Many tech workers have never experienced a job market like this one.
Losing a job unexpectedly is more than a financial shock. Many of us invest much of our identity in what we do for a living, which means layoffs can transform social and emotional lives overnight.
Slashing your spending and polishing your LinkedIn page is the right move, but investors tell me that now is still a good time to launch a startup.
The fact that you’ve just been laid off from a startup proves that you have a tolerance for risk. How much are you willing to bet on yourself?
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Depending on where you worked and what you did, you may already have the experience investors are looking for when it comes to reaching product-market fit and solving engineering problems.
I surveyed six seed- and early-stage investors to get their tactical advice for laid-off tech workers who are thinking about starting up. Most of them were so open to receiving pitches, they said we could include their contact information.
Each shared details about the sort of deals they’re looking for right now and indicated how they prefer to be approached with pitches.
Here’s who I spoke with:
- Rex Salisbury, partner, Cambrian Ventures
- Christine Tsai, CEO and founding partner, 500 Global
- Anna Barber, partner, M13
- Dr. Galym Imanbayev, partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Deena Shakir, general partner, Lux Capital
- Stephanie Palmeri, partner, NextView Ventures
Thanks very much for reading,
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
A decade of fintech failures: 4 innovations that didn’t live up to the hype
The tech industry, and the media that covers it, thrives on hype cycles.
Sometimes, relentless cheerleading can bear fruit: Clunky personal digital assistants from the 1990s evolved into sleek smartphones a decade later.
Other times, what seemed like a revolutionary idea turns out to be someone trying to jump-start a fad. (If you remember the Google Barge, Juicero or iSmell, let me know.)
Looking back over the last decade, Grant Easterbrook recaps five fads in fintech that flopped and the underpinning factors that prevented them from changing fintech “in the way the founders originally intended.”
A Black YC alum explains how he raised $107M
Black entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges, but Captain founder Demetrius Gray raised $107 million after his Y Combinator experience.
“People see the headline, ‘$107 million raised.’ What they don’t really understand is that it was a progressive process of building relationships over time that made that possible,” says Gray.
In an interview, he broke down his fundraising strategy and shared several tactics for connecting with investors.
“You gotta get social; you gotta get out in front of people and start building relationships.”
Building a growth marketing team the right way
For his latest TC+ column, growth expert Jonathan Martinez explains how to scale up a marketing team that supports “core growth pillars” like lifecycle marketing, paid acquisition and SEO.
“As startups grow, so do their marketing budgets and the rigor of testing required,” he writes. “All that begs for more defined team structures.”
Drawing from his experiences at companies like Coinbase and Postmates, Martinez breaks down the workloads for individual team members and identifies key hires like designers and data scientists who can complement their efforts.
On the journey to Series B, strategy is more important than metrics
If all goes well, the funds raised in a Series A will last long enough to let you generate steady revenue. But all is not going well.
SaaS founders are under pressure to maintain growth and reach profitability while preserving runway, but these goals aren’t diametrically opposed, according to Ophelia Brown and Imran Ghory of Blossom Capital.
“Forget about planning your business based on the metrics of the past decade,” they write. “We live in a new world order.”
In this article, they take on three questions facing every software startup:
- How aggressively should we grow this year?
- How should we plan our spending?
- How should we think about runway and capital preservation?