The Next Big Tech Mafia? Licensed Talents • TechCrunch

The Next Big Tech Mafia? Licensed Talents • TechCrunch

The Next Big Tech Mafia? Licensed Talents • TechCrunch

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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.


After the massive exodus of talent from tech, we are starting to see laid-off talent building big, ambitious companies. I’m talking about the legal analyst who got fired from launching a legal tech startup, or the head of security at Twitter launching a Twitter rival with security at heart. It’s refreshing, and it’s palpable.

Is it something in the water? Is this fertile ground for a specific subset of businesses? Is it just easier to start a business these days? Unfortunately, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what reframes risk in 2023. It may be that 2022 is over – or it may just be that the great tech reset has reminded some that it’s time to take the leap, because nothing can be taken for granted.

It should be noted that there is only a subset of people who can afford to take this risk, especially after randomly losing a safety net of an employer contract. In a previous article, I looked at how some tech workers respond to risk by doing more due diligence on potential employers, taking on two jobs, otherwise known as overemployment, or reframing their mindset. in personal finance.

Those who can afford to get into construction may be a smaller cohort, but oh, they have stories to tell. Read my latest article exploring this spin-off trend in TC+: Tech layoffs are creating a new era of rambling (and humiliated) founders.

If you still want to know more about the evolution of the labor market, I have two add-ons! Read this latest article from Ron Miller, which gives us some hope on why the tech job market might not be as fragile as we think. You can also find a full list of all 2023 layoffs in this list, curated by our SEO Champion Alyssa Stringer.

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll talk about a new podcast about one of the biggest tech startup competitions, a boost to fundraising honesty, and some surprising data on the trends that go out. As always, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram to continue the conversation. I also write on my personal blog, if you want to follow the other 1,821 people who come to hang on and be too talkative.

Inside the Starter Battlefield

Ready for a newsletter for your ears, anyone? The TechCrunch Podcast Network has a new podcast — and it takes you into one of the world’s most anticipated startup competitions: Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Here’s why it’s important: The four-part series covers the whole process behind the contest, from application to winner, and I’m already looking forward to the next installment (even though I was literally in the front row when it all happened). It’s a must for hopeful candidates, curious VCs, and anyone who cares about the storytelling behind early-stage startups.

Listen to the first episode here, or wherever you find podcasts.

Picture credits: TechCrunch

“You can fundraise forever”

I spoke to Meena Harris, the creator of Phenomenal Media and niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, and Helen Min, the former head of marketing at AngelList, Plaid and other tech companies. They have partnered to launch Phenomenal Ventures, which has just closed an initial $6 million fund with leading investors to support the SaaS enterprise, fintech and the future of commercial enterprises.

Here’s why it’s important: We had some candor that VCs fill my DMs. The fundraising process for the Phenomenal Ventures fund, per min, took about a year. “I’m very transparent about it and wish more people were; we decided to raise a bigger fund,” she said, adding that they closed the first half of the fund within the first three weeks of fundraising.

Eventually, due to the market downturn and freezing LPs, Harris and Min decided to stop fundraising after their first close. “There is a real trade-off between the time we spend fundraising and the time we can actually spend with the deal flow, meeting founders and helping our portfolio companies, so we decided to call,” added Min.

Helen Min and Meena Harris, co-founders of Phenomenal Ventures.

Picture credits: Maria del Rio (Opens in a new window)

The follow-up

In his latest play, TC’s Sarah Perez asks, “Has there been a Twitter exodus or just a Twitter hiatus?” She checks how the lineup of Twitter alternatives is faring since Elon Musk took over Twitter, ushering in both a vocal exodus and a rise in clones.

Here’s why it’s important: In his own words, “The data indicates that many apps continue to grow to a lesser extent, while other apps have experienced a decline in growth. But it also shows that Twitter itself has never been significantly impacted, at least in terms of new app installs. But there is more; it also explores how Twitter usage has been impacted by a wave of critical but vocal press, and how Reddit and Discord fit into the conversation.

Twitter bird logo with Elon Musk's head

Picture credits: Bryce Durbin / Tech Crunch


Seen on TechCrunch

As ChatGPT hype reaches fever pitch, Neeva launches its generative AI search engine globally

China’s video game industry contracts for the first time in years

How a Brazilian startup’s pivot to corporate cards paid off

Security breach? Don’t blame your employees

Seen on TechCrunch+

The on-demand delivery trilemma

When fundraising, anchor your business with the “why now?” ” slide

A decade of fintech failures: 4 innovations that fell short

Silicon Valley goes to war

5 buyer red flags to look for during the M&A process

Discuss next week,



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