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It’s sometimes hard to remember that as the founder of a startup, you have influence over certain aspects of your business that you wouldn’t have if you were a cog in a giant machine somewhere. At one of my former companies, we went out of our way to ensure that our packaging was completely biodegradable, while still being a lot of fun. In another, we ensured that all use of our servers was carbon offset. In a third, we had regular stand-ups and brainstorming to figure out how we could have less of an impact on our planet.
All this to say: as a startup founder, you have a great luxury. You are master of your destiny, and your passions and interests become those of your startup. The reverse is also true: if you don’t care about climate change, diversity or equality, your company as a whole is much less likely to make these topics a priority.
This is particularly reflected in the fact that, even if you have the money to spend, it is very difficult to find truly high quality products that will last a lifetime. Sam Vimes’ “boots” theory of socio-economic injustice, often referred to simply as the “boots theory” popularized by Terry Pratchett in the Discworld series, bears witness to this. And in my column of the week, All products are waste, and for good reason, I continue the philosophical meander to see how this could also apply to startups.
Incidentally, the fact that Connie’s promotion was won by Axios caused some nervous laughter in TechCrunch’s newsroom, but I respect a good scoop and so I reluctantly link it to our nemesis’ coverage of our leadership change. Of course, we’ve also written some ourselves: Panzer’s decade-long retrospective in TechCrunch’s Big Chair and Connie’s cigar-puffing reception of the proverbial editorial stick.
Mergers and acquisitions are a crucial part of the startup ecosystem: acquisitions are one of two ways (the other being an IPO) by which startups can obtain a liquidity event, or “exit.” , as they are often called. It’s pretty rare for a startup to go on a shopping spree between 80 moms and dads, but that’s the phenomenon our new editor, Connie, sniffed out this week.
Speaking of IPOs, we have our first big tech IPO of the year, and Alex and Mary Ann dug into Instacart’s S-1 doc to see what they could learn. (TC+)
The other big recent public listing was Better.com, which went public via a SPAC. It didn’t go too well and the stock plunged dramatically.
Big tours in difficulty: Anna and Alex looked at the new valuation standards and explored just how much the late-stage market is set to contract this year. In summary: the development-stage venture capital market is collapsing, but maybe that’s not a big deal?
Industry-scale angel investing: Hustle Fund has been around for a hot minute; it is redoubling its efforts on its mission to build the “YC of angel investing”.
Prepare for battle: Disrupt is fast approaching, and this week Neesha finally revealed the Battlefield 200 startups that will be exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023.
Let’s talk about fundraising
Raising funds is an ongoing challenge for startups, and it’s one of the topics I spend almost all my time on. This week we have seen a significant increase in interest in fundraising articles. So many startups may be gearing up for the fundraising season that kicks off immediately after Labor Day. So what’s going on? I took a look at 5 trends in venture capital funding for pre-seed startups.
One of the most read articles on TC+ this week was mine: never express your “use of funds” slide as percentages. This is one of the things to keep in mind when trying to explain what you are going to do with that cool money you are collecting. The “Use of Funds” slide is the part of the story that almost all founders get wrong. The other thing founders miss is seeing fundraising as a way to unlock the trail. That’s true, but honestly, no one gives a fuck about your track: if you can achieve your goals in eight to nine months instead of 18, that’s fine. If you need two years to reach your goals, that’s fine too (provided you don’t run out of money along the way). In a nutshell: it’s all about milestones.
By the way, if you’re on the fundraising path, TechCrunch has an incredible, step-by-step guide to almost every aspect of building a deck and pitching it to investors. You need a TC+ subscription, but honestly, that’s the best $99 you’ll ever spend. Hell, even though I write for TC+ and I could probably get a free subscription, I pay for mine, that’s how much I love it.
Here are some other nuggets to take with you on the fundraising journey:
Order matters: But there is no standard order for your slides. Here’s how to prioritize and think about the right order of slides to your history.
Nail your marketing story: Founders, “we haven’t spent a dime on marketing” isn’t the bragging you think.
Think about your last impression: First impressions count, but it’s good to remember that you also have the option of leaving a parting gift. Make it count.
The material returns to the front of the stage
If you’re the type of person who marks their calendar for the announcement of the new iPhone, it’s September 12: the iPhone 15 will arrive in your pockets near you in just a few weeks. Maybe we will Finally also get USB-C charging, after it was left out of the iPhone 14 spec, much to my eternal regret. Pixel fans should wait about three more weeks: Google’s Pixel 8 event is scheduled for October 4.
Audeze makes high-end gaming and audio production headsets, and it seems Sony’s PlayStation division has taken notice: Sony is buying Audeze, the company confirmed to Brian this week. Sony is also making news as it has finally made the $200 PlayStation Portal handheld official, after a few false starts.
Of course you can open our gadgets: Brian reports that Apple supports California’s Right to Repair Bill, writing a letter to California State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman, in which she writes, “Apple supports California’s Right to Repair Act. right to repair so that all Californians have even greater access to repairs while protecting their safety. , and privacy.
Welcome to retirement: meet your robot companion: ElliQ is a home office robot designed to serve as a kind of robotic companion for elderly users. The company behind the friendly-looking sidekick just raised another $25 million.
Walmart succeeds where Amazon fails: Amazon continues to stumble with its drone delivery attempts, so there’s no doubt that Walmart is smugly doing a little victory dance by adding Wing drone deliveries to select supermarkets this year.
Top 3 reads on TechCrunch this week
Another Indian unicorn: Manish reports that Zepto will become India’s first unicorn in 2023 with new funding of $200 million.
Moar Face hugging dollars: Believe me, this title is weird for everyone. Nonetheless, Hugging Face is raising $235 million from investors including Salesforce and Nvidia.
Set your alarm, we’re going on a trip: Flight prices fluctuate throughout the day and week, and Google Flights will now tell you when the cheapest time to book is.
Grab your pass for TC Disrupt 2023
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