Equity podcast: Circle raises $110M, VCs hunt liquidity and the Vision Fund’s possible twin

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Today Matthew Lynley, Connie Loizos and I were joined by Semil Shah, the founder of seed-stage fund Haystack and venture partner at Lightspeed.

This week, we stuck to our roots: big rounds, venture capital liquidity thirst, one IPO, two Vision Funds and three scooter jokes. Maybe more than three, but who’s counting.

First up we took on Circle’s new $110 million round, working to understand why the firm is raising new capital at such a huge valuation (~$3 billion!). Also in play: Circle’s new lead investor isn’t a venture capital shop, making the monetary infusion all the more interesting. (Oh, and here’s more on the Basis stable coin we brought up.)

Next, we chatted through NEA’s plan to raise a fresh $1 billion to buy a lot of its stakes in startups that have yet to find an exit, allowing it, presumably, to return a chunk of capital to its own investors. The move is potentially fraught with conflict, we think, but perhaps it’s also the way of the future.

After that, it was time for an IPO break. Lynley had just gotten off the horn with the CEO; we went through Pluralsight’s IPO that priced on Wednesday and started trading on Thursday. Short version: it went well.

Capping off this particular episode was a rundown of the potential for a new SoftBank Vision Fund. What’s better than raising a half-squillion dollars? Raising a full squillion dollars.

So drink up, tech world. There’s still plenty of money to go around.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.