Equity podcast


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

Equity: A podcast about the business of startups. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Alex Wilhelm, Natasha Mascarenhas, and Mary Ann Azevedo unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. We wade through the hype to keep you up to date on the world of business, technology and venture capital.

443 episodi

  • Equity podcast

    Square's Better.com name Block is Butter-y smooth


    It's Friday, which means the whole crew was aboard for this particular episode. We had Grace and Chris behind the scenes, and Mary Ann, Natasha, and Alex on the mics. And, frankly, we needed the full team because the holidays aren't slowing any news down.First up? Square becoming Block, which we wanted to make fun of but mostly found to be reasonable given the company's disparate interests.From there we chatted about Inpathy's neat take on social networking, Massive's $11 million funding round, and why Butter could help grease the skids of many a subscription business.Then it was time to trade startups for bigger companies, as we had to riff on Bret Taylor's quasi-ascension to the top of Salesforce along with a host of other executive exits. Alex calls it cold resignation winter, but Meta clearly has put some people on the hot seat.Better.com was also in our remit this week, due to its fundraising and layoffs. We debate if you should raise if it comes at the cost of your employees, and the morality of a Zoom layoff.And, finally, Sounding Board's Series B reminded us that executive coaching, even and especially for the folks above, isn't just a services business. It's a SaaS business.See you here next week, unless Jack shaves off his beard and we're forced to do a shot.
  • Equity podcast

    Have we reached peak founder-friendliness?


    Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.This is our Wednesday episode when we niche down to a single topic, looking to expand our understanding of one particular technology trend or another. Today? We discussed if the era of founder-led companies is coming to a close, and if we have reached the peak of founder friendliness.The decision to abdicate the CEO role by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey got us onto the topic. You can read our first take on the matter here, or listen to us geek out about it on an earlier Twitter Spaces.But Natasha and Alex decided that they didn't want to walk alone, so we got Floodgate's Iris Choi back on the show, along with recently venture-backed Fractional founder Stella Han to help us dig through the issue.Choi doesn't see a rapid change in the current market dynamic that has led to increased founder influence, and therefore control. Even more, she noted that as the public markets are willing to accept founder-friendly mechanics like dual-class shares, there's even less incentive to shake up the current dynamic.Han, meanwhile, spoke to the evolution of a founder's role over the lifetime of her company - as well as how she tries to build in decentralized authority (as the central source of authority)We end with the importance of being explicit about different roles, and how they are subject to change as a company hits different scale milestones.Equity is back on Friday with our news roundup. Chat soon!
  • Equity podcast

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  • Equity podcast

    Jack's personal news


    Well, so much for a relaxed post-holiday week on Monday.News broke this morning that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down from the company entirely. The company's CTO, Parag Agrawal, will be taking over at the helm. Saleforce exec Bret Taylor will take over as board chairman.So, Amanda and Natasha and Alex jumped into onto the mics -- and, ironically, a Twitter space -- to riff on all things Jack and future of Twitter. From the show:Crypto and the CTO, what can we read from the tea leaves?Jack's dual role, and its detractors.The fact that Twitter's product work has been great lately, which we don't want to stop. When is a good time to leave a company, is it on the up and up or when things are quiet?And, finally, Jack's somewhat biting words regarding founder-led companies, which are, frankly, a bit at odds with his own behavior until now.The show is back on Wednesday, unless some other major CEO resigns.
  • Equity podcast

    Equity Monday: New unicorns kick off the week as India get cross with Starlink


    With a holiday-impacted week behind us, we hope that you are ready for the next few weeks of busy news. Because starting in the back-half of December, the world is going to slow down dramatically. Make sure that you are following the show on Twitter, and let's get into it!No tech IPOs this week, though we will see earnings from select SaaS companies. That means that our information flow will slow over the next few days.India is irked at Starlink, telling the Elon Musk company to get its regulatory paperwork in order.Raspberry Pi is going public, it's expected. The micro-computer company could debut in Spring of 2022 on the London exchanges.And black Friday online sales dipped, though we have a guess as to why.Two acquisitions took place recently that caught our eye, including Booking Holdings buying Etraveli Group for $1.8 billion, and Clearlake buying Quest from Francisco Partners.From the startup world, two deals: Slice is now a unicorn thanks to Tiger Global, while Thought Machine is also now a unicorn thanks to its own six-figure round. Two new unicorns to start the week? Why not.And, finally, this essay on crypto.The show is back Wednesday! We'll see you then!
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    Found: Cellino


    Find the Found feed here: https://pod.link/foundNot only is this week's guest the TechCrunch Disrupt 2021 Battlefield winner, but Nabiha Saklayen is also democratizing access to life-saving cell therapies by using—you guessed it—lasers. Nabiha is the co-founder and CEO of Cellino which is a company developing the tech to automate stem cell production that will lower the cost of cell therapies and increase the yield of viable cells. In this episode, Nabiha tells Jordan and Darrell how she built a start-up beginning with the tech and finding a business fit, her evolving leadership style, and why this work is crucial to the biomedical field.Take our listener survey and let us know a bit about yourself and what you think of FOUND.Connect with us:On TwitterOn InstagramVia email: [email protected] us and leave a voicemail at (510) 936-1618
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    Financial flash mobs meet fundraising memes


    This is our Wednesday episode when we niche down to a single topic, looking to expand our understanding of one particular technology trend or another. And this week, it was all about the ConstitutionDAO.For those who weren't online last week, here's what you missed: a not-so-subtle group of strangers on the internet banded together to try to buy one of the remaining thirteen copies for the constitution. With crypto. The bold bid eventually fell short, but many saw it as an inspiring onramp into how communities can mobilize around a shared goal in a Web3 world. The whole movement, from its meme start to its poetic, and billionaire Ken Griffin-themed, end, was just too interesting for Equity to not dedicate an entire episode to.So, Natasha and Alex brought on Lucas Matney and Anita Ramaswamy to unpack, decompress, and bond over our shared experience of witnessing this 'financial flash mob.'We talked about what a DAO is, and what they might be used for. We dug into the question of just how many folks the effort really brought to the larger "Web3" space. And, of course, we had to talk about gas fees, NFTs, and the pace of innovation in crypto more broadly. Lucas even broke out an excellent analogy to explain level-two chains!The crew were generally bullish on the blockchain economy, if skeptical of some of its current uses. In short, the potential remains potent in crypto even if some of its projects, today at least, are a bit more boring than breakthrough. Crypto, we're told, is going to shake up the world. More of that, we reckon, and less of the meme-wars wouldn't be amiss.
  • Equity podcast

    Equity Monday: Paytm's rocky debut gets rockier


    Happy Monday everyone, and welcome to a holiday week here in the United States. Yes, we here in the good ol' States will be off the second half of this week. TechCrunch won't grind to a halt, but we will certainly slow down a little bit. But, that doesn't mean that we didn't have a lot to talk about this morning:Shares of Indian fintech giant Paytm fell further today, after a very disappointing first-days trading last Thursday. The company now has lot of ground to make up just to get back to zero.Facebook is delaying the rollout of E2E encryption until 2023, which has us a bit bummed.Also in big tech news, ByteDance is calling it quits on edtech in India.Turning the page to startups, we chatted through three news items this morning: Jina.ai raised $30 million, Deliverr raised $250 million, and Lydia added equity and crypto trading to its French financial superapp.And we closed on the just what the point of a DAO is.Woo! We are back Wednesday morning. Chat soon!
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    Co-founder titles aren't a formality, they're a morality


    Good news, everyone: Mary Ann is back! Yes, after a short absence we have our third Friday host back where she belongs. Namely right in front of a microphone, talking to us.And it was good to have her back, as we had a small mountain of news to talk through:OpenSea could be worth $10 billion: Right before we recorded, news broke that OpenSea could raise new capital at a far-greater valuation than it did earlier this year. While we had some jokes, we also did a little math on why OpenSea could really be worth so much money.Other rapid-fire funding rounds: If OpenSea does raise again, it will join good company in putting together several rounds in under a year. Facily has done the same, as has Justt. In short, the old 18-month cycle for raising capital is so dated it might as well get delivered by telegram.Lambda School rebrands:Casper goes private: After a tough time as a public concern, DTC mattress company Casper is going private. Notably its issues have not dampened market interest in taking other DTC companies public.What makes a founder, a founder:We're entering the holiday period, so expect the usual disruptions to Equity's production calendar. We'll be taking short breaks as per usual, but will be recharging some ahead of what should prove to be a very, very busy 2022.
  • Equity podcast

    Did Zillow get high on its own supply?


    This is our Wednesday episode when we niche down to a single topic, looking to expand our understanding of one particular technology trend or another. This week? iBuying.Zillow made a decision to get out of the iBuying market, with huge costs hanging over its head and a grip of layoffs to manage. Natasha and Alex were curious what went wrong.So we brought along Ryan Lawler, one of TechCrunch+'s reporting team, who has covered the space for a chat. Ryan helped us use Opendoor earnings as a comparison point -- it turns out that the iBuying model can work, even if Zillow itself struggled with the model. (Opendoor went public via a SPAC, recall.)We also talked about what the situation could mean for startups in the real estate market more broadly. It turns out that merely having data is not enough to make money in the housing space.Equity is back Friday morning with our weekly news roundup, and if all goes well, also back on Saturday with something both special and fun.And if you haven't given our sister podcast, Found, a listen, check it out!
  • Equity podcast

    Equity Monday: Startups rush to announce news before holiday slowdown


    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. I also tweet.Tesla shares are off further this morning in the wake of declines following stock sales by Elon Musk. The company retains its $1 trillion market cap, per Yahoo Finance data, but is at risk of losing a comma if it keeps slipping.Elsewhere in Big Tech, Microsoft is making Windows worse, while bitcoin gets an upgradeOn the startup front, we took a look at Writer.com, Zoomo and Rsquared.Up ahead, we have the Braze, Usertesting and Sweetgreen IPOs. Nubank and Paytm are also in the queue.

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