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I noticed that the long-awaited correction in the valuations of private tech startups and fundraising expectations had a web3-sized asterisk next to it.
While many funds are reverting to a more conservative check-writing approach with a focus on returns and business fundamentals, cryptocurrency remains an attractive area for dedicated multi-billion dollar funds and investment funds. Investment terms remind us of 2021 rather than 2022.
So is it hype, the promise of innovation in crypto, or a bit of both? Venture capitalists and founders in all stages of fundraising have talked about current investment strategies when it comes to investing in this group of startups. Contrasting strategies depend on technical differences in the cap table, the culture of the communities in which many companies in this sector are built, and of course, the non-crypto world fear of being missed out. . As Jenny Lefcourt of Freestyle told me, “Web2 has a memo about pricing down, web3 doesn’t.”
For full coverage on the topic, check out my latest TechCrunch+ column with our new crypto reporter Jacquelyn Melinek: Cryptocurrencies are changing the investment landscape for even the most disciplined VCs.
For the rest of this newsletter, we’ll take a look at a digitally reproductive company, the closure of Fast, and the doom of Better, and our recent Austin City Spotlight. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend, follow me on twitter or Subscribe to my personal blog.
Trading of the week
Conceive is a digital birth program that takes a page from CEO Lauren Berson’s personal and professional book. Years ago, Andreessen Horowitz’s former partner dropped her investment deal to join Weight Watchers. Before long, she found, there was a “beautiful, palpable, ongoing experience” of people supporting each other as they went through times of vulnerability together. Meanwhile, she’s been struggling to have a child with her partner – a lonely few years full of questions, loss, and bewilderment.
Here’s why it’s important: Conceive offers an eight-week “trying to conceive” program that pairs users with other families on a similar journey, whether it’s a first or sixth IVF experience. Cohort-based learning then comes first with asynchronous trainers and curriculum.
What struck me most was that this company would only be successful if it worked: Berson explained that she purposely started with a direct route to consumers because she didn’t want to just serve people who ” Lucky enough to work with an employer who” offers fertility benefits.
One man’s fast is better than another’s
Well, we’ve summed it up: The fintech world rocked this week with the news that Fast, a fast one-click payment platform, shutting down. The company cited slow growth, high burn rates and an inability to raise more money as the reasons for the company’s downfall. Affirm issues the majority of engineer job offers along with the shutdownbut make it clear that they want talent (not technology).
Here’s why it’s important: As we talked about Equity this week, Failure can feel like a “Your Own Adventure” in the startup world. The important lesson I want you to listen to is that there are often dozens of factors that go into the success or failure of a startup. Theranos and WeWork played a role in understanding fraud at its peak, but pivots and layoffs also give important signals about how founders respond to stress.
Failure is complicated
Austin doesn’t compete with Miami, relax
This week, TechCrunch traveled to Austin, Texas to check out our latest City Spotlight. But nothing primitive or fundamental that we unearthed. The city is one solid technology center, full of unicorns, tech giants and absolutely no shame when compared to Silicon Valley. Hey hey.
Here’s why it’s important via Mary Ann Azevedo: “Austin is not an overnight success. For many years it was known primarily for its software scene – in addition to being the live music capital of the world. But today, new fields are developing including crypto/web3, real estate technology, CPG and insurance technology. As in other emerging markets, companies that have been successful in the past are now spawning a new generation of entrepreneurs as well as attracting others from a variety of locations.”
Keep it weird:
- So, are we hanging out next week? TechCrunch Early Stage 2022 is April 14, aka close, and it’s in San Francisco. Join us for a day-long founders summit with teachers Terri Burns, Greylock’s Glen Evans, and Felicis’ Aydin Sekut. The top team of contributors is looking to get in touch directly, so don’t be surprised if the dashboard is a bit worse than usual. Here is the full agendaand Get your launch ticket here.
- Follow our new senior crypto reporter, Jacquelyn Melinek and our new senior corporate reporter, Kyle Wiggers!
- Finally, if you missed Last Week’s Start of Last WeekRead it here: “What the 411 YC Demo Day pitches will teach you about entrepreneurship.”
Seen on TechCrunch
Seen on TechCrunch +
Until next time,