TechCrunch+ Review: A New Look at Early Stage Fundraising, Partial Hiring, the HR Tech Boom

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I won’t use this space to discourage anyone from starting a startup, but founders need to accept the fact that investors are looking for reasons. No to give you money these days.

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Perhaps you don’t have a lot of income. Or maybe too much of your cash flow depends on one client. Oh, and when are you going to join the $100 million ARR club?

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In the current environment, best practices in fundraising and finding investors are less relevant than they were a year ago. At the time, the promise of early growth was enough to help many teams close out the seed and Serie A rounds.


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Today, startups with long sales cycles that don’t generate positive cash flow may not even be considered for follow-up investments.

If you’re wondering what kinds of startups investors are willing (and unwilling) to look at, Kami Vision CEO Yamin Durrani wrote a detailed post about changes he saw between Q4 2021 and Q3 2022 fundraising.

“Don’t panic, VCs are interested in investing right now—only in a few areas,” he writes. In his article, he talks about seven tactics he has used to successfully raise funds, such as planning to attract 30-60 investors.

It will take longer right now to raise less money that will take your company lower than you hoped. But if you’re starting a startup with the intention of getting rich, you’re already on the wrong track.

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

Growth Cheat: Use fractional hiring to stay on track when cutting costs.

A crowd of people in red, yellow, green and blue shirts forming a pie chart;  fractional hiring for startups, hiring contractors

Image Credits: Henrik Sorensen (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

As the winter winds begin to blow, major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Lyft have put in place a moratorium on hiring.

Similarly, early-stage startups are forced to cut costs while maintaining forward momentum, but “fractional hiring is a growth cheat” if used strategically, says Teja Yenamandra, co-founder and CEO of Gun.io.

“Now there is much less competition for the talent you are hiring, and you can lock in hiring that was unavailable a few months ago.”

Dear Sophie! What are the processes for obtaining a student and work visa for graduates?

a lone figure at the entrance to a hedge maze with an American flag in the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I am in India. I am interested in going to US universities next year to study computer science and artificial intelligence and then work in the US.

Could you explain the visa process for students and professionals who want to work in the US after graduation? Is there anything I can do to plan ahead?

— Energetic student

The robotics scene is still optimistic, but layoffs are looming

row of robots

Image Credits: Westend61/Getty Images

This week at TC Sessions: Robotics 2022, Natasha Mascarenhas spoke to three investors about how the “capital-intensive sector with a longer sales horizon and many infrastructure hurdles” is weathering this downturn.

  • Kelly Chen, Partner, DCVC
  • Bruce Leak, founder of Playground Global
  • Helen H. Liang, founder of FoundersX Ventures

“On the less rosy side, I think layoffs are yet to come,” Chen said.

“During an economic downturn, customers will be less likely to experiment, so they think about cutting costs, and then the economy becomes much more important.”

Pitch Deck Teardown: $9.7M Original Arkive Deck

Last week, Haye Jan Kamps spoke about Arkive’s $9.7 million seed round dedicated to a “blockchain-based museum” that he will use to build a crowd-curated decentralized museum.

This week, he viewed 12 slides from Arkive’s winning presentation:

  • cover slide
  • mission slide
  • Problem slide
  • Decision slide
  • business model slide
  • value proposition slide
  • road map slide
  • Market context slide
  • Market size slide
  • Milestones and what’s next slide
  • Command slide
  • Final slide

What kind of downturn? Investors Remain Bullish On HR Tech As The Great Retreat Slows Down

Job summary document from laptop.  Hands holding resume resume.  The concept of human resource management, the search for professional personnel, work.  Found the right resume.  Vector illustration in flat style

Image Credits: Abscent84/Getty Images

Levi Strauss is popular with Bay Area entrepreneurs: a Bavarian immigrant who came during the gold rush opened a dry goods store that sold goods to speculators who hoped to fill the pockets of their new jeans with shiny nuggets.

Like Strauss, HR startups that help other companies find gold talent have seen their fortunes grow as the Great Retirement has made managing, recruiting and tracking candidates more important than ever.

“As the pandemic has accelerated the long-term shift towards digital, data-driven and distributed work, there has been an explosion of innovation in HR technology,” said Allison Baum Gates, general partner at SemperVirens Venture Capital.

Can Medicare Save the Insurance Technology Market?

An open prescription drug bottle among many other sealed bottles;  medical insurance

Image Credits: MirageS (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In 2020, the US spent nearly 20% of its GDP on healthcare. Every day, approximately 11,000 people reach the age of 65, making them eligible for Medicare, the federally funded health insurance program that allows new patients to be admitted faster than ever.

Companies that can help consumers navigate the complex Medicare market have a big opportunity: “The average senior has 57 different plan options to choose from, and most of them can’t tell them apart,” said T. H. Zhuo and James Scheckter of Fika Ventures.

They shared their six-point investment thesis with TC+ readers to show that Medicare is a “bright spark” that can light up “the entire insurance technology market.”




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