TechCrunch+ roundup: M&A red flags, handling problematic CEOs, E-1 visa questions


Alcatraz island and the San Francisco skyline are seen in the horizon as French sailor Tanguy de Lamotte, CEO of Candela US, drives the company's "flying" electric C-8 boat in San Francisco bay, California on February 8, 2023. - What appears at a glance to be a simple pleasure hydrofoil rises above the water as it picks up speed in San Francisco Bay, grabbing the attention of ferry passengers. But this hydrofoil is different. For one thing, it makes very little noise because it is electric. "It's half plane and half boat; almost like riding a magic carpet," French sailor Tanguy de Lamotte said from the helm of the 8.5-meter (28-foot) long C8. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Image Credits: JOSH EDELSON (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

I’ve been let go from more startups than anyone else I know. Yes, that is a weird thing to boast about.

Last month, nearly 100,000 tech workers lost jobs, and it felt like a great disturbance in the Force. These are real people grappling with real uncertainty: Should they move? How long will their savings last? Should they risk another startup job or perhaps launch their own?

Even as public companies and unicorns reduce headcount, many early-stage startups are still actively recruiting. Mary Ann Azevedo recapped several fintechs that are hunting for new talent.

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Use discount code TCPLUSROUNDUP to save 20% off a one- or two-year subscription.

Ron Miller interviewed analysts, CIOs and hiring managers, who confirmed that there’s widespread demand for IT workers. The twist?

“The people let go by Big Tech just may not be going to other tech companies,” reported Ron, noting that employers like the IRS, Citi and Liberty Mutual have posted thousands of new openings.

“The perception is that, hey, there’s tons of layoffs going on,” said Nicholas Marshall, sales enablement director at ManpowerGroup.

“But what we see is that over the past two years, those tech companies had over-hired, and it’s more of a correction and a flattening out, but that there’s still a strong demand and employment outlook.”

If you’ve been laid off, make self-care your highest priority. Seek support from your friends and family and, above all else, don’t take it personally. You’re being swept up in macroeconomic trends that have nothing to do with your ability, talent or worth.

Thanks very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

The tech jobs market might not be as shaky as it feels

So that founder you backed turned out to be problematic. Now what?

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

Early-stage investors don’t closely manage the entrepreneurs they shower with cash, even when things go off the rails. And in some cases, they may not be able to exert much authority.

Assuming a VC makes an investment via a SAFE note, “if that stake hasn’t converted to equity, they don’t have much say if things start to go wrong,” reports Rebecca Szkutak.

To learn more about how investors handle problematic CEOs, she spoke to:

  • Cameron Newton, founder and general partner, Relevance Ventures
  • Eric Bahn, co-founder and general partner, Hustle Fund
  • Angela Lee, venture partner, professor, Columbia Business School

So that founder you backed turned out to be problematic. Now what?

Pitch Deck Teardown: Gaming monetization company Incymo AI’s $850K seed deck

Image Credits: Incymo (opens in a new window)

The ads inside free mobile games are a billion-dollar industry, which is why aims to help advertisers optimize ROAS and LTV using its proprietary AI products.

Incymo’s founders raised an $850,000 seed round and shared all 12 slides with Haje Jan Kamps:

  • Cover slide
  • Problem slide
  • Solution slide
  • Traction slide
  • Customer slide
  • Business model slide
  • Market size slide
  • Market trajectory slide
  • Goals/targets slide
  • Team slide
  • “The ask” slide
  • Road map slide

Pitch Deck Teardown: Gaming monetization company Incymo AI’s $850K seed deck

Dear Sophie: Do I qualify for an E-1 trader visa?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

Do I qualify for an E-1 trader visa? I’m from New Zealand and have a B2B SaaS company with a lot of clients in the U.S.

We have a Delaware C corporation that has raised money, and I’m working at the subsidiary in Auckland, where all of our employees are based. We don’t currently have a U.S. office, but we pay our taxes there.

— Keen Kiwi

Dear Sophie: Do I qualify for an E-1 trader visa?

5 buyer red flags to look for during the M&A process

Warning sign with yellow and black triangle with exclamation mark, on blue background. Danger, risk, caution, attention, road sign and care concept.
Image Credits: DBenitostock (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

It’s tempting to think of M&A as a way for founders to cash in, but acquisitions generally require teams to remain onboard while the new owner integrates their business into their operations.

This can be a difficult time, according to serial entrepreneur Marina Martianova, who says founders are often at odds with new owners when it comes to growth, product priorities and communicating.

“Buyers who can’t give you a transparent picture of your company’s future after the acquisition likely do not have your best interests in mind,” she writes.

5 buyer red flags to look for during the M&A process

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