Brand risk so biased in venture capital

Brand risk so biased in venture capital

Brand risk so biased in venture capital

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Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced take on this week’s startup news and trends from Senior Reporter and co-host of Equity Natacha Mascarenhas. To receive it in your inbox, subscribe here.


One of the quieter conversations about venture capital has only intensified, in my DMs and interviews, over the past few months: the known bias in venture capital has been an image problem brand name for some of the emerging and diversified fund managers who have just splashed onto the scene.

Everyone has a story, but they all seem a bit similar: A female VC starts a fund, and she’s either compared to all the other female VCs with a fund, supposed to invest only in female founders or have a diversity angle, equity and inclusion as a core thesis. The otherness that is occurring, of an ever-homogeneous group of LPs or even founders who see female VCs as monolithic, has led some female VCs to completely rebrand their companies so that they are seen as beyond their gender. .

Read my full take on this topic with Rebecca Szkutak on TC+: “For VC women, bias is a brand issue.”

In the rest of this newsletter, we will talk about the Upfront Summit 2023 and a surprising Better Deal. As always, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram to continue the conversation.

VC confab brings surprises and AI

All your favorite venture capital journalists were busy this week at Upfront Summit 2023, an invite-only, two-day event that brings together industry insiders — and celebrities — to talk about the future of capital. I interviewed the past and present guard of Kapor Capital. I shook hands with Jamie Lee Curtis and stole maintenance tips from Kara Swisher. And Al Gore tried to recruit the whole public to be more serious about fighting climate change.

Overall, the conference basically fueled my story plans for the next month, so stay tuned for plenty of follow-up angles. And some scoops too. I’ll start with a recap of the AI ​​conversations throughout the scene.

Here’s why it’s important: If you ask me, AI was the ubiquitous celebrity at Upfront. This is not surprising: fashionable technologies often arouse excessive interest. But the atmosphere is different than it was in 2021 when investors were throwing billions of dollars at grocery delivery companies in 15 minutes and on the web3. Venture dry powder is locked in, deals are slower and some investors are still licking their wounds from the downturn so far.

Picture credits: Clark Studio

The follow-up

My colleagues took the mic this week on Equity to talk about the latest and greatest headlines. The whole show was a hoot. Unexpectedly, for all, was the return of News broke earlier this week that Amazon was allowing employees to use their stock to fund the purchase of a home and even a second home.

Here’s why it’s important: It’s a creative partnership, but also a surprising one. Better has been an Amazon Web Services customer since 2015 and its lending system is powered entirely by the software, according to a statement. Still, Better has been through his fair share of struggles that cast doubt on his future. Do we have to go through all the documents?

Picture credits: Bryce Durbin / Tech Crunch


Seen on TechCrunch

Salesforce Strikes Back

Everything Elon Musk and his executives shared (and ignored) on Tesla Investor Day

Chamath Palihapitiya: It could take three years for the market to “accurately” revalue late-stage cos

OpenAI launches API for ChatGPT, plus dedicated capability for enterprise customers

Players repair a video game “taken over” by hackers

Seen on TechCrunch+

Maybe Substack Can Grow Very Well Without Venture Capital Dollars

Pitch Deck Teardown: Gable’s $12 Million Series A Deck

Does Web3 need a bailout now that AI is all the rage?

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