March 3, 2024
6 VCs explain how startups can capture and defend marketshare in the AI era


Good morning! We have lots of good stuff for you this Tuesday, so let’s dig right in.

Up first, we surveyed six investors who are placing bets on AI. We wanted to know how startups should begin building tools for AI; whether startup-focused AI work is defensible; and how tech companies are thinking about monetization. It’s certainly not cheap to run an LLM.


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Check out what these investors had to say to get a better understanding of the AI market:

  • Rick Grinnell, founder and managing partner, Glasswing Ventures
  • Lisa Calhoun, founding managing partner, Valor VC
  • Edward Tsai, managing partner, Alumni Ventures
  • Wei Lien Dang, general partner, Unusual Ventures
  • Rak Garg, principal, Bain Capital Ventures
  • Sandeep Bakshi, head of Europe investments, Prosus Ventures

Thanks for reading, and see you Friday!

Karyne

@karynelevy

How to fundraise when your deep tech startup sounds like sci-fi

Concept illustration depicting deep tech and outer space

Image Credits: Magnilion / Getty Images

People who build startups have it tough already, but what if their startup sounds like something out of “The Matrix”? VCs want to invest in the next hot thing, and if they’re not sure about a company’s value prop, they might not be quick to pull out their checkbooks.

It’s a founder’s job to explain how and what their product does, especially if their deep tech startup straddles two sectors. Seraphim Space’s Maureen Haverty offers a few tips on how to make a deep tech startup seem more credible when everything about it screams “science fiction.”

African startups see their fundraising prospects dry up as capital availability falls yet again in Q3

Development Finance Corporation has made equity investment to the tune of $25 million in Novastar Africa People + Planet

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

Last quarter didn’t look so hot for African startups as funding trends fell back to what we’re calling “pre-COVID norms.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom: Although there was less money to go around, more startups in the region got funding. And we were pleasantly surprised that the company that got the most funding in Q3 is not a fintech.

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Where’s the innovation in induction kitchens?

Fabita Sorpresa induction hobs cooking a meal.

Image Credits: Fabita

I’m not a chef, but I can make a really good omelet. If I had the kitchen that Tim De Chant imagines, though, I think I’d be in the kitchen whipping things up every day.

But Tim has a controversial opinion: He wants to get rid of his kitchen range altogether.

Deal Dive: Why does General Catalyst want to buy a healthcare system?

image of a piggy bank with a stethoscope on amid a pink background.

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

During the pandemic, a boatload of money rained down on the health tech sector, with people rushing to latch on to any pandemic tailwinds.

And though many abandoned health tech once the world started returning to normal, not everyone did, writes Rebecca Szkutak.

“Some decided to double down. General Catalyst was one of those, and that stance has resulted in an interesting development.”





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