Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
What a week. Are you still standing? Did you make it? If you are upright and typing, congratulations, you’re top-decile. If you’re reading this from bed, that’s fine too. We understand.
The week was so busy that we actually ran a bit long this week, with lots left on the cutting room floor. So, with the full team aboard this week (Danny, Natasha, Chris, Alex), we got into the following:
- Niche raised $35 million in a Series C for its one-stop shop for college searchers. We talk about the edtech company’s growth, confusing past, and how its B2B strategy is especially attractive in our new normal.
- Duolingo raised $10 million from General Atlantic, a move that was more opportunistic than out of necessity for new cash, the company claims. It also is based in Pittsburgh, which had the whole trio excited.
- Bonsai, which has a fantastic name, raised $1.5 million for 1-on-1 peer tutoring. We talk about the small round, and why conservatism is a good thing in this sector.
- To cap off our edtech coverage, we’re starting to see sector momentum turn into actual dollars and deals.
- Figma raised $50 million at a reported $2 billion valuation, a small figure compared to its new pricetag. a16z led the new investment, which came just over a year following Figma’s Series C. That prior round valued the firm at around $440 million (post-money), so Figma just glowed up by about 4.5x between rounds. Not bad.
- Catalyst raised $25 million Series B led Spark, not long after it closed a Series A worth $15 million that Accel had led. The customer success industry is growing in importance as startups and larger companies double-down on selling more to existing clients as net-new logos become harder to scrape together.
- Stash raised $112 million led by LendingTree, adding to the wave of savings-and-investing-focused services that are seeing a boom in demand (and, therefore, investor interest) as the economy falters.
- Particle Health raised money to make healthcare data easier to access, because sharing (in some cases) is caring.
- Plantible made us talk about aquafaba, the liquid found in chickpea cans, for way too long.
- A host of new funds were locked down this week, including OMERS Ventures putting together $750 million, Kickstart closing $110 million, and Zetta Venture Partners snagging $180 million for AI-focused investing.
- Then there was the bad news. Layoffs at Lyft, possible layoffs at Uber, and cuts at TripAdvisor. But, as Natasha reported, some folks are working to undo some of the damage that the layoffs are causing.
We wrapped with a new Danny segment called “Luckin Watch” and will be back with a special ep on Saturday. Stay tuned!