No one will tell you when your startup has reached the level of compatibility with the product market – there are no flashing lights, no sirens, no balloons falling from the ceiling.
“Especially for new founders, assessing product-to-market fit at a stage where it is primarily anticipation can be as much an art as it is science,” writes editor Darrell Etherington, who interviewed three VCs on the topic for TechCrunch Disrupt:
- Heather Hartnett, Human Ventures
- David Thacker, Greylock
- Victoria Treyger, Felix
“At the start and in the ideas phase, the founders look a little bit more at what’s going on in the macro world and in your industry that is really causing this problem,” Treyger said.
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Thacker said contractors should be willing to collect as much as possible during the design phase to ensure they have the freedom to tinker and iterate.
“I’ve seen founders – as a VC it’s going to sound selfish in saying this – but I’ve seen founders raising too little capital in their pre-seed cycle or their start-up cycle. And they don’t give themselves enough time or lead to experiment.
As with other Disrupt recaps, there’s also a full video of their conversation. We plan to publish the remaining summaries next week, so watch this space.
Thanks so much for reading TechCrunch + this week; Hope you have a restful weekend.
Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch +
Global startups raise $ 158 billion in third quarter, all-time high
This year, investors injected a record amount of venture capital into startups around the world: in the second quarter of 2021, VCs invested $ 156 billion, rising to $ 158 billion in the third quarter.
“The numbers are actually tied, which means we have just had the two strongest periods for investment in private companies in startup history,” write Anna Heim, Ryan Lawler, Mary Ann Azevedo and Alex Wilhelm.
Udemy files public record due to growth in B2B revenue
Udemy filed for an IPO this week following Duolingo’s successful IPO earlier this year, and Alex Wilhelm’s reading of his S-1 is that the tech company of the electricity will probably be priced higher than its final valuation on the private market.
“Udemy is a somewhat stable consumer edtech offering within a recurring revenue B2B product,” he writes.
“If we were to evaluate Udemy purely on its commercial revenue, at its final valuation in the private market, it would be worth 4.5 times its Q2 2021 ARR. It’s incredibly cheap. And its mainstream activity also has value.
After a victory in a proxy fight, it’s time for Box to take bold action
The past few years have included a delayed IPO filing and a proxy battle with a major shareholder, but things are going well for Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie these days.
Corporate reporter Ron Miller said this was a “pivotal moment for the cloud content management company,” so he interviewed Levie to find out more about his plans, especially in light of the company’s recent revenue growth.
To balance, Ron also spoke with Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Founder and Senior Analyst at Deep Analysis.
“Next year is crucial for Box,” he said. “He has to prove he was right to win the proxy fight. To do this, it must evolve the Box platform and grow steadily but steadily and continue to carve out a niche in the market. “
VCs say there are more startup opportunities to hunt in Latin America
Before the third quarter venture capital figures poured in, Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim tried to identify potential gaps in the finance market for Latin American startups, finding that if more tech companies in the region lifted. of funds, there are still plenty of opportunities for intrepid investors.
Here’s who they spoke to:
- Nathan Lustig, Managing Partner, Magma
- Julio Vasconcellos, Managing Partner, Atlantico
- Antonia Rojas, partner, ALLVP
Why founders of emerging technologies should tackle the toughest problems first
Rebecca Bellan interviewed Sila Nano founder Gene Berdichevsky on how founders working on emerging technologies should think about scale, should approach finance, and why they should tackle the market first. most difficult problem.
“Don’t be afraid to go for the dragon’s teeth, so to speak,” said Berdichevsky, who led the battery development for the Tesla Roadster.
“Because if you get knocked out you can get up and hopefully you still have the motivation to do it again. “
What Rent the Runway’s IPO Brief Says About the Loan Clothing Trade
While examining the cohort of Q4 IPO contenders, Alex Wilhelm took a look at the S-1 recently filed by Rent the Runway to see how well a company that offers loaner dresses has performed at one time. where formal wear is more likely to mean a pair of sweatpants than a Monique Lhuillier bustier.
The pandemic has been a difficult time for the company, he said. In addition, “the difference between the gross margin and the gross margin excluding cost of depreciation of clothing is huge.”
Stephanie Zhan browses the Rec Room pitch deck that won Sequoia’s investment
In a recent episode of TechCrunch Live, Sequoia partner Stephanie Zhan reviewed social game company Rec Room’s first pitch deck with Nick Fajt, its founder and CEO.
Since Sequoia placed a bet on Rec Room, the company has raised nearly $ 150 million.
“I think Nick did a terrific job setting the tone for the kind of social platform Rec Room wanted to be from the start,” Zhan said.
“What kind of social identity do we want people to have? What kind of interactions do we want people to be able to have? I think this has been a huge differentiator for Rec Room from the start.
Athletic’s numbers actually look good?
After a report from The Information stating that Athletic “bleed” $ 100 million between 2019 and 2020 inspired much chatter on Twitter, Alex Wilhelm investigated the publicly available metrics of the sports media site by subscription and did not find much problem.
“A company that makes nine digits of recurring subscription revenue is valuable, even if we assume The Athletic has gross margins well below your average software hardware,” he wrote.
Get the details straight into your pitch deck
For the Pitch Deck Teardown at TechCrunch Disrupt, editor-in-chief Danny Crichton reviewed two decks, “a consumer and a business,” with three VCs:
- Maren Bannon, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, January Ventures
- Vanessa Larco, partner, NEA
- Ben Ling, Founder and General Partner, Bling Capital
Only the most exceptional pitch decks will receive more than a few minutes of attention, which is why Danny selected four slides “that inspired our panelists to show how VCs can have radically different views on the same material.”
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong might not be having fun at work, guys
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong posted a Twitter thread this week suggesting that the United States could risk choking out future CEO talent because “the number of rounds of attacks on the press, politicians and trolls against CEOs (and the congressional testimonial series) does the job no fun. “
After reviewing Armstrong’s thoughts, Alex Wilhelm had a few:
“There is a lot to discuss in the above. As for the hot catches, this is a collection of scorchers. “
Why Techstars doubles Europe
Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm interviewed Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet to find out more about why the accelerator is launching new European programs in Paris and one in Stockholm.
After noting that Techstars is not yet present in all European national capitals, she said that “there is enough space for some of the [those] cities to have six, seven, eight, up to 10 programs per year ”, and that“ there are several cities in Europe that [could] Easily accommodate between 50 and 100 pre-seed investments by Techstars each year.