TechCrunch+ Roundup: Deep Tech Tips for SaaS VCs, Toxic Fundraising, Student Visa Startup Options

If someone said “startup” while we were playing a word association game, I would respond with “fundraising.” (I bet you would too.)

Asking people for money is a key aspect of every founder’s journey, but Techstars CEO Collin Wallace says it can also “hasten your demise.”

For example, generating a round to accelerate engineering, sales, and marketing sounds positive, but what if the business itself has a negative economic unit?

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“Most of the time, what stands between a company and its ability to scale is not a lack of money,” Wallace writes in TC+.

“It is better to ask: Do we have hustle problems? Problems with the product? Process problems? People problems? Is my business model fundamentally flawed?

In this article, he examines four scenarios that often lead entrepreneurs to search for new cash, and explains why it’s far more important to get “a clear picture of what’s fueling the losses.”

Thank you for reading,

walter thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

Software Investors Should (Re)Learn These 3 Ideas Before Going Deep Tech

three light bulbs hanging from the ceiling

Image Credits: christian sturzenegger (Opens in a new window) / Fake Images

Because VCs have turned “software investing into a low-margin finance game,” it might be a positive that so many “can’t move on and invest in the next big thing: deep tech,” according to Champ Suthipongchai, co-founder. and general partner of Creative Ventures.

A SaaS mindset is simply not relevant to deep tech investing, which means traditional VCs need to recalibrate their behavior (and expectations) before diving in.

“The software investor mantra of founder-first is simply wrong in the world of deep tech,” Suthipongchai writes.

“This kind of magical thinking is exactly why your software playbook is doomed to fail.”

Blank Street cracked the code to make coffee shops attractive to VC

Blank Street, coffee, startups, venture capital

Image Credits: fake images

Tech investors don’t tend to back brick-and-mortar businesses because they have many literal moving parts: SaaS startups can’t flat a tire or fail a health inspection, and they certainly don’t need foot traffic.

“But Blank Street claims to have cracked the code on how to get a chain of 65+ brick-and-mortar coffee shops to have the right metrics to attract venture capitalists,” writes Rebecca Szkutak.

“They recently closed a $20 million Series B round in the middle of a year in which fundraising plummeted, even for companies with low overhead costs.”

Ask Sophie: Can I launch a startup if I’m in the US on a student visa?

lone figure at the entrance to the hedge maze that has an American flag in the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I just found out that I have been accepted to an American university, which was my first choice!

One day my dream would be to create my own startup in the US. Is there a foundation that I am allowed to lay to make my dream come true?

— Forward-thinking founder

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