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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 Friday show, and we’re talking about the week’s biggest startup and tech news, and have a little fun. This week Mary Ann and Alex recorded as a duo. That meant a mix of growth stories, and some less-than-winsome on the startups that are not having the best 2023:
- How Lula went frugal and set itself up for a massive up-round in 2023: Mary Ann’s recent reporting on Lula was perfect Equity material as it dealt with capital in motion, and a quickly-growing startup. Even more notably, Lula is in the insurtech space, part of the fintech world that has had an up-and-down few years.
- Weights & Biases raises $50M: Back in the day if a startup raised a big round, and then a smaller round afterwards, we would have worried a little. Today’s venture market feels a little bit different. So, MLOps startup Weights & Biases has added $50 million more to its coffers, and we didn’t fret too much on the round coming in light compared to its previous tranche. Summing our views, anything ML and AI is hot today, and Weights & Biases is well known. This round was not a shocker.
- BlueJeans folds: Remember when Verizon bought a Zoom competitor during the pandemic? It seems that customers didn’t, either.
- Sendy shutters, Proterra reaches for bankruptcy help: While insurtech and MLOps are showing vigor, Kenyan logistics startup Sendy is over, and an EV startup that went public via a SPAC is trying to shake up its accounting so that it can keep going. Not the best news, frankly.
- And we closed with the latest from WeWork (not so good) and its erstwhile bestie, SoftBank, which is getting busier with its checkbook again.
What a strange week and one that went by so quickly. More on Monday! Talk to you then!