Vowels are out, but VC risk is in
The full Equity crew was on hand to debate the current venture capital market, curious about how risk-on, or risk-off things really are today. Danny, Natasha and I framed the conversation around a number of news items from the week, including:
- Wrkfrce has launched, and we wanted to chat more about the future of niche media, bringing The Juggernaut’s own recent round and the Quartz shakeup into the conversation.
- And on the media front — always a risky venture capital investing domain — Spotify has snapped up another podcasting company, this time paying $235 for Megaphone. Our take? A string of small exits probably won’t encourage VCs to take on more risk in the space (Hunter Walk said the same thing here.)
- Turning to risk more generally, I asked Natasha to weigh in on the earlier stages of the venture market, and Danny on its later tranches. There’s still lots of money, but it appears more focused on chasing winners than bolstering or supporting less-obvious startups.
- That market is not slowing a risk-on move toward more venture capital players, as the Spearhead news showed a new focus for the firm to invest in emerging fund managers.
- And there’s still plenty of risk tolerance in remote-work solutions like Hopin, which just raised $125 million at a $2+ billion valuation. We’re torn on the round, but Danny likes it and he’s a former VC.
- And we wrapped with a chat about upcoming IPOs, and the recent SoftBank results. If DoorDash, Airbnb and others are going to go this year, they need to go soon. So far, no dice.
It was a busy week, despite the month. Expect more of the same next week.
Finally, don’t forget that our own Chris Gates is cutting Equity videos out of every episode that you can find over on YouTube. He does a great job and it’s great to be on video, as well as audio platforms.