TechCrunch+ roundup: PLG and enterprise sales, SaaS pricing strategy, OPT options

After staging our first TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco in three years, Slack is much quieter than usual this morning.

My colleagues are flying home to cities as far flung as Taipei, Paris and London; I just took a streetcar home, which should keep my expense report simple.

Moscone Center did not look like we’re experiencing a downturn in tech: The Expo Hall and demo booths were buzzing, and attendees were networking with enthusiasm in the hallways (are business cards making a comeback?).

Full TechCrunch+ articles are only available to members.
Use discount code TCPLUSROUNDUP to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription.

Next week, I’ll share a recap of the panel I moderated, “Taking the BS out of your TAM.” In a conversation with Kara Nortman (Upfront Ventures), Aydin Senkut (Felicis Ventures) and Deena Shakir (Lux Capital), we explored the many mistakes first-time founders make when calculating the size of their market and pinned down the information investors are actually looking for.

Everyone had actionable insights to share, and more than one attendee stopped me in the hallways afterward to let me know how much they appreciated our frank discussion. If you don’t want to wait for my recap, you can watch a video of the panel right now.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

2023 VC predictions: Finding an exit from the ‘messy middle’

Eric Tarczynski, managing partner and founder of Contrary Capital, says we are entering a “messy middle” era for venture capital:

“Companies can no longer raise $5 million to $10 million seed rounds with nothing but a deck and the assumption that revenue multiples will skyrocket beyond historical norms,” he writes in a TC+ guest post.

Looking ahead to 2023, Tarczynski foresees an environment where “the VC landscape has started to bifurcate,” as “slow M&A activity and no IPOs” and “good companies in ‘safe’ industries” temper investor expectations.

Read this before you reprice your SaaS product because of the downturn

An origami dollar flower is pruned

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

Many startups are lowering their prices in an attempt to retain customers and reduce churn during the downturn.

“But is that actually helpful advice for SaaS founders?” asks Torben Friehe, CEO and co-founder of Wingback. “As far as I can see, it isn’t for most.”

Instead of being reactive, Friehe says SaaS startups should instead revisit their ideal customer profile and revise their messaging.

“This adverse economic climate may actually be a time when you have more leverage and can demand higher prices for your product.”

Dear Sophie: How can I launch a startup while on OPT?

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

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I’m an international student in the U.S. in F-1 status. I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science this May and plan to apply for OPT. I want to launch a startup.

Can I do that with OPT? What options would I have after OPT to continue growing my company?

— Forward-Looking Founder

The Great Migration and the next 10-year cycle in cloud

Flock of birds flying in arrow formation above a hillside with some communication and mobile phone masts.

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

Now that the public cloud market has undergone a correction after years of growth, will seasoned workers look for greener pastures at smaller companies?

According to Andy Stinnes, general partner at Cloud Apps Capital Partners, we’re entering a decade-long cycle that will spark a Great Migration of talent.

“The answer is clear once you think about it,” he says. “Companies are extending cash runways, and cloud leaders are feeling that pain as they lay off parts of their teams and face even more work and pressure.”

How to combine PLG and enterprise sales to improve the funnel and drive bottom-line growth

Six different drinking straws in a cup

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

Products and services that sell themselves sound great, but product-led growth (PLG) startups still launch marketing campaigns and hire sales teams.

Combining PLG with traditional sales-led growth efforts can raise retention and acquisition to the next level, says Kate Ahlering, chief revenue officer at Calendly.

In this TC+ guest post, Ahlering lays out multiple strategies that will help teams implement a “hybrid GTM strategy,” which includes suggestions for leveraging PLG data and optimizing success metrics.