The Exchange: Unicorn IPOs, tech earnings and my favorite VC round from the week

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Welcome back to The TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter for your weekend gratification. It’s broadly based on the daily tower that appears on Extra Crunch, but free. And it’s attained just for you.

You can sign up for the newsletter here. With that out of the course, let’s talk money, upstart companies and the latest spicy IPO rumors.

Corroborate dreams of an 11 -figure SPAC

If you are tired of reading about special role acquisition corporations, or SPACs, we hear you. We’re sick of them as well. But they hinder pasturing up, this time in the form of a possible IPO alternative for Affirm, a fintech unicorn that has raised more than$ 1 billion to provide consumers with point-of-sale installment loans.( Rate from 0% to 30%, periods of up to 36 months .)

Affirm is effectively a giving firm that pushes into e-commerce houses. Experimenting this entryway I had an idea in the back of my pate that Affirm had a super-neat credit system to rate users. But say through its own FAQ and what NerdWallet has to say on the company, its methods seem somewhat pedestrian.

Regardless, spread is key for the company, and Affirm recently linked up with Shopify. That should provide it another quantity of proliferation. The very sort of thing that IPO investors require. The WSJ reported that Affirm could go public this year, perhaps via a SPAC, at a its evaluation of$ 5 to $10 billion.

I did my best to map out what those valuations connoted, generally spotting that Affirm needs to have hella loan volume to move the sort of money that a $10 billion anatomy shows. Of course, I was just trying to oblige numerical ability. The stock exchange in 2020 is a bit more unwound than that.

All this SPAC talk is still chiefly bullshit, mind. We are seeing public debuts this year. And every single one of them that has been of note has been a traditional IPO, at least as far as I can recall. The rush history of direct listings and SPAC entries that matter is pretty slim.

Of course, Coinbase and Asana and DoorDash and Airbnb, amongst other, are in need of liquidity and could yet pull the trigger on a more exotic introduction. Hell, Qualtrics could do something wild in its impending IPO but we incredulity it will.

Market Notation

The biggest market information the coming week had little to do with startups. Instead, it came from the anti-startups, namely the largest American tech firms, which smashed their earnings reports. Alphabet actually contracted year-over-year, but it still beat hopes. Facebook and Amazon and Apple were juggernauts in the quarter.

Given the positive indicates we’ve heard from startups and startup investors about how Q2 marketings accomplishment was better than expected, and is in some cases besting programs set at the start of the year, the SuperMegaTech results are not a jolt. Numerou tech-powered businesses of all maturities seem to be catching a elevate.

The startups that aren’t are DOA. As Freestyle Capital’s Jenny Lefcourt told TechCrunch the other week, every investor demands into the next round of startups that have caught a COVID tailwind. And accurately zero investors want into the proximate funding affair for startups that haven’t.

Moving along, don’t re-invest your retirement funds just yet, but bitcoin is back over $10,000 and is currently trading for $11,300 as I written down you. Given that the price of bitcoin is a workable barometer for consumer interest, trading publication and, perhaps, development work in the crypto infinite, the recent market movement is good news for crypto-fans.

Turning our pates to breaking news this Friday, news was brewing that the Trump administration was looking to force ByteDance, a Chine-based mega-startup, to sell the U.S. enterprises of TikTok, the super-popular social app.

How? When? We don’t know, but the political and fiscal place between the United Mood and China is worse , not better. How you feel about that will depend on your politics.

There were 25 equity-only rounds of $50 million or more during the last week, 22 if you strip out private equity-led rounds and post-IPO speculations. That’s a little over $2.6 billion in late-stage capital collected by Crunchbase in a single week. No matter what you might hear from startups stuck on the wrong side of the COVID-1 9 partition, coin is still flowing and quickly.

Ro’s $200 million spate valuing the firm at $1.5 billion was just the fourth largest deal of the week, by our weigh. Traveloka, Thrive Earlier Detection and Ascendant Digital, which is a SPAC and thus makes our ire instead of praise, were next in the directory.

Stack Overflow’s $85 million round was the tenth largest deal of the week. Damn.

Other rounds you may have missed: $33 million for San Mateo-based Helix, Argo AI is now worth $7.5 billion after its most pressing fundraising, $11 million for Brazil-focused opulence manager Magnetis, $16 million for construction-tech company Buildots and $20 million for Instrumental, my favorite round of the week,

Investment into AI-focused startups suffered in Q2, but condescended from all-time increases so the numbers were still quite ok.

On the VC topic, TechCrunch’s own Danny Crichton( he’s on the podcast with me every week) has informed the TechCrunch list with another 116 VCs that are willing to write first checks. The projection has been oceans of design, so please do check it out if you have the time, or are looking to fundraise.

Various and Sundry

And, to wrap up, as ever, here’s a accumulation of data, story and other miscellania that is worth your time from this super lunatic week 😛 TAGEND

DocSend data underscores that Q2 VC was not a dud.( Q2 VC coverage from The Exchange this week can be found here .) This is a hell of a gaze from the Facebook board. Startup crowdfunding area Republic looks back on “4 years, 200 corporations, $150 million, and 700,000 members.” The Exchange is still digging into no-code, and low-code startups. PwC data on tech deal volume registers a gradual Q2, while “July is off to a strong start.” Chorus.ai raised $ 45 million for its sales-tech service, claiming to have tripled its revenue in 2019. Does anyone have a more recent result for the company? Continuing our research-and-data-dump, this set of notes from Dave Kellogg on “Are We Due for a SaaSacre? ” is worth your time. I teamed up with TechCrunch’s Lucas Matney to ask investors about investing in remote-work startups today.

Moving toward the close, Redpoint VP Jamin Ball is writing a series on shadow/ SaaS that I’m reading here and there. Take a peep.

And, speaking of VCs out there doing my job, Floodgate marriage Iris Choi( an Equity regular) does frequent live flows that she announces Market Musings that I try to snag when I can. It’s ever interesting to hear how people with more money than I do think about the market as they are ever-so-slightly more invested in its outcomes.

Excuse the pun, give yourself a hug for meeting it through the week, make sure to hit up the latest Equity episode and let’s all go for a run. — Alex

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