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The oh-so-biased branding risk in venture capital

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.

One of many quieter conversations in venture capital has solely grown louder, in my DMs and interviews, over the previous few months: The recognized bias in venture capital has been a branding problem for among the rising, numerous fund managers simply now splashing onto the scene.

Everybody has a narrative, however all of them sound a bit related: A feminine VC is launching a fund, and he or she’s both in comparison with each different feminine VC with a fund, anticipated to solely make investments in feminine founders or have a variety, fairness and inclusion angle as a core thesis. The othering that occurs, from an ever-homogenous group of LPs and even founders who see feminine VCs as monolithic, has led to some feminine VCs rebranding their companies altogether so they’re seen as past their gender.

Learn my full tackle this subject with Rebecca Szkutak on TC+: “For feminine VCs, bias is a branding problem.”

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In the remainder of this text, we’ll discuss Upfront Summit 2023 and a shocking Higher deal. As all the time, you may observe me on Twitter or Instagram to proceed the dialog.

VC confab brings surprises and AI

All of your favourite venture journalists have been busy this week at Upfront Summit 2023, a two-day, invite-only occasion that brings collectively business insiders — and celebrities — to speak about the way forward for capital. I interviewed the previous and current guard over at Kapor Capital. I shook fingers with Jamie Lee Curtis and stole interview suggestions from Kara Swisher. And Al Gore tried to recruit your complete viewers to be extra severe on combating local weather change.

All in all, the convention mainly fueled my story plans for the subsequent month, so keep tuned for many follow-up angles. And a few scoops too. I’ll begin with a recap on the AI conversations throughout stage.

Right here’s why it’s essential: When you ask me, AI was the omnipresent celeb at Upfront. It’s not shocking: Hyped-up applied sciences typically get outsized curiosity. However the ambiance is totally different from what it was in 2021 when buyers have been throwing billions of {dollars} at 15-minute grocery supply firms and web3. Venture dry powder is locked up, offers are getting executed slower and a few buyers are nonetheless licking their wounds from the downturn to this point.

Picture Credit: Clark Studio

The follow-up

My colleagues took the mic this week on Fairness to speak by means of the most recent and best headlines. The entire present was a hoot. Unexpectedly, for all, was the return of Higher.com. Information broke earlier this week that Amazon is letting workers use their inventory to finance residence purchases and even second houses.

Right here’s why it’s essential: It’s a inventive, but in addition shocking, partnership. Higher has been an Amazon Internet Providers buyer since 2015 and its mortgage origination system is powered totally by the software program, in line with an announcement. Nonetheless, Higher has been by means of its justifiable share of struggles which have forged doubt on its future. Should we run by means of all of the filings?

Better.com

Picture Credit: Bryce Durbin / ClassyBuzz

And so forth., and many others.

Seen on ClassyBuzz

Salesforce strikes again

All the pieces Elon Musk and execs shared (and skipped) at Tesla Investor Day

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Chamath Palihapitiya: It may take three years for the market to ‘precisely’ reprice late-stage cos

OpenAI launches an API for ChatGPT, plus devoted capability for enterprise prospects

Players are fixing a online game ‘taken over’ by hackers

Seen on ClassyBuzz+

Maybe Substack can develop simply tremendous with out venture {dollars}

Pitch Deck Teardown: Gable’s $12M Sequence A deck

Does web3 want a venture bailout now that AI has all of the hype?

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