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All that VC dry powder is damper than you think


Welcome back to Equity, the podcast about the business of startups, where we unpack the numbers and nuance behind the headlines. Natasha is back in the Bay, after five weeks away, so some could say, San Francisco is back.

  • Big tech: Real quick, you should know that Elliott Management took a multibillion-dollar stake in Salesforce, while Thoma Bravo scooped up a digital forensics company for $1.34 billion. Beyond that, the big tech news this week is Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar, multiyear investment in OpenAI. The extended partnership comes with lots of resources, quirks and legal headaches. 
  • Big idea: I’m still thinking about this Anna Heim analysis, “The mirage of dry powder.” I talk about wet capital and failed capital calls, as to contextualize (not shut down!) some of the optimism in the market right now. (Use code “EQUITY” for 50% an annual TC+ membership).
  • Big innovation (or in this case, reductions): Google’s in-house incubator, Area 120, was severely impacted by Alphabet layoffs and Spotify cut 6% of staff — two layoff stories that had me thinking all about the fact that tech seems to have forgotten its umbrella. We end with a tongue-twister note on Quordle, which was just got scooped up by Merriam-Webster. 

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