TechCrunch+ Roundup: Firing yourself as CEO, board deck basics, venture debt explained | TechCrunch

4 min read


Feeling pretty confident about the marketing slides you’ve prepared for your upcoming board meeting? If so, you may be on the wrong track.

Very few board members have any direct experience in that area, so founders need to “stick with what can be measured,” advises Michelle Swan, a partner at investment firm Tercera.

In this TC+ post, she explores five marketing points your board needs to understand:

  • What are marketing’s priorities?
  • How are you performing against those priorities?
  • What is the health of the pipeline?
  • Is the company and its offerings positioned for future growth?
  • What’s planned for the next quarter or year?

Condensing all of this into just five slides is tough, which is why Swan includes real-world examples that “show the board the full value of marketing, and the impact it is having (and will have) on the business.”

Remember, pipeline metrics are just one part of the story.

For your next meeting, draw a picture of where you are in terms of market positioning and brand reputation, and “create a scorecard against these priorities that you can update and share at future meetings.”

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

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All money is not created equal: What raising venture debt looks like

pile of dollar bills balancing on tooth picks

Image Credits: Phil Ashley (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

In an excerpt from his new book, All Money Is Not Created Equal, Runway Growth Capital CEO and founder David Spreng gives TC+ readers a vivid explanation of how venture debt is raised.

From the breezy intro meeting all the way through “confirmatory due diligence,” this article describes the process from the lender’s side of the table. Some good news: You won’t need a new pitch deck, and venture debt lenders “don’t have a problem with” signing NDAs, says Spreng.

“I would estimate that everything I’ve outlined above should take about four to five weeks from our first phone call,” he writes. “That means you’d probably have a term sheet by week 5.”

Can insurtech recover from the ‘death of insurtech 1.0’?

Concept of health, life, accident and travel insurance with icon healthcare, house, family, car and investment, used in a post about Southeast Asia insurtech Igloo

Image Credits: Getty Images / marchmeena29

I don’t want to be a Gloomy Gus who says the startup ecosystem is driven by hype cycles, but in H1 2023, “global insurtech funding declined more than 50%,” YoY, Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm write in The Exchange.

“This morning, let’s dig into what’s happening with global insurtech startups and see if we can spot a little light in this murky bog that many insurtech companies are lost in.”

The bittersweet tale of two seed markets

seed deals, deal count, venture capital

While seed-focused investors are seeing good deal flow, seed deal count is going down. Image Credits: Getty Images

According to PitchBook, only 766 seed rounds closed in Q2 2023, a 26% decline from 1,044 deals in Q1.

“And that dip means the second quarter had the lowest number of seed deals we’ve seen since Q3 2016,” writes Rebecca Szkutak.

“If things don’t change, 2023 could be the slowest year for seed activity since 2017.”

Why this founder decided to replace himself as CEO

Recruit and hire human resources (HR) concept. Marketing segmentation, targeting, personalization, individual customer care (service), customer relationship management (CRM) and leader concepts. (Recruit and hire human resources (HR) concept. Marketin

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jirsak

Many say building a startup is a marathon, not a sprint. But in many cases, it’s actually a relay race.

Particle Health founder Troy Bannister told TC+ he launched a search for a new CEO after realizing that his skill set didn’t align with the company’s future needs.

“There was an organic moment . . . that created this opening to ask that question: ‘Is there someone better? Who would it be?’ All of these questions started emerging, and it organically evolved into an action plan,” he said.

Deal Dive: Backing a founder again after they’ve spun out from their acquirer

Performance Livestock Analytics, agtech,

Performance Livestock Analytics spun out from its acquirer to reach scale. Image Credits: Getty Images

In her latest Deal Dive column, Rebecca Szkutak looked at SaaS startup Performance Livestock Analytics (PLA).

The cattle management software company was acquired in 2020 by animal health company Zoetis, but this week, PLA announced plans to spin out “with $7.5 million in funding from Builders VC and Alaris Capital,” writes Rebecca.

Builders GP Mark Blackwell — whose firm backed PLA’s seed round — said he was “jumping for joy.”

8 reasons why the venture capital market isn’t as miserable as you think

down round, valuations, startups

Image Credits: Getty Images

If current funding trends persist, this “could be the slowest year for seed activity since 2017,” according to Rebecca Szkutak.

However, “we can also paint a brighter picture,” claims Alex Wilhelm, who identified “data points and trends that indicate good reasons to retain some optimism that the worst days for startup fundraising are behind us for now.”


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