Nerdshala+ roundup: Allocating equity, unicorn traffic jam, blockchain gaming survey

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There are only a few ways early-stage startup founders have to recruit and retain employees:

  • provide competitive pay
  • Create a role that harnesses their interests/talents
  • Give them a stake in the company.
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In most cases, equity will not leave employees with enough money. But even the cutest worker will think twice about walking away from the job before being fully vested.

In a TC+ guest post, Kirsten Prost, vice president of VC/PE firm Tercera, explains the detailed steps for designing your equity program.


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Their guide includes parentheses and multipliers for contributors at various levels, along with hypothetical examples founders can use for modeling, and tips that will help employees understand the value of their stake.

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Speaking as a veteran of many early-stage startups: Entrepreneurs love to be seen talking about fostering an ownership mindset, but if it’s going to be more than a delight, you need to go for a transparent equity first. program will be required.

We will leave to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 17th.

Thanks so much for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, Nerdshala+
@your hero

Dear Sophie: Do we need a visa to explore the US market?

image credit: Bryce Durbin / Nerdshala

dear sophie,

My husband and I are planning to visit our daughter during her spring break. (She is an F-1 international student at an American university.)

Between spending time with my daughter and sightseeing, we would like to explore the possibility of expanding our business in the United States.

Do we need to get a special visa to do this?

— multitasking mom

Unicorn exits poorly as JustWorks delays IPO, citing ‘market conditions’

image credit: Bryce Durbin / Nerdshala

There is a growing rift between the valuations of tech startups in the public and private markets, writes Alex Wilhelm, and JustWorks’ decision to delay the IPO could be a good sign of what’s to come.

Software companies continue to dominate the public markets, while tech startups continue to thrive in the private markets.

This difference in opinion, Alex writes, could be bad for the largely valued startup looking to exit this year.

“The delay in JustWorks’ IPO indicates that the enthusiasm gap between the private markets and their public analogs is wide. And for the treasured unicorns still bleeding cash, this is terrible news.”

Blockchain gaming survey: 7 investors discuss regulation, opportunities and NFT hype

Wemade Co.  The Mir4 mobile game is arranged on a smartphone on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 in Seongnam, South Korea.  Based on blockchain technology, Mir4 Online allows players to convert in-game assets into traditional crypto coins, while their avatars hunt and fight in the virtual world.  Photographer: Seongjoon Cho/Bloomberg

image credit: bloomberg (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Game distribution platform Steam banned blockchain-based games in October 2021: any title involving NFTs or cryptocurrency was briefly booted from the service.

Meanwhile, within the NFT-based online game, Axie Infinity, new players are paying hundreds of dollars to obtain mythical pets and love potions.

Blockchain gaming is infuriating with some consumers, but given the lack of regulatory guidance and the speculative nature of many crypto holdings, what do investors think?

To find out, we surveyed seven that are active in space:

  • Anton Backman, Principal, and Kenrik Drijkonningen, General Partner, Play Ventures
  • Banafsheh Fatih, Head of Investments, Americas, Prosus Ventures
  • Josh Chapman, Managing Partner, Convoy Ventures
  • Eddie Thai, General Partner, 500 Startups and General Partner, Ascend Vietnam Ventures
  • Beryl Lee, Co-Founder, Yield Guild Games
  • Rajul Garg, Founder and Managing Partner, Leo Capital

Setting up high-conversion lead magnets that deliver value

magnet attracting people

magnet attracting people

Getting a potential customer to your site is one thing, but persuading them to access your wallet or share your phone number is a stretch.

As consumers gain more control over their privacy, GetResponse’s CMO, Aleksandra Korzynska, says that marketers who align lead generation with the goals of their potential customers will find a significant advantage.

“The key is building a foot-in-the-door technology for continuous engagement—lead magnets,” she says.

The SPAC boom was a failure, yes?

Special purpose acquisition companies took 2020 and 2021 by storm, helping a large group of companies go public.

But, as they say: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

As Alex Wilhelm writes in The Exchange, despair is not limited to any one industry. Property tech, fintech, media and personal mobility companies have seen major declines since their inception.

“I would risk that we have collected enough data to call the SPAC boom a failure.”

Despite Blockchain Gaming’s Play-to-Earn Angle, I Prefer to Pay

isometric financial mobile game icon

image credit: Guns Ozcan (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Paying users to play is part of the unique selling proposition of blockchain gaming, but is it for entertainment purposes?

Senior editor Alex Wilhelm says he enjoys the fun and excitement associated with playing against others online, but “I’m bearish on crypto games because they currently exist for a few reasons, even though the incentives are visible in traditional gaming.” Be more aligned than giving.”

Why CNET Co-Founder Halsey Miner Is Bullish on NFTs

Halsey Minor is best known as a co-founder of CNET and an early investor, but for the past several years, he has been working in crypto.

After developing content for three decades, he is now leading Vivid Labs, which operates a proprietary NFT publishing platform.

“Like I recognized the massive explosion of the Internet several years ago, I see crypto and NFTs as the technology of the future,” Miner said in a TC+ interview, hoping to raise capital for Web3 projects. Includes advice for founders.

Data shows 2021 was a spectacular, record-setting year for venture capital

Next week, Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm plan to file a series of stories to exchange investigations into areas and trends in various fields. To build a foundation for that reporting, this week, he saw a record-setting year for venture capital.

According to CB Insights, in 2021, VC investments totaled $621 billion, an increase of 111% from a year earlier. Crunchbase has pegged this figure at $643 billion.

“Which number we choose, it is clear that north of half a trillion dollars was invested in high-growth private companies last year – almost double that of the same asset class in 2020.”

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