Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week was a bit different than usual. First, we managed to come close to our old time target (20 minutes) instead of our regular length (30 minutes). And, second, Alex is coming back to TechCrunch starting next week!
Expect more Equity and, from Alex, writing for Extra Crunch. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. If you aren’t an Extra Crunch subscriber yet you can use the code “EQUITY” and save a bundle. (Woo!)
That done, let’s dig into the news that Kate and Alex discussed, starting with Harlem Capital’s $40.3 million new fund. The New York-based outfit has a focus on investing in minority entrepreneurs, who receive significantly less than their white male counterparts. This is one of the largest funds with a diversity mandate to date, and that’s something to be stoked about.
Next we turned to Mike Cagney’s canny fundraising ability. The former SoFi CEO, ousted for bad behavior, is putting together another huge funding round for his startup, Figure Technologies. The expected $103 million round comes after the company raised $120 million before.
With more than $50 million raised of the more than $100 million it expects, covering Figure is partially a financial story. However, due to Cagney’s part in the project, it’s also a story of how fast money forgives.
Pivoting to Europe, Kate and Alex chewed into the latest report on European venture capital, pulling from Atomico and Forbes. The headlines are pretty simple: There are more EU-based unicorns than ever, more money invested in the region and the money is mostly finding male hands.
Disappointing diversity metrics aside, it’s an encouraging set of metrics for a region that has long found itself left to the side when major startup markets are discussed.
And finally, Alex wanted to talk about two impending U.S.-listed technology IPOs. Coming in the wake of the WeWork fiasco and sporting similar share prices but divergent growth profiles, the debuts of Bill.com and Sprout Social are events.