Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh take on this week’s startup news and trends for humanity first. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.

For a week now, people have been trying to figure out what’s going on in tech. If you are divorced. Rejoice! Now let me tell you what’s going on.

WeWork founder Adam Neumann on Monday raised The initial round of a new real estate firm from Andreessen Horowitz is reportedly valued at more than $1 billion. Neumann’s return, filled with the largest check ever written by one of the most famous companies, was with a series of reactions given his fiery leadership at WeWork.

One common response was that women and people of color will never lose the same “second chances” that Neumann did, because first chances are hard enough for a historically overlooked group. Alison Byers, founder of Scroobious, a platform that aims to diversify startups and make founders more venture-backed, described feeling “dull rage.”

A few days ago, Kimberly Bryant was fired from Black Girls Code, the nonprofit she founded, by the board she appointed.

Have you caught? we had a return and departure within the same week.

The income came from a white man who misled investors and employees. Outcast was a black woman who founded a non-profit organization to get more diversity into the coding world.

If the analysis stops here, it’s a blemish. As my colleague Dominique-Madori Davies said, “people talk about these things without the nuances of two things at once, but that’s also the case with most arguments online. They turn things and people into one-dimensional objects, as if it’s easy to analyze.” If you’re not careful, you can twist yourself into an opinion that misses the versatility of the controversy.

Expanding the difficulty of becoming a diverse founder can lead to the construction of a pressure cooker that those who to do The pressure can then make it difficult for those same founders to make even one mistake.

For my full take, read my TechCrunch+ piece: “Adam Neumann, Kimberly Bryant, and the Importance of Nuance.” You can also listen to my latest podcast, “Let’s officially stop comparing Adam Neiman and Elizabeth Holmes.”

In the rest of this newsletter, we’ll look at Stripe, which is coming off an acquisition last year and the latest in the world of employee benefits.

As always, you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend or following me on twitter

Flared scales back

Stripe has laid off several employees supporting TaxJar, the tax compliance startup it acquired last year, TechCrunch has learned from multiple sources and first-hand documents. TechCrunch reached out to Stripe for confirmation, and a spokesperson said the company declined to comment.

For what it’s worth, TaxJar co-founder Matt Anderson left Stripe in July, followed by people from the sales, marketing and partnerships teams.

Here’s why it’s important. In April 2021, Stripe acquired TaxJar, a provider of a cloud-based tax suite, to help its customers “automatically calculate, report and file sales taxes.” At the time, Stripe told TechCrunch that all 200 employees at the Massachusetts business were joining the company. The goal of the acquisition was to integrate sales tax collection and remittance as a service, one of the most requested features among users.

The suspension of go-to-market efforts for TaxJar’s customers began in late July, indicating a change in Stripe’s view.

Image credits: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Will your company cut your benefits or your co-workers first?

This week in equity, I was joined TC’s Rebecca Szkutak talk about everything from international money transfers to hearing aid innovation. One of the standout conversations in the episode was about employee benefits.

Here’s why it’s important. Companies revise budgets and changes can cost more than your free Sweetgreen. In a TechCrunch+ analysisSzkutak examines how startups with employee benefits can fare amid layoffs and a tight labor market. One source told him that “if the company has already lost a significant number of employees due to the Great Retrenchment, the benefit cut could only add fuel to the fire.”

Me, it is particularly interesting to see the B2B2C model becoming less sticky. It used to be for any consumer-focused company that could build a more reliable consumer base. After all, it was easier to sign thousands of clients on an employer then to sign each of those clients on their own. When that model is threatened, there will definitely be natural selection.

Image credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

If you missed last week’s newsletter

Read here: You’re not that special (I swear there’s a starting angle here)

  • Listen to other TechCrunch podcasts, including our crypto-focused show hosted by Chain Reaction and founder-focused show hosted by Found. The TechCrunch Podcast also continues to entertain me, so look out for all the good shows they put on.
  • Remember, TechCrunch Live is on a brand new platform, and we’ve made it even easier to apply for an internship. Investors (and my inbox) can attest to the importance of brevity, intelligence, and simplicity, so that’s great to see. Startups can now apply for Pitch Practice any day, any time by completing this form.
  • Go mining for a chance at TC Sessions: Crypto, this November in Miami. Yes, you heard that right, we’re going to Miami.
  • Finally, TechCrunch Live is coming to Minneapolis! Come chat with the TechCrunch staff on September 7th as we interview the best and brightest in town. Minneapolis is one of the best cities to start a business in the Midwest, and you’ll soon find out why.

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Your startup needs someone to be its master storyteller

Wayfair is laying off 5% of its workforce, or nearly 900 employees

Seen on TechCrunch+

5 Investors Explain Why Longevity Tech Is a Long-Term Play

Why do startup valuations fall when interest rates rise?

Pitch Deck Teardown. Mi Terro’s $1.5 million seed deck

There’s a reason Midwest startups had fewer layoffs, says Chicago VC

Dear Sophie. How can I get an O-1 visa to freelance on web3 projects?

Okay, that’s all from me. Appreciate you endlessly.


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