Inside the demise of EV startup Fisker and Trump’s TikTok debut | Equity Podcast

This episode is presented by invest Puerto Rico if you believe your business Can go anywhere Puerto Rico is the [Music] Place hello and welcome back to equity Tech crunch's Flagship podcast about the Business of startups this is our Monday Show where we take a look at the weekend And get you ready for the week ahead Today is June 3rd 2024 and I'm Rebecca Balon senior reporter at TechCrunch it's A gorgeous morning here in New York Which is just what we need to get Through this morning's Tech news let's Get caught up on today's show we have a Look behind the scenes at Eevee startup Fiskers collapse X's new rules to allow Adult content the wild west of special Purpose vehicles and private AI startup Shares and of course a pitch deck tear Down from haa comps this time for the Raw dating app let's get started [Music] Let's dive into the big news that Matters for our first story of the day We're looking behind the scenes of EV Startup fisker's epic collapse at the Hands of its Founders whims tell me Listener what do an autonomous pod an Electric pickup truck and a solid stake Batterypowered sports car all have in Common they're all innovations that Fisker promised and never delivered on Today Fisker which was founded by famed

Vehicle designer Henrik Fisker is on the Brink of bankruptcy after only having Delivered a few thousand electric ocean SUVs employees who spoke to Tech crunch For this well-reported deep dive by Shan Oain say the blame rests on the Shoulders of the husband and wife team Running the show the ocean can be held As the perfect example of fiskers flaws Paved with hubris power struggles and The repeated failure to set up basic Processes that are foundational for any Automaker the SUV has been riddled with Mechanical and software problems Employees who spoke to Tech crunch say They were drowning from a lack of Structure inadequate customer service no Properly functioning warranty system and A scarcity of spare parts among other Failures customers have thrown dozens of Lawsuits at the company which has now Laid off almost all of its overwork Staff there's more to this story so Please check it out on [Music] Next up X formerly Twitter has tweaked Its rules to formally allow adult Content here we go over the weekend X Added Clauses to its rules to formally Allow users to post adult and graphic Content on the platform what could go Wrong apparently the corn will have to Be consensually produced and labeled as Such to be allowed on the platform these

Rules also cover AI generated videos and Images X's owner Elon Musk who Apparently has the media diet of a 14-year-old boy has already hosted adult Content on not safe for work communities On X X's page on adult content policies Reads quote we believe that users should Be able to create distribute and consume Material related to sexual themes as Long as it is consensually produced and Distributed sexual expression visual or Written can be a legitimate form of Artistic expression listeners I'm all For freeing the nipple and sexual Positivity but this spells trouble to me Here's my thinking one it's really hard To prove that adult content was made Consensually two in this age of deep Fakes where women are targeted with fake Porn Almost 100% of the time this is Deeply troubling three we all know that You can post content that breaks with The rules of social media platforms and It often takes time for that content to Come down by that point thousands of People could have screenshotted deep Fake or revenge porn and shared it Across other platforms ruining people's Lives four Twitter has already been a Historically unsafe environment for a Lot of women and that doesn't seem like It's alleviating under musk's cookie Stewardship in other terrifying social Media news on this week's episode of

Late stage capitalism hellscape Trump Now a convicted felon is amassing Followers on Tik Tok the video platform That he had previously tried to ban when He was president to spare you the need To watch it his first post on Saturday Night had UFC CEO Dana White saying the President is now on Tik Tok then Trump Says it's my honor then Trump walks Along a testosterone fueled crowd at a UFC event in Newark New Jersey as Someone who actually enjoys the UFC I Really hate seeing it get corrupted to Be a trump Rally [Music] Point and before we head into today's Pitch deck tear down a look into how Small unknown investors are beating out VCS to buy shares in the hottest private AI startups like anthropic perplexity And xai VCS are dying to invest in these Companies and they're willing to pay Exorbitant share prices for coveted Spots on their cap tables but smaller Unknown investors like family offices And high net worth individuals are Taking these spots by using special Purpose vehicles or spvs these allow Multiple parties to pull their money to Share an allocation of a shared company So there's usually an investor who has Direct access to the shares of these Startups then sells a part of their Allocation to external backers often

Charging a pretty penny while also Retaining some profit share spvs aren't New but they are growing amid a perfect Storm early backers and sought-after AI Startups are exercising their Pro rights Which lets them buy more shares each Time a company raises so they can keep Their percentage ownership then rather Than offloading shares maybe because They're too expensive the early investor Can create the SPV and fund it by Raising more money from others and Charging additional fees to do so what's More some spvs are being formed on top Of other spvs look to what happened when Menow Ventures raised a $750 million SPV To invest in anthropic earlier this year The result has been a bit of a wild west High-risk buyer beware situation where The terms between spvs vary Significantly that's it for me this Morning but keep an eye on Tech crunch For even more Tech startup and Venture News as always if you want to dive Deeper into anything we talked about Today we'll have links to the stories we Covered in our show notes now let's Check in with haa comps for today's Pitch deck tear down take it away [Music] Haa what's next in Tech that's not the Right question it's where Puerto Rico Where an entrepreneurial ecosystem Pulses with connectivity capability and

Possibility where the most competitive Tax incentives in the US Fast Track Success and hard work is rewarded with Sunsets and turquoise Waters if you Believe your business can go anywhere Puerto Rico is the place invest [Music] TechCrunch thank you so much all right Folks it's time for another glorious Pitch deck tear down if you think about It pitch decks are a lot like dating They're awkward they're full of red Flags and occasionally you find yourself A keeper so this week we're swiping Right on the raw dating apps deck the Raw dating app living up to its ever so Subtle name promises to revolutionize The dating scene by ditching the fake Tiktock ified heavily filtered photos Instead they offer a raw unvarnished Experience the company has allegedly Raised a cool $3 million in a friends And family round now I say allegedly Because I haven't been a very successful Detective on this one there's no press Coverage of the round and most of the Company's media Buzz seems to be Self-authored by the founder gracing the Pages of Forbes entrepreneur and a Flurry of syndicated press releases Still the deck was quirky enough to Peque my interest so let's dive in now Let's start with what works I thought The company had a really good problem

Slide basically it lists a number of Statistics that helps highlight the Glaring issues in the dating app world Including catfishing scamming and people Just being jerkasaurus Still the slide could have been even Better if the company had cited its Sources for those stats to transform my Skepticism into trust the other thing I Really liked was the company's solution SL it is refreshingly clear and it Clearly states what sets it apart from Other apps it gives a really good Snapshot of how they plan to address the Pain points of online dating and it Doesn't overlap too much with the Product details very cleverly done I Really enjoyed it the other thing I Really liked was the clarity of the Company's Target demographics Slide the App says it targets young professionals And students particularly women aged 21 To 27 who seek genuine interactions that Are free from common pitfalls of Traditional dating apps I think maybe 21 To 27 is a little bit narrow but the Luxury of this is that you have an Incredible level of clarity so you have A good idea of the socioeconomic status Of the people you're talking about and All the pieces that go with how to reach Your customer having good clarity about Your target demographics is a really Good way to open up the door to how you

Market to this people and that really Plays into how you tell the story of Your startup to investors very cleverly Done now regular listeners will know That this is the part of the show where I take a look at what didn't work in Today's deck and what you can learn from It now instead of breaking it into three Separate areas that need Improvement I Want to focus on one particular piece of Advice which is making sure that your Deck is machine readable the thing that Reminded me about this was slide 16 in Raw's Pitch deck I don't know if it was A traction slide or a projected growth Slide maybe a combination of both I Don't know if it shows traction from the Past or projections into the future it's All possible but I'll tell you this Thing if it confuses a human like me That is spending day in and day out Staring at pitch decks it'll definitely Confuse the hell out of an AI I should Know I've built an AI that looks at Pitch decks and it mostly get things Right but occasionally it parses a team Slide as a go to market slide and the Results are completely broken as a Result and that's kind of the bad news As if it wasn't enough to make your deck Visually appealing you now have to cater To the whims of algorithms as well but Don't panic I've got some tips in fact Last year I wrote an article about this

On Tech Crunch and I'll make sure to Drop a link to that in the show notes Anyway picture this you spent countless Hours crafting a pitch deck so stunning It would bring a tear to the eye of a Statue the graphics are smoother than a Baby dolphin and your slides look like They belong in an art gallery but guess What the VC you just sent it to has Outsourced their soul to an AI and now Your Masterpiece is being digested by a Heartless machine that couldn't care Less about your impeccable fun choices Welcome to to 2024 the truth is your beautifully Meticulously crafted slides often get Converted into a lowly PDF and PDFs my Dear friends are the cryptonite of text Extraction your AI Overlord investors Will want to be able to pull out key Information like your Market size and Financial projections and team BIOS with The ease of swiping on a Tinder date if Your text is embedded in images or Locked away in unsearchable formats it May as well be written in invisible ink So how do you appease the algorithm Gods Without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal Of your deck well it's actually simpler Than you think here's a few rules first Of all embrace the power of text layers When creating your slides ensure that All of your text is in a format that can Be easily copied and searched that means

No text embedded in images no fancy font That require a decoder ring and Definitely no obscure file formats that Would confuse even a seasoned Cryptographer second imagine that you're Talking to a robot toddler use Clear Headings and bullet points remember the AI isn't here to appreciate your Shakespearean Pros it's looking for data That it can categorize and analyze so Lay it out in a way that even the most Simplistic algorithm can understand Third and this may hurt a bit ditch the Heavy visuals yes your charts and Infographics are beautiful but if They're not machine readable they are Useless instead supplement them with Text description that clearly State the Important numbers and Trends think of it As giving your AI buddies and reading Glasses you might even consider using Out text on your images I know right What is this the worldwide web and Finally let's talk about the elephant in The room SEO for pitch decks I can hear You groaning but hear me out just like You optimize your website to climb into Google ranks you need to optimize your Deck for searchability make sure you use The keywords that investors are likely To search for spell out industry Specific terms and acronyms and For the Love of All That is Holy don't cram Everything onto one slide spreading out

Information with good titles helps the AI easily parse and categorize Everything I get it creating a machine Readable pitch deck can feel like adding A bunch of extra work but it's actually A necessary evil in today's Tech driven Investment landscape swallow your pride Fire up your presentation software and Start making those tweaks because if a Pitch deck falls in the forest and no AI Is there to read it does it even make a Sound good luck and remember the Machines are watching so just a quickly Recap clearly stat will set you a apart From your competitors because that helps Investors codream about the size of your Potential future make sure you get to The numbers and site your sources for Those numbers so everybody gets on the Same page Target the Target remember That explaining what your target Audience is can be really helpful to Investors in order to get a fuller Picture of what you're trying to do and Who you're doing it for and finally keep The machines in mind when you are Preparing your deck they're much more Pervasive than you might think and They're not as smart as they would like To think all right that's it for today's Episode but don't panic Equity will be Back on Wednesday if you want to keep up With us in the meantime you can follow Me on higher on X and you can stalk your

Little heart out and follow the equity Team on X and threads under the handle Equity pod thank you for listening and We'll be back in your air holes before You know it


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