brought a little bit of optimism to the day.

More soon, and stay informed this week. It's a good time to stay abreast of the news.

 

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week was packed with news, most of it pretty bad. But Zoom did well, so there's that. Happily we had our dynamic pairing, Alex "Have I Died" Wilhelm and Danny "Good Hair" Crichton on hand to parse through it all. (A reminder that Equity now hits your podcast app twice a week now, so peep us Monday mornings!)

So what was on the docket? A host of things, starting with a big new early-stage fund:


  • Kleiner has more money, again. About a year after raising a $600 million vehicle, Kleiner Perkins raised a new, larger fund. Now flush with $700 million, the long-standing venture group has more money to play with than it has in recent memory. For early-stage deals, that is.

  • Atrium shut down after raising $75 million. Investors got some of their money back, but the company had to layoff its 100 employees. The lesson here is that famous backers and tenured founders can't will something into existence that doesn't work.

  • OYO is laying people off. Again. The major SoftBank Vision Fund-backed Indian hotel brand was supposed to be a massive hit. Now, with novel coronavirus and other challenges, it and global tourism are hitting snags.

  • We also poked at the Robinhood downtime that came during a period of sharp trading swings. The company has a lot of work to do to recover user trust, and continue to grow into its valuation. (More on that here.)

  • Zoom was the day's good news, posting strong earnings (here), possibly indicating that remote-work companies are seeing demand for their products.

We closed on a pair of posts from Danny based on AngelList and DocSend data that shows how signaling risk for startups has changed over the years, and how many pre-seed investors the average founder talks to during their first fundraise.

That's all from your friendly, local Equity crew. More soon!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

After a long Shot hiatus, things keep happening that demand our attention. So, after digging into Tesla's near-miss of the $1,000 share-price mark, we're back to dig into Elliott Management's imposition into Twitter's world after sticking its nose into SoftBank earlier this year.

Alex and Danny had a few goals in this short, news-driven Equity episode: To talk about what the activist investor wants Twitter to do, and what it has wanted other tech companies to do in recent memory.

The tech world, sitting behind a contented wall of dual-class shares and founder-worship, may find activist investors grubby and irksome, but they don't care. And Twitter, a company that has famously loped along with a part-time CEO for longer than -- admit it -- you thought it would, is, in retrospect, an easy target.

Now that the social media company makes money on a repeatable basis, it’s more the sort of target that non-venture investors might want to peek at. They can make sense of it.

Danny and Alex then talk about Elliott’s multi-billion dollar investment in SoftBank, where the activist hedge fund wants the Japanese conglomerate to provide more transparency to investors to increase the value of its shares. The question is whether Elliott can win in Japan, where corporate governance remains comparatively docile, and whether it has learned any lessons operating in Asia after the firm suffered one of its few major defeats in South Korea a few years ago when it failed to block Samsung from merging two of its affiliates together.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years don’t worry — we’re not changing the main show. (Here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton, going over the huge Roblox round and what is going on with no-code startups.)

What to say about this Monday other than it feels a bit like last Monday. The markets aren't doing well, coronavirus is a worry, and we have a cool early-stage round to talk about.

After the stock market took a beating last week, the weekend brought more news concerning the novel coronavirus, with more infections being discovered in the United States. It's not been the best time to check your 401k if you saving for the long-term.

But in better news, DoorDash's filing was followed by one from Procore, meaning that IPO season isn't dead, it's just glacial, slow, slothful, and far too measured compared to our prior hopes.

This week will see a few sets of earnings that we care about some (JD.com), less, (HPE), and lots (Zoom). When Zoom reports on March 4th it will be carrying the torch for recent, venture-backed IPOs, SaaS companies more broadly, and future-of-work startups specifically. Other than that, no one will be watching what happens to the video conferencing startup that is caught in a rare COVID19 updraft.

Briza

Next, we talked about Briza, a very neat early-stage startup that is working in the commercial insurance API space. Yes, this the fusion of several things I love to write about. Namely insurance-tech and API-infra companies. What would you get if you crossed the insurance marketplaces we've been writing about with Plaid? Something like Briza, I reckon.

The 500 Startups-backed company has put together $3 million in capital to date, has 10 people on-staff, is looking to double its personnel, and is heading to the market soon on the back of some notable momentum. With more insurance providers hitting Briza up for inclusion in its product, the startup has good pace heading into its impending Demo Day. And it already has the cash it needs to grow.

Infra is hot because it's the digital equivalent of selling picks and shovels. And APIs are hot because they are the SaaS of infra.

Infra APIs? So hot right now.

Wrapping

I'm stoked beyond belief that Equity turns three this month. Who would have thought that our little show that started life as a few Facebook Lives with myself, Katie Roof (WSJ) and Matthew Lynley (ex-Brex and now a solo operator) would make it this far. I'm lucky to still be a part of it.

Ok! Back Friday. Stay cool.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

What a week. What an insane, heart-stopping, odd, and stuffed week. I'm utterly exhausted. But, in better news, all of that great fodder for podcast and chat, so today's Equity is pretty ok if I may say so.

Danny and I chewed through all the stuff that we couldn't get out of our heads, like the markets falling apart and DoorDash's initial movement towards going public. But in keeping with the real beating heart of Equity, we also went over four venture rounds and spent some time talking about SoftBank.

We were also a little tired, so come laugh with us and avoid taking things seriously for a few minutes.

Here's the week's rundown. And, yes, I did figure out my mic in the end:

We wrapped with whatever this is, other than utterly hilarious and terrifying. We wish you all a lovely weekend. Chat you Monday morning.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years don’t worry — we’re not changing the main show. (Here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton if you want to listen; I also just got the pun in the headline.)

Starting off this week the news is not very good.

I start to prep for Equity Monday on Fridays, keeping tabs of themes and news cycles. By the time it's Sunday night I have a good idea of what the show is going to focus on. And I'm a little tired it being bad news about the coronavirus. Here's to hoping that we, as a species, make material progress to stopping the damn thing.

In more mundane terms, the disease continued to shutter cities and countries, slowing the global economy. I'd rather focus on the human side of the story, but I'm a financial and technology journalist, so here we are.

Markets around the world are down sharply. Stocks in the United States are set to fall. Tech companies are pipped by pre-market trading to fall even further. Growth and SaaS public shops look set to take the sharpest hit.

Turning to funding rounds this week, just one. Instead of covering a number of funding events in the early-stage market, we're discussing a single round raised by Capiche -- a $1.1 million investment sourced from a number of small angel groups and venture firms. The company -- here, on the Internet -- is working to connect SaaS customers and power users so that they can share tips, pricing information, and negotiation tactics. As literally everyone knows, the SaaS market is too opaque. Also major tracking entities are thought by some to be too favored towards vendors. Capiche wants to tilt the balance of power towards users, instead.

If that will prove a lucrative model isn't yet clear, but Capiche is a young company with its first real check. It has time to prove itself. According to CEO Austin Smith, his company has nearly two years (seven quarters) of runway in the bank without generating revenue. The startup intends to turn on income far before its money runs out, of course.

I think we'll cover more individual rounds on Equity Monday over time as it's more fun than running through a short, partially-themed list.

Finally, I riffed for you on the Credit Karma-Intuit deal that is supposed to be coming very, very soon, in a formal sense. $7 billion is a lot of money to start the week.

Happy Monday!

 

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week was a fun combination of early-stage and late-stage news, with companies as young as seed-stage and as old as PE-worthy joining our list of topics.

Danny and Alex were back on hand to chat once again. Just in case you missed it, they had some fun talking Tesla yesterday, and there are new Equity videos on YouTube. Enjoy!

Here's what the team argued about this week:



  • HungryPanda raises $20 million from 83North and Felix Capital. With a focus on Chinese food, Chinese language users, and Chinese payment options like Alipay, it's a neat play. According to TechCrunch, the service is live in 31 cities in the U.K., Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S and is targeting $200 million in GMV by early Summer.


  • The Org raises $8.5 million, ChartHop raises $5 million. Hailing from two different product perspectives, these two org chart-focused companies both raised capital Thursday morning. That made them interesting to Alex as they formed yet another startup cluster, and Danny was transfixed by their differing starting points as businesses, positing that they will possibly move closer to each other over time.


  • DigitalOcean's $100 million debt raise. The round — an addition of capital to a nearly-profitable, SMB-focused cloud infra provider — split our hosts, with one leaning more towards a PE-exit and the other an IPO. Whether it can drive margins in the smaller-spend cloud customer segment will be critical to watch in the coming months.

  • (For more on venture debt writ large, head here.)

  • And finally, the E-Trade sale to Morgan Stanley, and what it might mean for Robinhood's valuation. As Danny points out, the startup has found a good business in selling the order flow of its customers. Alex weighed in that the company has more revenue scaling to do before it grows into its last private valuation. So long as the market stays good, however, Robinhood is probably in good shape.

Equity is nearly three years old, and we have some neat stuff coming up that you haven't heard about yet. Stay tuned, and thank you for sticking with for so long.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This is the first Equity Shot in what feels like a long time, so, let me explain. Most of the time Equity comes out on Friday. It's a mix of news and chat and venture happenings. It's fun! But, sometimes, a topic comes up that demands more immediate attention. That's what happened today as we stared at Tesla's share price wondering what in the hell was going on.

Sure, Tesla isn't a private company (yet, at least), but as the company made it into the first-ever episode of Equity how can we resist a dive into what is going on today?

Shares of the electric car company are surging -- again -- today, pushing ever-closer to the $1,000 per-share mark. So, Danny, myself, and Chris on the turntables, got together to riff and chat about what is going on.

For those of you who want some links, here you go:

Today was all about fun. The main, more serious (kinda) show is back Friday. Stay cool!

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years don’t worry — we’re not changing the main show.

Here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton and Bessemer's Elliott Robinson which I really enjoyed. And, we just posted the video from that taping, in case you wanted to see what a podcast looks like IRL. Spoiler: It's mostly a bunch of microphones and cables and nerds.

Turning to the news, global growth concerns stemming from the coronavirus outbreak are starting to come true, with Singapore changing its own forecasts. Singapore now expects either slower growth, or negative expansion in 2020. That's bad news. And, Japan's economy was on the ropes even before the virus really slowed things down. Expect more of this to keep happening.

Also this weekend there was yet another tech-media dustup. If you missed it, you didn't miss much.

The week ahead looks pretty tame. No major earnings reports or IPOs are on our horizon, though Dropbox, Wix and Zscaler will report. If you are a SaaS person, that's for you.

We then talked about Dovetail, Copper, Seez, and Bosta -- bringing the morning venture update together with a theme, a first I think for Equity Monday.

All that and we wrapped with Oyo's most recently disclosed financial performance. Surprise, it contained a lot of growth and quickly expanding losses.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

After having a good time with NEA's Rick Yang last week, we thought we'd bring on another venture capitalist. So this week Danny and I had Elliott Robinson from Bessemer swing over for the show. As it turned out, he was about as correct as guest as possible as not only did the topics of the week line up with where he invests, he's also friends with some of the folks that we discussed on the show.

So what did we talk about? A whole host of things including two rounds:

Then we turned to two new funds, including Battery's battery of new capital vehicles that add up to $2 billion. In this part of the discussion we also touched on capital velocity, and why some firms are writing the same number of checks, but still need more capital. On the other end of the capital spectrum, Equal Ventures put together its first fund, and we riffed on the health of the micro-fund ecosystem.

The news run continued, with our trio touching on Airbnb's recent financial results, and our wonderment about how to price the firm, the closure of Brandless (RIP), and the issues at SoftBank.

All that and we had to leave Lyft's fascinating earnings and Uber's profit promises alone as we ran a bit long with just that set of topics. A good week, and we're back Monday morning!

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years, don’t worry — we’re not changing it in the slightest. (Here’s last week’s episode, which included our first guest in a bit, NEA's Rick Yang.)

We kicked off this morning with the latest economic news relating to the coronavirus outbreak in China, namely that a host of Chinese firms are looking for loans. Inside the group of companies seeking capital that Reuters reported are names that we know, like Didi and Meituan Dianping. At first it appeared that the coronavirus' impact would be a bump in growth; now it appears to be a bit more serious.

It's not just big companies that are impacted, mind. Small and private firms with supply chains in China are impacted as well, not to mention the country's entire domestic startup scene.

Looking ahead, there are three key earnings reports on the horizon: Lyft, Alibaba and Shopify. Each matters for a different reason. Alibaba will provide a window into China, Shopify a look at how investors are valuing momentum plays, and Lyft a health report for the on-demand world.

After Uber's surprising results and ensuing adjusted profit promise (Q4 2020, not calendar 2021), Lyft is under fresh pressure to match the covenant. If it doesn't change its profit forecasts, it could be punished. And that could shift the waters for smaller, private on-demand companies like DoorDash and Postmates, along with other mobility firms like Lime and Bird. On-demand companies have raised billions, so Lyft has more than its own investors riding shotgun for its Q4 2019 report.

There are no impending IPOs this week, but there were two rounds that we found interesting:

Finally, WeWork wants you to know that it is turning around. If that is the case is not clear, but its folks are back on CNBC to both beat back an activist attempt to push for change and talk up its own book. How close you think WeWork will end 2020 in the black is probably the next question to ask.

That's it from us. Stay cool, and we will be back Friday morning with yet another guest from the venture capital world.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week was something fun. First, we were back as a group in the San Francisco studio, which is always fun. Even better, we had NEA's Rick Yang on hand to chat with Danny and Alex about the week. Yang, as old-school Equity listeners will recall, was back on the show in 2017. (Equity turns three soon, which is somewhat amazing.)

All that aside, let's talk about what we talked about. As always, we kicked off with three rounds:

After that we chugged through a mountain of news. First up, the confirmation of a story that we had mentioned on the show before, namely the existence of a new venture fund (angel pool, perhaps) from the CEO of email startup Superhuman Rahul Vora and Eventjoy founder Todd Goldberg. The $7 million vehicle is going to cut pre-seed sized checks ($75,000 to $200,000) which should make it a popular pit stop for pre-revenue companies.

What next? Well, Casper of course. The company's IPO pricing and debut was this week, something that we've had something to say about. That and the latest from One Medical's strong post-IPO performance, and the news that Asana has filed privately to go public in a direct listing.

That last item was of particular interest as the company hasn't raised as much cash as other companies that we've seen direct list, the Spotifys and Slacks of the world. So has it raised capital that we haven't heard about, or has it simply not spend the capital it has raised? If it had spent the money, then, wouldn't it want to raise some like with a traditional IPO? Mysteries! Riddles that will be solved when we get to see the damn filing.

Oh, and Spotify continues to pour money into podcasting. Which everyone 'round the table thought was pretty smart.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years don’t worry — we’re not changing what we've always done. (Here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton, in which we talked about Kleiner Perkins, venture capital pace, and more.)

This morning we opened with the latest from China, namely its stock market selloff that looked a bit scary from this side of the ocean. However, global markets had largely absorbed the news stemming from the coronavirus over the last few days, meaning that what happened to China's stocks isn't replicating itself this morning. U.S. futures are up as I write to you this morning.

And since we last spoke, shares of One Medical managed to have a stunning first day, shooting higher despite somewhat lackluster IPO pricing. As we wrote last week, the result is good news for other tech-enabled companies looking to go public.

Bitcoin also had a big January, and we're seeing payments consolidation in Europe. No, fintech isn't very interesting. But, yes, fintech probably matters quite a lot. Consider yourself caught up.

Moving along this morning, we chatted about two different early-stage rounds:

Both fit inside the vertical SaaS theme that we've seen raise so much capital over the past few years.

Finally, WeWork has a new CEO it appears, and the hire looks both intelligent and mature (two traits that WeWork sorely needed before). Better late than never, and so on.

Got all that? Good. Equity is back Friday morning with all the latest, including whatever happens to Casper's impending IPO.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

It was yet another jam-packed week full of big news, IPO happenings, and venture activity. As always we've done our best to deliver the gist on what's been going on. We had Alex Wilhelm and Danny Crichton on hand to handle it all, which went medium-good. In other Equity news, we're back with guests over the next few weeks, so if you miss us having a venture capitalist along for the ride, fear not, their return is just around the corner.

Up top this week was Jon Shieber's report that Kleiner Perkins has rapidly deployed its most recent fund, a $600 million vehicle. While the news felt surprising, digging back through our archives we were reminded that the firm had indicated it might put its capital to work quickly. Still, as Danny pointed out, it's rare that venture capitalists have to go our raising from LPs on an annual basis.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/29/kpcb-has-already-blown-through-much-of-the-600-million-it-raised-last-year/

After that, we turned to some funding rounds that held our attention, including the Free Agency round that is working to bring talent management to the technology industry similar to the sports and entertainment worlds.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/28/free-agency-wants-to-give-every-tech-worker-a-career-and-salary-boost/

The concept makes some sense as compensation packages for top talent in the industry can extend into the seven-figures (Free Agency takes a 5-10% cut of an employee's income using the increasingly popular income-share agreements). Also this round felt a bit like a reminder that the labor market is tight at the moment.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/31/how-income-share-agreements-will-spark-the-rise-of-career-accelerators/

We then moved on to Josh Constine's story about "Ring for enterprise" startup Verkada, which raised a massive $80 million round at a $1.6 billion valuation. That's eye popping, since the extremely small dilution implied with those numbers (5%) is very rare in the venture world.

https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/29/verkada-security/

After that we turned to a few rounds that Alex has had his eye on, namely the somewhat-recent Insurify round, the pretty-recent Gabi round, and the most-recent Policygenius. All told they sum to $150 million, which made us ask the question, why are venture capitalists so into insurance marketplace startups?

Finally, we touched on the latest from the intra-SoftBank delivery war between DoorDash and Uber Eats, including who is impacted, and what it means for future consolidation in the on-demand world. Or more precisely, why hasn't there been more?

Finally, don't forget that IPO season is upon us. Are you caught up?

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years don’t worry — we’re not changing it in the slightest. (Here’s last week’s episode which took a look at The Athletic's latest round, in case you missed it.)

This Monday was a bit of a bad news run. The weekend was stuffed with news, not much of it good.

Continued concerns relating to the spread of the coronavirus led to equity selloffs in Asia and Europe. In the United States, markets look set to follow suit. The concerns come as startups had already come under pressure from investors to show a quick path to profitability. Now, their public comps are taking fire as well.

Topping it off, today kicks off a huge, two-week earnings run from tech companies worth trillions of dollars. It's not a great moment for it. (As we note on the show, the economic side of the outbreak is a small portion of the story; it feels a bit crass to cover the moment from a dollars-perspective, but that's our particular lens.)

We also ran through three funding rounds, including MURAL's $23 million Series A, Otter.ai's $10 million Series B, and Sawee's $2.3 million round focused on last-mile logistics. (As a product, I can't recommend Otter highly enough.)

Wrapping, a Wall Street Journal story was stuck in my head all weekend. According to the Journal's Eliot Brown, Lime and DoorDash have each been out in the markets trying to raise money lately. Neither has managed to pull it off. If stocks keep selling, what happens next for the infamous unicorns?

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Danny and Alex are back with more than ever to get through. 2020 has come out of the gate fast when it comes to news, so much so that we had to leave out of the show way more than we wanted. Things like the newest members of the $100 million ARR club, One Medical's proposed IPO pricing, the Clubhouse funding round and Placer.ai's latest investment.

But we did manage to chat through a host of news, including:


  • Why Front's latest investment (a $59 million Series C) is a pretty big deal. Not because of how much money it has raised -- the firm has raised more in a single, preceding round -- but because of who put the capital to work.

  • On the venture capital front, Danny and Alex also chewed over signaling risk in venture, and why bigger funds are writing earlier and earlier checks.

  • Also on the docket was the latest from Lambda School, which our former co-host and friend Kate Clark wrote. The gist is that regardless of how you feel about the company, your views are probably a bit too negative, or a bit too positive. (More on the company's ilk from Extra Crunch here, and here.)

  • And three media deals, including The Athletic's latest investment ($50 million), who might buy the company behind the hit podcast "Serial" and why Spotify might buy The Ringer. Which is about sports, it turns out.

All that and we had fun. One more thing: Don't fret, we're going to bring guests back in just a few weeks. So if you've missed hearing from Folks Who Actively Invest, fear not, the VCs will be back.

 

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Equity's regular, long-form shows still land each and every Friday, including this entry from just a few days ago.

This morning, coming to you early from the frozen tundra of the American East Coast, it's Tuesday. That's because yesterday was a holiday in the United States, so we took the day to work a little less than usual. But that doesn't mean we'd skip an episode, so let's dive into topics:


  • Uber is cutting its losses in India, selling its Eats business for a stake in Zomato. Zomato is well-funded, and Uber now loses less money. However, where it will find growth is the next question.

  • Earnings season is upon us. This week Netflix, IBM, and Intel will announce their results. Naturally, those aren't the companies that we care about the most on Equity, but they are big enough to generate quite a lot of noise. Noise that will help set market sentiment regarding technology companies, both public and private.

  • Also on the news front, Tesla is saying 'no' to reports that its cars accelerate without input.


  • Qonto, a French neobank, has raised a $115 million Series C. That's a huge round for a neat company that is taking a popular model in a fresh direction.


  • Stasher is a neat company in that it must make sense, even if your humble servant doesn't really get it. It raised $2.5 million more.


  • Captrace also put together a round, though we don't know how large. What happens if you cross the cap table with blockchain? We may find out.

  • Finally, a reminder as to why Uber is leaving Eats in India behind. Globally, Uber Eats turned $3.66 billion in GMV into $392 million in adjusted net revenue in Q3 2019. That wound up generating -$316 million in adjusted EBITDA. Damn.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Danny and Alex were back together to riff over a the latest early-stage rounds, the latest on the late-stage front, and more. It was yet another stacked week, forcing us to pick and choose a bit.

Starting off, however, here's the rounds that caught our eyes this past week:

Leaving the earlier stages and heading to the other end of the spectrum, we touched on Cloudinary passing the $60 million ARR mark, ExtraHop aiming for $100 million ARR mark in short order, and SiteMinder's new $70 million round that gave it a $750 million valuation after crossing $70 million ARR last year.

Got all that? Like we said, it has been busy.

The two main stories this week on the show were the big Plaid deal, and what's going on in the United States's own venture market.

With Plaid, Visa spent more than $5 billion to acquire the financial data API service in one of the first blockbuster exits of the year, making some VCs at Spark Capital and other firms very happy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. venture capital landscape is changing rapidly as more and more regions outside of Silicon Valley bulk up on their startups. The Valley is barely a majority of VC dollars these days, while regions like the mid-Atlantic and the Southeast are raising their profiles quickly. We talk about that, plus the more than a dozen mega funds that launched last year.

Wrapping up, it appears that the venture capitalist classes are tired. Not that we feel too poorly for them, but it goes to show that there's so much going on these days that no one is getting any rest. No matter how much money they have.

Key points in this episode

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch's Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you've listened to the show over the years don't worry -- we're not changing the main show. (Here's last week's episode with Danny Crichton, which was a lot of fun.)

What was on our minds this morning? Brian Heater's CES overview of sleeptech from the weekend, which made the argument that not all gadgets are bad for our sleep, even if there is some irony in using tech to help cure our tech-addled brains. Here's to something a bit more substantial than blackout shades.

Also, Facebook closed out last week after setting some record valuations -- so much for the techlash -- and Casper's IPO filing landed to much impact just as everyone was trying to get away from their desks and onto their couches.

Looking at the coming week, earnings season is upon us, but not quite yet for companies that we care about, the recently public tech and venture-backed firms of the world. There are some big names that are reporting this month, but over the next five days expect things to be a bit quiet. Pending news, of course.

And in terms of the Twitter forecast, with the CEO of Away coming back to her company as early as today, expect your timeline to feature one topic in particular. Can you guess what it is?

This morning we also took a look at two funding rounds:


  • Former Google Pay execs raise $13.2M to build neo-banking platform for millennials in India (TechCrunch)

  • Legalpad Raises $10M To Help Immigrant Entrepreneurs With The Visa Process (Crunchbase News)

And we wrapped with notes on the Casper IPO filing, and why it's attracting so much commentary, and criticism.

Hit play, and let's get this week started!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we had TechCrunch's Alex Wilhelm and Danny Crichton on hand to dig into the news, with Chris Gates on the dials and more news than we could possibly cram into 30 minutes. So we went a bit over; sorry about that.

We kicked off by running through a few short-forms to get things going, including:


  • Alex wanted to talk about his recent story on Lily AI's $12.5 million Series A. Canaan led the round into the ecommerce-focused recommendation engine that has a cool take on what people care about.

  • Danny talked about the acquisition of Armis Security to Insight for $1.1 billion, the VC round for self-driving forklift startup Vecna, and an outside-the-Valley round for Houston-based HighRadius.

Turning to longer cuts, the team dug into the latest from SoftBank, its Vision Fund, and the successes and struggles of its enormous startup bets. Leading the news cycle this week were layoffs at Zume, a robotic pizza delivery venture that is no longer pursuing robotic pizza delivery. Now it's working on sustainable packaging. Cool, but it's going to be hard for the company to grow into its valuation while pivoting.

Other issues have come up — more here — that paint some cracks onto the Vision Fund's sunny exterior. Don't be too beguiled by the bad news, Danny says, venture funds run like J-Curves, and there are still winners in that particular portfolio.

After that, we turned to China, in particular its venture slowdown. The bubble, in Danny's view, has burst. The story discussed is here, if you want to read it. The short version for the lazy is that not only has China's venture scene slowed down dramatically, but startups — even those with ample capital raised — are dying by the hundred. But one highly caffeinated Chinese startup continues to find growth in the world's greatest tea market.

Finally we hit on the Sam Altman wager and the latest from Sisense, which is now a unicorn. All that and we had some fun.

Key points in this episode

Hello TechCrunch readers and Equity listeners alike. This morning we have something new for you that Chris and I are excited about: We're doubling the pace that we bring Equity, TechCrunch's venture capital-focused podcast, to your phone or computer.

Starting this morning and continuing on Monday mornings moving forward, the Equity crew will put together a short, zero-bullshit episode designed to get your week started.

What news did you miss over the weekend? What recent venture rounds do you need to know about? What's ahead in the coming week? And what's on our minds? That's what Equity Monday will bring you each and every morning in about 7 minutes.

We will continue release the Equity that you know every Friday, with new and familiar hosts. We are excited about 2020 and all things that Equity has coming.

Sound good? Let’s talk about what’s going on right now.

Hello, Monday

The markets are a mess this morning, unsurprising given rising global geopolitical tension and rising energy prices. But inside the world of technology there were warning signs of other sorts.

Wired's latest look at on-demand busses caught our eye, especially in light of what the failure of some pilot tests could mean for ride-hailing giants. And Intagram's slowing growth looks like a bummer for Facebook, even if you could construe the news as a shot in the arm for tech startups looking to break into the social media space.

Looking ahead, it's CES this week, meaning that half the reporters you know are trapped in Las Vegas, slowly turning into walking plague victims, while the other half are gloating from home that they didn't have to go. TechCrunch has a great look back at CES history, and The Verge did good work here looking what to expect from tech companies at the show.

Three funding rounds caught our eye this morning:

Wrapping things up we had questions about One Medical's impending IPO. Mostly relating, if we're being fair, to what the company is really worth. We're back to the question of what a tech company is, and maybe isn't.

We're off to get that post done so hit play, catch up, and we'll be back on Friday with Equity as it always has been.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Kate and Alex and the ever-intrepid man behind the dials, Chris, took the time this week to dig into the two biggest stories from the end of 2019 and look into the future. But as you'll quickly hear, there was news on the show. Kate Clark is moving on from Equity and TechCrunch to The Information. We wish her nothing but the best but it's still a big blah to say goodbye all the same. (A big congrats to the folks at The Information, Kate's tremendous.)

But we still had Kate this week, so here's a short rundown of what we talked about as a team:



  • The Away fiasco: We've discussed Away on the show a number of times, but this time it wasn't for something good. The company found itself in the midst of a media firestorm about how it treated its staff. The first story led to follow-on coverage, the earlier-than-internally-expected exit of the company's CEO, and more. Also in the conversation was the question of whether CEOs who are women are held to higher standards than men. After all, overbearing male CEOs in startupland is a tale as old as startups themselves.


  • #Pelotongate: We couldn't help but chat a bit about everyone's favorite Christmas-time brand meltdown. And as Peloton was a 2019 IPO, it still fits in our private company wheelhouse. Or at least closely enough. Expect more eyes than usual on the exercise company's next earnings report.

We then turned to predictions, taking a turn apiece to detail what we thought was coming up in 2020. Traditionally, Equity is somewhat poor at making predictions that actually come true, so we roped our producer in to help talk about the future. He is, after all, the person in the world who has listened to more Equity than anyone else in the world.

What's ahead for Equity in our post-Kate future? We have a huge 2020 planned. We have new formats, new hosts, new guests and more coming your way. So don't worry, Alex and Chris are still around and the show will go on! (Check TechCrunch.com next Monday for more.)

 

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate was in SF, Alex was in Providence, and there was a mountain of news to shovel through. If you're here because we mentioned linking to a certain story in the show notes, that's here. For everyone else, let's get into the agenda.

We kicked off with a look at three new venture funds. In order:



  • Tusk Ventures: Tusk's new fund, worth $70 million, is an effective doubling of its prior fund's $36 million size. The politically-savvy firm has put money into Coinbase, and other companies that deal with regulated industries.


  • Sapphire Ventures: SAP's former corporate venture fund Sapphire Ventures announced a whopping $1.4 billion fundraise this week. Sapphire may be one of, or the most successful CVC spinouts to date.


  • Moxxie: Katie Jacobs Stanton, known for co-founding #ANGELS, just closed her debut fund on $25 million. Kate had chatted with her about her experience fundraising her very own fund, some of her previous investment and her plans for Moxxie Ventures so there was plenty to unpack here.

From there we turned the gender imbalance in the world of venture capital. KATE

After we took a quick look at two different venture rounds, including ProdPerfect's $13 million Series A and Pepper's smaller $5.6 million round. ProdPerfect's round was led by Anthos Capital (known for investing in Honey which sold for $4 billion). The company has $2 million in ARR and is growing quickly. Pepper, formed by former Snap denziens is working to help other startups lower their CAC costs in-channel. Smart.

And finally, Alex wanted to bring up his series on startups that reach the $100 million ARR threshold. A first piece looking into the idea led to a few more submissions. There seem to be enough companies to name the grouping with something nice. Centurion? Centipede? Centaur? We're working on it.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We have something special this week and it's not just because Kate's in Berlin for TechCrunch Disrupt Europe and Alex's in the throws of a cross country move! No, we've had this episode in the works for a while, and we're excited to finally present our deep dive on direct listings with Chris Mayo, the head of primary markets at the London Stock Exchange.

If you're unfamiliar with direct listings, no need for concern. Chris walks us through the basics and even the more complicated stuff. Before you jump in. Here's a quick refresher on the new and innovative method of going public. Direct listings allow companies to exit by listing existing shares held by insiders, employees and investors directly to the market, rather than the traditional method of issuing new shares. If you're interested, we've written quite a bit on the subject like this, this, this and more.

As for Mayo, before landing at the London Stock Exchange in 2014 he was a consultant at EcoLogic Systems and a director of equity capital markets, Central and Eastern Europe.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week was a bit different than usual. First, we managed to come close to our old time target (20 minutes) instead of our regular length (30 minutes). And, second, Alex is coming back to TechCrunch starting next week!

Expect more Equity and, from Alex, writing for Extra Crunch. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you aren’t an Extra Crunch subscriber yet you can use the code “EQUITY” and save a bundle. (Woo!)

That done, let’s dig into the news that Kate and Alex discussed, starting with Harlem Capital’s $40.3 million new fund. The New York-based outfit has a focus on investing in minority entrepreneurs, who receive significantly less than their white male counterparts. This is one of the largest funds with a diversity mandate to date, and that's something to be stoked about.

Next we turned to Mike Cagney’s canny fundraising ability. The former SoFi CEO, ousted for bad behavior, is putting together another huge funding round for his startup, Figure Technologies. The expected $103 million round comes after the company raised $120 million before.

With over $50 million raised of the more than $100 million it expects, covering Figure is partially a financial story. However, due to Cagney’s part in the project, it’s also a story of how fast money forgives.

Pivoting to Europe, Kate and Alex chewed into the latest report on European venture capital, pulling from Atomico and Forbes. The headlines are pretty simple: There are more EU-based unicorns than ever, more money invested in the region, and the money is mostly finding male hands.

Disappointing diversity metrics aside, it’s an encouraging set of metrics for a region that has long found itself left to the side when major startup markets are discussed.

And finally, Alex wanted to talk about two impending US-listed technology IPOs. Coming in the wake of the WeWork fiasco and sporting similar share prices but divergent growth profiles, the debuts of Bill.com and Sprout Social are events.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We had a lot to get through this week and may have ran over our time a little bit but it was worth it. First, we discussed Weekend Fund's second effort, a $10 million vehicle targeting early-stage upstarts. Led by Product Hunt founder and CEO Ryan Hoover, Weekend Fund raised a smaller debut angel fund a few years ago. Now they're back at it after deploying capital to Girlboss, TTYL, Headspin and more.

Next, we turned to some upsetting news, at least for the employees and venture capitalists behind the startup Omni. After raising a total of $35 million in VC funding, Omni announced this week it was shutting down, with 10 of its engineers moving over to Coinbase. It appears the company struggled to make the economics of equipment rentals and physical on-demand storage work out. It’s another victim of a venture capital-subsidized business offering a convenient service at an unsustainable price.

Far from shuttering, we also spoke about Cocoon, a new company that wants to help you stay in touch with those who matter most. The company graduated from Y Combinator and has since raised $3 million in venture funding. The startup was founded by former Facebook employees, hence the headline, and is hoping to create the dedicated software that you use for that most important group chat in your life. The iOS-only app is a bit of a cross between Life360, Slack and Path.

Finally, we closed the episode with some Airbnb news and the New York Stock Exchange's interesting plans to alter direct listings.

Glad you guys came back for another episode, we’ll see you soon.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We have something a bit different for you this week. Equity co-host Kate Clark recently sat down with Manish Chandra, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Poshmark, and one of his earliest investors, NFX managing partner James Currier.

If you haven't heard of Poshmark, it's an online platform for buying and selling clothes. Basically, it's the thrift shop of the 21st century. We asked Chandra how he and co-founders Tracy Sun, Gautam Golwala and Chetan Pungaliya cooked up the idea for Poshmark, what bumps they faced along the way, how they raised venture capital and, of course, what details of their upcoming initial public offering he could share with us. Meanwhile, Currier dished about the company's early days, when the Poshmark team worked hard on the floor of Currier's office.

Unfortunately, neither Chandra or Currier were willing to share deets about Poshmark's IPO, reportedly expected soon. But they both shared interesting insights into building a successful venture-backed company, battling competition and putting your best foot forward.

Glad you guys came back for another episode, we'll see you soon.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate was in China, so TechCrunch's Danny Crichton and Alex took the helm while she was out grilling Lime. So, with our producer (the excellent Mr. Gates) in San Francisco and Danny in New York and Alex in the provinces, we got into the following to start:


  • Jetpack Aviation and it’s seed round to build a flying motorcycle, because of course why not

  • An endurance racing startup raising money from Usain Bolt

  • Norwest’s mega new $2B fund

  • EQT’s mega new $750 million rumored European growth fund

  • And a new round for Peanut, the social network for mothers

Pivoting into the biggest news from the week, 1Password raised a comically-large $200 million Series A round of funding. The firm quite obviously hadn't raised much capital before but had grown to be quite large. Hence the large check. Recall that Series A really means a company's first institutional round, not a specific dollar range.

Next we discussed DoorDash and its possible $100 million add-on to its $600 million round from earlier this year. The new capital should keep the on-demand technology company's valuation pegged just above where it was set during its preceding round. So, a down round this is not.

Meanwhile, Docker received a $35M investment from Benchmark and sold much of its business to Marantis, which has all the appearances of a recap for the formerly high-flying unicorn.

What else? JUUL is laying off staff, WeWork is still losing an ocean of dollars, and Line is partnering up with Yahoo Japan.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we did something just a little bit new. Kate was in studio at TechCrunch's SF HQ. Alex was in his dork cave in Providence. And we had a guest in the studio as well. We've done similar setups before, but never with video all around. So, welcome to a slightly new chapter in Equity's production history (all praise to Chris for making it work, video will be out today on TechCrunch's YouTube page).

Our guest this week was the excellent Sarah Smith from Bain Capital Ventures. Before she turned to writing checks, Smith worked for both Quora and Facebook. Her fun fact? She's an avid and competitive player of board games.

First up we dug into one of Kate's latest, a piece looking at the influencer space, venture investments into it, and what's next for the power of the Instagram-famous. She highlights startups like Influence, Cameo, Karat and more.

Next up, Deserve raised $50 million from Goldman Sachs, making the round something that was worth touching on. Later, Alex spoke with the company's CEO and picked up more context, but what matters for today is that Deserve is doubling-down on its credit card fintech service, not doing what other companies that handle money are up to, namely trying to become neobanks at high speed.

Speaking of which, why is every fintech or finservices startup becoming a bank? Partially because they can, partially because it can be lucrative, and partially because, we found out, it's a way to juice customers that they've already paid to acquire. Want to make your CAC expenses look more efficient? Stretch out that LTV!

And then we spent a minute on Uber's results, which proved better than but wound up being poorly received.

Glad you guys came back for another episode, we'll see you soon.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate and Alex broke the discussion into two main themes. The first dealt with early-stage companies, and the second, as you can imagine, later-stage affairs. Don't worry, we don't get to SoftBank for quite some time.

Up top, we dug into Kate's story about Quill, a formerly stealthy company that could be taking on Slack. That or something similar to Slack. Next, we turned to ManiMe, a startup in the beauty space that raised a smaller $2.6 million to take on a market that is valued in the billions.

After that it was time to leave the auspices of the early-stage market and move to, of all things, a public company. GrubHub reported earnings this week. It went poorly. Alex wanted to riff over the company's earnings report and what it could mean for startups that are competing with GrubHub, a leader in the food delivery space that DoorDash and Postmates would prefer to lead themselves.

What impact GrubHub may have on the highly-valued on-demand companies isn't clear yet, but will be pretty damn interesting to see when it does land.

Sticking to the later-stage markets, Alex dug into the problems at Wag which is struggling and looking for a sale despite raising a castle of cash from the Vision Fund. Kate followed that up with notes on problems at Katerra. The Information is reporting this week that the business is going through a number of layoffs and we're wondering if it will suffer the same fate of some of SoftBank's other investments.

And, finally, the changing face of things at SoftBank itself. The great money spigot is slowly cutting flow. How many unicorns that will strand isn't yet clear. But surely it can't be zero.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate and Alex held the reins as a duo (check out our chat with Greylock's Sarah Guo from last week here) to dig into an enormous raft of news. And don't worry, it's not all late-stage happenings. We're discussing early-stage news every week because that's what the listeners want!

Up top we dug into Kate's excellent work covering the Superhuman founder's new micro fund, or at least his attempt at raising such a fund. Our main question is how can he be a good VC and a good executive at the same time? Folks don't tend to do both at the same time because they're each more than full-time jobs. Having two such gigs sounds hard.

But hey, it's not just athletes and musicians who can bring outsized interest to deals. In-demand founders can have a similar effect. We'll be keeping a close eye on the upcoming fun. Moving on.

Next we turned to the other end of the venture landscape, looking at Founder's Fund's new capital vehicles. With a combined $2.7 billion in eventual capital, FF is hoping to build a financial redoubt from which they can rain capital down on late-stage targets wherever they may be.

Is it a bit late in the cycle to cut late-stage checks to companies that might otherwise go public? That's the gamble so far as we can see it, but perhaps with WeWork's IPO dreams turned to nightmares, there's demand among a group of companies for another 12 months in the private markets. And that means more money is required.

On the theme of more money, Lime is raising some more and we were treated to new financial results from The Information's great work getting the figures. Or discussion asked the question of how far the company's unit economics could improve. Kate said that Lime is investing a lot now in developing better hardware, so their scooters can last more than 5 minutes on the roads before breaking down. She thinks things will start looking up when its deploying only new, fancy, good scooters. Alex is bearish.

Before we could turn back to the early-stage market and wrap up, we had to cover the latest from WeWork. SoftBank did in the end come and save the day (at least for now) for the company, meaning that WeWork lives on, though layoffs are expected sooner rather than later. Who knows what the future holds...

And finally, Vendr, a company that is profitable, raised a $2 million round. This is interesting because, again, it's profitable! And the startup willing shared some financial data with us--a rarity. Read more about the recent Y Combinator graduate here.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where each week we discuss other people’s money and what sense their investment choices make (or don't).

This week was honestly a treat. We had Kate Clark in the studio along with Alex Wilhelm and a special guest, Sarah Guo from Greylock Partners, a venture firm (obviously). Guo has the distinction of having the best-ever fun fact on the show.

We kicked off with Grammarly, a company that recently put $90 million into its accounts. We chatted about for whom it was built, and if we use it today. One thing that felt clear was that consumers are more willing than before to pay for their tooling. And that means that companies like Grammarly may prove strong investment candidates.

Next, we hit on two more rounds, namely Tiger Global's investment into Lattice and Clari's $60 million Series D. Starting with Lattice, a performance management company founded by none other than Sam Altman's brother, Jack. The startup raised $25 million from Tiger Global, read more about that here.

Clari led us a to a discussion of vertical SaaS, and Guo's views on the future of SaaS products (she's bullish). Alex and Guo had a lot to say on this subject.

After talking over a few rounds the discussion turned to the Q3 venture market. A few things stood out from the data and projections. First, that early-stage fundraising was a little light in the quarter. It could be a single-quarter wobble, but the data was worth chewing on all the same. And, second, that Seed deal and dollar volume were hot once again.

And we wrapped with a discussion of Tempest, a new sobriety-focused startup that raised a $10 million round. Honestly, we aren't sure how we feel about the business model. Please let us know if you have thoughts.

It was a good time. A big thanks to Guo for coming on the show, and a shoutout to the team that makes Equity happen: Chris Gates, and Henry Pickavet.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

We have a special episode this week. Instead of our regular lineup, we got Alex on the phone with an IPO expert to dig into the year's IPO cycle both at home and abroad. Helping with the effort was James Clark, the Head of Tech and Lifesciences, Primary Markets at the London Stock Exchange.

That means we had IPO fans from both the US and across the pond to kick into what has happened thus far in 2019, and what's coming around both in Q4 and in 2020.

We touched on a few topics, including the declining popularity of startups that don't make money, the strength of software companies' debuts (Datadog, CrowdStrike, for example), and a little bit on direct listings (they have a different name in the UK, it turns out).

We're now into the fourth quarter of 2020, and some companies have done better than expected (Beyond Meat), while others have done worse (Uber and Lyft). It's been fun, and, fingers crossed, we won't run short of more fodder in the coming months!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where each week we discuss other people’s copious dollars and lacking sense.

This week was special! Kate and Alex at Disrupt where they recorded live in front of an audience. Equity has recorded at Disrupt before. Equity has taped before an audience before. But this was the first time that we taped it at Disrupt and in front of an audience that actually had chairs. Progress!

https://twitter.com/KateClarkTweets/status/1179915146392588289?s=20

Charles Hudson of Precursor Ventures joined us as well, making for an excellent show. Astute listeners among us will recall that Hudson is a former guest on the show, having taken part back in mid-2017.

Onto the topics, we discussed the impending Precursor Ventures opportunity fund (more here). We wanted to know why it was of modest size, especially in an era of ever-larger venture capital funds.

Next, we turned to a trio of startup stories, starting with Rhino, a company that is working to shake up the rental deposit market. Hate paying deposits for an apartment? Would you rather pay a small, regular fee? Rhino hopes that you would, and has raised $21 million to build out the idea.

Also on our list of topics was a small upstart by the name of Knowable, our colleague Josh Constine profiled the business here. The company sells educational audio bits, and they want you to know, they are not a podcasting business. We're still a bit unclear of the difference between educational audio and podcast but VCs seem confident enough in the company's prospects, funneling $3.75 million in the project.

The last startup we riffed on is called oollee. The company provides people with an unlimited supply of filtered drinking water for a small monthly fee. It’s raised $1 million in pre-seed funding from investors, including Mission Gate Inc. and Columbus Holdings, and, of course, we have thoughts!

After that we touched on the most valuable Y Combinator companies, including Stripe (more here and here), Airbnb and DoorDash. The list of YC's hits is getting long. And, it provided the perfect segue to Airbnb.

Airbnb intends to go public via a direct listing, according to a whole bunch of recent reports. Every VC in town seems to have opinions about direct listings as the next best path to the public markets, maybe they're right. Finally, WeWork is selling off a bunch of stuff that it bought recently. Here's a list of what it bought, but SpaceIQ, Teem, Conductor and more are said to be on the chopping block.

All that and we had fun! Back to normal next week.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

As with yesterday, Kate and Alex were both on-site at TechCrunch’s San Francisco headquarters to chat over the latest. Unlike yesterday, however, Equity brought along a guest: Sean Dempsey from Merus Capital. (Merus writes Seed and Series A checks, with a focus on enterprise companies.)

And thus the three dove into the news. Early-stage first, to shake things up.

Early-Stage

Kate wrote a story this week about a startup you might have forgotten about but who's name probably rings a bell. Bodega! The company now goes by Stockwell, actually, and they've raised a whopping total of $45 million in VC funding. But what's in a name after all? We debate.

Next we turned to an interesting company called Kapwing. What's that you ask? "It's a laymen’s Adobe Creative Suite built for what people actually do on the internet: make memes and remix media," says TechCrunch's Josh Constine. We're intrigued.

Late-Stage And Beyond

This week Peloton priced and went public. The firm's $29 per-share IPO price was top of its proposed range ($26 to $29). The public markets, however, decided that the unicorn had reached too high.

So, shares of the high-end exercise company dropped, wrapping the day down about 11 percent. A good IPO first day this was not, though the company did manage to raise more capital than it might have with more conservative pricing. (Peloton has a yucky multi-class share structure that we touched on as well; it seems that all the big companies these days are opposed to regular governance.)

Next we turned to the Vox-NYMag merger. It's a bit out of our territory but its a digital media deal, so we were interested. After all, the two of us have spent our entire careers in digital media and we have a vested interested in these companies surviving.

WeWork (Redux)

We honestly tried to get all the WeWork out of our system yesterday. We wanted to include zero WeWork content on this episode. But WeWork keeps doing things, so here we are.

Keeping things as brief as we can, WeWork is going to divest some companies that it bought (more on what we thought it was up to, here) including its jet, and the firm is looking to take on more capital. Unsurprisingly.

All that and we're done for this week. Chat you all at Disrupt!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate and Alex were back at TechCrunch’s San Francisco HQ to huddle over the weeks' biggest news story: WeWork's infamous CEO exiting his role. Adam Neumann is now merely the non-executive chairman of The We Company, a firm that he helped found and led the public story for over the last half-decade.

His exit comes after a number of revelations made his tenure at the highly-valued WeWork appear chaotic and self-dealing. After WeWork's valuation tumbled as it raced towards a financially-critical IPO, something had to give. The firm tried to ameliorate investors with changes (read: improvements) to its corporate governance but that wasn't enough. Snakes don't rot from the tail, and WeWork needed new leadership, which it got the form of co-CEOs.

WeWork is now led by Sebastian Gunningham and Artie Minson, seasoned executives with stints at Amazon and Time Warner Cable, respectively. They've been charged with leading the company into an era of maturity, cost-cutting and maybe even profitability! But probably not. Anyway, we think there are a whole lot of parallels to draw between Uber and WeWork, as we've made clear in the past.

Kate and Alex also touched on corporate governance, especially regarding super-voting stock. The TL;DR: private company boards look and operate much differently than public company boards. More often than not, startup boards are made up of venture capitalists focused on protecting their equity and future returns. It's a dog-eat-dog world, folks.

Wapping, it seems likely that WeWork will look to secure new cash in the short-term as it buttons up its business, divests or kills off non-performing assets (remember this?), and looks to temper both its growth-rate and losses. If that will be enough to allow the company to float in 2020 (2019 seems unlikely) isn't clear.

Icarus.

We're back Friday morning with our regular episode and a guest. Stay tuned!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate and Alex were back at TechCrunch's San Francisco headquarters to chat the news with Kleiner Perkin's Mamoon Hamid. Hamid is best known as a former member of the Social Capital team, and for driving generational change at Kleiner Perkins, a decades-old venture capital firm.

While we were prepping our notes, Airbnb announced that it is indeed going public next year. The firm's terse statement launched 1,000 blog posts (here is one, here is another), while instigating a few jokes. After all, the IPO market is hot now. Saying that you are going to try your best to get out next year isn't incredibly impressive from a firm with as many billions as Airbnb is today. It's also not at all surprising.

Still, it's a near-promise. And that means eventually we'll get to see what the popular home-sharing and accommodations company spends all its gross margin on. Moving along, we discussed the recent WeWork revelations. If you haven't read the Wall Street Journal's piece on the matter, you must. It is chock-full of colorful anecdotes with WeWork's co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann front and center.

Next, we got into the news concerning a split at Aspect Ventures, which TechCrunch covered here. We had heard rumors about the split, first reported by The WSJ, for a few weeks now and were interested to discuss what drives these sort of shake-ups with our guest.

Scooting ahead, we turned to the early-stage market where quite a few of you, our lovely friends, have asked us to spend more time. So, we talked at length about D2C startups, including the new, and we think cool Thingtesting business. You can check out their Instagram, the focal point of their business, here. Despite enjoying Thingtesting, Kate and Mamoon are bearish on the D2C movement.

All that and we had a good time. Sorry about the lack of donut continuity in the video. We're back next week with more, and we'll see everyone at Disrupt in two weeks!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate and Alex were back to cover a lot of late-stage news, which they rounded up with some early-stage notes towards the end. As a reminder, come check out the show at Disrupt SF if you are in town, we'll be out amongst startups, chatting all things startups and money.

Up top, we dug into WeWork and the latest from the company's continuing IPO saga. The question regarding the co-working company's public offering has changed to whether the IPO will happen this year, not just at what price the firm can entice enough investment to actually get public.

Alex has written about the company's cash appetite a few times now, which raise the question of how long the company can survive without some sort of large, external investment. If SoftBank is willing to commit more capital is an open question.

Moving along to Uber, the firm underwent layoffs again this week. More than 400 people, or 8% of the operations, were cut as the company attempts to streamline operations, cut costs and, well, take baby steps toward profitability. As mentioned in the show here is a link to the Travis Kalanick letter.

Turning to the early-stage part of the world, there's a new early-stage-focused venture fund out there, Work Life Ventures, which intends to put small checks into promising SaaS companies. The firm is led by SaaS School founder Brianne Kimmel, a well-known angel investor in the enterprise space. So far she's backed three companies out of the fund, including recent Y Combinator standout Tandem.

We finished off the episode with... cereal. A company called Magic Spoon (their website is here, as promised) raised $5.5 million this week for its D2C breakfast business. Our take is that the price point is a bit too high for comfort in its current iteration. It'll be interesting to see if the startup can lower its prices now that it has new capital.

We'll be back in a week! Chat soon, and please stop telling us to become angel investors!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week, we recorded on location at TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise in San Francisco, a show that saw talks from Box's Aaron Levie, Atlassian CEO Scott Farquhar and venture capitalists Maha Ibrahim, Rebecca Lynn and Jason Green. The latter, the founder of Emergence Capital, joined us before his panel for a special episode of Equity focused almost entirely on enterprise tech. Danny Crichton, the esteemed leader of TechCrunch's Extra Crunch, was on hand to co-lead the episode with Kate.


Before we jumped too deep into the enterprise pool, we had to review some news from one of the most-talked about companies. The co-working giant, legally known as The We Company, is said to have halved its IPO exceptions to a minuscule $20 billion! Ok that's not really that small but compared to its most recent valuation of $47 billion, we're a bit shocked.


Next, we ran through the IPO pipeline. Cloudflare is expected to go public next Friday. Datadog will come after that. WeWork is reportedly kicking off its roadshow next week, but given this week's reports, that could be delayed.


After that, Green gave us his take on Box, the file sharing business in which he was an early investor in. If you haven't heard, activist investor Starboard Value took a 7.5% stake in the business this week. Green explains what that means and what he think is next for the company. Levie, of course, spoke on stage at the enterprise event. In short, the executive said his goal is to continue building a sustainable business.


Finally, we dove into the latest trends in startups. Enterprise still isn't sexy but it's much sexier than it's been in the past. Why? Because all the enterprise startups want to build consumer friendly tools. Tune in to hear what Green thinks of the consumerization of the enterprise and all the startup madness.

Key points in this episode

TechCrunch is back in San Francisco for our flagship event, Disrupt SF. We've got a fantastic line up of startup and tech leaders on tap like Snapchat's Evan Spiegel, Postmates CEO Basitan Lehmann, and Salesforce's Marc Benioff.


Plus, you can experience an entire track of "how-to" content to help you grow your business from experts at Bumble, Fitbit, Uber, Goldman Sachs, Y Combinator and more.


Also! We'll be recording a special episode of Equity right in the middle of Startup Alley. So get a ticket and come enjoy the goodness. Early-bird pricing ends tonight, and if you act now you can save another 20% by using promo code EQUITY. techcrunch.com/disruptsf


Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we were back in the SF studio, with Kate and Alex on hand to chat venture, business, startups, and IPOs with Iris Choi. Choi is a partner at Floodgate, and one of the very few folks who have ever been invited back on the show.


Despite Floodgate being an early-stage firm, Choi was more than willing to dig into the week's later-stage topics, starting with the Peloton IPO filing. Kate was stoked about the offering (her piece here, Alex's notes here). Peloton, a fitness, media, hardware (and more) company, is a lot different than your run-of-the-mill enterprise SaaS exits.


Next Alex ran the team through a list of impending IPOs that we care about. There are a number of venture-backed companies looking to go public before the stock market falls apart. More on each when they price.


After the S-1 march, we turned to personnel news, namely that Instacart's CFO is leaving the firm after about four years with the company. Ravi Gupta is joining Sequoia Capital. We'll tell you why.


Next, we touched on two rounds. First, a Kleiner deal into Consider, an app that brings power-tooling to email. And then we chatted about Inkitt, another Kleiner deal. Why the pair of early-stage rounds? Because Alex recently went to Kleiner to chat with its new partner team about where they'll deploy capital in the future.


And that took us comfortably overtime. A big thanks to Choi for joining us, again, and you for sticking with the show. More next week!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we were helmed by Kate Clark, Alex Wilhelm, and yet another extra special guest. Unusual Ventures co-founder and partner John Vironis joined us to talk soil investing (yes, it's a thing), seed investing, growth investing and all the somewhat meaningless funding stages.


Vrionis was a longtime investor at Lightspeed Venture Partners and has made big bets on a number of companies, including AppDynamics, Heptio, and Mulesoft.


It was a great episode that kicked off with some conversation around DoorDash, the food delivery company that continues to make headlines week after week. We'd like to stop talking about the company, but it intrudes regularly into our notes.


This time DoorDash bought a few companies, purchases that appear set to allow the firm to boost its investment and research into self-driving delivery robots. (Kate saw one in the wild recently!)


Next we went deep into the subject of seed. John, of course, has been a seed investor for years and has lots to say on the topic. Mostly, we discussed Kate's latest piece on mega-funds making an increasing number of deals at the earliest stage. John doesn't think "stage-agnostic" investing makes any sense. You need experts at each stage making bets on a specific type of company. In his words, 'a heart surgeon wouldn't deliver your baby, right."


Then we moved onto one of our favorite subjects, namely direct listings, the IPO market, and if money is too often left on the table. The question takes on extra import when we see results like Dynatrace's IPO, which rose around 50 percent its first day. It seems likely that we'll see other companies pursue the sort of direct listings that Spotify and Slack managed.


That segued us brilliantly into our final topic: Airbnb and its financial health. The firm, we reckon, is a good candidate for a direct listing itself. We talked over its numbers, and if we were to sum our perspectives, we'd say that Airbnb is about as impressive as we expected.


All that and we had fun, as usual.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


We have a special episode ready for you today. As many of you know, it's that time of year when hundreds of nascent startups make their big 2-minute pitch to the top venture capitalists of "Silicon Valley" (San Francisco) at Y Combinator's Demo Day. We (Kate and Alex) thought we'd bring in a YC expert, YC chief executive officer Michael Seibel, to chat about the batch, changes in the last year, rising deal prices, SAFEs vs. convertible notes and the future of technology in SF.


"This place is where tech is happening and they want to be here," Seibel told us. "Like I'm a struggling actor in Iowa and I want to get to Hollywood. This is kind of the promised land for a lot of people around the world."


We had a lot of questions for Michael. For one, deal sizes and valuations at the seed stage are growing like crazy and YC is a big cause of that. To our surprise, Michael isn't actually a big fan of these huge rounds.


"We don't think this is necessarily a positive phenomenon; on the other hand, we like that our founders get less dilution," he said.


If you're interested in taking a look at each of the companies that made their pitch yesterday, at Day One of Y Combinator's Demo Day, you can take a look at TechCrunch's full list. Check back end of day Tuesday for a full list of companies that pitched on Day Two.


As a final note, Equity is still not an interview show. This was a fun exception!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


Today is our promised Equity Shot (a short-form, single-topic episode) on the WeWork S-1. You can read Kate's notes here, or Alex's here as a place to start.


Given that we didn't know when the WeWork S-1 filing was going to make itself known, we put together this episode from TechCrunch's SF HQ, Alex's home office, and Kate inside a New York Blue Bottle Coffee. We were not about to let the locational issues stop us from having fun!


Where to begin! WeWork is growing like mad, but it's hard to tell what its gross margins are. This makes its revenue quality hard to parse. (Alex tried to figure that out here, TechCrunch has even more good questions and notes here). What wasn't hard to figure out was that WeWork -- also known as The We Company -- is tectonically unprofitable on operating and net bases. And that the company's operations consume cash, while its investing activities torch the stuff.


WeWork's eclectic chief executive officer and co-founder Adam Neumann will maintain a majority of voting rights. It's not uncommon for founder-led companies to adopt this sort of voting structure and considering how central Neumann is to WeWork's identity, we weren't the least bit surprised by this.


The company's IPO will make a lot of groups a lot of money. Mainly Benchmark, a respected venture capital fund, JP Morgan, and, of course, SoftBank, which has invested billions in WeWork and now owns more than 100 million shares.


And that's all for now. Don't miss our episode with Dan Primack that came out yesterday. A busy week, but a good one. Chat again soon!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a bit special. Instead of meeting up at the TechCrunch HQ to record the episode, Kate and Alex met up in muggy Boston at Drift's office, where we linked up with Axios's Dan Primack. And since we were feeling chatty, we went a bit long.


After checking in with Primack (he has a newsletter and a podcast), we first dealt with the latest from Tumblr. In short, Verizon Media is selling Tumblr to Automattic for a few dollars. How did Verizon wind up owning Tumblr? Ah. Well, Yahoo bought it. Later, after Verizon bought AOL, it bought Yahoo. Then it smushed them together and called it Oath. Then Verizon decided that it didn't like that much and renamed the group Verizon Media. But Verizon doesn't want to own media (besides TechCrunch, of course), so it sold Tumblr to Automattic, a venture-backed company best known for operating WordPress.


That's a lot, I know. What matters is that Yahoo bought Tumblr for more than $1 billion. Verizon sold it for around $3 million. Now, Automattic now has a few hundred new employees and a shot at juicing its userbase before it goes public.


After that, we lamented that the WeWork S-1 had yet to appear. This was a tragedy, frankly. We had expected to spend half the show riffing on WeWork's financials, alas...


So we turned to some normal material, like Ramp's recent $7 million raise to take on Brex, and, SmartNews's recent round, which gave it an eye-popping $1.1 billion valuation.


We ran a bit long because we were having fun, fitting in some conversation surrounding the notes from the SEC regarding the now-dead and then-fraudulent Rothenberg Ventures. More on that here if you want to get angry.


And finally, Vision Fund 2. It's been a big source of interest for everyone on the show, and we expect whatever the second-act Vision Fund winds up becoming to be a big damn deal. The fund will invest in more than just consumer marketplaces, in fact, it's eyeing more AI businesses and even biotech. That should be interesting.


All that and we have a lot more good stuff coming. Thanks for listening to the show, and we'll be right back.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we were helmed by Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm, but those of you who love the show having guests on don't despair. As we explain at the top, there's a lot of folks coming on the show soon, many of whom you know by name.


But that's to come, and we had a lot to chat through this week. Including, right from the jump, the latest gyrations in the stock market. Earlier this week tech stocks, and especially cloud and SaaS stocks, took a nosedive. Sentiment swung around later in the week when markets caught their breath and Lyft's earnings went well. But the movement in highly-valued SaaS companies caught our eye. Perhaps if the market finally does correct, we'll see growth stakes take the worst of it.


But it wasn't all bad news on the show, a new app that raised $5 million caught Kate's attention. It's called Squad and it's now backed by First Round Capital, the seed fund behind the likes of Uber. You can read Kate's interview with the founder, Esther Crawford, here.


Next, we turned to two startups that are focused on male reproductive health. While we've covered startups focused on fertility before on the show, this is the first time we've delved into male-focused services that are designed to help men take part in conception. The news here is Dadi has raised another $5 million in venture capital funding. Legacy, the other male fertility company we discussed, is taking part in Y Combinator's summer batch right now.


On the IPO-ish beat, we talked about Postmates which has a new stadium partnership, and, more importantly, permission to use cute robots to deliver things in San Francisco. After hearing about how small, rolling robots will handle last-mile deliveries for years, we're excited for them to actually make it to market. In our view, technology of this sort won't eliminate the need for human workers at on-demand shops, though they may replace some routine runs. Bring on the burrito robots.


We closed on Airbnb's purchase of Urbandoor, yet another acquisition from the popular home-sharing company that will eventually go public. It has to, right? Perhaps Urbandoor will help unlock new revenues in the corporate travel space before we see an S-1. After all, Airbnb wants to debut with plenty of growth under its belt to help it meet valuation expectations. Adding revenue to its core business could be a good way to ensure that there's new top-line to report.


More to come, including something special next week!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Kate and Alex were back to dig through a surprising number of fresh rounds and new funds along with a little breaking news. The traditional VC summer is nowhere to be seen in 2019, so expect the show to stay packed for the foreseeable future.


DoorDash's decision to buy Caviar from Square upended our agenda. The decacorn's decision to drop $410 million in cash and stock on an asset that Square had spent around $90 million on was nearly confusing. Square couldn't offload the damn thing for $100 million back in 2016; Jack's second company has now shed an unprofitable arm that looked less and less core to its operations as time has gone along. And DoorDash turned cash and stock into a bit of growth.


Next on the docket was Clearbanc. The company, which wants to disrupt venture capital by popularizing the revenue-based financing model, raised a $50 million round and announced a $250 million fund. We're keeping a close eye on this company, as its fast-growth is relatively unmatched. Plus, Kate's interviewing Clearbanc co-founder Michele Romanow at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, our annual conference that brings together the leaders of tech today. So that's fun.


In this week's edition of SaaS Watch, Monday.com raised $150 million at a $1.9 billion valuation. The corporate task management and productivity company is another firm selling software to help teams work together more efficiently. Slack, Asana, Notion and others are working in related areas.


Our second to last topic was Compass. There wasn't enough time to go too deep but here's the TL;DR: Compass raised a whopping $370 million on a valuation of $6.4 billion.


And finally, PowerPlant ventures raised a second, larger fund. The new $165 million vehicle will follow the first (a $42 million capital pool, as TechCrunch reported), investing in plant-based food companies. With the epic rise of Beyond Meat on the public markets, plant-based foods are hot and investors want a bite of the results. Also, we dig niche, focused funds.


Reminder, you can connect with us via email at equitypod@techcrunch.com. We're open to feedback, suggestions and even compliments!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This was a special week for us because Danny was back in the office, which meant we cornered him into coming on the show. Danny, of course, is an Equity regular. Also aboard this week were our regular hosts, Kate and Alex.


We were relieved to have three hosts because there was a lot of news to get through, from IPOs to late-stage financings to little seed fundings, and we shit you not, camping!


Up first was the rapidly-approaching WeWork IPO. WeWork, also known as The We Company, filed to go public some time ago. So we weren't terribly surprised to learn the company is plotting a September listing. Though that's earlier than we'd been expecting, we're not complaining. If the sooner-than-anticipated IPO is due to market timing, or the company simply being ready we don't know yet. But we will when we see the numbers. Bring on the S-1 filing.


Next Alex took us through a few recent and upcoming IPOs. He promised to be brief, so we'll mirror the feat here. Last week Phreesia, Medallia, and DouYu went public (notes here), Livongo got out this week (S-1 review here), and 9F and CloudMinds have filed. Expect more IPO news in time whether you want it or not.


Leaving the public markets, Kate had words concerning the forthcoming Bird round that has yet to close. The company is raising its Series D led by Sequoia at a $2.5 billion valuation. Listen to the episode for your weekly scooter rant.


Next, Danny took us through the Robinhood round, which brought us to a discussion point. Alex wanted to compare Robinhood to Slack, when the latter company was worth about the same amount as Robinhood is now. Kate objected to the comparison, one's an enterprise software business and the other a fintech giant. Still, Alex had lots of great points.


We then turned to HipCamp. The company, known as Airbnb for camping, raised a nice round of funding at a $127 million valuation. Andreessen Horowitz was involved via new general partner Andrew Chen, who recently announced another deal in the email subscription platform Substack. We're betting Airbnb gobbles up HipCamp at some point.


We also touched on Gusto's $200 million raise (and its constituent new valuation), before closing with the now-very-probable Vision Fund 2.0 and its Microsoft connection.


All that and we left even more material on the floor due to time. Make sure to check Equity out on Spotify if you haven't seen us over there before. Click here to find the show.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


It's a good week here at Equity HQ because our two co-hosts are both back at the same time! Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm, after each of them taking some time off, led the show today, digging into a wealth of news and happenings.


Here's a quick rundown of what happened on the show this week!


Postmates is still working on its IPO! Despite some reports indicating that the popular on-demand delivery company was talking to rival players about a possible sale, the company's CEO said this week that his firm is still looking to go public. (It's also picking up money this year, and talent.) Selfishly we love this, as we want to read its S-1 and see its numbers, something that wouldn't happen if it wound up subsumed into a larger company. Say, Uber for example.

DouYu priced its IPO at the low-end of its range, but the offering did add lots of new capital to its coffers. Not every IPO raises its range and prices above the heightened interval, DouYu reminds us. But the company's debut is yet another China-based unicorn going public on the U.S. markets, so we had no choice but to pay attention to the streaming and esports-themed company. Recall that Huya, a similar company, went public previously (more here).

CrowdStrike's first earnings report was a success. The cybersecurity business focused on endpoint protection posted revenues of $96.1 million on GAAP net losses of $26 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020. The company, if you remember, completed a $612 million NASDAQ initial public offering in June.

The next unicorn list contains some obvious companies (Rothy's, Next Trucking, etc.) and some surprise entries (Lattice?).

100 Thieves has lots of new money, and esports is cool. That's a quick summary, but in detail, the firm added a $35 million Series B to its accounts less than a year after it raised a $25 million Series A. When a firm raises an extra round that quickly, it usually means things are going well.

Patreon raised a big new round. You're all familiar with Patreon, a platform that supports creators. Can a pivot toward SaaS accelerate its path toward a billion-dollar valuation? We think so.

Substack, a plucky favorite of the journalist scene, has fresh capital! Because both Alex and Kate are authors of their very own newsletters (yes, they have a podcast too, sorry), they had plenty of thoughts about this one.


Next week Kate and Alex are back and we may even have a special guest back with us. So make sure you are subscribed, and we'll be right back in just seven days.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a bit of a turn-about. Kate was off this week and Alex was back, so we brought back a few favorites to tide us over until our regular leader returns. For this IPO-themed episode, we had TechCrunch and Extra Crunch's Danny Crichton in the studio along with Deloitte's Barrett Daniels, a prior guest on the show and one of our favorite humans.


It being roughly the middle of the year, we decided to do a bit of run through the first two-quarters' worth of tech IPOs. There was, as you can expect, a lot to get chat about.


We started with notes on how the Chinese venture capital market is changing, most notably in terms of its share of the world's largest venture rounds. After leading the world for what felt like years, venture investment into China-based companies is slipping. And the declines are picking up attention (here, here).


But not all the news was gloomy on the show this week. Indeed, while some global data relating to the global IPO market wasn't exactly sparkling, the US-listed tech IPO market is doing really well.


After we went over a number of the companies that went out and did well post-IPO (nearly every company aside from the ride-hailing players), we conceded that things are pretty damn warm for companies going public. At the same time, we couldn't agree on how long the IPO market would remain so welcoming.


If it stays open, more unicorns will make it out. If the IPO window closes soon, we'll see hundreds of unicorns trapped on the wrong side of the glass.


And we wrapped with notes on everyone's favorite space-faring SPAC. We'll see you all really soon.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


I was in the studio alone this week with the wonderful Clara Sieg of Revolution, an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in disruptive startups from underrepresented geographies. As you might have guessed, we talked about the rising trend of investors backing companies from "second-tier" markets like Austin, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle, etc.


Clara herself hails from Pittsburgh, an up and coming market for technology startups and venture capital investments. We discuss how that has influenced her career in VC and how she landed at Revolution (she's been there for nearly a decade!) in the first place.


In this special episode, Clara also teaches me how cities become tech hubs. It's a special kind of recipe. A city must have a great university, or a few, nearby to provide a constant flow of talent. They need some big corporations around for the same reason. They need a healthy community of angel investors ready and willing to get things going. And... well, listen to the episode to learn the rest.


Finally, I ask Clara what investment she regrets not making the most. Her answer might surprise you.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


Our esteemed co-host Alex Wilhelm was out again this week, but Kate Clark was in the studio with the lovely TechCrunch editor Connie Loizos and Canvas Ventures' general partner Rebecca Lynn. The wonderful Chris Gates is on vacation this week, so TechCrunch's Megan Rose Dickey sat in the producer's chair. That made this episode extra special, as it was our first all-female group on the mics and behind the scenes.


First on the docket was news from StockX and Cameo. The buzzy startups both raised big rounds this week. The former, a sneaker resale marketplace, closed on $110 million at a $1 billion valuation, while the latter attracted $50 million at a reported $300 million valuation. Rebecca shared her thoughts on the rise of influencer marketing and how its made way for the success of mobile apps and websites like Cameo, which caters to celebrities and influencers.


Next up was Brandless. The direct-to-consumer business made headlines this week after a report from The Information outlined internal drama following a big investment from SoftBank in 2018. Amid the turmoil, detailed here and here, the business brought on a brand-new CEO, former Walmart chief operating officer John Rittenhouse. Whether he can meet SoftBank's steep demands remains to be seen. The whole thing leaves us wondering: Do any of SoftBank's portfolio companies regret taking the firm's money?


Finally, we talked about WeWork's latest acquisition. The co-working giant bought Waltz, a smartphone app and reader that allows users to enter different properties with a single credential. The deal will make it easier for WeWork’s enterprise clients, such as GE Healthcare and Microsoft, to manage their employees’ on-demand memberships to WeWork spaces. WeWork has been quite acquisitive in 2019. Will its M&A activity help it prepare for an IPO? And why the hell does it still have an all-male board? We have more questions than answers.


That's all for now. See you next week.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


Sadly, Equity co-host Alex Wilhelm is out this week, but for good reason: He's getting married this weekend. Fortunately, we had the esteemed TechCrunch editor Danny Crichton step in to discuss Slack's direct listing, Facebook's new cryptocurrency, the scooter cash desert, startup founder salaries and more with Equity co-host Kate Clark.


We began this week's episode with the latest Slack news. The enterprise communications business was said to price its shares at $26 apiece Wednesday afternoon, valuing the company at around $15.7 billion. We taped this episode on Wednesday, the day before Slack's direct listing. It's now Friday. We'll be back next week to unpack Slack's initial performance on the public markets.


Then, we turned to Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra, which will let you buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees using interoperable third-party wallet apps or Facebook’s own Calibra wallet that will be built into WhatsApp, Messenger and its own app. As Kate mentioned in the podcast, if you're curious at all about Libra, read TechCrunch's Josh Constine's deep dive here. And, of course, listen to the latest episode to learn more about the role VCs have played in the development of the token and what it means for crypto startups.


Next up on the agenda was scooters because we can't seem to tape a single episode of Equity without mentioning VCs favorite sector. The news wasn't great this week, however. We're hearing that Lime, a scooter startup that has raised hundreds of millions in venture capital funding, is having a tough time landing fresh funding. That's a big problem because hardware is a tough and expensive business and if Lime -- and Bird for that matter -- aren't able to secure additional capital, well, it's goodbye scooters.


Finally, Danny and Kate chatted about startup founder salaries. There's not much written on this topic and comprehensive founder salary data is hard to come by. Fortunately, TechCrunch's Ron Miller did a little digging to find out just how much VC-backed entrepreneurs are being paid these days. The results are surprising.


As usual, we'll be back next week. Thanks for listening!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a lot of fun. We had Kate and Alex in the studio with Chris running the show and reminding half the recording team about English words (immersive, as a spoiler).


This week had a lot to go over. First, Kate went to the Recode + Vox Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona where it was very, very hot. She tells us her key takeaways of the event (here's another spoiler: techlash).


Next, we turned to acquisitions, namely that Fortnite (Epic Games) bought Houseparty (formerly Meerkat, remember that?). Fornite is a cultural sensation that has become just as much a social phenom as it is a gaming powerhouse. Bringing Houseparty's multi-party and popular-with-the-youth video chat product under its umbrella makes some sense. That Houseparty's usage growth had reportedly stalled, we're sure, had nothing to do with the sale.


Moving on, we chatted briefly about the Bird-Scoot deal which we had touched on last week. (Kate wrote about it here and Alex here). Scoot, as it turns out, was having a not-so-easy time raising additional venture capital and sold to Bird for less than $25 million (way under its last valuation of $71 million). Ouch.


From there it was deal city (BetterUp! Tenderd! Others!) before we jumped into the CrowdStrike news. The firm's IPO is hot (more here, and here), which led to questions about IPO pricing (again. Sorry, we can't stop) and whether IPO pops are good or bad (yes, this again, too, but it's worth discussing).


Two topics followed. The success of the Fiverr IPO (and what that means for growth-y IPOs), and the impending Chewy debut + dual-class shares as a concept.


We've touched on dual-class stock structures before, but we think there is a lot more to unpack here and unpack we did! Basically, we think Silicon Valley's founder fetish, as the headline here suggests, infantilizes public companies. Listen to the whole episode to hear our full rant.


All that and we had a lot of fun. Alex is out for a few weeks, but Kate has a bunch of great things coming down the podcast pike. Chat with you all next week!


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


Good news! Kate and Alex were both back in the studio this week. And even better news, the new TechCrunch studio is big and soundproof and pretty nice, really.


But enough about all of that, let's get into the news. First, a rapid-fire look at some recent items:


Thumbtack is raising a Series H at a flat valuation.

Bird is acquiring Scoot, which is unsurprising and probably smart.

Google is buying Looker and we don't really have much to say about it other than its linear funding history is picture-perfect.

And Mirror, the bike-free Peloton cognate, is raising money at a higher valuation.


From there we turned to four material topics. First up, the Peloton IPO news.


Everyone's favorite fitness tech company is going public. We were expecting this, still, we're excited. For now, all we have is a lousy press release announcing the IPO. Sit tight, the S-1 will come soon enough.


Next, we turned to a topic near and dear to the heart of this show: SoftBank's Vision Fund. The second Vision Fund, to be precise. Rumors indicate the folks behind the first Vision Fund are having a harder time than expected nailing down new money for a sophomore vehicle.


If the second Vision Fund doesn't come to be, what happens to late-stage startups? Those folks are dependent on huge chunks of cash and had gotten used to a new normal: large, late-stage funds doling out IPO-sized rounds to companies still too immature to go public. Without the promise of SoftBank's money, might we see an uptick in IPOs? Or an increasing number of late-stage companies floundering for capital? Will everything fall apart?


Speaking of messes, the folks behind Social Capital that got left behind when their venture firm became a family office are back with something new. Tribe Capital is raising $150 million fund. Kate detailed the firm here but here's the TL;DR, Tribe has hired a bunch of former Social Capital partners and they are essentially rebuilding Social Capital sans Chamath Palihapitiya.


Finally, the pace at which female-founded startups are reaching unicorn status is accelerating, big time. That's good news. If the speed of new, female-founded unicorn creation continues at this pace, we're in for some record results.


Oh and lastly, if you have a suggestion regarding who should come on Equity as a guest this summer, we're taking tips at equitypod@techcrunch.com. Let us know.


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


It's our first week in the new TechCrunch podcast studio, or it was for Kate Clark and Chris Gates. Alex Wilhelm will be back around SF next week. For now, we fired up the mics and dug into what was a veritable barrage of news.


First, Paul Graham's contentious comments. The co-founder of Y Combinator tweeted some criticism of the tech press on Thursday; naturally, Kate and Alex had a few thoughts. In summary, Graham doesn't seem to understand what it is we tech journalists do and that's a problem.


Next up was Uber's first quarter numbers. Given how strongly the company had signaled this set of results, the earnings report was a bit anticlimactic. Until you dug into the numbers, and things got stickier. Uber's operating loss more than doubled from the year-ago quarter. Its adjusted EBITDA tripled, from -$280 million to -$869 million. Adjusted revenue growth compared to the year-ago quarter was just 14%.


Naturally, Uber's shares rose in after-hours trading.


Next, we turned from public decacorn to private unicorn, working our way through the latest mega-round from American fintech shop SoFi. The new $500 million round is either an up round or a down round (we really aren't sure) and comes at a time when the business was not at all in need the money. Following accounts of the fresh funds, news leaked that SoFi intends to snag naming rights to the Rams impending stadium. What a great use of venture funding, lol. Don't look over here at this bubble-shaped object.


After that, it was on to Brex, which is in the process of raising even more money (Kate's piece here, some notes from Alex here), which is a bit of a headscratcher unless, like SoFi and Slack before it, it's raising the money simply because it can.


And last and actually least, CrowdStrike set a price range for its IPO. If you are into S-1/A dives, head here.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


We're back to our old, weekly cadence. Which is all well and good but after a run of doubling up episodes to keep up with the news cycle, showing up just every seven days nearly feels like vacation. But hey, we're here for you (you follow us both on Twitter, right?).


There was a lot to go over, so please enjoy the following:


An IPO update: First up we checked in on our favorite children, the recently public. Uber and Lyft are still down, but did you know that Fastly is still far up while Luckin Coffee is losing air like a pinched balloon. Also, Slack has a new ticker symbol, and we have thoughts about it.


Changes at YC:


DoorDash's capital hunger: We had to record a day early this week, putting us precisely one day ahead of the DoorDash round. Turns out it was a $600 million round at a $12 billion pre-money valuation. Listen on for our take on the round, the company, and its space.


Sun Basket raises:


TransferWise's not-an-IPO: What do you call a company more than doubling its valuation through a huge, sanctioned secondary transaction? Weird flex, but ok. Anyway. TransferWise is now worth $3.5 billion, up from its now-passé Series E valuation of $1.58 billion. Anyway, if you want to dodge an IPO this is one pretty good way.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This week was something a bit special for the team, albeit in a sad way. It marked the last episode in which we'd all be together in the current TechCrunch office. It's a place we've spent so much time in so we were all a bit nostalgic. (TC is moving offices, nothing else is changing!)Anyway, there was news to discuss!After Alex went through what he called a "mid-quarter check-in" we got into the meat of things, kicking off with Kate's recent story on Madrona's new startup studio. The $11 million that will be spent on spinning up ideas and spinning out companies forms a model that could be exported to other cities. In Kate's view, there are a few other cities in the nation where the idea could work.After that, we dug into two different pieces of scooter news (Boo!), namely that you can get a Boosted-branded electric scooter for $1,600 or the new Bird One scooter for around $1,300. You know, if you can't find one to rent and want to absorb the maintenance and charging headaches yourself.Next, we turned to Away, a brand you would recognize if we showed you its most famous product. Away has raised another $100 million in Series D funding at a $1.4 billion valuation. Sure, that's a big jump from its $400 million Series C valuation but we think it makes sense.After that, we had to get to the latest from Impossible Foods, which is now sitting atop $300 million fresh dollars. This announcement comes hot off the heels of Impossible Foods' partnership with Burger King.Finally, we turned to the latest S-1 filing from tech: CrowdStrike. You can read Kate's notes here, and Alex's here, but the gist is that this company will go public, the only question is how to price it.Oh, and Slack is pulling off its direct listing on June 20th. Get hyped!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.We are back, as promised. Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm re-convened today to discuss the latest from the Uber IPO. Namely that it opened down, and then kept falling.A few questions spring to mind. Why did Uber lose ground? Was it the company's fault? Was it simply the macro market? Was it something else altogether? What we do know is that Uber's pricing wasn't what we were expecting and its first day was not smooth.There are a whole bunch of reasons why Uber went out the way it did. Firstly, the stock market has had a rough week. That, coupled with rising U.S.-China tensions made this week one of the worst of the year for Uber's monstrous IPO.But, to make all that clear, we ran back through some history, recalled some key Lyft stats, and more.We don't know what's next but we will be keeping a close watch, specifically on the next cohort of unicorn companies ready to IPO (Postmates, hi!).

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This week we had the full Equity staff on hand to dig through the week's news, helmed by Kate Clark and Connie Loizos with Alex Wilhelm in the studio too. Plus, Om Malik, a former scribbler and current venture capitalist, joined us to riff on the latest.Before we dig into what we covered, a small note from the team: As this episode is going out before Uber will trade, we'll have another episode coming to you tomorrow after the madness. Stay tuned.Uber priced its IPO at $45 per share right before we hit record, so we first touched on the final pricing of what should be the year's largest tech IPO. Pricing towards the lower-end of its range, Uber could be setting itself up for a strong first day. Or, demand was lower than expected following Lyft's slide. Either way, Uber will trade tomorrow as a public company at last. Om predicts Uber and Lyft rides will get a whole lot more expensive in the next eighteen months, so hold onto your hats, the future for riders and drivers alike is... unclear.Next, we debated Harry's exit to Edgewell Personal Care. The direct-to-consumer razor supplier sold this week for more than $1 billion in a deal reminiscent of the Dollar Shave Club's sale to Unilever. From there, we spoke about the latest from the Luckin Coffee IPO. The news, in brief, is that its IPO is moving forward. Next up is pricing, we'll be sure to discuss any updates on the podcast.In big deal news, Carta closed a $300 million round. Connie has learned a lot about the business in recent weeks and it turns out, Om wishes he was an investor!Finally, Cruise's latest new round, and the capital needs of autonomous driving. As we all quickly agree, it's an expensive business and not one that will get cheaper. But, given that so many companies are working on the tech, we hope it works out. Especially Om, who doesn't have a driver's license, it turns out.All that and we had fun! Chat tomorrow!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week brought the ever-excellent Danny Crichton back to the show, along with myself. The two of us opted to do a bit of a news run, so strap in for a host of topics. Of course, we had to cover some IPO news at the end, but here’s what else happened this week that caught our eye:


New funds at a16z! We haven’t chatted about new funds too much this year, but a16z’s two new funds ($750 million and $2 billion) are a big deal. The bio and crypto and early-stage firm now has a separate late-stage vehicle.

More Vision Fund! SoftBank’s capital cannon is going to double up its crew and possibly reload with $100 billion more. Maybe. The personnel thing is happening, according to the firm. The money, more like probably.

Cheddar exits! It’s always nice when a media company works out, and Cheddar’s up-exit at $200 million is a win. Sure, it’s no Slack but the scrappy video network ran hard and managed to cross the line worth nine-figures. Not bad.

Divvy snags $200 million! This week Divvy raised as much in one go as Cheddar sold for, a good reminder of how rich the venture market is today. Divvy has been on a fundraising tear in the last 18 months, landing a Seed, Series A, Series B, Series C, and a debt round since December 2017.

And then we pivoted to the two topics we had no choice but to talk about: The WeWork IPO news (more here), along with the latest on Slack’s S-1 from Danny himself.


All that and we had some fun. Chat you all next week.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Kate and Alex are back (again), bringing you the latest on the IPO front. As Friday is coming to a close, we'll keep this post short to leave plenty of room for you to dig into the audio. Welcome to the weekend.Up first we dug into Uber's latest S-1 filing. This time, the company set a price range for itself (TechCrunch's coverage here), valuing itself at $84 billion and also detailing estimates of its first-quarter results (Crunchbase News's notes here).We suspect Uber will ultimately price a top that range. Time will tell.And then we turned to Slack, who's direct listing will help set the historical tone for the unicorn era; screw your money, Slack says, we have our own. Well maybe not, but the company has impressive growth, killer margins, and, to our surprise, larger GAAP deficits than we expected. The company's filing was fascinating.But worry not, we can figure out how to value Slack. It's Uber that left us scratching our heads. Expect next week to be another blizzard of news and numbers.Thanks as always for listening to the show. We've never had more downloads than these last few weeks. It means a lot that you want to hang out with us. Don't forget that we have an email address (equitypod@techcrunch.com), and a hashtag that Alex needs to learn to use: #equitypod.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This week Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm dug into the latest, namely big news on the fund front from folks you know, two China-based companies going public on domestic exchanges, and what's next in the long-running sagas of getting Uber and Slack public.First up Kate talked us through the latest at Kleiner Perkins and Mary Meeker's new growth fund, called Bond Capital. Alex has some more great context on that here, for interested parties, Kate has more here.Next, we turned to the F-1 filings of Luckin Coffee and DouYu, two China-based companies joining the list of firms from the country that have chosen to go public here in the United States. With Luckin's filing, we have a fascinating look into the costs of building a hyper-growth company; as you can imagine, Luckin running pretty steep deficits, but adding revenue incredibly quickly on a year-over-year basis. DouYo is fascinating for a different reason, namely that it only recently began generating gross profit. And in 2018, when it did begin to create some margin to cover its operating costs, it didn't make much.DouYu works in the live streaming and esports worlds, places where Twitch and Huya (another China-based company that went public in the States) have found success.Finally, we had two domestic public offerings to dig into. Slack, an exit we've long anticipated, is supposed to drop its S-1 today. If that's the case Alex and Kate will be back at their mics to bring you the highlights from that filing. And then there's Uber.To cap off a fun show, we chatted through the impending Uber debut. We expect the company to set a price range tomorrow, but if early reports are correct, the firm could be sandbagging a bit in hopes of raising its price next week. Lyft reports earnings on May 7, giving Uber a somewhat tight window to jump through if it wants to control its own narrative. (If Lyft's earnings fall short, for example, and Uber hasn't gone public by that point, it could be forced to lower its own pricing.)That's all we got for now. We'll probably be back later today with an Equity shot. Stay cool!

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is a relaxed, Friday, Equity Shot. That means Kate and Alex were on deck to chew through the latest from the IPO front. We'll keep doing extra episodes as long as we have to, though we're slightly sorry if we're becoming a bit much.That's a joke, we're not sorry at all.So, three things this week. First, Fastly filed an S-1 (Alex's notes here), second, Zoom completed its highly-anticipated IPO (Kate's post here, Alex has notes too), third. Pinterest went public too (More from TechCrunch here). Ultimately, Pinterest's stock offering valued the company at $12.6 billion (higher than its latest private valuation) but we've got some notes on the 'undercorn' phenomenon anyway (here and here).Fastly is going public after raising more than $200 million at a valuation greater than $900 million. Founded in 2011, the content-delivery company surpassed the $100 million revenue mark in 2017, growing a little under 40 percent in 2018. It's an unprofitable shop, but it has a clear path to profitability. And given how Zoom's IPO went, it's probably drafting a bit off of market momentum.As mentioned, Zoom had a wildly successful first day of trading. The company ended up pricing its shares above range at $36 apiece only to debut on the Nasdaq at $65 apiece. Yes, that's an 81 percent pop and yes, we were a bit floored.Finally, Pinterest's debut was solid, leading to a more than 25 percent gain over its above-range IPO price. What's not to like about that? It's hard to find fault with the offering. Pinterest got past the negative press and questions about private market valuations, went public, raised a truckload of money and now just has to execute. We'll be watching.If you're looking for more Uber IPO content, don't worry, there's plenty more of that to come. See ya next week.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This week was a bit of a reunion with Kate and Alex on as usual, with the addition of Extra Crunch denizen extraordinaire Danny Crichton. Danny, you may recall, has been a semi-regular Equity co-host over the past year.As Kate explains up front, Equity is out a day early this week due to the Big TechCrunch Robotics Affair in Berkeley today. We'll be back on Friday with IPO news regarding Zoom and Pinterest and we can't wait.Ok, all that sorted, what did we talk about? Alex wanted to talk about some market signals that he reads as bullish. Whatever went wrong at the end of 2018 has healed over he thinks because there have been a whole lot of supergiant venture capital rounds and some other stuff.Next, we gave an example of one of those supergiant rounds in the works. The reported Pax round, which could put $400 million into the cannabis vaping company, intrigues us, especially because Pax is the corporate sibling of JUUL, the now-famous e-cigarette company what sold just over a third of itself for nearly $13 billion last year. A truly staggering deal.Then we turned to Brex, the fintech startup that was back in the news this week. Why? Because it raised a $100 million debt round as startups of that sort do. Brex provides a credit card made specifically for startups that require no personal-guarantee. Yeah, risky, we know. We talked about that risk and Brex's plan to target Fortune 500 business in the future.Rounds for Ro, Kindbody and Carrot Fertility made it a busy week for healthtech, too. Ro is raising at a $500 million valuation to support its three digital health brands: Roman, Rory and Zero. Meanwhile, a pair of fertility startups, Kindbody and Carrot, brought in $15 million and $11 million, respectively.With Danny back on the show, we extended our reach and discussed the latest in the chip and sensor world. NXP, fresh off a failed, multi-billion dollar exit to Qualcomm put money into Hawkeye Technology, a China-based company working in the car sensor space. Equity's regular hosts mostly nodded as Danny dropped a lot of knowledge.All that and we had some fun. We'll be back before you know it.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Kate and Alex were here yesterday to dig into the Uber IPO filing; for today's episode, we put that aside and discussed everything else that happened this week. Lucky for us, for the second half of our Thursday podcast-a-thon, the excellent Phil Libin joined us. He was the perfect guest for an IPO-heavy week.You may know Libin as a co-founder of Evernote, or part of General Catalyst, a venture shop. What's he up to now? We took the time to let him explain it, so listen up and you'll find out.This week we talked about a few other IPO results, including what's going on with Lyft's stock price (it's going down and Uber's expected IPO price range isn't helping) in the wake of the company's own hugely successful IPO (in terms of capital raised). Lyft may be losing altitude due simply to hype wearing off but at least now we understand how important its first earnings call will be. We turned next to Pinterest, the buzzy visual search engine that's now being called an 'undercorn.' We didn't spend too much time mocking the phrase, interestingly, instead, our guest explained his philosophical stance on IPOs, in general. He spoke for a while and Alex and Kate nodded their heads in agreement. They especially agreed with his claim that companies shouldn't have to sacrifice culture for profits, amen! Staying on the IPO theme, PagerDuty was next. It's IPO performance has been huge, and big, and impressive. And in a wave of appreciation towards everyone who has listened to the show for a long time, we did not spend 14 minutes arguing about IPO pricing. You're welcome! We ended with Kate doing a rapid-fire review of all the venture capital funds that announced closes this week because there were a lot, including Slow Ventures, Defy.VC and Texas's LiveOak Venture Partners. If you're already itching for more Equity, we have a feeling next week will be another heavy news week with Pinterest and Zoom's IPO on the docket.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. It's time for another Equity Shot, a quick-take episode centered around a breaking news event. This time, as you already guessed, Kate Clark and I sat down to dig into the Uber S-1. It's a huge, complex document, but we did our best to summarize what's inside. First, we talked through yearly results, looking back a half-decade into Uber's revenue growth. In the filing, Uber reported 2018 revenues of $11.27 billion, net income of $997 million and adjusted EBITDA losses of $1.85 million. We highlighted those numbers, talked about operating losses and the company's gyrating net results that included the positive impacts of various divestitures. Yes, this S-1 required a bit more unpacking than most. We apologize for the frantic scrolling, we were pouring through the document live and we were a bit excited. This is an IPO that's been talked about for years and will be easily one of the largest floats of all time. Anyway, an S-1 brings insights to more than just a company's financials, so we spent time highlighting key stakeholders, or, in other words, the people are going to get really really really rich off Uber's IPO. That includes Uber co-founder and chief executive officer Travis Kalanick, famous venture capital firms like the SoftBank Vision Fund and Benchmark, and more. The IPO, remember, is expected to sell $10 billion in stock (primary and secondary) and value the company at $100 billion or more. If 30 minutes digging through the S-1 wasn't enough for you, don't fret, we'll be following the Uber IPO for weeks -- probably months -- to come.

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We want to introduce you to a new special Equity show called Equity Dive. Each month, as part of TechCrunch’s membership offering Extra Crunch, we will talk to the writer of Extra Crunch’s EC-1, a deep dive look into a single company. Their origin story, growth and future prospects. Enjoy this first one with Eric Peckham who spent hours with the powers that be at Patreon, a platform that lets creators develop relationships with their fans and generate revenue from their work.


If you don’t want to miss out on the Patreon deep dive and all of the other great content Extra Crunch produces, go to TechCrunch.com/subscribe and become a member. Use promo code EQUITY to get 20% off for your first year.


Enjoy this first episode of Equity Dive.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week your humble Equity squad (Kate Clark, Alex Wilhelm) were stoked to take on as much as we could with what little time we had. We kicked off with a speed round that turned out to not be very quick and then dug into the biggest news of the week. The Not-So-Speed-Round: Affirm raised $300 million at nearly $3 billion valuation. The round marks another win for Max Levchin's company and is another point on the board for the PayPal mafia. Clearance announced a new campaign to rapidly back 2,000 e-commerce businesses with $1 billion, called "The 20-Min Term Sheet."Rippling raised $45 million, making for both an interesting financing story and a redemption arc, packaged neatly alongside a few dozen million dollars. Parker Conrad is part of the Rippling team, meaning whatever the company does will court attention. The femtech sector is on pace to hit $1 billion in investment this year -- finally -- with organic tampon retailer Cora being the latest startup in the space to garner the attention of VCs.And finally, we took a brief look at the world of corporate venture capital; a few notes: Okta has a new $50 million fund, Chevron has a $90 million fund, Intel Capital has been busy and more. Seems like every corporation wants to get into the game, or get in bigger. After all that, we turned to Forbes' big Andreessen Horowitz cover story. There was a lot to unpack. Long story short, a16z has given up its status as a venture capital firm and registered all 150 of its employees as financial advisors. Curious what that means and why it matters? We were too, so we found answers.Next, we turned back to the newly public Lyft. Since its IPO, Lyft's stock price has taken quite the dive. Now, Lyft is back to its IPO price, which we think means it priced its IPO quite well. Still, where'd all the bullish Lyft investors go and why are so many people shorting the stock? We answer these questions and discuss what the falling numbers mean for other IPO-ready unicorns. Next up was a look into the Jumia IPO, which Alex wrote about here. We need to pay more attention to startups outside the U.S., like Jumia, an African e-commerce platform. So listen to our plea. We want to hear from you! Email us at alex@Crunchbase.com or kate.clark@techcrunch.com if you have suggestions. Finally, the Midas List. Does it matter? Why are we talking about it? Why do lists exist? Who's on top? Who's not? Who's sad? Who cares? And more questions left unanswered.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Sure, we just aired a new episode yesterday but things keep happening, and after talking about this crop of IPOs for so long, we can't help ourselves. (You can follow us on Twitter, here and here, by the way, if Equity isn't enough for you.)Lyft, as you know, started trading today, closing the loop on a long saga that brought the smaller of the two domestic ride-hailing unicorns to the public markets. After so much speculation about which of the two would get out the door first, Lyft did, and now we get to see what sort of pricing shenanigans happen next. Does Uber drop rates and punish Lyft? Or does Uber work to cut its losses, lowering its expenses and providing a clearer path towards profitability before its April IPO roadshow kicks off? (Not a path to profitability, mind; Uber and Lyft need to show a path to the direction of profitability first.)We hit all the basis, going over the company's pricing path, its varying share figures, final raise metrics, and more. If you want the hard stuff, we've got a shot for you. Now that the Lyft IPO has wrapped, we'll be shifting our focus to Pinterest, Zoom and of course, Uber. Stay tuned. Ok, now we're done. Until next Friday. Unless something else happens.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we had the full gang around, with Connie Loizos in the studio with Kate Clark and our guest Barrett Cohn from Scenic Advisement. Alex was on the line from Providence.

Lucky for us, news of Lyft's IPO pricing broke right before we hit record. That shook things up a bit, but it was far better to have it break as we were getting our notes together rather than after we kicked off. Let's start there.

Lyft is going out at $72 per share, the top-end of its boosted range. The firms fully diluted $24 billion valuation (give or take) will be supported by around $2.4 billion in new capital, giving Lyft fresh runway to continue its expensive growth strategy.

Next, we turned to podcast industry stalwart Casper. Fret not podcast fans, the D2C mattress company has $100 million more in the bank, a fresh $1.1 billion valuation and IPO plans on the horizon. That's a pretty parcel of news, which means it should be a full-charge ahead for the newly minted unicorn.

We also discuss newly leaked Casper financials. The company, like most unicorns, is still losing money but its swelling annual revenues point to a profitable future.

From unicorn to unicorn to unicorn, we moved on to WeWork. WeWork, now known by its stage name The We Company, reported its 2018 financial performance this week and the results were amazing, twice. Amazing first in terms of growth, with revenue spiking from $886 million in 2017 to $1.8 billion in 2018. And amazing again in terms of cost, as WeWork's net loss shot from $933 million in 2017 to $1.9 billion in 2018.

We had a chat about precisely what the firm is, with our guest arguing that WeWork isn't a tech company at all, it's a real estate business. We aren't sure what the future holds for WeWork but we're glad to have a front-row seat to the Adam Neaumann show.

Finally, investors are once again in trouble. This time the venture community is taking stripes for landing in the college admissions cheating scandal. As if we still thought this country was a meritocracy.

Regardless, your friends at Equity are glad to see you. And we'll be back before you miss us!

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. What a Friday. This afternoon (mere hours after we released our regularly scheduled episode no less!), both Pinterest and Zoom dropped their public S-1 filings. So we rolled up our proverbial sleeves and ran through the numbers. If you want to follow along, the Pinterest S-1 is here, and the Zoom document is here. Got it? Great. Pinterest's long-awaited IPO filing paints a picture of a company cutting its losses while expanding its revenue. That's the correct direction for both its top and bottom lines. As Kate points out, it's not in the same league as Lyft when it comes to scale, but it's still quite large. More than big enough to go public, whether it's big enough to meet, let alone surpass its final private valuation ($12.3 billion) isn't clear yet. Peeking through the numbers, Pinterest has been improving margins and accelerating growth, a surprisingly winsome brace of metrics for the decacorn.Pinterest has raised a boatload of venture capital, about $1.5 billion since it was founded in 2010. Its IPO filing lists both early and late-stage investors, like Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Fidelity and Valiant Capital Partners as key stakeholders. Interestingly, it doesn’t state the percent ownership of each of these entities, which isn't something we've ever seen before. Next, Zoom's S-1 filing was more dark horse entrance than Katy Perry album drop, but the firm has a history of rapid growth (over 100 percent, yearly) and more recently, profit. Yes, the enterprise-facing video conferencing unicorn actually makes money! In 2019, the year in which the market is based on Uber's debut, profit almost feels out of place. We know Zoom's CEO Eric Yuan, which helps. As Kate explains, this isn't his first time as a founder. Nor is it his first major success. Yuan sold his last company, WebEx, for $3.2 billion to Cisco years ago then vowed never to sell Zoom (he wasn't thrilled with how that WebEx acquisition turned out). Should we have been that surprised to see a VC-backed tech company post a profit -- no. But that tells you a little something about this bubble we live in, doesn't it?

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  • There were some edit issues in the initial publishing of this week's Equity episode that have been corrected. The player below will play the corrected episode.


Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm took us through an IPO, a big round, 943 startup pitches, two new unicorns, and some scooter news. A very 2019 mix, really. Up first we took a peek at the latest from the Lyft IPO saga. Recall that Lyft is beating Uber to the public markets, and we can report that it's having a good time doing so. The popular ride-hailing company, second-place by market share in its domestic market, is oversubscribed at an already-healthy valuation. If the company will raise its price or the number of shares that it sells isn't yet known, but early indications hint that Lyft timed its IPO well. Next, we took a look at the recent OpenDoor round that has been long-rumored. Tipping the scales at $300 million, and valuing the home-buying-and-selling startup at $3.8 billion, the company's latest equity event was a bit higher than expected. There are other players in its space, and the firm isn't yet recession-tested. All the same, a Murderers' Row of capital lined up for the latest round. Moving on, Kate went to Y Combinator's Demo Day and got a closer look at the accelerator's latest batch. There were a ton of two-minute pitches, many of which sounded the same, but chances are we'll see a few unicorns emerge from the bunch. And, interesting tidbit, some of the companies actually forwent Demo Day and raised capital before they could hit the stage! Later, we discuss two new unicorns. This week's unicorns had a theme and one that was new to Equity. This time, both the billion-dollar businesses mentioned on the show were founded by women. As Kate noted, there aren't too many of those, so to see two in the same week is great. Glossier, founded by Emily Weiss, brought in a $100 million Series D led by Sequoia Capital. The round values the beauty business at a whopping $1.2 billion, tripling the valuation it garnered with a $52 million Series C in 2018. As for Rent The Runway, a startup founded by Jen Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, it closed a $125 million round led by Franklin Templeton Investments and Bain Capital Ventures. This round values the company at $1 billion. Hyman took to Twitter to share some inspirational words on raising capital as a woman, a pregnant woman, in heels! And finally, we took a look at a Parisian scooter tax. Mostly because Alex wanted to talk about Paris. And that's Equity for the week. We'll see you soon!

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week was a lot of fun. Connie Lozios took the captain's chair in San Francisco while I manned the sails, and we had Female Founders Fund's founder Anu Duggal in the studio to round out our crew. It was a week of conclusions. Our prior notes on YC and Uber and a few other things came home to roost. But, you're busy so let's sink our teeth into the good stuff: Uber's IPO lands in April: Right before we hit record, news broke that Uber's IPO will land in April. This isn't an unexpected result, but it is one that is long-expected. With Lyft's S-1 live, and in the wild, it's time for Uber to, ahem, shift and catch up? Regardless, the company's possible $1 billion raise to fund its research arm is another indicator that Uber is serious about going public. You know, that, and the fact that it's filed privately.Q1 IPO pace was slack: Aside from Lyft's public S-1, there's been an annoying dearth of public progress on the IPO front from tech's biggest players. Sure, some companies filed to go public privately, but that's more annoying than helpful. My point here was undercut by the Uber news, but if Lyft doesn't debut in March then it's going to be a complete first-quarter miss. Stash raises $65 million: Another of the neo-banks raised capital this month, with Stash stacking a fresh $65 million dollars. The firm was coy about the round's participants (odd), and silent on its new valuation (more normal, but still annoying). What matters is that Stash now has more dosh on hand to compete with Chime and Acorns, each of which recently raised big new rounds this year. Changes at YC: As expected, and presaged on this very show, Sam Altman is graduating himself to the chairman's seat at Y Combinator. That and the firm is finding office space in San Francisco. That's more evidence that the center of gravity has truly shifted here in Northen California. Sand Hill Road is more Route 66 than it is a hyperloop. And with that failed attempt at a joke, I give up. We're back in seven days! Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast, and all the casts.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.We're back to basics this week with Kate Clark at the helm, Alex Wilhelm in the sidecar, and a stack of venture capital news and happenings to get through. And to make everyone feel included, we kicked off the episode with a roll-call of new VC funds.Then, of course, we dug into the recent news out of Y Combinator. The famed accelerator is shopping around for a San Francisco HQ, signaling the end of an era where Silicon Valley ruled the world as home to YC and other the top-tier venture funds that have since moved South to The City by the Bay.Next up was the new Grab round, a fresh $1.46 billion from the Vision Fund into what TechCrunch noted is now a $4.5 billion Series H. Amazingly, we've typed that out correctly. Grab, now topped up with about $8.8 billion in capital raised is not the ridehailing shop that has raised the most capital, though it does round out the top three.Next, Alex wanted to talk about Chime. Kate isn't too big on fintech, but the $200 million round into the neo-bank brought its total capital raised to $300 million. That's a lot of coin for the company which grew its accounts from one million last year, to three million. (Don't forget that Acorns raised $105 million earlier this year.)Changing gears, the Latin American scene, already hotting up, is going to get even warmer with the arrival of a new $2 billion fund from SoftBank. Called the SoftBank Innovation Fund, the Japanese telecom giant wants to raise a total of $5 billion to invest in emerging markets across South America. I know what you're thinking: damn, that's a lot of cash. Yes, yes it is.Final,ly this week, hours before we hit record, Airbnb agreed to acquire the popular hotel booking app HotelTonight for what's reported to be about a flat price to its last valuation (~$465 million). The deal made us wonder if the Airbnb IPO could be delayed due to the roughly half-billion deal (provided that reports bear out). We haven't confirmed the transaction price, so more from us when we have it. Also, this is hardly Airbnb's first buy.That and we had fun. See you all in seven days!

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Hello and welcome to an Equity Shot, a short-form episode of the show where we dive into a single breaking news story. Guess what we're talking about today?! It's Lyft. You guessed correctly.


The Lyft S-1 is the very first major S-1 event of 2019. As you might recall, the government shutdown gummed the IPO process by halting the Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency that plays the most active role in helping a company go public. Now the government is open, and Lyft's formerly private filing is now a public filing.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. February is now behind us, but we gathered the troops to send it off in style: Connie Loizos was here, Kate Clark was in, I was around, and NEA's Jonathan Golden joined us, as well.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


What a week. It had looked a bit quiet with just a few big rounds to cover. I was looking forward to a relaxed episode, frankly. But no, as Kate and I were prepping the show notes, the News Gods opened the heavens and dropped a fifty-weight of mana right on our heads.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a treat. We had TechCrunch's own Connie Loizos in the studio along with your humble servant and General Catalyst's Niko Bonatsos. A fine group for a busy week.


We had to pare our topic list some for length, but after working out what qualified as the biggest news from our usual orbit, we decided to touch on:


Peloton's bank shopping: Peloton, the popular in-home cycling service, is looking for banks to help take it public. We riffed on its revenue, revenue growth, its possible margins, and price points. Peloton has become a big name in recent quarters due to its growth, and its marketing. We're excited to read the eventual S-1. Check here for historical context regarding its debut.

Postmate's private IPO filing: Postmates actually filed, albeit privately, putting it a smidge further along the public-offering conveyer belt. The Postmates IPO will help the market better understand the food delivery marketplace, an area where a host of companies play. Including the company in our next topic!

DoorDash's latest round: Yes, more money for food delivery. DoorDash is said to be on the hunt for $500 million more at a valuation around $6 billion. That's many dollars at a very high price. Oh, and don't forget this.

Nuro's enormous check: Have you heard of Nuro? No? Neither had we. But it just raised over $900 million in a single go. Even for 2019, the delivery-robot-car company's fundraising is aggressive.

And the latest in SaaS: Quickly, the private SaaS market looks hot, and the public SaaS market is scorching. It's a good time for SaaS. Which is odd, as it seemed that the world ended in December.

All that and we had some fun. Thanks as always for listening to Equity, it's a treat to make for you each week. Stay cool!

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Hello, and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Kate Clark and I sat down to get through the biggest news in the venture and startup world. This is our regular episode of the week after a shot focused on the Slack IPO, and an interview concerning Facebook. So, back to our roots. And as has been the case for months and months now, there was a lot to get through.


Podcasting took center stage this week, with music giant Spotify snapping up podcasting tool startup Anchor and podcast production company Gimlet. The latter was expected, but the combined $230 million pricetag may have come as a surprise to some.


Spotify says that it isn't done investing in the space. It won't be alone, however, in hoping to drive big dollars with original audio shows. Himalaya raised a pocket of money -- $100 million -- to build out its own podcasting world.


Moving to other huge rounds, Calm picked up $88 million in a new round, pushing its valuation to the $1 billion threshold. That makes Calm, probably, the first mental-health focused startup to make it into unicorn territory. Reddit is also scoping a nine-figure round (Kate isn't a fan), which could just about double its valuation to $3 billion.

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Famed investor Roger McNamee once advised Facebook. Now he's certain it's destroying our democracy.

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No, I haven’t started drinking again, Equity Shots are short takes on breaking news. And no news was more explosive recently than word that Slack has filed to go public confidentially. Confidentially in that we don’t get to see the numbers (yet), but publicly in that the company went ahead and told the world that it had filed, privately, with the SEC.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we recorded as a trio: Connie Loizos holding down the studio with our guest, the ever-present Jeff Clavier of Uncorked Capital. I dialed in from the what was the East Coast, back before it froze over.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we had the gang back together with our own Connie Loizos at the helm, Kate Clark in the studio as well, Alex on the phone, and Ed Sim from Boldstart Ventures onboard as well. A good crew for a busy week.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


We’re back! After what I think was our first-ever break, Kate Clark and I sat down to dig into the latest startup venture news. There was a lot. We had to skip a few rounds to squeeze the show down to size, but we still hit the biggest stories.

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With everyone logging valuable family time this week and wondering if it's worth returning that sweater, we decided to do something a little different and run a special holiday episode, one that features just Connie Loizos in conversation with Bradley Tusk, a venture capitalist, philanthropist, book author and, earlier in his career, a trusted aid to billionaire Michael Bloomberg, whose successful third run for mayor of New York -- the first and only mayor to serve three consecutive terms -- was managed by Tusk. In fact, one of Tusk's first roles after moving on from politics was an early advisor to Uber, which sought out his know-how about both regulatory environments and upturning the status quo.


Perhaps because all of these interests, Tusk has become among the country's most visible proponents of mobile voting, supporting -- though not investing in -- a app called Voatz that was first used in a small pilot project in West Virginia last spring that gave overseas citizens and members of the military the option of using it to cast ballots on their phones. Not a whole lot of attention was paid to the project at the time, though when the app was used again in 24 West Virginia counties in the mid-term elections, critics who worry about voter fraud were quick to call it an "horrifically bad idea."


That isn't stopping Tusk from getting behind more mobile voting efforts, which we chatted about recently for "Equity," along with a bunch of other things, including the brow-raising valuation that Uber's bankers have bandied about in conversations about its upcoming IPO, how important it is for Uber to beat Lyft to the public market (assuming they move forward with plans to go out despite the suddenly rocky markets), and what it means for fintech startups that Democrats are taking over control of the House in another week.


We always enjoy talking with Tusk; we hope you'll enjoy our chat, too. In the meantime, a quick reminder that after this, we're off for two weeks, then back in full force in the middle of January. Until then, all of us wish you very happy holidays and a terrific New Year. More soon!

Key points in this episode

This week we had 75 percent of the core crew on hand to chat: Connie Loizos, Danny Crichton, and myself. Kate will be back on the show early next year, we promise. We were also joined by Menlo Ventures' Venky Ganesan who was a super great addition to the team.


There was a lot to get through. In fact, we had to toss a few things overboard toward the end due to time. So, we didn't get to US-China cross-border venture flows, or the new Lightspeed China fund, but we did dig into:


SoftBank's latest three mega investments. SoftBank let loose a trio of titanic checks into three companies, including $385 million into Fair, a car-focused company, $400 million into Relay Therapeutics, which deals with "protein motion," and $500 million into Cambridge Mobile Telematics. That's what, $1.285 billion announced in a single week?


Pinterest's impending IPO. As expected, Pinterest is going public. We riffed on its recent revenue growth and the timing of its debut. Honestly, I'm pretty giddy to read this S-1, and I doubt that I am alone.


The US market's crisis. Recording this late in the day on the 20th, we cut the episode right after US tech stocks took a pounding. Dropbox fell under its IPO price as other SaaS players like Box took big hits. Social fell, as Snap and Twitter both swooned, the former falling under $5 per share temporarily. The pain went on, and on, and on.


Big Chinese tech stocks at 52-week lows. It's not only American tech stocks that are in trouble, however; Chinese tech shops that have already gone public are taking their lumps as well. Indeed, as Danny detailed, many firms that were running hot before are now testing full-year lows.


Equity's impending two-week vacation. And to celebrate all of that, this podcast is taking the first two weeks of 2019 off. Mostly so that TechCrunch can decamp to Vegas for CES, but also because after more than 100 episodes, we need to catch our breath. (And restock the fridge with Red Bull. Danny did yawn on this episode, after all!)


Next week we have a special holiday episode involving the ever-brilliant Connie and a guest. Past that, as mentioned above, we are off for two weeks. So, we'll be back as a group in the middle of January.

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This week we had the regular crew back together which was good fun. Connie took point, we had Danny mic'd up in New York, and I was onsite to help the crew natter along with Bubba Murarka, a former VC and founder who now cuts checks on his own.


Thematically, this was a week of mega rounds so we had little choice but to go over more than a few. And Uber is out there doing its IPO thing. So, we started with cars and pivoted into rounds.

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This week we had Connie Loizos in the studio along with Kate Clark, myself and a special guest. The special guest was fitting, as it was a special episode. Why? Because this is our 100th episode, a milestone that would have probably seemed a silly idea back when we started the show.


This week our first guest, SaaStr founder and venture capitalist Jason Lemkin came back on the show. When he first showed up, we talked Elon Musk. This time it was ridesharing liquidity, ridesharing M&A and more.


Sadly two of our founding members (Katie Roof and Matthew Lynley) are elsewhere as we reach 100 shows, but a big cheers to them for their work. Hugs and thanks to Chris Gates for producing Equity with a rare mixture of kindness and patience. Material appreciation to TechCrunch's Henry Pickavet and Yashad Kulkarni for approving and shepherding the project thus far, and a big round of appreciation for Connie Loizos, Danny Crichton and Kate Clark for joining the hosting crew.


Finally, thanks to you for sticking with us. Millions of downloads, live shows successful and not and three-figures of episodes later, we're still here!


Alright, enough self-congratulation. Let's talk tech. And money.


This week we had a bit of a laundry list of topics to get through. The first of which was Lyft's now publicly known, but privately filed IPO document. The company is going public about going public while staying private about the same matter.


Regardless, Lyft's decision to go public now should mean it's the first out of the gate. Uber will go public second. Which company that order will assist isn't super clear. In the past, it was thought that the first of Uber and Lyft to go public would expose itself to pricing pressure from its yet-private competitor. But this deep into the ridesharing saga, and with both companies still so unprofitable, perhaps that isn't the case.


Uber may be scooter shopping regardless, so perhaps its IPO isn't in the offing. Yes, reporting indicates that the company may be playing Duck Hunt because it could be taking aim at Bird. With an M&A gun? This analogy isn't good.


If Uber buys Bird, say, does that mean Lyft buys Lime? Even though Uber is a Lime investor? Place your bets.


Next up we riffed on Utah's tech scene, the well-known Silicon Slopes. The region's 2018 has been big. Podium raised and posted big revenue growth figures. Pluralsight and Domo went public. And most recently, Weave raised $37.5 million. It's a big year for the state. My view is that it is no longer up-and-coming. Our guest agreed.


And finally, Kate took us through the Huawei fiasco. The company's CFO has been detained in Canada for what MSNBC calls "U.S. extradition." Oof. This at a time when the American premier is rattling about in his barrel about trade. The stock market is worried. Maybe we should be as well.

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This week we hit two news items and one roundup:


Asana raises $50 million. Yep, Asana went back to the funding well this week for its Series E, despite having raised a $75 million Series D earlier this year. The company's funding pace might seem aggressive, but we're hearing that many startups are looking to tack on extra cash. Why? Because the market might change, and so the savvy are stacking chips in case the cashier closes. Oh, and the company dropped a number of relative growth metrics that were, I have to say, impressive.


Airbnb gets a new CFO. After its old CFO took off, Airbnb's eventual IPO was on hold. You can't go public without a CFO. But now it has one! And that means that the company can eventually sell shares on a public exchange, whenever it deigns to sell equity to the hoi polloi. But put your checkbook down, as it's far from clear precisely when Airbnb will pull the trigger and give us an S-1.


Speaking of which, let's talk decacorn IPOs. Not my best segue, but it'll do. There are a number of private tech companies worth $10 billion or more (10x unicorns, or, ahem, decacorns) that will probably try to go public next year. The gist is that Uber, Lyft, Pinterest and Airbnb need to go public, and there's reason to believe that they are going to do it next year.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


It's the day after Thanksgiving, so if you are reading this in America I hope there is a pet leaned up against your legs and that you are sitting next to a fire while staring down one more plate of leftovers.


We made this episode for just such a moment. Welcome to our take on a relaxed episode of Equity, a show normally featuring four people arguing about this or that. This week, it's just TechCrunch's Kate Clark and myself digging into some of the strangest and most interesting rounds of the year. Thus far, at least.


So what made our cut?


First, Allbird's $50 million round for shoes. Shoes that are popular here in Silicon Valley. $50 million? For shoes?

Next, a few media rounds. Goop's $50 million round for an e-commerce play powered by items of dubious scientific impact was worth our time. Also, Cheddar's $22 million Series D was notable. The streaming service's capital base will likely ensure that you'll see lots of its videos on Twitter in 2019. And TheSkimm raised a $12 Series C. We had some thoughts on that, as you might imagine.

Kate conjured up a theme called "Fewer And Fatter," referring to funding events that are outsized for their putative stage. An $88 million investment for generic ED meds sent through the mail that is claimed as a Series A? Sure. And how about a $20 million Seed round for a company called "Oh My Green"? Why not.

In the fitness realm, Peloton raised a $550 million round earlier this year (the company seems to be doing well, though its advertising load feels high). And Mirror raised $13 million. Guess what it does!

And one more: Brex. This company provides corporate cards to startups, cards that its IRL advertising claims offer strong perks. How it will hold up in the eventual correction isn't clear. What is, however, is that it has $125 million more to work with.

We hope that you are well and that the holidays are as delightful and full of joy as they can be. And if you are having a bad run of the end of the year, big hugs from the Equity crew. We think you are just perfect.


Stay warm!

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This week, Uber was first in line due to the scale of its results. The firm disclosed its third-quarter results including slowing growth (in percentage terms), steep losses on a GAAP basis (GAAP means that all costs were counted) and adjusted losses that fell in the period.


Next up was the big deal of the week, effectively. The Qualtrics exit to SAP for $8 billion in cash, a portion of which it borrowed, as we point out. The deal meant that the company didn't actually go public (boo), but it still made a hell of a splash all the same.


Finally, we riffed on the latest WeWork numbers which include a $3 billion warrant, and a massive third-quarter loss. WeWork lost more money in the quarter than it generated in revenue. That is, as they say, not great.


Many companies lose money while growing and work out great! But for every Facebook, there are a few Snaps, and I can't tell which side of the coin WeWork lands.


Oh, and this Instacart story happened. What's up with that?


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a blast. Connie and I were in the studio with our guest, True Ventures's Tony Conrad, while Danny repped the other side of the country, dialing in from New York.


It was another week shaped by news from Asia. Once we had sorted the sartorially expedient, we first turned to the world of SoftBank, this time taking a close look at its debt load. While SoftBank is currently famous for its investments through its Vision Fund, the company is picking up some notable, debt-powered investments into its vehicle that could add to its risk profile.


After all, who doesn't want more risk as 2018 comes to a close?


Moving on, Ford is doubling-down on its wager that mobility means more than cars, this time picking up Spin for some sum of money between $40 and $100 million, with most figures coming in a bit light from the nine-figure range.


We care as it's a fresh turn in the scooter skirmish, not to mention the greater micromobility wars. Bird and Lime have a new competitor that has, possibly, super-deep pockets.


Next, we took a peek at Luckin Coffe's meteoric rise. This is where our guest selection really showed off; Conrad is a former investor in Blue Bottle, making him a functional caffeine expert. We dug through margins, growth, and why venture players are interested in Luckin at all.


And finally, a look at how recently-public companies are selling more shares after their initial debut. So, when it comes to money on the table, don't fret it too much.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week, we missed Alex Wilhelm, who was sunning himself somewhere (vitamin D deficit), but we had a rollicking time nonetheless with TC's very excellent VC reporter Kate Clark, along with our always dependable co-host Danny Crichton and, in a bit of perfect timing, investor Brad Twohig of Lightspeed Venture Partners, whose firm participated in one of the week's biggest financings, a $1.25 billion round for Epic Games, maker of the gaming smash hit "Fortnite."


It wasn't just a lot of moolah for Epic, which was founded roughly 25 years ago but unleashed "Fortnite" on the world roughly a year ago. The deal is fascinating because Epic is one of the hottest stories of the year and, as Twohig allowed, probably also one of most the most oversubscribed fundings of 2018, so we wanted to talk with him about how it all went down.


Also on the docket this week: sinking stock prices in China. Video games and the politics behind them are causing huge problems in the country, and Tencent (which conveniently owns a sizable stake in Epic Games), has lost almost 40 percent of its value this year over fears about China’s crackdown on the sector. In fact, huge losses across the board for Chinese stocks are putting enormous pressure on IPOs;  we took a lot at whether that contagion could possibly hit Silicon Valley.


And we talked about Coinbase, which is now valued at a whopping $8 billion by investors that provided the company with $300 million in new funding, even as the value of most cryptocurrencies continues to fall through the floor.


What will Coinbase look like when it's all grown up? Investors like Tiger Global, Wellington Management and Y Combinator clearly have a better idea than we do, but we took at a stab at it anyway!


Last but not least, we definitely dished about IBM and the major feat it pulled off last weekend, which was to close the largest software acquisition in history by announcing its intention to acquire open source cloud provider Red Hat for $34 billion. Not only does it change the dynamics of the cloud wars between IBM, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, but the deal is also very much about open source, as Twohig noted.


Not discussed, but still interesting: how deeply satisfying the deal must be for Red Hat's founders, one of whom, former CEO Bob Young, was reportedly unemployed and working out of his wife's sewing closet when he started Red Hat in 1993.


We think/hope you'll enjoy this one.


Also, we were kidding about Alex. He has a surplus of personality, not a deficit of vitamin D. (Also, he was stuck in a meeting when we were recording.)


See you next week, everyone.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week the normal band was together, with Connie Loizos, Danny Crichton, and myself on hand along with IVP investor Jules Maltz.


We had yet another episode of market turmoil, that was again reversed to some extent before we could even talk about it. Our questions are somewhat simple: when does all this public market mayhem begin to impact private markets? Maltz isn't worried yet, but we wondered not only about what level of upheaval is enough to change things, but also how we'd be able to tell when things were changing.


But, in keeping with recent news, the venture world is still blasting along. This week we talked about three different billion-dollar-plus rounds, including:


A new Thrive Capital fund (historical chart here), that tips the scale at $1 billion;

A new Bessemer fund (historical chart here) that weighs in at $1.85 billion;

And a new vehicle from Tiger Global (historical chart here) that covers a full $3.75 billion.

That's a lot of new money charging into tech. If there's going to be a downturn any time soon, it's going to be a downturn that can afford a Bently. At least if the venture world keeps writing checks.


But not everything was doom, gloom and new cash. Yes, we had an IPO to go over. Qualtrics, one of the lesser-known but highest-quality companies out of the Utah scene is going public, and we like what we see.


How does solid revenue growth in the nine-figure range, effectively break-even GAAP profits, and strong cash flow sound? We're guessing it's going to sound pretty good to public market investors who have paid top dollar recently for tech IPOs that seem to be of, if we may, lesser quality.


Thanks for tuning in, we are back in a week!


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we had the Three Excellent Friends (Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and Alex Wilhelm) on hand to kick things about with Scale Venture Partner's own Rory O'Driscoll.


As I've written the last few weeks, what a pile of news we've had recently. And like the last few episodes, we had to pick and choose what to drill into. This week: Twilio-Sendgrid, Palantir, Uber, Lyft, and Tencent Music IPOs, Instacart, and Saudi Arabia.


In order, I think? First, we tackled the week's biggest venture-themed M&A: Twilio buying SendGrid. Keep in mind that they are both recent IPOs; Twilio went out in 2016, and SendGrid in 2017.


The $2 billion-ish all-stock transaction is effectively Twilio using its rich market cap (rich in terms of its revenue and profit multiples) to snag an obvious (though intelligent) extension of API-powered communications toolset.


Next up we dug into the chance that Palantir is worth $41 billion. Spoiler: It isn't. Then we chatted the two other recently-floated IPO valuations for Uber ($120 billion) and Lyft ($15 billion). They probably make more sense, depending a little on how you add and then divide.


All that and we also touched on the recent delay in the Tencent Music IPO, a profitable company.


Then we riffed through the Instacart round ($600 million more at a $7.6 billion valuation; wow), and re-touched on Silicon Valley's currently least popular dinner party topic: how much Saudi money has recently gone to work powering tech startups.


A big thanks to you for not only sticking with Equity for so long, but also for making it quite literally as popular as it has ever been. It's super fun to have the biggest crew with us every week that we've ever had.


You, yes you, are a delight.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we had a good crew on the show. We had Connie Loizos and Danny Crichton from TechCrunch, I scampered over from the Crunchbase News domicile, and Brian O'Malley, a general partner with Forerunner Ventures, joined us to us to round out the collective.

It was yet another packed episode. There's so much going on in the venture world that we can't get to it all. Not even a large fraction, really. So we did what we always do, and picked out our favorite bits.


Up top we talked about the recent market carnage. It's been super rough for tech stocks large, small, medium, and SaaS. Everyone got hit. O'Malley gave us the standard venture answer that he isn't a public market investor when we asked him about it, but as public market valuation multiples impact private market valuation multiples, this stuff matters to investors and founders alike.


Next up: What's going on with WeWork and the Vision Fund? After some back and forth, it seems that world-famous capital cannon won't pick up a majority stake in the starkly unprofitable shared-offices concern. But the saga demonstrates that the Vision Fund is more willing than ever to cut checks the size of small continents.


Where the Vision Fund gets its capital, though is under increasing scrutiny. After the apparent murder of a Washington Post columnist by Saudi agents in an embassy in Turkey, Saudi money is quickly becoming radioactive. Talking personally for a moment, perhaps it would have been better if the U.S. tech industry, famous for claiming to be more interested in improving the world than paying a dividend, hadn't taken so much money from the ruling monarchy of a country famous for terrible treatment of women and LGBTQ folks, and for having an overdeveloped taste for the death penalty.


Regardless, there was even more news to get through. Forerunner itself recently raised a pretty penny, Egnyte is now $75 million richer thanks to Goldman Sachs, and two Chinese rounds clocked in at a combined $1 billion, give or take.


Crazy times. Thanks for listening, as always, and have a great weekend. Get some rest. We all need it.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a treat. We had Danny Crichton in the studio. We had Connie Loizos in the studio. I was in the studio. And our guest, the excellent Andy McLoughlin, a partner at UnCork Capital, was in the studio as well.


Thus it was with much enthusiasm that we first got to talk about the latest Elon Musk tweet to move Tesla's stock, causing the famous CEO's best-known company even more self-inflicted damage.


What a mess.


Happily, we had a whole show planned out before that happened, so after cleaning up Musk's latest we tucked into a bit of our normal fare: big rounds, IPOs, and venture moves.


Up first was the $100 million Hopper round. For those unaware, Hopper is a travel-focused company that helps folks with flexible schedules get cheap tickets to fun places. Who these people are who have flexible schedules isn't clear to me at the moment, but I'm sure someone, somewhere, isn't effectively their Google Calendar's valet.


Also up this week: $165 million more for ZipRecruiter, and possibly $500 million more for Coinbase. A few thoughts. First, it was super interesting that this was only Zip's second known round ever, and that Coinbase's valuation could have been even higher than the rumor. Perhaps even 50 percent higher.


Scooting to the next, the impending Tencent Music IPO caught our fancy. It's going to be big, it's going to be splashy, and the company actually makes money. What an odd trio of things! Yes, there are companies in the world that go public and make money. Just not that many of them these days.


And finally. there's news out of the a16z fortress: a new partner rises. As Connie notes during the show, Andreessen as a firm has been on a bit of a hiring kick. Which is fair, frankly, as it's not like the shop is short of cash.


That and a few jokes along the way were all that we had time for. Shout out to Andy for being fun, and you, for sticking with the show. Chat soon!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week on Equity, the gang was back together. We had the ever-excellent Connie Loizos on hand, along with TechCrunch's Danny Crichton, and myself, on loan from Crunchbase News. Even better we had Iris Choi on the show. When she's not hanging out with us for the pod, she's a partner at Floodgate.


This week was another that offered a panoply of topics that we couldn't get to in detail. Stripe's huge new round, and attendant valuation bump, for example. Oh, and new Lyft financials too!


But we picked out the best, divvied them up, and here's what we chose:


The SoftBank Payroll: SoftBank was super active in the past week, dropping capital into a number of companies. OYO was up first, a budget hotel startup based out of India. SoftBank has been a recurring investor in the firm, but most recently helped drop a billion dollars more into the company.

Also on the SoftBank front was a brace of real estate companies: Opendoor and Compass. Both raised $400 million this week, and SoftBank is backing each with checks. If the move was oddly internally competitive or not, is up for debate. Still, more huge checks from the Vision Fund.

SurveyMonkey's IPO: After a long road to the public markets, the venerable SurveyMonkey managed to raise its IPO price above-range, and sold more shares than planned as well. Its stock then took off.

Bitmain's IPO numbers, redux: After posting an incredible Q1, Bitmain had a pretty lacking Q2. Will this scuttle an IPO that was supposed to be a hot ticket? Can one of the most famous crypto-focused companies go public at all?

All that and we still had time to natter about JUUL, about which Connie had great notes on from her recent interview with the founders.


That is us, thanks for coming around, and stay cool!

Key points in this episode

This week we worked with an (excellent) skeleton crew. Our own Connie Loizos held down the fort with a guest that knew quite a lot: March Capital's Jamie Montgomery.


There was a healthy blizzard of news to get through, so Connie and Jamie plowed ahead.


Up top, the Eventbrite IPO was big news. After a long path to going public, Eventbrite reported interesting revenue growth acceleration, attached to a standard set of GAAP net losses. (Standard in that most tech IPOs these days do not feature profitable companies.)


But Eventbrite's IPO was just one thing going on the IPO front. X Financial also went public this week after a somewhat muted pricing event. But even that wasn't all the IPO news. There was one more tidbit to hang our hat on: NIO's recent IPO price see-saw.


Moving along, Uber may be going on a shopping spree, picking up either Careem (a rival car-sharing service) or Deliveroo (a competing food-delivery service), or both. Or neither! We'll have to see when all the dust comes to rest.


But that wasn't all! Ro has new capital to spend, bringing more drugs to the male health space. Oh, and UiPath raised a few hundred million as well.


And I think that that is it. Thanks for hanging with us over so many dozens and dozens of episodes. We think that you are just great!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


After a long run of having guests climb aboard each week, we took a pause on that front, bringing together three of our regular hosts instead: Connie Loizos, Danny Chrichton, and myself.


Despite the fact that there were just three of us instead of the usual four, we got through a mountain of stuff. Which was good as it was a surprisingly busy week, and we didn't want to leave too much behind.


Up top we dug into the latest in the land of crypto, which Danny had politely summarized for us in an article. The gist of his argument is that the analogies relating crypto as an industry to the Internet may work, but most people have their timelines wrong: Crypto isn't like the Internet in the 90s, perhaps. More like the 80s.


On the same topic, crypto companies formed a team lobbying effort, and a high-flying crypto fund is struggling to once again post strong profit figures.


Moving along, Juul is back in the news. Not, however, for raising more money or posting quick growth. Well, sort of the latter, as the government is after it. The Food and Drug Administration has put Juul on a countdown to get its act together regarding teens and smoking. That the financially-impressive unicorn is in as much trouble as it is nearly surprising.


Finally, we ran through the three most recent Chinese IPOs that hit our radar. Here they are:


Meituan Dianping: The Tencent-backed group buying, delivery, and everything company raised over $4 billion in its debut, which was impressive, but also short of expectations. The firm won't begin trading until the 20th, but it's one more massive deal that got done in 2018.

111: We spent a minute on the show discussing what counts as a technology company thanks to 111. We voted that the Chinese online-to-offline pharmacy startup did in fact count. So, it's in our list. Some notes on its debut can be found here.

NIO: Finally on our list was NIO, a Chinese electric car company with, as we have discussed on Equity before, a shockingly short history of revenue generation. Whether the company is a gamble or not, it did raise $1 billion in its own offering. And its stock is off like a rocket to boot.

And that was the end of things. Thanks for sticking with us, as always. Speaking of which, our 100th episode is coming up. Who should we bring onto the show to celebrate?

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was incredibly fun. We recorded live from the first floor of TechCrunch's Disrupt SF confab, putting us right in the middle of the action. So it was good that we had a full crew on hand to natter about the news. From TechCrunch, Connie Loizos and Danny Chricton were on deck, along with myself. In addition to us regulars, Garry Tan joined in. He's a managing partner at Initialized Capital.


So we had the crew, a lovely stage, and four mics. Putting that together we kicked off with some ironically non-Valley news, in particular, Amazon reaching the $1 trillion market cap threshold. The firm has since given back around $50 billion in value, but we wanted to know why it was up, and why it was down.


Seguing with some precision we tucked into the recent "Peak Silicon Valley" conversation, specifically predicated on two recent pieces from the Economist (here, and here) that, in effect ask the question is the Valley no longer what it once was? And the answer, as you can imagine, is a firm kinda.


Next up we riffed on the recent crypto meltdown. Tan was not concerned, noting that you have to have 10 percent down days to have 10 percent up days. I found that hard to stomach, but crypto remains young, per Tan, so perhaps we'll see things calm down yet.


Next, two IPOs. First up: Elastic, a search company that seems quite young has an impressive set of numbers to show off. It's not as hot as Snap, perhaps, but the firm is in good shape to make a good debut. And Upwork is going public as well. If Elastic is quick to IPO and quick growing, Upwork is a bit less of each. It's older and growing more slowly.


The firms are linked by an investor, however, something that Crichton broke down for us here.


We wrapped with Caffeine's $100 million round, and the changing pace of supergiant capital injections. And then we stopped talking, so we'll catch you all in seven days. Thanks for being great!

Key points in this episode

This week, we were a man down, with the excellent Alex Wilhelm of Crunchbase News on a vacation that someone seems to have sanctioned, though it was not us, as we don’t believe in vacations. (Wilhelm, get back here.) We did, happily, have the very knowledgeable Kirsten Korosec of TechCrunch join us on the line; we were also joined by this week’s personable in-studio guest: Lauren Kolodny, a partner at the San Francisco-based, early-stage venture firm Aspect Ventures.


It was the perfect mix to talk about car makers and more car makers, including Tesla and CEO Elon Musk’s seemingly ill-planned plans to take the publicly traded company private, then vacillating a bit before changing his mind again, much to the chagrin of his board, the company’s shareholders, and poor Kirsten, who was trying to enjoy her evening last Friday when Musk decided (for now) to leave well enough alone and drop the whole cockamamie idea of switching out Tesla’s investor base.


We also talked about Toyota’s announcement this week that it’s sinking $500 million into Uber and forming an intriguing if confusing driverless-car pact in the process. And we lingered on Nio, a four-year-old, Shanghai-based electric car vehicle that, if it has its way, will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange in roughly two weeks — even though it only made $7 million in the first half of this year and reported a net loss of $503 million. Who’s counting, though? Not U.S. investors, it hopes.


Speaking of IPOs, we knew we’d be remiss not to talk about the IPO filing this week of SurveyMonkey, a now 19-year-old, San Mateo, Ca., company that’s beloved by both personal and business users of its analytical tools and surveys, but which is still not making money, owing in part to expensive debt that the company is currently servicing (and will pay down using its IPO proceeds). Will public shareholders embrace the company, which was last valued at $2 billion during its last private round in 2014 but whose value has subsequently been marked down by fully 25 percent since by fund manager Fidelity? Stay tuned!


We did not get to our favorite topic of scooters, running out time to chat about this major development and also this one. Knowing how much we love to toot about les scoots, rest assured that they will back next week, as will we, so tune in again then!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we had a full house which was super great. TechCrunch's Connie Loizos and Sarah Buhr held down the fort in San Francisco along with our guest, Susan Mac Cormac, a partner at Morrison Foerster where she works on some of the most interesting deals in the private capital space. I dialed in from the home office in Providence.


It was good that we had eight hands on deck as there was more than enough news to go around. We started with the recent executive changes at Zoox, an autonomous car company that came up on the show a few weeks back when it raised $500 million.


The firm is now down its CEO after he was ousted after the round. In the founder-friendly era that we find ourselves in at the moment, this is High Drama.


Next up was the #breakingnews concerning Eventbrite, which filed to go public just before we recorded. My initial notes are here, but we're still far from knowing where the unicorn will price. That means it's hard to say much today, aside from the fact that the company appears to be in more than rude enough health for a flotation.


And then, the megarounds. There were three:


Slack is richer and more valuable than ever after raising over $400 million at a valuation of more than $7 billion. The news surprised precisely no one, but it's again amazing to see how the enterprise chat app and budding productivity platform can raise as much as it wants, whenever it wants. The new round, of course, came after Slack put $250 million in its pockets last year. (Here's some quick math on its new valuation, just for fun.)

One Medical picked up $350 million of its own, though the company doesn't get all the money. It's $220 million for One Medical itself, and $130 million for extant shareholders in the premium medical service.

Getaround raised $300 million led by SoftBank (which also invested in Slack, of course). SoftBank's 2017 and 2018 investment cadence are already the stuff of legend. How the firm will do when returns are tallied isn't settled, though some early wagers are bearing fruit as we noted on the show. Getaround faces competition from rival peer-to-peer car sharing service Turo, which also raised this year.

All that and we managed 1.7 jokes and 2.3 puns.


We'll be back in a week, and don't forget that we are coming to you live at Disrupt in about two week's time. Stay cool!

Key points in this episode

Production note: Alex’s mic was a bit whack until the 16-minute mark. Please forgive the issue, we noticed and fixed it as fast as we could. Hugs and love!


Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a corker. We had Alex Wilhelm in-studio with our guest Minal Hasan, founder of K2 Global, and TechCrunch’s Danny Chriton jumped in from New York to help the crew dig through the biggest and best stuff from the last seven days.


It’s been busy, to say the least. First, we took a look at the Elon-Musk-taking-Tesla-private-situation, which has kept Markets Twitter in suspense for days. We didn’t really get to talk about the Grimes-Azealia Banks stuff, but, hey, stay in your lane and what not. Don’t forget that the latest Telsa upheaval comes on the heels of the firm’s pretty good earnings report.


Next, we took a look at earnings. Not of public companies, mind, but two unicorns that have become so large as to require regular financial disclosure. So, we took a peek into what Uber and WeWork had cooking. In short:


WeWork loses a lot of money, and despite its impressive growth we have some concerns;

Uber loses a lot of money, but due to its impressive growth our group was (on average) not too worried.

Put into simple terms, WeWork’s long-term lease situation has us worried, while Uber’s losses compared to its net revenue seem kinda alright given other financial metrics. Place your own bets, of course.


Moving along we took a dig into the NIO IPO, which you probably haven’t heard about yet. It’s another electric car company, but this time from China. And it’s raising a lot after having essentially zero history as a revenue-generating company. What could go wrong!


And finally, crypto and all that has happened to your favorite coin recently. Hasan was on hand with a grip of good points on the matter. She was a pretty damn great guest.


That’s it for this week, hang tight and come see us at Disrupt.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Matthew Lynley and Alex Wilhelm were joined by 500 Startups CEO Christine Tsai for what turned out to be a super packed episode.


We kicked off with the latest from Slack: $400 million new dollars at a shiny, new $7 billion valuation, according to TechCrunch. The new capital comes after the firm raised a huge sum last year from SoftBank's Vision Fund.


We dug into why the company would raise again, and what competitors it has left after the Atlassian deal.


Next up, two earnings reports. Continuing our tradition of keeping tabs on recent tech IPOs, we talked through Snap and Dropbox which reported earnings this week. Both lost ground after doing so. Ironically, they each beat financial expectations.


Snap ended up dropping value over a DAU decline, and Dropbox's fall is still a bit undetermined. But by the time this episode ships, perhaps the market will have figured it out.


Next up we scrolled through the key reviews of the commercially available Magic Leap headset that is out at last. It's a bit pricey, and a bit not-what-people-expected, but the well-funded startup seems to have avoided a complete miss. Its second-generation device may prove to be more impactful.


And finally, big news from China. As has become the norm on Equity, a few big Chinese rounds captivated us. This time it was the Manbang news, and what's going on at Bytedance.


All that and we'll be back in a week's time. Stay cool!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week TechCrunch's Matthew Lynley and Crunchbase News's Alex Wilhelm were joined by Jyoti Bansal, the founder of AppDynamics and a partner at Unusual Ventures, among other startup work.


Our own Connie Loizos was off this week.


This episode was effectively a news grab-bag. There's a little of everything: public company drama, big rounds, acquisitions, and more.


Up top: Apple's broaching of the $1 trillion barrier, which some people called early and some people called late. It depends on how you were counting. But the venerable consumer electronics giant did indeed manage to hoist its market cap over the trillion dollar mark, making it the first American company to do so.


But as we all wind up agreeing, it's just a round number.


Moving along Sonos's IPO had a good first day but only after a disappointing pricing run. Or as Lynley explains on the show, the firm had to price under its target range to go out, but then closed above that target range by the end of its first day's trading. This is more evidence that pricing an IPO is an occult art of sorts. (More here on the company's numbers.)


Scooting along, Duo Security is exiting to Cisco for $2.35 billion. This deal came at quite literally the perfect moment as the company our guest founded sold to Cisco for $3.7 billion last year. Why? Recurring revenue, which is seeing its value rise.


And finally, Brandless, which picked up a massive $240 million round led by the ever-hungry SoftBank Vision Fund. A deal to which I had a question: Why?


All that and we even managed to tell a joke and mangle a segue. More next week!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This was one hell of a week. Happily, we had our own Connie Loizos, Matthew Lynley, and Alex Wilhelm on hand, along with Initialized Capital's Alexis Ohanian to pick over the mix.


First up we had zero choice but to talk about Facebook. The social company's epic repricing in the middle of the week blotted out the news sun. It may keep us in the shade for another week, too. Facebook's dive has implications for social startups and competing public companies alike. Like, say, Reddit.


Moving along, Crunchbase News recently dropped a report digging into the rise of $100 million and larger rounds. From a turning point in 2013 to today, megarounds have been on the rise. Why? When does it stop? Whose fault is it really? And is going public really that bad? We worked through each question, even tagging the structure of the stock market along the way. (Even more data here.)


From there we took a quick pivot to a company that is known for raising megarounds -- Slack -- and its new IRL BFFF -- Atlassian. Yes, the Slack-Atlassian deal dropped right before we recorded. Our take is that the agreement makes sense, especially in light of a competitive landscape that keeps getting tougher for Slack.


That said, everyone agreed that Slack is one hell of a business.


And then we ran out of time. But, happily, we also worked in an advertisement for Melbourne and riffed one of Ohanian's recent investments.


Thanks for comin' round, and we'll see you all in a week!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we had another full house which made for a good time. Our own Connie Loizos, Matthew Lynley and I were joined by Renata Quintini, a partner at Lux Capital.


Today's episode is a grab bag of topics, including some self-driving stuff, late-stage venture noodling, and Microsoft. So, this show hit on every topic I used to have listed on my OkCupid profile.


First up was Zoox's epic $500 million infusion. The self-driving company is notable for its full-stack approach, and, as Lux is a long-time investor in the project, we had the perfect guest on hand to help us discuss it. As you can imagine, we dug around who else is working in the space, what SoftBank is up to, and why Zoox might need so much capital.


Oddly enough everyone 'round the table found the dollar amount pretty reasonable. We apologize for the lack of drama.


Next up we peeked at Insight Venture Partners' epic new fund, and how some founders are looking to provide liquidity to their investors without exiting. As you can imagine, we wanted to know how these Very Large Indeed funds are going to return enough capital to make their LPs happy. We also spent some time chewing on what happens to startups that wind up growing, but not as quickly as their venture backers had originally hoped.


Finally, Microsoft's earnings. We don't do too much about the already-public, but Microsoft's latest digest was something that we couldn't pass up. The company posted another set of healthy growth as it scampers along in the $1 trillion race.


And that's about it. We'll be back in a week with more Equity.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we had the full crew in the studio along with a friend. The excellent Connie Loizos hosted, and Matthew Lynley and I were both on as well, along with our guest this week: Graham Brown, a partner at Lerer Hippeau, an early-stage venture fund based in New York.


We took a slightly different tack this episode. Yes, scooters came up, but we have some later-stage notes that should be a welcome reprieve for regular listeners. Also, no crypto!


Up first was the Uber-Lime deal. Lime, one of the two domestic scooter darlings, raised a brick of new capital recently, including monies from ridesharing giant Uber. Getting a tie-in with Uber does two things. First, it dramatically raises the profile of Lime domestically as it can perhaps tap into the Uber customer base. And, second, it puts pressure on Lyft (an Uber competitor) and Bird (a Lime competitor) to do a deal themselves.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week we were back in the studio with Connie Loizos and myself hanging out with Jai Das, a managing director at Sapphire Ventures. Our beloved Matthew Lynley was off this week, but he’ll be back for the next episode.


This week we had an excellent list of things to get to, first of which was Lyft’s latest shopping run. This time Lyft accreted to itself Motivate, a bike-sharing company that operates various programs in cities like New York City, and San Francisco.


The context for the transaction is threefold. First, Lyft just raised a bundle of money for effectively diddly dilution. Second, Uber bought Jump and there is no FOMO in the market today like ridesharing FOMO. And third, scooters, which now lurk in the background of any and every ridesharing conversation so the big shops are on a bit of defense.


The sum is that Uber and Lyft now own bike companies, which feels a bit 2017.


But moving along Unicorn Row we quickly found ourselves at the door of Airbnb which is prepping for a 2019-2020 IPO and a change to its personnel comp cadence, the latter due to its age and a market trend that Das noted concerning employee comp and shareholder dilution.


In other news, Airbnb needs a CFO, so if you are in the market that’s who to call.


Next up was Automation Anywhere’s epic $250 million Series A which brought the software process-automation company to a valuation of $1.8 billion. The firm helps companies execute repetitive software tasks at a fraction of the cost of having humans click the buttons.


And we wrapped with Juul, everyone’s favorite e-cigarette company that has simply beautiful financials. If it’s ethical is something that we spent a moment talking about.


So fire up your vape or just hit play and we’ll be right back in seven days.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Connie Loizos and I were joined by Norwest’s Scott Beechuk. Sadly, Matthew Lynley was reading slam poetry to ambivalent cacti in the Sonora Desert and thus couldn’t join us. He’ll be back soon, we promise.


But we had a good crew on deck and a grip of news to sift, so let’s get to what we got into.


First up was the latest headlines in the on-demand transportation sector. Lyft raised a huge new pile of cash at a staggering valuation, Uber got the go-ahead to operate once more in the great city of London, and Bird’s $300 million round officially closed.


So that’s another $900 million for domestic transportation-sharing, at least, in a single week. Right.


Next up Sequoia’s epic new $6 billion in fresh capital. Recall the famous line about a million dollars not being cool, but a billion dollars being cool? Sadly a billion dollars isn’t cool, 2012 Andreessen Horowitz. But maybe $6 billion is cool. At least 2018 Sequoia thinks so. (Good luck returning a multiple of that figure!)


Speaking of a16z, that shop has a new vehicle in the market focused on the crypto space. With $300 million ready to go and no 20 percent cap on crypto investments, a16z can now do what it wants inside of the surprisingly-still-nascent space.


All that and we tried to squeeze AppNexus into the show. (Update: We failed!)


Stay cool and we’ll see you in a week!

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week TechCrunch's Silicon Valley Editor Connie Loizos and I jammed out on a couple topics as Alex Wilhelm was out managing his fake stock game spreadsheets or something. (The jury is out on whether this was a good or bad thing.)

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was something of a first for the crew, twice. First, we had two guests on the show, and, also, we only made it through two and a half topics. The former is good, the latter is, well, we’ll see.


So, this week Matthew Lynley and I were joined by David Chao, co-founder and general partner at DCM, and Steve Vassallo, a general partner at Foundation Capital. Points to both for being guinea pigs.


Heading into our first topic I’m sorry to inform you that, at least in terms of Equity, scooters are the new Uber. So, we wound up talking about both this week. We started with the fact that Bird is raising new capital at an even more staggering valuation than before ($2 billion!), and that Lime is working to raise a truckload of capital itself. (Reports vary, but it’s probably a $250 million equity round at around a $750 million valuation. There may also be some debt in the mix for Lime. More when we lock that down.)


And, as Chao’s firm is an investor in the space, we had even more to chew on.


Next up we dug into the massive new Opendoor round. The firm’s new $325 million puts it into a solid position to help people sell their houses. Which markets are the best fit was something for us to unspool, along with public market comps, such as they are. But most critical, at least in my view, was the idea of risk. On that point Vassallo made a reasonable argument regarding stress testing. We’ll see.


And finally, we touched on Meituan’s impending IPO, and how it came to be.


Thanks for sticking with Equity after all this time. We’ll be back next week with another round of chatter about the latest, greatest, and dumbest that tech has to offer.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This time ’round we had Connie and Alex on hand with Brian Ascher, a longtime partner with Venrock down in Palo Alto, Ca. It was a surprisingly busy week, so we had our work cut out us. Without further ado:


Github! The biggest story in tech this week was right up our alley: Microsoft bought the venture-backed GitHub for $7.5 billion, bringing a massive portion of the developer world under its auspices. Whether developers want passports to Redmond remains up for debate, but from a corporate perspective, Microsoft’s move has largely been well-received. The transaction also provided a huge bump for GitHub’s investors, including a16z.

Domo! Another tech company is fighting to go public, but this time there’s doubt it can pull it off. Domo’s numbers are the wrong side of rough, with the firm burning tectonic amounts of cash to grow quite modestly. If the firm manage to go public, and soon, it may struggle to stay alive.

Scooters! As per usual, there’s new money flowing into the scooter niche. (Note: Domo is looking to tap the public markets at a time when scooter companies can raise $450 in two rounds. Ouch.) We try to find out if Bird and Lime are worth the change, as well why do they need so much cash. We also touched on the broader crowded non-car, on-demand transit space.

Dataminr! Sticking to the mega-round theme, Dataminr’s huge raise was perfectly timed for this episode, as our guest’s firm has money in the company. Indeed, with $221 million more in its pocket, Dataminr — which makes of online chaos for its customers — has an epic bankroll from which to bet.

Here’s a fun question: What will Equity sound like when the market turns and we cover the slowing of venture and the compression of valuations instead of venture acceleration and towering new post-money figures? All we know today is that the venture world is investing like that reality is far-off. We’ll see.


Hit play, and we’ll be right back.


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was fun. Back in the studio, Connie Loizos, Matthew Lynley, your humble servant, and Ramneek Gupta, managing director of Citi Ventures was with us to provide the venture perspective.


As you can probably guess, we got a bit stuck in Bird’s nest, trying to vet why the young company is hoping to punch its unicorn card in nigh-record time. The firm’s potential new $150 million round may make it a unicorn, but Lime is in the chase, and the firm’s economics are still not fully understood.


What did we agree on in the end? Scooters are fun, and Lynley said a swear.


Moving ahead, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is cutting another check, this time to General Motors. Yes, the galactic slushfund is dropping up to $2.25 billion into GM’s Cruise arm, a former startup that the American metal-shaper scooped for around $1 billion in 2016.


The deal, of course, is complicated: Most of the SoftBank money won’t land until certain performance marks are met, and GM is also putting money into the thing that it owns — $1.1 billion worth. So, if we don’t count the GM money as part of a post-money valuation, we can calculate that SoftBank’s 19.6 percent stake in Cruise values the company at over $11 billion.


Sure!


Next up, Ant Financial is raising $10 billion at a $150 billion valuation, give or take. That’s a lot. This brought up the ever-interesting struggle between Alibaba and Tencent, of course, as Ant is an Alibaba -affiliate that competes with Tencent’s WeChat’s WePay product.


Sticking to China, we wrapped on the NIO IPO, yet another Chinese company looking to debut on a US market.


All that and we even told some jokes! Hit play and we’ll be right back.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was fun for a few reasons. First, it was our own Connie Loizos’s first time leading, and it was our very first regular episode that included us recording remotely. I mention that as Matthew Lynley and I were each in different places, meaning that we had a bump or two to smooth out. Your patience is more than appreciated.


Happily, we didn’t have to adventure alone, as Jonathan Abrams of Founders Den was on hand to help us cart through the news.


Up first: A huge round for Rover, bringing even more money into the dog- and pet-focused space. As you’ll surely recall, this is not the first time that a tectonic sum has been disbursed into the pet-care vertical. Hell, Rover’s $155 in new capital, while impressive, still can’t touch Wag’s epic $300 million infusion that happened earlier in the cycle.


While we were on the subject, another Softbank-backed company made waves: Uber. Yes, our favorite and least favorite topic is back.


This time Uber released yet another grip of statistics relating to its financial performance in the first quarter. The big picture? More gross spend, more net revenue, smaller losses. But how you measure Uber’s pace of financial improvement depends on how you measure its losses and its remaining markets.


This being Equity, however, we couldn’t avoid the IPO topic. So, in order:


A Foxconn subsidiary will soon be making big waves in China with a huge debut;

A Dutch payments unicorn is going public on the back of great results;

GreenSky went out, and did pretty ok, which was a change of pace from recent debuts.

All that and we had a laugh. Thanks for listening in, and we are back next week.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


Today Matthew Lynley, Connie Loizos and I were joined by Semil Shah, the founder of seed-stage fund Haystack and venture partner at Lightspeed.


This week, we stuck to our roots: big rounds, venture capital liquidity thirst, one IPO, two Vision Funds, and three scooter jokes. Maybe more than three, but who is counting.


First up we took on Circle's new $110 million round, working to understand why the firm is raising new capital at such a huge valuation (~$3 billion!). Also in play: Circle's new lead investor isn't a venture capital shop, making the monetary infusion all the more interesting. (Oh, and here's more on the Basis stable coin we brought up.)


Next, we chatted through NEA's plan to raise a fresh $1 billion to buy a lot of its stakes in startups that have yet to find an exit, allowing it, presumably, to return a chunk of capital to its own investors. The move is potentially fraught with conflict, we think, but perhaps it's also the way of the future.


After that, it was time for an IPO break. Lynley had just got off the horn with the CEO we went through Pluralsight's IPO that priced on Wednesday and started trading on Thursday. Short version: it went well.


Capping off this particular episode was a rundown of the potential for a new Softbank Vision Fund. What's better than raising a half-squillion dollars? Raising a full squillion dollars.


So drink up, tech world. There's still plenty of money to go around.


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-themed podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Matthew Lynley, Connie Loizos and myself were joined by Villi Iltchev, a partner at August Capital.


It was good that we had a full crew on deck, as the news flew thick and varied this week. In honor of the news cycle, we took on as much of it as we could inside a single episode.


And as we’re sure that you guessed, we had to talk about the Flipkart-Walmart deal first. The staggering transaction sees the American IRL commerce giant with a proven appetite for e-commerce players bring the India unicorn into its fold. This is the second multi-billion-dollar startup deal for Walmart in recent memory. (Jet.com was the first unicorn to find new nest in the Walton’s rafters.)

Key points in this episode

Today is Katie Roof's last day on Equity. She will be missed as she moves on to her next endeavor. This week she was joined by TechCrunch's Connie Loizos and M.G. Siegler from Google Ventures. They talked Tesla, Apple, Spotify earnings and the DocuSign and Smartsheet IPO Recap

Key points in this episode

Today Katie Roof and I were joined by James Hardiman, a partner at Data Collective (DCVC). If you want to tell him how he did, he's on Twitter here.


It was good to have Hardiman on board as there was an ocean of news to swim through. Indeed, we are in the middle of earnings seasons, companies can't stop from buying one another, and the IPO window is stuck wide open.


So we decided to just do everything. Here's how it broke down.


Earnings

Facebook's earnings had two purposes. First, the company showed the world that it's run of financial feats is not at an end. The company beat on top and bottom lines and kept growing around the world. That second result is our second point: the company is not taking material slings and arrows at least in terms of lost users from its recent privacy scandals.


Staying on the social side of tech, Twitter's earnings were strong as well. The company also beat on top and bottom lines, turning in GAAP profit and some modest user growth. For Twitter, who spent much of its time as a public company in the public penalty box, has seen its share price more than double from lows.


And then a few more of the big three, which we tried to hit quickly:


Amazon had a great quarter, and AWS continues to kick out huge numbers.

Alphabet had a solid quarter, and we also know now how Nest is doing.

Microsoft beat too, also managing to have all its operating groups beat as well.

It's a lot of numbers. But now at least you know.


$1 trillion?

All the above sums to an interesting question regarding value. Those companies we just touched on (with the exception of Twitter) are in the running to be the company that first reaches an inflation-unadjusted market cap of $1 trillion.


Which might be the first to make the grade? We had some ideas.


Square-Weebly

Next up we tackled the Square-Weebly deal, in which the public payments company bought the private website-builder corp for hundreds of millions of dollars. The downside is that the company was worth over $100 million more the last time the private markets valued it.


But, exactly who won out isn't clear, and it's not hard to see why VCs made the bet. There are two Weebly competitors in the Unicorn Club!


IPOs

And finally, the thing nearest and dearest to our hearts: public offerings.


This week Ceridian went public, shooting 42 percent higher in its first day of trading. That's good. But, as we discuss, the total deal might not be super hot for the company's owners.


(Note: Never feel bad for private equity.)


All that and DocuSign and Smartsheet are probably trading by the time you read this.


Stay cool!


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week TechCrunch's Katie Roof and Crunchbase News's Alex Wilhelm sat down with Science Inc's Michael Jones to dig through the latest in the world of technology and money. And goddamn was there some stuff to get through.


On our even-more-stuffed-than-usual agenda this week we first dug into the Coinbase-Earn.com deal, and how it came to be. This raised the question of dividends (which somehow Alphabet still doesn't have to play, bringing a new high watermark to the concept of corporate adolescence) and venture firms bringing together two of their own deals under one roof.


Scooting along we turned to Netflix's staggering earnings run, including its share price rally that has been nigh-parabolic. That took us into MoviePass whose parent company you have not heard of, and seems to be in potentially serious financial trouble.


After that we jumped into Discord, a popular gaming chat service that is raising another $50 million at a $1.65 billion post-money valuation. That's a hell of a lot of new money, and a hell of a lot of new market cap. (At this point we also started talking about League of Legends. I am sorry.)


Finally, back on theme, we poured over the DocuSign IPO pricing range that it just dropped, and the Pluralsight S-1 which brought up many fun questions.


All that and we had a few laughs. Hit play, and we'll chat you all next week!


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

This week was a damn corker. Instacart is fighting back! Zuora went public and it went well! There were other IPOs! Uber loves bikes! And what is #AllRaise? We happily had a good crew on hand to sift through the mix, including Katie Roof, myself, and Kara Nortman, a general partner at Upfront Ventures.


Up top we dug into the massive new Instacart round, the completion of its Series E. The new $150 million brings Instacart's valuation to a staggering $4.35 billion, up from $4.2 billion when it closed the first $200 million of its latest round of capital. It's an incredible bet from the private markets, and we dug into it as a possible anti-Amazon bet.


Moving along, it was an IPO run for the ages:


Zuora went public, and it went super well for the subscription billing firm. I had a few questions about why it went so well, but, at a minimum, the company had an amazingly good run: it raised its range, priced above that range, and then popped miles higher. Not bad.

Carbon Black is bringing more security equity to the public markets with its new S-1, which we spent a few minutes poking into. Sadly, who actually understands what security companies do? I don't.

And finally, Pivotal Software is going public. We unpack its revenue mix and try to figure out why it thinks that it is worth what it does. Mysteries all abound!

Moving along, we wandered back into the hottest region of Silicon Valley conversation: bikes scooters. The JUMP-Uber deal finally wrapped -- as expected -- and we discussed the finer points of what a scooter is and how they fit into our lives.


We wrapped on #AllRaise and the fact that Kara may or may not have been on the cover of a magazine.


Hit play and we'll see you all next week!


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Katie Roof and I were joined by David Welsh, part of KKR’s growth equity shop. (His formal title: Member and Head of TMT Growth Equity, where “member” actually means “partner,” it turns out.)


And what a week it was. There was news aplenty to get through, not the least of which that Spotify’s shares — as of airtime, at least — were being pretty reasonable. After rising sharply above their reference price, they fell some and then recovered a bit on Thursday.


That success, to pick a word, you might think would be an inspiration to other startups. However, our guest made a good case that the market is not about to see a bunch of other companies follows suit in putting together direct listings. Spotify was a bit of an outlier, it seems.


Moving along, we peeked into DocuSign’s latest numbers, which show declining net losses (GAAP, of course), and growing revenue. In short, the firm’s updated numbers that include calendar 2017 (long story, more here) look pretty good, and now DocuSign’s impending IPO’s only real question left concerns pricing.


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Katie Roof and Alex Wilhelm were joined by David Golden who Managing Partner at Revolution to talk about Spotify's direct listing.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Katie Roof and Alex Wilhelm were joined by Byron Deeter of Bessemer Venture Partners, who was an excellent selection to have on deck as we tooled through the most recent news. And there was a lot to get through, as a host of companies have decided to go public before the markets turn south.

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Welcome to the Dropbox Equity Shot! Today Katie Roof sat down with Eric Kim, who wrote the Dropbox research report for Goodwater capital. Eric breaks down the Dropbox IPO and looks ahead to the IPOs coming down the pipeline, explaining along the way how open the IPO window is today.

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Welcome to "Equity," TechCrunch's venture capital and tech business podcast. Hosted by Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and Alex Wilhelm For this week, we talked about the wave of enterprise IPOs. And we were joined by Dharmesh Thakker, a general partner at Battery Ventures. He was the perfect guest because he specializes in enterprise and Battery is pretty good at it. We also talked about Facebook's privacy debacle.


First up, we talked about Dropbox pricing its long-awaited IPO. It priced at $21 per share, which was better than what the company was initially hoping for. It's still below that $10 billion last private round which VCs say we shouldn't care about. But if it "pops," it could push back that milestone on day one.


Then we talked about other upcoming IPOs, like e-signature business DocuSign. I broke the news that it filed confidentially.


We also talked about cloud security business ZScaler which doubled following its debut. I broke the news of that one, too. (If you know of any other upcoming IPOs, please contact me).


There's also Zuora, the subscription software business, which unveiled its IPO filing this week.


And MuleSoft, one of last year's IPOs that now got purchased for a lot of money by SalesForce.


But we also saved time to talk about Facebook's big privacy mess. And Travis Kalanick's new job (again).


Alex Wilhelm was off, which is unacceptable. Fine, I guess being sick is an ok excuse. Get well soon!

Key points in this episode

We had the full crew on hand this week with Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof, and myself, along with Mar Hershenson from Pear Ventures who stepped into the guest chair. It was a damn busy week, with news raining down from the skies. We had to pick the best, so we went with the biggest rounds and exits. You are welcome.


First up, Spotify’s massive not-really-an-IPO, which has a listed $1 billion maximum raise that won’t happen. Indeed, the company is racing ahead with its direct listing, which should see the firm just start trading. You need to get under the hood of its numbers to grok the music streaming business. But, to be clear, if anyone is making money off of streaming, it certainly isn’t Spotify.


Next up we chatted about the Dropbox IPO in light of Box’s recent earnings (and what Box’s recent earnings did for its revenue multiple). Dropbox publicly filed when Box was valued at essentially all-time-highs. Now, after Box shed about a quarter of its value, one of Dropbox’s most critical market comps is worth a lot less.


Also in the news this week was Amazon’s $1 billion purchase of Ring, a connected home company. The value of the deal was actually greater than $1 billion, though no one seems to know precisely how much more. Even more, it’s not the only deal in the space worth mentioning.


All that and we found time to noodle about DoorDash’s massive SoftBank feast, which far more than doubled its capital raised to date. Spending $100 billion, as it turns out, is hard.

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At long last, after many predictions and even a private filing, Dropbox dropped its S-1 today. The filing marks the public beginning of the end of Dropbox’s life as a private company. Dropbox is going public!


To mark the occasion, Katie Roof and Alex Wilhelm met up in the TechCrunch podcast studio to chat about the company’s numbers. And, we got Aaron Levie, CEO of Dropbox competitor Box, on the phone to talk about the occasion.

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This week the full gang was in town, with Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and Alex Wilhelm all back in the podcast studio. The trio was joined by Hilary Gosher, a managing director at Insight Venture Partners who helped dig through the news.


The packed week meant some things had to get left behind (Rovio's dive, and so forth), but, as always, we picked the best of the bunch to chew over. First up: Roku's earnings results and ensuing share price shellacking. The company was a 2017 IPO, and a breakout success, meaning that its recent dip was all the more interesting since we covered, and spoke about it during and after its IPO.


Next up, Snap's own share price problems. After an earnings report went its way and the social company's stock managed to climb back over its IPO price, at last, a combination of things knocked it off center this week, including an analyst downgrade, a celebrity tweet, and its CEO's massive 2017 payday.


Following, we walked through Airbnb's new plans for more upscale lodging, and experience-accommodation hybrids. The popular unicorn took itself off the 2018 IPO table, but it will eventually pull the trigger.

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Welcome to “Equity,” TechCrunch’s venture capital and tech business podcast.


On this week, we were joined by Mike Ghaffary from Social Capital, who was the perfect guest because he used to run Eat24, when it was Yelp’s food delivery business. Food delivery is highly relevant to this week’s news.


First up, we talked about Uber, which is losing lots of money in Asia and also from Uber Eats. It could be profitable if it wants to, says Uber’s chief, but it doesn’t want to because the company is investing in growth. Okay!


Next, we talked about Instacart and how somehow investors are throwing even more money at the company. The grocery delivery app is now worth over $4 billion, on paper anyway.


And of course there’s Amazon, which often seems like it’s winning at everything, but hundreds of people at the company are still losing their jobs. Ouch.

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Today we're doing another Equity Shot, a short topic-centered episode where we assemble the troops to dive into one particular thing. Or, in this case, two particular things.


Matthew Lynley, myself, and Katie Roof gathered to pick over Snap and Twitter's respective earnings reports. They each managed to best expectations, leading to sharp rises in their respective share prices.


First up, Snap shot sharply higher after beating Wall Street revenue and profit expectations. The firm remains deeply, deeply unprofitable, consuming hundreds of millions of cash quarterly to grow. But, its top-line expansion was far enough ahead of expectations that when coupled to solid user growth investors were content.


(Also, a former TechCrunch denizen has a book coming out about Snap that is a good read thus far. More when I finish it.)


Snap is back over its IPO price and managed to retake the market cap crown from Twitter.


Speaking of everyone's favorite blue bird, Twitter also managed to beat expectations with better-than-anticipated revenue and actual, real, not-adjusted profit in the quarter. Shares of Jack's social shop were up a comfortable 12 percent when we cut the episode.


All the above sums to a good moment for social startups. Their leading market comps are no longer the kick bags of the internet and financial realms.


We'll be back to our regular schedule next week. Stay cool!

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This week was a treat. Not only did venture capitalist Annie Lamont join our own Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and Alex Wilhelm, we also recorded this episode live at SaaStr, a yearly SaaS-focused confab in San Francisco.


Happily for us, though not happily for your 401k, the markets took a massive dive and wound up bouncing SaaS stocks right as we were prepping the episode. Perfect fodder, if you will, for the moment.


What the market's chop means in practice is that quite a few companies that went public last year took hits while this year's IPO list is just getting itself together. Will the market turbulence impact private-market investment? Lamont votes no, given that the upward swing was only so impactful.


Scooting along, we noodled our way through the Big Cash Return Cycle, in which a host of tech giants may bring home hundreds of billions of cash. What will they do with it? Well, that's the new game. Will they buy a host of smaller tech companies? We tried to figure it out.


All that and we looked into the crypto meltdown (sorry for the jokes), and the news that Slack now has a CFO. Which can also be spelled "IPO."

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This week Matthew Lynley and Alex Wilhelm were joined by General Catalyst's Steve Herrod, who helped us dig through the week's biggest news.


As a group, we looked at Wag's mega-round, a $300 million infusion from SoftBank's Vision Fund. The scale of the capital was surprising, though the round had been rumored previously. What will the company do with the money, and why might it need so much were questions on the top of our minds.


Next up was Airbnb's recent executive shakeup and its public notice that it has no IPO in the works in 2018. The company's non-2018 flotation puts at least one unicorn outside of the year's potential IPO crop. That said, there are other unicorns that should go public this year.


On the subject of public companies, we tooled over Amazon's huge quarter and its subsequent share-price rise. Apple also reported earnings, giving us a host of questions around what counts as success for a company that is so big, so valuable, and so profitable.

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This week we once again had the full crew on set: Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof, and myself. And even better, we were joined by Sarah Tavel from Benchmark, who helped us unspool a topic or three.


Equity is recording a live ep at SaaStr which is cool.


And topics we had. This being earnings season, we had little choice but to talk about at least one public company's results. Obviously, we picked Netflix, a firm whose stock has gone parabolic as its cashflow has moved in the opposite direction.


But as we discuss, in the era of infinite money for land-grabs, why slow down?


Next up was Twitter, from which a bird has flown the nest right into the arms of SoFi. Yes, SoFi is picking up Twitter's COO for its CEO role. Regular listeners will know why SoFi, a heavily-funded unicorn, needs a new CEO in the first place.


Next up was the venture world. How much money did VCs disburse in 2017? Quite a lot as it turns out. In the United States and the world, the numbers were quite large -- records since the dotcom boom. (More here if you are so inclined). We also noodled over the ICO landscape, including the Telegram offering.


All that and it turns out that Lyft is not woke. Alas.

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This week was a corker. Our co-host Matthew Lynley is back, Katie and myself were on hand, and our guest, Shruti Gandhi from Array Ventures, was brilliant.


And the news gods were kind, as there was quite a lot to get through. First, we looked into the Dropbox IPO. Dropbox has reportedly filed confidentially to go public, meaning that the company's long dance towards the public markets is nearing its conclusion.


But what will it be worth when it does go public? That is the new Silicon Valley parlor game. We looked over some maths regarding its prior valuation, its recent revenue, and a current public-market comp. The result: billions, but not quite ten.


Moving along, Xiaomi is on the path to an IPO as well. But the rumor in its case is that the firm could hit a $100 billion valuation. Lynley talked us through its product position, and focus on smaller margins than it might. Where the IPO will land, geographically, is a good next question, and Hong Kong or New York are its possible answers.


All that and we dug into the Telegram ICO, a billion-dollar-plus transaction that could see a popular app take part in the bubbling token industry. Why is Telegram pursuing an IPO? That's a great question, it turns out.


All that and we tell some jokes. Hit play and we will chat you all in a week!


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

This week we took a look back at the year’s M&A market, which brought some big wins and some low lights. Equity this week was Katie Roof, Alex Wilhelm, and Jamie Leigh, a partner at Cooley, who joined us to go over the year’s receipts.


What to look for ahead? Leigh mentioned big box stores, Roof brought up automakers, and we also kicked over the idea of non-tech companies buying smaller firms that are not merely talent plays. (Instead, this about investments in long-term efforts to build in-house innovation instead of stapling on a startup to one division or another.)


Also: How many deals didn’t get done in 2017 that got close to being done? More than you might have thought, and, according to our guest, that fact means that we could see more M&A in the first quarter or two in 2018.


(All that and Intel-MobileEye came up, Amazon-Whole Foods got a mention, Target-Shipt got a mention and more!)


This is the second, and final 2017 wrap-up episode we have for you. Starting next week, it’s back to the regular show! Catch you all next week.

Key points in this episode

This episode, the first of 2018, saw our own Katie Roof and your humble servant (Alex) joined by Atish Davda, CEO, and founder of EquityZen. Matthew Lynley is off this week.


(Davda's firm put together a landing page for Equity, which we thought was neat.)


This week saw the culmination of a huge number of stories that we have discussed in 2017. Namely that Spotify has finally filed for its direct listing, and the Uber-Softbank deal is done.


Regarding Spotify, we got into why it would pursue a direct listing instead of a traditional IPO. And, of course, we are curious as to when the popular music streaming company actually does get out the door. With a private filing in December, the answer is essentially whenever, from our outside perspective.


And now, in the wake of the SoftBank-Uber deal finally getting itself done, what is Uber worth? There are a few numbers you can use. There's one around $50 billion and one around $70 billion. We pick over both to figure out which one we think is fair.


All that and we riff about the rapid rise of the public markets in the last few years.


Hit play, and we'll be right back in a week's time.

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This week the crew — Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, Alex Wilhelm — were joined by Barrett Daniels, the CEO of Nextstep Advisory, an IPO shop that helps companies go public.


Guess what we talked about?


Yes, we went back through the biggest debuts of 2017, several of the quiet hits and the laggards. We also answered critical questions like "what was the worst IPO of 2017?" (For more results, check the spreadsheet here.)


And, it being our holiday episode, we played a bit of what if. Or what may be, looking into 2018. After all, some IPOs that we expected to see have yet to appear (Vice, Pinterest, Dropbox), while some have cropped up before we thought that they were probably fully-cooked (Snap, Blue Apron).


So, what's to come? You'll just have to listen.


This is the last 2017 Equity episode. Thanks to all of you for tuning in this year. Equity was a bit of an experiment that has taken on a life of its own.


It's super delightful to bring it to you each and every week. Here's the podcast team:


Christopher "The Beard" Gates who handles the mics, editing, and more. He keeps the show running day-to-day. Without Mr. Gates, there is no Equity.


Henry "What's Wrong Now?" Pickavet keeps the upper-level glue in place so that we can keep the show rolling.


Yashad "Wedding Bells" Kulkarni, who keeps All Things Video And Audio in ship-shape for us so that we can record without exception.


Also: Extra thanks to Katie, Lynley, and the Crunchbase News team for putting up with me leaving every week to go play. (And you, for reading this far.)

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This week the crew -- Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, Alex Wilhelm -- were joined Jeff Richards, a managing partner at GGV. (GGV has raised nearly $4 billion to invest, according to Crunchbase.)


This week we turned our eyes to Stitch Fix's first-ever earnings report as a public company. As you may recall, we've spent time on the Stitch Fix IPO given that it drove a bit of disagreement regarding if, or if not it was a success. The firm's financial miss but market disappointment in its financial report did little to quell the discussion.


Moving ahead, the stock market is doing something silly that we wanted to touch on. Back in the dot-com boom, non-tech companies would boost their share price by adding ".com" to their name. Billy's Mega Roofing.com, for example, and so forth. We're back to that again, but this time it's blockchain that companies are stapling to their name tags, in hopes of attracting bitcoin bulls to their equity.


It's gross and bad.


And finally, we went back to the heart of the show, digging into recent data showing that venture capitalists haven't disbursed more money this cycle. And that the number of rounds funded per-quarter is dramatically calling.


That means that fewer rounds are happening at higher dollar-amounts. That sounds like unicorns, right? Yes it does.

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Normally, happenings are slow this time of year. But, living up to its reputation as a year-apart, 2017 is not delivering the normal news slowdown. So, putting aside the latest from Uber, we started with a look at Apple's massive $400 million Shazam deal, and its other, nearly-$400 million deal in a component company.


Apple, not really known as an overly acquisitive firm, is richer than Croesus. That fact makes its business dealings with smaller firms all the more interesting. Why did Apple decide to open wallet twice for nearly $800 million? We try to find out.


Next, we turned to the Shipt-Target deal, which was a bit of surprise, really. But, it shouldn't have been. Target needs to have an ecommerce strategy that can compete with Amazon and Walmart over the long-term. And, that means it needs to have a strong shipping play. Shipt, for a small $550 million fee, will fill that niche for the retail giant.


All that and we brought up net neutrality at the very end.


We had a blast, and hope your week is going as well. Stay cool, and we'll be right back.


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

Key points in this episode

On the latest episode, we were joined by Nagraj Kashyap, who runs Microsoft Ventures.


Topics this week included Lyft's growing financials and its driverless cars. It looks like the company benefitted during Uber's eventful year. 


We also talked about the change of leadership at Blue Apron.The company has had a very unfortunate ride on the stock market since it went public in June.


Then we discussed the latest sexual harassment allegations in the venture capital community. A well-known VC is taking a leave of absence.


And of course, we discussed the recent surge of bitcoin. Is it here to stay?

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-themed podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Katie Roof and Alex Wilhelm were joined by Heather Hartnett of Human Ventures. It has been a surprisingly newsy November, so we narrowed ourselves to just a few topics: Uber, Niantic, Meetup, and Jeff Bezos' checking account.


First up, Uber. We know that we've spent a lot of time on the Uber saga in recent months. We're not enormous fans of the fact, frankly, but as long as the world's most valuable private tech company founders, we'll talk about it. This week, happily, was a good week of Uber news, from a conversation perspective.


The Softbank tender offer is live, and just who is participating and buying and selling is high drama impacting billions of dollars and thousands of people. Katie also broke some news about just who is working to pick up shares in the transaction.


Also, Uber's financials are again loose amidst the press. I put together an overview here, in case you want to look under the hood yourself. But, the rough gist is that Uber is growing and is losing even more money than before.


Finally disembarking from Uber, Niantic raised a Series A fund-sized Series B ($200 million) to build another game. The firm, best known for its Pokémon Go megahit, will turn to the Harry Potter franchise next.


We then kicked over the WeWork-Meetup deal that we broke earlier in the week. Hartnett, a New Yorker, was on hand to explain the local impacts of the transaction. All that and we wrapped up with some Bezos fluff because we all deserve a break during this time of the year.

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This week we assembled the full crew — Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof and Alex Wilhelm — along with Stephanie Palmeri from Uncork Capital. Palmeri has invested in Poshmark, Chariot, and ClassDojo, for context.


Her investment in Poshmark made her a perfect guest as we spent the bulk of our time in the podcast room digging through the Stitch Fix IPO, which wound up attracting both positive and negative commentary on Twitter and in the media.


Here’s Katie’s roundup of the fracas, and, here’s something I did before we wound up in the middle of VC Twitter. The two pieces should ground you in what we were working to understand, namely can you call an IPO a success if it has to price under its proposed range?


If that sounds technical, it is, but the conversation is a good catalyst to help us all understand the world that dozens of unicorns need to venture into; the IPO world of today, that is.


At the end, we also talked through the recent SailPoint debut. IPOs! We’ve got them all.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


And news there was. We first dug into the big Musical.ly deal, working to understand why the company was worth as much as its rumored price tag purports. Anytime things get up to the billion-dollar range, it's eyebrow-raising and worth our time.


Next, Bumble might be selling. Bumble is an important dating app that is, according to Forbes, working toward the $100 million revenue mark this year. That fact puts its rumored acquisition by Match in the same category as the Musical.ly deal: billion-dollar-ish.


Next was the SendGrid IPO, which priced a little above range with a larger number of shares sold in the transaction. And, the firm's initial performance was strong, with its shares rising above its IPO price. Nothing huge, mind, but our guest has an opinion on the topic worth hearing.


(We'll never be done with the "how to price your IPO" discussion. At least as long as there are more IPOs. Sorry!)


And finally, we talked through Lyft's most-recently leaked financial results and projections. In the process, we ask a fun question: How is Lyft surviving if ridesharing was supposed to be a winner-takes-all business?


That's it and we'll chat you all in seven days.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome to another Equity Shot, a quick-hit episode of our venture-capital themed podcast. (Equity, released every Thursday, focuses on the money behind the headlines.) This week Katie Roof and I — Alex Wilhelm — sank our teeth into the story that roiled the tech community’s weekend and continued to cause waves today. Yes, the Uber-SoftBank story — which we might want to call the Uber-SoftBank-Dragoneer story now, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. A quick refresher is in order, I think.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and Alex Wilhelm dug into the recent earnings run and talked through what’s coming next in the IPO pipeline. We were joined by Heidi Mayon from Gunderson Dettmer, perfect company this week to help us understand the next public offerings.


Up first was Snap’s earnings miss. The firm came short on both revenue and user growth, leading to a sharp decline in the value of its shares. The firm’s losses, paired with slower-than-anticipated DAU expansion, were a tough pill for investors to swallow.


Next, we dove into Roku’s solid earnings report. The firm soundly beat revenue expectations, leading to its first quarterly report as a public company being a smashing success. The firm’s shares rose sharply after its news.


Next, we discussed a slew of IPOs, upcoming and recent, from Chinese companies listing in the United States. We’ve discussed Sogou before, to pick one example, but other entrants are close behind. If U.S.-based companies will follow the example remains to be seen.


That’s all for this week. We’ll be right back in seven days.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


This week was a treat due to the huge news cycle we were following. So, Katie Roof and I — Alex Wilhelm — brought David Golden into the studio to help us carve through it all. Golden is a Managing Partner at Revolution Ventures, an investing shop based primarily in DC.

Key points in this episode

This week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and myself — Alex Wilhelm — took it back to our roots with a show with just us hosts. Which worked out great as we had a lot to unpack. Tech, it never stops.


This week brought an earnings influx, with Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Twitter reporting today. In order: Amazon beat expectations partially on the strength of AWS, Microsoft beat expectations and reached a cloud milestone early, Alphabet beat expectations and managed to change one of is key metrics in an interesting way, and Twitter not only beat financial expectations but grew its userbase than many had anticipated.


All that and Katie broke some IPO news regarding the Zscaler flotation with Forescout’s IPO on the horizon.

Key points in this episode

On the latest episode, we were joined by Barry Eggers, co-founder and a general partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.


There was a lot of IPO news this week. MongoDB debuted and we saw filings on Thursday for both Stitch Fix and SendGrid.


And, of course, there was the inevitable ridesharing news. Uber competitor Lyft is now flush with cash after a $1 billion investment from Alphabet. (Alphabet is also involved in a lawsuit against Uber...go figure!)

Key points in this episode

Staying in that lane, this week was IPO-heavy. First up we took on the HelloFresh IPO. The German company is following in the footsteps of Blue Apron, an ocean away. We were curious: why go now, when Blue Apron has had such a rough go of it. But, looking at the numbers, there are some encouraging signs that could help this market comp not take a discount at the IPO window.

Key points in this episode

This week we had no choice but to dive into Uber's most recent headlines and happenings. We did not get into every possible topic -- Uber is a cornucopia of news these days, and our show can't be four hours long. Instead, we focused our attentions on the Softbank situation, Uber's board, and how much new capital the firm may raise in the coming weeks.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.


Today's episode was especially fun, coming during what we might call "IPO Week" for obvious reasons.


Happily, the whole crew was around the table to chew over the latest: Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and myself — Alex Wilhelm. We were joined by Megan Quinn, a general partner at Spark Capital, who helped us get through the week's mix.


Up first we went into the big HTC-Google deal that will see the American search company give the hardware giant $1.1 billion in exchange for a cut of its staff and use of certain pieces of intellectual property. Google is now part of Alphabet, a holding company that it gave birth to.


This is not Google's first massive hardware-focused spend, but as we discuss, the sums in question are far smaller this time around.


Moving on, we dug through Roku's epic first day as a public company. Shares in the hardware-software digital media streaming shop flew nearly 70 percent in their first day of trading, after pricing at the top-end of its $12 to $14 price range. For a company in the midst of a business model change, it was an impressive result.


Next up is the MongoDB IPO filing, which presents an interesting mix of revenue growth, persistent -- if stable -- losses, and a New York pedigree. We examine it from the perspective of other open source-centered companies, and Lynley was even kind enough to namedrop a number of acronyms.


Moving along, we dialed into the Rovio IPO pricing, which came in at the upper-end of lowered expectations. You can score that one as you will.

Key points in this episode

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s weekly venture capital-themed podcast where we work to unpack the numbers lurking behind the news.


This week we have a special episode for you all. We recorded live from Disrupt San Francisco, right in the middle of the main floor.


What did we get into? A host of things, including Slack’s new mega round — and what it means for SoftBank’s massive fund — the potential Alphabet-Lyft tie up and the various intrigues in that space, flying cars, the critical importance of company dogs, and IPOs. On that final front, we discussed Despegar.com, Best Inc, the impending Roku offering, and who is in the pipeline.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital themed podcast. This week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself — Alex Wilhelm — were joined by Accel’s Jake Flomenberg to dig through the biggest news of the week.

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Each week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself -- Alex Wilhelm -- try to de-obfuscate the opaque and arcane world of startup finance with the help of someone from the industry.

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This week Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof, and myself -- Alex! -- sat down with Micah Rosenbloom, an investor with Founder Collective to sit down and chew over the week's news.


We managed to not talk about Uber this episode, which was a welcome respite from the last few months during which we couldn't not talk about the company. However, that didn't mean that there wasn't quite a lot to get through.


First up, Roku dropped its S-1 documentation for what is currently tagged as a $100 million IPO. Next up was some news that TechCrunch broke this week: 23andMe is raising around $200 million at a $1.5 billion pre-money valuation. That should put the genetic testing company worth $1.7 billion, give or take, when the funding event closes. And finally, the company on everyone's lips that didn't make it to very many stomachs, Juicero, is shutting down. As in, the money's probably gone and the product didn't sell and the firm is kaput.

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This week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself -- Alex! -- were joined by Samuel Angus, a partner on the corporate team of Fenwick & West, where he represents a number of venture-backed firms, including Airbnb and Github.


But before we could bring Angus on, we had Uber to get through. The ridesharing company wouldn't leave us alone this week, as per usual, dropping a sheaf of news items since the last time we came together.


Let's see: Uber has a new CEO, after he accepted the job this week. Also, the Benchmark lawsuit is heading to arbitration. Oh, and one of Uber's early investors lost his dang mind when writing a comical memo at 4 am. That's not all: Uber is apparently under the eyes of regulators curious about foreign bribes. And, the company's new CEO wants to take it public inside the next 18 to 36 months.


But nothing much, really.


With the help of Angus, we then chewed through the dynamics that are keeping a host of private companies private, looking backwards through time to understand how the market got to be where it is today. And, to cap things off, we dove into the ICO pool, discussing what an ICO is, should you invest in them, and just how trustworthy they may be.


Follow us all week!


Katie Roof

Matthew Lynley

Alex Wilhelm

Key points in this episode

Each week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself -- Alex Wilhelm -- try to de-obfuscate the opaque and arcane world of startup finance with the help of someone from the industry.

Key points in this episode

Each week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself -- Alex Wilhelm -- try to de-obfuscate the opaque and arcane world of startup finance with the help of someone from the industry.

Key points in this episode

Each week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself -- Alex Wilhelm -- try to de-obfuscate the opaque and arcane world of startup finance with the help of someone from the industry. This week, Trinity Ventures' Dan Scholnick was in the studio to assist us.


And what a week it has been. First, the Uber goat rodeo continued with investors sending public nasty-grams to one another. According to our guest, this sort of squabble isn't precisely rare, but to see so much aired in public by a company of Uber's scale is not daily fare.


If Uber could have a week in which it didn't have some sort of meltdown, we'd appreciate it, because there are other things to talk about.


Moving along, Rovio, the company behind the massively popular Angry Birds franchise, is said to have an IPO cooking. The firm recently posted quick revenue growth and rising (adjusted) EBITDA. Media reports indicate that Rovio could raise $400 million at a $2 billion valuation. The firm is not expected to list here in the United States, but instead in Europe, where it's based.


Finally, we took a minute to discuss MongoDB's privately filed IPO, something that these pages recently broke. The firm raised modest sums in its youth, including its minute Series A from 2008, a period not known for its venture profligacy. The crew seems bullish on its chances.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s weekly venture-themed podcast where we dive into the numbers behind the noise.


Forget the summer lull, friends. This week was chock full of news that broke right up until the very last minute. Matthew Lynley was off this week, but Katie Roof and Alex Wilhelm were incredibly lucky to have Kate Mitchell, co-founder and partner at Scale Venture Partners on hand to help us shift the weight.


Picking from among the various conflagrations, mistakes, and Softbank-led boondoggles deals, we dove into Blue Apron's earnings report, which led to a steep decline in its market value. We then turned to Snap's earnings report, which also led to a steep decline in its market value.


Following the two public companies' sheepish reports, we moved on to the brand new Benchmark-Uber-Travis Kalanick lawsuit, which may deter the troubled ride-hailing company from finding a proper new CEO. That Travis wants to come back to the company appears correct. That the company's investors don't want that also seems correct. To the courts with Uber, then.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-themed podcast where we walk through the numbers driving Silicon Valley each and every week.


This episode, Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and Alex Wilhelm were joined by NEA partner Rick Yang to dig into the week’s earnings, IPOs, and surprise M&A. It was a packed news cycle, with so much to go over that we left the Reddit deal on the table. Sorry, kids.

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This week we had the full crew on deck, including Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself -- Alex! -- to dive into the biggest news of the week. We weren't alone, thankfully, as Maveron partner Rebecca Kaden joined us in the studio to mull over the latest.


The news of the week was earnings-themed, unsurprisingly, including Amazon's big revenue beat and profit miss, Alphahbet's slightly fretful growth and losses on its "Other Bets," whatever the hell happened to Twitter during the San Francisco dawn, and Facebook's continued triumphal parade.

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Cord-cutting was a theme of the latest Equity episode. We were joined by Bloomberg Beta's Roy Bahat and TechCrunch's Silicon Valley editor Connie Loizos joined the crew this week. We talked about Roku's upcoming IPO and Netflix's earnings. We also talked about the challenges facing on-demand shipping company Shyp, which is closing shop in three markets.

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Snap’s share price has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, adding to its woes sourced from a lackluster Q1 earnings report. Snap now trades below its IPO price. Its declines are worrisome for other unicorns looking to defend private valuations in the public sphere.

The venture capital sexual harassment scandal continued this week, with allegations leading to the ouster of Frank Artale from Ignition Partners. More on that, and a round-up of the rest of the mess here.

Uber grew about 10 percent last quarter and is now working with a former competitor in Russia. If that sounds familiar, just repeat the word ‘China’ in your head about seven times until you recall.

And, très surprise, WeWork raised more money. Because why not. What asset-light coworking startup shouldn’t be worth $20 billion, right?

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This week was a fun one. Matthew Lynley is out on vacation, so TechCrunch's own Megan Rose Dickey (the current host of Bullish and general badass) joined Katie Roof and myself -- Alex Wilhelm -- to dive into the news of the week.

And news there was. We kicked off with a deep dive into the continuing venture capital harassment scandal, which has already brought down one firm, led to a number of smashed reputations, and most recently led to dramatic shakeups at 500 Startups.

We also dug into Blue Apron's recent market woes, Tintri's slack performance, and what those disappointments could mean for other unicorns looking to go public.

We wrapped the week staring at the day's breaking news, that Jawbone is over. The firm, which burned through hundreds of millions of dollars of capital, and torched billions of dollars in value on its descent, is now kaput.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s recurring venture capital-focused podcast that, against odds laid by its arcane subject matter, is still on the air.


This week was a corker. To help out our regular contingent Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof and myself -- Alex Wilhelm -- Charles Moldow, a general partner at Foundation Capital swung by the studio. And help out he did as we took on topics technical, serious and whimsical.


We also dove into the Binary Capital mess. After six women (three by name) came forward alleging serial sexual harassment by a partner at Binary Capital, the accused has all but quit, a new partner has left the firm, and from today's vantage point it looks like the firm's new fund is kaput, and likely that the firm itself is effectively over.


Follow the Equity crew: @Katie_Roof, @mattlynley and @alex

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, a weekly podcast of high finance gossip and low GAAP intrigue. It's TechCrunch's show focused on all things venture capital.

This week, Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and I — Alex Wilhelm — were joined by Cyan Banister, a prolific investor on her own (Uber, Postmates, the list goes on), and partner at Founders Fund, a team with more than $3 billion under management.

This week we hit on three core topics: Uber's turmoil, Amazon's epic M&A moves, and Slack's appetite for more cash.

Follow the Equity crew: @Katie_Roof, @mattlynley and @alex.

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We've got an Equity Shot for you, an irregular extra hit from the Equity podcast crew.


Today the big news is the potential Amazon-Whole Foods deal, which has led to rampant media speculation, depressed grocery stocks around the nation, and allegations of intelligent corporate strategy.


It's the sort of day that forces you to sit back and re-cast your views of the technology world. It demands answers to questions like "Why is Amazon buying a grocery store?" And "if it makes sense, why?" That, of course, raises the final query: "If the why makes sense, will the price of tomatoes go down?"

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This week, the Equity crew was lucky enough to have Charles Hudson join our little crew. Hudson is both a managing partner at Precursor and a venture partner at SoftTech.


The week was busy. We started with a quick unpacking of the Uber situation, including the exit of its executives, its CEO’s temporary departure, the loss of a board member of a sexist joke, and more. It’s Uber’s world in a way, and we are stuck in it.


Uber aside, tech stocks were on our minds, as a number of firms in the industry skated up and down last week. Notably, Hudson claims that among the venture class, chatter isn’t overly negative. We also almost coin the phrase “SaaS crash.” You are welcome.

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Our little quorum this week, which included Indy Guha from Bain Capital Ventures, dove into critical stories, including Pinterest's new capital event which saw the firm bring in a comparatively modest sum for a comparatively modest valuation bump; Snap's purchase of Placed to, in the words of TechCrunch's Josh Constine "prove geofilters drive store visits"; ShotSpotter's debut; and, as you must have guessed, the Tintri IPO filing, which left us with a few questions.

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s premier venture capital-focused podcast.


This week the News Gods disbursed unto the crew a juicy morsel: Blue Apron filed to go public minutes before we sat down to chew over what’s been happening. As you can imagine, it took up a chunk of our time.


But no episode of Equity is complete without our own Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, myself — Alex Wilhelm — and a fresh victim, or guest, depending on your perspective. This week Ted Smith, an M&A banker and co-founder of Union Square Advisors, sat with us to dive into the news, and try to figure out what the hell is going on with Travis and company.


Yes, we took a dive into the recently disclosed Uber financials, which showed booming bookings, quick revenue growth, and persistently staggering — albeit partially diminished — adjusted losses.


All that and we still had a minute of time to take a gossip at the U.S. M&A market and what we might anticipate for the rest of 2017. Hint: dollars.


Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

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This week we take a dive into IPOs, what constitutes a good pop and who might be next. We also drilled into the massive new Softbank fund and what it might mean for tech rounds both big, and small. Oh, and Peloton remains something that we can't get enough of. Some of us even Soul Cycle.

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This week we pulled off our very first live episode, taping the session during the last day of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2017. For our inaugural public show, Ellie Wheeler of Greycroft joined our merry band of nerds: Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and Alex Wilhelm.


In honor of the venue and time, we kept the format the exact same, focusing this time around on Apple’s double $200 million dosh disbursements, the Lyft-Waymo tie up and all its irony, Facebook’s recent Snap Xerox and Crowdstrike’s neat $100 million round.

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We talk Snap's dramatic share price decline following its first-quarter earnings. The report, its first as a public company, missed on revenue, profit, and active users. And we hit on the rest of the week's troubled waters, detailing what happened to Yelp's own share price, and why Pandora is telling the market to buy it now or wait a moment. On a happier note, we touched on a profitable company's recent mega-raise.

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Celebrating the continuing earnings fête thrown by the various public tech companies, we dug into Tesla's results and ensuing (modest) correction, Facebook's big quarter and its rivalry with Snap, Square's own financial tally, and recent IPOs Cloudera (which after its conservative pricing has had a solid run) and Carvana (which has mostly fallen apart since its debut). Join the conversation with Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, Alex Wilhelm and our guest, Roelof Botha of Sequoia.

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This week has been a delightful clown car of technology earnings, so we dove into Twitter’s surprisingly strong report that drove its share price higher, Alphabet’s results -- largely from a Google-focused perspective -- Amazon’s stellar cloud incomes, and Dropbox’s improving financial performance.


Whether the Dropbox drip of released financial data points to an IPO was our main question. Place your bets now.

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This episode Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and myself were joined by Ethan Kurzweil of Bessemer Venture Partners for a lively-as-heck conversation covering the biggest financial news of the week.


First up was Uber’s newly disclosed financials. The company has a history of leaks and losses, but this time around we read corporate-approved numbers detailing quickly growing revenue (expected), stiff losses (expected), and some interesting accounting results (unexpected) that skew the company’s profile slightly as 2016 came to a close.

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This week we discussed the interesting and slightly disappointing $630 million RetailMeNot acquisition, Yext's above-range IPO pricing and strong first day's trading, what's going on in global venture capital, and the investing thesis of Arlan Hamilton and her diversity-focused firm, Backstage Capital.

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With analyst-turned-VC Gene Munster we dug into Lyft's new half-billion dollar fundraise and what light it may shed on Uber's valuation, spent just enough time to properly vet the current crop of tech IPOs and, of course, talked through what's new at Apple.

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This week we discussed the massive Dropbox debt facility (and its historical echoes), the rough situation at Munchery, and the M&A market including Katie’s scoop on the Rover-Dogvacay tie-up, and all things Amazon.


It was a fun episode, so subscribe, pour a drink, and hit play.

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Hear what the latest Apple and Amazon acquisitions mean for tech M&A, how the Uber scandals will impact its business, and what one of the industry's top LPs thinks of the state of venture capital right now.

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Tesla raises another $1 billion, IPOs are back and what's the deal with M&A? On our debut episode of "Equity," hosts Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley and Alex Wilhelm chat with investor and SaaStr founder Jason Lemkin about the week's news and venture trends.

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Equity is TechCrunch's weekly podcast focused on all things money when it comes to startups. Massive rounds, notable acquisitions, and credulity-stretching IPOs are the fodder for hosts Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and Alex Wilhelm. They'll help everyone understand the dollars behind the hype.

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