Demand for some services can be so high that it can isolate their providers from the vagaries of the market. During an economic downturn, consumers don’t cut corners on pet food or toilet paper. Everyone needs insurance.

Between 2016 and 2022, insurtech startups received about $43 billion in funding, and despite the downturn, most investors surveyed by reporter Anna Heim recently said they are still positive about the industry’s prospects:

  • Martha Notaras, General Partner, Brewer Lane Ventures
  • David Wechsler, Director, OMERS Ventures
  • Stephen Brittain and Rob Lumley, Directors and Co-Founders, Insurtech Gateway
  • Florian Graillot, Co-Founder, Astorya.vc
  • Clarisse Lam, employee, New Alpha Asset Management
  • Hélène Falchier, partner, Portage Ventures
  • Adam Blumencranz, Partner, Distributed Enterprises

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“We’re just seeing a reality check happening,” Wechsler said. “Unfortunately, there are many companies that should not have collected so much, or perhaps do not have sustainable business models. These companies will struggle to survive.”

Their responses contain valuable insights for budding founders who are still in fundraising mode, as well as those hoping to find an exit in this down market.

“From a mergers and acquisitions perspective, it’s a matter of price versus positioning,” Graillot says. “As an enterprise software company, if you solve a real pain point, technology vendors or insurers may be interested in taking you over.”

Thank you so much for reading TC+ this week. Have a great weekend.

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, australiabusinessblog.com+
@yourprotagonist

The unbearable lightness of asset-light

Image Credits: Westend61 (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Investors have embraced asset-light companies like Rent the Runway, Uber and Airbnb, which don’t own the hardware that generates their income.

Companies that generate billions from assets they don’t own “generally require less capital — and thus less dilution for their investors,” writes Daniel Hoffer, chief executive of Autotech Ventures.

“But some asset-light marketplaces struggle to satisfy their customers because not all the assets they can make available are equally valued by their demand-side customers.”

Dear Sophie: Is it OK to use a visitor visa while holding an H-1B?

lone figure at the entrance of the maze hedge with an American flag in the middle

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/australiabusinessblog.com

Dear Sophie,

I am in Toronto, Canada, and I am approved for an H-1B, which was recently stamped in my passport. I plan to move to the US next year. Can I visit the US in November with an earlier B-1/B-2 visa?

Would it raise red flags if I came as a visitor while holding an approved/stamped H-1B visa?

— Talented in Toronto

How to make coaching work for your sales team

An old whistle;  coaching sales teams

Image Credits: Richard Drury (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

A strong sales force is the top of the bill for any SaaS startup, but because so few founders have meaningful experience in this area, they don’t know how to prepare their teams for success.

In this TC+ article, contributor Kevin Varadian explains how to map out a sales coaching journey that will increase retention and increase revenue.

“It’s important to recognize that today’s sales teams are more problem solvers than deal closers — soft skills are more important here than technical capabilities,” he says.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Rokoko’s $3M Strategic Expansion Deck

Jakob Balslev, CEO and co-founder of Danish animation and motion capture company Rokoko, describes the $3 million round that boosted his company to an $80 million valuation as “strategic.”

“True digital presence requires natural human movement,” states Deck, explaining that the company’s overall addressable market spans everything from automotive robotics to safety and security.

To show TC+ readers how Rokoko persuaded investors to inject more money at this stage of its development, Balslev shared the full deck.

Treepz founder Onyeka Akumah on how to succeed in transportation technology

Treepz founder Onyeka Okumah

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

Overall, the quality of life for Africans has improved dramatically in recent decades, but the continent still suffers from weak public transport infrastructure.

In Europe and North America, three quarters of the urban population can take a bus or train, but in Africa that figure drops to a third. To close the gap, Nigerian startup Treepz is building a bus service that co-founder and CEO Onyeka Akumah aims to traverse through the sub-Saharan region.

“We can’t keep complaining about the downturn,” Akumah said. “I’d say it helps us get firmer.”


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