The future of a16z, Lyft’s sinking stock and another IPO to watch

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

This week your humble Equity squad (Kate Clark, Alex Wilhelm) were stoked to take on as much as we could with what little time we had. We kicked off with a speed round that turned out to not be very quick and then dug into the biggest news of the week.

The Not-So-Speed-Round:

  • Affirm raised $300 million at nearly $3 billion valuation. The round marks another win for Max Levchin’s company and is another point on the board for the PayPal mafia.
  • Clearbanc announced a new campaign to rapidly back 2,000 e-commerce businesses with $1 billion, called “The 20-Min Term Sheet.”
  • Rippling raised $45 million, making for both an interesting financing story and a redemption arc, packaged neatly alongside a few dozen million dollars. Parker Conrad is part of the Rippling team, meaning whatever the company does will court attention.
  • The femtech sector is on pace to hit $1 billion in investment this year — finally — with organic tampon retailer Cora being the latest startup in the space to garner the attention of VCs.
  • And finally, we took a brief look at the world of corporate venture capital; a few notes: Okta has a new $50 million fund, Chevron has a $90 million fund, Intel Capital has been busy and more. Seems like every corporation wants to get into the game, or get in bigger.

After all that, we turned to Forbes’ big Andreessen Horowitz cover story. There was a lot to unpack. Long story short, a16z has given up its status as a venture capital firm and registered all 150 of its employees as financial advisors. Curious what that means and why it matters? We were too, so we found answers.

Next, we turned back to the newly public Lyft. Since its IPO, Lyft’s stock price has taken quite the dive. Now, Lyft is back to its IPO price, which we think means it priced its IPO quite well. Still, where’d all the bullish Lyft investors go and why are so many people shorting the stock? We answer these questions and discuss what the falling numbers mean for other IPO-ready unicorns.

Next up was a look into the Jumia IPO, which Alex wrote about here. We need to pay more attention to startups outside the U.S., like Jumia, an African e-commerce platform. So listen to our plea. We want to hear from you! Email us at or if you have suggestions.

Finally, the Midas List. Does it matter? Why are we talking about it? Why do lists exist? Who’s on top? Who’s not? Who’s sad? Who cares? And more questions left unanswered.

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