Scooters 2.0, Munchery ghosts and solving contraceptive deserts

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

This week we had the gang back together with our own Connie Loizos at the helm, Kate Clark in the studio as well, Alex on the phone and Ed Sim from Boldstart Ventures also on board. A good crew for a busy week.

Now that 2019 is fully underway, the news is back to its usual firehose-pace, which means we had a lot to get through. In no overly serious order, here’s what we got to today on the show (you are subscribed, right?):

  • The Pill Club raises $51 million: This Series B greatly expands The Pill Club’s total capital base, and puts more venture funds at work in women’s health. The service only launched in 2016, making its new round large compared to its age. But in the age of the huge early-stage round, The Pill Club’s round is hardly alone in its size for a Series B.
  • More damn scooter news: There are more scooter companies than you thought, which are raising more money than you expected, and some giants are not as big as they had hoped to be. That’s a quick summary!
  • Market fears: Domestically some venture capitalists are thinking more about bad deals that they dodged than good deals that they missed. That would be a change. And what’s going on in China is starting to feel a bit chillier than expected; it seems that the world’s hottest startup market is coming to terms with its own exuberance.
  • A China slowdown? On that last point, China’s Q4 venture numbers were down year-over-year and also from the preceding quarter. It was a somewhat flop of an ending to a big year. The question now becomes how long the slowdown stays sticky.
  • Munchery and the remains of munchies past: Kate looked into who isn’t getting paid after Munchery’s embarrassing flameout. The company lost around $125 million of its investors’ money, and, worse, has left many local companies unpaid. (Its investors should make those small businesses whole as they can afford it, and it’s the right thing to do. Here’s a list of those investors.)

And a few other things that we had to get to like Superhuman, Confluent and various deserts.

This is the third calendar year of Equity, so thanks for sticking with us for so long. Hang tight, we’ll be right back!

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