Hello and welcome back to Equity, a podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines.
Alex, Natasha and Mary Ann got together with Maggie this week for our weekly roundup show, and per usual, there was a lot to talk about, including the fact that there were even more topics than usual to pick from as the summer slowdown seems to be fading away.
What else did we get into? The following:
To kick off our Deals of the Week, we discussed the fact that a startup which focuses on depression, suicidality and related mental health conditions is buying a company called KetaMD in an effort to extend its telehealth prowess and, in particular, to expand its tech-facilitated ketamine-based treatments. Don’t know what ketamine is? You’re not alone.
From there, it was time to talk about a new $100 million fund, which boasts some high-profile LPs and partners, that is out to invest exclusively in Latino(a) startup founders. We then dug into the hows and whys of a fintech company that aims to get consumers to deduct everyday expenses directly from their paycheck -- a concept that took us a bit to wrap our heads around.
We then moved on to Robinhood and the news that the retail investment behemoth had laid off 23% of its staff -- just 3 months after letting go of 9% of its workforce. The three of us had thoughts on CEO Vlad Tenev’s acceptance of responsibility for the layoffs, and of course, on just how much dang news has surrounded the company in the past 18 months or so.
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev took responsibility for the company's over-hiring in 2021 and subsequent mass layoffs - two so far in 2022. Do you view this as a rare display of humility, or something else? And if so what??
— Mary Ann Azevedo (@bayareawriter) August 2, 2022
Next up? We chatted about Y Combinator’s somewhat surprising decision to shrink its cohort by 40% -- what that could mean for the early-stage venture scene. We also get into its increased check size and in-person return. So many variables! Only one experiment!
Lastly, we riffed about Uber and how the company both reported positive free cash flow and yet was deeply unprofitable in the second quarter (thanks to Alex breaking that down for us).
And we had a blast to boot! See you next time!