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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 closing our survey soon, so this is your last chance (probably) to get your voice heard!Despite it being a short week, as always, it was a busy, busy time. We had Grace on the dials today, and Danny, Natasha, and Alex making chit-chat about the tech world. As with every week this year, we had to cut and cut and cut to get the show down to size. Here's what made it in in the end: Medium saw more employees depart the company after CEO Ev Williams published a 'culture memo.' While the Medium memo doesn’t wholly ban politics, some allege that the undertone of the statement, timed weeks after a failed unionization attempt, created an unsafe environment. A week later, Natasha covered another controversy, this time at Y Combinator. We riff on the takeaway, and what this story looks like three months from now. The issue of company culture is attracting companies. Or more precisely startups, with Blendoor dropping a new report this week that TechCrunch covered, and Vault raising $8.2 million to provide a software solution to aid employees in reporting misconduct. On the funding round beat, we explored ChartHop's new $35 million round that Danny had many thoughts about, fake-chicken nuggets startup Nuggs raising $50 million, and Faculty's latest deal that will help power its vision for the future of male grooming. We also got into Lifted's elder-care focused round, a startup in the larger healthtech beat that Natasha is giving some of her attention to. And we wrapped with the ExtraHop exit. We spent a minute trying to figure out why the company was valued at $900 million in its exit. The number, while large, felt light based on what we knew about the company.Thanks for hopping along with us this week and every week. Quick programming note: Natasha will take Alex's spot on the Monday show for next week since he's out, so be nice, and send her stuff to mention.
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For this week’s deep dive, Alex, Natasha, and Chris dug into the world of hormonal health, a sub-sector within the massive (and booming) world of digital health.The show was inspired by Natasha's latest Extra Crunch piece: "Hormonal Health is a massive opportunity: Where are the unicorns?". To round out the show, we asked one of the featured founders, Dr. Elizabeth Ruzzo, to hop on the mic and help us understand if hormonal health is at its infancy, or at an inflection point, in tech.The tl;dr before we hop into the show is that hormones -- while constantly evolving and changing -- are center node for a ton of health conditions that disproportionately impact women. These can include mental health issues, infertility, diabetes, and more. If you're someone interested in the world of digital health and always read about the Ro's and Hinge Health's of the ecosystem, this episode will teach you what else there is that deserves equal - if not more - attention.Here's what we got into:We started with landscaping! We defined the term "hormonal health" and got a sense of market size, as to show the opportunity there is to innovate here right now.Ruzzo walked us through the opportunity in pro-active medicine, as well as how investors reacted to her pitch when she was first raising her seed round.We ping-ponged around different reasons as to why hormonal health is an underserved category, starting with stigma and ending with stigma.This post from a set of venture capital investors discussing the market opportunity that women's health may have for founders and VCs alike.Then we got into Modern Fertility's acquisition by Ro, and why Ruzzo and many in the digital health community were surprised at the outcome. That said, it’s still one of the rare exits, and as far as unicorns go, there are virtually no companies valued at over $1 billion that focus explicitly on women’s hormonal health.Shifting gears, the trio turned to startups working on PCOS, one of the most common hormonal conditions out there that impacts one in ten women. Former Ro director Rachel Blank announced today that she is starting a company in this world, Allara.To round out the conversation we touched on the recent Veera venture capital round, and closed with a short discussion concerning the the term "femtech" and why it's not so good.Don't forget to take the Equity survey, and we'll chat you on Friday morning!
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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 Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.It's WWDC week, so expect a deluge of Apple news to overtake your Twitter feed here and there over the next few days. But there's a lot more going on, so let's dig in:The Weekend: A supercharged, supercharged Model S Tesla car is not coming out. Instead, a merely supercharged version will come out. It's still stupid fast and expensive. And Nigeria's war with Twitter continued, with new efforts from the African nation to limit access to the social media service within its borders.This Morning: Flipkart is raising $3 billion at a roughly $40 billion valuation The deal underscores not just how big the Indian tech scene is, but also how much investor interest there is in ecommerce bets more generally. And Jeff Bezos is going to space. Soon!Funding Rounds: Trulioo raised a $394 million Series D. The Canadian startup is now worth far more than $1 billion. And Chinese company Kanzhun is going public in the United States, which raised an eyebrow here amongst the Equity Morning Crew.Take The Damn Equity Survey: Take it! All the cools kids are taking it!And that's your start to the week. More to come from your friends here on Wednesday, and Friday. Chat soon!
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Despite it being a short week, as always, it was a busy busy time. Our regular Friday producer Grace was under the weather today, so Chris stepped in to help out.And as noted at the top of the episode, we're running a survey. The survey is here, dear Equity family. Please fill it out so that we can keep making the show better.That aside, here's what Danny and Natasha and Alex got into:Stack Overflow has a new owner, and a $1.8 billion sale price that is minting 61 new millionaires in the process.Katerra is dying, as in going to zero. As the company has been a regular feature of TechCrunch coverage, we had to discuss its end. You can also catch up on Greensill here if that's your jam.Back on the acquisition front, Etsy is buying Depop for $1.625 billion. Our take is that the deal makes good sense, even if it is not cheap.Amazon is now open to being sued after an overwhelming number of arbiration claims were filed. Also we get to talk about everyone's favorite judge's writing style.Unit raised money to help teams unionize; Chipper Cash raised a huge round for its fintech product; and One Concern underscores Danny's larger disaster tech thesis by raising $45 million.That's all we got! If you have heard Equity before, take the survey. Thank you!
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For this week’s deep dive, Alex and Natasha dug into the burgeoning of sports media, sports gaming, and fantasy sports world today through the lens of some early-stage startups. Naturally, the Equity team is what comes to mind when you consider the correct and right people to discuss sports. We are here to back up your priors.Jokes aside, we had a good time digging into the following:THE GIST raised $1 million. Both Natasha and Alex were very bullish on the company's product, focus, and market. Especially in light of some recent media deals that have kept our hearts aflutter over the last few quarters.Blaseball raised $3 million. Whether it is blah-ZAY-ball, or BLACE-ball, the Equity team thinks that having fantasy fantasy sports is meta, good fun, and perhaps appeal-broadening the larger, somewhat hoary world of baseball. Also baseball could use more whimsy in general.And the fantasy talk continued as we got to cricket, which is a massively adored and obsessed over sport in India especially. Earlier this year, Dream11's parent firm raised $225 million at an over $2.5 billion valuation to build an end-to-end sports tech company around the sport.We'd venture out to say we are probably the only tech podcast this week that found an angle to riff on within sports and donuts, which is why we love our jobs and why we hope you love the show. Surprises keep things fun, and much love to our producers, Chris and Grace, for constantly sourcing creative material that may have flown under the radar otherwise.Back Friday!
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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 Equity Tuesday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.We are back from a long weekend here in America. But not break here in the States can stop the flow of global tech news. So, here's the rundown:The Weekend: Tata bought BigBasket, setting up a fascinating ecommerce war in India. China is cracking down on edtech companies, leading to an IPO freeze. And Wejo is going public via a SPAC. You can read its investor deck here.This Morning: The are a zillion funding rounds in Europe and globally this morning, the start of what could be a super busy week's cycle. Private Equity is buying Cloudera, which is a surprise. Nio had chip shortage issues that impacted its delivery cadence. The Chinese EV company does expect to meet its Q2 delivery goal, however.Funding Rounds: Truebill raised $45 million. Chipper Cash raised $100 million. Zenyum raised $40 million. WeFox raised $650 million. Malt raised $97 million. Sennder raised $80 million. idwall raised $38 million. Belvo raised $43 million. And that was not even close to all the big ones.Riff: Late last week we missed the Sprinklr filing. You can read it here. Quite a number of VCs have money riding on the IPO.Welcome back, America, to the week. It's nice to see you, everyone else. Maybe Robinhood will file this 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 had the whole crew aboard to record: Grace and Chris making us sound good, Danny to provide levity, Natasha to actually recall facts, and Alex to divert us from staying on topic. It's teamwork, people - and our transitions are proof of it.And it's good that we had everyone around the virtual table as there was quite a lot to get through:Team felt all kinds of ways about the Amazon-MGM deal. Some of us are more positive about than the rest, but what gists out from the transaction is that for Amazon, the purchase price is modest and the company is famously playing a supposedly long-game. Let's see how James Bond fits into it. Alex receives four points for not bringing up F1 thanks to the Bond-Aston Martin connection.Turning to the SPAC game, we chatted through the recent Lordstown Motors earnings results, and what we can parse from them regarding blank-check companies, promises, and reality.After launching last June with just $2 million, Collab Capital has closed its debut fund at its target goal: $50 million. The Black-led firm invests exclusively in Black-led startups, and got checks from Apple, PayPal, and Mailchimp to name a few. We talk about this feat, and note a few other Black-led venture capital firms making waves in the industry lately.We Resolved our transition puns and eventually spoke about the Affirm spin-out, which raised $60 million in a funding round for BNPL for businesses. There's bigger questions there around the accessibility and point of BNPL, and if its really re-inventing the wheel or just repackaging it with simpler UX.Next up, we got into a can of worms about the future of meetings thanks to Rewatch, which raised a $20 million Series A this week led by Andreessen Horowitz. The startup helps other startups create internal, private Youtubes to archive their meetings and any video-based comms. We could only spend a second on this, so if you want our longer thoughts in the form of text, check out our 3 views on the topic on Extra Crunch! (Discount Code: Equity)From there we had Interactio and Fireflies.ai, two more startups that are tackling the complexities of meetings in the COVID-19 era, and whatever comes next. Both recently raised new funding, and Alex brought up Kudo to add one more upstart to the mix.Noom, a weight loss platform, bulked up with $540 million in funding after nearly doubling its revenue from 2019 to 2020. The pandemic has made many people gain weight, but we chew into why Noom's moment might be right now after a decade in the works.Thanks for hanging out this week, Equity is back on Tuesday with our usual weekly kickoff, thanks to the American holiday on Monday. Chat then, unless you want to follow us on Twitter and get a first-look at all of Chris' meme work.
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For this week’s deep dive, Alex and Natasha dug into Danny's latest mega-project: A long, fascinating, and deeply-reported series into the world of disaster tech. It's all about the market, startups, and their backers, so it was perfect fare for our Wednesday episode, in which we dive deep into a single topic.Part 1: The most disastrous sales cycle in the worldPart 2: Data was the new oil, until the oil caught firePart 3: When the Earth is gone, at least the internet will still be workingPart 4: The human-focused startups of the hellfireWe were super curious why Danny had picked disaster tech to niche into, as we hadn't heard that much about it, frankly. But past the fact that it's a world where sales cycles can last as long as House Congressional tenures, there was quite a lot to get into:Consumer: Dorothy wants to to provide bridge loans to folks who get rekt by a hurricane. As government, and insurance money can take ages to arrive, the startup could be onto something. and Perimeter wants to take data, and help folks actually know where to go when there is am emergency.Data: Danny's deep dive into the world of data in the disaster space came with a provocative headline, but the market backs him up. In this space we took a look at Cornea, which just raised $15 million to help firefighters better understand conflagrations, and Gridware raised $5.3 million to install boxes on power lines. Very smart boxes, we should add.Mental health: We end with a riff on how companies are preparing humans to better handle disaster before and after it strikes. Alto Neuroscience, which is a stealthy startup founded by Amit Etkin, is looking to solve PTSD with brain-wave data, while NeuroFlow uses polling, and savvy collabs with practitioners to monitor emerging symptoms. Psychedelic therapeutics also might have some opportunity to shine thanks to Osmind.The series was fun to mine through, and expect Danny's byline to be all over the topic in the coming weeks. Talk soon, unless - actually especially, if - all of hell breaks loose!
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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 Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.After a somewhat quiet weekend, things are kicking off in rapid-fire fashion this week. Here's what you need to know:The cryptocurrency selloff that was in full-swing on Friday continued over the weekend. Though bitcoin and ether managed to recoup some of their losses since they set new local minima, the value of popular cryptos is vastly depressed compared to recent highs.Looking ahead, it's the final day of arguments at the Epic Games vs. Apple trial. And we're seeing a smaller company try to crack some of the hold that a major tech incumbent enjoys over a huge piece of the digital economy. So, if you like startups, you might want to put aside your Apple fandom for a minute.More than a few funding rounds are cracking off this morning, including neat rounds from African fintech Mono, India-and-UAE-based Zeta, Emitwise raising $3.2 million, and Aurora Solar raising $250 million.With a busy funding market and a yet-busy IPO cycle, it should be yet another busy week. Strap in!
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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 good fun not only because we had the whole team together to record, but also because we are still basking in the endless glory of our winning a Webby earlier this week. Frankly we are still shocked. But happy-shocked, like when you get a new toy and it is covered in static electricity.Anyhoo, we had a packed show with much, much left on the floor as we tried to shoehorn the week into our time slot. Here's what we got into: The world of connections: Fave raised $2.2 million to connect fandoms, Somewhere Good raised $3.75 million to build feedless micro-communities, and both Spokn ($4 million) and Spot ($5 million) are hoping to use the spoken word to connect companies and their staffs. Honestly we think that the overall connection-community world is super exciting. Piano, one of those startups we actually have the luck of using, raised $88 million for analytics, subscription, and personalization tools. We get into why the round makes sense, and why one investor stood out more than the others. Corporate media: Coinbase is building out a media-ish org (Alex wrote about it here on his personal blog; Scrawler.co has more on the matter), and with TheSkimm hoping to find a corporate home and The Hustle doing the same, we had to dig into the matter. Our take is that content marketing is a response to expensive social advertising. And that it's fine. And that it is not news. Shoutout Forbes and its new union effort. Well done. Uptrust raised $2M, which let us talk about the venture-sized opportunity in fighting the billions of dollars wasted on useless mass incarceration. And then we chatted about the public markets. Monday.com's IPO is filed, Marqeta's IPO is filed, Squarespace's direct listing is done, and more. It's hectic out there for late-stage startups.The show flew by, much like our days recently, simply because it was so fun and jam-packed with news. And we got to make jokes about our listeners and Monday.com PR timing, so what else could we ask for? Talk soon!
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This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single topic and go deep. This time Natasha and Alex corralled TechCrunch transportation editor Kirsten Korosec to talk to us about the endless parade of EV SPACs, and more. Before we get into the show notes, you can follow Equity on Twitter here.https://twitter.com/kirstenkorosec/status/1394726967203667969And, because we are proud, we won a Webby! Our show! How cool is that? Thank you for love listening, hate listening, all of it. We are so thankful.Ok, here's what we talked about:Why is every electric vehicle company going public via a SPAC, and why is there so much potential fraud in the space? Kirsten has some notes on the matter, but it boils down to money in both cases.The Bird-SPAC deal in all its glory. You can read Alex and Kirsten's dive into the Bird investor deck here. We had questions like why was the shared scooter model ever considered viable, and, how did the company improve its economics during a pandemic? The SPAC world never, ever disappoints.Of course, we couldn't resist talking about the scooter barrage of news from years ago and how things have changed since.We end with her latest scoop, a series of exits at Waymo, and what that means for the future of the autonomous vehicle company. Plus, we didn't get to make a joke about it in the show but let's just say: Waymo has a waymore to go before it has driverless tech all over the streets.And one more thing: Kirsten gives a look at some of the speakers at our upcoming mobility event. Snag tickets here, and subscribe to her newsletter, The Station, for all things mobility every week.And that's that! We are back with our regular weekly news rundown Friday morning. Chat you all then!
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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 Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.There was lots to get through today, so, in order, here's the rundown: Early-stage founders can still apply for the impending Disrupt Battlefield even. You can sign up here if that's you. It's going to be a lot of fun tbh. From the weekend: San Francisco real estate is a mess; Twitter Blue is coming and I am hype about it; Elon Musk roiled crypto markets by being himself, which doesn't speak too highly of the asset class. AT&T is getting out of the TV game to some degree, selling media assets to help pay down debt. Just like Verizon did by selling TechCrunch and family to Apollo. We also chatted about two Indian mega-rounds: Pine Labs raising $285 million and Moglix raising $120 million. From the early-stage front, two rounds this morning for your pleasure: Telda's super-cool pre-seed round, and recent Y Combinator-grad Houm's latest investment, which explains why the accelerator program is still so popular. Extra Crunch Live this week is Shaun Maguire (Sequoia) + Samir Vasavada (Vise) on Wednesday, May 19th, at 11:30AM PST / 2:30PM EST.
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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.The fully-vaxxed and officially fully-immune took over the podcast this week, with Natasha and Danny co-hosting the show while the inimitable Alex is out from Shot #2. Grace and Chris, as always, were behind the scenes making sure we sound pretty and don't fall down too many punny board game rabbit holes after vacation.Here's the rundown of what we got into: Crypto crashed - thanks to either Elon or the guy who created Ethereum and then donated some to relief efforts for COVID-19. We debated how signal gets lost and rediscovered and lost again in this news cycle, and what that means for anyone in tech trying to get a pulse of. what's actually happening. One symptom of market craze and disconnected booms? A startup named Caplight that wants more people to buy and sell short positions on private startups. We then pivoted into the last bit of our 'The World Is Melting' section to talk about home ownership and the slow stink of real estate stocks right now. Ontop of that, Better.com, a digital mortgage lender, decided to SPAC after reportedly tabling an IPO. A mention of SPACs obviously opened up a can of worms, or should I say, oasis of woods. The world might be melting, but Softbank could be having the last word. The Japanese conglomerate shut us up with its recent profits - proving Danny's point in an old EC piece (use code EQUITY for a discount). We switched gears and talked about a neat new $20 million fund coming out of the Midwest, Sixty8 Capital, and its plan to invest in underrepresented founders. The show ended as chaotically focused as it began with a round robin of the most interesting funding rounds of the last week, not limited to but including Blind's $37 million raise, The Last Gameboard's $4 million check, Just Women's Sports, and Morressier's $18 million Series A. And that's where we break! Follow the podcast on Twitter, be kind to your humans, and be the kindest to yourself. Back sooner than you can raise a $25 million pre-seed round for an audio app for Dogecoin lovers.
For this week’s deep dive, Alex and Danny unpacked Natasha's latest project: The Duolingo EC-1. The 12,000 word four-part series was published last week and is worth a read. But, until you get to it, enjoy our podcast that doubles-clicks into its most interesting bits.[caption id="attachment_2146587" align="aligncenter" width="482"] Duo, Duolingo's mascot, flying around. Image Credits: Duolingo [/caption]Here's how it went, after we got our morning allergy banter out of the way:What's an EC-1? A TechCrunch-style deep-dive into one of the startup world's most promising, and interesting companies.What's with the flying vermin up above? That's Duolingo's mascot. Which is a combination of hypercutness and modest menace. (You will have fun learning a language. Or the owl will visit.)Why did we write about Duolingo? No, it wasn't only because Duolingo is edtech. Natasha dug into the company's product-led growth mode, and its views on gamification, which were fascinating.What's up with today's show name? As it turns out, Duolingo has a Tinder angle. In fact, Duolingo leaned on some of the biggest companies out there when it came to design and monetization.And as with all edtech companies, we talked monetization and outcomes!The Duolingo EC-1 comprises four main articles numbering 12,200 words and a reading time of 48 minutes. Here’s what’s in store:Part 1: Origin story “How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo” (3,300 words/13 minutes) — looks at how Guatemalan immigrant entrepreneur Luis von Ahn pivoted from fighting bot attacks on login screens with squiggly text to building one of edtech’s great success stories.Part 2: Product-led growth strategy “The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app” (3,000 words/12 minutes) — analyzes the tactics and tradeoffs that an edtech company has to evaluate as it grows from thousands to 500 million registered learners.Part 3: Monetization “How Duolingo became fluent in monetization” (2,800 words/11 minutes) — examines how Duolingo experimented with a variety of different business models to match its unique community, and why it chose subscription in the end.Part 4: New initiatives and future outlook “Duolingo can’t teach you how to speak a language, but now it wants to try” (3,100 words/12 minutes) — explores how Duolingo is launching new business lines, their chances for success, and how the company is attempting to expand its main product from basic language fluency to mastery while adding speaking skills to the mix.And of course, use code Extra Crunch "Equity" for a sweet, and perhaps the best, discount to access this story and all of our best stuff.Until Friday!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.This weekend was all about memecoins. And I am sorry about that. But Equity doesn't run the world, sadly, it merely notes what is going on: Dogecoin dropped during Elon Musk's SNL appearance. Which was somewhat ironic. Also there's another memecoin that is skyrocketing. Palantir, DoorDash, Airbnb, Alibaba will report earnings this week, amongst others. Clubhouse is finally coming to Android. In the United States. By invite. So, if that's you, congrats, welcome to the app. A major cyberattack and ransom situation in the United States is a data point, yet again, that we're woefully unprepared for cyber risk. StuDocu raised $50 million which was cool, while Gojek raised another $300 million, which was the very opposite of surprising. This week's Extra Crunch Live is going to be really good. I will see you there!It is going to be a busy week! Already since we recorded this show there's more drama from Box, and more. Strap in!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.The whole team was aboard for this recording, with Grace and Chris behind the scenes, and Danny, Alex, and Natasha on the mics. We had to cut more than we included this week, which should give you a good idea of how busy the startup and VC worlds are of late.Make sure that you are following the podcast on Twitter, where we post all sorts of memes and cuts and, perhaps, the occasional video here and there. That aside, here's the rundown:Investing legend David Swenson passed away.Twitter is buying Scroll (neat, very cool) as part of its subscription push, but also killing Nuzzel in the process (bad, very uncool). Natasha and Danny fill us in on why Nuzzel will be missed. Alex has thoughts on why Twitter-Scroll is good.Epic bought ArtStation and cut its marketplace take rate. This is the future, says Danny, who throws his own estimates in, too.Sony and Discord are tying up after the Microsoft-Discord deal fell apart.Edtech is doing the edtech thing in which it raises money and consolidates, as shown by Kahoot's latest scoop.A friend of the pod, Jomayra Herrera, is joining Reach Capital as its first ever outside-partner hire.Uber is teaming up with Arrival for ride-hailing designed electric vehicles. We're pretty bullish on the idea. Also Alex likes to say "microfactories."IVF startups are raising venture capital, and this time its Alife Health that we're talking about. WorkBoard raised again. Alex once again made us talk about OKR-focused startups. He needs to get a life, and so does the rest of the Equity team which fought to do the transition into this segment.To end, we spoke about Leda Health, a new startup focused on at-home rape kits for sexual assault survivors. It's a controversial company, and we discuss critiques and opportunities,And that's our show! No private equity deal can slow the Equity team down, so we'll see you Monday!
For this week’s deep dive Natasha and Alex and Chris dug into the world of the IPO. Not just the numbers and the metrics and the calculations of valuations at diluted, and non-diluted share counts. No. We wanted to talk about the morality and efficacy of going public.So to round out our conversation we enlisted Steve Cakebread, the CFO of Yext and Garth Mitchell, the CFO of Latch. Cakebread is known for being aboard the Salesforce, Pandora, and Yext's IPOs. Mitchell has sat on both sides of the table during the IPO process, and is currently helming the money equations as Latch approaches the public markets via a SPAC.For more context, Yext, a company that first launched at a Techcrunch event back in 2009, provides data tooling and search software to businesses, while Latch builds software and hardware for rental-focused buildings. Yext is public. Latch will be in a few months.Back to our topic, we asked Cakebread to talk about his thesis on why going public earlier than later can help a company's maturity process and can help provide greater returns to the general public. The CFO has written a rather good book about the IPO process more generally and what it means for a company's internal processes, but his morality notes especially stood out because its an argument far less noisy than the POP critics. Baked beans comes up, somehow!We also asked Mitchell to talk about Latch's choice to go public, and what opportunities and challenges the SPAC route brings for the company. Of course, there's a SPAC joke in there (or two), but we get into broader "what's next" debates about if more companies will start to leave the private world, venture capital's role in this whole mess, and the financial lift of going to the public market.Hope you enjoyed the show, and get excited: Equity is going to have more guests on from time to time, and we welcome any suggestions you want to throw at us.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.This morning was a notable one in the life of TechCrunch the publication, as our parent company's parent company decided to sell our parent company to a different parent company. And now we're to have to get new corporate IDs, again, as it appears that our new parent company's parent company wants to rebrand our parent company. As Yahoo.Cool.Anyway, a bunch of other stuff happened as well: Flywire, a Boston-based payments company filed to go public. More on the site about this shortly. Earnings this week are coming from Uber and Lyft and PayPal and Square and more. Dell is offloading Boomi to private equity as it wants to de-lever. Again. Cloud market share numbers are out, but what matters is that the growth of the cloud market helps explain the growth that we're seeing in the startup game. (Our own Ron Miller dug into some rival cloud metrics here.) The Chinese government's crackdown on its tech giants continues. And it's impacting valuations. And Wealthsimple raised an epic CAD$750 million round, while Ohio-based Path Robotics just raised a $56 million Series B. Super cool.We're back Wednesday with something special. Chat then!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.First and foremost, Equity was nominated for a Webby for “Best Technology Podcast”! Drop everything and go Vote for Equity! We’d appreciate it. A lot. And even if we lose, well, we’ll keep doing our thing and making each other laugh. (Note: we are in last place, which is, well, something.)Regardless, the Equity team got together once again this week to not only go over the news of the week, but also to do a little soul searching. You see, some news broke yesterday, so we figured that we had to talk about it in our usual style. So, here's the rundown: Do you want to buy TechCrunch? Apparently you can? Albeit probably along with a few billion dollars worth of other assets -- whatever is left of Yahoo and AOL -- you can now own an NFT. A non-fungible TechCrunch. What is ahead for us? We don't know. So if you do know, tell us. Until then we'll just yo-yo gently between panic and optimism, as per usual. We also dug into the latest All Raise venture capital data, and the results were abysmal. Next up was the news that fintech startups are setting records in 2021, raising more capital than ever before. That brought us to the latest from Brex. And then there was a suspicious trend when three fintech companies focused on teen banking raised in one exhale. We talk Step, Greenlight, and Current. Natasha talked about her last Startups Weekly post, in which she unpacked The MasterClass effect's impact on edtech. And to close, we discussed the latest cool-kid venture capital funds. Sure memes are cool, but did you know that they can help you raise a $10 million fund? They can!We are back Monday morning with our weekly kick-off show. Have a great weekend!
For this week’s deep dive Natasha and Alex and Danny and Chris dove into the world of audio. Sure, you've heard of Clubhouse, but there's lots more going on than just a single app's cultural rise. So from the biggest companies to niche startups, we compiled all the recent audio news into a single show for all our delectation.Here's the rundown:Facebook is building a number of audio products, including a Clubhouse clone and a short-form audio service that we think could be neat.Reddit is also building a Clubhouse-like service, and Alex is excited about it.It's not just the established social networks that are trying out live audio. Peanut, a social networking app for women, added live audio "Pods" to its platform. It kicked off a conversation on what it takes to win this market, and what's a smart versus silly bet.While a drop in downloads doesn't necessarily mean a drop in active users, it's worth pointing out that Clubhouse's monthly downloads dropped 72% in March. Where is that gosh darn Android app?And Alex explained why the Clubhouse-NFL deal matters for the company, as it could molt into something more akin to a platform over time.Danny explained how Apple and Spotify are building paid podcast services -- more here, and here, respectively -- and we have thoughts about which service is being more fair with the money. Natasha tied in how sentiment around the creator economy might be driving some of these individual-friendly business models.Alex brought up TWiT's new business model.All told there's quite a lot of excitement around the spoken word. Which is good as Equity is a podcast? Right?
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.This weekend had a key story, earnings are on the way, and there is a huge number of funding rounds to talk about. Ready?The Indian government's move to remove a number of social media posts critical of its handling of COVID-19 was the key news item this weekend. As the country's healthcare system buckles, and deaths spike, the move by the current administration to censor the Internet was just about as bad a look you could imagine. At least in terms of a tech response.Also this weekend conversation continued about Substack's recent push to hire away well-known writers from traditionally-respected publications continued, with Insider reporting that six-figure offers to join the paid newsletter platform are the norm.This morning we're focused on the impending earnings deluge. Major American tech companies, along with some key social media and ecommerce names will report, giving us a look into how tech companies performed in the first quarter of 2021. We already know that the venture market was hot during the period. How business fared, however, is less clear.On the funding round beat, Mighty Networks raised $50 million, LEAD School raised $30 million, Kidato raised $1.4 million, StashAway stashed away $25 million, and Kyligence put together a $70 million Series D of its own.The Honest Company also set an early IPO price range after we stopped recording. More to come on the IPO front. Chat Wednesday!
First and foremost, Equity was nominated a Webby for "Best Technology Podcast"!!! Drop everything and go Vote for Equity! We'd appreciate. A lot. And even if we lose, well, we'll keep doing our thing and making each other laugh.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Chris got together to chat through the week's biggest news. And like every other week in recent memory, it was a busy one. But we did our best to hit some M&A news, some unicorn news, and some funding news from smaller startups.Now, onto the show rundown, here's what we discussed:The Discord-Microsoft deal is done, and Danny has a hot take. Namely, in his view, the deal was mostly banker chatter more than a real possibility. More chaff than wheat, in other words. Agree or not, we're stoked for the Discord IPO in a few years (quarters?) time.Mastercard bought Erkata, and Danny was on hand to hand to explain why we care about the deal. Sure, it was $825 million in value, but some venture data from Finledger helped explain just how much capital is flowing into similar companies. Let's see how that math works out.Clearbanc rebranded itself into a fintech unicorn, providing services along with sweet, sweet capital.The UiPath IPO finally priced and started to trade. It had a good first day, and you can check out what we learned talking to its CFO here.Over in China, a country that we've not covered enough lately, Laiye raised $50 million more. Like UiPath it competes in the RPA world.Deel, for one, had a good 2020. It hit 20x growth in revenue last year, and recently raised at a $1.25 billion valuation.And then we closed with two seed rounds raised by recent Y Combinator grads: Here's the Queenly round, and here's the Albedo deal!We'll see you on Monday.
For this week’s deep dive Natasha and Alex and Danny wanted to chat crypto. No, not cryptography, but cryptocurrency. The topic has been hot in recent months thanks to Coinbase, recent weeks thanks to the rapid price appreciation in the value of many coins, and in recent days because dogecoin went crazy.Vote for Equity to win a Webby so that our parents are proud!So with our minds tuned to the future of money, and commerce, and content, here's the show's rundown:Recent crypto news has been more than busy, with Venmo adding crypto support, Brian Brooks joining Binance, and the Coinbase direct listing.But that's not all, there have been a host of NFT marketplaces that have raised millions in the past week. We talk about Rarible, SuperRare, OpenSea, and Dapper Labs. We talk about differentiation, UX, and if more than one marketplace can win.Dogecoin's to the moon moment had reached a new price high and come down some before our show recorded, but the cryptocurrency's joke apparently is still funny after all these years. Here's a tweet and an article about it.And the idea that Coinbase's successful direct listing will matter for investors betting on crypto-focused startups is true, at least according to investors. More on that here, and hit us up if you want a sweet discount code to get past that paywall.Equity is back on Friday with our weekly news roundup. It's going to be a treat. Chat soon!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.First, our news roundup from last week was probably the most fun I've had in a few months, so make sure to catch up on that if you haven't. That said, here's a rundown of what we got into on the show this morning: The new Clubhouse round has us thinking about what is a good venture-style bet, and what isn't. At least you can't fault the Clubhouse crew for not having conviction. UiPath raised its IPO range, as expected. There's an Apple event this week, which caused us to wonder why more startups aren't competing with the giant. Cryptos have recovered from the flash crash, which had us thinking. Druva raised $147 million as TechCrunch will report later today, and Razorpay raised even more capital at a newly refreshed valuation. Finally, DoNotPay had some news, but it's corporate ethos proved even more interesting.The week is here, everyone! It's Monday! We can do this!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was yet another busy week, but that just means we had a great time putting the show together and recording it. Honestly we have a lot of fun this week, and we hope that you crack a smile while we dig through the latest as a team.Ready? Here's the rundown: The Coinbase direct listing! Here's our notes on its S-1, its direct listing reference price, and its results. And we even wrote about the impact that it might have on other startup verticals! Grab's impending SPAC! As it turns out Natasha loves SPACs now, and even Danny and Alex had very little to say that was rude about this one. Degreed became a unicorn, proving yet again that education for the enterprise is a booming sub-sector. Outschool also became an edtech unicorn, thanks to a new round led by Coatue and everyone's rich cousin, Tiger Global. The conversation soon devolved into how Tiger Global is impacting the broader VC ecosystem, thanks to a fantastic analysis piece that you have to read here. Papa raised $60 million, also from Tiger Global. What do you call tech aimed at old folks? Don't call it elder tech, we have a brand new phrase in store. Let's see if it catches on. AI chips! Danny talks the team through grokking Groq, so that we can talk about TPUs without losing our minds. He's a good egg. And, finally, Slice raised more money. Not from Tiger Global. We have good things to say about it.And that is our show! We are back on Monday morning!
For this week's deep dive Natasha and Alex wanted to dig into the Tonal EC-1, a huge document spread across a number of posts. Our goals were pretty simple: To better understand Tonal's journey, and also to get into the mind of its author.So we corralled JP Mangalindan into firing up his computer, microphone, and recording software for a chat. Here's what we covered:What is Tonal, why is it interesting, and why did JP spend so much time learning about the company?What did he have to leave out of the final report?His views on fitness gear, and the Peloton effect more broadlyWhat was it like to write something so gosh darn long?The Tonal EC-1 comprises four main articles representing about 10,600 words and a reading time of about 43 minutes:How a homegrown experiment became one of the fastest-growing companies in fitness tech Millions of dollars and 3.5 years, and it all came down to thisBuilding online communities for fun, profit and productCan Tonal become the luxury fitness market champion?As Natasha is currently -- shh, it's a secret -- working on an EC-1 of her own, we had more than a usual amount of interest in the project. Use code Equity for a super sweet discount to access this story and all of our premium content.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here. It is good to be back!There was a lot to get through, so, in order that we discussed the topics on the show, here's our rundown: Microsoft is buying Nuance Communications today. The deal is worth around $19.7 billion. The transaction could be viewed as pretty good news for AI startups and the broader private healthtech space. That said, how much bigger should Microsoft be allowed to get by absorbing rival public companies? Tiger Global is making a wave of bets on Indian startups. And from the political realms, read this Buzzfeed News story on India and its tech ecosystem, this piece on what's happening with Alibaba, and, finally, this entry discussing the growing divide between the American business and regressive politics. This morning's headlines: Uber isn't dead! Senator Josh Hawley has an idea. And Darktrace is going public. On the funding round front, make sure to read about The Zebra's latest, and this neat investment from Africa.Don't forget that Coinbase is listing this week, yeah? Chat soon!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s rigamarole of news. Alex took some well-deserved time off, but that meant we got to poke a little fun at him and create a Special Edition segment to start off the show.Jokes aside, this week was yet another spree of creator economy, edtech, and new fund announcements, with fresh and unexpected news hailing from Natasha's home state, New Jersey.Here's what we got into: Box got a lifeline in the form of a $500 million check from KKR, and as Danny mentions, Box CEO Aaron Levie shifts his role a bit, too. Patreon, an early startup in the creator economy space, has tripled its valuation to $4 billion. Another, not-so-old startup with the same reported valuation? Clubhouse. We threaded the line between the two, and gave some color on a new monetization feature rolled out. As an aside, looks like Clubhouse is everyone's favorite app to tweet about so much so that even Twitter is reportedly considering an acquisition. MasterClass raising new funding at $2.5 billion valuation. That is up from a $800 million valuation just last year, and shows that aspirational teaching packaged as celebrity-taught Youtube-like videos with Netflix-like quality is enough to be considered edtech. Speaking of edtech, a series of exits have caught our attention. The consolidation has begun! We spoke about two new funds. First, New Jersey is proposing a $10 million fund that would go to Black and LatinX founders. Second, Index raised nine-figures for seed startups, beating Sequoia's seed fund by a measly $5 million. The show closed with two early-stage funding rounds you don't want to miss - Walnut and Real - as well as a conversation on the future of telehealth.What a show! We'll be back with the full trio next week, and until then, stay safe and thank you for listening.
For this week’s deep dive, the Equity team sat down not with external investors or founders, but with two of our own. Yes, this week, for the first time Natasha and Alex got to break a little internal news instead of focusing on the world outside.Why did we have Jordan Crook and Darrell Etherington on the show? Because we're jazzed to add a second startups-focused podcast to a slowly but surely growing TC podcast network: Found. Found lands April 9, so tune in! The show will focus on talking to early-stage founders about building their company, from the emotional rollercoaster moments to tactical insights no one tells you until you've raised your first dollar.Equity will keep its eyes on the news, with extra attention to all the dollar signs that are to be found in startup-land and the venture capital world. At the same time, Found will bring a number of startup founders aboard to talk about the more human, and procedural work of building the next great tech company.We hope you love a new show from our friends as much as we do, and remember Equity will be back on Friday with news, banter, and fun soon. In the meantime, here's where you can find Found:Spotify@Found on twitterChat soon!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.This morning we took a global look at the news, trying to take in the latest from around our little planet:American stocks are set to rise as much of the world had the day off from trading; Indian stocks fell on the back of poor COVID-19 news.The biggest tech news was this bit of bad news from Facebook, if you are a fan of privacy. And the FT has data on the Chinese tech liquidity market that isn't great news.Amazon is in trouble after it illegally retaliated against workers. And there's more reporting on how low the company was willing to stoop to try and block union activity. Corporations, they're always letting us down.And edtech giant Byju's buying an IRL tutoring service for a billion dollars.On the funding front, Meesho is now worth $2.1 billion thanks to SoftBank Vision Fund 2, while Cresta now has $50 million more in its own coffers.And we wrapped with a peek at the Alkami Technology IPO, which was good fun thanks to where the company was founded.It's going to be a blast of a week. Talk to you Wednesday!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was a busy week on the IPO front, Danny was buried in getting the Tonal EC-1 out, and Natasha took some time off. But the host trio managed to prep and record a show that was honestly a kick to record, and we think, a pleasure to listen to!So, for your morning walk, here's what we have for you: The Substack conversation: Does the new $65 million check make sense? What is Substack? Does it have a moat? Why is Natasha's URL so much better than Alex's? Cameo raised $100 million and none of us really have a bone to pick with that. Danny actually argues in favor of it. The Clubhouse conversation: Does every single product need to feature live audio? The answers appears to be yes, oddly enough. Discord comes up along with Spotify, as does LinkedIn. And somehow, Microsoft Excel and Miami? TechCrunch scooped that Pipe is raising more money at a huge new valuation, and we argue about what a derivative really is. Harlem Capital raises $134 million for its new fund. MaC VC raises $103 million for its new fund.It was a mix of laughs, 'aha' moments, and honest conversations about how complex ambition in startups should be. One listener the other day mentioned to us that the pandemic made it harder to carve out time for podcasts, since listening was often reserved for commutes. We get it, and in true scrappy fashion, we're curious how you've adapted to remote work and podcasts. Let us know how you tune into Equity via Twitter and remember that we're thankful for your ears!
For this week’s deep dive, the Equity team got ahold of three founders from the recent Y Combinator batch (more here, and here) to chat through their experiences with a remote accelerator. TechCrunch was curious if the program lived up to founder expectations, how extreme timezone differentials were handled, and how easy it was to build camaraderie during a digital program. Oh, and how their demo day went.Here's who is on the show:Benjamin Croc, a founder at BrioHR (TechCrunch coverage here)Trisha Bantigue, a founder at Queenly (TechCrunch coverage here)Adam Alpert, a founder at Pangea (TechCrunch coverage here)The short version is that the founders were generally happy with Y Combinator being remote, and that the setup allowing them to stay in their normal location was plus. We also asked the founders for learnings regarding how to best handle remote accelerators in the future.More from Equity on Friday, at which point we'll put Y Combinator aside for a good while.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.This morning was a fun mix of news, including some early-stage and late-stage startups entries, along with the latest from the public markets and the great IPO game. Here's the rundown: ServiceTitan's vertical SaaS success was enshrined in its recent funding round and valuation. Both of which were predicated on its revenue growth. The software market is just gigantic. It's kinda crazy. Deliveroo's IPO has hit market chop as it looks to price. Governance and how it treats workers were among the concerns that investors have raised. And then Chinese company BiliBili struggled during its Hong Kong IPO, while Chinese company Zhihu fell after debuting in the United States -- could the public markets bet ratcheting back their interest in tech stocks? On the funding round side of things, Ajaib extended its Series A, Singular announced its fund, and Cazoo is going public via a SPAC.It was a lot, but when have we started the week anything less than fully behind? Chat Wednesday!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. News was right back up to a dull roar this week, so we did our best to trim and hone and just bring you the most important things.Here's the rundown: David Dobrik stepped down from Dispo, the photo-sharing app he co-created, this past week after allegations came out about him. We talked about the venture capital angle, since early-stage investors in the app reactively distanced from their investments. Could this set precedent or have a chilling effect on celebrity-startups? Robinhood filed privately to go public! So, it's happening everyone. At long last, one of Silicon Valley's hottest companies is kicking off its IPO process. We're hype, you're hype, and we had some jokes. And in other mega-unicorn news, it appears that Microsoft is tempted to plonk down $10 billion for Discord. Why, you ask? Well why not. It's just $10 billion from Microsoft's $1,780 billion valuation. Or around half a percent. Sticking to the $10 billion-and-greater category, Plaid could be raising $600 million at a valuation of $10 billion to $15 billion. That's a lot of money. Danny, however, has some doubts. Also, Plaid has announced the inaugural cohort of its FinRise accelerator, a program focused on helping fintech startups led by underrepresented founders. And then there were a few rounds to chat about. Namely the intensely interesting Bevy deal, and Ro raising $500 million at a $5 billion valuation. And to wrap, Natasha and Alex shared their favs from TechCrunch's massive Y Combinator demo day coverage. Which you can read here, and here.Let's all get some rest!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.For this week’s deep dive, the Equity team brought on Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia and Hustle Fund General Partner Elizabeth Yin to talk about equity crowdfunding. It’s been about a week since the SEC increased the equity crowdfunding cap from $1.07 million to $5 million, creating the perfect opportunity to go beyond the dollar amount and understand how the change impacts founders, venture capitalists, retail investors, and future fund managers.Here’s a brief rundown of the show:We talk about the basics of this new SEC regulation, and understand which platforms might be leading the pack for these bootstrapped campaigns. Indiegogo’s founder wrote an op-ed grading the new regulations on the site.Some banter on Gumroad’s 12-hour campaign that led to a successfully crowdsourced $5 million for the company. Lavingia talks about his decision to crowdfund a round in his company, why it made sense for the company, and what it will take to make this raise mainstream.Of course, Yin shared a ton of helpful nuggets around crowdfunding, providing a venture capital perspective that was still bullish on growing the amount of check-writers in the ecosystem. Some recent equity crowdfunding campaigns have shown that there are thousands of individuals willing to fund the enterprises they want to see succeed. Juked.gg is one such example.There are also notes on the Testing the Waters dynamic that could usher some wiggle room to early-stage founders thinking about this.Will equity crowdfunding supplant venture capital, or will it merely augment it? Our discussion leads us to ponder both possibilities. What seems clear is that equity crowdfunding could widen the band of companies that are "backable," if not the band of companies that traditional venture capital players find enticing.And we end with a whole bunch of meta debates, from the role of the platform in vetting campaigns. As with every innovation, including crowdfunding itself, there will be fraud and failure. But if there will be enough bad news to limit consumer interest is far from certain.This is one of those nerdy topics that gets us really excited about the future of dollar allocation and startup creation. We hope you love the show and leave with a better understanding of what’s ahead.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here.If you are paying attention to Y Combinator's demo day this week, our primer is here. And our Friday news roundup is here. With that, let's get into the news: Ironsource is going public via a SPAC. It's worth even more than eToro, which is also going public via a SPAC. It's a big quarter for Israeli tech. Sivo is a hot startup that you're going to hear more about. Also a lesson here for founders, if you want attention, share numbers. Deliveroo has a price for its IPO, and the company could be worth as much as £8.8 billion. Even more, the European delivery giant has seen huge demand gains thus far in 2021. On the month front, Nuvemshop has raised $90 million, M Capital Management has raised $30.85 million for a new fund, and Aldea Ventures has raised a €60 million investment vehicle. Remember Dispo? The hot photo-taking service? Read this. And finally. Happify Health has raised a $73 million Series D, while Clarify Health has put together a $115 million round of its own.Coming Wednesday we are digging into equity crowdfunding. Which is going to be hot shit. Get ready.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. This time around we had whatever passes for a quiet week as far as news volume. But that still meant we had to cut stuff and move the rest around. But, once we got done editing the notes doc down, here's what was leftover: Snap acquires Fit Analytics, a fitting technology startup: A far-past TechCrunch Disrupt alone has found a new home inside of the LA's social leader. No price on this one, but a fun thing to talk about all the same. eToro is going public via a SPAC (cool), and as it competes with Robinhood it gave us a chance to dig into the market. And frankly there's a lot to like about eToro. And thus Robinhood? Probably. The co-founder of Siri and a scientist have teamed up to create Riva Health, a software solution that hopes to turn your phone into a blood pressure monitor accurate enough for clinical use. Copy.ai raised $2.9 million, a round that Alex would not shut up about because of GPT-3. More on that tech here. The future of cannabis is in the hands of retail shops, or at least thats what Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon-based startup, believes. The cannabis management startup raised $200 million at a $1.7 billion valuation this past week. Airtable raised another round. A huge one. Again. This time it was $270 million at a $5.77 billion valuation. How much more money could it need? Who knows! Squarespace, everyone's favorite podcast sponsor, has raised $300 million at a steep, $10 billion valuation. The news broke nearly two months since Squarespace filed confidentially for IPO. And we closed on how unequal the venture capital world really is. It's super embarrassing to report on, but knowing the numbers is better than not. So we wrote about it.The show wraps with a teaser for next week that we won't spoil here.
This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down and focus on a single topic, or theme. This is our sweet spot: going beyond definitions and into the dirty and deep impact of how a phenomenon could impact startups and tech. We are hoping to explore more than answer, and debate more than agree. This week we're riffing on the impending Y Combinator demo day class, all hailing from the Winter 2021 cohort. As we stated on the show, we're not saying that these are the only startups worth looking at. They're simply the startups from the batch that TechCrunch has already covered, and some other favs from our eyes and those of a few investors.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here — and make sure to check out Friday's news-roundup with Danny and Natasha that included some neat notes on search startups. And their chances against Google.So, what did we chat about this morning? Here's the rough rundown: Stripe! Stripe raised new money at a new price and both were rather large. Would you believe that Stripe is still not public? It isn't! But it should be. Perhaps this is the last time it will raise before listing. Also from the recent past, Megvii filed to go public, and Nimble Robotics raised. The Deliveroo IPO is happening, and the £1 billion raise could value the company at £5 billion, Reuters reckons. Oh, and TechCrunch has the most recent WeWork numbers. DeepSee.ai raised a Series A, and we have questions about its product -- and hopes. Centrical also raised for its hybrid working software, which could come in demand after COVID ends.Extra Crunch Live this week is Emmalyn Shaw from Flourish Ventures and Adam Roseman from Steady. That's March 17th at 12 p.m. PDT and 3 p.m. EDT. See you there!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. Like every week, we had to leave a lot of great stuff on the cutting-room floor. But, we did get to touch on a bunch of news that we feel really matters.Also we do wind up talking about a few Extra Crunch pieces, which is where our deeper analysis on news items lives. If the paywall is a bother, you can get access while saving 50% with the code "EQUITY."Here's what we got into: Crypto-art and the NFT boom continue. Check out what Beeple just did. Danny has an opinion on the matter. The Roblox direct-listing does very little actually solve the IPO pricing issue. That said, well done Bloxburg. We talked about the Coursera S-1, which gave us the first financial peek into an education company revitalized by the pandemic. The numbers needed context, so our follow up coverage gives readers 5 takeaways from the Coursera IPO. Language learning has a market, and it's big. We talked about Preply's $35 million raise and why tutoring marketplaces make sense. Dropbox is buying DocSend, which makes pretty good sense. Even if the exit price won't matter much for bigger funds. We're still witnessing Dropbox and Box add more features to their product via acquisitions. Let's see how it impacts their revenue growth. Zapier buys Makerpad. We struggled to pronounce Zapier, but did have some notes on the deal and what it might mean for the no-code space. Sticking the acquisition theme, PayPal bought Curv. If you were looking for more evidence that big companies are taking crypto seriously, well, here it is. And to close we nerded out about Neeva. Can a Google-competitor take on Google if it was founded by ex-Googlers?The show is back Monday morning. Stay cool!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down and focus on a single topic, or theme. This is our sweet spot: going beyond definitions and into the dirty and deep impact of how a phenomenon could impact startups and tech. We are hoping to explore more than answer, and debate more than agree.NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, is this week's topic! This is something that you have nearly certainly heard of in the past few weeks but probably don't understand with perfect clarity. While we've all seen the Twitter threads of basic definitions, consider this episode the appetizer to your aperitif understanding.The Equity team put on our research caps, dug in, and found quite a lot to like. But we did not tread alone: our EIC Matthew Panzarino joined Chris and Alex and Danny and Natasha to help us out. Panzer was early to the NFT world and has contributed some of TechCrunch’s reporting on the matter.So, what did we get into? More than a little:We spent a few minutes on the NFT basics, including historical examples and how NFTs are minted, as well as some examples of how they have been used recently.From there we riffed on use-cases more broadly, and where we might find NFTs in the wild. Sure, we talked about visual art, but also music, tickets and sports moments. The NFT world has the possibility of a large remit if it plays its, ahem, tokens correctly.Then we talked culture. What could it mean that NFTs are in the market? Could residual incomes from the reselling of NFTs constitute a material revenue base for future artists, and how broad can the value-experiment go? Depending on which side of the NFT hype-cynicism divide you land, there’s plenty of room for discussion. A point made by Panzer:NFT's and the architecture of smart contracts and the way that social tokens work, these are all opportunities for the creators and originators of culture, to finally take part and participate in their rewards of the platforms of that culture -- you know, that hosts that culture. Because we've seen it over and over again: Artist blows up on TikTok, and you know, somebody does a dance to them, and then that video blows up. What does the artist get out of it? Sometimes they get a recording deal. Many times they get nothing. Right? In Vine, famously built on Black creators and brown creators and Latino creators and Latino creators. You know, TikTok, very much the same. Black Twitter one of the early driving forces of engagement on Twitter and culture on Twitter -- how many of them were actually able to participate in the economic rewards of Twitter as a platform selling advertising and making millions of dollars and their stock going bonkers? Besides, of course, you know, maybe they were able to purchase stock, right? So the, the remapping of how creators can participate in that economy directly by saying, “Hey, I've created something of value, and I'd love to connect directly with the people that enjoy that and they can provide me value back” -- that’s what’s so exciting about this.And we chatted just a minute about the weight, or carbon footprint, of different blockchains. There’s real nuance to this point of argument, but it was also something we couldn’t avoid. Panzer again:And this is probably the biggest negative blowback on Ethereum and NFTs is that Ethereum is by nature a very heavy chain, which means that it takes a lot of work to prove that a block has been written to the chain. Not quite as heavy as Bitcoin, but it's up there. And that energy usage that was used to mine that Ethereum that's being spent on the chain to confirm a new transaction is being sort of credited forwards in-- for lack of a better term to the artists minting on it. I don't think that's absolutely fair. But it's absolutely fair to acknowledge that it does have an ecological impact.Every week Equity will bring you something special on Wednesdays, adding to our regular Monday (weekly kickoff!) and Friday (news roundup!) shows. The world of tech is large, diverse, and variously dangerous and delightful. We're excited to keep talking through it with you.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here — and make sure to check out our Friday show that featured the Square-Tidal deal, some recent IPOs, and some super-neat rounds.Much like today's show, if I am being honest. Here's the rundown: Coursera filed to go public, which could help set the tone for edtech founders and startups regarding their own valuations and fundraising prospects. Bay Area startups did not leave. And the world of AI venture-capital funding shows that while there's plenty of capital, the number of startups being founded in the space is dipping. Starling raised a huge new round in the fintech space, and Deliveroo dropped some financial numbers on its path to going public in short-order. Postscript raised $35 million for its Shopify-SMS service; Praava Health raised $10.6 million to bring better healthcare to Bangladesh.A packed kickoff to what promises to be a packed week!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was yet another crazy week, but did our best to get through as much of it as we could. Here's the rundown, in case you are reading along with us! Square is buying Tidal in a deal that some are skeptical of, but one about which we found quite a lot to like. How capital-as-a-service can get you your first check in 2021, and a nod to Indie.VC, a pioneer in alternative financing for startups that announced it is shutting down net new investments this year. Oscar Health priced its IPO above its raised range, which was good for it in terms of fundraising. However, since its debut the company has lost pricing altitude. Its declines mimic those of other public neo-insurance proivders in what could be a new trend. And sticking to the insurtech beat, Hippo is going public via a SPAC. Because everyone else is? Compass filed its S-1, which triggered a debate on how its different than OpenDoor. Coupang's IPO is also coming, replete with huge growth, an improving profitability picture, and a massive valuation. This is one to watch. There was also a whole global news circuit around grocery delivery startups, with Instacart raising at a $39 billion valuation. And we wrapped with the Surreal seed round that we found to be more than a little spicy. As it turns out, commercialized deepfakes are not merely on the way; they are here.And with that we are back on Monday. Have a rocking weekend!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the number behind the headlines.This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down and focus on a single topic, or theme. This week we're talking agtech, a surprisingly cool bit of the technology startup world. But Chris and Danny and Natasha and Alex were not alone in their quest to take a look into agtech, we brought alone TechCrunch climate editor Jon Shieber for the ride.With his help we got through a number of pretty damn interesting things, including:SESO Labor raising $4.5 million to help farms secure the labor they need, and navigate the American immigration system.Future Acres looking to raise $3 million for its farming robots. And Farmwise, which last raised $14.5 million and has an idea regarding how to rent robot labor to farms.We also chatted about Anuvia's epic $103 million raise that could help boost farm yields while cutting carbon emissions.And Better Origin, which wants to help farmers raise flies to feed to chickens. Which we had a few ideas about.And that's that! We're back on Friday with our long-form, newsy episode. Thanks to everyone checking out our newest show. Oh, and don't forget about TechCrunch Early Stage and TechCrunch Justice. They are going to rock.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here — and be sure to check out our most recent Friday episode, which featured news on Finix and Coinbase and Reddit, among others.(Also don't forget that Equity is growing! And TechCrunch events are about to kick off and kick some butt.)Here's what we got into this fine Monday morning: Skydio raises $170 million, a huge sum for the drone company. Will its market prove large enough, quickly enough for the company to stay VC-ready? The UK government is putting together a venture fund of sorts? That's mostly cool. Klarna raises lots of money at a new, bigger valuation. More here on its industry. Space SPAC one, space SPAC two And then on the funding round side of things, here's Axonius' very interesting round, and this fun pre-seed deal from Europe! And finally we chat Oscar Health, a company whose IPO is all sorts of confusing.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. Before we get into this week's show, make sure to check out all the news here about how Equity is expanding, and becoming even more of a thing in 2021! We are beyond hyped about it.Coming on the back of such a wild news week, we had to cut and cut from the notes doc to get the show to size. So, here's what made the cut: Coinbase filed to go public. Alex wrote about its S-1 filing here, and Danny riffed on a fascinating nuance regarding its cap table here. Hopin is raising more money, at an even larger valuation. Every time we cover the latest version of this story, we think it must be the last time. And then it happens again. So, check back here in October for when Hopin raises again. Reddit also picked up more money. Again. Our take is that the capital must mean that Reddit is a better business than we anticipated. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian backed a new community tool proving the monetary value of the community. That led us into a conversation about a professional network for independent workers, and a collaborative workspace for interior design fans. Toast is said to be on the road to an IPO, and so we riffed on what Olo's IPO can tell us about the Boston-based unicorn. Shippo raised more money after a big 2020; can the company double again in 2021? Finix raised $3 million through an SPV filled with over 80 Black and LatinX investors.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is our first-ever Wednesday episode. If you want to learn more about the latest edition of the podcast, head here for more. This week we talked about space, an increasingly active part of the global economy, and a place where we're seeing more and more young tech companies place their focus.We were lucky to have TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington join us for the show. He's our resident expert, so we had to have him on to chat about the space startup ecosystem. Here's the rundown:SpaceX has raised a bunch more money, at a far higher valuation. We chat about why it didn't raise more, and how much capital there is available for the famous rocket company.Starlink came up as well, as the satellite array just put another 60 units into orbit. What is it good for? We have a few ideas.The second crew member of first all-civilian SpaceX mission revealed, and of course there is an IPO and startup angle involved. Which brought us to a side conversation on which one of us are most interested in going to space commercially. It's the raised hands feature no one asked for, but take your guesses on who wants to go first and see if you're right.Regardless, Axiom Space raises $130 million for its commercial space station ambitionsAnd then there was the Astra SPAC. You can read its deck here. What matters is that we get a look into how fast it plans to ramp future launches. And the answer is fast.As we get more comfortable in our Wednesday episodes, we'll tinker with the format and the like. As we do, we're always taking feedback at email@example.com, or over on Twitter. Hit us up, we're having a lot of fun but are always looking for ways to sharpen the show!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here — and be sure to check out our last main ep, in which Natasha coins a slogan for a16z that I both hate, and became the headline of the show!But enough of all of that, we have a lot to get through this morning. Here's what we talked about: The Weekend: Coinbase at $100 billion? More on that to come. Toast is going public! Probably! Wait Toast the company that laid off staff last year? Yep that Toast! It's not toast! And new rules on online lending in China. This Morning: Oscar Health put together an IPO price range that is interesting, and Apex Clearing is going public via a SPAC. Funding Rounds: Gophr raises money! Ageras Group raises money! Promise raises money! It was hard to pick just three, but each of those rounds has something notable about it. Enjoy! Deeper Dive/Riff: If the public markets will float even the most leaden of startup via a SPAC-balloon, any late-stage startup that doesn't take the ride out of the private markets must either be perfect or too heavy to lift. And if it's the second, we can write it off? Maybe?And, finally, this is precisely what I feel like this Monday morning. Chat soon and stay safe!
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. In very good Show News™, Chris is back! He's working on the next iteration of the show, something that you will be able to see starting Very Soon. Get hype!Today though, we had a delectable dish of dynamic doings, namely news items of the following persuasion: Bitcoin broke the $50,000 barrier, something that we wanted to talk about. Especially in light of Coinbase's $77 billion valuation. Natasha walked us through some growth metrics, and Alex was sad that he isn't already retired. Danny remains a full-on crypto bull. And on the blockchain thing, Blockchain.com raised $120 million, proving that there is huge amounts of capital available for the guts-and-bolts tooling of the bitcoin world. Li Jin, who coined the term 'passion economy', has closed her debut $13 million fund for startups within the same category. She joined other investors in our latest survey on the creator economy's changing tides. Off of $1 million in ARR, Circle has brought on $4 million in funding at a valuation north of $40 million. A16z invested in Stir, which helps creators manage and view their various income streams. The funding total was not disclosed, but is reportedly valuing the company, still in beta, at $100 million. TalkShopLive brought on new cash for live video shopping. Pipe17 closed an $8 million round that caught our eye. By building a service to help smaller ecommerce operations connect their tooling to one another, the company is betting on smaller ecommerce needing pipes to link up their various software services. This reminded us of Alloy, another neat company in ecommerce automation that also recently raised money. From there we riffed on the software market itself, its size, and the potential for investors to loosen their rules of intra-portfolio competition. Public raised $220 million, OutSystems raised $150 million, and Ally.io raised $50 million. Finally, a wave of edtech startups is over Zoom University and hopes to create much, much better. alternative.And that's our show! We are back early Monday morning for a packed week. So keep your podcast app warm, we're coming for it.
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here and myself here — and be sure to check out our riff on whether SoftBank has another 20 DoorDashes waiting in the wings.This morning was a more relaxed Monday than I can recall in months, thanks to a holiday in many parts of the world. But that didn't stop us from parsing the news: The Weekend: This investigation into Clubhouse's data security is getting results, while over the weekend Dispo got huge in a hurry, and the Apple-Facebook dynamic got a better explaining. Increasingly the tech giant world feels like ad engines (Facebook, Alphabet) in opposition to software-and-hardware shops (Microsoft, Apple). This morning: GM has new electric cars, TechCrunch reports. VW isn't worried about Apple. And every EV company in the world is going public via a SPAC. Who will win? You can place your own bets. And India is loosening some tech regulation. The American stock market is closed. Funding Rounds: We chatted about the recent Libeo round, and the latest on Nymbus, both of which are more than cool.And, finally, read this if you want feel let down by American VCs. (American media, to be clear, has similar issues.)