Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week was a bit feisty, but that’s only because Danny Crichton and Natasha Mascarenhas and I were all in pretty good spirits. It would have been hard to not be, given how much good stuff there was to chew over.
We kicked off with two funding rounds from companies that had received a headwind from COVID-19:
- Away raises new capital, reported to be $30 million to $40 million after revenue declines
- Sonder raises $170 million at a higher $1.3 billion valuation after seeing its hospitality business recover
Those two rounds, however, represented just one side of the COVID coin. There were also companies busy riding a COVID-tailwind to the tune of new funds:
- Hopin raised a $40 million Series A as its virtual events business accelerated
- DoNotPay raised an $18 million round at an $80 million valuation
But we had room for one more story. So, we talked a bit about Robinhood, its business model and the recent suicide of one of its users. It’s an awful moment for the family of the human we lost, but also a good moment for Robinhood to batten the hatches a bit on how its service works.
How far the company will go, however, in limiting access to certain financial tooling, will be interesting to see. The company generates lots of revenue from its order-flow business, and options are a key part of those incomes. Robinhood is therefore balancing the need to protect its users and make money from their actions. How they thread this needle will be quite interesting.
All that and we had a lot of fun. Thanks for tuning in, and follow the show on Twitter!