Welcome back to equity, a podcast that discusses the business of startups. We will be breaking down the numbers and nuance behind headlines.
This week we had the whole team together, which was appropriate given the sheer volume of news stories we had to cover. What did Mary Anne, Natasha, and Alex do? Here’s the scoop:
- TikTok’s CEO went to Congress yesterday . It was quite hostile. Alex was able to catch a portion of the meeting live and has some thoughts about the matter.
- It was now time to move on to our ‘deals section’. Today’s highlights included Duolingo’s new music product and a new investment.
- It was then time to discuss payroll. Then we moved on to discussing the Rippling agreement to raise $500m during the SVB crisis. then discussed the larger HR technology space. This is bigger and more valuable than what we thought.
- We closed using AI. So, so much AI. Every , along with their least preferred parental unit, is creating a large language model. TechCrunch is busy covering all of it.
Next we will discuss the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple. Epic Games, creator of Fortnite filed a lawsuit against Apple last summer over its App Store policies. Although the case is ongoing, a judge has ruled that Apple must allow developers access to other payment options. This victory is significant for Epic Games, and could have profound implications for the App store and its policies.
We moved on to social media and talked about Twitter’s latest feature, Spaces. Spaces allows users to have live audio conversations and participate in real-time discussions with other users on Twitter. This is Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse, an app similar to Spaces that has seen a lot of popularity in recent months. It will be interesting for Spaces to show how it performs and if it can compete against Clubhouse.
The recent purchase of Discord by Microsoft was also discussed. Discord, a popular chat application used by gamers, has seen significant growth over the past few years. Microsoft paid $10 billion to acquire the company, which is an impressive investment. Microsoft could expand its gaming presence and this acquisition could have implications for its Teams platform.
We also discussed the recent IPO by Coinbase, a cryptocurrency trading platform. Coinbase went public last Wednesday, bringing its value to more than $100 billion. This is a major milestone in cryptocurrency and could signal a shift of perception and use of cryptocurrencies.