Startups Weekly - Tech forgot its umbrella

TechCrunch Newsletter
TechCrunch logo
Startups Weekly logo

By Natasha Mascarenhas

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced take on this week’s startup news and trends by Senior Reporter and Equity co-host Natasha Mascarenhas.

 image

Image Credits: Food Photographer / Getty Images

You know what I mean?

Here’s what I’m dancing, or, erm, writing, around. It feels like the macroeconomic environment has been reasonably volatile for the past year; and we’re still seeing entrepreneurs react to the market as if it just happened to knock on their door, trip them over and proceed to steal all their belongings. I’m not saying that founders and investors should have perfectly predicted what Q1 of this year should look like; I’m just wondering how long we’re going to get “the economy” as a catalyst for hard decisions.

What finally gets a CEO to step down? What finally gets a company to conduct its third round of layoffs? Is it the economy, or is it a uniquely human decision that comes just months after you were told to grow at all costs? When we’re talking about pivots and layoffs, I think it’s important to talk about the realities of shifting to deal with the new normal. Abstractions such as the economy just fall flat now that it’s been more than a few months since the markets have been grey.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, you can probably leave your house during a drizzle and end up at the grocery store just a little damp. If you forget your umbrella during a downpour, well, now you’re soaking wet and no one feels that bad for you. Don’t forget them, and better yet, sport them proudly.

Can you tell it’s been raining on the East Coast? Follow me on Twitter or Instagram for other subpar metaphors and thoughts. In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about a fresh new venture fund that isn’t afraid to talk about privilege or honesty,

Start & Launch Your White Label Global IPTV-OTT Tv Network

Sponsored by Phone System Global

IPTV-OTT is the future of Tv Technology where Tv could be watched at any time, anywhere and on any device. It is time you start your own white label IPTV-OTT Tv network, acquire subscribers by providing top-notch Tv services and net steady ROI!

Sign Up Now

G on G

I spoke to Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal and Girlboss, about her new venture fund for founders, Trust Fund.

It is launching with a $5 million target, targeting a check size between $50,000 to $150,000. She’s already landed checks from the who’s who in tech. Prominent investors include a slew of a16z partners such as Marc Andreessen, Andrew Chen and Chris Dixon, as well as entrepreneur Ev Williams, icon Paris Hilton and support from investors Ryan Hoover and Cleo Capital’s Sarah Kunst.

Here’s why this is important: It’s her high-profile and rocky experience in Silicon Valley’s spotlight that has finally given Amoruso the operating experience needed to launch her own venture firm. While she is opening up a $5 million allocation to accredited investors outside her network, she said from a portfolio construction standpoint: she’s not necessarily looking for “diamonds in the rough” or a specific diversity quota.

“I plan to invest in men and women and everything in between. And if anything, like why not invest in the privilege and ride the coattails of a dude?” Amoruso said. “As a woman, why wouldn’t I want to invest in the advantage that a man has, like, feel free to publish that — it’s true.”

G on G image

Image Credits: Emily Malan

Gas

Discord has acquired Gas, a compliments-based social media app for teens. Reports Amanda Silberling:

On Gas, users sign up with their school, add friends and answer polls about their classmates. But the questions in the polls are intended to boost users’ confidence rather than damage it. Teens might be asked to choose which of four friends is the best DJ or has the best smile. Then the person who was chosen will get an anonymous message with their compliment, sent from a vague “boy in 10th grade” or “girl in 11th grade.”

Here’s why it’s important: When Clubhouse first rose to fame, investors and founders alike were abuzz with energy around the opportunity for innovation in the consumer social space. Since, Clubhouse has been through its share of struggles — listen to my Equity episode with the CEO here — but so has Twitter. I think Gas’ early exit and the slew of similar apps already on site, may bring some needed optimism to the conversation.

Gas image

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

The follow-up

I’ve covered Clearco, formerly known as Clearbanc, for years. Like many, the Toronto-based fintech had a particularly volatile past 12 months. But this week truly marked the end of an era, with co-founder Michele Romanow stepping down from her position as chief executive of the tech unicorn.

Here’s why it’s important: Clearco has undergone numerous rounds of layoffs over the pandemic, including a cut that impacted 25% of staff. Additionally, in 2022, the Toronto-based fintech saw its other co-founder, Andrew D’Souza, step down from his CEO role to be replaced by Romanow. Now, both the co-founders will assume executive chairman positions.

“We don’t ever lie, we are under the same pressures as every other company to become a profitable business. And so we’ve just continued to make the hard decisions … and continue to be ahead of the curve,” Romanow said in an interview with TechCrunch, explaining the shift.

The follow-up image

Image Credits: Javier Zayas Photography / Getty Images

Etc., etc.

Seen on TechCrunch

Musk stands to lose billions in trial over ‘funding secured’ tweet

Boston Dynamics’ latest Atlas video demos a robot that can run, jump and now grab and throw

Microsoft announces 10,000 job cuts, nearly 5% of its global workforce 

What’s next for the entrepreneur behind Layoffs.FYI

Seen on TechCrunch+

Pitch Deck Teardown: Scrintal’s $1M seed deck

Dear Sophie: What are some fast options for hiring someone on an expiring grace period?

Build a company, not a feature

7 space tech predictions for 2023

With that, I’m off to enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia with some new and old friends. Is anyone else tired of my East Coast tour? No? Just me? I’ll be back in San Francisco, and your inboxes, soon.

Take care,

N

Read more stories on TechCrunch.com

Newest Jobs from Crunchboard

See more jobs on CrunchBoard

Post your tech jobs and reach millions of TechCrunch readers for only $200 per month.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Instagram Flipboard

View this email online in your browser

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Unsubscribe

© 2023 Yahoo. All rights reserved. 110 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Key phrases

Older messages

Alphabet CEO lays off 12,000 people, says company 'hired for a different economic reality’  

Friday, January 20, 2023

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo The Daily Crunch logo By Christine Hall and Haje Jan Kamps Friday, January 20, 2023 Happy Friday! Join us in wishing Lorenzo a very warm welcome to the team!

Losing the horn: VCs think majority of unicorns aren’t worth $1 billion anymore

Friday, January 20, 2023

TechCrunch+ Newsletter TechCrunch+ logo TechCrunch+ Roundup logo By Walter Thompson Friday, January 20, 2023 Welcome to TechCrunch+ Friday Image Credits: Getty Images Due to a phenomenon called

Tomorrow: How Relationship Intelligence increases dealflow

Friday, January 20, 2023

TOMORROW: Technology continues to change the investment landscape. But when it comes to making investment decisions, do you have as much confidence in your tech stack as you do in your research,

In 'an early experimental program,' OpenAI opens waitlist for GPT Professional

Friday, January 20, 2023

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo The Daily Crunch logo By Christine Hall and Haje Jan Kamps Wednesday, January 11, 2023 Hello from a very rain-drenched, the Cure-themed, semi-goth-and-sad Silicon

Less than 48 hours left to save, go and grow

Friday, January 20, 2023

TC Early Stage - Boston, MA - April 20, 2023 TechCrunch Early Stage 2023 Build a solid foundation for less Build a solid foundation for less Calling all aspiring and fledgling startup founders! Time is

New Elastic Network Security Analyst learning path

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Plus upcoming courses and free trainingㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ elastic | Search. Observe. Protect Find adversaries in your network traffic Learn how to improve your security operations

Visual design rules you can safely follow — Big data is dead — and Microsoft announces new Bing and Edge browser powered by upgraded ChatGPT AI

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Issue #1036 — Top 20 stories of February 08, 2023 Issue #1036 — February 08, 2023 You receive this email because you are subscribed to Hacker News Digest. You can open it in the browser if you prefer.

Global VC firm Partech reaches first close of largest African fund at €245 million

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

TechCrunch Newsletter TechCrunch logo The Daily Crunch logo By Christine Hall and Haje Jan Kamps Tuesday, February 07, 2023 What's up, Crunchy readers! True crime has its grip on us all, and

Wordle Clone, Wasm, Three Python Trends, and More

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Build a Wordle Clone With Python and Rich #563 – FEBRUARY 7, 2023 VIEW IN BROWSER The PyCoder's Weekly Logo Build a Wordle Clone With Python and Rich In this step-by-step project, you'll build

Data Elixir - Issue 423

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Faster A/B decisions. Soccer Analytics Handbook. Getting started with LLMs. Floating point problems. Critiquing data viz. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

JSK Daily for Feb 7, 2023

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

JSK Daily for Feb 7, 2023 View this email in your browser A community curated daily e-mail of JavaScript news JavaScript Map vs. Object Map and Object are used in JavaScript to store data as dynamic

Daily Coding Problem: Problem #1016 [Easy]

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Daily Coding Problem Good morning! Here's your coding interview problem for today. This problem was asked by Amazon. Huffman coding is a method of encoding characters based on their frequency. Each

Generative AI is building the foundation of proptech’s next wave

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

TechCrunch+ Newsletter TechCrunch+ logo TechCrunch+ Roundup logo By Walter Thompson Tuesday, February 07, 2023 Welcome to TechCrunch+ Tuesday Image Credits: Norman Posselt / Getty Images Generative AI

Ranked | America's 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs Since 2020 📊

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

How bad are the current layoffs in the tech sector? This visual reveals the 20 biggest tech layoffs since the start of the pandemic. View Online | Subscribe Presented by: Infographics that drive the

ChatGPT: How to Use the AI Chatbot (Also: Chrome 110 Is Here!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Did You Know?: The largest hot desert in the world, the Sahara, is 3600000 square miles (9200000 square kilometers) in size and larger than the next seven largest hot and cold deserts combined. Read in