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In some ways, Y Combinator’s semi-annual demo day is somewhat predictable: There will be Stanford dropouts, a last-minute pivot and, as usual, promises of near-term profitability. we So make a bingo board about it.
But the one thing I can’t guess in advance is the exact priorities of the season group. Y Combinator stands by the fact that it supports people, not ideas, so presentation day technically reveals two things: who’s betting the accelerator and what they’ve decided to prioritize. This year was different for myriad reasons. First, YC Summer 2022 is the second batch to receive a check of $500,000 instead of $125,000, as part of the accelerator’s expanded screening volume. Second, the batch was smaller than usual (see Previous versions of this column are here and here; It’s a completely different tone) – the narrowing of focus that the metronome says was due to deflation. Finally, this was the first batch in which we saw a bifurcation; More than 60% of batch founders were in the Gulf region during the three-month acceleration period, while others remained scattered around the world.
All of these tensions are great for story ideas. So, when covering the latest batch of YC this week, we set out to give readers a better understanding of the issues that startups prioritize during a downturn and how YC’s downturn has affected the company’s focus in certain regions and geographies versus others.
I’m proud of how we did Despite all the iPhone news. We wrote about it How YC’s FinTech Founders Are Getting Back On The Neobank . Train And the Crypto is still bullish territory. we Digging into artificial intelligence sites And the Knockout Economy Creator. And before I start sounding like a nerdy performance by Dr. Seuss, we looked at Geographical focus of the total scope And the Small scale retreat.
With this in mind, as in tradition, I want to leave you with some of the junk food I’ve had after listening to hundreds of presentations. Here’s what 277 presentations from Combinator, and probably you now, have taught me about startups:
- Ideas then people or people then ideas: There are two startup investment camps, review writers who invest in disruptive ideas, and then the different groups of people trying to turn those ideas into reality; And check writers who invest in people and then back those same people with whatever annoying idea you swing into. Y Combinator emphasizes that it is more of the last and not the first. But the data says differently. The last batch of 29% was accepted with just an idea. This batch, 43% were accepted with only an idea. This means that over time, YC has become more comfortable supporting founders who have an idea; Not necessarily less. Something to think about when looking at trends and how one of the most popular accelerators think about failures.
- It’s a fintech accelerator, first off: Sorry, my bias is showing. YC feels more and more a fintech and crypto accelerator than a consumer and biotech accelerator; You can find out based on the details of the startups within each batch but even from the presentation day format. It’s hard to tell a biotech or climate story in one slide in a minute when the format actually helps a startup trying to facilitate financial services.
- Lunar shots are not going anywhere: One theory I’ve tackled in the batch is whether larger checks, even despite the downturn, will result in greater fluctuations in the batch. We were not disappointed. Moonshots include pseudo-fish, alternative investment in athletes, and yet another ambitious play in the world of healthcare DTC.
In this week’s summary, we’ll get into some startup mergers, Kim Kardashian’s and most recent on layoffs. Make sure to read the entire segment because I snuck in a TC+ discount code, especially for Startups Weekly readers, in the post.
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Startups, get a scoop
We’re not talking about enough liquidity here, and I partially blame the fact that the M&A market has felt quite dry over the past few months. Fortunately, we have a few notes to mention this week.
Amazon bought Cloosertermans, a mechatronic specialist who will help her strengthen the arm of her robots. TC’s Ingrid Lunden stated that the startup was “building technology for transporting and stacking heavy pallets and bags, and the robots used to pack products to customer orders.” The interest from Amazon isn’t new: Amazon has been a customer of Cloostermans since 2019, but the acquisition is making things more official.
There is also an acquisition by Instacart, which was busy before its imminent appearance on the public market. Grocery delivery company announces it has acquired Rosie. It will expand the company’s presence to local and independent retailers.
And at the end of the week, we have online grocery company Misfits Market announcing that it will be acquiring Imperfect Foods. I love when the Misfits and Imperfects are together.
Here’s why it’s important: More consolidation gives us some much-needed clues as to how the exit environment is performing these days. For early-stage startups, especially those struggling to raise another round, the future may seem like acquisition fodder (which isn’t bad news).
Venture capital works hard, but Kim Kardashian works even harder
Kim Kardashian announced this week that she is entering the world of private equity with her SKKY Partners. Her company, done in collaboration with former Carlyle partner Jay Sammons, has not yet raised its first fund, but plans to make its first investment by the end of the year.
Here’s what’s important: It is the money of the pioneers of fashion, As we discussed in stocks. We’ve seen influencers in land partnerships, startups, and equity stakes in startups, but PE will be on a different level — even for Kardashian.
I’m trying out a new section on Startups Weekly, where each week we follow an old story or trend to see what has changed since the first look. We haven’t talked about layoffs here a bit, so without further ado…
Here are the new features: Patreon has confirmed that it has laid off five employees from its security team. It will rely on external organizations to develop security capabilities. There are also some tensions leaking from Aurora While Nigerian digital bank Kuda is the latest African startup to lay off employees.
Wait for her. Do you see it? Yes, I am excited too. And while we’re talking about the topic of housekeeping, some additional notes:
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Can you believe it’s technically been such a short week? Monday chat.