Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh look at what’s new and trends from startups this week. To get this in your inbox, Subscribe here.
If you don’t understand this heading, let’s start with a quick history lesson.
Taylor Swift re-records all of her albums, but not in the name of nostalgia. Instead, Swift is taking on this highly anticipated project so that she can control her music instead of a separate music label. The first of their iconic albums was released this year, labeled “(Taylor’s Version),” so long-time fans can stream music that benefits the star, not the label’s archive music.
The startup lesson embedded in Swift’s bold move is less volatile than you think: 2021 reminded me of the power of self-advocacy and the importance of changing your mind.
In 2021, we saw employees begin to demand more from their employers. The Great Resignation was more than just a hiring nightmare, it was a concerted effort by employees to leave their current jobs in order to achieve something more, less, or more balanced. Some even went solo, pursuing the glamor of the creative economy and banking on themselves. These people, like Swift, made me think about how to manage and scale influence as one’s career matured. Sometimes that means having to re-record all of your albums. In other cases it means expressing yourself about the gas lighting that happens in fundraising.
Self-advocacy can often depend on unlearning things that you believed to be true. For Swift, she changed her mind about the role she wanted to play in owning her music. In 2014, Swift reached out to the WSJ to argue against streaming, piracy and file sharing, saying, “Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. I believe music shouldn’t be free and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will one day decide the price of an album. ”In 2021, Swift turned her attention from destroying Spotify and Apple Music, and instead focused on property as a conduit for creating value.
This year I’ve changed my mind on a lot of things, from an unconventional path to entrepreneurship to the time to question the status quo (even though it is the status quo). My job stayed the same – reporting on aspiring fund managers and founders and the conflicting decisions they make – but the way I put them into practice is different. For example, I used to think that asking founders about their competitors was a good litmus test of openness, but now I ask the same people their most uncomfortable beliefs about how to build – and it works much, much better.
The empowerment of the individual and the urge to speak now was a defining feeling of the year. For more on what I forgot about startups this year, check out my TechCrunch + column: “What I forgot about startups this year.”
Before we move on to the rest of this newsletter, I would like to offer my condolences and prayers to everyone who knew Tyson Clark. a general partner at GV who has passed away this week at the age of 43. Clark was one of the most prominent black investors in the venture capital industry, with a respectful legacy that many will clearly miss.
For the rest of today, we’re going to talk about money diversity, climate versus crypto, and the trucking creator economy. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @nmasc_ or on Instagram @natashathereporter.
Various investor initiatives
Credit: Zane Venture Fund as Shila Nieves Burney first degree for. made Zane Venture Fund, a venture capital firm that she had set up to invest in various founding teams, she found that she saw no women alone and hardly any people of color.
“That’s a problem,” she said. “And I felt like I could keep growing up like this, but I’ll keep making white men rich.” Today the aspiring fund manager announced the completion of a $ 1 million “Divers Investor Initiative” in which ZVF awarded 25 slots in its debut fund to LPs who identify as women and people of color. SEC filings show that Zane Venture Fund is after. seeks raise up to $ 25 million for its debut fund, Hence, Burney’s carve-out plays a small but empowering role in who will benefit from the vehicle’s eventual returns.
Here’s what you should know: While Burney stated that the broader fundraising environment for emerging minority managers has “slowed tremendously” since it was earlier this year. It reminds her the first time she fundraised in 2018, when LPs said diversity was neither a strategy nor a differentiator. “I just keep doing it after my thesis, and while that was the wave a year ago, it’s just cold now … we’re finding our trunk of LPs.”
Money behind the money:
If you’re not into crypto, you’re in the climate
The climate is developing into the spotlight sector of the year 2022. I recently saw the introduction of Climatic, a new company founded by a former Lyft CSO and a co-founder of Freestyle Capital. The duo are tackling the new hip sector by focusing on companies that help companies meet their carbon emissions targets.
Here’s what you should know: Kapoor admitted that the specialist climate knowledge of Climatic is “light” compared to the “OG climate investors”. Entrepreneurs primarily seek help from Climatic with business sales, marketing, and pricing; no simple explanations on the limits of commercialization of cellular meat. The company hired a number of consultants who were former sales and marketing directors of other companies, creating a cross-pollination between scientists responsible for revolutionary technologies and people less in the weed.
On to the next:
And the starting shot of the week is …
True north! The startup built by Jin Stedge and Sanjaya Wijeratne raised $ 50 million this year to give independent truckers the opportunity to conduct their current business more efficiently. It helps find, book and coordinate gigs, accept payments and optimize routes.
You should know that: The business-in-a-box format may have calmed down in startup pitch land, but it’s still a very workable strategy – especially in antiquated companies. As I mentioned on last Equity, TrueNorth gives me creator economy vibes (and positions itself to expand into many more, hopefully lucrative, industries).
TechCrunch Gift Guide 2021
Over the week
Seen on TechCrunch
Seen on TechCrunch +
It’s officially been a year since I took over Startups Weekly. Thank you to the tens of thousands of people who have newly subscribed as this community is one of my favorite parts of the job. As one of my favorite thinkers always says: “Thank you very much for your attention. I hope it was worth it, if not … logging out won’t hurt my feelings and give you back time that you literally can’t have back. “