TechCrunch podcasts this week: Startup grants, a16z's crypto bet and the art of raising money for groceries

TechCrunch is more than just a site with words. We're also building a growing stable of podcasts focused on the most critical topics relating to the startup and venture capital worlds. To help you find the right show for your interests, we've compiled our audio output from the week.

Embedded below is the latest from Chain Reaction, our new and stellar crypto-focused podcast hosted by Lucas and Anita. You will also find Found, a long-form bit of work that goes deep on the real saga of company formation, from Jordan and Darrell. There's an audio-only version of TechCrunch Live hosted by Matt that features founders and investors discussing successful pitch decks. Finally, there's Equity, TechCrunch's long-running, Webby-award-winning podcast focused on venture capital and the latest startup news, hosted by Natasha, Mary Ann and Alex.

And if you are more into the written over the spoken word, well we have newsletters on the above topics as well.

The TechCrunch Podcast

Episode 4: The battle for BNPL buyers and other TC news

Welcome back to The TechCrunch Podcast where you’ll hear everything you need to know about the week’s top stories in tech from the people who wrote them. This week our host, Managing Editor Darrell Etherington, talks with Mary Ann Azevedo about two fintech giants, Affirm and Stripe, partnering up and what that means for competitors and Brian Heater comes on to preview next week’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. And as always, you’ll get a rundown of the week’s top news on TechCrunch.

Articles from the episode:

Other news from the week:

Chain Reaction

Episode 9: a16z VC on crypto criticism and their $4.5 billion bet (with Sriram Krishnan)

Welcome back, this week Lucas and Anita discuss investor drama facing blockchain startups during the market crash and the major piece of crypto legislation that just went live on the U.S. Senate floor. In their interview this week, Anita and Lucas chat with Sriram Krishnan. Krishnan is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), which he joined after a trifecta of senior roles at Twitter, Facebook and Snap. Krishnan recently joined the crypto team at a16z, which recently debuted a new $4.5 billion crypto mega fund. We chatted about crypto controversy and opportunities in web3 social with Krishnan. Our interview was edited for length and clarity.

Subscribe to the Chain Reaction newsletter to dive deeper:

Helpful links:

The TechCrunch Live Podcast

Episode 7: Building founder/investor relationships and using grants to fund startups

Funding radical startups addressing climate change with Natel Energy and Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Libby Wayman, partner at Breakthrough Energy Ventures (Bill Gate's climate investment firm), and Gia Schneider co-founder and CEO of Natel Energy join TechCrunch's Matt Burns on this episode of TechCrunch Live. Gia Schneider brought along a pitch deck that won over investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures. As she explains during the episode, the company was far from an overnight success.

The project started in 2005 and the company was founded in 2009. Natel Energy looked to government grants in the early days as way to fund the development without dilated the company's cap table. Libby Wayman explained in detail how startups can apply for and use grants. This is a process she recommends for company's like Natel Energy.

Eventually, as Natel Energy developed its technology and business, the company sought venture capital and won over Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Hear how Natel Energy fits within Breakthrough's investment thesis and what the firm looks for when investing in companies.

TechCrunch Live records weekly on Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m. PDT.


Episode 61: Vivian Wang, Landed

Landed founder and CEO Vivian Wang is on a mission to connect blue-collar workers with high-quality job opportunities. Landed handles the hiring process from recruiting to vetting to setting up interviews and facilitating a feedback loop for the general managers to make their workplaces more desirable. They’re also improving employees' financial well-being by helping them upscale once they’ve landed the job. In the episode, Vivian talks about how COVID showed us all how essential blue-collar workers are and made apparent how underserved those workers are and how she plans to improve the experience in these jobs by helping them access pay quicker, build credit and decrease turnover.

Take our listener survey and let us know a bit about yourself and what you think of FOUND.

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Episode 526: A Twitter Bot Wrote This

The show is largely off this week, which means that we don't have our usual deluge of new startup news covered for you. But, we didn't want to leave you with nothing at all on this lovely Friday, so we went to the time machine to see what we could find.

The episode in the feed today is the same episode we put out nearly exactly one year ago today (June 11, 2021) to give some flavor and context to what was going on a now a year past. The idea was that we've spent so much time talking about how 2022 is shaping up to be different than 2021, so why not go back and show the distinction?

We hope you like our fun little experiment. The show returns to regular form Monday.

Equity drops every Monday at 7 a.m. PDT and Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. PDT, so subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all the casts

Episode 525: The early signs of startup layoffs to come

This is our Wednesday show, where we niche down to a single topic, think about a question and unpack the rest. As the team takes a break this week, we decided to replay an old yet prescient episode from earlier this week. In February, Natasha and Alex asked: What can startups learn from the rise, and now struggles, of Hopin? For companies that grew like weeds, what’s next?

Hopin was one of the first tech companies to conduct layoffs in 2022; and as we said then, while it is perhaps a very visible canary, it is hardly the only startup that rode COVID-19’s economic disruptions to new heights. Tell us how the episode aged, and if you're on team reckoning or team recorrection?

The market is changing. And while Hopin grew rapidly in 2021, a host of companies that thrived during COVID-19 are now resetting both internal, and external expectations. New year, new market.

Episode 524: Sheryl Sandberg, Substack and the art of still raising money for groceries

This was another live week from the Equity crew, meaning that the towering Mary Ann, the inimitable Natasha, and the somewhat fungible Alex were all chatting in real time, thanks to Grace and Julio having the script and tech in place to allow for it. And as we were live, we also wound up taking a little bit more time per story than usual, which was good fun.

What did we get into? A lot:

  • The end of an era: Sandberg steps down from Meta COO role.

  • Deals of the Week: Affirm ties up with Stripe, Felt raises $15 million for maps, and Astro proves that quick grocery delivery is still a thing.

  • A new fund is coming from an alum of Precursor Ventures, a firm that we have covered extensively on the podcast.

  • The latest from Substack, a startup that we nearly all use, but wonder about from a valuations perspective.

  • And we wrapped with notes from our recent spotlight on Columbus, Ohio!

Equity is mostly off next week, meaning no Monday show, and some pre-taped stuff the rest of the week. We're going to breathe and come back recharged. Hugs, and chat soon!