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Author: TechCrunch, Mary Ann Azevedo, Kell, Theresa Loconsolo, Haje Kamps, Rebecca Bellan, Rebecca Szkutak

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The intersection of technology, startups, and venture capital touches everything now. That’s why Equity, TechCrunch's flagship podcast, digs into the business of startups for entrepreneurs and enthusiasts alike. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, TechCrunch reporters keep you up-to-date on the world of business, technology, and venture capital.

Equity is ranked the No.2 podcast in the Top 100 Venture Capital All time leaderboard on Goodpods—As well as No.17 for the Top 100 Finance All time chart and No.32 for the Top 100 Business News All time chart.
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Welcome back to Friday Equity!In today’s episode Equity podcast, Mary Ann, Haje and Becca dug into three very different but all super interesting deals of the week. Haje wanted to discuss Raspberry Pi’s debut on the public market, and we all agreed that what this profitable company has managed to build – a tiny affordable computer that fits into the palm of your hand – is very neat. Mary Ann then wanted to talk about InScope, a fintech which just raised a $4.3 million seed round of funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners to automate financial reporting. Becca got to riff on Meowtel, a niche – and also profitable – startup focused on cat-sitting that has raised just $1 million in venture capital over its nine-year life.The trio then talked about all the Apple news (largely AI-focused) that came out of WWDC and its potential impact on the startup world. They then turned their attention to Elon Musk’s reaction to Apple’s announcement that it would be integrating ChatGPT into its iOS. While he clearly wasn’t happy about it, we discussed what his true motives for threatening to pull Apple devices from his companies might be. That’s it for this week, but we’ll be back bright and early Monday with more tech and startup news. Talk soon!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. You also can follow Equity on X and Threads at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Vanessa Larco, partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), believes that Generative AI’s impact on the world of SaaS could be huge.The investor joined Mary Ann Azevedo on Equity to talk through, among other topics, her theories about how GenAI could alter the pricing models SaaS businesses use when charging customers.“I think where [SaaS] people aspire to get to is value-based pricing. This is really, really hard,” she said.  But “I think it's a North Star for a lot of different SaaS products.”Larco also touched on how incumbents’ AI strategies may impact the startup world in general and in particular, what Apple’s new intelligence offering might mean for founders.The venture capitalist also gave us insight as to why despite being a big believer in the enterprise, she’s also still bullish on consumer investing and what she looks for when evaluating startups in the space.“I'm bullish on it. Look, I think the consumer is always going to spend. They just are,” she said. “It just depends on what they're going to spend on, what their priorities are.”In addition to discussing the SaaS and consumer spaces, the investor also shared her thoughts on what she believes the next wave of fintech will look like. (Spoiler alert: think less neobanks and more SMB focus).It was a super fun conversation, so press play and listen in!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Apple’s WWDC is just hours away, and we’re gearing up for big announcements on – you guessed it – AI. We're kicking off  today’s episode of Equity with a list of what we can (and can't) expect from the highly anticipated developer conference. But that's not all we talked about this morning. Becca Szkutak also took a look at Byju’s alarming valuation drop. The Indian edtech giant, once valued at $22 billion, might now be worth nothing according to BlackRock. The news may not come as a surprise given the rocky year Byju’s has had, but as Manish Sing put it, its journey stands to be one of the most “spectacular startup slides in recent memory.”To close out, we had news of a new fund looking to give the Italian startup ecosystem a boost. We’re optimist about the Italian Founders Fund and what it could contribute to the market, so press play and join the conversation!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
As always, there was a lot happening in startup land this week, and the Equity team had so much fun breaking it down for you.On today’s episode of TechCrunch’s Equity podcast, Mary Ann and Rebecca discussed Robinhood’s plans to buy European crypto exchange Bitstamp for $200 million in cash and why they weren’t really surprised by the news.The duo then dug into not just one but two exciting health-care related deals. Rebecca wanted to riff on Sword Health’s innovative AI-powered virtual physical therapy tech and recent fundraise and corresponding cool valuation bump. Mary Ann then brought up Eko Health, which just raised $41 million after getting FDA clearance to help detect the first signs of heart failure during a routine medical exam (really, how cool is that?!).From there, they got to grill transportation reporter extraordinaire Sean O’Kane about his in-depth investigation into the mess at electric vehicle manufacturer Fisker. Think hoods flying off and pinching parts from the production line kind of mess. Oof.From there, they talked about the drama at AI mortgage startup LoanSnap and how that company is being sued left and right among other things. On a more positive note, they then riffed about two very interesting fintech startups focused on Gen Z, Frich (which stands for ‘effin rich) and Fizz – the latter of which is a YC alum just raised $14.4 million in a seed round led by Kleiner Perkins.That’s it for this week, but we’ll be back bright and early Monday with more tech and startup news. Talk soon!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. You also can follow Equity on X and Threads at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Consumer startups have taken a hit when it comes to venture funding. But according to Eurie Kim, partner at Forerunner Ventures and founding member of All Raise, consumer is where it’s at.The investor joined Mary Ann Azevedo on Equity to talk through the intricacies of the space. She pointed out that last year, just 7% of seed capital went to consumer startups. Yet, research shows that consumer company performance has outpaced enterprise, Kim contends. Forerunner itself has backed the likes of Oura, Chime and Prose, among others. Kim also talked about the advantages of being dedicated investors in a space that has seen a number of tourist VCs drift in and out. In addition to discussing the state of consumer investing and what consumer investors are looking for, the venture capitalist shared her thoughts on the investment landscape as a whole, what’s up with IPOs and why every startup should have AI in their pitch deck.Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Welcome to this week's Episode of Equity Monday. We're kicking off the week with a deep dive from this weekend into the demise of electric vehicle startup Fisker at the hands of its founders' whims. Fisker, which was founded by famed vehicle designer Henrik Fisker, is on the brink of bankruptcy after only having delivered a few thousand electric Ocean SUVs. Then, Rebecca Bellan talked about X's new rules to allow adult content (as long as it's "consensually produced," whatever that means), and why that's problematic for the safety of other users -- namely women, who are most often the targets of sexually explicit trolling and harassment. We also touched on Trump's TikTok debut, which came in the wake of the former president's felony conviction. To wrap up, Bellan also discussed a story that TechCrunch published over the weekend looking into the new trend of smaller, lesser-known investors getting shares of hot private AI companies like Anthropic, X.ai and Perplexity by using special purpose vehicles, or SPVs. The result has been a Wild West, high risk, buyer-beware situation, with SPV terms varying wildly. Haje closed out the show with another Pitch Deck Teardown, this time looking into the Angel pitch deck for RAW Dating App. RAW just raised a $3 million friends and family round to shake up the dating scene by shedding fake, TikTok-ified, heavily filtered photos and replacing them with a more genuine, unvarnished experience. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Welcome back to Equity Friday!In this week’s episode, Mary Ann, Becca Szkutak,and Haje Kamps tackled three deals of the week: xAI, Elon Musk has once again proven that his name alone can shake up the investment world, raising a staggering $6 billion for his AI startup. Solutions by Text, The Dallas-based company, which has been bootstrapped for over a decade, secured $110 million in funding. And WeatherXM, which is a company bringing Web3 into the weather forecasting space that raised $7.7 million in a Series A.Then they discussed the Synapse Collapse and what it means for the larger FinTech ecosystem. Synapse, a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) provider, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy leaving many startups and customers in the lurch. Lastly, the crew wraps it up by discussing Becca’s piece on who is (and is not) going to IPO this year and what that signals to the industry.That’s it for this week, but we’ll be back bright and early Monday morning with more tech and startup news, along with another round of Pitch Deck Teardown. Talk soon! Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
It’s no secret that the bar for startups to land a Series A has risen, but has it risen too high? According to Jenny Fielding, a co-founder and Managing Partner at Everywhere Ventures, startups are facing what she calls “The Series A Chasm.” In a post on X this month, Fielding said, “there’s a huge backlog of seed stage companies with nice traction – just not $3m ARR + 30% MOM growth kinda traction.” The post sparked a conversation online, and Fielding joined Haje Kamps on Equity to talk through it all. Looking beyond Fielding’s portfolio, we can see that the early stage storm has been brewing for quite some time. According to data from Crunchbase, seed companies have raised about $7 billion so far this year, which is down $1 billion year over year and down significantly in the later stages. Crunchbase has even taken to calling this a moment of “extended adolescence” for startups, with an increase in companies raising $5 million+ seed rounds instead of a Series A. Of course, this meant we had to address the AI elephant in the room, and the $135 million seed round Musk’s xAI raised last December. Note that after 6 months, the company behind Grok has already announced a $6 billion Series B round. It was an interesting chat, so press play and join the conversation!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
We’re kicking off the short week with news about Elon Musk, and no, it’s not about X or Tesla. Instead, we’re talking about Musk’s other other company, xAI. In a blog post this weekend, xAI announced it raised $6 billion in Series B funding, confirming earlier reports that the AI startup was looking to raise at a pre-money valuation of $18 billion. With Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Valor among its backers, it looks like Musk is taking steps to catch up and compete with the likes of OpenAI, Microsoft and Alphabet.The ongoing AI race was only the beginning of what we covered on today’s episode of Equity. This morning, Becca Szkutak dove deep into the collapse of Synapse, a banking-as-a-service company whose bankruptcy could impact an estimated 10 million end customers and 100 fintechs, including teen banking-focused Copper. While this is not the only troubling headline in the fintech space, as our co-host Mary Ann Azevedo put it, “it shows just how treacherous things are for the often-interdependent fintech world when one key player hits trouble.”To wrap up this morning’s news segment, we also discussed a report from The Washington Post that election officials and researchers are considering a new approach to combating misinformation called “pre-bunking.” Companies like Google are testing it out in the lead up to the European Union election, but we remain skeptical about how successful the technique could be. Haje closed out the show with another Pitch Deck Teardown, this time examining Berlin-based Terra One’s deck. The startup just raised a cool $7.5 million to make sure Germany’s clean energy isn’t going to waste. Listen through to the end to hear how they made it happen! Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Say hi to the new Equity  crew! To kick off today's show, Mary Ann invited her new co-hosts - Becca Szkutak, Rebecca Bellan, and Haje Kamps - to introduce themselves and shared a bit more about what they do here at TC. The team then jumped right into the news, starting with Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet announcing she is leaving the company, just weeks after TechCrunch reporter Dominic Madori-Davis published an in-depth investigative article on what’s been going on behind the scenes at the accelerator in recent years. (You can listen to Dom talk more about it here).As always, there was plenty more to uncover in the world of startups and venture. Mary Ann, Rebecca and Haje dug into two funding deals, one straddling the lines of crypto and social media and the other in the fintech space.Rebecca wanted to talk about Farcaster, a blockchain-based social protocol that ​​invites developers to build other apps on top of it. The startup raised a $150 million round, news that had the Equity team asking, “Is crypto back?” Mary Ann dug into immigrant banking platform Majority securing $20M in funding after notching an impressive $40 million in ARR as of April.Last but not least, our trio riffed on the fact that a bunch of tech majors made commitments to the safe development of their AI models, including a potential “kill switch.” While we felt the news was mostly positive, we are also skeptical, too. The team also discussed the challenging environment for emerging fund managers, and our surprise at just how many of them there are.That’s it for this week, but we’ll be back bright and early Tuesday morning (thanks to a U.S. holiday on Monday) with more tech and startup news, along with another round of Pitch Deck Teardown. Talk soon!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.Subscribe to us on  Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. You also can follow Equity on  X and Threads at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Today, we’re listening back to not one but two interviews from the other side of the globe, thanks to our new co-host Rebecca Bellan, who spent three years in Auckland, New Zealand. Late last year, Rebecca hopped across the Tasman to Australia to report on the startup scene in Australia, and came back to us with a temperature check on VC in the Antipodes.Rebecca spoke to two Aussie VCs: Dan Krasnostein from Square Peg and Gabrielle Munzer from Main Sequence. Rebecca and our guests dug into why early stage funding is popping off in the region, the government's role in growing a startup ecosystem, fintech, climate tech, and what it’s like to compete and collaborate with Silicon Valley.In addition to these conversations, Rebecca wrote a few deep dive stories from her time in Australia, including a look at its burgeoning climate tech scene and some of the people who are fighting to lift women up in the ecosystem. Rebecca also chatted with Canva — the SaaS darling of Australia — to learn how the company is embracing generative AI at its core and pursuing more B2B clients.Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod.For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Last week was a big one for AI news, and one thing that stood out to us was OpenAI's deal with Reddit. Per the terms of the deal, OpenAI will get to use content from Reddit like posts and replies to train its AI, and Reddit will get access to some unspecified AI tools. Reddit's stock soared 11% in extended trading following the news.That's not all we talked about on today's episode of Equity. This morning, Rebecca Bellan also walked us through a new social media platform called Maven that wants to do away with likes, followers and clout-chasing in favor of more serendipitous internet exploration. Maven was co-founded by OpenAI alum Kenneth Stanley and is backed by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams. Speaking of Twitter, X.com is officially live as a platform. Annoyingly for Elon Musk, so is Twitter.com.Bellan also covered some fresh cybersecurity consolidation. Israeli security firm CyberArk has purchased Venafi out from Thoma Bravo for $1.54 billion -- that's $1 billion in cash and the rest in shares.Before you go, don't miss the latest Pitch Deck Teardown from Haje Kamps. In today's segment Haje digs deep on Berlin-based startup Goodcarbon's deck. The startup just raised a €5.25 million (around $5.5 million) seed round to make its mark on the big business of carbon credits, and its pitch deck does a great job at showing traction, but is not so great its team slide. Listen to the end to learn more!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. You also can follow Equity on X and Threads at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
This week, Mary Ann, Becca and Haje dug into three funding deals, proving that bigger is not always better (or more interesting).Becca wanted to talk about Spoor, an Oslo, Norway-based startup using AI to help wind farms mitigate its impact on birds (how cool is that?) while Haje wanted to discuss how fintech Layer is looking to take on QuickBooks in the SMB accounting space. Mary Ann, meanwhile, was excited to look into one Kentucky-based startup’s decision to raise $27.5 million in venture capital after being bootstrapped for six years and achieving profitability.We then moved on to AI-land, and all the fascinating new features revealed by OpenAI and Google this past week. And of course, we had to riff on what all of that means for startups.Last but not least, the trio examined the trend of venture capital investors leaving their firms to do other things – including starting their own new firms, or going back to old ones, in some cases. We're still wondering what could be behind all the moves, but it doesn't look like the trend is not going anywhere anytime soon.That’s it for this week but never fear, we’ll be back bright and early Monday morning with your tech and startup news, along with another round of Pitch Deck Teardown. Talk soon!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
For months, TechCrunch Senior Reporters Mary Ann Azevedo and Christine Hall have been following the story of Newchip's bankruptcy and its impact on founders and today on Equity, they're joined by Haje Kamps to dig deep into how the accelerator’s fall from grace threatened the cap tables of thousands of startups. In some cases, companies suddenly were so high risk to banks and investors that they had to shut down.The trio also discussed the broader accelerator landscape as a whole, considering what also recently took place at Techstars. It's a lively and hopefully helpful discussion you won't want to miss!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. You also can follow Equity on X and Threads at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Last week was a busy one for some Apple Store employees. Over the weekend, workers at Apple’s Townson, Maryland store — the first Apple retail store to have a formally recognized union — voted to authorize a strike. While the date of the strike is still being determined, the union has been negotiating with Apple since January 2023 over work-life balance, unpredictable scheduling, and wages, among other issues.But that wasn't all we discussed on today’s episode of Equity. This morning, Rebecca Szkutak also broke down what we can and can’t expect from OpenAI’s livestream event later today. On Friday, Sam Altman put a stop to rumors that the company will release a Google search competitor, but he did say OpenAI could announce a search feature within ChatGPT. To close out, Haje took the reins with another Pitch Deck Teardown. This time, we’re highlighting Cloudsmith, which secured $15 million for its cloud platform. The startup's 2021 round was the largest Series A for a company from Northern Ireland since 2005, so clearly they got a thing or two right. Listen through to the end to find out how the company pulled it off! Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. You also can follow Equity on X and Threads at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Finally, some good news! This week, we were pleasantly surprised to see that FTX victims would be getting some money back – even if it’s not as much as they might have hoped.That wasn’t all, though: Mary Ann Azevedo, Kirsten Korosec, and Alex Wilhelm had plenty else to talk about this week on Equity.We discussed why investors are drawn to the fact that Amae Health is building an in-person approach to mental healthcare in an increasingly digital space and also how one North Carolina startup that started out by building drones to clean windows in tall buildings has also become a robotics company.Kirsten helped us understand what was behind Motional’s decision to delay its commercial robotaxi plans amid restructuring, and the greater context around that.We then dug into digital banking startup Mercury’s plans to branch out into software, and how it now fits into the increasingly crowded spend management landscape. And, we riffed on the fact that we covered three M&A deals this week (read about them here, here and here) and how refreshing that was considering M&A activity has been lighter than expected. (Spoiler alert: AI was involved in at least two of them).Last but certainly not least, we close out the show with an announcement. After 7 amazing years, Alex's time with the podcast, and TechCrunch, is coming to a close. We're excited to see what he does next, but we are sure going to miss him dearly. Thank you for everything, Alex!This is not, however, the end of Equity. We'll be back bright and early Monday morning with your tech and startup news, along with another round of Pitch Deck Teardown. Talk soon! Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast, produced by Theresa Loconsolo, and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts. You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod. For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Good news, crypto founders: Venture capital activity is picking up in your sector after falling to multi-year lows in late 2023. Put another way, venture folks appear more web3-bullish than before, even if recent tallies are far under highs seen in late 2021.But that was hardly the only news item we had to dig into on Equity this morning. Akamai is spending $450 million for API security firm Noname, a deal that TechCrunch previously reported was looking to get done at around $500 million. The transaction, notable for its size, is also worth considering given that Noname was valued at a unicorn price tag back in 2021.Wiz is another name in the cybersecurity space that could do deals, thanks to a recent $1 billion fundraise. It intends to buy both wounded unicorns and hot, smaller startups to bolster its business. The company is now valued at $12 billion, which is a lot. (Wayve also raised north of $1 billion, but is focused on the self-driving space instead of security.)We also saw Monzo snag $190 million more, bringing its full-year fundraising score to more than $600 million as TikTok fights a ban, and Oyo tries to raise new capital at a fraction of its prior worth.And to close, Haje is bringing Pitch Deck Teardown to Equity! If you have not read the series — start here — you are in for a treat. We're kicking the new segment off with a look at NOQX's deck, what worked, what didn't, and what's next.Chat Friday!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod.For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
News that Jack Dorsey is out at Bluesky caused a stir this weekend. After all, Dorsey is a former Twitter co-founder and CEO, so his investment of time into the rival social network carried weight. The decentralized social networking service said that it is looking for a new board member.But while we had to talk about Dorsey’s latest on Equity today, it was far from the only topic we got to chat about. Past a busy earnings week ahead of us, we also dug into the latest employment news concerning China’s tech giants. Like many large U.S. tech shops, they are shedding staff. Tech shops around the world are showing that they can do more with less.Sticking to China, the country is set to deliver another IPO, this time in the United States. Momenta could raise up to $300 million in its debut, meaning that its upcoming listing is is going to carry real weight. (More on Momenta here.)And to close out we took a look at new capital that the U.S. government is putting into digital twins, and why alt-clouds are making real progress but could run into growth speedbumps in time. Equity is back on Wednesday — we’ll chat with you then!Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod.For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Mary Ann Azevedo, Kirsten Korosec, and Alex Wilhelm had a lot to parse this week. We had notes on wallet-as-a-service’ startup Ansa's latest fundraise, and how Alex initially misunderstood its business model. Then Kirsten talked us through a simply massive deal in the self-driving space, while Alex wanted to riff on Beehiiv and its own funding round. $33 million is no small Series B in 2024!From there, we had a few minutes to discuss Anna Heim's recent reporting on disability tech and how AI is taking and industry and accelerating it. Even better, there appear to be a mix of business models approached by the startups we discussed. That means that there could be many avenues to making tech that works better for more folks into real, and large businesses.To close out, Dominic-Madori Davis  joined us to chat about her reporting on Techstars. The company has been shaking up its operations for some time now, leading to certain departures from its ranks. TechCrunch's deep-dive into how it all went down is well worth your time.Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod.For the full episode transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
Startups are not shying away from big projects. That’s my takeaway from news that The Browser Company’s Arc browser is now generally available for Windows users, just as Island raised a massive grip of capital for its enterprise-focused browser tool. It’s very encouraging to see startups going after core pieces of technology, and not just the apps that sit atop platforms.Of course, Chromium still reigns supreme, but unseating that horse might take a while.Elsewhere in startup-land this week on Equity, we dug into the Chowdeck round. It’s a Nigerian company that is putting up impressive growth with its food delivery business. Keep an eye on it, Nigeria is a big market and TechCrunch writes that no single company has its delivery business on lock. Yet, at least.On this morning’s episode we also took a look at the recent Corelight round, which given its valuation and revenue growth, is one to chew on.From the venture side of things, we discussed two stories. First, that Intuition is going after the consumer market. From Paris, the smaller fund is betting that going the opposite direction as most VCs is how to make the most money. And second, a new venture capital supergroup is forming. Axios reports that investors with backgrounds at a16z, Bessemer and Index are building a new firm.Equity is TechCrunch’s flagship podcast and posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and you can subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.You also can follow Equity on X and Threads, at @EquityPod.For the full interview transcript, for those who prefer reading over listening, read on, or check out our full archive of episodes over at Simplecast. Credits: Equity is produced by Theresa Loconsolo with editing by Kell. Bryce Durbin is our Illustrator. We'd also like to thank the audience development team and Henry Pickavet, who manages TechCrunch audio products.
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