Take Facebook money and get cloned

Alex Wilhelm


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

After a pretty busy week on the show we're here with our regular Friday episode, which means lots of venture rounds and new venture capital funds to dig into. Thankfully we had our full contingent on hand: Danny "Well, you see" Crichton, Natasha "Talk to me post-pandemic" Mascarenhas, Alex "Very shouty" Wilhelm and, behind the scenes, Chris "The Dad" Gates.

Make sure to check out our IPO-focused Equity Shot from earlier this week if you haven't yet, and let's get into today's topics:

  • Instacart raises $225 million. This round, not unexpected, values the on-demand grocery delivery startup at $13.7 billion -- a huge sum, and one that should make it harder for the well-known company to sell itself to anyone but the public markets. Regardless, COVID-19 gave this company a huge updraft, and it capitalized on it.
  • Pando raises $8.5 million. We often cover rounds on Equity that are a little obvious. SaaS, that sort of thing. Pando is not that. Instead, it's a company that wants to let small groups of individual pool their upside and allow for more equal outcomes in an economy that rewards outsized success.
  • Ethena raises $2 million. Anti-harassment software is about as much fun as the dentist today, but perhaps that doesn't have to be the case. Natasha talked us through the company, and its pricing. I'm pretty bullish on Ethena, frankly. Homebrew, Village Global and GSV took part in the financing event.
  • Vendr raises $4 million. Vendr wants to help companies cut their SaaS bills, through its own SaaS-esque product. I tried to explain this, but may have butchered it a bit. It's cool, I promise.
  • Facebook is getting into the CVC game. This should not be a surprise, but we were also not sure who was going to want Facebook money.
  • And, finally, Collab Capital is raising a $50 million fund to invest in Black founders. Per our reporting, the company is on track to close on $10 million in August. How fast the fund can close its full target is something we're going to keep an eye on, considering it might get a lot harder a lot sooner. 

And that is that; thanks for lending us your ears.

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