Equity transcribed: Is the tech press too positive in its coverage of startups?June 1, 2019
Welcome back the latest transcribed edition of Equity, the TechCrunch podcast that takes a closer look at the startup headlines from the week.
Kate Clark and Alex Wilhelm kick this week off by discussing comments on Twitter made by Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham about the tech press. They then took a look at Uber’s first-quarter numbers, Brex raising, SoFi raising (and entering talks to buy the naming rights for the upcoming Los Angeles Rams stadium) and a lot more.
Here’s a sample:
Alex: Uber’s expectations were low. They had set, in their last S-1/A, these figures out and they came in the middle of revenue and loss expectations. I think the phrase is priced in, and that’s an odd place to be.
Kate: Yeah. It’s good that they came in on expectations. Lyft, you remember, had losses that were way, way, way higher than expected. But I would just say bottom line is, none of these companies, particularly I’m thinking of like Uber, Pinterest and Lyft, which are just recent unicorns to have gone public that are not enterprise software businesses. Is that they’re not profitable, and they’re not really showing clear paths to profitability yet. So, it’s just a little bit like, well, not looking so hot.
Alex: Just a little bit more about this. Because I know people aren’t going to go read the earnings reports because it’s boring. But if you dig into it, gross bookings rose 34% year over year. But adjusted net rev only grew 14%. Which means that of that new gross bookings, Uber’s take rate probably went down a little bit. Which implies that probably Uber Eats grew a lot and Uber’s percent cut of that revenue is smaller. So, the gross bookings growth looks great, but it doesn’t translate.
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Kate: Hello, and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital focus podcast. I’m back this week with Crunchbase news Editor in Chief, Alex Wilhelm Hey Alex, how’s it going?
Alex: Things are good. It’s cold out in the East Coast. But I’m more excited to hear about things on your end because you are in the new TechCrunch podcast studio. What is it like?