SoftBank makes mountains of cash off of human laziness

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. It was yet another crazy week, but did our best to get through as much of it as we could. Here’s the rundown, in case you are reading along with us!

What’s in a name? Sometimes everything.

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

grey and black knit textile
Photo by Sahand Hoseini on Unsplash

The news of shutting down keeps popping up in my news feeds, social media feeds, and email newsletters. All of them talk about how it didn’t work out, but the right question to be asked (and answered) is actually: What is venture capital — and when does a company deserve it? 

If you don’t know about Indie, here is the skinny. 

In 2015, Bryce Roberts, formerly of O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures (OATV), started a fund that wanted to finance sustainable businesses that were not looking to scale-up fast. It was thought of as a game-changer. As he wrote about his initial launch:

….the post kicked off an extended conversation about how, who, and what gets funded by traditional venture capital and the need for funding options that sit between bank loans and blitzscaling. Being part of that conversation has been incredibly rewarding. But it has come at a cost.

It prompted venture capital’s chronicler-in-chief, Dan Primack, to quip:

“Venture capital, despite being the money of innovation, is rarely innovative itself. was an effort to break out of the tedium, so its failure is de facto disappointing.”

Not quite. 

It was the market accurately speaking the language of risk-reward from the lens of growth. 

Limited Partners — entities that give fund managers money to invest — look for ways to grow their capital by investing in many different types of assets. Each asset class has its investor profile with its own set of expectations (Read more...)