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I noticed that the long-awaited new correction of private tech start-up valuations and fundraising expectations has a web3-sized asterisk next to it.
While many funds are returning to more conservative check writing, with a focus on profitability and business fundamentals, crypto remains a sector in the spotlight attracting multi-billion dollar dedicated funds and investment terms. that remind us more of 2021 than 2022.
So is it hype, the promise of crypto innovation, or a bit of both? Venture capitalists and founders at all stages of fundraising spoke about current investment strategies when it comes to investing in this cohort of startups. The contrasting strategies come down to technical differences in cap tables, the culture of the communities many companies in this space are built upon, and of course, the non-crypto world’s fear of missing out. As Freestyle’s Jenny Lefcourt tells me, “Web2 got the memo about falling ratings, and web3 didn’t.”
For my full take on this topic, check out my latest TechCrunch+ column with our new cryptocurrency reporter Jacquelyn Melinek: Cryptocurrencies are altering the investment landscape for even the most disciplined venture capitalists.
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll look at a digital fertility company, the closure of Fast and the downfall of Better, and our recent Austin City Spotlight. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend, following me on twitter or by subscribing to my personal blog.
deal of the week
Conceive is a digital fertility program that takes a page from CEO Lauren Berson’s professional and personal playbook. Years ago, the former partner at Andreessen Horowitz left her investment job to join Weight Watchers. She soon realized that there was a “beautiful, palpable, ongoing experience” of people supporting each other as they collectively went through a vulnerable time. Meanwhile, she was struggling to have a child with her partner: a few lonely years filled with questions, loss, and confusion.
Here’s why it’s important: Conceive offers an eight-week “trying to conceive” program that matches users with other families on similar journeys, whether experiencing IVF for the first time or for the sixth time. Cohort-based learning is then completed with coaches and asynchronous curriculum.
What impressed me most is that this company will only be successful if it works: Berson explained that he is intentionally starting with the direct-to-consumer route because he didn’t want to just serve people who were “lucky enough to work with an employer.” who” offered fertility benefits.
One man’s fast is better for another
Well, we kidded you: The fintech world was rocked this week by the news that Fast, a fast one-click payment platform, is shutting down. The company cited slow growth, high burning, and an inability to raise more money as the reasons for its demise. Affirm offered the vast majority of engineering job openings along with the closing, but made it clear that they wanted the talent (not the technology).
Here’s why it’s important: As we discussed in Equity this week, failure can feel like “Choose your own adventure” in the world of startups. The important takeaway from the episode, which I urge you to listen to, is that there are often dozens of factors that go into a startup’s failure. Theranos and WeWork play a role in understanding fraud at its peak, but pivots and layoffs also provide important signals about how founders are responding to the strain.
failure is complex
Austin does not compete with Miami, relax
This week, TechCrunch traveled to Austin, Texas for our latest City Spotlight. But there was nothing nascent or basic that we discovered. The city is a solid tech hub, full of unicorns, tech giants, and absolutely no inferiority complexes when it comes to Silicon Valley comparisons. heh
Here’s why it matters Via Mary Ann Azevedo: “Austin was not an overnight success. For years, it was known primarily for its software scene, as well as being the live music capital of the world. But today, new growth sectors include crypto/web3, real estate technology, CPG, and insurance technology. As in other mature markets, companies that have been successful in the past are now spawning a new generation of entrepreneurs and attracting others from various places.”
Keeping it weird:
- So, are we going out next week? TechCrunch Early Stage 2022 is April 14, aka right around the corner, and it’s in San Francisco. Join us for a one day founders summit with Terri Burns from GV, Glen Evans from Greylock and Aydin Sekut from Felicis. The TC crew has been itching to get back in person, so don’t be surprised if the panels are a bit racier than usual. Here’s the full agenda, and get your launch tickets here.
- Follow our new senior crypto reporter, jacquelyn melinek and our new senior business reporter, kyle wigs!
- Finally, if you missed last week’s Startups WeeklyRead it here: “What 411 YC Demo Day Launches Will Teach You About Startups.”
Spotted on TechCrunch
Tech Workers Describe Arrests, Interrogations As They Flee Russia
Flutterwave responds when the CEO is put on the spot for alleged harassment by a former employee.
Stop trying to raise a debut venture fund – opt for the SPV instead
Musk takes a $3B bite out of Twitter; Tesla tycoon has 9.2% share in the social network
I know how the world ends, and it’s with a Twitter edit button.
Spotted on TechCrunch+
3 Views: Elon’s Flight of Fantasy on Twitter
Why a 35-year-old travel IT company decided to reduce its technical debt
The global venture capital market slowed in the first quarter, but not as much as you might expect
Latch parts ways with CFO after rocky SPAC debut
What Binance’s Bailout of Axie Infinity Means for the Future of Crypto
Until next time,