Startups Welcome Weekly, a new human perspective on this week’s startup news and trends. To get it delivered to your inbox, subscribe here.
If there’s one industry that’s in constant pursuit of Magic Metrics, it’s edtech. Over the past two years, I have spoken with every major investor and founder in the industry and each of them has presented their own independent arguments for what is considered an effective outcome in education.
Some say completion rates show necessary commitment, while others say it’s less about how far you go in a course and more about whether you show up and participate in the moments that matter. Some believe it’s time to reinvent grading systems, while others believe scores are a way to overcome inequalities in acceptance rates. The magic metric that does it all – encompasses results, engagement and heck, even fun – has always been the subject of debate and, honestly, trust issues around it. Yet, it’s rare for me to interview someone who will publicly say why there’s so much disagreement, or perhaps more interestingly, why they’re right and the status quo is wrong.
And that’s why my conversation with the CEO of Nucamp, Ludovic Fourrage, marked me. Fodder, who has spent years building a coding bootcamp with accessible pricing, tells me he no longer publishes placement metrics in ad media. This decision was made to restore student confidence in the industry.
As I wrote in my story, the decision is less about Nucamp stating that it doesn’t market its placement rates, and more indicative of a larger issue: placement is the most requested outcome, but also the one of the most difficult to offer. . Of course, obfuscating metrics can cast questionable light on a startup. Nucamp does not even share placement metrics with learners once they join the platform. What he aims to gain through lack of deception, he could lose through lack of transparency. After all, if your placement rates were so good, why not advertise it?
For my full take on this topic, check out my latest TechCrunch+ column: Should tech bootcamps continue to use placement metrics in their advertising?
In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll discuss Mos’s evolution from an edtech to a fintech, and whether your product manager needs a career agent. As always, you can support me by sharing this newsletter, follow me on twitter Where by subscribing to my personal blog.
Offer of the week
With an additional $40 million in funding, Mos is evolving. Amira Yahyaoui started the company in 2017 as an education technology company designed to help students navigate their way through applying and attending college. Now she’s trying to build a “radical” fintech that can support the same user base through all of life’s equally complicated demands.
When I spoke to Yahyaoui, she talked about how buzzing fintech has become – from NFTs to credit cards with fancy branding. She’s determined to build for the masses, even if it doesn’t seem as exclusive and fancy.
“I wish I only had to convince 1,000 nerds,” Yahyaoui said. “But we have to convince 20 million students.”
Here’s why it matters, according to Deena Shakir of Lux Capital: “Rather than being a tangential player on the financial access and inclusion side, they recognize that they have the unique opportunity to be the leading bank, credit card and home [for] their students,” she said. In other words, the TAM increases.
Could the Great Resignation force technicians to find career agents?
My most-read article this week explored the tech hiring market, and whether it’s time for top tech talent to start hiring career agents. I specifically looked at Free Agency, a startup that recently raised a $10 million Series A, and its marketplace that connects in-demand techies with experienced agents.
Free Agency helped a client secure a Senior Product Manager position worth over $900,000 in total compensation, a 53% jump from the client’s previous compensation. During the process, the company held 21 interviews with companies such as Snapchat, Coinbase, and Lyft without requiring the client to send a single application or email when looking for a job.
Here’s why it’s important: As I discussed in the last Equity podcast, we rarely see recruitment companies building for the employee rather than the employer. Free agency is a bet people want to pay so they can step back and let a professional navigate their career opportunities for them. To date, the company estimates that it has helped candidates arrange 4,700 interviews and secure $200,000,000 in negotiated compensation for the total salary offers.
What a time to be an engineer at Stripe:
In the DMs
- Plexo Capital raises $79.3 million fund: Founded by former partner GV Lo Toney, Plexo Capital has closed a second $79.3 million investment vehicle to support early stage startups and venture capital funds. According to SEC filings, this is just the first tranche – Toney is aiming for a final close of $100 million for his new fund.
- Plus, has anyone had a busier 12 months than Josh Buckley? The startup CEO and investor, who served as Product Hunt’s managing director, is in the process of launching Hyper and Prologue. His latest project? It is raising a $500 million fund, according to SEC filings.
- Ro started hiring for its new male fertility line, which fits into my scoop on its acquisition of Dadi, a home-based sperm storage startup.
- OH from a TechCruncher: Microsoft looks like a startup again, doesn’t it?
- OH from a rookie founder: Tiger just spent millions of dollars helping me recruit employees.
All week long
Equity, the tech news podcast I co-host with Alex Wilhelm and Mary Ann Azevedo, is live! Join us for a virtual live taping of our show this coming Thursday, February 10 – tickets are free, puns will come at the cost of our producers’ sanity. Our bestie pod, Found, is also joining the circuit live, so listen to them endlessly to prepare.
Seen on TechCrunch
Damn creator funds, we need a creator index fund
Following his fiery tirades on Twitter, Bolt founder Ryan Breslow is no longer CEO – and he says it’s his choice
Please make a stupid car
Popular puzzle game Wordle is bought by the New York Times
Seen on TechCrunch+
Why insurtech investing in 2022 might surprise you
As public tech valuations plummet, are investments in startups moving fast enough?
Despite the bumps, crypto investing starts 2022 with a roar
How to Build and Maintain Momentum in Your Fundraising Process
Until next time,