October 24, 2020
Hello and welcome to Pipeline. We're 10 days out from the presidential election, so this week, we're taking a look how the election could affect startup funding, Expensify's email to vote for Biden, and the TikTok duets you should watch if you need a break from politics.
Also, join us on Wednesday for our event on the future of TV. Protocol's Janko Roettgers will moderate a panel with Tubi CEO Farhad Massoudi, Cinedigm President Erick Opeka, Wurl CEO Sean Doherty and CBS News Interactive GM Christy Tanner on whether cord-cutting has reached a tipping point in 2020. It'll be a blast. Sign up here.
Anyone else look up and realize we're now just 10 days away from the election? I'm glad it's not just me. Right now founders and investors are having the same realization, and we're in the middle of the "oh no" spike, said DocSend's co-founder and CEO, Russ Heddleston.
Unlike in 2016, when the election results caught a lot of investors and startup founders off guard, startups and venture capitalists have already begun to realize that it's time to get out and fundraise before the election. DocSend is seeing a spike in the number of pitch decks being sent out and investor response in engaging with them. And while founders are wisely getting out ahead of the chaos, here's what Heddleston believes will happen depending on the election outcomes.
Election scenario #1: It's a contested election and we don't know the results.
Election scenario #2: Trump is reelected and there's no administration change.
Election scenario #3: Biden wins and there's an administration change.
Already it's harder to fundraise with investors spending less time on pitch decks than ever before. But when it comes to Biden vs. Trump, "if you're a founder, you're kind of gambling [with]: Will I be able to raise in March or not," he said.
Join Janko Roettgers on Wednesday at noon ET to answer the question: Has TV reached a tipping point? You will hear from industry experts including Tubi founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi, Cinedigm President Erick Opeka, Wurl CEO Sean Doherty and CBS News Digital EVP and GM Christy Tanner. The event is presented by Roku.
The former COO of Fab and an early Etsy employee, Beth Ferreira now invests in consumer companies as a partner. She led investments in Glossier, Daily Harvest and MasterClass while at WME and has invested in companies like Skylar, Tommy Johns and Justworks for FirstMark.
What product or service are you totally, even irrationally, loyal to?
Dunkin' Donuts; use the app every day. Simple, fast and convenient and a liquid cup of New England.
What's a secret obsession of yours that most people don't know about?
DIY home projects. I am constantly coming up with new ideas, from making pillows to stenciling walls, that are generally done in the middle of the night.
What's your favorite piece of advice to give to first-time founders?
There are three jobs of CEO/founder: 1) Keep the vision of the business. 2) Keep the company capitalized. 3) Hire and retain exceptional talent.
What problem do you want to see a startup solve?
I would like to see someone really solve the huge wealth knowledge gap, from managing student loans to mortgages and buying your first home to estate planning.
What's the strangest way you've ever been pitched? And did it work?
Back in 2001, a singing telegram. It did get them a short meeting, but didn't get them an investment.
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