Founders, whales and the sea change in the entrepreneurial energy

Equity, Found
856 Episodes • Last Episode: May 17, 2024

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 Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single topic, think about a question and unpack the rest. This week, Natasha and Alex asked: Despite all the dollars and deals out there, does a drop in activation energy change how many entrepreneurs we’ll see in the early-stage market?

But, we’re not alone! Found co-hosts Jordan Crook and Darrell Etherington hopped on the mics to do a rare cross-over episode with us. They spend every week on Found talking to early-stage founders about everything from origin stories, to pivots, to some of the hardest decisions that leaders need to make these days. Big thanks to the duo for joining us, and without further ado, here’s what we got to:

  • Who is succeeding right now, and what are the types of founders that we’re seeing more often?
  • Is there anything that can be done differently when it comes to activating unlikely founders?
  • How do you square up a need for more business fundamentals with an asset class designed for rocketships?
  • Risk, luck and what the heck do whales and fizzy water have to do with this?

Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PDT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts.

Equity, Found

Hosts

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Natasha Mascarenhas

Senior Reporter

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Alex Wilhelm

Senior Reporter

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Jordan Crook

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Darrell Etherington

Editor at Large

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Equity, Found

Episodes

If there was one thing we heard about this week, it was AI. As a matter of fact, there were so many AI updates to…

AI’s busy week, and why the heck are so many VCs leaving their firms?

When Newchip, an online accelerator promising to help startups, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2023, it was revealed that the company had just…

Newchip’s bankruptcy serves as a cautionary tale to founders

OpenAI gears up for a big announcement, and Apple Store workers authorize a strike

Last week was a busy one for some Apple Store employees. Over the weekend, workers at Apple’s Towson, Maryland, store — the first Apple retail store to have a formally recognized union — voted to authorize a strike. While the date of the strike is still being determined, the union has been negotiating with Apple…

OpenAI gears up for a big announcement, and Apple Store workers authorize a strike

Finally, some good news! This week, we were pleasantly surprised to see that FTX’s fraud victims would be getting some money back — even if…

Acquisitions are heating up, and Mercury eyes the fintech crown

Good news, crypto founders! Venture capital activity is picking up in the sector, recovering from the multiyear lows investments fell to in late 2023. Put…

$450M for Noname, two billion-dollar rounds, and good news for crypto startups

News that Jack Dorsey is out at Bluesky caused a stir this weekend. After all, Dorsey is a former Twitter co-founder and CEO, so his investment of…

Dorsey leaves Bluesky, tech giants do more with less, and the next IPO

The downturn in venture capital funding has impacted startups, VC firms, and accelerators alike. One company in the final category, Techstars, has been shaking up…

Inside TC’s Techstars investigation and how AI is accelerating disability tech

A new venture capital supergroup is forming

Startups are not shying away from big projects. That’s my takeaway from news that The Browser Company’s Arc browser is now generally available for Windows users, just as Island raised a massive grip of capital for its enterprise-focused browser tool. It’s very encouraging to see startups going after core pieces of technology and not just…

A new venture capital supergroup is forming

Hans Tung, a managing partner at Notable Capital, formerly GGV Capital, has a lot of thoughts on the state of venture capital today. With $4.2 billion…

Notable Capital’s Hans Tung on why founders need to play the long game

We’re off to an AI-heavy start to the week. OpenAI has a new deal with the Financial Times that caught our eye. Sure, it’s another…

Musk’s xAI shows there’s more money on the sidelines for AI startups

Good news for Rubrik, bad news for TikTok and medium news for early-stage startups

Rubrik’s strong IPO pricing and warm reception by the public markets after its listing add more weight to the perspective that the public markets are not as closed to tech startups as some thought. If Rubrik’s result isn’t enough to break the logjam, well, maybe there’s something else going on. But there was a lot more that…

Good news for Rubrik, bad news for TikTok and medium news for early-stage startups

Well, if you are a big TikTok fan and live in the United States, I have some bad news for you: A bill that would…

The TikTok ban clears key hurdle while Perplexity AI continues to shake up search

Joselyn Lai appeared on TechCrunch’s Found to discuss her company and its hopes of driving down the cost of a proven technology to address the…

Bringing down skyscrapers’ sky-high carbon footprint with Joselyn Lai from Bedrock

Equity discusses the latest market news, upcoming earnings, IPOs, and what impact — if any — the recent bitcoin halving had on its value.

Salesforce’s silly deal dies, Rubrik’s IPO, and venture capital in space

To some investors, “down round” is a dirty phrase, but not to Notable Capital’s Hans Tung. Hans is a managing partner at Notable Capital, formerly…

Notable Capital’s Hans Tung on the state of VC and the upside to down rounds

It’s been more than a minute since Tesla went public, but the EV company was inescapable on TechCrunch this week. From layoffs to pricing changes…

Tesla’s newsy week, and is fintech having a moment?

What is worth $11 billion and wants to go to Mars to collect rocks? NASA’s mission to Mars to collect rocks that was expected to…

Andreessen Horowitz’s $7.2B new funds for a ‘new era’

Founded by Louis Tremblay, FLO is looking to build robust EV charging infrastructure that will create a reliable web for drivers to get to where…

FLO is improving EV charging infrastructure

Today on Equity, Tesla cuts staff, and OpenAI has plans for an office in Tokyo along with a new GPT-4 model for the Japanese language.

OpenAI plans new Tokyo office, Tesla lays offs thousands

When it comes to news items that we love at TechCrunch, IPOs rank pretty darn high. Another great newsy bit that comes along less frequently…

Beeper acquired by Automattic, fintech’s decline and YC’s lack of LatAm founders

Today on Equity we dig into Multiverse’s acquisition of Searchlight, Guesty’s massive Series F, Monad Labs and Cyera’s mega-round.

A $60M venture fund with a twist, and more startup-on-startup acquisitions

The global demand for wood could grow by 54% between 2010 and 2050, according to a study by the World Resources Institute. While some building…

Cambium is building a recycled wood supply chain

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…

Could Congress actually pass a data privacy law?

The AI boom, love it or find it to be a bit more hype than substance, is here to stay. That means lots of companies…

What we’ve learned from the women behind the AI revolution

What a week, everyone. Two full days of Y Combinator demo day activity kept us busy, but the latest accelerator cohort’s launch was far from…

From YC to IPO: Winter 2024 Demo Day, Rubrik and Ibotta

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…

Nvidia might be clouding the funding climate for AI chip startups, but Hailo is still fighting

Nick Green, one of the company’s co-founders, stopped by Found to chat about his company and the market’s evolution since he first launched it.

Thrive Market’s Nick Green talks building a billion-dollar grocery company

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…

Ads on Discord, AT&T passcode resets and podcast changes for Android users

Hello, and welcome to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. This is our Friday…

Databricks’ GPT rival and who’s investing in ‘underdog’ founders

Wonderschool, a startup that provides software and support to help individuals and local governments spin up childcare businesses, has acquired EarlyDay, which operates an early…

Why a16z-backed Wonderschool is acquiring EarlyDay