TechCrunch+ Roundup: Creator economy VC survey, B2C fintech growth strategy, web3 demo day

There are a million reasons why startups fail, and there are only a few reasons why they succeed.

All successful startups share the same proof points, such as product-market fit, strong compounded growth rates and latent customer demand.

They also use tested frameworks that aren’t discussed nearly as much, according to Jonathan Martinez, a growth marketer with experience at Postmates, Uber and Chime and the co-founder of Sales Kiwi.

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In his latest TC+ column, Martinez shares five things he learned while scaling his company from $2 million to $3 million ARR.

“While it may seem that not much changes between each successive million, you would be surprised at the mistakes one can make in this latest stage of startup growth,” he writes.

Martinez explains in detail how they managed hiring, marketing spending, growth strategy, and other factors that helped propel the company forward during this critical phase. “My hope is that this will help to alleviate some of the bumps experienced when scaling your own startup.”

Thanks very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

Unveiling the winning formula: How B2C fintechs conquer customer acquisition

Blackboard full of equations (quantum, relativty....)

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

Customer acquisition costs are top of mind for every startup, but B2C fintechs operate in an intensely competitive environment as they try to differentiate their offerings.

To find tactics that helped companies break through, Ian Sherman, director of growth and value creation at Sagard, surveyed fintechs between seed stage and Series D to track how they managed their marketing budgets over time.

“Amid the barrage of marketing channels available, the mantra for B2C fintechs is ‘less is more,’ and our evidence-based research supports this approach,” he writes.

So your startup’s runway is dwindling and fundraising is hard. What’s next?

Clasp of purse in shape of the bomb with lit fuse. Bankruptcy concept illustration.

Image Credits: Boris Zhitkov / Getty Images

According to Crunchbase, web3 startups raised $3.6 billion in the first half of 2023. Given that funding is down 78% from the same period last year, Jacquelyn Melinek asked several investors about how startups should proceed — and adjust their expectations.

“If you are down to just two to three months, you’re out of options,” advised Kelly Brewster, CEO of bitcoin-focused accelerator Wolf.

“You should pay employees severance, [your remaining] tax bill, and shut down the company. Or, you may find yourself in a bad situation.”

5 lessons robotics founders can learn from the AV industry

Delivery robot on sunset background. Delivery in the future

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

Investors poured $7 billion into robotics startups last year, a 15% year-over-year increase that reflects how automation is quickly gaining ground across multiple sectors.

In a TC+ column based on his firm’s yearly State of Robotics report, Sanjay Aggarwal, a venture partner at F-Prime Capital, says robotics founders should take a page from the autonomous vehicle industry when it comes to successful use cases, M&A and unit economics.

Ask Sophie: As an immigrant to the US, how can I create and work for my own startup?

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

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I was born in India and have been living and working in the U.S. on an H-1B with my current employer for four years. I tried to apply for one of the 10,000 H-1B visa holder work permits that Canada made available in July, but I didn’t get one.

I’ve decided to move forward and found my own startup in the U.S. What’s the best way for me to be able to stay in the U.S. and legally work for my startup?

— Fledgling Founder

7 VCs explain why the creator economy still has legs

Close-up Happy Asian girl influencer wear headphone with guitar record podcast onair online live streaming talk follower comment and audience on phone at home studio.

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

“There are more creator economy startups than creators,” tweeted Banana Capital founder Turner Novak in April 2021.

In January 2023, The Information reported that funding for the sector fell 50% between 2021 and 2022, “but creator economy investors remain unfazed by what may seem like a steep decline,” reports Amanda Silberling.

For our latest investor survey, she talked to seven investors about “where the industry is headed, the rise of short-form video, the shifting role of influencer marketing, and what the launch of new platforms portends.”

  • Brian Harwitt, partner, Coventure
  • Sasha Kaletsky, co-founder and managing partner, Creator Ventures
  • Julia Maltby, principal, Flybridge
  • Josh Constine, principal investor, SignalFire
  • Katelin Holloway, founding partner, 776
  • Ali Hamed, co-founder and general partner, Crossbeam Venture Partners
  • Sima Gandhi, founder of Creative Juice; investor and advisor at G3

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Beacon’s latest demo day startups are a bet that the future might be multichain

Futuristic digital blockchain background. Abstract connections technology and digital network. 3d illustration of the Big data and communications technology.

Image Credits: v_alex / Getty Images

Jacquelyn Melinek covered the graduation of web3 accelerator Beacon’s second cohort on Wednesday, where 25 founders representing 10 companies participated.

“The startups focused on a range of crypto subsectors like infrastructure, gaming, decentralized social media and DeFi, to name a few,” she writes.

  • Cube3.AI
  • Ryu Games
  • Wasabi
  • Phaver
  • Vest
  • Side Protocol
  • Formless
  • Hopscotch
  • Octane
  • Native

Pitch Deck Teardown: ANYbotics’ $50M Series B deck

Robotics startup ANYbotics announced a $50 million Series B round in May. The company, which builds ruggedized quadrupedal robots, says it has already booked preorders worth $150 million “from gas, oil and chemical companies,” reports Haje Jan Kamps.

After redacting some customer and revenue details, ANYbotics shared its winning pitch deck with TC+:

  • Cover slide
  • Mission slide
  • Problem slide
  • Why now slide
  • State of the industry slide
  • Company history slide
  • Product slide
  • Solution slide
  • Value proposition slide
  • Traction slide [redacted]
  • Market size and market projections slide
  • Technology slide 1
  • Technology slide 2
  • Team slide
  • Competitive landscape
  • Go-to-market slide
  • Financials slide [redacted]
  • Testimonials slide [redacted]
  • Thank you slide