TechCrunch+ roundup: Minimizing M&A mayhem, cybersecurity PM checklist, open source AI

For an article we're running on her last day at TechCrunch, Natasha Mascarenhas reached out to four investors to find out whether FOMO is encouraging them to climb aboard the AI bandwagon.

“Some are hiring talent to jump headfirst, others are happy to back the ‘ChatGPT for X’ spin-outs, and many are sitting in awe, watching their existing investments spark an AI debate of their own, no due diligence needed,” she wrote.

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Here's who she spoke to:

  • Charles Hudson, managing partner/founder, Precursor Ventures

  • Jason Lemkin, managing director, SaaStr Fund

  • Cathy Guo, partner, Sapphire Ventures

  • Navin Chaddha, managing director, Mayfield Fund

Congratulations, Natasha; I wish you all the best with your future endeavors!

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

Making foundation models accessible: The battle between closed source and open source AI

Green wall with white open door, illustration.
Green wall with white open door, illustration.

Image Credits: JESPER KLAUSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

The volume of data required to train AI models comes with a cost: You'll need deep pockets to acquire powerful GPUs and the scientists and engineers who'll manage the work, not to mention the matter of power consumption and related carbon emissions.

Given the tremendous barrier to entry, is it worth considering whether open source foundation models could level the playing field and also address concerns about privacy and bias?

"We’ve now entered a critical phase of AI where who gets to build and serve these powerful models has become an important discussion point, particularly as ethical issues begin to swirl," writes Jae Lee, CEO and co-founder of Twelve Labs.

Unlocking the M&A code: 5 factors that can make (or break) a deal

Five lollipop hearts on a pink floor, but the last one is smashed to pieces.
Five lollipop hearts on a pink floor, but the last one is smashed to pieces.

Image Credits: mjrodafotografia (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

A merger or acquisition is the start of a new relationship, which is why most people approach exits with optimism.

“But all’s not rosy in the world of M&A,” writes SmartBear CEO Frank Roe, who has completed eight acquisitions in less than five years.

“It is a complex and substantially risky decision, not for the faint-hearted. It is essential to approach the decision and process with diligence and forethought.”

In this TC+ guest post, he shares “five indispensable elements to consider for a successful mergers and acquisitions journey,” reminding readers that “there’s no ‘secret formula.’”

Pitch Deck Teardown: Fibery’s $5.2M Series A deck

Image Credits: Fibery (opens in a new window)

Based in Cyprus, workflow and knowledge management platform Fibery raised a $5.2 million Series A in September 2022.

Haje Jan Kamps analyzed the winning presentation and shared his suggestions for improving the company’s 15-slide deck:

  • Cover slide

  • Problem slide

  • Solution slide

  • Market-size slide

  • Competitor slide

  • Competitive analysis slide

  • Product slide

  • “Building blocks” slide

  • Feedback/customer validation slide

  • Go-to market strategy slide

  • Business model slide

  • Traction slide

  • Milestones to date slide

  • Team slide

  • The ask slide

Ask Sophie: Can I apply for an EB-1A without first getting an O-1A?

lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center
lone figure at entrance to maze hedge that has an American flag at the center

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophie,

What do you think about applying for an EB-1A straight away without first using the O-1A as a stepping stone?


— Extraordinary Engineer in Escondido

3 key metrics for cybersecurity product managers

Close up of several wooden rulers
Close up of several wooden rulers

Image Credits: Tetra Images (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Cybersecurity product managers usually measure conversion rates, detection accuracy and usage/engagement to gain customer insights, but these metrics "may not be what they seem," writes Ross Haleliuk, an investor who’s also head of product at

"Context matters a lot, and the realities of different organizations, geographies, cultures and market segments heavily influence what can be measured and what actions can be taken based on these observations."