Welcome to Startups Weekly, a new human look at the news and trends of this week’s startups. To receive this in your inbox, subscribe here.
This week, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced that it is launching its own NFT platform to support OpenSea, an existing NFT platform. Some techs have rightly pointed out that Coinbase and OpenSea are backed by Andreessen Horowitz, which raises questions about competitive conflicts that could arise from having a common investor (it is not clear whether a16z has ever sold. its shares in Coinbase after its IPO).
As we discussed on Equity this week, the idea of having competitive companies within the same portfolio is uncomfortable. This could impact how open each business is to its investors and, as we’ve seen with Hinge Health, can cause tensions if there is an overlap of advisers. This is a fair argument.
But, is it just me, or does competitive conflict seem somewhat inevitable? As venture capital firms grow, especially an institution like a16z, the idea that no holding company in booming industries like fintech or crypto overlaps in vision seems unrealistic. Clubhouse, another company backed by a16z, encountered a whole wave of competition after its debut – and then I joked that it was only a matter of time before one of the portfolio companies in the company is also turning to social audio.
In a world characterized by fast-paced transactions and booming sub-sectors, competitive conflicts will continue to intensify. Imitation keeps startups at a higher level. If a startup can copy your idea and earn entirely from it, a shared investor is probably not your problem. Of course, there should be processes in place to make sure your board member doesn’t attend meetings with your closest competitor, but beyond extreme cases the line is blurry. on what should constitute conflicts.
I’m tough, but this is my first reaction. Your competitor can still eat your lunch, but in the big OpenSea it might just mean it’s time to swim a little deeper.
As always you can find me on Twitter @nmasc_ or listen to me on Equity. This week, I also made an appearance on Here & Now to talk about the evolution of edtech!
A fund for and by South Asian women entrepreneurs
As a South Asian woman, I was eager to see the emerging world of fund managers receive a new influx of my associates this week. Neythri Futures Fund announced the closure of a $ 10 million fund with investments from leading South Asian men and women.
Here’s what you need to know: The fund, by founding managing partner Mythili Sankaran, brought together 200 investors, 90% of them South Asian women and, here’s the kicker, 70% of novice investors. It was built on AngelList, which worked on a suite of SaaS tools for venture capitalists.
More money, less hassle:
ClassPass got off the treadmill and onto a new track
ClassPass was acquired by Mindbody as part of a stock deal that actually got half the staff at TC excited. ClassPass, for those who don’t know, helps fill out workout classes with consumers, while Mindbody provides the software that helps fitness centers and stores run their businesses better.
Here’s what you need to know: It was sane and intelligent, two words that should be associated with acquisitions.
By combining their strengths, the Mindbody / ClassPass entity has the opportunity for tremendous growth. ClassPass studios that don’t use reservation software – Lanman says that’s about a third of studios on ClassPass – will now have the option to register with Mindbody.
Mindbody’s consumer-oriented business will have the opportunity to double their experience by purchasing a ClassPass membership and accessing these studios. And, of course, gyms and studios that use Mindbody for a la carte reservations could also be sold to ClassPass. – Jordan Crook
When M&A disappears:
A story of two travelogues
This week on Equity, the TechCrunch team took a look at how two travel-focused startups have pivoted and bounced back through the pandemic. While one startup chose to focus on flexible living, another decided to take the fintech path.
Here is what you need to know: TripActions went from $ 0 in revenue to $ 7.25 billion in valuation. How? ‘Or’ What? Well, as Mary Ann reports, TripActions took a look at the brand new fintech product it launched a month before the pandemic began, giving it growth and a way to support customers through managing expenses. The news reminds us all that every startup, ultimately, is a financial technology company.
Fintech & friends:
This week, I’m going to convince you that one of the best free ways to build a better venture-backed business is… TechCrunch Live. The weekly event, hosted by some of the publication’s best insiders, connects founders and the investors who fund them in a relaxing conversation.
TC is asking investors about their thought process when writing checks, researching details and reverse engineering their biggest deals to date. Then, in the second half of each episode, audience founders are encouraged to jump onto our virtual stage and showcase their products, receiving live commentary from our esteemed duos.
Last week we had Chime Founder and CEO Chris Britt with Menlo Ventures Partner Shawn Carolan. In the past, we’ve had Manish Chandra, CEO of Poshmark, Navin Chaddha of Mayfield, Julia Collins of Planet FWD, and Sarah Kunst of Cleo Capital.
TechCrunch Live is free to anyone who wants to attend live, so come every Wednesday at 3 p.m. EDT / noon PDT.
All week long
Seen on TechCrunch
How Los Angeles is Preparing for Air Taxi Takeoff
SoWork has just convinced investors (and Tinder) that virtual coworking is here to stay
Reddit hires former Google Cloud executive as first product manager
How to Sell Clothes Online and Make Money
Coinbase launches its own NFT platform to take on OpenSea
Seen on TechCrunch +
Inside Plaid plans to create a new global financial network
Selling in the company: how Slack and other startups go wrong
NerdWallet IPO filing reveals high margin content activity, accelerating marketing spend
Founders Should Use Predictive Modeling To Raise Money Smarter
How my company is winning the war for engineering talent