From a whirlwind, clarity – MovieUpdates

Welcome to The MovieUpdates Exchange, a weekly newsletter about startups and markets. It is inspired by the daily MovieUpdates+ column from which it takes its name. Every Saturday in your inbox? To register here

Saying goodbye to Q1

What a week

If you were recently hooked up to the startup news cycle, you’ve been busy. Y Combinator has launched hundreds of new startups, Instacart’s price hikes continued to resound, and it feels like we’re discovering some parts of the startup market are already in a period of correction.

That’s starting to feel like a Q1 recap: a hot early-stage market and a late-stage startup climate in a cooling period. We’ll understand the full Q1 picture better when we get all the venture capital data in, but early numbers match that summary.

What awaits us will prove to be extremely fascinating. In the second quarter, a large number of startups will need to raise new capital, and many will find the investment landscape completely strange compared to when they were last looking for capital. What will that force? Will unicorns tap into risk debt? Will we see a parade of downward rounds? Smaller inside deals to bolster the runway? I do not know.

Listening in between the cracks, the public conversation about a startup pullback may actually be a little late. If it had happened internally earlier in the year, we might have picked it up.

But what we can say is that the news hurricane of the past few weeks is illuminating. From declining tech stocks to retreating unicorns and unending early stage hype, we’re in an odd time but I think we can now take a bow and move on. On to Q2.


This little newsletter was launched from my daily column for MovieUpdates+, MovieUpdates’s reporting that sits behind our paywall. Launched a few years ago under the Extra Crunch brand, our experiment in the subscription media space has been a fascinating journey.

Last week we announced that I would take over as editor-in-chief of MovieUpdates+, which I am very excited about. And frankly more than a little humble, but saying that is a cliche right now, so we can move on.

A few comments about what’s in store for us seems reasonable at this point, given that The Exchange’s regular submissions have been a staple of the MovieUpdates+ post flow since late 2019, meaning you’re all veterans of the project. Thanks by the way.

MovieUpdates+ has reached material scale, meaning we have a strong cohort of subscribers, hard evidence that we are doing something of value, and that the larger MovieUpdates community is willing to support that work. The even better news is that we’re investing in MovieUpdates+ this year, with more staff and lots of fun ideas ahead of us. Our goal is not only to report and write more, but also to broaden our lens slightly to allow for a broader content mix.

That’s why Jacquelyn is on board to write about the fascinating, annoying and fast evolving world of crypto. We’ll be announcing more names in other areas soon, including the areas where I’ve traditionally written for you.

That MovieUpdates+ is not only alive, but growing is great news if you care about startups. One really nice thing about having a subscription service as part of a publication is that you can afford – literally – to go a little more niche than you might otherwise. This means that The Exchange has at times been able to focus on a single startup topic and spend endless time figuring out the mechanics. Our work on the 2021 business boom, the 2020 consumer fintech explosion, and the 2022 startup slowdown we mentioned above are just a few examples.

MovieUpdates is building this year. And part of that work is accelerating MovieUpdates+. I think I should end this with some sort of pitch, right? I’ll try: Give MovieUpdates+ a shot this year if it makes sense. If the right article will have you cursing the paywall, I hope this year we deserve your attention, and, well, money.

Hugs, be kind to each other, and I’ll talk to you on Monday. — Alex

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