Equity transcribed: How to avoid an IPO

This week, the Equity duo of Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm convened to get some quick hits in about Slack’s WORK, Luckin Coffee and Sam Altman’s departure from Y Combinator.

They then dug a bit deeper into the money around food: DoorDash and Sun Basket both raised this week. And what is a discussion about venture in food without mentioning Blue Apron?

And finally, TransferWise illustrates how not to IPO.

In all of this, they considered a world without the word “unicorn” as it relates to billion-dollar valuations — before admitting they are probably responsible for a good amount of its use.

Alex: So I think that the real unicorns now are companies that are growing, and are profitable, while also been worth over a billion dollars. Because we’ve seen very few of these, Zoom famously, was a profitable company. And its S-1, appears TransferWise also is, I can’t name more than two. And that makes them actually as rare as unicorn should be, in my view.

Kate: Yeah, I’m thinking maybe we should just actually stop using the term unicorn unless they’re profitable.

Alex: The problem with that is, it would be a two-person crusade against a wave of usage. I don’t think you and I have that clout. No offense to us.

Kate: I do think you and I are responsible for using that term, at least like 20% of the times that it’s used.

Alex: If that’s true, I’m going to retire. But I hear your point, we should actually get rid of the word unicorn, it’s now effectively meaningless, it means nothing. And profitable growing and worth a billion would be a great constellation of things to actually meet some threshold to be called special, because that is.

This also marks the last time the show was recorded from the only home it’s ever known — because TC SF is moving — so Kate trolling Alex at the tail end is quite fitting. Come back next week for the same great podcast from a different great location.

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Kate Clark: Hello and welcome back to Equity. I’m TechCrunch’s Kate Clark. This week, I am with Alex Wilhelm of Crunchbase News. How’s it going today, Alex?

Alex Wilhelm: Very, very good. Excited about all this and enjoying the sun out here on the East Coast. And I am missing you in the studio today because it is, I think, the very last one out of 410 Townsend, is that right?

Kate: Yeah, so last week we said it was our last one recording altogether, Chris, Alex and I. But this week is my last recording in the studio as Alex is in Providence. So next week we’ll be with you from a brand new spot. I have not seen the new podcast studio, I have no idea what to expect but hoping it’s nicer than this little cave.

Alex: It is cave-ish. It’s kind of nice. There are chairs and a table.

Kate: There is exposed brick which I really like. So I’ll miss the exposed brick.

Alex: It’s very SOMA rustic, if you will.

Kate: It is, indeed. All right, well, let’s get going, we have a few really good topics to get into today that I’m excited to talk about but first, let’s just do a quick little IPO update. Alex, why don’t you lead the way?