Author: Alex Wilhelm

Scooters go mad, Opendoor wants to buy your house, and Meituan’s IPO

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week was something of a first for the crew, twice. First, we had two guests on the show, and, also, we only made it through two and a half topics. The former is good, the latter is, well, we’ll see. So, this week Matthew Lynley and I were joined by David Chao, co-founder and general partner at DCM, and Steve Vassallo, a general partner at Foundation Capital. Points to both for being guinea pigs. Heading into our first topic I’m sorry to...

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The largest buys of tech’s Big Five: a look at M&A deals

TECHCRUNCH In startup land, the mandate is to get bought, go public or die trying. And, as far as getting bought goes, one of tech’s Big Five could be a desirable acquirer. They have a lot of weight to throw around. Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft account for a titanic amount of market value — close to $3.9 trillion at time of writing. At least, that’s according to Crunchbase News’s dashboard of notable tech stocks. When challenged by one another, these hulking behemoths of the tech sector more often fight than flee. And when challenged by a scrappy upstart, it is...

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GitHub’s epic exit, Domo’s dicey math, and Dataminr’s big raise

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This time ’round we had Connie and Alex on hand with Brian Ascher, a longtime partner with Venrock down in Palo Alto, Ca. It was a surprisingly busy week, so we had our work cut out us. Without further ado: Github! The biggest story in tech this week was right up our alley: Microsoft bought the venture-backed GitHub for $7.5 billion, bringing a massive portion of the developer world under its auspices. Whether developers want passports to Redmond remains up for debate,...

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VCs like what they are hearing out of the podcasting sector

TECHCRUNCH Podcasts are television for the earbud generation. And podcasts have been around for a surprisingly long time. If you’re one of the folks who got hooked on podcasts around 2014, when Sarah Koenig and other producers from This American Life launched the wildly popular Serial podcast, you might think that it’s a brand new medium. But podcasts — audio that’s packaged and syndicated over RSS — have been around since the early 2000s. And although many podcasters make money, typically through sponsorships, the podcasting industry (such as it is) hasn’t received much in the way of venture funding until...

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Equity podcast: More funding for scooters, Cruise gets a boost, and Chinese IPOs

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week was fun. Back in the studio, Connie Loizos, Matthew Lynley, your humble servant, and Ramneek Gupta, managing director of Citi Ventures was with us to provide the venture perspective. 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...

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The well-funded startups driven to own the autonomous vehicle stack

TECHCRUNCH At some point in the future, while riding along in a car, a kid may ask their parent about a distant time in the past when people used steering wheels and pedals to control an automobile. Of course, the full realization of the “auto” part of the word — in the form of fully autonomous automobiles — is a long way off, but there are nonetheless companies trying to build that future today. However, changing the face of transportation is a costly business, one that typically requires corporate backing or a lot of venture funding to realize such...

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Rover’s epic raise, Uber’s Q1 results, and a trio of IPOs

TECHCRUNCH Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week was fun for a few reasons. First, it was our own Connie Loizos’s first time leading, and it was our very first regular episode that included us recording remotely. I mention that as Matthew Lynley and I were in different places, meaning that we had a bump or two to smooth out. Your patience is more than appreciated. Happily, we didn’t have to adventure alone, as Jonathan Abrams of Founders Den was on hand to help us cart through the news....

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With at least $1.3 billion invested globally in 2018, VC funding for blockchain blows past 2017 totals

TECHCRUNCH Although bitcoin and blockchain technology may not take up quite as much mental bandwidth for the general public as it did just a few months ago, companies in the space continue to rake in capital from investors. One of the latest to do so is Circle, which recently announced a $110 million Series E round led by bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain. Other participating investors include Tusk Ventures, Pantera Capital, IDG Capital Partners, General Catalyst, Accel Partners, Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital and Breyer Capital. This round vaults Circle into an exclusive club of crypto companies that are valued, in U.S. dollars, at $1 billion or more in their most...

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