Scooters And Podcasts Bag $640M As Tech’s 2019 Starts Hot

Morning Markets: Quick notes on three financial events that happened in tech over the last day that caught my eye. Naturally, scooters are involved.

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Three things happened in the last 24 hours that help detail the current state of the technology market: Lime closed its long-running, nine-figure venture roundSpotify spent nine-figures buying some podcasting companies; and another podcasting shop raised nine-figures.

Each of the events is bullish. That Lime, a scooter unicorn and venture darling, managed to raise $310 million more implies that there is lots of ready money available for risky, growth-oriented bets. The $230 million Spotify deals to purchase Gimlet Media and Anchor help us understand that growing companies in yet-nascent markets (the whole podcasting industry was just $314 million in 2017) can secure big exits to the right acquirer. And the fact that Himalaya, a podcasting service that brings tipping to the game, can raise $100 million in a single go hints that optimism is still the leading emotion among technologists and their supporting financial class.

The collection of news is bullish, I think. Yet another scooter round and a triple-hit on the podcasting front all at once makes the start of 2019 feel pretty hot.

However, a lot of what we are seeing announced by startups and venture capitalists has been in the works for weeks and months. So what 2019 itself will bring is probably just starting to become clear. Do not over-index you expectations completely to the energy of the above news; the rest of the year might look different.

That said, our running count of $250 million rounds keeps growing and we haven’t even reached the mid-point of February. And there’s more: Kleiner Perkins has a new fund, and cloud stocks are back near record highs. The external signals that we chase look strong.

Top Image Credit: Li-Anne Dias.

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