Technology has forgotten its umbrella • TechCrunch


Welcome to Startups Weekly, an in-depth look at this week’s startup news and trends by the Chief Stock Correspondent and co-host. Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.

It’s like technology has forgotten its umbrella. For example, she remembered to pack her water bottle, put on appropriate shoes and layer up, but when it came time to officially step out—say, face off next year—she realized a waterproof hoodie wasn’t enough. You need an industrial umbrella.

You know what I mean?

This is what I dance to, or write about. The macroeconomic environment appears to have been reasonably volatile over the past year; And it was still Seeing the entrepreneurs reacting to the market as if there had just happened to be a knock on their door, they got in trouble and proceeded to steal all their possessions. I’m not saying the founders and investors should have fully predicted what the first quarter of this year should look like; I just wonder how long we’ll have “the economy” as a catalyst for tough decisions.

What makes a CEO finally step down? What finally prompts the company to make its third round of layoffs? Is it the economy, or is it a uniquely human decision that comes only months after you’ve been told to grow at any cost? When we talk about pivots and layoffs, I think it’s important to talk about the realities of transformation to deal with the new normal. Abstractions like the economy are falling apart now that it’s been more than a few months since the markets were grey.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you could probably leave your house while it’s raining and end up at the grocery store a little damp. If you forgot your umbrella while it was raining, well, now you’re wet and nobody feels that bad for you. Don’t forget them, and better yet, practice them with pride.

Can you tell it was raining on the east coast? Follow me Twitter or Instagram For metaphors and other ideas. For the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about a new mutual fund that isn’t afraid to talk about excellence or honesty,

G on G

I spoke to Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal and Girlboss, About her new investment fund for the Founders Trust.

It is being launched with a goal of $5 million, targeting a check size of between $50,000 and $150,000. I already got checks from tech people. Notable investors include numerous a16z Partners such as Marc Andreessen, Andrew Chen, and Chris Dixon, as well as entrepreneur Eve Williams, icon Paris Hilton, and backing from investors Ryan Hoover and Sarah Konst of Cleo Capital.

Here’s why that matters: It’s her high-profile and rock-bottom experience in the Silicon Valley spotlight that finally gave Amoruso the operating experience needed to launch her own company. While It opens an allocation of $5 million To accredited investors outside her network, she said from a portfolio creation standpoint: she’s not necessarily looking for a “rough diamond” or a specific diversity stake.

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

Sophia Amoroso, Founding Partner of the Trust.

Image credits: Emily Malan

Gas

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

On Gas, users sign up for their school, add friends, and answer surveys about their classmates. But questions in surveys are meant to boost users’ trust rather than hurt it. Teens may be asked to choose which of the four friends is the best DJ or has the best smile. Then the chosen one receives a compliment message with his compliment, sent from a “boy in grade 10” or “girl in grade 11”.

Here’s why it matters: When Clubhouse first became popular, investors and founders alike were energized about the opportunity to innovate in the consumer social space. Since then, Clubhouse has gone through its share of struggles – Listen to my episode of Equity with the CEO here – So is Twitter. I think the early exit of the gas and A large number of similar applications Already on site, he might bring some needed optimism to the conversation.

Image credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Follow-up

Clearco, formerly Clearbanc, has you covered for years. Like many, the Toronto-based fintech has been particularly volatile over the past 12 months. But this week truly marked the end of an era, with one of the founders Michele Romano is stepping down from her post As CEO of Unicorn Tech.

Here’s why it matters: Clearco has undergone several layoffs due to the pandemic, including a cut that affected 25% of employees. Additionally, in 2022, the Toronto-based fintech company saw its other co-founder, Andrew D’Souza, step down as CEO to be replaced by Romanov. Now, both founders will take over the CEO positions.

“We never lie, we’re under the same pressure as any other company to be a profitable company. And so we just kept making the hard decisions…and we’re still ahead of the curve,” Romano said in an interview with TechCrunchexplaining the shift.

etc., etc.

Seen on Techcrunch

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

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

Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, roughly 5% of its global workforce

What’s next for the entrepreneur beyond layoffs? For your information

Seen on TechCrunch+

Pitch Deck Teardown: Skrintal’s $1 Million Seed Collection

Dear Sophie: What are some quick options for hiring someone who is on an expired grace period?

Build a company, not an advantage

7 space tech predictions for 2023

With that said, I’m off to enjoy a weekend in Philadelphia with some new and old friends. Is anyone else tired of my East Coast tour? number? just me? I’ll be back in San Francisco, and your inboxes, soon.

takes care,

n





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