TechCrunch+ roundup: Slashing churn rates, visa side hustles, YC S22 Demo Day faves

·5-min read

I love it when a plan comes together.

A few weeks ago, I found a Twitter thread by Sam DeBrule, co-founder and head of marketing of Heyday, who explained how he and his co-founder reduced customer churn by improving their onboarding process.

I sent him a DM asking if he’d adapt the thread for a guest post on TC+; he said, "yes," and we published it earlier this week.

If new users can’t quickly figure out how to use (or benefit from) your products, it won’t matter how many new customers you onboard each month.

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That’s why marketing and product teams need onboarding goals, says Sam, who explains the tactics he used to insert themselves into the customer journey and how those changes helped them reduce turnover by almost 3x.

Thanks again to Sam for sharing the benefit of his experience! If you’ve solved a problem inside your organization and are interested in sharing your solutions with an audience, please review our recently revised submission guidelines.

In what I think may be a TechCrunch first, I'm hosting two Twitter Spaces on Tuesday, September 13. These should be lively conversations, so I hope you'll join us; the details are below.

Have a fantastic weekend,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

5 metrics Series A investors look for at dev-tools startups

Steel chain links connected in the middle by a red paperclip, on white background, cut out
Steel chain links connected in the middle by a red paperclip, on white background, cut out

Image Credits: I Like That One (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The median Series A raised by developer-tooling companies fell to $47.5 million in Q3 2022, "the lowest it has been since the beginning of 2021," writes Rak Garg, a principal at Bain Capital.

After meeting with hundreds of companies since the start of the downturn, Garg has written a fundraising guide for seed-stage founders who are hoping to reach the next level.

"I’ve noticed a common characteristic among founders who have raised successful Series A rounds: They’re great at telling their companies’ stories," says Garg.

Dear Sophie: Can I start a company or a side hustle on a TN visa?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center
lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie:

I’m a Canadian citizen working under a TN visa as a software engineer in the U.S. I want to start my own company or at least earn money through a side hustle.

Is this possible on my TN, or is the only way I can do that via a green card? If so, is it possible to get permanent residence since the TN is for non-immigrant intent?

— Clever Canadian

Twitter Space: A Gen Z VC speaks up

Hand Holding Avocado Toast. Ripe Hass Avocado, Wholegrain Bread, Sesame Flax Seeds.
Hand Holding Avocado Toast. Ripe Hass Avocado, Wholegrain Bread, Sesame Flax Seeds.

Image Credits: Anastasiia Yanishevska / EyeEm (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

According to Andrew Chan, a senior associate at Builders VC, GenZ investors "are still a bunch of kids, myself included."

In a Twitter Space on Tuesday September 13 at 8 a.m. PDT/11 a.m. EDT, Chan will join me to share his views about why "Gen Z isn’t a real investment trend."

Twitter Space: What can today's founders learn from the 2000 dotcom bubble burst?

381632 01: The Pets.com sock puppet. The San Francisco-based pet products company, known for its commercials with the sock-puppet dog and the slogan "Because pets can''t drive," said November 7, 2000 that it is closing down after failing to find a financial backer or buyer. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)
381632 01: The Pets.com sock puppet. The San Francisco-based pet products company, known for its commercials with the sock-puppet dog and the slogan "Because pets can''t drive," said November 7, 2000 that it is closing down after failing to find a financial backer or buyer. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)

Image Credits: Chris Hondros (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In 2000, many high-flying internet startups turned into smoking craters. Anna Barber was VP of Product at Petstore.com when her company was sold off in a fire sale to Pets.com, their biggest competitor.

"We laid off our staff except one person, who stayed around with the CEO to help wind down the company and settle up with all our creditors," says Barber. "That person was me."

On Tuesday, September 13 at noon PDT/3 p.m. EDT, Barber will join me to talk about how today's startup operators can avoid many of the missteps founders have made in past downturns. Bring your questions!

Want to survive the crypto winter? Start by inspiring regulatory confidence

purple flower blooming in snow; crypto winter
purple flower blooming in snow; crypto winter

Image Credits: Ekspansio (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Crypto entrepreneurs still have room to grow, but they would be well served to get on the good side of regulators, says Stephen Aschettino, U.S. head of fintech at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

“To seize new opportunities and stay competitive as the seasons change, regulatory clarity will be key.”

Our 11 favorite companies from YC's S22 Demo Day

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

This week, 240 companies pitched themselves at Y Combinator's S22 Demo Day, a stark decline from the 402 that participated in the Winter '22 session.

After listening to more than 100 presentations, TechCrunch staffers Anna Heim, Christine Hall, Tage Kene-Okafor, Kyle Wiggers, Natasha Mascarenhas, Alex Wilhelm and Andrew Mendez selected their favorite companies.

  • Metriport

  • Anchor

  • Hilos

  • Capsule

  • Knowtex

  • Feather

  • Gullak Money

  • Shinkei Systems

  • Relay

  • Pana

  • Chowdeck

Take note: "These are startups that stood out to us for one reason or another. They aren’t endorsements and sometimes are just for fun."

Our 10 favorite startups from YC’s S22 Demo Day: Part 2

Image Credits: Getty Images

Here are the companies from Day 2 that caught the attention of Mary Ann Azevedo, Natasha Mascarenhas, Amanda Silberling, Anna Heim, Andrew Mendez, Alex Wilhelm and Kyle Wiggers:

  • Kashin

  • Axle

  • Hedgehog

  • Deekard

  • Momentu

  • Tangia

  • Paige

  • Illuminant

  • Drip

  • Birch Biosciences