Tech forgot its umbrella •

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced tackle this week’s startup information and tendencies by Senior Reporter and Fairness co-host Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe right here.

It seems like tech forgot its umbrella. Like, it remembered to pack its water bottle, put on the suitable sneakers and layer up, however when it got here time to formally go exterior — and say, face the yr forward — it realized {that a} waterproof hoodie wasn’t sufficient. It wants an industrial umbrella.

You recognize what I imply?

Right here’s what I’m dancing, or, erm, writing, round. It feels just like the macroeconomic atmosphere has been fairly unstable for the previous yr; and we’re nonetheless seeing entrepreneurs react to the market as if it simply occurred to knock on their door, journey them over and proceed to steal all their belongings. I’m not saying that founders and buyers ought to have completely predicted what Q1 of this yr ought to seem like; I’m simply questioning how lengthy we’re going to get “the financial system” as a catalyst for arduous selections.

What lastly will get a CEO to step down? What lastly will get an organization to conduct its third spherical of layoffs? Is it the financial system, or is it a uniquely human resolution that comes simply months after you have been informed to develop in any respect prices? After we’re speaking about pivots and layoffs, I believe it’s essential to speak concerning the realities of shifting to take care of the brand new regular. Abstractions such because the financial system simply fall flat now that it’s been various months for the reason that markets have been gray.

I assume what I’m making an attempt to say is, you possibly can most likely go away your own home throughout a drizzle and find yourself on the grocery retailer just a bit damp. For those who overlook your umbrella throughout a downpour, effectively, now you’re soaking moist and nobody feels that dangerous for you. Don’t overlook them, and higher but, sport them proudly.

Are you able to inform it’s been raining on the East Coast? Comply with me on Twitter or Instagram for different subpar metaphors and ideas. In the remainder of this article, we’ll speak about a contemporary new enterprise fund that isn’t afraid to speak about privilege or honesty,

G on G

I spoke to Sophia Amoruso, the founding father of Nasty Gal and Girlboss, about her new enterprise fund for founders, Belief Fund.

It’s launching with a $5 million goal, concentrating on a examine measurement between $50,000 to $150,000. She’s already landed checks from the who’s who in tech. Outstanding buyers embrace a slew of a16z companions similar to Marc Andreessen, Andrew Chen and Chris Dixon, in addition to entrepreneur Ev Williams, icon Paris Hilton and help from buyers Ryan Hoover and Cleo Capital’s Sarah Kunst.

Right here’s why that is essential: It’s her high-profile and rocky expertise in Silicon Valley’s highlight that has lastly given Amoruso the working expertise wanted to launch her personal enterprise agency. Whereas she is opening up a $5 million allocation to accredited buyers exterior her community, she stated from a portfolio building standpoint: she’s not essentially searching for “diamonds within the tough” or a selected variety quota.

“I plan to spend money on women and men and all the pieces in between. And if something, like why not spend money on the privilege and trip the coattails of a dude?” Amoruso stated. “As a girl, why wouldn’t I need to spend money on the benefit {that a} man has, like, be happy to publish that — it’s true.”

Sophia Amoruso, the founding partner of Trust Fund.

Picture Credit: Emily Malan


Discord has acquired Fuel, a compliments-based social media app for teenagers. Studies Amanda Silberling:

On Fuel, customers join with their faculty, add pals and reply polls about their classmates. However the questions within the polls are supposed to spice up customers’ confidence somewhat than harm it. Teenagers could be requested to decide on which of 4 pals is the most effective DJ or has the most effective smile. Then the one who was chosen will get an nameless message with their praise, despatched from a obscure “boy in tenth grade” or “woman in eleventh grade.”

Right here’s why it’s essential: When Clubhouse first rose to fame, buyers and founders alike have been abuzz with power across the alternative for innovation within the client social house. Since, Clubhouse has been by its share of struggles — take heed to my Fairness episode with the CEO right here — however so has Twitter. I believe Fuel’ early exit and the slew of comparable apps already on website, might convey some wanted optimism to the dialog.

Picture Credit: Bryce Durbin/

The follow-up

I’ve coated Clearco, previously often known as Clearbanc, for years. Like many, the Toronto-based fintech had a very unstable previous 12 months. However this week really marked the top of an period, with co-founder Michele Romanow stepping down from her place as chief government of the tech unicorn.

Right here’s why it’s essential: Clearco has undergone quite a few rounds of layoffs over the pandemic, together with a reduce that impacted 25% of employees. Moreover, in 2022, the Toronto-based fintech noticed its different co-founder, Andrew D’Souza, step down from his CEO function to get replaced by Romanow. Now, each the co-founders will assume government chairman positions.

“We don’t ever lie, we’re underneath the identical pressures as each different firm to change into a worthwhile enterprise. And so we’ve simply continued to make the arduous selections … and proceed to be forward of the curve,” Romanow stated in an interview with, explaining the shift.

And many others., and many others.

Seen on

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Seen on

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With that, I’m off to take pleasure in a weekend in Philadelphia with some new and outdated pals. Is anybody else bored with my East Coast tour? No? Simply me? I’ll be again in San Francisco, and your inboxes, quickly.

Take care,


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