Author: Alex Wilhelm

The United States’ share of global early-stage capital slips again

TECHCRUNCH Alex Wilhelm Contributor Alex Wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of Crunchbase News and co-host of Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast. More posts by this contributor: Tech hubs tend to generate material wealth for their workers and the countries that house them. Historically, Silicon Valley has served as the de facto hub for tech. But that is under assault from markets both domestic and abroad. Hotspots in China, India, Latin America and Europe are showing increasing maturity and growth. Which market is a leader or laggard matters. Happily, we’re working — as we speak — on our Q3 report. It...

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Live from Disrupt SF: Equity talks Slack, Lyft and flying cars

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s weekly venture capital-themed podcast where we work to unpack the numbers lurking behind the news. This week we have a special episode for you all. We recorded live from Disrupt San Francisco, right in the middle of the main floor. From the front, this is what it looked like: Teamwork! It was our second-ever live show. Thanks for everyone who came over to listen and watch. We’ll rustle up some chairs next time. Also, the lack of heckling was a serious disappointment. Try harder next time! On a more serious note, there...

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A look back in IPO: Apple, the early PC purveyor

TECHCRUNCH Alex Wilhelm Contributor Alex Wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of Crunchbase News and co-host of Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast. More posts by this contributor: To wrap up our series of looks into the IPOs of tech’s Big 5, we turn to Apple. Being the first of five to go public, what can we learn from Cupertino’s debut? Apple’s 1980 public offering came more than half a decade before Microsoft’s 1986 IPO, eras of technology before Amazon’s 1997 flotation, Google’s 2004 IPO or Facebook’s 2012 public market kick-off. Heading back in time as we are, we lack readily accessible S-1 documents that the younger entrants to the group have posted. Instead, in our look back at Apple’s IPO days, we’ll deal with the firm’s IPO prospectus (similar to our Microsoft jaunt). So what was Apple’s story as it raced to the public markets? Apple back then When you think about Apple today, you probably conjure up the image of an iPhone, or an iPad, or your hatred of iTunes. Given how successful the company’s current product cycles have been, it’s almost too easy to forget that there was an Apple before the iPod. However, back in 1980, there was no such mix of consumer gadgetry pouring out of Cupertino. Apple sold computers. From its prospectus, here is how Apple described its personal computer business: The Company’s principal product is the Apple II personal computer system. Apple II...

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Equity podcast: SoFi loses its CEO, big rounds for unicorns, and will this VC buy the iPhone X?

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital themed podcast that we are bringing live to Disrupt SF next Wednesday. All the cool kids will be there to chat numbers and heckle. This week Katie Roof, Matthew Lynley, and myself — Alex Wilhelm — were joined by Accel’s Jake Flomenberg to dig through the biggest news of the week. And news there was. We turned first to SoFi, a consumer-finance unicorn that has raised more than a billion in equity, and over $2 billion in total. The company is now down a CEO after allegations of misconduct brought censure upon its CEO, Michael Cagney, and the company’s culture. Cagney’s exit from the company left the following New York Times headline: “‘It Was a Frat House’: Inside the Sex Scandal That Toppled SoFi’s C.E.O.“ But there was more than one unicorn active this week. Magic Leap is on the hunt for more capital, and if it raises the $500 million it wants, the secretive AR shop will bring its total capital raised to nearly $2 billion. Blue Bottle sold most of itself to Nestle at a $700 million valuation for around $500 million. And, Wish is picking up another $250 million at around an $8 billion valuation. To summarize: The rich and unprofitable become richer and (perhaps) more unprofitable. And as a treat, we spent a few minutes on the Apple event...

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As global startup exits grow, Europe sees its profile rise

TECHCRUNCH Alex Wilhelm Contributor Alex Wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of Crunchbase News and co-host of Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast. More posts by this contributor: Looking at the number of exits produced and the total dollar volume those liquidity events commanded, the European startup scene has shown growth over the past year. That fact comes from the Startups M&A 2017 Report — made in partnership with Crunchbase and Mind the Bridge. The report details the growth and maturation of the global startup scene, with a particular focus on the European continent and its most recent exit results. This is the second time Crunchbase and...

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Equity podcast: Roku is going public, 23andMe raises $200M and Juicero is dead

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-themed podcast. This week Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof, and myself — Alex! — sat down with Micah Rosenbloom, an investor with Founder Collective to sit down and chew over the week’s news. We managed to not talk about Uber this episode, which was a welcome respite from the last few months during which we couldn’t not talk about the company. However, that didn’t mean that there wasn’t quite a lot to get through. First up, Roku dropped its S-1 documentation for what is currently tagged as a $100 million IPO. That number, as we discuss, will likely change. However, the firm’s newly disclosed information gave us quite a lot of material to dig through. In short, Roku is a company that never gave up, and, critically, managed a business pivot late in its life that is now helping it go public. Next up was some news that TechCrunch broke this week: 23andMe is raising around $200 million at a $1.5 billion pre-money valuation. That should put the genetic testing company worth $1.7 billion, give or take, when the funding event closes. And finally, the company on everyone’s lips that didn’t make it to very many stomachs, Juicero, is shutting down. As in, the money’s probably gone and the product didn’t sell and the firm is kaput. All that and we are bringing Equity to...

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Cap tables, share structures, valuations, oh my! A case study of early-stage funding

TECHCRUNCH Alex Wilhelm Contributor Alex Wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of Crunchbase News and co-host of Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast. More posts by this contributor: For many entrepreneurs, especially first-time founders, raising outside capital can be daunting. Between all of the new vocabulary — like “term sheets,” “capitalization tables,” “pro rata” and different valuation metrics — and the very real legal implications of the agreements being signed, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When you’re first starting out (or just need a refresher), it’s often best to learn from examples. So, that’s what we’re going to do today. We’re going...

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Understanding Roku’s IPO and its growing platform revenues

TECHCRUNCH Alex Wilhelm Contributor Alex Wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of Crunchbase News and co-host of Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast. More posts by this contributor: In a pleasant Friday surprise, Roku dropped its S-1 document today, detailing its financial performance and corporate strategy. The filing indicates that the company intends to raise $100 million in its debut. The figure is a widely-recognized placeholder number. The company could raise more or less in its IPO. Follow Crunchbase News on Twitter & Facebook As a private company, Roku raised more than $200 million. The firm, whose IPO was widely anticipated at a valuation around $1 billion, is set to test the market’s waters when indices trade near record highs, video reigns supreme in the media landscape, and some tech offerings have done well. Others have struggled. Before the weekend impends, let’s slice through how Roku makes money, how much money it makes, and what to make of it all. How Roku Makes Money Roku sells TV-focused streaming hardware to consumers, and it also works with content players to get their material in front of consumers. It also has an ad business. The latter two efforts fall under what Roku calls “platform revenue.” The company’s mix of top-line sources is described in its S-1 in the following fashion: We generate player revenue from the sale of streaming players and platform revenue primarily from advertising and subscription revenue share on our...

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