TechCrunch+ roundup: Climate tech survey, sex tech strategy, startup advisor compensation – TechCrunch

Oil and gas production generates so much excess methane, it’s cheaper to set it on fire in a process called flaring than it is to capture it for sale or storage.

Just in the U.S., producers flare so much gas that astronauts aboard the International Space Station can identify oil fields 254 miles below in North Dakota and Texas.

Presumably, they can also see Antarctica’s Thwaite Glacier — it’s about the size of Florida, but it’s shrinking because greenhouse gases like methane trap heat in the atmosphere that warms our oceans.


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Cleantech 1.0 was a short-lived boom, but it gave entrepreneurs a better understanding of climate tech, which in turn, has fostered more confidence among investors: 2021 saw a 400% YoY increase in round sizes for startups in this sector.

For our latest survey, we contacted 14 investors who are active in climate tech. Beyond sharing their investment thesis, they also let us know what they’re looking for and how they measure success.

We spoke with:

  • Alex Bondar, partner, Acre Venture Partners
  • Carolin Funk, partner, Blue Bear Capital
  • Georgia Sherwin, senior director of strategic initiatives and partnerships, Closed Loop Partners
  • Joshua Posamentier, co-founder and managing partner, Congruent Ventures
  • Shayle Kann, partner, Energy Impact Partners
  • Heidi Lindvall, general partner, Pale Blue Dot
  • Robert Downey Jr., Jon Schulhof, Steve Levin, and Rachel Kropa from Footprint Coalition
  • Maryanna Saenko, co-founder and partner, Future Ventures
  • Valerie Shen, partner and COO, G2 Venture Partners
  • Thai Nguyen, partner, MCJ Collective
  • David Frykman, general partner, Norrsken VC

Thanks very much for reading, and have a great weekend.

Walter Thompson
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

Advice and strategy for early-stage sex tech startup founders

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Image Credits: OsakaWayne Studios (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The old saying, “build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” does not apply to startups in the sexual wellness category.

Pleasure has a very large TAM, but “vice clauses” prevent many VC firms from even considering a sex tech startup.

To learn how other entrepreneurs faced these challenges, Anna Heim interviewed founder/angel Andrea Barrica, entrepreneur Lora DiCarlo, and Carli Sapir, founding partner at Amboy Street Ventures.

“Fundraising is only one hurdle in the industry. There’s also the problem[s] of advertising, marketing, consumer education and medical expertise in this field,” Sapir said.

Is it time to worry about fintech valuations?

As of this morning, Nubank’s parent company, Nu, is trading at $7.71 per share.

It’s not just Nu that’s feeling a pinch. Even though it’s the most-funded startup sector, “fintech valuations have taken a whacking in recent months, reports Alex Wilhelm in The Exchange.

Dear Sophie: Startup visa news, H-1B and STEM OPT queries

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Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

My STEM OPT expires in February 2023. My company has a policy that they won’t register me for the H-1B lottery since I have more than one year of OPT left.

What options do I have now?

—Distressed in Dublin

Inside the pitch deck that won Heartbeat Health’s first investment check

Heartbeat Health’s founder Dr. Jeff Wessler, and Kindred Ventures’ Kanyi Maqubela

Image Credits: Kindred Ventures / Heartbeat Health

Cardiovascular disease is big business: in the U.S., one-third of all deaths can be ascribed to heart disease or stroke. The cost of treating these patients is approximately $216 billion per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

But 80% of those deaths are preventable. And with that goal in mind, Heartbeat Health has raised about $30 million.

For the latest episode of TechCrunch Live, Heartbeat Health founder Dr. Jeff Wessler and Kindred Ventures co-founder Kanyi Maqubela reviewed the company’s pitch deck, discussed the value of insight over experience, and talked about how the company’s model evolved from from D2C to B2B2C.

How to strategically manage your startup advisor’s compensation

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US 100 dollar bill as a bait. American currency on the hook. Investment risk or money trap, business fraud and cheating or financial pitfall and mistake concept. Copy space

Beware of advisors who demand a share of your equity (and precious cash) in exchange for help with tactical operations like startup recruiting and marketing.

“No founder is an expert in every domain, and as they undertake the journey of getting their companies off the ground, they need to have outside support,” says Matt Cohen, founder and managing partner at Ripple Ventures.

Even so, entrepreneurs still need accountability measures that protect their companies from “advisor sharks” and “grifters,” he writes.

In a guest post for TC+, Cohen shares advice for setting goals and creating equity packages that will create “a more accurate alignment of incentives.”

VCs weigh in on Europe’s future in the critical deep tech market

In a follow-up to last week’s analysis of Angular Ventures’ report on deep tech investing in Europe, Alex Wilhelm and Anna Heim interviewed four investors to get a sense of what’s ahead for the sector this year:

  • Michael Jackson, partner, Cottonwood Technology Fund
  • Isabel Fox, founding general partner, Outsized Ventures
  • Nick Kingsbury and Andrea Traversone, Amadeus Capital Partners
  • Cyril Bertrand, partner, XAnge
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