“You can often pick up significant market share in an economic downturn by just staying alive,” top startup accelerator Y Combinator wrote in an internal email to its founders this week. The advice was one of 10 bullet points in a memo meant to help its companies navigate the economic downturn crushing tech. Other standout quotes include “plan for the worst” and “no one can predict how bad the economy will get, but things don’t look good.”
The email is a vibe shift from just a few weeks ago, when hundreds of Y Combinator startups — many of which already raised venture funding — presented themselves to the public on Demo Day. The startups were the first to receive Y Combinator’s new $500,000 standard deal and were aggressively focused on international opportunity. Now, after that bonanza, YC is saying that “this slowdown will have a disproportionate impact on international companies” among others.
Y Combinator isn’t the only one publishing a “black swan” memo in preparation for what’s to come. TechCrunch obtained a series of memos that venture capitalist firms sent to portfolio companies about the market downturn. Some were hopeful, some were simple, and others were a vibe check as straightforward as: Can you tell us your ARR and cash burn in writing?
High efficiency > high growth
Reach Capital, a venture firm focused on education and access, sent a market overview to founders to help with allocating resources and priorities.