Technology doesn’t have many fuller circles than this TechCrunch

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Technological innovation is a cycle, especially in a world driven by the early-stage venture capital and imitative nature of startups.

Latest evidence? Y Combinator this week announced YC Launch, a platform where people can sort accelerator startups by industry, batch, and launch date to discover new products. The popular accelerator, which has seeded the likes of Instacart, Coinbase, OpenSea, and Dropbox, invites users to vote on new startups “to help them climb the leaderboards, try out new ones.” demo the product and learn about the founding team,” it said in a blog post.

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If it sounds familiar, that’s because – in my view – Y Combinator is taking a not-so-subtle swipe at Product Hunt, a platform that’s almost a decade old synonymous with the launch of a new startup. and feature announcements.

Y Combinator doesn’t necessarily agree with this ethos: Accelerator communications Lindsay Amos told me via email that “we encourage YC founders to launch cross-platform – from YC Directory to Product Hunt to Hacker News to launching YC – to reach customers, investors and candidates. “

The overlap is not isolated. When Y Combinator does a Product Hunt, Product Hunt is creating an Andreessen Horowitz. Meanwhile, a16z is building its own Y-Combiner. Not to mention Product Hunt has capital from a16z and has previously gone through the Y Combinator accelerator.

This strategy isn’t just a slur, it’s a signal of what institutions consider important to deliver these days (and why they’re starting to borrow more than sugar, or transaction flows, from neighboring countries).

For my full coverage, read my TechCrunch+ column, “YC makes Product Hunt, Product Hunt makes a16z, a16z makes YC.”

For the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about the Confederacy, Backstage Capitals, and Africa’s fluctuating summers. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend or follow me on twitter or sign up my blog.

Trading of the week

Arena of valor! Built by a quartet of women who run the venture, Coalition is a fund meeting network trying to attract more diverse decision-makers to the cap table. The two-pronged approach of the fund and the network makes the Alliance multifaceted: Founders can look to the company for capital or the network for advice without further dilution. Ambitious investors and advisors can look to the company to start building their portfolios, and the LP can put money into an operation committed to expanding diversity across capitalization tables, known to have economic benefits.

Here’s why it’s important: Alliance co-founder Ashley Mayer, former Vice President of Communications at Glossier, explained a bit about the building philosophy behind the new company.

Mayer explains that she and her three cofounders have seen the value in taking a “portfolio approach” to a career, essentially diving into their respective executive roles. their investment while also angel investing and finally investment guide. Three of them had previously worked in the joint venture but dropped it because they missed out on operating experience. Now they’re trying to scale up a way that people can keep their day job and build more. Co-founder of the alliance and founder of Cityblock Health, Toyin Ajayi said that “as one of the few women of color to lead a venture-backed company, I feel a deep obligation to have open the door for others”.

Coalition investors (left to right): Cityblock Health co-founder Toyin Ajayi, Tribe AI co-founder Jackie Nelson, Umbrella co-founder Lindsay Ullman, Glossier Communications Director Ashley Mayer

Image credits: League

When is a layoff important? Trick question – always

This week on Equitywe talked about Behind the scenes Capital lays off most of its employees, weeks after halting any investments in new startups. According to fund founder Arlan Hamilton, the workforce cuts, which affect nine of Backstage Capital’s 12 employees, are due to a lack of capital from limited partners.

Here’s why it’s important: Backstage Capital has invested in more than 200 startups built by historically overlooked entrepreneurs, while Hamllton himself has invested in more than two dozen venture capital funds. Despite the impact, no company can escape the hardships of doing business (or thrive in an environment rife with macroeconomic and cultural barriers). Here is an excerpt from my story.

Without more support, it would be difficult to close the shop on new investments, manage more assets and bring in more follow-up investments, Hamilton said.

“Someone asked me, ‘why don’t you manage more?’, she said in the podcast. “You have to ask these LPs, you have to ask these family offices, you have to ask people who ask me, ‘how can I be helpful,’ and I say ‘invest in our funds,’ and I never heard from them again.”

one chess piece on a high green background, with one on a lower pink background.  startups and market downturns

Image credits: Jordan Lye (Opens in a new window) / Beautiful pictures

Africa charts its own path

Dominic-Madori Davis and TC’s Tage Kene-Okafor wrote a story about How the recession is playing out in Africabasically answering why we should all be monitoring the continent’s activity this summer.

Here’s why it’s important: Africa’s total venture capital isn’t too bad in the first quarter, but investors say it may just be a delay in reporting. If most of the deals are finalized before high interest rates, war and inflation, we could see a recession soon start to affect developing markets, according to experts. The story doesn’t stop there; I want to read more to see what Tiger Global has to say to us and how August is shaping up to be an important month of movement.

The arrows on the African landscape point up and down

Summer could decide this year’s fate of the African funding scene.

In Week

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Seen on TechCrunch +

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3 questions for the startup market as we head into Q3

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What is a valuable fintech these days?

Until next time,


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