You’re not special (I swear, there’s a kickstart here) – TechCrunch
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For longtime readers of Startups Weekly, you will remember that edtech used to be my main pulse. Like, one beat a day. Most of my coverage is focused on the rise of edtech in the first rounds of the pandemic, crazy unicorn and even some IPOs. Duolingo continues to be the company I know best, mainly because I have written thousands of words about the savvy owl and its wild founding story.
While I’m more focused on fintech these days, I’m still curious if edtech is still a big deal or if the sector – like most during a recession – is having to reset. This week, I interviewed seven top venture capitalists who focus on educational technology to gain insight into how the sector is evolving during a downturn.
Big lesson? Edtech is facing a reality check in the form of disciplinary action. Investors explain that the entire startup ecosystem is slower this year; edtech is no different. If anything, as USV’s Rebecca Kaden put it, “The boom in the portfolio over the past few years has meant that most of our education-focused portfolio is fairly well funded. [ … ] rounds will be more opportunistic than unnecessary, and most are focused on building their businesses over the next few years. “
As Kaden describes it, it’s time to focus and luckily edtech has the capital to do it. It made me think for a moment about the advice my friends often give to our group of friends: We’re not that special, and that’s a good thing. He meant it in the kindest way, and the lesson there is that feelings of change, stress, or anxiety aren’t as profound as we think when we first feel them. What we’re experiencing is shared by others in their 20s, or, well, other areas in startup land right now. All that matters is that if you’ve invested in yourself long enough before the spotlight comes on and when the lights go out, you’re still there. Just be quieter and maybe focus a little more behind the scenes.
Anyway, for the full survey, read my TechCrunch+ section: “7 investors discuss why edtech startups must go back to basics to survive.” You can also see my attached analysis, “Edtech isn’t special anymore, and that’s a good thing.”
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll learn about a closed Haus door, the SoftBank execution fund, and a pitch you don’t want to miss. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend or follow me on twitter
Bring Haus down
I wrote about Haus, a popular VC-backed aperitif company is for sale amid the collapse of Series A. CEO and co-founder Helena Price Hambrecht spoke to TechCrunch about what went down between the company and its potential investors, the reasoning they got behind the deal, and what’s next. .
Here’s what’s important: I have never seen an entrepreneur so transparent about the challenges and unfortunate outcomes that occur in startups. Here is an excerpt from my interview with her.
“It is always dangerous to have little cash. We went there, and unfortunately, but I know there are a lot of companies that are in this position right now,” Hambrecht said. “I have been sharing my work online for over 20 years now. It’s definitely something in my DNA. If I share this process helpful to another founder who is in a pinch and is weighing their options, all of this would be worth a little more. “
As for what’s next for the entrepreneur, a veteran of branding in Silicon Valley, there are no immediate plans to jump into a new startup.
“My goal, right now, is to be as helpful as possible to make this ABC process the best possible outcome. Then it will take me a while to process the last four years; it is so extraordinary, as well as brutal and painful; I’ll take a break and handle that.”
So, when will SoftBank Execution Fund III drop?
This week on Equity, your favorite trio digs into the numbers and nuances behind the headlines. It means SoftBank, Coinbase and transactions from ByteDance, Haus, and Axios.
Here’s why it’s important: Part of the conversation revolved around SoftBank’s losses, which is really the highlight of the show. Do we see a buyback arc forming for one of the biggest, loudest investors of the past few years? And what does Tiger Global think? Lots of questions, and it was a pleasure to have Mary Ann and Alex answered.
Pitch Deck Teardown: Five Flute’s pre-seed deck $1.2 million
TC’s Haje Jan Kamps is back with another pitch, this time looking at deck helped Five Flute raise $1.2 million in seed round.
Here’s why it’s important: If you haven’t followed this series, you – and I mean this in the best way – are missing out. Haje slides slide by slide, and in this case, taught me a lot about why more can be more about deck length and why the “word chockablock” is a top mistake that creators make. acquired acquired. Read the story here and invite Haje for the series if you dare.
If you missed last week’s newsletter
Read it here: “Founder Venture Capital: Rejection for What?” We also have an accompanying podcast, which you can listen to here: “Founders, whales and seas change in entrepreneurial energy.”
Seen on TechCrunch
Coinbase earnings fall short of expectations as crypto winter hits
Finix raises $30 million as fintech catches their attention
Mark Cuban, Mavericks take a dip in hot water on board Voyager ‘Ponzi Scheme’
Cloud security startup Wiz hits $100M ARR in just 18 months
Seen on TechCrunch +
The best cloud unicorns aren’t as overpriced as you think
Some candid advice for open source startups looking for product-market fit
How digital health startups are navigating the post-Roe regulatory landscape
Same time, same place, next week? Speak early,