Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced tackle this week’s startup information and developments by Senior Reporter and Fairness co-host Natasha Mascarenhas. To get this in your inbox, subscribe right here.
One of many quieter conversations in enterprise capital has solely grown louder, in my DMs and interviews, over the previous few months: The identified bias in enterprise capital has been a branding difficulty for a few of the rising, numerous fund managers simply now splashing onto the scene.
Everybody has a narrative, however all of them sound a bit related: A feminine VC is launching a fund, and he or she’s both in comparison with each different feminine VC with a fund, anticipated to solely put money into feminine founders or have a variety, fairness and inclusion angle as a core thesis. The othering that occurs, from an ever-homogenous group of LPs and even founders who see feminine VCs as monolithic, has led to some feminine VCs rebranding their companies altogether so they’re seen as past their gender.
Learn my full tackle this matter with Rebecca Szkutak on TC+: “For feminine VCs, bias is a branding difficulty.”
In the remainder of this article, we’ll discuss Upfront Summit 2023 and a stunning Higher deal. As all the time, you’ll be able to comply with me on Twitter or Instagram to proceed the dialog.
VC confab brings surprises and AI
All of your favourite enterprise journalists had been busy this week at Upfront Summit 2023, a two-day, invite-only occasion that brings collectively trade insiders — and celebrities — to speak about the way forward for capital. I interviewed the previous and current guard over at Kapor Capital. I shook palms with Jamie Lee Curtis and stole interview ideas from Kara Swisher. And Al Gore tried to recruit your entire viewers to be extra critical on combating local weather change.
All in all, the convention mainly fueled my story plans for the following month, so keep tuned for plenty of follow-up angles. And a few scoops too. I’ll begin with a recap on the AI conversations throughout stage.
Right here’s why it’s necessary: In case you ask me, AI was the omnipresent superstar at Upfront. It’s not stunning: Hyped-up applied sciences usually get outsized curiosity. However the environment is totally different from what it was in 2021 when buyers had been throwing billions of {dollars} at 15-minute grocery supply corporations and web3. Enterprise dry powder is locked up, offers are getting completed slower and a few buyers are nonetheless licking their wounds from the downturn to date.

Picture Credit: Clark Studio
The follow-up
My colleagues took the mic this week on Fairness to speak via the newest and biggest headlines. The entire present was a hoot. Unexpectedly, for all, was the return of Higher.com. Information broke earlier this week that Amazon is letting staff use their inventory to finance residence purchases and even second properties.
Right here’s why it’s necessary: It’s a artistic, but additionally stunning, partnership. Higher has been an Amazon Internet Providers buyer since 2015 and its mortgage origination system is powered totally by the software program, in keeping with an announcement. Nonetheless, Higher has been via its justifiable share of struggles which have solid doubt on its future. Should we run via all of the filings?
Picture Credit: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch
And so on., and so forth.

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