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While the US tech industry has been tirelessly trying to do business with the rest of the world, it has continued to get caught up in national politics this week. Highly qualified immigration visas have been suspended by the Trump administration until the end of the year, preventing thousands of current and future startup employees and founders from coming to the U.S. to build businesses.
Instead, the suspension is another accelerator for the global trend in remote working, which has been a thing for many of us in this decade and which has been pushed into the mainstream because of the pandemic. For anyone trying to find great people to hire, the next funding check, or new markets, virtual solutions are often the only solutions available today.
Our resident immigration law expert Sophie Alcorn has covered the issue extensively this week, including an explanation of the crucial role of immigration in business for TechCrunch and for extra crunch, an overview of what you can do when you̵
Personally, our global editorial team looks forward to resuming our global event schedule as soon as possible, regardless of these national political issues. We are here for the startup world. In the meantime, Alex Ames is here as we connect virtual disrupt participants this year.
New York tech after the pandemic
The big industries and amenities of the big cities that have made New York City what it is will help drive it forward even when more people and jobs seem to be moving away from city centers. At least that’s what I’ve learned from reading the 11 investors Anthony Ha spoke to in an extra crunch survey this week about the future of the startup hub. First, even if you can work from anywhere, millions of people will prefer this place in New York City with city living, networking, and amenities to attract people like before. Second, many key industries such as finance, real estate, business software, healthcare, media, and other consumer goods do not die, but are reinvented and seem to maintain their centers in the city. Here is Alexa from Tobel from Inspired Capital:
I’ve seen NYC grow into a powerful startup hub over the past decade, and I think the momentum will continue. Now that we’ve learned that high productivity can actually be done remotely, we expect companies to retain an element of a distant workforce as part of their extensive hiring plans. But in my opinion, startups in their earliest stages still have the opportunity to sit side by side when building a company. When founders make their first hires and do their first business, NYC remains an incredible place to do it.
Some of these industry inventions are more exciting than others. In a separate poll, Anthony spoke to 5 investors who focused more on advertising and marketing technologies. The good news is that advertising and marketing costs are falling and technology-driven efficiency is improving for the world. For the founders in this area, however, the challenges have only grown because the pandemic has forced further cuts in the advertising budget in addition to the shifts to the largest platforms. As John Elton of Greycroft put it:
Only the next technological breakthrough will offer fertile ground for the next wave of innovation, just as the breakthroughs in mobile devices and on the Internet have brought about today’s giants. Perhaps machine learning is this kind of breakthrough, so we’re looking at companies that use machine learning to dramatically improve what is possible in space. The problem with this is that the scaled players can also learn very well by machine. Therefore, it may not be a technology that offers the same opportunities as previous disruptions.
O’Reilly talks about investments beyond the VC financial bubble
Tim O’Reilly has taken a different path in recent years than much of Silicon Valley. While his publisher, a number of conferences, essays, and investments have been shaping the modern Internet for decades, he says venture capital went wrong. Here’s more of an interview with Connie Loizos on TechCrunch this week:
[I]I was really disillusioned with Silicon Valley investments for a long time. It reminds me of Wall Street until 2008. The idea was: “As long as someone wants to buy this [collateralized debt obligation], we are well. “Nobody thinks about it: is this a good product? So many things that VCs have created are really financial instruments like these CDOs. They don’t really think about whether this is a company that could survive on its customers’ earnings. Offers are designed around an exit only. As long as you can make a fool take them [you’re good]. So many acquisitions fail, for example, but the VCs are happy because – you know what? – You got your exit.
His company, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, has instead focused in recent years on funding founders who develop a product that is valued by customers and generates sustainable cash flow, on terms that provide incentives for organic growth.
You have issued your first check
Last week we launched a new initiative to highlight investors who were the first to support your big and (increasingly) successful idea. So far it has received a great response. From Danny Crichton:
Well, the TechCrunch community has prevailed as we have received over 500 suggestions from founders in just a few days recommending VCs who have issued their first checks and who have been particularly helpful in collecting donations and closing a round .
If you haven’t made a recommendation, Please help us with the form linked here.
The short survey takes five minutes and could save founders dozens of hours with the right information. Our editorial team processes these contributions carefully to ensure their accuracy and accuracy. The more data points we have, the better the list for founders can be.
In Danny Crichton’s full TechCrunch post, you’ll find answers to questions we’ve asked so far.
In the course of the week
A look at the technical salaries and how they could change if more employees move away
Apple will soon allow developers to question the App Store rules
China’s GPS competitor is now fully launched
The two-year review of the GDPR indicates a lack of “strict” enforcement
The Exchange: IPO season, self-driving dropouts and a fintech disappointment
What went wrong with Quibi?
Four Perspectives: Will Apple Lower App Store Fees?
4 trends for corporate developers that will shape 2021
Ideas for a job according to COVID-19
Zach Perret from Plaid: “Every company is a fintech company.”
The reforms to the Volcker rule expand the possibilities for procuring VC funds
All about TechCrunch
Register for next week’s Pitches & Pitchers session
Meet GGV’s Hans Tung and Jeff Richards for a live Q&A: June 30th at 3:30 p.m. EDT / 12:30 p.m. PDT
Airtable’s Howie Liu will be at Disrupt 2020
Eric Yuan, founder and CEO of Zoom, will speak at Disrupt 2020
How to charge your virtual network at Disrupt 2020
From Alex Wilhelm:
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capitalized podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
This week has been a bit lively, but that’s only because Danny Crichton and Natasha Mascarenhas and I were all in a pretty good mood. It would have been hard not to be, considering how much good stuff there was to chew.
We started with two rounds of funding from companies that had received headwinds from COVID-19:
However, these two rounds represented only one side of the COVID coin. There were also companies working with COVID tailwind to get new funds:
But we had room for another story. So we talked a little bit about Robinhood, its business model, and the recent suicide of one of its users. It is a terrible moment for the family of the person we have lost, but it is also a good moment for Robinhood to densify the hatches a little bit how his ministry works.
It will be interesting to see how far the company will go in restricting access to certain financial instruments. The company generates a lot of revenue from its order flow business, and options are an integral part of that revenue. Robinhood therefore compensates for the need to protect its users and make money from their actions. How they thread this needle will be very interesting.
All of that and we had a lot of fun. Thank you for your participation and follow the show on Twitter!
Equity decreases every Friday at 6:00 a.m. (local time). Subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify and all casts.