A pivot, on this market‽


Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced tackle this week’s startup news and trends by Senior reporter Natasha Mascarenhas. 

Startups Weekly readers know I like a pivot story, and now I actually have considered one of my very own: I’m leaving TechCrunch! That is my last Startups Weekly issue, a newsletter that I’ve written every week for over two years. I’ll be moving on to a latest publication, continuing to report on enterprise capital and startups.

It’s a bittersweet move. I’ve spent most of my post-graduation profession at TechCrunch. The publication helped me land many skilled firsts: my first scoop, my first long-form feature story, my first valuation-run bull cycle and my first layoffs-ridden bear cycle. I also launched a complete latest show for Equity, TC’s flagship podcast, interviewing guests about their hottest takes and profession paths. Plus, I interviewed Kevin Hart on the Disrupt stage. Grateful is an understatement.

While this will likely be my last Startups Weekly, it’s not the top of this article. I’m thrilled to share that Haje Jan Kamps, a longtime reporter and the creator of our amazing Pitch Deck Teardown series, will likely be taking up Startups Weekly. Haje is considered one of the reporters I quote most in this article because all of his work suits the “startup must read” category — and his witty headlines don’t hurt, either.

As for who will likely be covering my beat, TC already has an incredible enterprise desk, including but not limited to Connie Loizos, Mary Ann Azevedo, Christine Hall, Dominic-Madori Davis and Rebecca Szkutak. Big shout out to Kyle Wiggers, as well, who’s fearlessly, and thoughtfully, covering artificial intelligence alongside Devin Coldewey.

In my next role, I’ll be covering the identical beat and the identical city, specializing in deeply researched feature pieces and scoops. To learn more about where I’m going next, and to follow my work, try my (free!!!) Substack and stay in touch on Twitter. I’m excited for the brand new challenge. Tech has never been more newsworthy. Sources, I still would love your suggestions: My Signal: is 1 925 271 0912.

Now let’s get right into a newsletter!

The AI debate

On TC+, I wrote a story in regards to the debate happening inside every enterprise firm at once: What’s the perfect solution to capture the substitute intelligence zeitgeist?

Here’s an excerpt:

Precursor’s Charles Hudson desires to be cautious but not too cautious. The enterprise capitalist was considered one of many at an AI confab last month, but he — and plenty of others — has not yet made a latest AI investment in the course of the current hype cycle.

Also like many investors, he’s seen an inflection point take over a sector before, bringing in boatloads of capital, latest founders and, at times, speedy and FOMO-driven deals. Historically, Hudson hasn’t minded sitting out. “With crypto, for instance, I used to be OK being at almost zero,” he said. “I don’t think I’m OK with zero as the reply for AI. The query is where and the way.”

  • OpenAI’s latest tool attempts to clarify language models’ behaviors
  • Mayfield raised just shy of $1B to avoid unicorn hype
  • Anthropic thinks ‘constitutional AI’ is the perfect solution to train models


Image Credits: Daniel Grizelj (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Minting latest accelerators

The team behind Higher Tomorrow Ventures saw a few of its biggest wins before the firm even existed — back when the founding duo was backing pre-seed corporations at 500. Now, founding partners Sheel Mohnot and Jake Gibson are launching an accelerator of their very own.

Here’s what to know: The Mint will likely be a three-month accelerator, based out of San Francisco, that cuts $500,000 checks in exchange for 10% equity in between six to 10 startups. The initial cohort, which starts this upcoming August, already accepted one company, and sent a second acceptance letter out today.

Higher Tomorrow appears to be stepping in where it believes Y Combinator is lacking. “YC is built for scale. The recommendation is lots like one-size-fits-all,” Mohnot said. “We felt like with fintech, there are such a lot of things which are unique about constructing that it is sensible to have something distinct.”

  • AI2 Incubator’s latest $30M fund triples down on early stage AI startups
  • Higher rates of interest are fostering a fintech comeback story
  • We’re near peak pessimism around fintech

Enterprise-backed all the things for real-world problems, please

On Equity this week, the trio chatted through some deals of the week and themes — but the intense spot of the show was most definitely Mary Ann’s coverage of Wellthy. The startup recently raised $25 million to assist caregivers feel less overwhelmed through a product it describes as “tech-enabled care concierge.”

Here’s what to know: While the enterprise ecosystem has definitely rushed to back digital health startups, and mental wellness is growing as a conversation, there’s never enough on caretaking specifically.

  • Contained in the story of 1 founder’s selection to shut her startup down, and advice for others going forward
  • Yeah, tech growth is slowing down
  • Despite a rocky start, climate tech is in a superb position to tackle the remaining of 2023
  • And that’s a wrap on my last Equity episode! To Equity listeners, thanks for coming along my entire journey on the show, from jumping on Equity Friday’s to hosting and leading the creation of our Equity Wednesday episodes. I’m so happy with my past three years on the show and may’t wait to now be an avid listener from afar. Much like to all of you, and I hope to win you back each time I launch a latest podcast!
Green city arrow sign

Image Credits: Getty Images

Etc., etc.

  • Programming note: If you happen to’re reading this on a browser, get this in your inbox too! Subscribe here and share it together with your friends.
  • In fact: It’s already Disrupt season. Reminder that there’s a ticket for each budget and role.
  • And at last, I actually have a shameless plug: Scoops make me! If you happen to hear a few enterprise firm or startup winning, raising, flailing, or, oh I don’t know, booting an executive due to internal happenings, tell me. I like seeing early pitch decks and term sheets too. Blissful to discuss anonymity and explain more of my process and what I’m on the lookout for. You may tell me stuff on Signal at +1 925 271 0912. No pitches, please.

Seen on TechCrunch

All Raise’s interim CEO is now full-time

Elon Musk says he has found a latest CEO for Twitter

Boxed wine could be bougie with Allison Luvera and Lauren De Niro Pipher from Juliet

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried seeks to dismiss most US charges against him

Twitter launches encrypted DMs for verified users with security drawbacks

Seen on TechCrunch+

Pitch Deck Teardown: Fibery’s $5.2M Series A deck

Hidden in plain sight: 5 red flags for investors

Tech staff could take labor lessons from Hollywood’s writers

Ask Sophie: Can I apply for an EB-1A without first getting an O-1A?

It’s been fun. See you on the opposite side – and hope you stay reading along,


A pivot, on this market‽ by Natasha Mascarenhas originally published on TechCrunch


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