Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
As you can probably guess, we got a bit stuck in Bird’s nest, trying to vet why the young company is hoping to punch its unicorn card in nigh-record time. The firm’s potential new $150 million round may make it a unicorn, but Lime is in the chase, and the firm’s economics are still not fully understood.
What did we agree on in the end? Scooters are fun, and Lynley said a swear.
Moving ahead, SoftBank’s Vision Fund is cutting another check, this time to General Motors. Yes, the galactic slushfund is dropping up to $2.25 billion into GM’s Cruise arm, a former startup that the American metal-shaper scooped for around $1 billion in 2016.
The deal, of course, is complicated: Most of the SoftBank money won’t land until certain performance marks are met, and GM is also putting money into the thing that it owns — $1.1 billion worth. So, if we don’t count the GM money as part of a post-money valuation, we can calculate that SoftBank’s 19.6 percent stake in Cruise values the company at over $11 billion.
Next up, Ant Financial is raising $10 billion at a $150 billion valuation, give or take. That’s a lot. This brought up the ever-interesting struggle between Alibaba and Tencent, of course, as Ant is an Alibaba-affiliate that competes with Tencent’s WeChat’s WePay product.
Sticking to China, we wrapped on the NIO IPO, yet another Chinese company looking to debut on a US market.
All that and we even told some jokes! Hit play and we’ll be right back.