Welcome to Startups Weekly, a new, people-focused take on this week’s startup news and trends. To receive this message in your inbox, Subscribe here.
Criticizing the value of startup accelerators and demo days has been a decades-long conversation in the tech world. These plans promise napkin-stage founders to help with everything from finding co-founders to reaching product-market fit to improving critical first checks. Led by global projects like Y Combinator, Techstars, and 500 Global, startup accelerators have spawned billion-dollar companies like Coinbase and Stripe, and have become synonymous with activating the energy promise.
Yet every few months, entrepreneurs ask the same question: Is precious equity worth getting into the network? Is the real value of the program just a respected seal of approval? Is demo day outdated? Is the best result for an entrepreneur in an accelerator just a new round of funding? Is YC’s batches too big to stand out?
We’ve been trying to reinvent the startup accelerator, which in itself tells me that the institution is still relevant, if not perfect. After all, asking questions is the first step to changing the way things are done.
In January, I wrote about How to Overdue Refresh for Startup Accelerator How do they view value-added services.A few days later, Y Combinator announced it is increasing its check size From $125,000 previously to $500,000.With Y Combinator Winter 2022 Demo Day coming up next week, we’ll see the first populations affected by these changes – YC becomes more remote, international and Be more ambitious about the impact it wants to have.
As you’ll see, this year we’re changing the way we report Demo Days to better reflect what we think is the most important part of the accelerator: a way to understand how a large number of startups are thinking about a certain sub-sector. It feels like Demo Day has moved completely away from traditional presentations and pitches to investors and is more about providing a snapshot of the startup and its early growth and personality.
More on that next week, but for the rest of this newsletter, we’ll discuss the unusual world of fintech, Instacart discounts, and the overlap of cryptocurrency nonprofits. As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend, follow me on twitter or Subscribe to my personal blog.
this week’s best deals
Ramp reconfirms that it has been raised, But this time it’s valued at $8.1 billion. Given that the company is approaching a decacorn valuation after reaching unicorn status less than a year ago. Omg.
Here’s why it matters: Ramp, and fintech more broadly, feels like an outlier to the market volatility we’ve reported over the past quarter. Is the financial services industry protected from broader venture capital or valuation adjustments? At Equity this week, Alex and Mary Ann made a key takeaway: It’s a fintech world, and we just live in it.
Instacart’s biggest discount yet
Instacart is slashing its valuation by nearly 40%, give us another data point Larger market re-correction Happened in many pandemic-era success stories.
Here’s why it matters: Alex William pointed out, DoorDash, another food delivery company, has seen its price-to-sales ratio retreat from last year’s highs, while Uber looks to expand its food delivery service. Instacart is still privately held, and slashing its book valuation ahead of its stock market debut could stave off its otherwise bumpy response.
I guess eggs and ham are not so green:
- I kinda like Instacart’s growth plan
- Mary Ann’s weekly fintech newsletter is coming soon!register here Put it in your inbox.
- Evergreen reminds you to use code “EQUITY” when you subscribe to TechCrunch+ for deep discounts and thanks.
Why web3’s rich donate cryptocurrency instead of cash
Crypto journalist Anita Ramaswamy investigates the trend of web3’s wealthy donating cryptocurrency instead of cash. This story specifically explores how this month’s massive cryptocurrency donations in support of Ukraine sparked broader interest in the community to support causes through the coin.
Here’s why it matters: In addition to the cultural overlap of donations and cryptocurrency’s perception of a more democratic way to support causes, there are also technical benefits. Change founder Sonia Nigam, who is building the giving API with Amar Shah, explains the difference between traditional philanthropy and creator utility:
Smart contract technology allows the influence to exist on the product itself and then give up permanently… We will see NFT collections come online and they will set a goal; [for example] Of all secondary sales, 2% goes to lifetime climate change. Now, with every resale, the creator’s original intent isn’t lost, which makes them very excited. For nonprofits, opening up recurring donation channels is always the number one goal.
We can go out and play in person! soon! TechCrunch Early 2022 is April 14th, which is right around the corner, and it’s in San Francisco. Join us for a one-day Founders Summit featuring Terri Burns from GV, Glen Evans from Greylock and Aydin Sekut from Felicis. The TC team has been working hard to come back in person, so don’t be surprised if the panel is a little spicier than usual.
Finally, if you missed last week’s Startups Weeklyread here: “Failure is complicated, especially in the world of startups.”
Seen on TechCrunch
Seen at TechCrunch+
until next time,