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Tag Archives: podcasts

Equity podcast: Circle raises $110M, VCs hunt liquidity and the Vision Fund’s possible twin

Hello and welcome back to  Equity , TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Today Matthew Lynley , Connie Loizos and I were joined by Semil Shah , the founder of seed-stage fund Haystack  and venture partner at Lightspeed . This week, we stuck to our roots: big rounds, venture capital liquidity thirst, one IPO, two Vision Funds and three scooter jokes. Maybe more than three, but who’s counting. First up we took on Circle’s new $110 million round , working to understand why the firm is raising new capital at such a huge valuation (~$3 billion!). Also in play: Circle’s new lead investor isn’t a venture capital shop, making the monetary infusion all the more interesting. (Oh, and here’s more on the Basis stable coin we brought up.) Next, we chatted through NEA’s plan to raise a fresh $1 billion to buy a lot of its stakes in startups that have yet to find an exit, allowing it, presumably, to return a chunk of capital to its own investors. The move is potentially fraught with conflict, we think, but perhaps it’s also the way of the future. After that, it was time for an IPO break. Lynley had just gotten off the horn with the CEO; we went through Pluralsight’s IPO that priced on Wednesday and started trading on Thursday. Short version: it went well .

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Uber’s plan to fly you around

Welcome back to CTRL+T, the TechCrunch podcast where Megan Rose Dickey and I talk about the stories we want to talk about and connect them to the culture in which we’re all trying to live. We first tackled the flying taxi phenomenon that isn’t really a phenomenon anymore. It’s more like we’re all going to be ducking under the near-distant hum of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs (really rolls off the tongue), sooner than later. You see, Uber already has deals with flying taxi manufacturers, electric vehicle battery and charger manufacturers and firms that want to build the “skyports” from which these things are going to have to take off and land. And the public learned all about it at Uber Elevate. But before we talked about Uber, we spent some time discussing the inside of Megan’s mouth. Regular readers might recall a recent visit she made to Uniform Teeth to find out about the startup’s funding round. She tried out their 3D imaging tech and received some news she wasn’t quite prepared for. And recorded the audio. It’s a rip-roaring episode, folks, so click play below to have a listen.

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Equity podcast: Robinhood raises, Flipkart exits and MoviePass is running out of cash

Hello and welcome back to  Equity , TechCrunch’s venture capital-themed podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This week Matthew Lynley , Connie Loizos  and myself  were joined by Villi Iltchev , a partner at August Capital . It was good that we had a full crew on deck, as the news flew thick and varied this week. In honor of the news cycle, we took on as much of it as we could inside a single episode. And as we’re sure that you guessed, we had to talk about the Flipkart-Walmart deal  first. The staggering transaction sees the American IRL commerce giant with a proven appetite for e-commerce players bring the India unicorn into its fold. This is the second multi-billion-dollar startup deal for Walmart in recent memory. (Jet.com was the first unicorn to find new nest in the Walton’s rafters.) Amazon, naturally, was the loser in the final deal. Now it will have to win alone if it can. But we couldn’t repine, as there was more to do. Next up we talked our way through the new Robinhood round . Raising more than $350 million for a valuation of more than $5 billion, Robinhood has put itself nearly out of the range of acquisition, instead seemingly betting its future on independent success . Does the firm have a shot at growing into its valuation

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The BBC will run its first podcast ads, powered by Acast

The BBC will start running ads in its podcasts, thanks to a partnership with podcast publishing and monetization company Acast . Acast CEO Ross Adams told me that ads will start running later this week, with the BBC including “bumpers” today announcing the imminent ad launch. “Podcasts are one way we’re reinventing BBC radio to engage younger audiences with our world class content,” said Bob Shennan, director of BBC Radio and Music, in the announcement. “We’re working with established and new talent to produce shows which are informative and entertaining as only the BBC can be. The BBC has been challenged to generate more commercial income to supplement the licence fee and this new deal will contribute to that.” To be clear, the BBC will remain ad-free in the United Kingdom, where it’s supported by the aforementioned license fee . Adams said one of the things Acast could offer was the ability to make sure ads were only served outside the U.K. (and to account for edge cases like U.K. military bases in other countries). Adams said Acast will also be providing the BBC with new data about how the podcasts are performing. “We give them the data and the dashboard to start really doubling down and focusing on podcasting as a medium,” he said. According the announcement, this will apply to all BBC podcasts outside the U.K. (subject to rights restrictions), including Global News, The Assassination, World Business Report and Radio 4’s In Our Time. Most podcasts will have a single 30-second ad at the beginning, then another at the end.

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Original Content podcast: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is even more intense in season two

While streaming and bingeing seem increasingly synonymous, Hulu’s biggest hit The Handmaid’s Tale actually feels like an anti-binge. Some of that is just Hulu’s release strategy, where it doesn’t release an entire season at once, but instead comes out of the gate with a handful of new episodes (two this week for the launch of The Handmaid’s Tale season two), then reverts to a more traditional episode-per-week schedule. But there’s also the fact that as good as it is, The Handmaid’s Tale is a tough show to watch. After each episode, you may want to relax a bit before returning to the dystopian future of Gilead, which is run by religious reactionaries who have stripped most women of their rights. Season one introduced us to Gilead, and to our main character June (played by Elisabeth Moss), who’s been enslaved because she’s one of the few remaining women who can bear children. With season two, the plot gets moving right away, which makes it hard to offer our thoughts without giving away crucial details. Still, we gave it a shot in the latest episode of the Original Content podcast . We also cover all the new shows and movies that Netflix has coming in May , the expansion of CBS’ streaming service to Canada and Anthony’s initial impressions of Avengers: Infinity War . You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts  or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly .

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Equity podcast: Everyone beats earnings, racing to $1 trillion and Square goes shopping

Hello and welcome back to  Equity , TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Today Katie Roof and I were joined by James Hardiman , a partner at Data Collective (DCVC). If you want to tell him how he did, he’s on Twitter here . It was good to have Hardiman on board as there was an ocean of news to swim through. Indeed, we are in the middle of earnings season, companies can’t stop from buying one another and the IPO window is stuck wide open. So we decided to just do everything. Here’s how it broke down. Earnings Facebook’s earnings had two purposes. First, the company showed the world that its run of financial feats is not at an end. The company beat on top and bottom lines and kept growing around the world. That second result is our second point: The company is not taking material slings and arrows — at least in terms of lost users — from its recent privacy scandals. Staying on the social side of tech, Twitter’s earnings were strong as well . The company also beat on top and bottom lines, turning in GAAP profit and some modest user growth. For Twitter, which has spent much of its time as a public company in the public penalty box, has seen its share price more than double from lows.

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Equity podcast: Everyone beats earnings, racing to $1 trillion and Square goes shopping

Hello and welcome back to  Equity , TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. Today Katie Roof and I were joined by James Hardiman , a partner at Data Collective (DCVC). If you want to tell him how he did, he’s on Twitter here . It was good to have Hardiman on board as there was an ocean of news to swim through. Indeed, we are in the middle of earnings season, companies can’t stop from buying one another and the IPO window is stuck wide open. So we decided to just do everything. Here’s how it broke down. Earnings Facebook’s earnings had two purposes. First, the company showed the world that its run of financial feats is not at an end. The company beat on top and bottom lines and kept growing around the world.

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Podcast app Castbox raises $13.5 million, launches its own original programming

Riding high on the growing consumer demand for podcasts, a startup called Castbox this morning announced the close of $13.5 million in Series B funding for its technology-fueled podcast app. The round was led by SIG China, and includes participation from existing investors  IDG Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, and GSR Ventures. To date, Castbox has raised  $29.5 million. While there are a number of podcast applications on the market today, what makes Castbox interesting is the proprietary technology it has under the hood. The platform uses natural language processing and machine learning techniques to power some of its unique features, like personalized recommendations and in-audio search. The app is capable of making suggestions of what to listen to next, based on user’s prior listening behavior, which can help to improve discovery of podcasts people may like. Meanwhile, the in-audio search feature takes advantage of the recent leaps the industry has seen with voice recognition technology, and actually transcribes the audio content inside podcasts, indexes it, and makes it available for search within the Castbox app. That means users no longer have to rely on things like episode titles, descriptions and show notes to find a podcast related to a topic they want to listen to – they can just search the Castbox app for any podcasts where the term was mentioned. These differentiating features, so far, appear to be attracting users. Castbox’s app has been installed 15 million times, and today sees 1.8 million daily users, with a retention rate of 50 percent. While the company doesn’t have a way to directly correlate its features’ usage to these figures, its user ratings and reviews including a number of comments referencing them, along with compliments about the app’s overall clean user interface and experience, notes Castbox founder  Renee Wang. Wang, who previously worked at Google in Japan and Dublin, had originally created Castbox because of her own troubles in finding a player that supported different languages or gave personalized recommendations. Castbox was then further developed in response to user feedback and with a focus on improved podcast discovery. Today, Castbox has a global user base, with only 45 percent from the U.S

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Original Content podcast: Netflix successfully reinvents ‘Lost in Space’

Lost in Space started out as a ’60s TV series, got rebooted in the 1990s as a feature film and has now been brought up-to-date by Netflix . On the latest episode of the Original Content podcast , we review the first season of the new show, which finds the Robinson family once again sent into space, facing constant peril on an alien planet while also getting help from a robot that’s fond of shouting, “Danger, Will Robinson!” Many of the classic elements have been updated in some way — perhaps the most effective change was casting Parker Posey as the villainous Dr. Smith. The new Lost in Space seems more serious and character-driven than its predecessors, but at the same time, it remains aimed at a family audience. We also discuss our thoughts on the film version of Ready Player One , AT&T’s plans for a $15-per-month streaming service , ESPN’s new move into streaming and Amazon’s in-development series based on The Peripheral by William Gibson . (At one point in the episode, Jordan says Battlestar Galactica isn’t available on Prime Video, but for the record: It is.) You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts  or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You also can send us feedback directly .

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Details Revealed For Atari’s New Console – Screen Rant

Screen Rant Details Revealed For Atari's New Console Screen Rant Atari has revealed some new details regarding its brand new console: Atari VCS (formerly called Ataribox). Aside from the sleek, vintage design and throwback joystick, there are some interesting bells and whistles integrated into the gaming company's ... and more »

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Podcasting app Anchor can now find you a cohost

Fresh off its relaunch as an app offering a suite of tools for podcasters , Anchor today is rolling a new feature that will make it easier for people to find someone to podcast with: Cohosts. As the name implies, the app will now connect you – sometimes immediately, if people are available – with another person who’s interested in discussing the topic you’ve chosen. The result is a more engaging podcast where a conversation is taking place between two people, rather than a monologue. “We give people the ability to choose a topic that they want to talk about on their podcasts, and the product will get to work trying to match you up with someone who wants to talk about the exact thing,” explains Anchor CEO Mike Mignano. At first, Anchor will try to match you with someone who’s also currently in the app, he says. If it’s not able to do that, then it will notify you when it finds a match through an alert on your phone. “We’ve developed an intelligent matching system to make sure there’s a high likelihood that you get matched up with someone that wants to talk at the same time,” Mignano notes. The topics users select can be either broad – like politics – or narrow and hyper-specific, the company says. One you’ve been offered a connection to a cohost, you have 30 seconds to meet in the app and decide how you want to get started. The recording will then start automatically, and will continue for up to 15 minutes. Both users will receive a copy of the recording and can choose to publish it to their own podcast right away, or save it for later. After the recording, podcasters rate each other with a simple thumbs up or down. (If down, you’ll need to select a reason in case Anchor needs to step in and review bad behavior. Bad actors will no longer be permitted to use the service.) If both give each other a thumbs up, though, they’ll automatically be favorited on each other’s account, so they can find each other again

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Apple Music Has 40 Million Subscribers And A New Leader – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Apple Music Has 40 Million Subscribers And A New Leader Ubergizmo Word on the street was that Apple's music streaming service had surpassed the 40 million user milestone and that has been officially confirmed by the company today. It's official that Apple Music now has more than 40 million paid subscribers. Apple has ... and more »

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