Welcome to Startups Weekly, a new human version of this week’s startup news and trends. To receive this in your inbox, sign up here. From black swan memos and heartfelt messages to not-so-subtle emails asking for recorded confirmations that your startup does, in fact, have revenue, investors have a lot to say about the recession. However, it’s a calmer, more realistic truth that has struck me lately: For a number of founders, recession is nothing new. Some investors, mostly those focused on backing historically overlooked founders, say the tech crackdown isn’t hitting diverse founders as hard as their overfunded, homogeneous counterparts because of biases. pre-existing All Raise CEO Mandela SH Dixon, who joined the Equity podcast fresh from its annual summit, told TechCrunch that women and racially diverse investors, founders and operators don’t have the “pessimistic mindset because we’re so used to to do more with less.” “We are so used to not having access to this influx of capital that we have already adjusted and developed muscles and ability to weather many storms than more privileged founders who have this endless flow of capital and access to advice and insider information. information ”they haven’t had to deal with, she said. “We as women, and as women of color, have a long history of weathering storms, so this is not new to us.” Dixon’s belief that minority founders may be more prepared for a pushback because they were already experiencing one feels accurate and nuanced. Yes, diverse founders still receive disproportionately less venture capital funding than their homogeneous counterparts, making them smarter with their money. We have reams of studies spanning years showing that women and diverse teams can be more capital efficient. At the same time, if even the small dollars headed their way are at risk, won’t the industry slide further and further from a more equitable footing? For the rest of my thoughts on this topic, check out my TechCrunch+ column: “For Diverse Founders, a Recession Is Nothing New.” In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about the myth of the nickname that is the boss girl, a nuance about all these layoffs, and a deal that may have gone unnoticed this week. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend or by following me on twitter or subscribing to my blog.
deal of the week
At Equity this week, we talk about a venture-backed startup that has attracted even more capital to make maps go mainstream. Felt, co-founded by Sam Hashemi and Can Duruk, allows users to create a map with integrated datasets and work with each other to show impact in a less static way than the average Google Maps query.Here’s why it’s important: The co-founders cited the proven business models of Figma and Notion, both valued in the billions, as reason to believe in their work. The aforementioned companies managed to implement users for personal use, and then switched to enterprise, a playbook that Felt wants to follow (and one that VCs can certainly talk about).
“That kind of business model and go-to-market is … I don’t want to say immune, but it’s a little bit removed from the kind of market fluctuations that we’re seeing,” Hashemi said in an interview. “It’s really not about consumer spending, it’s not about an advertising business, it’s just the day-to-day work that businesses rely on.”
Image credits: He felt
How the “girl boss” myth hurts emerging women in tech
If there is a story you read this weekend, let it be this one. My colleagues Anita Ramaswamy and Amanda Silberling wrote about the girlboss myth and how it affects women in tech. They explore how “once a vaguely aspirational term of praise reserved only for wealthy white women, the moniker now reflects the maddening contradiction of feminism in the workplace: We know that it is not enough to be just a woman in power, and that what we do with that power matters much more than simply exercising it”.Here’s why it’s important: The story puts into words much of the irony, emotion, and shock of why this term frustrated so many people. Here are two excerpts that stand out:
There is a disconnect between the evolution of feminism in the outside world, juxtaposed with the frustrating slowness at which Silicon Valley is realizing that a female CEO shouldn’t be new. Outside of work, women fight for an intersectional feminism that is trans-inclusive, uplifts people of color, and defends the rights of people with disabilities. But in startup culture, the mere fact of being a woman is considered subversive.
And this, from Sruti Bharat, who recently served as interim CEO at All Raise.
“Just because a woman has been oppressed, or marginalized, or treated differently, doesn’t mean that she too knows how to fix it, or how to talk about it, or that she doesn’t perpetuate it herself. We always advocate for women to be icons… but the reality is that real advocacy and movement and policy building work is needed,” Bharat said.
Image credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch
About all these layoffs
I know I know There was a lot of layoff news last month and June starts no differently. This week we wrote about layoffs at IRL, SWVL, PolicyGenius, Loom, Gemini, and Carbon Health.Here’s why it’s important: At this point, it still feels newsworthy to report on corporate-backed startup layoffs, regardless of whether they’re affecting 10% or 50% of staff. I don’t want to get into the game of deciding how many people need to lose their jobs for it to be relevant, but I also realize that it will be difficult to cover each reduction in the workforce. One nuance that I want to remind everyone, but especially myself, is that there are layoffs that occur due to market uncertainty, and there are layoffs that occur due to the ability to cite market uncertainty. Questions and reasoning matter a lot, and “no comment” speaks volumes.
Seen on TechCrunch Seen on TechCrunch+ Until next time, north