Silicon Valley’s founder fetish infantilizes public companies

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

This week was a lot of fun. We had Kate and Alex in the studio, with Chris running the show and reminding half the recording team about English words (immersive, as a spoiler).

This week had a lot to go over. First, Kate went to the Recode + Vox Code Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. where it was very, very hot. She tells us her key takeaways of the event (here’s another spoiler: techlash).

Next, we turned to acquisitions, namely that Fortnite (Epic Games) bought Houseparty (formerly Meerkat, remember that?). Fornite is a cultural sensation that has become just as much a social phenom as it is a gaming powerhouse. Bringing Houseparty’s multi-party and popular-with-the-youth video chat product under its umbrella makes some sense. That Houseparty’s usage growth had reportedly stalled, we’re sure, had nothing to do with the sale.

Moving on, we chatted briefly about the Bird-Scoot deal, which we had touched on last week. (Kate wrote about it here and Alex here). Scoot, as it turns out, was having a not-so-easy time raising additional venture capital and sold to Bird for less than $25 million (way under its last valuation of $71 million). Ouch.

From there it was deal city (BetterUp! Tenderd! Others!) before we jumped into the CrowdStrike news. The firm’s IPO is hot (more here, and here), which led to questions about IPO pricing (again; sorry, we can’t stop) and whether IPO pops are good or bad (yes, this again, too, but it’s worth discussing).

Two topics followed. The success of the Fiverr IPO (and what that means for growth-y IPOs), and the impending Chewy debut + dual-class shares as a concept.

We’ve touched on dual-class stock structures before, but we think there is a lot more to unpack here, and unpack we did! Basically, we think Silicon Valley’s founder fetish, as the headline here suggests, infantilizes public companies. Listen to the whole episode to hear our full rant.

All that and we had a lot of fun. Alex is out for a few weeks, but Kate has a bunch of great things coming down the podcast pike. Chat with you all next week!

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