SoftBank Vision Fund is reportedly laying off 30% of its workforce, or at least 150 employees • TechCrunch

The Vision Fund, a venture capital arm of SoftBank, has launched a sweeping layoff process, cutting at least 30% of its workforce globally, or approximately 150 of the 500 employees, according to a report by Bloomberg. The news comes nearly two months after SoftBank chief executive officer and founder Masayoshi Son said the company would … Read more

Q1 performance data shows maturing fund vintages aren’t doomed

It can be hard to tell how venture capital firms are doing. Sometimes it’s easier after a big exit, like Figma’s last week, which gave us a window into the sizable returns some of its early backers, including Index Ventures and Greylock, could capitalize on. But VC firms are usually an opaque bunch when it … Read more

Deep tech VC First Star plots a $40M third fund • TechCrunch

First Star, backer of deep tech startups like Plus One and Fyto, aims to raise as much as $40 million for its third venture fund, TechCrunch has learned. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, First Star typically backs robotics, blockchain, AI and machine learning-focused startups at the early stage. The firm has not disclosed a first close … Read more

Amazon’s live radio app Amp is launching a new creator fund • TechCrunch

Amazon’s live radio app Amp is launching a new creator fund that is designed to reward creators who create engaging shows and build loyal audiences. A spokesperson from Amazon told TechCrunch that Amp has allocated “millions of dollars” to pay creators through monthly rewards, but didn’t provide an exact figure. The company says the range … Read more

Pan-African “gender equal investor“ Janngo Capital hits first close of €60M fund • TechCrunch

After stints at Jumia as its former managing director at its Nigerian office and founding CEO of its Ivorian office, Fatoumata Bâ, a veteran of the African tech space, announced that her firm Janngo Capital was raising a €60 million fund (~$63 million) in 2019. The firm, looking to “invest 50% of its proceeds in … Read more

Brex’s departing CRO explains his decision to join Founders Fund – TechCrunch

Welcome to The Interchange! If you received this in your inbox, thank you for signing up and your vote of confidence. If you’re reading this as a post on our site, sign up here so you can receive it directly in the future. Every week, I’ll take a look at the hottest fintech news of … Read more

Cantos launches its third fund, ploughing $50M into near-frontier startups – TechCrunch

Hard tech is hard, but when there are major breakthroughs, that can come with outsize returns and enormous opportunities. Cantos just closed its third fund to invest in science-forward companies at the pre-seed and seed stages to ‘improve billions of lives and saving the planet.’ “I have a bachelor’s in international relations. I’m not technical … Read more

Ron DeSantis’ proposed ban on ESG investments would be another blow for diverse fund managers – TechCrunch

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking aim at ESG investing as part of his ongoing war on things he considers “woke.” While the Florida executive is popular with his base, his work to discredit ESG investing could prove detrimental to the startup investing landscape, especially for diverse founders and fund managers. In late July, DeSantis … Read more

Bill Gates offers guidance on what climate technologies he’s looking to fund – TechCrunch

Bill Gates joined us at TechCrunch Sessions: Climate 2022 last week to discuss his priorities in terms of investment projects and technological breakthroughs needed to effectively address climate change. Gates provided an updated picture of where we’re at compared to the context in which he wrote and published his 2021 book, “How to Avoid a … Read more

Matrix Partners is raising $450 million for new India fund – TechCrunch

Matrix Partners India is raising $450 million for its fourth India fund, doubling down on the South Asian market where scores of investors including Sequoia, Lightspeed, SoftBank, Elevation, Accel, Alpha Wave Global and Tiger Global have increased the pace of their investments in recent years. The firm, which counts Ofbusiness and Razorpay among its portfolio … Read more