Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This is Equity Monday, our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest big news, chats about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You can follow the show on Twitter here, and myself here, and don’t forget to check out last Friday’s episode.
As you probably expected, we had a lot to say about the TikTok-Microsoft tie-up that is somehow still afoot. Other things happened too, don’t worry. Here’s the rundown:
- The TikTok-Microsoft deal is back on.
- Lordstown Motors is looking to go public via a SPAC. To which we have to say that the EV boom and SPAC crush are going to fuse and lose some people a lot of money. Not this deal, necessarily, mind.
- Google is dumping money into ADT as part of a Nest deal.
- And Zoom’s latest move regarding the Chinese market feels like a harbinger of times to come.
- On the TikTok front, Microsoft never really fully abandoned consumer hardware and software, it just pruned deeply under its current CEO Satya Nadella. Windows Phone? Gone. Surface? Bigger than ever. Mixer? No. Bing? Yep. That sort of thing. And Microsoft, like any modern super-platform, doesn’t just want to own your time when you are at work. It wants to burn your eyes out around the clock.
- For a host of ByteDance backers like Yuri Milner, Sequoia Capital China, General Atlantic, SoftBank and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the deal could be rather lucrative, we presume.
- Rounds for Wejo (coverage here), Lezzoo (coverage here) and Feather (coverage here).
- Finally, why does Microsoft want to buy TikTok? We had a number of ideas that all sort of summed to maybe, but when we ran through the big tech companies that were possible suitors — ports in the Trump storm — maybe Microsoft makes more sense than we would have guessed?
Whatever the case, we can’t wait until Satya announces the deal by dancing and pointing at text on a screen while wearing something silly.