Equity Monday: Tesla buys bitcoin, Nexthink raises and Bumble

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 private market news, talks 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 be sure to check out last week’s main ep that dug into Robinhood, Miami and a host of other topics.

This morning we had a pile of news to get through. Here’s the rundown:

  • Pony.ai raised another $100 million, which underscores our growing thesis that there is no amount of money yet that will produce the tech required for self-driving cars to work. Perhaps we will get there, but it is going to cost a pretty penny or two.
  • Sticking to cars, the Apple-Kia tie-up is kaput, which we should have known the moment it became known. Apple previously bought startup Drive.ai back in 2019, of course.
  • Vroom, a 2020 IPO, bought a Super Bowl ad. Who would have expected that? Its shares are up, however, after the ad.
  • Still on the car beat, Tesla bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin, and may accept the stuff as tender to buy its vehicles in the future. The move sent the price of bitcoin higher.
  • Clubhouse got banned in China.
  • Phable raised $12 million, Nexthink raised $180 million and Bumble is targeting a higher share price in its impending IPO.
  • And we may have figured out the ∆ between what investors are saying about the seed market, and what data has largely said.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.