Startups & Tech

By Chris McCann

A curated list of the top stories in technology, startups, and venture capital.

A curated list of the top stories in technology, startups, and venture capital.

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Startups & Tech - Issue #208: FTX Conglomerate, Payment Systems, ACH for Developers

A bit of an emphasis on fintech & financial systems this week: Should Robinhood, Voyager, and BlockFi sell to FTX?Crash course on the US fintech and payments ecosystem.An attempt to look at the entire web3 financial system ("crypto banking") and its compo…


Startups & Tech - Issue #207: Increasing Luck, BaaS regulation, and AI Operations

What VCs are thinking now.Publishing your work increases your luck surface area. More regulatory oversight may be coming to banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platforms.What actually is the metaverse? Results of a poll to answer this question.My partner at Race Capi…


Startups & Tech - Issue #206: Race Capital Fund II, Startup People vs Big Company People, Venture Outlook

Elon Musk signed up to acquire Twitter, then tried to back out, then accepted, but is now pulling out again.An employee compromise (via downloading a PDF) led to a $500M hack. Always be careful on what you click on / download.Startup people vs. big company pe…


Startups & Tech - Issue #205: Valuations, Plaid, and Reverting to the Mean

I know I featured this before but it’s worth taking a look at the AngelList valuation data again. Over the past few months early stage valuations have come down, deals have slowed down, and investors are owning more.An explanation of what Plaid is and why it'…


Startups & Tech - Issue #204: Investment Pace, Staked ETH, CAC and LTV

VC investors have slowed their investment pace, are not anticipating a quick bounce back, with growth rounds being the hardest hit portion of the market. The “peg” between staked Ethereum (stETH) and Ethereum (ETH) has deviated from 1:1 leading people to bett…


Startups & Tech - Issue #203: Time to Money, Neobanks Profitability, Cloud Comparables

One of the biggest advantages Defi/Fintech companies can provide is to shorten the time-to-money flow of the process. Neobanks are having a hard time getting to profitability. Even though Varo received a banking license, their metrics don’t look great. An ove…


Startups & Tech - Issue #202: Cash App Ecosystem, ML Infra, Web3 Wallets, Estimating LTV

Sequoia Capital’s presentation on the downturn, and what it means for startups.Square held its annual investor day, and in particular this presentation on the Cash App ecosystem was a fascinating read. Why “wallets” in Web3 are such an important infrastructur…


Startups & Tech - Issue #201: Stake in Robinhood, M&A Process, Under-Collateralized Lending

Fred Wilson predicts this downturn we are in will last ~18 months or more. For more tactical tips on how to weather the downturn, YCombinator sent this note to their founders. Despite the market downturn, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX purchased a large stake of Ro…


Startups & Tech - Issue #200: Depegging, Forms of Stablecoins, Valuation Data

In the Web3 space the biggest news by far was the failure of Terra Luna/UST. If you aren’t up to speed this is one of the best recaps of how the mechanics worked and why the peg broke. Here is a further deep dive if interested. One thing to keep in mind is th…


Startups & Tech - Issue #199: Cap Table of Twitter, Power Law Distributions, Web3 Security

A sneak peak behind the potential future cap table of Twitter. Takeaways from Real World Crypto(graphy), with one of them being the vulnerabilities of trusted hardware. Power law distributions are the norm in venture capital, but will they be the norm in Web3…


Startups & Tech - Issue #198: Poison Pills, Netflix, Global Fintech, Cloud Services

Twitter has agreed to get acquired by Elon Musk, although what happened to the “poison pill” the board agreed to do?Netflix is not a tech company, it's a TV company. Global expansion in fintech is extremely difficult, which in part is why i think there is suc…


Startups & Tech - Issue #197: Unbundling Zapier, Metrics for Series A, Use Cases of USDC

Continuing the Elon/Twitter drama, he offered to take the entire company private (in his own words) and the board responded by putting out a plan to dilute shareholders in favor of existing management/board (the “poison pill” approach).Startup ideas: Unbundli…


Startups & Tech - Issue #196: Elon on Twitter, NFT Art, and Lightning Labs.

Elon Musk acquired 9.2% of Twitter and joined their board of directors (or not?). Is this a new form of activist investing? 🤔WhatsApp just announced that 7B voice messages are being sent across the network on a daily basis.Fast, the high flying ecommerce chec…


Startups & Tech - Issue #195: Tools for PMs, Growing Pains, and Startup Valuations

A list of top tools used by product managers. TLDR: Slack, notion, figma, jira, miro, and google docs are the top used.As startups grow up, the early contributors sometimes feel stuck/unwanted by the growing team around them. Here’s some tips for how to think…


Startups & Tech - Issue #194: Writing Job Posts, Payments Report, Market Making for Houses

Tactical tips, tricks, and advice for writing job posts. A must have skill for founders trying to grow their early teams.TikTok is the newest platform driving the distribution of music.Market making for houses is not as straightforward as market making for fi…


Startups & Tech - Issue #193: SaaS Multitenancy, Designing APIs, Solana Data, Valuations

Fraud is a big problem in fintech, including but not limited to: account opening fraud, card testing, card present & not present fraud. The secret in SaaS is in large part due to the infrastructure underneath including multitenancy. Russian banks are alre…


Startups & Tech - Issue #192: Messy MLOps, Predictive Computing, and VC Recycling

With everything going on with Russia’s war in Ukraine, there is a huge fear that crypto rails will be used for bad purposes. FTX lays out the case of why this won't happen and the steps they take to ensure that. Machine Learning Ops (MLOps) is currently very …


Startups & Tech - Issue #191: Primer on SWIFT, Content Archiving, and VC Pacing

In a world first, a sovereign country has asked for donations in the form of BTC & ETH, cementing the view that digital assets are real assets. The addresses listed collected $8M+ at the time of this writing. A primer on SWIFT - what it is, why it matters…


Startups & Tech - Issue #190: Enterprise Apps, YouTube’s NFTs, Oracle Data

An analysis on what apps people are using at work. One interesting stat is the fastest growing enterprise apps include: Calendly and TripActions. Even YouTube is focusing on NFTs for 2022. Example policies for seed companies, ie. expense policy, travel policy…


Startups & Tech - Issue #189: Facebook's tough week, Solana Pay, Contributing to Web3

Facebook had a tough week, both losing users and $240B in market cap value.Jump Trading’s Wormhole bridge was hacked and lost $320M in assets. Luckily Jump stepped in to backstop the whole and other bridges like Allbridge were not affected. FTX raised their s…