Crypto’s Latest Disruption Could Be Investors’ Expectations – TechCrunch

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh, people-first version of this week’s startup news and trends. To get this in your inbox, Subscribe here.

I noticed that next to the long-awaited update of private tech startup ratings and fundraising expectations is an asterisk the size of Web3.

While many funds return to more conservative check writing, with a focus on profitability and business fundamentals, crypto remains a sector in the spotlight, attracting committed billion-dollar funds and investment conditions that remind us more of 2021 than 2022.

So is it hype, the promise of innovation in crypto, or a bit of both? Venture capitalists and founders of all fundraising stages spoke about current investment strategies when it comes to investing in this cohort of startups. The opposing strategies stem from technical differences in the cap tables, the culture of the communities that many companies in this space are built on, and of course, the non-crypto world’s fear of missing out. Freestyle’s Jenny Lefcourt tells me, “Web2 got the memo about falling ratings, but Web3 didn’t.”

For my full take on the subject, check out my latest TechCrunch+ column with our new crypto reporter, Jacquelyn Melinek: Crypto is changing the investing landscape for even the most disciplined VCs.

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll cover a digital fertility company, the closure of Fast and the demise of Better, as well as our recent Austin City Spotlight. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend, Follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my personal blog.

offer of the week

Conceive is a digital fertility program inspired by CEO Lauren Berson’s professional and personal handbook. Years ago, the former partner of Andreessen Horowitz left her investing gig to join Weight Watchers. She soon remarked that there was a “beautiful, tangible, ongoing experience” of people supporting one another as they go through vulnerable times together. Meanwhile, she struggled to have a child with her partner – a lonely few years of questions, loss and confusion.

Therefore it is important: Conceive offers an eight-week “try for conception” program that matches users with other families on similar journeys, whether they are experiencing IVF for the first time or for their sixth time. Cohort-based learning is then rounded off with coaches and an asynchronous curriculum.

What struck me the most is that this company will only be successful if it works: Berson explained that she is intentionally starting with the direct-to-consumer route because she didn’t just want to serve people who were “lucky had to work with an employer who” offered fertility benefits.

Recognitions:

The speed of one is the better of the other

Well, we jinxed it: the fintech world was rocked this week with the news that Fast, a fast one-click checkout platform, is shutting down. The company cited slow growth, high burn and an inability to raise more money as reasons for its demise. Affirm offered job offers to the vast majority of engineers along with the closure, but made it clear they wanted the talent (not the technology).

Therefore it is important: As we discussed at Equity this week, failure in the startup world can feel like choosing your own adventure. The key takeaway from the episode that you should definitely listen to is that there are often dozens of factors that contribute to a startup’s failure. Theranos and WeWork play a role in understanding fraud at its peak, but pivots and layoffs also provide important clues as to how founders respond to tensions.

Failure is complex

Austin doesn’t compete with Miami, relax

This week, TechCrunch traveled to Austin, Texas for our latest City Spotlight. But there was nothing emerging or fundamental that we unearthed. The city is a solid tech hub, full of unicorns, tech giants, and absolutely no inferiority complex when compared to Silicon Valley. heh

Here’s why it matters About Mary Ann Azevedo: “Austin wasn’t an overnight success. For years it was best known for its software scene – it was also the capital of live music worldwide. But today, new growing sectors include crypto/web3, real estate tech, CPG, and insurance tech. As in other mature markets, companies that have been successful in the past are now creating a new generation of entrepreneurs and attracting others from different regions.”

To keep it weird:

About the week

  • So, shall we hang out next week? TechCrunch Early Stage 2022 is April 14th, aka just around the corner, and it’s in San Francisco. Join us for a day-long Founders Meetup with Terri Burns from GV, Glen Evans from Greylock, and Aydin Sekut from Felicis. The TC team was keen to come back in person, so don’t be surprised if the panels are a bit spicier than usual. Here’s the full agenda, and grab your entry tickets here.
  • Follow our new Senior Crypto Reporter, Jaquelyn Melinek and our new Senior Enterprise Reporter, Kyle Wiggers!
  • And finally, in case you missed last week’s Startups Weeklyread here: “What you learn about startups in the pitches of the 411 YC Demo Day.”

Seen on TechCrunch

Tech staffers describe arrests and interrogations as they flee Russia

Flutterwave responds as the CEO faces trial over alleged bullying by a former employee

Stop trying to raise a debut venture fund — opt for the SPV instead

Musk Takes a $3B Bite From Twitter; Tesla mogul has a 9.2% stake in the social network

I know how the world ends with a twitter edit button

Seen on TechCrunch+

3 views: Elon’s Twitter high

Why a 35-year-old travel IT company decided to cut its tech debt

The global venture capital market slowed in the first quarter — but not as much as you might have expected

Latch steps down from CFO after difficult SPAC debut

What Binance’s rescue of Axie Infinity means for the future of crypto

Until next time,

N

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