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This week, the team discussed Y Combinator moving to San Francisco, Airbnb acquiring HotelTonight and an infusion of cash into the ride-hailing industry.
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Kate Clark: Hello, and welcome to Equity. I am TechCrunch’s Kate Clark, and I’m joined this week by Alex Wilhelm from Crunchbase News.
Alex: Hey Kate. How are you?
Kate Clark: I’m good. It’s nice to have you in studio this week.
Alex: It is. It’s raining here. It’s terrible. The weather is not what I expected when I moved here seven, six years ago, but I don’t know, we’re still in the middle of the universe of tech, so it’s not that bad.
Kate Clark: I’m a Seattle-ite, so I try not to complain about the rain, but this is really annoying.
Alex: All right, one more thing on that. I’m from Oregon, and I left there for a reason, and now I’m back in, and the weather has followed me. Anyways.
Kate Clark: Yep, that’s how I feel. All right. Well, there’s a ton of news this week, so I want to hit on a few things just right off the bat.
Kate Clark: Let’s start with precursor ventures. The precursor ventures is a pre-seed fund led by Charles Hudson. They have closed a $31 million fund this week, which is double the size of their debut fund.
Alex: This is fun, because the first fund was actually 15.3 million, so it’s just ever so slightly more than double, but they probably shot for roughly double, and what’s cool is we were going back through the archives, and Charles Hudson, the kind of main person at Precursor was a guest back in June of 2017, which means that Equity is officially old.
Alex: That’s terrifying. Moving on, Coral Capital has raised $46 million for itself, and this is interesting, because of its pedigree. Kate, what was it before it was called Coral Capital?
Kate Clark: It was 500 Startups Japan. So, it looks like they’ve decided to roll out as an independent fund, completely separate from 500 Startups.
Alex: Next up is NEA, which is raising a three point $6 billion fund, which if it closes on size, is going to be the largest NEA fund to date, but we were talking before the show, and we were thinking about the name of NEA, which is New Enterprise Associates, and we think it’s actually just three random words they put together to form an acronym.
Kate Clark: I think they should have just named themselves NEA, because you know they wanted to just be called NEA. Why do you need to have an acronym?
Alex: Well call them NEA, you know, I mean, I don’t know if that’s worse, or better than three random words.
Kate Clark: That’s a good point. That’s worse. NEA is worse.
Alex: They should call it like a tree, like, you know, Cedar Birch, Sequoia Hill.
Kate Clark: We don’t need anymore of that. Rock River Ventures Creek. Yeah.
Alex: It’s even worse than private equity. All right. Last quick hit of the day is Munchery, which we’ve talked about the show a couple of times, and they have finally filed for bankruptcy.
Kate Clark: Yeah. I’ve been following the Munchery debacle the whole time. So, I was interested, and of course, unsurprised to see that they finally filed for bankruptcy. I recommend anybody who’s been vaguely interested in this whole Munchery saga, to go read the story I wrote on their bankruptcy filing, because it includes the filing, and the story, and it is very interesting to page through.
Alex: It’s good, because it describes how they fell apart essentially.
Kate Clark: Exactly. The CEO, James Beriker, he tells the whole story within the filing of what exactly happened, including that they, blame is not necessarily the right word, but they said the Blue Apron IPO being such failure, and all the press, and media that came with that made it really difficult for Munchery, and other food delivery, or meal kit startups to raise additional venture capital, which obviously doesn’t help a company that’s on the verge of folding.
Alex: Yeah. This makes me think a little bit about what I write, ’cause I always think that I’m writing for people that don’t have influence, but sometimes we cover something kind of to that, that actually change things a bit.
Alex: Anyways. The Blue Apron is still in business, and Munchery is not, that’s the Tldr. Now, we’re going to move into something I’m pretty excited about it, because Y Combinator is very near, and dear to everyone’s heart in Silicon Valley. If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve been to founder dinners, you’ve met these people, but there are possibly some changes afoot in the great land of YC. So Kate, what’s up?
Kate Clark: Yeah, so YC is in the process of finding a new HQ, and they’re looking at San Francisco. So what’s notable about that, is YC has for a very long time, been located in Mountain View, and if you don’t live in the Bay area, that’s about an hour south of San Francisco. I just doubted myself, ’cause I’m new to San Francisco.
Alex: It’s actually west, it’s in the middle of the ocean.
Kate Clark: So yeah, so YC is looking to move to San Francisco. So I mean, what does that mean? A lot of venture capital firms in the last several years that were based in Silicon Valley have moved to San Francisco, to be closer to entrepreneurs who for the most part, they want to live in San Francisco, which I understand, because I personally wouldn’t want to live in Silicon Valley either.
Alex: The only caveat to that is if you do go to like a place like Sunnyvale, and go out in the burbs, it is silent, and SF for all the joy that it was brought me in my years here is loud.
Kate Clark: You want to live in a silent town?
Alex: I turn 30 really soon, and that’s just what an aging into, but I have a question. Is this their only HQ, or they kind of do an HQ two up in SF?