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Every startup is a bank — or wants to be

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Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week we did something just a little bit new. Kate was in studio at TechCrunch’s SF HQ. Alex was in his dork cave in Providence. And we had a guest in the studio as well. We’ve done similar setups before, but never with video all around. So, welcome to a slightly new chapter in Equity’s production history (all praise to Chris for making it work, video will be out today on TechCrunch’s YouTube page).

Our guest this week was the excellent Sarah Smith from Bain Capital Ventures. Before she turned to writing checks, Smith worked for both Quora and Facebook. Her fun fact? She’s an avid and competitive player of board games.

First up we dug into one of Kate’s latest, a piece looking at the influencer space, venture investments into it and what’s next for the power of the Instagram-famous. She highlights startups like Influence, Cameo, Karat and more.

Next up, Deserve raised $50 million from Goldman Sachs, making the round something that was worth touching on. Later, Alex spoke with the company’s CEO and picked up more context, but what matters for today is that Deserve is doubling-down on its credit card fintech service, not doing what other companies that handle money are up to — namely, trying to become neobanks at high speed.

Speaking of which, why is every fintech or finservices startup becoming a bank? Partially because they can, partially because it can be lucrative and partially because, we found out, it’s a way to juice customers that they’ve already paid to acquire. Want to make your CAC expenses look more efficient? Stretch out that LTV!

And then we spent a minute on Uber’s results, which proved better than expected but wound up being poorly received.

Glad you guys came back for another episode, we’ll see you soon.

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

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Donald Trump allowed back on Instagram and Facebook, Meta announces

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Donald Trump allowed back on Instagram and Facebook, Meta announces

Donald Trump will be allowed back on Facebook and Instagram, as parent company Meta announced it would be ending its two-year suspension of his accounts. His suspension will end “in the coming weeks”, the social media company confirmed, with Sir Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, saying the public “should be able to hear what their politicians are saying”. Sir Nick added that the company will add “new guardrails” to Mr Trump’s account “to deter repeat offences” just over two years after he used social media to incite an attack on the US Capitol. Sign up for our newsletters.

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Federal court sides against Ohio man fired for police shooting joke

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Fox News Flash top headlines for January 25

A federal appeals court has upheld the firing of an emergency medical services captain who was dismissed over Facebook posts about Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy who was fatally shot by a white police officer.

TAMIR RICE SHOOTING: OFFICER TIMOTHY LOEHMANN RESIGNS FROM PENNSYLVANIA POLICE DEPARTMENT AFTER FAMILY OUTCRY

A federal appeals court ruled against an EMS worker from Cleveland whose employment was terminated for jokes made online about the police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
(Fox News)

Jamie Marquardt argued that the social media posts were protected free speech and that Cleveland violated his rights by firing him in 2016. He has maintained that the posts were added to his Facebook account by someone else. Marquardt later deleted the posts. In one post, Marquardt said that he was glad Tamir Rice was dead.

NEW YORK SUPREME COURT REINSTATES ALL EMPLOYEES FIRED FOR BEING UNVACCINATED, ORDERS BACKPAY

In their ruling issued Wednesday, the three-judge appellate court acknowledged the many freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees but also noted that “in this unique circumstance, defendants had an overriding interest in preserving the public’s trust in Cleveland EMS’s capacity to serve the public.” On that basis, the panel found the lower court was correct to grant summary judgment to the city and its EMS commissioner.

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Rice was playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center in 2014 when a policeman who thought the weapon was real shot and killed him.

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Donald Trump can return to Facebook after two-year suspension

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Former president Donald Trump speaking at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on Nov. 15, announcing a third White House run.



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