Good morning friends, and welcome back to TechCrunch’s Equity Monday, a short-form audio hit to kickstart your week.
If you missed Friday’s main episode, it was a fun one so take the time if you have the minutes; we’re settling into a new hosting lineup that is shaping up to be our best ever, so we’re having a blast even if we have to record remotely instead of in the same room.
This morning was a bit of a mixed bag. The world is still in pretty bad shape as societies and governments work to combat COVID-19 and the private and public markets convulse. But there was still news to be found, so we hit on a few key news items, including: The return of HQ Trivia at a perfect time, Microsoft’s booming cloud services demand and the return of tech layoffs.
Not all news was bad, however, as we looked at three early-stage funding events and three seed rounds from Indo, Kaizo, and Lanistar.
Looking ahead left us little joy other than to note that it is very nearly earnings season; Q1 2020 business results should prove to be the most interesting in memory given how much the world changed during the three-month period. Regardless of whether or not you care about the financial side of business or not, it’s going to be a wild ride.
Wrapping today, unicorn layoffs are back in a big way. Bird, TripActions, ZipRecruiter, and others are cutting staff in big chunks. A lot of folks hired to help companies scale look pretty expensive when growth turns negative; layoffs suck and a struggling economy is crap for everyone, but the business cycle is real, so it’s not a huge shock to find ourselves here today. We’re going to cover the cuts, but only with a grimace and good thoughts for the laid off.
And that’s it for this week. Other than that the new Trivium single is epic, we’re out of here.