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Author: TechCrunch, Chris Gates, Alex Wilhelm, Danny Crichton, Natasha Mascarenhas, Grace Mendenhall

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Equity is TechCrunch's venture capital podcast. In each episode, you'll hear the stories behind the money that runs Silicon Valley. Each week, TechCrunch reporter Alex Wilhelm, Managing Editor Danny Crichton and reporter Natasha Mascarenhas to discuss the news behind the launches, rounds and public debuts of the companies making waves. Produced by Chris Gates and Grace Mendenhall.
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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.
Introducing: Found

Introducing: Found

2021-04-0718:421

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.
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