You might have just missed the best time to sell your startup – TechCrunch

by Jeremy

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Happy Saturday, everyone. I do hope that you are in good spirits and good health. After realizing that the news cycle would never slow down, I am learning to nap, which has become a requirement in my life. And because my partner and I adopted a third dog who likes to get up early, please join me in making napping excellent for adults so we can all rest up for Vaccine Summer. It’s nearly here.

You might have just missed the best time to sell your startup

On work topics, I have a few things for you today, all concerning data points that matter: Q1 2021 M&A data, March VC results from Africa, and some surprising (to me, at least) podcast numbers.

On the first, Dan Primack shared a few early first-quarter data points via Refinitiv that I wanted to pass along. According to the financial data firm, global M & M&A activity hit $1.3 trillion in Q1 2021, up 93% from Q1 2020. U.S. M&A activity also reached an all-time high in the first quarter. Why do we care? Because the data helps underscore just how hot the last three months have been.

I’m expecting venture capital data itself for the quarter to be similarly impressive. Not that the venture capital world will slow, especially given that Tiger just reloaded to the tune of $6.7 billion. But as everyone is noting this week, some cracks are appearing in the IPO market as the second quarter begins, making Q2 2021 a very different beast.

On the venture capital topic, African-focused data firm Briter Bridges reports that “March alone saw over $280 million being deployed into tech companies operating across Africa,” driven partly by “Flutterwave’s whopping $170 million round at a $1 billion valuation.”

The data point matters as it marks the most active March the African continent has seen in venture capital terms since at least 2017 — and I would guess ever. African startups tend to raise more capital in the second half of the year, so the March result is not a record for a single month. But it’s bullish and helps feed our general sentiment that the first quarter’s venture capital results could be considerable.

And finally, Index Ventures’ Rex Woodbury tweeted some Edison data, namely that “80 million Americans (28% of the U.S. 12+ population) are weekly podcast listeners, +17% year-over-year.” The venture capitalist added that “62% of the U.S. 12+ population (around 176 million people) are weekly online audio listeners.”

As we discussed on Equity this week, the non-music streaming audio market is being bet on by many players in light of Clubhouse’s success as a breakout consumer social company in recent months. Undergirding the stakes by Discord and Spotify, and others are those data points. People love to listen to other humans talk. Far more than I would have imagined as a music-first person.

How nice it is to be back in a time when consumer investing is neat. B2B is great, but not everything can be enterprise SaaS. (Notably, however, it does appear that Clubhouse is struggling to hold onto its hype.)

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