It’s the “polish the pitch” season!

There’s less appetite for the food tech sector

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If you have no plans for upcoming vacations, you better evaluate one thing to do: rest your mind. 🤫 Make a stop and think about how to evolve, grow, or diversify in 2024. 

It’s a repetitive mantra you’ve probably heard since you landed on Earth 🌎, but it’s an excellent choice even to make business decisions. After “breathing” and leaving the noise behind, see how your industry did in 2023 and rethink your strategy. When getting to the part of perfecting your pitch, add effective and focused outreach to your formula. Today, we tell you more about it.

It’s the “polish the pitch” season!

Early-stage startups faced a challenging fundraising landscape in 2023.

Startup founders, here's a New Year's resolution: give that pitch deck a makeover! Why? Well, according to a report from DocSend, fundraising got trickier for startups in 2023. Founders had to reach out to more investors but ended up with fewer meetings. The takeaway? Quality beats quantity! Before you start firing off emails, keep in mind that AI has made it easy to bombard VCs. So, understand how VC works and what an investment thesis is.

While the report paints a bit of a gloomy picture, it highlights the importance of smart outreach. Take a breather from the funding hustle this holiday season. Use the time to refine your pitch, and come back swinging in January. A well-crafted pitch deck screams "new year, new me!"

Takeaways from this week’s podcasts

What are the essential strategies and mental fortitude required for founders during the  journey of SaaS fundraising? Sharpening the focus on unit economics and choosing the right kind of investor who understands the importance of such metrics is essential for a startup. It can be more helpful to have an investor who aligns with your growth plan rather than one who is looking for exorbitant growth rates unfeasible in the current climate.

Position your company's story to align with the strengths and unique aspects of the business. And #neverforget: founders should remain adaptable, conducting experiments and pivoting when needed.

‘How I raised a $15m Series B in a downturn’ - Conversations with Nathan Latka 

Kevin O'Connor (now a VC) disclosed his approach to investing in startups, emphasizing the valuation of startups at around $1 million in ARR, and preferring to invest outside Silicon Valley to avoid inflated valuations.

There’s an enthusiasm for investing during economic downturns, with O'Connor noting that about 50% of VC funds could disappear due to the challenging fundraising environment, allowing more diligent investors to thrive.

Jason Calacanis & Kevin O'Connor (from Double Click) on This Week in Startups 

Discover the many benefits of global hiring

You might say it’s a down to Earth solution

With Deel’s Business Case for Global Hiring Guide, you’ll discover how to overcome the most common global hiring challenges and what route works best for your expanding workforce.

Which of these companies did not start in a garage?

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These companies just raised money

  1. 🤖 French startup Mistral AI just sealed the deal on its highly anticipated Series A funding with  $415 million.

  2. 💻 Docker’s acquiring AtomicJar means a $25 million Series A. Instead of soaring solo, the container pioneer brings AtomicJar's 19 employees into Docker's new testing division.

  3. 🗃️ London-based fintech startup Triple has secured $7.5 million in a successful seed round to enhance its fintech infrastructure services further.

  4. 🔋 X-energy, a company specializing in advanced small modular nuclear reactors and clean energy fuel technology, successfully concluded its Series C funding round, amassing $235 million.

  5. 🩺 Odyssey Therapeutics sealed a $101 million Series C funding round, with Ascenta Capital in the lead.

There’s less appetite for the food tech sector

Venture capital love for the food tech sector hit a rough patch in Q3 2023, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of decline with 205 deals totaling $2 billion, a 13.9% drop from the previous quarter. Year over year, it's down over 71%. PitchBook categorizes "food tech" into various sectors, and despite the decline, the market is still evolving. 🥗

A bright spot was the Instacart IPO, bringing some excitement, but there's a lack of tech startups rushing for the exit, according to Alex Frederick, senior analyst at PitchBook.

If this doesn’t sound that positive, it is well-known that food tech is an area where innovation and disruption are valued. Therefore, it will always be an inspiring space to participate in. 

Six bullets of updates

  1. Let’s talk about the layers of generative AI in the enterprise tech stack and unravel its gradual but impactful process. 💥 

  2. There’s a 14% pay gap between full-time male and female employees in various industries. How can companies value gender diversity? 👩‍💻  

  3. TikTok has boogied to become the first non-gaming app to hit $10 billion in consumer spending with a 61% growth in 2023. 📱

  4. Why is AI so feasible for companies with less than 50 employees? There’s a scenario where a startup could save over $400,000 annually. 🫰🏽 

  5. AI is throwing the ultimate inclusion jamboree! PwC forecasts it to add a whopping $16 trillion to the global economy by 2030. 🦽 

  6. Live sports broadcasting platform Caffeine is on a roll! From $5 million to $60 million monthly active users in just a year!  🏈 

Forget about updating a boring spreadsheet. Slidebean Investor Tracker helps you: 

📚 Easily browse your investor leads conversations
Never miss a follow-up
🔎 Find the right investors

All in one place. Say goodbye to boring spreadsheets and say hello to convenience. 

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