How to prepare your company for a bumpy ride; Best practices for remote work & More

Your weekly Newsletter on Women in Tech and Venture Capital

Hello friends and welcome to issue No. 126. I don’t even know how to start this week’s newsletter. These are unusual days and anxious times, prioritize your health and family!

Now is the time to connect and gather online more meaningfully than ever. We’ve hosted a WFH Happy Hour for a few of our members on Friday at 5pm on Zoom to talk about what everyone is doing to stay positive and productive during this period. We will likely repeat it next week and I hope to see many of your faces. Details will be shared on Slack.

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“Moments of behavior change like what we're going through right now catalyze huge opportunities for new user behaviors (both b2c and b2b). People who were set in their ways suddenly need to learn new ways. The future comes faster. “

— Sarah Tavel


Insights

We now know (at least one side of the story) why Outdoor Voices CEO Ty Haney suddenly stepped down in February. She apparently clashed with more experienced male executives, in partiuclar Mickey Drexler. The shake-up has highlighted the generational friction that can arise between idealistic start-up founders, the employees they hire and the seasoned executives their companies often need for success. Former employees also claim Ty hired inexperienced friends and basically recreated the "mean" girls experiences of high schools. It’s pretty naive to think the same person can continue to lead a company as it enters new stages of growth but we don’t know what else has happened. On Instagram, Ty published the following this week: “At OV, my playbook was different than what had been done before and this was intentional. […] This approach was uncomfortable for some especially those who had done it one way for a long time and I understand and appreciate that. […] I have experienced both gender and generational differences firsthand and these have been very tough to navigate. I am unable to tell my story in full because of documents I was required to sign when being removed from my position at OV while on maternity leave. […] I’ve made mistakes and will apply the lessons go forward. I have some wisdom to impart. Most importantly, go slow, and be very thoughtful about who you bring into your garden.” More in this NYT story.

More recently, there’s been a fair amount (too much in my eyes) of negative press about female founders highlighting toxic culture at their companies. Winnie app founder Sarah Maukopf wrote on TechCrunch in December: “Articles often highlight when female CEOs curse, yell and show anger or bawdiness, because the shock value is higher than when male CEOs demonstrate these behaviors. We ask women leaders not only to be successful, but also to be ladylike and likable. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been criticized for not being warm and friendly enough, or saying things that were too blunt.” Amen.


Speaking of workplace misconduct: LA-based AllVoices announced that it raised $3 million Seed from Crosscut, Greygroft, Halogen and Vitalize VC to build a platform for anonymous harassment and bias reporting.


Women’s coworking startup The Wing has launched a new incubator program for female-founded businesses. The program called The Guild kicked off on International Women’s Day and will provide 13 female business owners the opportunity to partner with The Wing’s new location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for one year. COVID-19 is hitting places that have a strong offline presence hard. Hence, The Wing also launched Groups, an app feature to connect with others over a shared interest and experiences.

People

Facebook’s board is its most gender-balanced yet with two new additions: Nancy Killefer and Tracey T. Travis.

NEA has closed on $3.6 billion for its latest and 17th fund and promotes Liza Landsman to General Partner.

Sequoia Capital has confirmed its expansion into Europe, naming Luciana Lixandru from Accel as its first European partner. Big loss for Accel, great news for European tech in general.


From the Investor


On the winning strategies for service marketplaces.
— Julia Morrongiello / Point Nine Capital



How to prepare your B2B Software startup for a bumpy ride.
— Joyce Liu

Elizabeth Yin on best practices for remote work, tools and processes.


An Overlooked Opportunity: The past, present and future of FemTech.
— Louise Rix / Forward Partners



On the “White Space” for building a marketplace and how to find your competition’s vulnerabilities — and capitalize.
— Sarah Tavel / Benchmark


A curated list of oracle methods used in decentralized finance (DeFi) projects.
— Linda Xie / Scalar Capital


Lessons from building the first bottom-up playbook for enterprise.
— Brianne Kimmel / Work-Life Ventures


How product-led companies look like and a sampling of case studies.
— Shripriya Mahesh / Spero Ventures



From the Founder & Operator


Sequoia Capital published a note last week advising founders to cut spending. Here are 4 easy ways to do that without cutting into your productivity or revenue.
— Sara Mauskopf / Winnie



No Sales? You’re probably ghosting your audience. What you’re doing wrong if your products aren’t selling.
— Sophia Sunwoo / Ascent Strategy



3 lessons learned after two years in the customer operations at Monzo bank.
— Brenda Wong / Monzo

Rachel Carlson of Guild Education shares her thoughts on leading in uncertain times.

Upcoming Events

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Alternative Funding Sources for Entrepreneurs

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Thanks for being part of Femstreet. Have a fantastic Sunday and stay safe! I’d love to know what’s helping you stay positive and productive and what learnings/practices from this phase will you carry forward when business goes (hopefully soon) back to normal?
Let me know in the comments section below.

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Curated in London by Sarah Nöckel, Founder/Editor in Chief & B2B SaaS Investor at Dawn Capital