Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.
This is our Friday episode, a run-down of key news headlines, startup funding rounds and whatever else is popping in the worlds of startups and tech. The whole gang was in the huddle this week, including our stellar production team Grace and Chris, and hosting team Mary Ann, Natasha and Alex.
Despite the fact that it is a holiday week here in the United States, tech news was, well, as nuts as it usually is. At this point anything else would be a shock.
So what did we get to? All of this and more:
- Rebundle’s incredibly neat startup idea, and funding round. We love a Midwest startup here on the show thanks to Alex’s roots, which means that when we got to talk about banana fiber, hair extensions, venture capital and St. Louis all at once, we were hype.
- Wheel reinvented itself again with a $150 million Series C, while Gale Health played matchmaker with understaffed shifts and nurses.
- Plaid’s buy of Cognito, a fintech startup, for around $250 million. The deal had us thinking about the power of APIs, the future of fintech and why we don’t hear about more startup M&A.
- Part of the why to that question could be antitrust pressures, the sort of which that Microsoft is going to hit with its purchase attempt of Activision Blizzard, a gaming company. Microsoft already owns several gaming studios (Mojang, Bethesda), its own gaming platform (Xbox) and has long owned and operated the key PC gaming operating system (Windows). How much more does it need to own?
- We also touched on Wordle, free gaming and the open web in our gaming chat, so lots to unpack there, frankly! Send us your go-to starter word.
- Finally, no time like the present to return to no code. At times tech is a bunch of shiny rebrands, but at other times, basic angles become non-negotiable strategies. No code, like AI and ML, is one of them. And companies like Walnut and Softr are snapping up the resulting rewards.