Maven takes the clout-chasing out of social media as Reddit teams up with OpenAI | 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 Techcrunch's Flagship podcast about the Business of startups today is Monday May 20th and I'm Rebecca Balan a senior Reporter on the transportation desk here At TechCrunch not to confuse you with my Co-host Becca scoutek who you heard from Last week Becca and I will be tag Teaming Monday's Equity podcast but you Can hear more from me and have the top Tech news of the morning delivered Straight to your inbox by signing up for The TechCrunch daily newsletter on Today's show we have open AI teaming up With Reddit a new Social Network backed By Twitter's ex- co-founder more cyber Security consolidation and another pitch Deck tear down from haak Kemps this time For burl based startup good carbon deck Let's get Started first story on our list open AI Has in a deal to train its AI on Reddit Data per open ai's blog post on the Matter the company will get access to Quote realtime structured and unique Content from Reddit AKA posts and Replies in other words chat GPT is Getting a window into one of the Internet's more raw conversational Forums as part of the deal Reddit users

And moderators will get to access some Unspecified new AI powered features Powered by open aai and open AI will Also become a Reddit advertising partner According to TC's Kyle wiggers quote Reddit's platform which has over 1 Billion posts and more than 16 billion Comments figures that grow every day Thanks to its hundreds of millions of Active users is a gold mine for Generative AI companies whose models Learn from examples of content like text And images to generate new similar Content while open AI has several Similar Li in deals with content Providers what makes this one Stand Out Is that open aai CEO Sam Altman has an 8.7% stake in Reddit making him the Third largest shareholder so he stands To benefit from this deal I'll note here That Alman is a member of reddit's board But he recused himself for this decision According to an open AI spokesperson Reddit which went public in late February saw its stock go up 11% in Extended trading following the Announcement of the open AI deal Reddit Is made of the voices of individuals who Take the time to help others by replying And moderating content so while Reddit Stands to gain big bucks from this deal What about the rest of us and really What I think we all want to know is We'll chat GPT soon be able to tell me

If I am the [Music] next up we have Twitter Co-founder EV Williams is backing a new Social Network called Maven reports Wired Maven which is co-founded by open AI Alum Kenneth Stanley aims to provide A healthier alternative to current Platforms so instead of incentivizing People to gather hordes of followers and Likes and attention Maven wants to Create more Serendipity in people's Lives allowing users to learn more and Find connection on topics they follow Like computers or Consciousness the Concept behind Maven is actually Philosophical as well as technical Stanley and a collaborator Joel Lian in 2015 published a book called why Greatness cannot be planned that Encourages people to seek Serendipity in Their everyday lives so instead of Optimizing for objectives like grades or Salaries which actually disincentivize Exploration the book places greater Emphasis on social connections which can Lead to fun ideas that you never would Have reached alone how does that relate To Maven well Maven is built around Stanley's concept of open-endedness so Instead of training an AI model to Achieve a specific objective like Driving a car without crashing Open-ended systems evolve and seek

Novelty for their own sake when on the Maven app you can find a bunch of topics You're into like AI ethics or parenting The platform doesn't show you the most Popular posts but rather ones that match Your interests over the weekend I asked Maven users why they came to the Platform and most of the early adopters Say they were sick of the toxicity on Today's social media platforms like X And Instagram and Tik Tok all the cloud Chasing they just wanted to go back to The early internet days of exploration And fun speaking of X maven's entrance Comes on the heels of Twitter officially Becoming although I don't know About the rest of you but when I type in is what Continues to show up so maybe they'll Fix this Soon 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 FastTrack 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 Slte crunch [Music] Before the pitch deck tear down some Quick news on a recent startup

Acquisition cyber Arc one of the larger Israeli security companies is acquiring Venae a specialist in machine identity Cyber Arc is shelling out 1 billion in Cash and another 540 million in shares For the company vthe will see a moderate Increase in valuation which was last Valued at 1.15 billion when private Equity Firm Toma Bravo bought it in 2020 Cyber Arc says the deal will expand its Own total addressable Market by 10 bill Ion to a total of $60 billion and the Deal is expected to close in the second Half of 2024 so why do we care well the Deal comes at a time when bigger Companies are snapping up smaller ones In order to stay on top of the Everchanging cyber security landscape at The same time these smaller companies Are increasingly finding themselves in Need of a cash cow according to ingred London quote some companies that raised Money several years ago at higher Valuations are finding those valuations Under pressure as they variously fail to Grow ARR or reach profitability and Approach the predictable end of their Runways as regular listeners will know We've been tracking the theme of Consolidation in the broader startup Ecosystem so stay tuned for [Music] Updates that's it for me this morning But keep an eye on TechCrunch for even

More Tech startup and Venture news now It's time for pitch deck tear down with Tech crunch reporter haa camps take it Away Haa thank you Rebecca I'm haa and it's Time for another pitch deck tear down New installments drop every Friday so if You want to read along you can over on this week we're looking at good Carbon's deck good carbon is a Berlin Based startup and it raised 5.3 million EUR which is about $5.5 million at Today's exchange rate to expand its Carbon credit platform the company Offers a digital investment and trading Platform for carbon credits focusing on High impact nature-based Solutions good Carbon collaborates with corporations to Offset emissions and promotes Conservation and restoration projects Which enhances their nature analytics And expertise it's a really cool company Going after a massive market and for my Pitch deck tear down series I'm taking a Closer look at what it did to race its Round with all of that out of the way Let's get into what worked about good Carbon's deck let's get started with the Successes for one it did a great job of Telling the story of its large and Growing Market telling a carbon company Story involves a degree of describing a Future that everybody knows is coming But nobody quite seems to know how fast

That's a massive challenge the other Challenge is the explosive growth of the The cost of carbon credits the company Outlined the trend with a graph let's Say it again folks graphs are your Friends it really helps things come to Life the other thing I really liked was The portfolio approach that the company Uses the problem of course is that Carbon offsetting and buying credits is Already pretty complicated and risk Balancing all of that is even harder the Company broke down their process of Hedging against the price and volume Risk and more importantly the Reputational risk of investing in the Wrong types of companies super clever The bonus here is that VC's of course Invest in portfolios as well and So Speaking the portfolio language really Helps us come to life for VCS the third Thing I loved about good carbon's deck Is how they really lean into the social Proof they have a whole list of Companies that are trusting in them to Take care of their carbon credits it Really primes the pump for some Reference calls that are definitely Going to be coming but it means that the Company can really start help the Investor codream about the size of the Opportunity they're about to invest in Sweet well that's quite enough praise For one day let's talk about why we're

Really here the tough love here's three Things that good carbon could have Improved for one thing there is a ton of Information missing and a lot of the Thing that's missing is actually Connected which makes the story really Weak it's unclear who the Target Customer is which has a KnockOn effect Across the entire pitch there's no go-to Market slide which means we don't know How this company will find its customers And sell to them but because we also Don't know who the customers are it's Really hard to imagine a go-to market Model for this particular company gets Worse from there there's no business Model and for that matter also no Pricing model that means it's really Hard to figure out how good carbon is Going to make money who it's selling to And how much it will charge them but no Worries maybe we can deduce all of that From their competitors oh wait they Didn't include a competitive slide W on Top of that there's no Moe or Defendability so we don't know at how Much risk the company is of being taken Down by their competitors and it gets Worse from there there's no ask so we Don't know how much the company is Raising and most crucially there's no Use of fund slide which means that we Also don't know how the company's going To spend the money that they raise now

One of these omissions the company could Get away with but the combination makes Me really worried either they left all Of this info out of the deck on purpose And i' be like just why or they left out By accident which makes me wonder if These Founders really know what they're Doing honestly it's pretty easy to avoid All of this in fact a while ago I made a Checklist on Tech runch for what you Need in your pitch deck we'll make sure To drop a link to that in the show notes The second issue is that the team slide Isn't great we talked about that last Week so I'm not going to go super in Depth but suffice it to say that I Concluded that at least on paper the Team as presented on slide 17 doesn't Strike me as a slam dunk of a team Building a carbon Credit Company that's A red flag and finally I just wish they Would get to the point good carbon could Have cut a quarter of the pitch deck by Condensing the 10 problem and solution Slides into just two or three slides Seriously if an investor in this field Doesn't already get the problem and the Impact of climate change they just want To invest in the first place stop Wasting your breath stop wasting your Pixels and cut to the chase cool cool Let's recap one make sure that investors Have all the info they're looking for Use a checklist two tell a great story

That investors can really relate to Three do find a narrative that shows why Your team is a perfect fit and finally Don't insult your investors by Explaining things that they definitely Already know if they don't know these Basics you're talking to the wrong Investors all right all right all right That's it for today's episode but don't Worry Equity will be back on Wednesday If you want to keep up with us in the Meantime you can follow equity on X and Threads under the handle Equity pod and I'm easy to find I'm higher on X finally Finally if you want me to lovingly rip Your deck to shreds as well check out Today's pitch deck tear down in the show Notes and follow the submit your deck Click thank you again for listening and We'll talk again Soon Equity is produced by Teresa Lo Consolo with editing by Kell Bryce Durban is our illustrator and we'd like To give a big thanks to our audience Development team and Henry pet who Manages Tech crunch audio products Thanks so much for listening and we'll Talk to you next time


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