Non-dilutive biotech capital, long-term angel investment, WayRay’s $80 million pitch deck


As a former startup worker who was laid off during economic downturns, it’s dissonant to hear investors say now is a good time to start a software company.

They are not wrong, however.

An analogy: In California, nearly 10,000 wildfires burned more than 4 million acres two years ago, causing billions in economic damage and forcing thousands of residents to uproot their entire lives.

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In the years that followed, this deadly disaster began to reshape local ecosystems by removing dead and diseased trees and reducing competition for resources such as water and sunlight.

According to Kyle Poyar, Partner at OpenView, the current downturn is creating similar opportunities for SaaS startups.

“People who have been laid off or who have woken up to realize their stock options are suddenly worthless will choose to bet on themselves,” he says. “They’re finally going to take a chance on turning this nagging idea into an actual product.”

In his latest TechCrunch+ article, Poyar identifies six principles for product-driven growth in what he calls “the era of connected work,” where API-based products are “discovered and championed by users, not just by executives and managers.

Thank you very much for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch+

Twitter space: M13 managing partner Karl Alomar discusses fundraising in a downturn

the greenback is half buried in a real desert sand conceptual image of financial problems.

Picture credits: dblight (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

On Monday, June 27 at 11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET, M13 Managing Partner Karl Alomar will join me on a Twitter space to share his fundraising tips during a downturn.

Alomar, who led startups through the dotcom bust of 2000 and the Great Recession of 2008, will explain whether investors are still prioritizing growth over earnings, and identify points of proof that founding teams need to define before their next raise.

We will answer your questions, so please follow @techcrunch on Twitter and set a reminder for monday chat.

Long-term angel investing: understanding capital needs and finding quality investments

Bull making bear shadow on the wall

Bull making bear shadow on the wall

Picture credits: OsakaWayne Studios/Getty Images

Helping a small business gain momentum and grow to gain market share while making money sounds like a great job description.

But there’s a reason successful angel investors are rare: returns can take years to materialize, and not every company you want to invest in will want your money.

It’s important for new investors to realize that angel investing is a capital-intensive process that may not always work, according to Adam Nash, CEO of Daffy.

“Most see the amazing results of amazing angel investing stories and assume that angel investing is still massively better than more common asset classes like public stocks, bonds and real estate. But the truth is that on average, risk-adjusted returns for angel investing can often be worse than traditional investing,” he writes.

3 tips for biotech startups looking for non-dilutive capital to weather the recession

100 dollar bills hidden under a floor

100 dollar bills hidden under a floor

Picture credits: Martin Pool (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

This is a particularly difficult time for life science startups. Even if their technology changes the world, it will still be years before it hits the market.

Most biotech founders looking to raise money in this environment assume dilutive capital is their only option, but that’s shortsighted, writes James Coates, director of health and human performance at Decisive Point.

“In a downturn, non-dilutive government grants or contracts should be seen as more attractive than ever, as they provide undiluted runway and make big headlines.”

Pitch Deck Teardown: WayRay’s $80 Million Series C Deck

Picture credits: WayRay (Opens in a new window)

Many founders start by building a 10-slide pitch deck, but AR automotive hardware company WayRay’s C-Series presentation contained 75 slides.

More might not always be better, but since the deck helped WayRay raise $80 million, the company’s founders shared it in full with TC+ members.

“WayRay does a great job of showing the world it wants to live in,” writes Haje Jan Kamps.

Dear Sophie: What are my F-1 OPT options if my crypto job is no longer available?

Lone figure at the entrance to the maze hedge which has an American flag in the center

Lone figure at the entrance to the maze hedge which has an American flag in the center

Picture credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophia,

I’m an F-1 student who graduated this month with my bachelor’s degree in computer science. I got a work permit under the OPT and had a job at a crypto firm, but they rescinded my job offer.

Should I inform my DSO that my job offer has been cancelled? What are my options, especially if I want to create my own web3 startup?

How long can I stay in the United States without work? Thank you in advance for your help!

— Grad gallant

Proven tactics for creating investor presentations

Light bulb drawing made from yellow crumpled paper ball;  presentation tips for investors

Light bulb drawing made from yellow crumpled paper ball; presentation tips for investors

Picture credits: Constantin Johnny (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

It’s common to hear that you need a bulletproof pitch deck if you want to raise capital, but the real purpose of a pitch deck isn’t actually to raise cash.

In fact, the best practical outcome of a good investor presentation is “a follow-up meeting with a sense of momentum and clarity about the company’s history, current status, goals and opportunities,” says Lev Kerzhner, head of the Saragus agency.

In an illuminating article, Kerzhner explains the different types of investor presentations you should create and outlines a host of tips and tricks for creating and preparing a killer investor presentation.

To drive more sales, use buyer-generated content to personalize emails

puzzle pieces made up of people;  use buyer data to send email campaigns

puzzle pieces made up of people; use buyer data to send email campaigns

Picture credits: alpha spirit (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

Consumer confidence takes a hit during an economic downturn, which is why e-commerce startups should start looking for new ways to engage customers now.

Cynthia Price, senior vice president of marketing at Litmus, shares several ways companies can turn customer purchase data into content that improves brand experiences and makes users more likely to buy.

For example, the most viewed products on your site reflect the tastes and interests of your most active customers, which means this is also useful information that you can present in outgoing emails.

“You can even break this data down in a more granular way by overlaying buyer data,” Price writes. “This strategy generates interest, attracts more subscribers to your site and improves the purchasing potential of their products.”


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