Author: Alex Wilhelm

Investor momentum builds for construction tech

TECHCRUNCH Mary Ann Azevedo Contributor Mary Ann Azevedo covers startups and tech at Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor Austin in January: Cash rich and maturing Although it’s not the sexiest of industries, the hefty construction sector in 2018 attracted not only the attention but, more importantly, the dollars of investors. Historically, the multi-trillion-dollar sector has been slow to adopt new technologies, as builders rely on a variety of disparate systems to manage projects, traditional building methods to construct homes and non-smart materials. But a wave of startups is looking to capitalize on opportunities within the sector. Companies that have...

Read More

Peloton peddles toward an IPO, self-driving is big business and SaaS’s new highs

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week was a treat. We had TechCrunch’s own Connie Loizos in the studio along with your humble servant and General Catalyst’s Niko Bonatsos. A fine group for a busy week. We had to pare our topic list some for length, but after working out what qualified as the biggest news from our usual orbit, we decided to touch on: Peloton’s bank shopping: Peloton, the popular in-home cycling service, is looking for banks to help take it public. We riffed on...

Read More

Companies raising supergiant VC aren’t getting any younger

TECHCRUNCH This week, point-to-point “microtransit” service company Lime announced it raised $310 million in a Series D round, which valued the company at $2.4 billion, post-money. That is pretty impressive for a startup founded just a couple of years ago. Since 2017, Lime has raised more than $765 million in venture funding, which is due in part to the pretty daunting economics of the bike and scooter business. It takes a lot of capital to acquire and deploy that hardware. Lime isn’t the only company to raise supergiant ($100 million or more) VC rounds right out of the gate. Despite the fact that supergiant venture capital rounds have recently become an almost everyday occurrence, the age at which companies close their first nine-figure funding deal hasn’t really changed over the past several years. In the chart below, we plot the distribution of startups’ age at the time of their first supergiant venture round of $100 million or more. (The age of a company at any subsequent supergiant round was excluded.) In prior reporting, we found that supergiant deal volume began accelerating in 2013, which is why we chose that year to start. For reasons we’ll explain after the chart, it’s best to think of the numbers presented here as a very good estimation rather than a highly precise measurement. There are still lessons to learn though. Note from the get-go that company ages were...

Read More

Spotify

TECHCRUNCH Hello, and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Kate Clark and I sat down to get through the biggest news in the venture and startup world. This is our regular episode of the week after a shot focused on the Slack IPO, and an interview concerning Facebook. So, back to our roots. And as has been the case for months and months now, there was a lot to get through. Podcasting took center stage this week, with music giant Spotify snapping up podcasting tool startup Anchor and...

Read More

Equity Shot: All About Slack’s Confidential IPO Filing

TECHCRUNCH Hello, and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Today we’re bringing back an old Equity format: The Shot. No, I haven’t started drinking again, Equity Shots are short takes on breaking news. And no news was more explosive recently than word that Slack has filed to go public confidentially. Confidentially in that we don’t get to see the numbers (yet), but publicly in that the company went ahead and told the world that it had filed, privately, with the SEC. Which, as our own Danny Crichton points out, is...

Read More

Coastal startups don’t have a monopoly on raising big at early-stage

TECHCRUNCH Early-stage startups throughout much of the U.S. are able to raise larger sums today than any other point in at least a decade, and there are more early-stage rounds than ever, both in North America and globally. (Note: “Early-stage” is defined here as Series A and Series B rounds, plus smaller rounds from several other round types, including equity crowdfunding and convertible notes.) In analysis published earlier this week, we found that the nationwide average early-stage deal grew more than 20 percent between 2017 and 2018. We quantified that companies on the coasts raise more than their inland counterparts and found some indications that the Midwest lags the rest of the nation. To find this and more, we aggregated round size data for more than 30,000 early-stage venture rounds struck with U.S.-based companies between the start of 2008 and the end of 2018. We segmented the data by the U.S. Census Bureau’s map of regions and “divisions” (basically, subregions by a different label), took the mean (average) early-stage deal size for each calendar quarter and displayed each region against the national average. Below, you can see how early-stage rounds around the country compare to the national average. To make it easier to see trends, we display a two-period simple moving average line alongside individual data points. Although the average has certainly crept up, part of that is attributable to a...

Read More

Austin in January: Cash rich and maturing

TECHCRUNCH Mary Ann Azevedo Contributor Mary Ann Azevedo covers startups and tech at Crunchbase News. 2019 has been good to the Austin startup scene so far. Combined, Austin startups have raised $240.3 million in January. That’s not much less than the nearly $300 million raised in all of Q4 2018. And since the beginning of the year, the Texas capital has seen a number of double-digit funding rounds and a nearly quarter of a billion dollar acquisition. Out of 10 known rounds, six were for $10 million or over. In recent years, Austin has historically been known for having more early-stage companies...

Read More

Everyone Raises $100M, Pinterest And Zoom Want To Go Public, And HelloSign

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week we recorded as a trio: Connie Loizos holding down the studio with our guest, the ever-present Jeff Clavier of Uncork Capital. I dialed in from the what was the East Coast, back before it froze over. But while the temperature is low over here, the world’s tech news was anything but slow. Indeed, we had to cram a lot into a little bit of time, so here’s the quick overview to follow as you listen: Acorns raised a $105 million Series E. The company, best known for its savings product, does a bit more than just that. With its new capital, the service should have more than enough dosh to work to its own betterment, building a wealthfront for its investors and founders alike. A real square deal, if you will.  Stripe also raised another $100 million, but at its $22.5 billion valuation how much money is that really? Not much! Moving along, it being 2019, we couldn’t avoid chatting about the IPO market. First up was news that Pinterest has bankers. That Big Pint is going public is not a surprise. That this may finally be the year somewhat is; Pinterest has been a perennial IPO possible. We’re excited to see its margins so that we can better...

Read More

Right Now in Politics and Business