Lyft’s IPO, Casper the friendly unicorn and WeWork’s staggering losses

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 full gang around, with Connie Loizos in the studio with Kate Clark and our guest Barrett Cohn from Scenic Advisement. Alex was on the line from Providence.

Lucky for us, news of Lyft’s IPO pricing broke right before we hit record. That shook things up a bit, but it was far better to have it break as we were getting our notes together rather than after we kicked off. Let’s start there.

Lyft is going out at $72 per share, the top-end of its boosted range. The firm’s fully diluted $24 billion valuation (give or take) will be supported by around $2.4 billion in new capital, giving Lyft fresh runway to continue its expensive growth strategy.

Next, we turned to podcast industry stalwart Casper. Fret not podcast fans, the D2C mattress company has $100 million more in the bank, a fresh $1.1 billion valuation and IPO plans on the horizon. That’s a pretty parcel of news, which means it should be a full-charge ahead for the newly minted unicorn.

We also discuss newly leaked Casper financials. The company, like most unicorns, is still losing money, but its swelling annual revenues point to a profitable future.

From unicorn to unicorn to unicorn, we moved on to WeWork. WeWork, now known by its stage name “The We Company,” reported its 2018 financial performance this week and the results were amazing, twice. Amazing first in terms of growth, with revenue spiking from $886 million in 2017 to $1.8 billion in 2018. And amazing again in terms of cost, as WeWork’s net loss shot from $933 million in 2017 to $1.9 billion in 2018.

We had a chat about precisely what the firm is, with our guest arguing that WeWork isn’t a tech company at all, it’s a real estate business. We aren’t sure what the future holds for WeWork but we’re glad to have a front-row seat to the Adam Neumann show.

Finally, investors are once again in trouble. This time the venture community is taking stripes for landing in the college admissions cheating scandal. As if we still thought this country was a meritocracy.

Regardless, your friends at Equity are glad to see you. And we’ll be back before you miss us!

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