Equity transcribed: SoftBank-backed startup cracks under pressure to scale
Welcome back to the transcribed edition of the popular podcast Equity. This week, TechCrunch writers Kate Clark and Connie Loizos were joined in the studio by Canvas Ventures’ general partner Rebecca Lynn.
This week, the crew talked about the big rounds raised by shoe resale marketplace StockX, which raised $110 million at a $1 billion valuation. And Cameo, which provides personally recorded messages by celebrities and influencers to whomever will pay for them, raised $50 million at a reported $300 million valuation.
The group then discussed Brandless and the amount of money that SoftBank poured into it. Being the recipient of such large sums at an early age adds a lot of pressure to produce.
Kate Clark: …Brandless raised this $240 million round, only one year after launching. So they’re a very young company. And now fast forward another year, SoftBank is pressuring them to be profitable. But right now they’re only two years old. So I mean, what two year old startup is even at that point?
Rebecca Lynn: Well and what other SoftBank company is profitable?
Connie Loizos: Right.
Lynn: So I think when you look at this, I think for me as an investor, I don’t know the ins and outs of what’s happening here exactly. But for me this just really underscores the importance of having a very aligned set of goals and missions and values and everything else, when you sign up to work with an investor, right? I mean the company and the investor have to be sort of in lockstep. And when you have an investor that hasn’t been around for a really long time and you don’t know how they’re going to behave really in a downturn or when the company runs into bumps.
And I think that kind of behavior sort of through the highs and the lows is a really important thing that founders and other investors need to take a very close look at.
And finally they talked about WeWork’s latest acquisition, Waltz, a smartphone app and reader that allows users to enter different properties with a single credential.
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