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Hello, and Happy Thursday. Just one more day to go for the workweek. Haje is in Boston taking fabulous photos of the activities going on at TechCrunch Early Stage today, so I’m holding down the fort. And I’m also mourning my blue Twitter check mark, which left me today. Enough about that. Let’s get on with the news! — Christine

The TechCrunch Top 3

Startups and VC

Three former managing directors at Amex Ventures went out on their own to start Vesey Ventures, and now they have closed on their debut fund with $78 million in capital commitments to back early-stage fintech startups. Mary Ann has more on their journey.

Now over to CoreWeave, which landed a mega-round of $221 million in Series B investment, of which half came from lead investor Magnetar Capital. Kyle writes that this values the general-purpose cloud computing company at $2 billion pre-money.

Here’s SIX more for you:

4 problems venture capital can’t solve

torn up dollar bills on a plate

Image Credits: Oleksandr Shchus (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Fundraising is a key aspect of every founder’s journey, but Techstars managing director Collin Wallace says it can also hasten a company’s demise.

For example, raising funds to scale up sales and marketing efforts might sound great, but what if the business itself has negative unit economics?

“Most of the time, what stands between a company and its ability to achieve scale is not a lack of money,” says Wallace.

“It’s better to ask: Do we have hustle problems? Product problems? Process problems? People problems? Is my business model fundamentally flawed?”

Two more from the TC+ team:

  • Ooey gooey pitch deck goodness: In the latest installment of Pitch Deck Teardown, Haje looks at the pitch deck that got Honeycomb a $50 million Series D.
  • Threading the needle: Dominic-Madori spoke with Lisa Lambert, the head of National Grid’s CVC National Grid Partners, who discussed that “environmental and social concerns should be top of mind right now for any smart investor.” 

TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams get ahead of the pack. You can sign up here. Use code “DC” for a 15% discount on an annual subscription!

Big Tech Inc.

SpaceX finally had liftoff of its Starship rocket, which went to orbit for the first time. Darrell writes that “all told, this should definitely be considered a success: SpaceX founder Elon Musk had said previously that there was essentially a significant chance Starship wouldn’t even make it off the pad on this first try.”

Tricks are for kids, but in Discord’s case, tricks are for its new chatbot. Lorenzo reports that some users performed a trick called “jailbreaking” on Discord’s Clyde chatbot, getting it to share napalm and meth instructions.

And now here’s five more for you:

Daily Crunch: Proton releases end-to-end encrypted password manager for desktop and mobile by Christine Hall originally published on TechCrunch

Source: New feed

2023-04-20T22:05:09+00:00
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