Supergiant VC rounds aren’t just raised in China

In the venture capital market, big is in. Firms are raising significant sums to finance a growing number of large startup funding rounds.

In July, there were 55 venture rounds, worldwide, which topped out at $100 million or more, totaling just over $15 billion raised in nine and 10-figure mega-rounds alone. This set a record for venture dealmaking.

We’ve already identified approximately when the uptick in huge VC rounds began: toward the tail end of 2013. But where in the world are all the companies raising these supergiant venture capital rounds?

In response to coverage of July’s record-breaking numbers, many commenters were quick to point out that startups based in China raised six of the top 10 largest rounds from last month.

Indeed, on a recent episode of the Equity podcast discussing the supergiant round phenomenon, Chinese startups’ position in the market was a hot topic of conversation. Someone suggested that a series of large venture rounds in China may have preceded the run-up in supergiant rounds being raised by U.S. startups.

At least in the realm of nine and 10-figure venture rounds, that doesn’t appear to be the case. The chart below breaks down the monthly count of supergiant rounds by the company’s country of origin.

Here is what this data suggests:

  • The first major run-up in nine-figure dealmaking took place in the U.S. around Q1 2014, whereas in China that first run-up didn’t occur until Q4 2014.
  • Especially in the last 24 months or so, supergiant round volume in China and the U.S. is highly correlated, perhaps implying competition in the market.
  • We can see, very clearly, the mini-crash in the U.S. through the second half of 2015. For its part though, China hasn’t yet had a serious “crash” in supergiant rounds during this cycle.
  • Startups outside the U.S. and China are beginning to raise supergiant rounds at a faster rate, although the uptick is significantly less dramatic.

What’s less obvious in the chart above is just how quickly China became a mega-round powerhouse. The chart below plots the same data as above, except this format shows what percent of mega-rounds originated in each market. Additionally, rather than displaying somewhat noisy monthly amounts, we aggregated data in six-month increments.

After the start of 2013, it only took a couple of years for Chinese companies to consistently account for roughly 30 to 40 percent of the $100 million-plus VC rounds raised in any given six-month period.

This also reinforces a trend shown in the prior chart: since the beginning of 2017, Chinese startups and U.S. startups are raising roughly the same number of supergiant venture rounds as one another. That number has risen fairly consistently over time.

Before concluding, it’s worth mentioning that our definition of “supergiant” is ultimately arbitrary. Indeed, $100 million is just a tidy, round-numbered threshold to measure against. Our findings would be similar (if somewhat less dramatic) if we counted, say, the set of rounds raising $50 million or more.

The important underlying trend is that round sizes are getting larger on average. And a supergiant wave of money ultimately lifts all rounds, at least a little bit.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

July sets a record for number of $100M+ venture capital rounds

In July 2018, the tech sector’s leisure class — venture capitalists — kicked investments into overdrive, at least when it comes to financing supergiant venture rounds of $100 million or more (in native or as-converted USD values).

With 55 deals accounting for just over $15 billion at time of writing, July likely set an all-time record for the number of huge venture deals struck in a single month.

The table below has just the top 10 largest rounds from the month. (A full list of all the supergiant venture rounds can be found here.)

It’s certainly a record high for the past decade. Earlier this month, we set out to find when the current mega-round trend began. We found that, prior to the tail end of 2013, supergiant VC rounds were relatively rare. In a given month between 2007 and the start of the supergiant round era, a $100 million round would be announced every few weeks, on average. And many months had no such deals come across the wires.

Of course, that hasn’t been the case recently.

Why is this happening? As with most things in entrepreneurial finance, context matters.

There are some obvious factors to consider. At the later-stage end of the spectrum, the market is currently awash in money. Billions of dollars in dry powder is in the offing as venture investors continue to raise new and ever-larger venture funds. All that capital has to be put to work somewhere.

But there’s another, and perhaps less obvious, cog in the machine: the changing part VCs play in a company’s life cycle. The current climate presents a stark contrast to the last time the market was this active (in the late 1990s). Back then, companies looking to raise nine and 10-figure sums would typically have to turn to private equity firms or boutique late-stage tech investors, or raise from the public market via an IPO.

Now some venture capital firms are able to provide financial and strategic support from the first investment check a private company cashes to when it goes public or gets acquired. On the one hand, this prolongs the time it takes for companies to exit. But on the other, some venture firms get to double, triple and quadruple down on their best bets.

But as in Newtonian physics, a market that goes up will also come down. The pace of supergiant funding announcements will have to slow at some point. What are some of the potential catalysts for such a slowdown? Keep an eye out for one or more of the following:

  • U.S. monetary policy could change. As stultifyingly boring as Federal Reserve interest rate policy is, very low interest rates are a major contributor to the state of the market today. With money so cheap, other interest rate-pegged investment vehicles like bonds perform relatively poorly, which drives institutional limited partners to seek high returns in greener pastures. Venture capital presents that greenfield opportunity today, but that can change if interest rates rise again.
  • A sustained public market downtrend for tech companies. While everything was coming up Milhouse in the private market, a few publicly traded tech giants got cut down to size. Facebook, Twitter and Netflix all reported slower than expected growth, leading to a downward repricing of their shares. So far, most of the steepest declines are isolated to consumer-facing companies. But if we start to see disappointing earnings from more enterprise-focused companies, or if asset prices remain depressed for more than just a couple of months, this could slow the pace of large rounds and lower valuations.
  • Narrowing or vanishing paths to liquidity. For the past several quarters, the count of venture-backed companies that get acquired has slowly but consistently declined, a trend Crunchbase News has documented in its quarterly reporting. At the same time, though, the IPO market has mostly thawed for venture-backed tech companies. Even companies with ugly financials can make a public market debut these days. But if IPO pipeline flow slows, or if otherwise healthy companies fail to thrive when they do go public, that could spell bad news for investors in need of liquidity.

All this being said, there’s little sign that the market is slowing down. Crunchbase has already recorded four rounds north of $100 million in the first two days of August. Most notably, ride-hailing company Grab snagged another $1 billion in funding (after gulping down $1 billion last month) at a post-money valuation of $11 billion.

If you believe the stereotypes, venture investors are either already on vacation or packing their bags for late summer jaunts to exotic locales at this time of year. But, as it turns out, raising money is always in season. So even though the dog days of summer are upon us, August could end up being just as wild as July.

Cisco buys Duo, Brandless raises $240M, and Apple broaches $1T

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week TechCrunch’s Matthew Lynley and Crunchbase News’s Alex Wilhelm were joined by Jyoti Bansal, the founder of AppDynamics and a partner at Unusual Ventures, among other startup work.

Our own Connie Loizos was off this week.

This episode was effectively a news grab-bag. There’s a little of everything: public company drama, big rounds, acquisitions, and more.

Up top: Apple’s broaching of the $1 trillion barrier, which some people called early and some people called late. It depends on how you were counting. But the venerable consumer electronics giant did indeed manage to hoist its market cap over the trillion dollar mark, making it the first American company to do so.

But as we all wind up agreeing, it’s just a round number.

Moving along Sonos’s IPO had a good first day but only after a disappointing pricing run. Or as Lynley explains on the show, the firm had to price under its target range to go out, but then closed above that target range by the end of its first day’s trading. This is more evidence that pricing an IPO is an occult art of sorts. (More here on the company’s numbers.)

Scooting along, Duo Security is exiting to Cisco for $2.35 billion. This deal came at quite literally the perfect moment as the company our guest founded sold to Cisco for $3.7 billion last year. Why? Recurring revenue, which is seeing its value rise.

And finally, Brandless, which picked up a massive $240 million round led by the ever-hungry SoftBank Vision Fund. A deal to which I had a question: Why?

All that and we even managed to tell a joke and mangle a segue. More next week!

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

WeWork is just one facet of SoftBank’s bet on real estate

This week WeWork announced that its Chinese subsidiary — WeWork China — raised an additional $500 million in capital in a deal led by SoftBank, Temasek Holdings and others. The deal reportedly values the Chinese branch of the shared workspace and real estate management company at $5 billion, up from $1 billion (post-money) in the round WeWork China announced almost a year ago in July 2017.

SoftBank rarely doubles down on a particular company. At time of writing, SoftBank itself has made 175 investments in 144 different companies, according to Crunchbase data. Of those, just 23 companies raised more than one round from SoftBank. And in conjunction with its China branch, with four cumulative transactions on record, WeWork is tied for first place in a ranking of companies most-engaged with SoftBank’s investment arm.

That being said, SoftBank’s investment strategy appears to be one of taking stakes in leading companies from a given sector. And although it’s sometimes difficult to tell just how large some of those stakes are as a percent of equity in the company, SoftBank finds itself involved in many companies’ biggest rounds to date.

Take WeWork for example. If you take all of the equity funding rounds raised by its main corporate entity and regional offshoots like WeWork China and WeWork India, you’ll find that SoftBank was either the sole investor, the round leader or a syndicate participant in the rounds that delivered the lion’s share of capital to the company.

If the market opportunity is big, SoftBank will typically make investments in regionally dominant companies operating in that sector. After all, if worldwide dominance is difficult to obtain for any one company, SoftBank is so big that it can take positions in the regional leaders, creating an index of companies that collectively hold a majority of market share in an emerging industry.

It’s a bold strategy that involves taking some big risks and writing big checks. As a result, SoftBank is typically the largest single investor — in terms of dollars committed — in the fastest-growing companies in an industry.

Real estate is just one theme

WeWork is just one facet of SoftBank’s real estate investment efforts. The table below shows a selection of SoftBank’s investments in the real estate and construction sector. It’s ranked by the amount of money invested in rounds involving SoftBank (either as the sole investor or as part of a broader syndicate). We also show what percent of total known equity funding SoftBank-involved rounds account for.

SoftBank’s strategy of writing big checks to successful startups in large and growing market segments extends past real estate, of course. It touches many other industries, including e-commerce and logistics, insurance and healthcare, and, perhaps most contentiously, ride-hailing and on-demand transportation.

SoftBank also has a strong portfolio of artificial intelligence companies to flex at some point down the road. It has invested in the likes of Nvidia, Improbable, Brain Corporation, Pentuum and others. Furthermore, its stakes in Mapbox and Cruise Automation are advantageous to SB Drive, its own autonomous vehicles effort.

SoftBank is one of the cases of everything old being new again. In the late 1990s, SoftBank and its founder Masayoshi Son were some of the biggest investors in tech. Then, like today, Son aimed to forge a kind of virtual Silicon Valley in SoftBank’s portfolio, a platform for symbiotic, cooperative relationships and business partnerships to emerge. There’s definitely the possibility for this sort of bonhomie to emerge today, given the thematic nature of the firm’s investment strategy. But at the same time, Son is famous for losing a lot of money when the first tech bubble collapsed. It remains to be seen whether the firm will make it out on top the second time around.

Inside the rise and reign of supergiant venture capital rounds

There was a time not so long ago when nine-figure venture capital rounds weren’t a near-daily feature of tech business news.

But now funding rounds of $100 million or more cross the wires with stunning frequency.

The era of supergiant rounds is now the new normal. This is attributable, in part, to billions of dollars flowing into new venture capital funds — the largest of which are raised by the oldest, most entrenched firms — and competition from relative newcomers, like SoftBank.

Q2 2018 may have set new records for worldwide VC deal and dollar volume in this post-dot com cycle, but that belies an important fact: Investors are dumping the bulk of capital into a relatively small number of companies. The rise of supergiant rounds wound up in a “takeover” of the market.

The chart below shows the proportion of capital raised in rounds of $100 million or more, tracing the period between Q1 2017 and the end of Q2 2018.

Just a little over a year ago, in Q1 2017, nine and 10-figure venture capital deals accounted for a healthy 35 percent of global dollar volume. Five quarters later, in Q2 2018, $100 million-and-up deals accounted for a majority — some 61 percent — of equity funding into upstart technology companies.

It’s not just that these mega-rounds are eclipsing smaller counterparts as a percent of dollar volume totals. Supergiant rounds also appear to be driving most of the growth in reported dollar volume, as the chart below shows.

Between Q1 2017 and Q2 2018, reported dollar volume in sub-$100 million deals grew by around 42 percent. By that same token, dollar volume in nine and 10-figure venture deals ballooned by about 325 percent over that stretch of time.

Granted, this is all based on recorded data in Crunchbase. And like all private-market databases, Crunchbase is subject to some reporting delays. Those delays primarily affect seed and early-stage rounds, which tend to be smaller. Still though, unless billions of dollars in small rounds get added to recent quarters, these figures are likely to remain relatively stable.

Why the takeover?

The obvious question to ask here: Why are $100+ million rounds more prevalent these days, and what explains their slow-motion takeover of the global venture capital market?

As with most things, the answer is, “it’s complicated, and it depends.” The rise and reign of supergiant rounds is a phenomenon that emerges from a confluence of different factors:

  • The SoftBank effect. Much hay has been made about SoftBank’s ludicrously large $100 billion Vision Fund, a pool of capital raised partly from large sovereign wealth funds in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. With this pool of capital, SoftBank can commit hundreds of millions of dollars to each deal, and the fund intends to invest in 70-100 unicorns over its five-year investment period. In doing so, SoftBank is building an index fund of emerging technology companies.
  • The rise of supergiant funds. This is a related but separate phenomenon from the SoftBank effect. Venture firms are raising ever-larger funds to compete with SoftBank for room in attractive venture deals. It’s likely that investors are trying to outdo each other by offering more money to companies. Why take money from Investor A when Investor B is offering more capital on comparable terms?
  • Companies are able to stay private longer. Although the IPO window is very much open for tech companies, it’s not like there is a line out the door. Many of the most highly valued companies are still far from profitable and simply aren’t ready for the scrutiny brought on by going public. With more capital available, companies can raise more in late-stage venture rounds now than what many companies raise in their IPOs.
  • A shift toward preemptive funding. Because of all this money floating around, investors may be investing more money earlier than they have in the past. Rather than using a catalyzing event, or some marked improvement in metrics to justify raising a new round, some companies raise money from their existing investors just because they can. Venture investor Elad Gil calls these “preemptive rounds.”

It really does seem like mega-rounds are here to stay. And, based on just the last couple of weeks, it looks like the third quarter is likely to see a continuation of the trend.

Here are just a few examples from the first weeks of Q3: e-cigarette maker Juul is raising $1.2 billion, self-driving car company Zoox just raised $500 million, Chinese cafe chain Luckin Coffee raised $200 million and scooter and bike giant Lime raised $335 million in a Series C round.

Bigger funds are able to invest in bigger rounds. And as competitors raise big rounds, it becomes more strategically important for companies to also raise big rounds. It’s a positive feedback loop. What stops the fundraising arms race, though, remains to be seen.

In Q2 2018, late-stage deals led the world’s venture capital market

Here is what you should take away from the state of the global venture capital market: late-stage deals dominated Q2.

Using projected data provided by Crunchbase, Crunchbase News reported that Q2 2018 marks new post-dot com highs for both VC deal and dollar volume around the world, the latter of which was propelled by a surge in late-stage deals (Series C and above).

The chart below plots growth in projected late-stage deal and dollar volume over time.

This remarkable growth in dollar volume — more than doubling since the same period in 2017 — has led to the late-stage deal market looming large over the venture landscape. For perspective, late-stage rounds accounted for about 42 percent of dollar volume in Q2 2017, but it made up 64 percent of dollar volume in Q2 2018.

To be clear, this isn’t a rising tide raising all ships. Worldwide, late-stage venture activity is intensifying at a more rapid clip than other venture funding stages, squeezing other stages toward the margins. We can see this happening in the chart below:

Two things are happening at once here: On one side, private equity deals with previously venture-backed companies — what we call “Tech Growth” — account for less of the action; on the other side of the spectrum, angels, seed investors and writers of Series A and Series B checks account for less of the total dollar volume over time.

As it happens, in Q2 seed and early-stage venture — despite reaching post-dot com highs in absolute terms — make up for a smaller percent of total dollar volume than in any quarter since at least Q3 2013, the last records we had readily available.

In the second quarter, seed and early-stage venture lost ground in relative terms, making up a smaller percent of total dollar volume than in any quarter since at least Q3 2013, the last for which records were available.

Private equity, on the other hand, is getting squeezed out because a certain class of venture capital firms are able to invest more capital into late-stage venture deals.

Venture capital shops — especially the well-established — are raising ever-larger funds at an increasing pace. Just as an example, three VC firms recently (Scale Venture PartnersIndex Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners) announced $4 billion in fresh powder across six new funds.

In part, this pivot to larger funds is a strategic countermeasure against SoftBank and its behemoth $100 billion Vision Fund. The fund routinely leads (sometimes as the sole investor) late-stage venture capital rounds sized in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

In order to compete with SoftBank for the best deals, many VC firms are raising big new funds. Capital pools earmarked for late-stage deals are growing deeper. Sequoia Capital’s third Global Growth Fund is expected to top out at $8 billion, whereas its second (announced in June 2017) was a comparatively paltry $2 billion.

So is there an end in sight for all this late-stage largesse? For the time being, not really.

Furniture startups skip the showroom and go straight to your door

Startups making delivery and transport easier than ever are a hit with venture capitalists, so it’s not a surprise that young tech companies delivering home staples — living room sets, dining room tables, couches and more — are raising big dollars.

From 2010 through 2017, venture investors have outfitted U.S.-based furniture startups with a little over $1.1 billion in funding across 96 known rounds. But that funding has not been spread equally over time, as the following chart shows:

Total dollars funneled into U.S.-based furniture startups, according to Crunchbase, hit an all-time high of $432.7 million across 12 rounds in 2011. Wayfair, an e-commerce site dedicated to selling furniture, raised a significant $165 million Series A that year, accounting for more than a third of the total deal volume.

But while funding hasn’t surpassed 2011 levels, from that year through 2015, round counts steadily climbed. During this period, investments into seed and early-stage startups made up more than 70 percent of known deals.

Whether or not this cohort of seed and early-stage startups will act as fodder for late-stage investors is not yet clear. Before that happens, Stephen Kuhl thinks that there’s more work to be done.

Kuhl, the CEO of Burrow, a company that sells furniture over the internet, told Crunchbase News that “selling traditional furniture made in China or Mexico isn’t innovative, and as such we wouldn’t expect to see a lot of venture funding.” But that doesn’t mean that venture interest in the sector is doomed. Kuhl added that “a new company has to offer a unique product, experience and brand that is altogether [10 times] better than traditional offerings. Expect the money to follow the new brands that truly shake up the status quo.”

That may bear out. The funding data we examined tells one particular story: venture money has shown a preference for delivery and a consumer that doesn’t easily call the place they live in “home.”

Deliver, don’t move, furniture

For city dwellers, modular, utilitarian couches are taking hold. And it’s increasingly clear you don’t have to leave your couch to purchase one.

Let’s return to Burrow, which has raised a total of $19.2 million, according to Crunchbase. The startup has created a modular couch built for those who live in dense urban environments and may move often.

“Our customers are reflective of larger trends in the market. They’re more likely to be renters rather than homeowners,” Kuhl explained. “They’re likely to move multiple times over the course of a few years, and they crave thoughtful, high-quality goods.”

To account for this new type of customer, Burrow delivers each section of the couch in distinct packages. Burrow claims on its website that its direct to consumer business model and its ability to ship parts of couches, rather than one whole couch, removes “over 70 [percent] of standard shipping costs.” The couch also includes modern amenities such as a USB charger, and Burrow has also “launched an AR app that helps customers visualize a Burrow in their home,” according to Kuhl.

However, Burrow isn’t completely eschewing the showroom as part of its selling strategy. In a podcast interview with TotalRetail, Kuhl noted that the startup has “partner showrooms” in co-working spaces and other retail locations in more than 20 cities.

Of course, while modular design is helpful for city dwellers, there are those who enjoy a bit more of a personal twist. Interior Define, a Chicago-based startup, has raised $27.2 million to offer direct to consumer couches and dining room sets. And, according to Interior Define’s founder Rob Royer, its appeal is being driven by a new breed of consumers who are interested in brands that have “an authentic mission, deliver on a promised experience, and offer a real value proposition (not just a lower price).”

That said, both of these options still require that the furniture be owned — an unnecessary burden if you move often or just like fresh looks without the commitment. Through Feather, customers can subscribe to a whole living room, bedroom or dining room for as low as $35 a month. According to Crunchbase, the New York-based startup has raised $3.5 million from established venture firms such as Y Combinator and Kleiner Perkins.

There are also startups looking to simply help brands sell more furniture by using artificial intelligence and augmented reality. One such startup, Grokstyle, has raised $2.5 million for an app that identifies furniture by image as well as style and pricing preferences.

In general, streets, kitchens and even front doors are being claimed by venture-backed startups. What you sit on might as well be paid for, in part, by venture capitalists, too.

Satellite startups turn to reinventing broadband, mapping and other industries

Smartphones have disrupted transportation, payments and communication. But the underlying technology has tangentially changed a completely different sector: satellites.

The advances made in miniaturizing technologies that put a computer in your pocket — cameras, batteries, processors, radio antennas — have also made it easier and cheaper for entrepreneurs to launch matter into space. And investors are taking notice.

The chart below shows worldwide venture and PE investment in satellite technology companies.

Venture investment into satellite companies has been on a rocket-like trajectory since 2012, following a long fallow period. Although it isn’t pictured here, the last “major” satellite boom peaked in 2006, when there were five venture deals closed with satellite companies worldwide, according to our data set.

Let’s take a look at some of the major players in the satellite sector. Below you can find a chart showing the most-funded private companies currently operating in the industry. We ranked them by total funding, which includes private equity rounds raised after traditional VC rounds (like seed, Series A, etc.).

In general, these satellite companies are clustered around three different themes: broadband internet delivery, hardware development and satellite-enabled services.

On the broadband front, we find a significant concentration of capital. It’s not just because internet connectivity is such a big market (it is), but it also takes a lot of capital to develop and deploy the satellites needed to build a viable service network. That’s part of the reason why SoftBank invested $1 billion in a $1.2 billion private equity round raised by OneWeb back in 2016.

In the world of hardware and sensors, there’s a race toward miniaturization and efficiency both for spacefaring satellites and their terrestrial endpoints. Kymeta, for example, has developed antenna technology that uses a holograph-like approach to acquire, steer and lock a beam to a satellite. This helps objects which move quickly or make sharp turns maintain communication with a satellite.

As with much of the tech industry though, it looks like a lot of money will be made from the services satellite hardware can facilitate. Planet develops and deploys its own array of camera-equipped microsatellites, which regularly capture images of earth. It then sells generalized map and site-specific data feeds to governments, the financial sector, emergency readiness agencies, agriculture companies and others. Planet has some competitors, like Descartes LabsOrbital InsightAstro DigitalOmniEarth and others, competing in the earth-imaging market. But because rich geospatial and imaging data is a relatively new market, there is likely plenty of demand to go around.

In reality, modern satellite applications are more than the story of cheap electronics. Satellites (and the applications enabled by them) sit at the intersection of a number of cutting-edge technologies.

Without machine-taught computer vision systems, it would be impossible to sort and classify the firehose of visual data some satellite networks produce. If there wasn’t such a boom in mobile communications and high-bandwidth applications like live-streaming video, there wouldn’t be as much demand for new satellite technology. Without better and smaller sensors, a constellation of eyes in the sky would be limited to the visible light spectrum. If it weren’t for decades of public investment in rocketry and robotics, these little boxes of circuits and antennas would never leave Earth.

But VCs and entrepreneurs don’t look to the past; instead, they want to know what satellites will do for the future and, eventually, returns.

Methodology

Based on a slightly cleaned-up set of companies in Crunchbase’s satellite communications category and others, which use related keywords like “cubesat” and “nanosatellite,” we charted worldwide venture capital investment in satellite companies between 2012 and 2017. We included angel, seed, convertible note and equity crowdfunding rounds, plus the standard-variety Series A, Series B and Series C financings, as well.

Bird and Lyft raise $900M, a16z launches a crytpo fund, and $6B more for Sequoia

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Connie Loizos and I were joined by Norwest’s Scott Beechuk. Sadly, Matthew Lynley was reading slam poetry to ambivalent cacti in the Sonora Desert and thus couldn’t join us. He’ll be back soon, we promise.

But we had a good crew on deck and a grip of news to sift, so let’s get to what we got into.

First up was the latest headlines in the on-demand transportation sector. Lyft raised a huge new pile of cash at a staggering valuation, Uber got the go-ahead to operate once more in the great city of London, and Bird’s $300 million round officially closed.

So that’s another $900 million for domestic transportation-sharing, at least, in a single week. Right.

Next up Sequoia’s epic new $6 billion in fresh capital. Recall the famous line about a million dollars not being cool, but a billion dollars being cool? Sadly a billion dollars isn’t cool, 2012 Andreessen Horowitz. But maybe $6 billion is cool. At least 2018 Sequoia thinks so. (Good luck returning a multiple of that figure!)

Speaking of a16z, that shop has a new vehicle in the market focused on the crypto space. With $300 million ready to go and no 20 percent cap on crypto investments, a16z can now do what it wants inside of the surprisingly-still-nascent space.

All that and we tried to squeeze AppNexus into the show. (Update: We failed!)

Stay cool and we’ll see you in a week!

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.

GitHub’s epic exit, Domo’s dicey math and Dataminr’s big raise

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This time ’round we had Connie and Alex on hand with Brian Ascher, a longtime partner with Venrock down in Palo Alto, Calif. It was a surprisingly busy week, so we had our work cut out for us. Without further ado:

  • GitHub! The biggest story in tech this week was right up our alley: Microsoft bought the venture-backed GitHub for $7.5 billion, bringing a massive portion of the developer world under its auspices. Whether developers want passports to Redmond remains up for debate, but from a corporate perspective, Microsoft’s move has largely been well-received. The transaction also provided a huge bump for GitHub’s investors, including a16z.
  • Domo! Another tech company is fighting to go public, but this time there’s doubt it can pull it off. Domo’s numbers are the wrong side of rough, with the firm burning tectonic amounts of cash to grow quite modestly. If the firm manages to go public, and soon, it may struggle to stay alive.
  • Scooters! As per usual, there’s new money flowing into the scooter niche. (Note: Domo is looking to tap the public markets at a time when scooter companies can raise $450 million in two rounds. Ouch.) We try to find out if Bird and Lime are worth the change, as well as why do they need so much cash. We also touched on the broader crowded non-car, on-demand transit space.
  • Dataminr! Sticking to the mega-round theme, Dataminr’s huge raise was perfectly timed for this episode, as our guest’s firm has money in the company. Indeed, with $221 million more in its pocket, Dataminr —  which makes sense of online chaos for its customers — has an epic bankroll from which to bet.

Here’s a fun question: What will Equity sound like when the market turns and we cover the slowing of venture and the compression of valuations instead of venture acceleration and towering new post-money figures? All we know today is that the venture world is investing like that reality is far-off. We’ll see.

Hit play, and we’ll be right back.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercast, Pocket Casts, Downcast and all the casts.