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The unicorns among us

Ten years ago, Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee coined the term “unicorn” to describe startups that reached $1 billion valuation. At the time, there were only 39 startups on the list, but cut to today, where more than 500 companies now live on the list.


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Not only did the number of unicorns boom, but also what they’re focused on shifted: The pendulum swung hard in the direction of B2B startups over the last decade — but the thing with pendulums is that eventually they swing back.

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Karyne

Number of monthly active crypto devs fell 25% in 2023

Digital representation of machine with code and a futuristic keyboard in front of it.
Digital representation of machine with code and a futuristic keyboard in front of it.

Image Credits: Olemedia / Getty Images

Longtime developers are important to the crypto ecosystem, according to a new report from Electric Capital. Newbies tend to follow the hype and prices, but don’t always stick around when things go bad, which is why there is a need for a core of committed devs.

Northvolt’s $5B debt deal should be a wake-up call for the US battery industry

Two workers overlook operations at Northolt's Revolt plant.
Two workers overlook operations at Northolt's Revolt plant.

Image Credits: Northvolt

The fact that battery maker Northvolt has managed to raise $5 billion in debt with the support of state-sponsored lenders should be a stark reminder to the U.S. that it’s beyond time to help build a homegrown battery manufacturer, writes climate reporter Tim De Chant.

Ask Sophie: What visas could work to come to Silicon Valley for customer discovery?

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

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I’m a founder of a startup in Estonia. I listened to your podcast about the importance of international founders coming to the U.S. to meet collaborators and do customer discovery before expanding in the market. Should I come on a visitor visa? Any other visa options I should consider?

— Eager in Estonia

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A startup pitch is not a presentation and founders must understand the differences

Anthill presents at Startup Battlefield 200 at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on October 18, 2022. Image Credit: Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch
Anthill presents at Startup Battlefield 200 at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco on October 18, 2022. Image Credit: Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch

Image Credits: Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch

Startups have limited time to engage their audience, which is why it’s critical for founders to make their pitch persuasive from the start, according to Bill Reichert, a partner at Pegasus Tech Ventures.

Why most GTM slides suck — and how to fix them

stylized mountains with idea lightbulb and puzzle pieces and profile of face
stylized mountains with idea lightbulb and puzzle pieces and profile of face

Image Credits: DrAfter123 (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Now that you know how to grab investors' attention with your pitch, here’s a crash course on making the most of your go-to-market slides.