Sam Altman’s bet against Slack

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

This week Kate and Alex broke the discussion into two main themes. The first dealt with early-stage companies, and the second, as you can imagine, later-stage affairs. Don’t worry, we don’t get to SoftBank for quite some time.

Up top, we dug into Kate’s story about Quill, a formerly stealthy company that could be taking on Slack. That or something similar to Slack . Next, we turned to ManiMe, a startup in the beauty space that raised a smaller $2.6 million round to take on a market that is valued in the billions.

After that it was time to leave the auspices of the early-stage market and move to, of all things, a public company. Grubhub reported earnings this week. It went poorly. Alex wanted to riff over the company’s earnings report and what it could mean for startups that are competing with Grubhub, a leader in the food delivery space that DoorDash and Postmates would prefer to lead themselves.

What impact Grubhub may have on the highly valued on-demand companies isn’t clear yet, but will be pretty damn interesting to see when it does land.

Sticking to the later-stage markets, Alex dug into the problems at Wag, which is struggling and looking for a sale despite raising a castle of cash from the Vision Fund. Kate followed that up with notes on problems at Katerra. The Information is reporting this week that the business is going through a number of layoffs, and we’re wondering if it will suffer the same fate of some of SoftBank’s other investments.

And, finally, the changing face of things at SoftBank itself. The great money spigot is slowly cutting flow. How many unicorns that will strand isn’t yet clear. But surely it can’t be zero.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.