As a veteran startup worker who has been laid off during economic downturns, it’s dissonant to hear investors say this is a good time to launch a software company.
They’re not wrong, however.
An analogy: In California, nearly 10,000 wildfires burned more than 4 million acres two years ago, causing billions of economic damage and forcing thousands of residents to uproot their entire lives.
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In the years since, that deadly disaster has started reshaping local ecosystems by clearing out dead and diseased trees and reducing competition for resources like water and sunlight.
According to Kyle Poyar, a partner at OpenView, the current downturn is creating similar opportunities for SaaS startups.
“Folks who’ve been laid off or have woken up to realize their stock options are suddenly worthless will opt to bet on themselves,” he says. “They’ll finally take a chance turning that nagging idea into an actual product.”
In his latest TechCrunch+ post, Poyar identifies six principles for product-led growth in what he calls “the Age of Connected Work,” where API-based products are “discovered and championed by users, not just executives and managers.”
Thanks very much for reading,
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+
On Monday, June 27 at 11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET, M13 Managing Partner Karl Alomar will join me on a Twitter Space to share his advice for fundraising during a downturn.
Alomar, who led startups through the dotcom bust of 2000 and the Great Recession of 2008, will talk about whether investors are still prioritizing growth over profits, and identify which proof points founding teams must define before their next raise.
Helping a small company find its momentum and grow to capture market share while making money has the ring of a great job description.
But there’s a reason successful angel investors are few and far between: returns may take several years to materialize, and not all companies you want to invest in will want your money.
It’s important for new investors to realize that angel investing is a capital-intensive process that may not always work out, according to Adam Nash, the CEO of Daffy.
“Most see the incredible results from anecdotes about amazing angel investments and assume that angel investing is always massively better than more common asset classes like public equities, bonds and real estate. But the truth is that, on average, the risk-adjusted returns for angel investing can often be worse than traditional investments,” he writes.
This is a particularly difficult time for life sciences startups. Even if their tech is world-changing, it will still be years before it comes to market.
Most biotech founders who are looking to raise in this environment assume that dilutive capital is their only option, but that’s short-sighted, writes James Coates, Health and Human Performance principal at Decisive Point.
“In a downturn, non-dilutive grants or contracts from the government should be seen as more appealing than ever, because they provide runway without dilution and make for great headlines.”
Many founders start by building a 10-slide pitch deck, but AR car hardware company WayRay’s Series C presentation contained 75 slides.
More may not always be better, but considering that the deck helped WayRay nab $80 million, the company’s founders have shared it in its entirety with TC+ members.
“WayRay does a great job at showing off the world it wants to live in,” writes Haje Jan Kamps.
I’m an F-1 student who graduated this month with my bachelor’s in computer science. I received work authorization under OPT and had a job lined up with a crypto company, but they rescinded my job offer.
Do I need to let my DSO know that my job offer was rescinded? What are my options, especially if I want to create my own web3 startup?
How long can I stay in the U.S. without a job? Thanks in advance for your help!
— Gallant Grad
It’s common to hear that you need a bullet-proof pitch deck if you want to raise capital, but the true purpose of a pitch deck isn’t actually to raise money.
In fact, the best practical result of a good investor presentation is “a follow-up meeting with a sense of momentum and clarity about the company’s story, its current situation, goals and opportunities,” says Lev Kerzhner, head of Saragus Agency.
In an illuminating post, Kerzhner explains the different kinds of investor presentations you should build, and outlines a slew of tips and tricks to craft and package a killer investor presentation.
Consumer confidence takes a hit during an economic downturn, which is why e-commerce startups should start looking now for new ways to engage customers.
Cynthia Price, SVP of marketing at Litmus, shares several ways companies can turn customer purchasing data into content that improves brand experiences — and makes users more likely to buy.
For example, the most-viewed products on your site reflect your most active customers’ tastes and interests, which means it’s also useful information that you can showcase in outbound emails.
“You can even break down that data more granularly by layering shopper data,” writes Price. “This strategy sparks interest, attracts more subscribers to your site and improves the purchase potential of their products.”
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