Equity Monday: Surprise IPOs, Briza's $3M round, and are we worried about unicorn liquidity?

Alex Wilhelm


Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week. Regular Equity episodes still drop Friday morning, so if you’ve listened to the show over the years don’t worry — we’re not changing the main show. (Here’s last week’s episode with Danny Crichton, going over the huge Roblox round and what is going on with no-code startups.)

What to say about this Monday other than it feels a bit like last Monday. The markets aren't doing well, coronavirus is a worry, and we have a cool early-stage round to talk about.

After the stock market took a beating last week, the weekend brought more news concerning the novel coronavirus, with more infections being discovered in the United States. It's not been the best time to check your 401k if you saving for the long-term.

But in better news, DoorDash's filing was followed by one from Procore, meaning that IPO season isn't dead, it's just glacial, slow, slothful, and far too measured compared to our prior hopes.

This week will see a few sets of earnings that we care about some (JD.com), less, (HPE), and lots (Zoom). When Zoom reports on March 4th it will be carrying the torch for recent, venture-backed IPOs, SaaS companies more broadly, and future-of-work startups specifically. Other than that, no one will be watching what happens to the video conferencing startup that is caught in a rare COVID19 updraft.

Briza

Next, we talked about Briza, a very neat early-stage startup that is working in the commercial insurance API space. Yes, this the fusion of several things I love to write about. Namely insurance-tech and API-infra companies. What would you get if you crossed the insurance marketplaces we've been writing about with Plaid? Something like Briza, I reckon.

The 500 Startups-backed company has put together $3 million in capital to date, has 10 people on-staff, is looking to double its personnel, and is heading to the market soon on the back of some notable momentum. With more insurance providers hitting Briza up for inclusion in its product, the startup has good pace heading into its impending Demo Day. And it already has the cash it needs to grow.

Infra is hot because it's the digital equivalent of selling picks and shovels. And APIs are hot because they are the SaaS of infra.

Infra APIs? So hot right now.

Wrapping

I'm stoked beyond belief that Equity turns three this month. Who would have thought that our little show that started life as a few Facebook Lives with myself, Katie Roof (WSJ) and Matthew Lynley (ex-Brex and now a solo operator) would make it this far. I'm lucky to still be a part of it.

Ok! Back Friday. Stay cool.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.