The VCs behind Libra, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
Sadly, Equity co-host Alex Wilhelm is out this week, but for good reason: He’s getting married this weekend. Fortunately, we had the esteemed TechCrunch editor Danny Crichton step in to discuss Slack’s direct listing, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, the scooter cash desert, startup founder salaries and more with Equity co-host Kate Clark.
We began this week’s episode with the latest Slack news. The enterprise communications business was said to price its shares at $26 apiece Wednesday afternoon, valuing the company at around $15.7 billion. We taped this episode on Wednesday, the day before Slack’s direct listing. It’s now Friday. We’ll be back next week to unpack Slack’s initial performance on the public markets.
Then, we turned to Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, Libra, which will let you buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees using interoperable third-party wallet apps or Facebook’s own Calibra wallet that will be built into WhatsApp, Messenger and its own app. As Kate mentioned in the podcast, if you’re curious at all about Libra, read TechCrunch’s Josh Constine’s deep dive here. And, of course, listen to the latest episode to learn more about the role VCs have played in the development of the token and what it means for crypto startups.
Next up on the agenda was scooters because we can’t seem to tape a single episode of Equity without mentioning VCs favorite sector. The news wasn’t great this week, however. We’re hearing that Lime, a scooter startup that has raised hundreds of millions in venture capital funding, is having a tough time landing fresh funding. That’s a big problem because hardware is a tough and expensive business and if Lime — and Bird for that matter — aren’t able to secure additional capital, well, it’s goodbye scooters.
Finally, Danny and Kate chatted about startup founder salaries. There’s not much written on this topic and comprehensive founder salary data is hard to come by. Fortunately, TechCrunch’s Ron Miller did a little digging to find out just how much VC-backed entrepreneurs are being paid these days. The results are surprising.
As usual, we’ll be back next week. Thanks for listening!