Saying goodbye to Q1
What a week.
If you were plugged in to the startup news cycle recently, you’ve been busy. Y Combinator dropped hundreds of new startups onto the market, Instacart’s repricing continued to reverberate, and it feels like we’re discovering that some parts of the startup market are already in a period of correction.
That’s starting to feel like a summary of the first quarter: A hot early-stage market and a late-stage startup climate in a cooling period. We’ll better understand the full Q1 picture when we get all the incoming venture capital data, but early marks do match that summary.
What’s ahead is going to prove utterly fascinating. Q2 will see a host of startups need to raise new capital, and many will find the investing landscape utterly foreign compared to when they last looked for capital. What will that force? Will unicorns tap venture debt? Will we see a parade of down-rounds? Smaller inside deals to bolster runway? I don’t know.
Listening between the cracks, the public conversation about a startup pullback may actually be somewhat late. If it was happening internally earlier in the year then we might have picked up on it.
But what we can say is that the news hurricane of the last few weeks has been clarifying. From falling tech stocks to retreating unicorns and infinite early-stage hype, we are in a strange period, but one that I think we can now put a bow atop and move on from. Here’s to Q2.
This little newsletter launched out of my daily column for TC+, TC’s reporting that sits behind our paywall. Launched a few years ago under the Extra Crunch brand, our experiment into the subscription media space has been a fascinating journey.
Last week we announced that I would take over as Editor in Chief of TC+, something that I am very excited about. And frankly more than a little humbled, but saying so is past cliche at this point so we can move on.
A few notes on what’s ahead seem fair at this juncture, as The Exchange’s regular entries have been a staple of the TC+ posting flow since late 2019, which means that you all are veterans of the project. Thank you, by the way.
TC+ has reached material scale, which means we have a strong cohort of subscribers, hard evidence that we’re doing something worthwhile and that the larger TC community is willing to endorse that work. The even better news is that we’re investing in TC+ this year, with more staff and lots of neat ideas ahead. Our goal is to not only do more reporting and writing, but also to widen our lens somewhat to ensure a broader content mix.
That’s why Jacquelyn is aboard to write about the fascinating, infuriating, and quickly evolving world of crypto. We’ll have more names to announce shortly in other areas, including the areas where I have traditionally written for you.
That TC+ is not only alive, but growing is great news if you care about startups. One very nice thing about having a subscription service as part of a publication is that you can afford — literally — to go a bit more niche than you otherwise might be able to. This means that The Exchange has been able to, at times, focus down to a single startup topic and spend endless time gutting through its mechanics. Our work covering the 2021 venture boom, the 2020 consumer fintech explosion, and 2022’s startup slowdown that we mentioned above are a few examples.
TC is building this year. And part of that work is accelerating TC+. I think I am supposed to end this with some sort of pitch, right? I’ll try: Give TC+ a try this year when it makes sense. When the right article makes you curse the paywall, I hope that we earn your attention, and, well, money, this year.
Hugs, be kind to one another, and I’ll talk to you Monday. — Alex