The 36 questions that lead to love (but with your co-founder) – TechCrunch

After months of beta testing, Y Combinator has launched a co-founder matching platform. The platform invites entrepreneurs to create profiles, which include information about themselves and preferences for a co-founder, such as location and skill sets. It digests that information and offers a number of potential candidates that fit those needs kind of like Tinder for co-founders. To date, the accelerator says it has made 9,000 matches across 4,500 founders.

Y Combinator is obviously well positioned to execute this tool. The accelerator offers the popular Startup School, a free online program with resources and lectures surrounding how to start a company, to anyone who wants to start a company. The school has cultivated a community of 230,000 founders in 190 countries. A matching tool is thus an easy jump to make, one that could help the partners there move even earlier in aggregating and eavesdropping on nascent talent. Notably, two companies who met through the matching platform are part of the YC Summer 2021 batch. Yay ecosystems!

Heres my hot take, though: The tool may appear as a neat, in-demand and simplistic tool that connects people to each other, but this is far harder to execute in a meaningful way than one may think even if youre an accelerator as famed and well known as YC. What follows is a list of suggestions, or rather wishes, for the tool, put together after I spoke to January Ventures co-founder Jennifer Neundorfer for her thoughts as well.

In a blog post announcing the tool, YC addressed this last point. You probably shouldnt marry someone after just one date, and similarly, itll take more than one video call to decide whether to co-found a company with someone, it reads. We encourage matched co-founders to meet and, when appropriate, work together on a time-boxed trial project with clear expectations and goals in order to vet co-founder compatibility.

All in all, Im rooting for this because, well, who wouldnt? As Neundorfer puts it, founder matching tools are an interesting way to expand the supply of founders and diversify the base of founders. It just matters that the tools are built with diversity and accessibility in mind.

In the rest of this newsletter, well get into a rare executive shuffle at a pre-IPO company, an EC-1 that digs into the modern web delivery tech stack and Didi. You can find me at Twitter @nmasc_ and DM me for my Signal for tips (no pitches, please).

Image Credits: Instacart

Instacart has hired Facebook executive Fidji Simo as its new CEO ahead of an expected IPO. The grocery delivery company, last valued at $39 billion, will transition current CEO and founder Apoorva Mehta to executive chairman.

Heres what to know: A major executive shuffle ahead of a public debut is as rare as it is questionable. Instacarts Mehta is leaving his original role before taking the company he founded nearly 10 years ago public. But, per The Information, Simos new job is yet another example of Instacarts long-going talent raid of Facebook. The publication estimates that in 2021, Instacart has hired at least 55 engineers, product managers, recruiters, designers and data scientists from Facebook. Of course, Simos new job means that Facebook has lost one of its highest-ranking female executives, which is not a good look for a company that already struggles with diversity.

Speaking of chief executive drama:

Image Credits: Nigel Sussman

Say that subhead five times fast. The latest EC-1, our deep dive into a company from origin to execution to challenges ahead, is all about NS1, which launched with a plan to disrupt the core of the modern web delivery tech stack.

Heres what to know: Its a key read even for those of us who arent the biggest nerds on IT and enterprise infrastructure. Why? Because the story talks about how a startup competes in a matured space full of well-funded Big Tech companies and VC-backed heavyweights and why the need for a reengineering of internet traffic isnt a niche one.

The breakdown:

The Equity team had an especially amazing episode this week and I wasnt even in it, so you can take my semi-less-biased word.

Heres what to know: The most interesting part of the episode was the conversation around Didi, and its impact on Chinese companies listing in the United States. Regulatory problems have a way of lessening investor interest, and Didi isnt the only example that weve had to point to in recent weeks.

Other things in the show via Alexs notes:

Clearco gets the SoftBank stamp of approval in new $215M round

Dispatch from Bangalore

Mmhmm raises $100M, which is a fun thing to say to people who dont follow tech

Why former Alibaba scientist wants to back founders outside the Ivory Tower

What I learned the hard way from naming 30+ startups

VCs discuss the opportunities and challenges in Pittsburghs startup ecosystem

Startups have never had it so good

Pakistans growing tech ecosystem is finally taking off

And thats a wrap! This is my first dispatch from San Francisco in over a year, so if youre in town, happy to be neighbors yet again 🙂

N

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The 36 questions that lead to love (but with your co-founder) - TechCrunch

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