In the video game Katamari Damasi, players control a sticky ball rolling avatar that grabs anything it touches. The goal is to create a sphere big enough to become a star or moon.
E-commerce aggregators operate in a similar manner by acquiring smaller brands, then optimizing their manufacturing and sales channels to increase market share.
This was effective in the pre-vaccine era when consumers stopped visiting stores, but is the brand list model still viable today?
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“Falling consumer confidence, rising brand value and slowing investment capital are creating a perfect storm,” said David Wright, co-founder and CEO of e-commerce Accelerator. “Unless attendees change their behavior, their future is bleak at best and nonexistent at worst.
Growing an online business until it’s big enough to copy sounds good, but Wright (who is clearly interested) says smaller brands should partner with companies that help them navigate the market, not swallow them whole.
“In the year It is similar to the financial crisis of 2008, when weak financial products were bundled together to inflate risk and make them look better than they actually were,” he wrote.
“We all know how this happened.”
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Pitch Deck Teardown: Five-Flute $1.2M Pre-Seed Deck
It’s hard to get follow-on funding, but seed platform founders with a strong idea and good presentation skills can still close a round.
To wit: Five Flute, an issue tracking platform for hardware product managers, recently raised a $1.2M SAFE note to ramp up its marketing efforts and hire more technical talent.
The founders of Five Flutes shared with us their slightly modified pitch deck. In addition to standard slides for TAM and GTM strategies, he does a convincing job of explaining the problems their approach needs to solve and why they believe they are poised for success.
“We have felt this pain personally.”
Dear Sophie: Which immigration options are best for a non-resident group in the US?
We’ve just raised a $20 million Series A, and need to hire more engineers to fully scale our product.
Additionally, we are looking to bring foreign PEO contractors into the states to join us locally and across time zones.
We’re excited about being decentralized – which immigration options are best for us?
– Sophisticated entrepreneur
To optimize for growth, study your down-funnel parameters
Early stage startups devote a lot of time and energy to marketing and acquisitions: these incentives drive new customers into your sales pipeline for significant growth. And investors love growth.
But by August 2022, they’ll be more interested in revenue, which is why Jonathan Martinez says companies should shift their focus to bottom-funnel metrics.
“User group messaging is your biggest lever for moving users through the funnel,” Martinez wrote in a recent TechCrunch+ post.
“Cutting consumers into their individual buckets is critical, as it opens up the opportunity for unique targeting and messaging.”
How to implement energy reduction: planning, implementation and monitoring
It’s hard to argue with the adage “measure twice and cut once.”
Few managers have mastered energy cuts, which is why Nigel Morris, founder and managing partner of QED Investors, has been sharing a five-page document with portfolio company CEOs to guide them.
“We break the process down into three parts: planning, execution, and monitoring,” he writes in a TechCrunch+ article, reinforcing his advice to fellow innovators.
“While the inevitable reality is that RIFs need to be conducted in an organized fashion based on strong business rationale, it’s always important to deliver the message with compassion and respect.”
7 Investors Discuss Why EdTech Startups Need to Get Back to Basics to Survive
Before the pandemic, edtech wasn’t a particularly bubbly sector. In 2019, these startups received nearly $7 billion in VC funding, Crouchbase said.
Last year, that figure rose to $20 billion after efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19 among students of all ages.
To learn more about how edtech is faring in the current recession, Natasha Mascarnhas spoke to seven VCs about her advice to portfolio companies and how edtech is moving into other sectors and how they’re choosing to pitch.
- Ashley Bittner and Kate Ballinger, Firework Ventures
- Jan Lynn-Matern, Founder and Partner, Emer Education
- Malvika Bhagat and Kriti Bansal, Owl Venture
- Jomayra Herrera, Partner, Access Capital
- Rebecca Cadden, General Partner, Union Square Ventures
Jomayra Herrera of Rich Capital said: “I would say the last few years have been more unusual and we are returning to a sustainable pace.