Dear Founders, Back to the Office is a Digital Game • TechCrunch

Welcome to Startups Weekly, this week’s newsletter detailing startup news and trends by Senior Correspondent and Equity co-host Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe This.

At the end of 2022, several entrepreneurs, some citing Elon Musk, told me they would bring back a face-to-face culture next year to help drive productivity and in some cases loyalty. . One founder even told me when going out for their favorite drinks and snacks that they don’t worry about losing talent – because people who leave just because of a direct assignment aren’t really motivated. driven by the mission from the start.

While some founders clearly want a comeback, others are confused. There is an argument – sometimes from venture capitalists eager to see companies invest successfully – that meeting face-to-face will increase productivity and ultimately profits. And there’s also the counter-argument that remote work allows for more inclusive and expansive hiring, which could also help with the bottom line.

And if 2023 isn’t the year of the bottom line, I don’t know what else it could be. Kruze Consulting, an accounting firm for startups, has tapped the finances of more than 750 companies, including up to $300 million in quarterly revenue and over $750 million in quarterly spending. I spoke with Healy Jones, who runs financial planning and analytics for Kruze Consulting, about his findings — and he thinks the results bring balance to the debate.

To read more about his findings, read my TC+ column “Data hints at value of startup offices.” For the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about buzzy ventures, Salesforce subsidiaries, and Artifact. As always, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram.


On paper, Venture funding seems to be back. A flurry of new funds gives me and more importantly, the founders the feeling that VCs are back up and running and ready to write lots of checks. But one could argue that the new venture fund announcement date, like the phrase “oversubscribed,” doesn’t mean much in practice.

Here’s why this is important: There are many reasons why all dry powder is not jerky like we can hope. While new fund announcements are certainly exciting, the fund may already be partially invested and investors need to raise funds before writing those checks. Signals to watch are less about new money entering the venture space and more about Why this venture capital firm is announcing their funds now, than in the past, vs. after that? What is the argument to show that you are playing offensive right now? I imagine it’s more complicated than “business as usual”.

Image credits: Getty Images/dane_mark/DigitalVision

Sales force, sales fund

Firsthand Alliance, led by individual investor Simon Chan, is a venture firm looking to capitalize on Salesforce. Here’s how: The company closed its first $25 million investment vehicle, raised investments from 21 founders that were acquired by Salesforce, while Chan built the company on his own. According to him is the foundation of Einstein, Salesforce’s all-enterprise AI initiative.

With the support of alumni and mentors, the company hopes it can help early-stage startups get more support and, of course, new funding.

Here’s why it’s important: Mafia funds can be proprietary, both in which LPs are invited to participate and which companies sponsor them. In a statement to TechCrunch, Chan said the scope of the company’s investment “goes well beyond the Salesforce app ecosystem,” and that founders don’t need to be Salesforce alumni to be considered. Currently, 35% of the Firsthand Alliance portfolio is founded or co-founded by women and 50% of the portfolio is co-founded or co-founded by people of color.

Impression. And, well, interesting review time both layoffs and stress seep out of motherhood as we talk. Maybe now is the time to take advantage changes happen on the old stomping basis?

Cartoon of flying hounds outside Salesforce Tower.

Image credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch


There’s nothing like a good return story to follow, right? Instagram Co-Founders is back with a new social app, seeking to make news consumption easier and smarter. The startup, Artifact, is taking on people on the waiting list as we speak.

Here’s why it’s important: Artifact is eyeing a controversial business as it involves news consumption, control, algorithms and ease of consumer persuasion. If you are raising your eyebrows at all the potential problems that can arise from this company, you are not alone. We talk about news and why we still hope in Equity.

Et cetera.

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This has been one of those weeks filled with lively conversations with entrepreneurs, both seasoned and new, who remind me what an ambitious tech world is all about. Even with the hurdles that technicians face from every angle, it’s exciting to see how the hope of an idea can go further than it actually is.

On that serious note, always,


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