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What happens to late-stage VC if the Vision Fund goes away? – TechCrunch


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

Good news! Kate and Alex were both back in the studio this week. And even better news, the new TechCrunch studio is big and soundproof and pretty nice, really.

But enough about all of that, let’s get into the news. First, a rapid-fire look at some recent items:

  • Thumbtack is raising a Series H at a flat valuation.
  • Bird is acquiring Scoot, which is unsurprising and probably smart.
  • Google is buying Looker and we don’t really have much to say about it other than its linear funding history is picture-perfect.
  • And Mirror, the bike-free Peloton cognate, is raising money at a higher valuation.

From there we turned to four material topics. First up, the Peloton IPO news.

Everyone’s favorite fitness tech company is going public. We were expecting this; still, we’re excited. For now, all we have is a lousy press release announcing the IPO. Sit tight, the S-1 will come soon enough.

Next, we turned to a topic near and dear to the heart of this show: SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The second Vision Fund, to be precise. Rumors indicate the folks behind the first Vision Fund are having a harder time than expected nailing down new money for a sophomore vehicle.

If the second Vision Fund doesn’t come to be, what happens to late-stage startups? Those folks are dependent on huge chunks of cash and had gotten used to a new normal: large, late-stage funds doling out IPO-sized rounds to companies still too immature to go public. Without the promise of SoftBank’s money, might we see an uptick in IPOs? Or an increasing number of late-stage companies floundering for capital? Will everything fall apart?

Speaking of messes, the folks behind Social Capital that got left behind when their venture firm became a family office are back with something new. Tribe Capital is raising a $150 million fund. Kate detailed the firm here, but here’s the TL;DR: Tribe has hired a bunch of former Social Capital partners and they are essentially rebuilding Social Capital sans Chamath Palihapitiya.

Finally, the pace at which female-founded startups are reaching unicorn status is accelerating, big time. That’s good news. If the speed of new, female-founded unicorn creation continues at this pace, we’re in for some record results.

Oh and lastly, if you have a suggestion regarding who should come on Equity as a guest this summer, we’re taking tips at equitypod@techcrunch.com. Let us know.

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

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