Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s VC-focused podcast (now on Twitter!), where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week, Alex is on a much-deserved vacation (but not from Twitter, it seems) so Danny Crichton and I chatted through the news and happenings of the week. Somehow we winded our way through the latest tech controversies, gave Chris Wallace a shout out and ended with some funding rounds. I’ll be out next week so don’t miss me too much, but expect the entire Equity team to be back full-speed in mid-October. Thanks, as always, to our producer Chris Gates for his patience and diligence.
Now, onto a sneak peek of what we got into:
Moderation continues to be the root of all problems. We got into the anti-semitic comments that were spewed on Clubhouse, and what that means for the future of the audio-only platform. As Danny so eloquently put it: if Clubhouse is having moderation problems even with an exclusive invite-only user base, the problem will grow.
We also talked about Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s blog post, which triggered a debate between us on whether tech companies can even choose to not be political. For the record, Black Lives Matter is not a political statement. It’s a human statement. Read this op-ed for more.
I wrote a piece about how a new program wants to be the Y Combinator for emerging fund managers. The whole “YC for X” model usually makes me roll my eyes, but listen to hear why I’m actually optimistic and bullish on programs like these taking off within tech.
Silver Lake added a $2 billion “long-term” hedge fund backed by Abu Dhabi to its tech finance toolkit. The strategy is a signal to privately backed startups, and potentially a slap in the face to SoftBank.
For a quick edtech note, I caught up with Duolingo’s CEO this week in one of his rare press interviews. Luis von Ahn explained the app’s surge in bookings, and there’s one key metric we pull out to noodle over.
Danny explained Gusto’s latest product launch with, wait for it, Gusto. In all seriousness, he brings up interesting points about the future of fintech feeling more full-suite, and free.
Funding round chatter continued when we unpacked Lee Fixel’s latest investment in India’s Inshorts.
Finally, we ended with LiquidDeath, which is not the name of a drinking game, but instead the name of a startup that has successfully attracted millions in venture capital for mountain water.
And with that, we will be back next week. Vote like your life depends on it, because it does.
Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PDT and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.
Working for social justice isn’t a ‘distraction’ for mission-focused companies