Could Reddit’s upcoming IPO reward its power users? | Equity Podcast

This episode is sponsored by Morgan Stanley atw work visit Assessment to get your free transaction Readiness assessment [Music] Today hello and welcome back to equity At the Tech runch podcast where we Unpack the numbers and the Nuance behind The headlines this is Alex good morning Today is February 21st 2024 and Welcome to our Wednesday show Where we dig into critical startup and Venture Capital stories from the week Thus far now if you were with us Yesterday you're probably asking hey It's a holiday week has enough stuff Actually happened to Warrant another Show and the answer is yes quite a lot Has happened and we are going to talk About it on the show today we have ai in Language learning a neat startup that Wants to automate due diligence Reddit IPO news and then two new Venture funds For your notebook let's Go first on the docket for the startup Category we have a company called Lura That's l o o r a why is it in the news Well the company announced today that it Just closed a 12 million series a Laura Whose namesake is the Arabic word for Language offers Learners several AI Generated conversation subjects and Scenarios think Sports Tech business Fashion books TV that sort of thing its

Round was led by QP Ventures bringing The company's total raised Capital that We know of to about 21.25 million the thesis behind Companies like Laura is that they think That AI can do at scale what language Teachers can't Laura itself leans on Conversational AI to teach students and It has built an IOS app that allows People to talk to an AI chatbot that Then gives them feedback on their English comprehension according to one Of the company co-founders Roy Moore the Idea for Laura came with their own Frustration from learning language and They think that learning language apps Today are geared towards beginner or Casual Learners and folks who want a Human tutor to get better are a little Bit expensive so they want to split the Difference and make a tool that is cheap And available okay I really get that and I think it's really cool at the same Time I do wonder if we all learn to Speak from digital robots are we going To be as good at talking to one another I don't know I mean it's cool when Humans Converse because that's how Language kind of came to be on the other Hand human tutors are costly and if you Want to have better language skills and There's a way to use AI to help more People learn more quickly at a lower Price point I I I really just can't

Complain about that I mean sure I am as Bummed as anyone that du lingo recently Cut its contractor force and replaced Some of those folks with AI translators But I also think that when you weigh the Near-term costs and the long-term Benefits the tradeoffs here are pretty Clear-cut and I think products like Laura are indicative of what we should Expect to see more of in the future from Other companies as Well the next startup I have on our list I believe we talked about back when it Was at YC but now we have more and this Company is Dilly it's a platform that Attempts to automate key investment due Diligence and portfolio management steps For private equity and Venture firms Using unsurprisingly AI it just put Together $3.6 million funding round from Alliance strategic Investments Rebel Fund Singularity capital and others now There are obvious risks to using AI to Do work that is designed to far it out Potentially negative information that Some folks want covered up but there are Also risks to having humans do the same Look at the historical record human due Diligence has occasionally missed Important things in big deals but I Suspect that many tasks in the diligence Work world are wrote and not that Creative so using AI or machine Intelligence more generally just makes

Good sense and Dilly isn't the only dog Barking up this particular tree Gardner Predicts that by 2025 more than three4 Of VC and early stage investor executive Reviews will be informed by Ai and data Analytics expect to see more of this Rather soon but Dilly claims to have Built some pretty neat Tech to help its Business stand out from other efforts And I would say avoid being commoditized Dilly co-founder Stephanie song told Techren that her company has and I quote Built custom indexing and retrieval Pipelines tuned for specific documents To provide its models with high quality Context why does that matter well it Means that Dilly can rip data out of Unstructured documents which is pretty Cool and does delete tasks for humans The proofer will be in the revenue Pudding but I appreciate what Dilly is Doing and the small joke that its name Contains is your company planning to go Public or conduct a a shareholder Liquidity program within the next 18 to 24 months did you know that proactively Planning for your next private company Liquidity event or IPO can help you Maintain greater control over timelines And outcomes Morgan Stanley at work Believes that when you have the right Technology and systems in place working In harmony leading up to a transaction You can prepare and execute with more

Accuracy and ease visit Assessment to connect with their issuer Strategy and Excellence team for free Assessment to find out if your company Is transaction ready again that's Assessment to get your free assessment Today up at the top I promised you Reddit IPO news and I am here to deliver The Wall Street Journal reports that Reddit intends to reserve a chunk of Shares in its upcoming IPO for 75,000 of Its most active users okay a couple of Things here first the fact that this Sort of story is coming out is Indication that Reddit really is making Progress towards going public no BS this Time it will probably do it I'm going to Say an 80% chance essentially this is a Smoke and fire situation if we're seeing Stories come out about the Reddit IPO Process it means the Reddit IPO process Is actually moving forward second that We're not done seeing bits of innovation In the IPO process after the SP meltdown You might think that innovation in the Act of going public is a bad idea but What tech companies often have that Their peers might outside of the Industry are dedicated to users who make For good if non-traditional IPO Investors so let's let Reddit run this Experiment before we judge it it may be

That core users of a service are even Better initial public shareholders than Institutions conventional wisdom says no No they're not but then again who cares What conventional wisdom says we are Expecting a Reddit S1 in March which is Just around the corner and no I am not Jumping up and down in my chair Demanding that March get here Sooner before we talk Venture Capital News I have one more note on a startup For you and it's a company called bi Optimus it's like bio and Optimus smush Together with one o and Tech runch Writes that it wants to apply everything We've collectively learned about AI Models over the past few years with a Narrow exclusive focus on biology the Company just raised $35 million and is a Spend out from a company called alen but It wants to build foundational AI models For biology I just have to say that Sounds awesome what a great place to Apply new technology so that we can Better understand how we live and how we Can live better I dig [Music] It before I send you off onto your Workday I have two Venture Capital Stories for you and the first one is About food Tech now we have seen Venture Capital flows into food Tech investment Slow along with the overall Venture Capital industry but blue Stein Ventures

Is not letting that fact slow it down The Chicago based early stage Venture Capital firm closed on 45 million in Capital commits for its fund three so You know that I love this because it's Early stage it's Chicago and I love to Eat now founded back in 2014 BL Stein Ventures is actually a bit of a family Affair it's co-managed by Andrew blin And the BL Stein family office anchored Its first couple of funds what's notable About this third fund is that it Includes external capit capit as well And to close us out partek has closed Its second Africa fund named partek Africa 2 it's a 280 million euro vehicle Or just over $300 million and this news Comes just one year after it reached its First close Tech reports that at its Size partek Africa is the largest Venture Capital fund dedicated to African startups and it actually raised More than it had originally hoped for it Had targeted €230 million euro so ended Up 50 million EUR to the good and it's Good that it raised more because Africa Needs the capital it has seen a notable Decline in Venture Capital activity Since the 2021 era startup Boom the good News is that partek Africa intends to Back over 20 companies with initial Investments ranging from1 million to $15 Million and that is our show for this Ever so lovely Wednesday morning if you

Need even more from your friends here at Equity well we are Equity pod over on x And threads and even Tech runch pods Over on Tik Tok my name is Alex I'm Alex Over on X we have two sister shows of Course chain reaction and found give him A listen we're back on Friday I'll talk To you then Bye Equity is hosted by myself Alex Wilhelm and Tech wrench senior reporter Mary an aeto we are produced by Teresa Loans solo with editing by Kell Bryce Durban is our illustrator and a big Thank you to the audience development Team and Henry cette who manages Tech Rench audio products thank you so much For listening and we'll talk to you next Time


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