Allocating equity, unicorn traffic jam, blockchain gaming survey – TechCrunch

Early-stage startup founders have only a few ways to hire and retain employees:

  • Offer a competitive salary
  • Create a role that harnesses their interests/talents
  • Give them a stake in the company.

In most cases, justice will not leave the employees with a great fortune. But even the most embittered worker will think twice about leaving the job before it is fully awarded.

In a TC+ guest post, Kirsten Prost, Vice President of Venture Capital/PE Tercera, lays out detailed steps for designing your own capital program.


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Her guide includes parentheses and multiples for shareholders at different levels, along with fictional examples founders can use for modeling, and tips that help employees understand the value of their stake.

Speaking as a veteran of many early-stage startups: Entrepreneurs love to be seen talking about fostering an ownership mindset, but if that’s going to be more than just talk, you’ll first need a transparent equity program.

We’ll be kicking off on Monday January 17th to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day.

Thank you very much for reading, and I wish you an excellent weekend!

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch +
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Dear Sophie: Do we need a visa to explore the US market?

Image credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

My husband and I are planning to visit our daughter during spring break. (She is an international F-1 student at a US university.)

Between spending time with our daughter and sightseeing, we’d like to explore the feasibility of expanding our business in the United States.

Do we need a special visa to do this?

– Multitasking mom

Unicorn exit bodes bad as Justworks delays IPO, citing ‘market conditions’

Image credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

There is a growing rift between public and private markets valuation of tech startups, Alex Wilhelm writes, and Justworks’ decision to delay its initial public offering may be a key factor in what’s to come.

Software companies are under attack in public markets, while private markets continue to retain their enthusiasm for tech startups.

Alex writes that this difference of opinion could turn out to be bad for high-value startups that want to exit this year.

“Justworks’ IPO delay suggests that the enthusiasm gap between the private and public markets is wide. And for the precious unicorns still bleeding cash, this is horrific news.”

Blockchain Games Survey: 7 Investors Discuss Regulation, Opportunity, And NFT Hype

Mir4 mobile game from Wemade Co.  , arranged on a smartphone in Seongnam, South Korea, on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Based on blockchain technology, Mir4 allows online players to convert in-game assets into tradable digital currencies, while their avatars chase and battle in the virtual world.  Photographer: SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg

Image credits: Bloomberg (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Game distribution platform Steam banned blockchain-based games in October 2021: any titles that included NFT or cryptocurrency were removed from the service.

Meanwhile, inside Axie Infinity, an online NFT-based game, new players are paying hundreds of dollars to get legendary pets and love potions.

Blockchain games are making headway with some consumers, but given the lack of regulatory guidance and the speculative nature of many crypto holdings, what are investors thinking?

To find out, we polled seven activists in the space:

  • Anton Bachmann, Director, and Kenrik Drikoningen, General Partner, Play Ventures
  • Banfasha Fathia, Head of Investments, Americas, Prosus Ventures
  • Josh Chapman, Managing Partner, Konvoy Ventures
  • Eddie Thai, General Partner, 500 Startups and General Partner, Ascend Vietnam Ventures
  • Beryl Lee, co-founder of Yield Guild Games
  • Rajul Garg, Founder and Managing Partner, Leo Capital

High conversion lead magnets setup that delivers value

magnet drawing people

magnet drawing people

Getting a potential customer to visit your site is one thing, but convincing them to access their wallet or share their phone number is an extension.

As consumers gain greater control over their privacy, Alexandra Korczynska, GetResponse’s chief marketing officer, says marketers who align lead generation with the goals of their leads stand a significant advantage.

“The key is to build a ‘foot in the door’ technology for continuous engagement – the lead magnet,” she says.

The plumber’s boom was a failure, wasn’t it?

Image credits: Nigel Sussman (Opens in a new window)

Special purpose buyouts took place in 2020 and 2021, enabling a slew of companies to go public.

But, as they say: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Disappointment is not limited to one industry, Alex Wilhelm writes in The Exchange. Real estate tech, fintech, media, and personal mobility have all been in decline since their inception.

“I would risk that we collected enough data to call the SPAC mutation a failure.”

Despite the play-for-profit angle in blockchain games, I prefer paying

Isometric Money Mobile Game Icons

Image credits: Gunes Ozcan (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Paying users to play is part of the unique selling proposition of blockchain games, but is that the purpose of entertainment?

Senior Editor Alex Wilhelm says he enjoys the fun and excitement of playing against others online, but “I’m excited about crypto games because they’re there right now for a variety of reasons, even if the incentives are more consistent than they seem in traditional games.”

Why Halsey Minor, co-founder of CNET, is bullish on NFTs

Halsey Minor is best known as a co-founder of CNET and an early investor in Salesforce.com, but for the past several years, he’s been in the crypto space.

After three decades of content development, he is now leading Vivid Labs, which operates a proprietary NFT publishing platform.

“Just as I realized the massive explosion of the Internet many years ago, I see cryptography and NFTs as the technology of the future,” Minor said in an interview with TC+ that includes advice for founders hoping to raise capital for Web3 ventures.

Data show that 2021 was a crazy year and a record year for venture capital

Image credits: Nigel Sussman (Opens in a new window)

Next week, Anna Heim and Alex Wilhelm plan to present a series of stories to The Exchange to examine sectors and trends in different regions. To build a foundation for those reports, this week, they looked back at a record year for venture capital.

In 2021, VC investment totaled $621 billion, an increase of 111% over the previous year, according to CB Insights. Crunchbase puts the figure at $643 billion.

“Which number we choose, it’s clear that nearly half a trillion dollars were invested in high-growth private companies last year — nearly double what the same asset class was able to manage in 2020.”

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