Equity Monday: Three funding rounds and a downturn

Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week.

If you missed Friday’s main episode, it was a fun one so take the time if you have the minutes; we’re settling into a new hosting lineup that is shaping up to be our best ever, so we’re having a blast even if we have to record remotely instead of in the same room.

This morning was a bit of a mixed bag. The world is still in pretty bad shape as societies and governments work to combat COVID-19 and the private and public markets convulse. But there was still news to be found, so we hit on a few key news items, including: The return of HQ Trivia at a perfect time, Microsoft’s booming cloud services demand and the return of tech layoffs.

Not all news was bad, however, as we looked at three early-stage funding events and three seed rounds from Indo, Kaizo, and Lanistar.

Looking ahead left us little joy other than to note that it is very nearly earnings season; Q1 2020 business results should prove to be the most interesting in memory given how much the world changed during the three-month period. Regardless of whether or not you care about the financial side of business or not, it’s going to be a wild ride.

Wrapping today, unicorn layoffs are back in a big way. Bird, TripActions, ZipRecruiter, and others are cutting staff in big chunks. A lot of folks hired to help companies scale look pretty expensive when growth turns negative; layoffs suck and a struggling economy is crap for everyone, but the business cycle is real, so it’s not a huge shock to find ourselves here today. We’re going to cover the cuts, but only with a grimace and good thoughts for the laid off.

And that’s it for this week. Other than that the new Trivium single is epic, we’re out of here.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 AM PT and Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.