The morality and efficacy of going public earlier

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

For this week’s deep dive Natasha and Alex and Chris dug into the world of the IPO. Not just the numbers and the metrics and the calculations of valuations at diluted, and non-diluted, share counts. No. We wanted to talk about the morality and efficacy of going public.

So to round out our conversation we enlisted Steve Cakebread, the CFO of Yext, and Garth Mitchell, the CFO of Latch. Cakebread is known for being aboard the Salesforce, Pandora and Yext IPOs. Mitchell has sat on both sides of the table during the IPO process, and is currently helming the money equations as Latch approaches the public markets via a SPAC.

For more context, Yext, a company that first launched at a TechCrunch event back in 2009, provides data tooling and search software to businesses, while Latch builds software and hardware for rental-focused buildings. Yext is public. Latch will be in a few months.

Back to our topic, we asked Cakebread to talk about his thesis on why going public earlier than later can help a company’s maturity process and can help provide greater returns to the general public. The CFO has written a rather good book about the IPO process more generally and what it means for a company’s internal processes, but his morality notes especially stood out because it’s an argument far less noisy than the POP critics. Baked beans come up, somehow!

We also asked Mitchell to talk about Latch’s choice to go public, and what opportunities and challenges the SPAC route brings for the company. Of course, there’s a SPAC joke in there (or two), but we get into broader “what’s next” debates about if more companies will start to leave the private world, venture capital’s role in this whole mess and the financial lift of going to the public market.

Hope you enjoy the show, and get excited: Equity is going to have more guests on from time to time, and we welcome any suggestions you want to throw at us. 

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:00 AM PST, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts!