Blood capital, WeWork whisperings, and gobs of cash for smiles and vegetables
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week we had a good crew on the show. We had Connie Loizos and Danny Crichton from TechCrunch, I scampered over from the Crunchbase News domicile, and Brian O’Malley, a general partner with Forerunner Ventures, joined us to us to round out the collective.
It was yet another packed episode. There’s so much going on in the venture world that we can’t get to it all. Not even a large fraction, really. So we did what we always do, and picked out our favorite bits.
Up top we talked about the recent market carnage. It’s been super rough for tech stocks large, small, medium, and SaaS. Everyone got hit. O’Malley gave us the standard venture answer that he isn’t a public market investor when we asked him about it, but as public market valuation multiples impact private market valuation multiples, this stuff matters to investors and founders alike.
Next up: What’s going on with WeWork and the Vision Fund? After some back and forth, it seems that world-famous capital cannon won’t pick up a majority stake in the starkly unprofitable shared-offices concern. But the saga demonstrates that the Vision Fund is more willing than ever to cut checks the size of small continents.
Where the Vision Fund gets its capital, though is under increasing scrutiny. After the apparent murder of a Washington Post columnist by Saudi agents in an embassy in Turkey, Saudi money is quickly becoming radioactive. Talking personally for a moment, perhaps it would have been better if the U.S. tech industry, famous for claiming to be more interested in improving the world than paying a dividend, hadn’t taken so much money from the ruling monarchy of a country famous for terrible treatment of women and LGBTQ folks, and for having an overdeveloped taste for the death penalty.
Regardless, there was even more news to get through. Forerunner itself recently raised a pretty penny, Egnyte is now $75 million richer thanks to Goldman Sachs, and two Chinese rounds clocked in at a combined $1 billion, give or take.
Crazy times. Thanks for listening, as always, and have a great weekend. Get some rest. We all need it.