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 corking set of news to get through, so we rounded up the usual gang (Matthew Lynley, Katie Roof, and myself), and brought in Eric Feng from Kleiner Perkins to help us get under the skin of the latest.
He was the right person to have in the room, as Kleiner is a prior investor in Magic Leap, the Florida-based firm that has raised billions to build out its augmented reality platform. Magic Leap is back in the news this week for the reason that it usually is: It raised more money. Lots more, as it turns out, as a fresh $461 million from Saudi Arabia brought its Series D to nearly the $1 billion mark.
Magic Leap raised $502 million of the same Series D last October.
Moving from big to bigger, Sequoia is raising billions for its new growth fund and other ancillary capital vehicles. Sure, this isn’t SoftBank money, but for one of Silicon Valley’s biggest and oldest firms, it’s a dramatic re-arming of itself for future battles.
But if you were hoping that the Valley would lay off the unicorn powder for a bit, and focus on pushing the IPO market into gear, we are sorry.
Next up, Travis Kalanick is turning investor with a new venture firm called 10100. That’s either “ten-one-hundred” or “ten-thousand-one-hundred” or “one-zero-one-zero-zero” or something else altogether in Trucker. Regardless, Kalanick is not exiting stage left, he’s sticking around.
And, finally, HQ Trivia raised more money. The super-popular quiz app that even your parents enjoy now has enough cash to keep all the HQuties in silk. For now, at least. And our guest explained to me precisely why it is giving away money isn’t that big a deal. I promise. It’s actually a reasonable point.
All that and we’re back in seven days. Well, not me, I’m out of town next week, but the gang will rock on. Stay cool!