Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
It was yet another jam-packed week full of big news, IPO happenings and venture activity. As always, we’ve done our best to deliver the gist on what’s been going on. We had Alex Wilhelm and Danny Crichton on hand to handle it all, which went medium-good. In other Equity news, we’re back with guests over the next few weeks, so if you miss us having a venture capitalist along for the ride, fear not, their return is just around the corner.
Up top this week was Jon Shieber’s report that Kleiner Perkins has rapidly deployed its most recent fund, a $600 million vehicle. While the news felt surprising, digging back through our archives we were reminded that the firm had indicated it might put its capital to work quickly. Still, as Danny pointed out, it’s rare that venture capitalists have to go out raising from LPs on an annual basis.
After that, we turned to some funding rounds that held our attention, including the Free Agency round that is working to bring talent management to the technology industry similar to the sports and entertainment worlds.
The concept makes some sense, as compensation packages for top talent in the industry can extend into the seven-figures (Free Agency takes a 5-10% cut of an employee’s income using the increasingly popular income-share agreements). Also, this round felt a bit like a reminder that the labor market is tight at the moment.
We then moved on to Josh Constine’s story about “Ring for enterprise” startup Verkada, which raised a massive $80 million round at a $1.6 billion valuation. That’s eye-popping, since the extremely small dilution implied with those numbers (5%) is very rare in the venture world.
After that we turned to a few rounds that Alex has had his eye on, namely the somewhat-recent Insurify round, the pretty-recent Gabi round and the most-recent Policygenius. All told, they sum to $150 million, which made us ask the question, why are venture capitalists so into insurance marketplace startups?
Finally, we touched on the latest from the intra-SoftBank delivery war between DoorDash and Uber Eats, including who is impacted, and what it means for future consolidation in the on-demand world. Or more precisely, why hasn’t there been more?