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2023 Unicorn Crisis, Global VC Slowdown, Email Marketing 101 • TechCrunch

Because of a phenomenon called semantic saturation, it can sometimes lose all meaning if you repeat a word or phrase too many times.

That’s what happened with “unicorn:” We wore it like a pair of sneakers that leak in the rain, but are too comfortable to part with.

In fact, most of the startups in CB Insights’ unicorn index are in the bubble and “actually hovering around the $1 billion mark,” reports Rebecca Szkutak.

“How many of these will remain unicorns this calendar year?” Of the 35 investors she surveyed, “the vast majority felt the herd has probably already been sifted,” she found.


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“It’s not just about whether they’ll still have ‘unicorn status,’ but whether or not they’ll be bankable at any value,” said Harley Miller, founder and managing partner at Left Lane Capital.

By all accounts, the IPO window is nailed shut. Any startups hoping to weather this downturn need to raise additional funds.

I’m sure another mythical animal that best represents a startup’s performance in a declining market has already been hunted, such as “ARRmadillo.” You can have that for free.

My bigger hope: Investors and founders will see this era of austerity as an opportunity to create value, not just wealth.

Thank you very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
@your protagonist

Teach yourself growth marketing: how to start an email marketing campaign

A megaphone with colored rays blowing out as if amplifying a message

Image Credits: Jasmine Merdan (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

In the third article of a five-part series, growth marketing expert Jonathan Martinez (formerly of Uber, Postmates, and Chime) explains how to create and optimize email campaigns that “push consumers through your funnel and drive conversions.”

Martinez shares the basics for segmenting customers and anticipating where leaks will occur along the funnel you’re developing. Startups that recapture these users can earn a higher ARR, and every little bit counts.

“It’s crucial to distill down user segments as much as possible because we need to make sure we’re sending the right message to the right consumers.”

Figures on the global business slowdown

an isometric illustration for The Exchange, shown in blue

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman/TechCrunch

According to CB Insights’ State of Venture report, venture capital funding fell 35% in 2022. While the estimated number of deals did not decline proportionally, “global venture capital funding was down 19% in the fourth quarter of 2022,” reports Anna Heim.

“How long it will take for things to improve is anyone’s guess, so we look forward to more data as the year progresses,” she writes.

Dear Sophie: What are some quick options for hiring someone with an expiring grace period?

lone figure at the entrance of a maze hedge with an American flag in the middle

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

I am a co-founder of a very early stage startup. My co-founder and I are considering hiring a third co-founder, who was recently fired. She is currently in the United States on an H-1B with a grace period expiring soon.

What are the fastest, least risky immigration options we should consider? What’s up with potential USCIS filing fee increases?

– Careful co-founder

Pitch Deck Teardown: Scrintal’s $1M seed deck

Visual collaboration tool Scrintal says there are more than 40,000 people on the waiting list, but that didn’t stop the founders from raising $1 million.

Co-founders Ece Kural and Furkan Bayraktar shared their pitch deck with TC+ — click through to learn why their value proposition, vision, and product plans connect with investors:

  • Cover slide
  • Problem slide part 1
  • Problem slide part 2
  • Solution slide part 1
  • Solution slide part 2
  • Value proposition slide
  • Scrolling user testimonials
  • Traction slide
  • Revenue slide
  • Retention slide
  • User profile slide
  • Growth projection slide
  • Vision slide
  • The question slide
  • Contact slider
  • Appendices cover slide
  • Appendix 1: Why now?
  • Appendix 2: Competitive landscape
  • Appendix 3: Product and growth model

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