TechCrunch+ Summary: Beyond Turing Test, 3 VCs on SVB, Usage-Based Pricing Tactics

When I moved to San Francisco, the quirky rotunda at 532 Market Street was a Sharper Image store full of plasma balls and tourists trying out massage chairs.

The E*Trade branch that took over the space closed a few years ago, but got a new tenant last August: Silicon Valley Bank. Sigh.

Downtown SF hasn’t recovered from the pandemic, but this is a prime location with lots of foot traffic. Hopefully, after Silicon Valley Bridge Bank goes out of business, a profitable company will move in.

But that’s just a street corner. The second largest bank failure in US history will transform the startup ecosystem for years to come.

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More than just a preferred choice for managing payroll and investor funds, Silicon Valley Bank also offered wealth management services, under-market home loans, and helped coordinate private stock sales. It was also a necessary Choice for many customers whose contracts required them “to use the company for all or most of their banking services,” CNBC reported.

So where is the collapse of this bank for the tech industry? Who is most vulnerable, who will benefit, and what are some of the long-term implications for VC? To find out more, Karan Bhasin and Ram Iyer interviewed:

  • Maëlle Gavet, CEO, Techstars
  • Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director, General Catalyst
  • Colin Beirne, Partner, Two Sigma Ventures

“We’re likely to see some consolidation in the VC class,” Gavet said.

“It was on the way, but that will probably speed it up because SVB has also been a great loan provider for GPs to do their capital commitment queries.”

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch+

The AI ​​revolution has outgrown the Turing test: Introducing a new framework

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A friend recently asked me to identify a ChatGPT block of text that he embedded in an email. I could do it with no problem, but only because the passage was particularly boring and didn’t sound like them at all.

Although the generative AI exceeds my expectations, in my personal experience the Turing test is mostly intact. But how long?

Entrepreneur/investor Chris Saad says we need a new benchmark beyond Turing’s “simplified pass/fail basis”, which is why he has developed “a new approach to assessing AI capabilities based on the theory of multiple intelligences”.

Creating a PLG movement in addition to usage-based pricing

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Last July, Puneet Gupta, a former AWS general manager who is now the CEO and co-founder of, wrote a TC+ article explaining how SaaS startups can adopt usage-based pricing models.

In a follow-up, he shares four tactics teams can use to collect, analyze, and use customer data to take the guesswork out of pricing decisions.

“When it comes time to make decisions about product packaging and pricing, the first place you go should be the historical usage data metering pipeline,” he writes.

Time to trust: Questions customers are asking about cybersecurity and how to answer them

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Putting yourself in the shoes of your customers can raise awkward questions, especially for cybersecurity startups, says business angel Ross Haleliuk.

To help teams shorten the “time-to-trust” interval, he asks some questions cybersecurity customers are likely to ask when evaluating vendors, along with action points that can help provide compelling answers.

“It’s important to remember that trust is built over time, but it can be lost instantly,” writes Haleliuk.

Determining the valuation of your startup: A business angel explains how

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In her latest column, TC+ contributor Marjorie Radlo-Zandi explains how angel investors create pre- and post-funding reviews.

“When evaluating potential investments, I make sure it’s a product or service that’s close to my heart and research the company’s market,” she says.

“I want to see a fair valuation of the company and a clearly defined market worth at least $100 million.”

A hot gig is a great way to break up an investor meeting. To help first-time founders avoid waving red flags, she explains the Berkus Method and explains why uninformed founders often look for unrealistic valuations.

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