I sat down with Menlo Ventures associate Shawn Carolan this week to speak about his early funding in Uber. Menlo, when you keep in mind, led Uber’s Sequence B and has made a hefty sum over the yr promoting shares within the ride-hailing firm. I’ll have extra on that later; for now, I need to share a number of the insights Carolan had on his expertise ditching enterprise capital to change into a founder.

Round when Menlo made its first funding in Uber, Carolan started taking a step again from the agency and constructing Deal with, a startup that constructed instruments to assist individuals be extra productive. Regardless of years of onerous work, Deal with was in the end a failure. Carolan stated he shed a variety of tears over its demise, however used the expertise to attach extra intimately with founders and to supply them extra candid, genuine recommendation.

“Folks within the valley are all the time achievement-oriented; it’s all the time concerning the subsequent factor and crushing it and no matter,” Carolan instructed TechCrunch. “When [Handle] shut down, I had this spreadsheet of all of the individuals who I felt like I dissatisfied: Seed buyers who invested in me, all of the individuals at Menlo and my buddies who had tweeted out early stuff. It was an extended spreadsheet of like 60 individuals. And once I began a sabbatical, what I stated was I’m going to go join with everybody and apologize.”

At this time, Carolan encourages founders to personal their vulnerabilities.

“It’s OK to confess whenever you’re improper,” he stated. “Now I can see it on [founders’] faces, I can see once they’re scared. And so they’re not going to say they’re scared however I do know it’s robust. This is without doubt one of the hardest issues that you simply’re going to undergo. Now I may be there emotionally for these founders and I can say ‘right here’s the way you do it, right here’s the way you speak to your staff and right here’s what you share.’ Loads of founders really feel like they’ve to do that alone and that’s why it’s important to get comfy along with your vulnerability.”

After Deal with shuttered, Carolan returned to Menlo full time and made the agency a boatload of cash from Roku’s IPO and now Uber’s. Anyway, thought these had been some good anecdotes that ought to be shared since most of our feeds are dominated by Silicon Valley hustle porn.

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IPO nook

Funds on funds on funds

There have been so many fund bulletins this week; right here’s a fast listing.

Further Crunch

A number of nice new unique content material for our Further Crunch subscribers is on the positioning, together with this deep dive into the challenges of transportation startup income. Plus: When to ditch a nightmare buyer, earlier than they kill your startup; The proper option to do AI in safety; and The definitive Niantic studying information.


Sinema, that one MoviePass competitor, has run into its justifiable share of bumps within the highway. TechCrunch’s Brian Heater hopped on the telephone with the startup’s CEO this week to study extra about these bumps, why its terminating accounts en masse, a class-action lawsuit its battling and extra.

Picture by Stephen McCarthy / RISE by way of Sportsfile

Startup capital


TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield brings the world’s high early-stage startups collectively on one stage to compete for non-dilutive prize cash, and the eye of media and buyers worldwide. Right here’s a fast replace on a few of our BF winners and finalists:


In the event you take pleasure in this text, make sure you take a look at TechCrunch’s venture-focused podcast, Fairness. On this week’s episode, obtainable right here, Crunchbase Information editor-in-chief Alex Wilhelm, myself and Phil Libin, the founding father of Evernote and AllTurtles, chat concerning the significance of IPOs. Plus, in a particular Fairness Shot, Alex and I unpack the Uber S-1.


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