SoftBank’s debt, Ford buys Spin, and Chinese coffee is huge money

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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 was a blast. Connie and I were in the studio with our guest, True Ventures’s Tony Conrad, while Danny repped the other side of the country, dialing in from New York.

It was another week shaped by news from Asia. Once we had sorted the sartorially expedient, we first turned to the world of SoftBank, this time taking a close look at its debt load. While SoftBank is currently famous for its investments through its Vision Fund, the company is picking up some notable, debt-powered investments into its vehicle that could add to its risk profile.

After all, who doesn’t want more risk as 2018 comes to a close?

Moving on, Ford is doubling-down on its wager that mobility means more than cars, this time picking up Spin for some sum of money between $40 and $100 million, with most figures coming in a bit light from the nine-figure range.

We care as it’s a fresh turn in the scooter skirmish, not to mention the greater micromobility wars. Bird and Lime have a new competitor that has, possibly, super-deep pockets.

Next, we took a peek at Luckin Coffe’s meteoric rise. This is where our guest selection really showed off; Conrad is a former investor in Blue Bottle, making him a functional caffeine expert. We dug through margins, growth, and why venture players are interested in Luckin at all.

And finally, a look at how recently-public companies are selling more shares after their initial debut. So, when it comes to money on the table, don’t fret it too much.

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



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