Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week we had a choice of all sorts of news, but as we cut the show together as a group Danny pushed all the funding rounds up. So, when Alex and Natasha jumped into the show we had a bunch of good news to cover. We’re avoiding COVID-19 news, but the pandemic is just a part of the broader stories we want to tell. For the foreseeable future, coronavirus will be always be part of our interviews. But the conversation can’t start and stop there.
So what was on the docket? Three things: Accelerator news for the early-stage founders, funding rounds, of course, and some layoff news that was worth mentioning as it might trickle down beyond the unfortunate hosts.
Here’s the rundown:
- Y Combinator moves its new accelerator class to a virtual setting. We want to know what the move will mean for global startups and Silicon Valley as the effective nexus of nerddom.
- Speaking of accelerators, Boston-area VC firm just launched one for the first time ever. It’s opting for a different approach from YC and 500 Startups: no demo day, smaller cohort, and no promises to lead future rounds.
- Miro raises a $50 million Series B. The apparently profitable Miro had us curious once again about remote work, which startups are going to do the best in the coming recession, and the company competes with. Is it more contra-Notion? Contra-Mural? Neither?
- Confluent put together a $250 million round at a $4.5 billion valuation. This funding event proved that megarounds are not dead. Alex thinks the company is nearly IPO ready, but with the public offering window seemingly closed, we’re not holding our breath for an S-1.
- Pepper raised money to make a bra that fits small-chested women better. For those of you reading this that can relate to the woes of ill-fitting bras, Jaclyn Fu wants to have a word for you.
- Human Capital raised $15 million for its engineer-focused talent agency. This one was a bit controversial, especially in the changing economic climate.
- In the media startup world, The Dipp launched to provide us (well, those of us that subscribe) TV and entertainment news. We’ll always nerd out about new news companies, and the fact that this was founded by former Bustle colleagues caught our eye.
- And then there were the layoffs. Magic Leap cut 1,000 jobs, while coding school Lambda School and 2020 IPO Casper each made smaller cuts. It’s a bummer of a topic, but expect cuts to remain on the agenda for a while yet.