TechCrunch+ roundup: Finding the right LPs, ocean conservation, inside Uber's pre-seed deck
Will your startup go public and grab a giant slice of your market, or is it a value-add that will be gobbled up by a hard-charging unicorn?
"When you can’t quite make it to product-market fit, there’s a third choice that too many entrepreneurs, and their investors, overlook: selling out," says Kittu Kolluri, founder and managing director of Neotribe Ventures.
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In this article aimed at early-stage founders, Kolluri shares a detailed framework with timelines that can help determine whether it's time to look for a buyer or keep reaching for the stars.
"How can you choose? While it isn’t a trivial decision, it’s also not as hard as you might think. There are only two gates: value and growth."
Thanks for reading TC+ this week,
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
5 questions emerging managers should ask before selecting LPs
Image Credits: Constantin Johnny (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
Before an emerging manager can start backing startups, they'll first need to earn the trust of limited partners who are willing to bet on their investment thesis.
"Each step up the decision-making ladder increases the risk of dismissal, lost information or miscommunication, which can be mitigated if you can get in front of the decision-makers early on," says Linda Greub, co-founder and managing partner of Avestria Ventures.
Drawing from her own experience, Greub shares five questions emerging managers can use "to find the investors most likely to believe in you."
Making layoffs suck less: How to announce job cuts and retain top performers
Image Credits: Abu Hanifah (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
Startups don't typically have a deep bench of managerial talent, which means layoffs are often — no, usually — handled with a lack of empathy and poor communication.
More than once, it's been my responsibility to look someone in the eye and tell them that their job had been eliminated. The "best" training I received? A 60-minute briefing with a consultant who told me I'd be fine if I stuck to the script.
Leslie Crowe, talent partner at Bain Capital Ventures, says founders who prepare a communication plan and "opt to be generous where you can" can do right by former employees and keep the trust of those who remain.
"You’re in charge, for better or for worse. This may feel like one of the worst moments in your company’s trajectory, but your team will respect you when you take responsibility for overhiring or any missteps that led to this point."
Is ocean conservation the next climate tech? 7 investors explain why they’re all-in
Image Credits: Douglas Klug (opens in a new window) / Getty Images
Seafaring industries like fishing and oil exploration are inherently extractive, but technological advances and increased environmental awareness have ushered in a new era.
“Founders and investors have started to look for opportunities to conserve, and even enhance, the ocean’s resources rather than exploit them,” reports Tim De Chant.
He interviewed seven investors to examine some of the parallels between climate tech and ocean conservation tech and learn more about the opportunities they’re diving for:
Tim Agnew, general partner, Bold Ocean Ventures
Peter Bryant, program director (oceans), Builders Initiative and Kate Danaher, managing director (oceans and seafood), S2G Ventures
Daniela V. Fernandez, founder and CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, managing partner, Seabird Ventures
Rita Sousa, partner, Faber Ventures
Christian Lim, managing director, SWEN Blue Ocean Partners
Reece Pacheco, partner, Propeller
Pitch Deck Teardown: Uber's $200K pre-seed deck from 2008
Image Credits: Uber (opens in a new window)
The word "disruptive" gets thrown around so much, it's lost much of its impact. But when Uber rolled out service in San Francisco in 2011, it really transformed the way people got around.
Before the transportation giant reached today's staggering $69 billion market cap, its founders raised a $200,000 pre-seed round in 2008 to validate their notion that "Digital Hail can now make street hail unnecessary."
Here's their original deck:
Problem slide (“Cabs in 2008”)
Solution slide (“Digital Hail can now make street hail unneccessary”)
Solution slide (“UberCab Concept”)
Product slide 1 (“1-Click Car Service”)
Value proposition slide 1 (“Key Differentiators”)
Mission (“Operating Principles”)
How it works slide 1 (“UberCab Apps”)
How it works slide 2 (“UberCab.com”)
Positioning slide (“Use Cases”)
Value proposition slide 2 (“User Benefits”)
Value proposition slide 3 (“Environmental Benefits”)
Product slide 2 (“UberCab Fleet”)
Go-to-market slide 1 (“Initial Service Area”)
Technology overview slide (“Technology”)
Competitive advantage slide (“Demand Forecasting”)
Market size slide (“Overall Market”)
Market segmentation slide (“Composition of Market”)
Go-to-market slide 2 (“Target Cities”)
Scenario planning (“Potential Outcomes”)
“Why now?” slide (“SmartPhones Aug 2008”)
Road map slide 1 (“Future Optimizations”)
Marketing slide (“Marketing Ideas”)
Road map slide 2 (“Location-Based Service”)
Traction slide (“Progress to Date”)
Dear Sophie: Domestic pilot program for H-1B and L visa stamping?
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch
I’m in the U.S. on an H-1B, which my employer recently extended. However, I don’t have an H-1B visa stamp in my passport because I originally had a change of status from F-1 STEM OPT.
It’s been more than three years since I visited my family in India and I would love to do that now, but I worry about how long it will take to get my H-1B visa to return to the U.S.
How long will it take to get an interview for an H-1B visa stamp? Am I eligible for a visa interview waiver? How do I get one? Can I do it from the U.S. this year?
— Hungry for Home