The wave of layoffs from the world's largest corporations and technology companies is only rising, and no one knows when it will reach its peak. You might have lost your job in tech recently or know someone who did. This is a guide for people who have been laid off and are now thinking of two options: to find a new job or build their own businesses from scratch. We at LETA Capital decided to help them navigate and compiled a lot of links, resources, and pieces of advice to make their next step in startup world easier.
— Data from the labor market research
— Wage labor vs. Entrepreneurship
— Promising technologies & industries
— How to find an idea for a startup
— Finding a co-founder
— I am an immigrant, should I worry?
— How to raise the first funds
— How to Find Investors
— Who are to support newcomers
— List of 1000+ Pre-Seed/Seed VCs
Statistics and forecasts
Here is a really short test if you a ready to become a startup founder or you better continue your corporate career.
Are you bursting with new ideas?
Are you willing to work outside your comfort zone?
What is the best quality to describe yourself?
In general, do you wait for the action plan from your boss or your colleagues?
What do you want from your working environment?
3. Stable working hours
Which statement relates the most to a startup business?
1. Behind every successful entrepreneur there are multiple fails/pivots/crises
2. There have to be at least a million dollars invested to skyrocket your company
3. More than 50% of startups with funding become Unicorns
4. Once a company receives seed investment that means success
If your answers are not 1, 1, 3, 2, 4, 1, then probably you aren't ready for the startup creation adventure, you might be frustrated, so think twice before taking next steps.
There are dozens of researches with different lists of promising areas to build a startup. We advise you to focus on the domain you are an expert in. However, we’ve collected some statistics, and here are the top 10 industries we at LETA Capital regard as prospective ones.
The AI industry is divided into three sub-sectors: hardware, software, and services. The global artificial intelligence market size was valued at $136.55 billion in 2022 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030.
The Global AR/VR/MR Market was valued at $26.85 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach a value of $242.10 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of more than 36.91% over the forecast period (2022 - 2028). Jobs in the virtual reality market only are expected to reach 23 million by the year 2030.
The global business software and services market size was valued at $474.61 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.9% from 2023 to 2030. The demand for business software and services is expected to be driven by the rapid increase in the volume of enterprise data and the increased automation of business processes across end-use industries such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation.
In 2021, retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. This figure is forecast to grow by 56 percent over the next years, reaching about 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026, according to Statistica.
The global healthcare IT market size was valued at $74.2 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% over the forecast period (2028), according to Grand View Research. This could result in a value of $166.0 billion by 2028.
The Edtech industry was valued at $89.49 billion in 2020, with an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.9% until 2028, according to Grand View Research. With a growing demand for virtual education tools and resources, this industry is ripe for innovation and growth.
The global Fintech market was valued at $112.5 billion in the year 2021 and was projected to reach a value of $332.5 billion by the year 2028. The Global Market is expected to grow to exhibit a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.8% over the forecast period. Fintech makes up 7.1% of the tech industry, making it the largest concentration of companies operating within a single subsection of the tech industry.
The entire global supply chain market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 11.2% from 2020 to 2027.
The growth of content is fueling massive data consumption – 2.6 million petabytes (PB) of data were consumed in 2021, and it is expected to rise at a 26% CAGR to reach 8.1 million PB by 2026. The digital potential is huge! According to PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2022-2026, global video games and esports revenue totaled $215.6 billion in 2021 and is forecast to grow at a 8.5% CAGR to $323.5 billion in 2026. Asia Pacific generated the lion’s share of revenues in 2021 with US$109.4bn, almost double North America, the second highest region.
The shared mobility industry compasses several different subsectors, including ride-sharing, bike-sharing, ride-hailing, and car-sharing. Not only was this industry valued at $99.08 billion in 2019, but it is also expected to reach $238.03 billion by 2026, according to FNF Research.
Here is an alternative view by Gartner.
In any case, it is better not to rely on trends but to start a business in the vertical that you understand and believe in. Even if the industry is not trending and investors are not so crazy about it, this is not a reason not to do business in it. You can read more about why the disruptive industry is not a cure-all for business growth here.
Finding a startup idea can be challenging, but it is important to start with what you are passionate about or consider important.
Copying ideas from competitors or neighboring geographies and sectors is acceptable too, verify the market size and timing.
How to launch
Many laid-off workers have lost their visas. Is returning home fine? And is it possible to build a huge company while you are an immigrant? We know that these questions might worry you. The spoiler: both answers are “yes” and here are the statistics.
The research updates and confirms findings in NFAP studies in 2016 and 2018 and identifies more than 300 U.S. billion-dollar companies with immigrant founders. The analysis shows that 58% of immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies had only an immigrant or multiple immigrant founders (i.e., no native-born founders). Overall, 86% of the immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies had solely an immigrant founder or immigrant founders or a majority of founders who were immigrants or an even number of immigrant and native-born founders; only 14% had a majority of native-born founders.
Some particularly interesting insights emerge if we focus on first-generation migrant founders:
Exits are typical for startups and strengthen growth in the ecosystem.
You shouldn’t worry that you won’t be able to build a unicorn outside the US, UK, or any other developed country. The truth is that almost any IT startup idea can be planted wherever you live. In today's world, the percentage of not only immigrant-founded successful startups but also startups from developing countries will grow. Including Eastern Europe, MENA, South-East Asia, Latin America, and Africa. For example, an abundance of inexpensive engineers coupled with a fast growing economy makes Vietnam an attractive spot for startups, founders say. And last year was a good 12 months for African tech startups. For the first time, the sector attracted over 1,100 unique investors in 2022, which in turn resulted in a record fundraising haul of $6.5 billion, according to data from Partech.
We believe in the trend of emerging great startups from any geography and will support it as a VC firm. With the exceptional experience from big tech, yesterday's employees and today’s entrepreneurs can start their business from any garage in any region.
There are 6 total ways of raising capital for a startup:
Though looking at statistics of the recent days, the majority of startups use only three of mentioned ways - Angels investments, Venture investments and Family offices.
• Shorter closing time
• More simple due diligence
• Don’t usually interfere with day-to-day
• Less aggressive in the terms they demand
• Their investment amount is smaller than institutional investors
• Dependent on personal network
• Won’t prepare you for raising money institutionally
Who Should Choose This Route?
• Those trying to raise small amount of capital quickly and with few strings attached
• People with a large personal network
• Those that don’t want to bring in board members
• Those that don’t need help setting up governance structures
• Can provide significant resources for you in experience and wisdom
• Will help identify and reach targeted exit
• Can help correct mistakes which may preclude you from positioning yourself for an exit
• Aggressive in terms they set
• Sometimes supposed value-add may not be transferable to your industry or company
Who Should Choose This Route?
• Near-term exit is primary goal
• Want to leverage industry knowledge - good VCs usually possess hard-won wisdom and business acumen
• Need bigger investments than angel investors
• Hybrid between VC and angel investor
• Offer more cash than angel investors but not as much as institutional firms
• More mission-driven and focused on specific industries
• Won’t prepare you for large institutional round
• Don’t offer much value beyond cash and industry-specific networking
• Relatively unstructured in their process and approach
• Fidelity you can expect can differ widely
Who Should Choose This Route?
• Those looking for the flexibility and casualness of angel investors but want a bigger sum of cash
You probably don’t have the option to pitch your startup to a panel of investors on a national stage. After all, that’s an approach only open to a relatively small number of entrepreneurs. Fortunately, there’s another resource to fnd investors at your disposal — technology.
Here are five websites to help you find investors who are ready to support your startup:
And we also prepared a list for the Pre-Seed and Seed funding seekers. Check it out at the bottom of this guide.
As for the path to making your startup funding successful, here are several useful tips:
1. Plan to Contact at Least 100 Investors
You’ll end up only having serious conversations with five, if that. Also, make sure this list is targeted, and they invest in your sector. If you’re a biotech company, maybe a SaaS-focused investor isn’t the best bet.
2. Relationship Building Is Crucial – Start Early
If you’re looking to build a company with venture funding, you will be a fundraiser for at least the next five years of your life. A natural introvert? A great way to keep investors engaged is to add them to a newsletter of quarterly updates. Shooting over a thoughtful and quick news mention or a cool new feature release is an excellent way to remind investors you exist.
3. The Venture Community Is Small, Don’t Burn Bridges
This one is pretty self-explanatory. The venture community is shockingly small. Any burned bridges may eventually come back to bite you, particularly when you are looking to raise funds. Our best advice? Don’t burn bridges – you never know when a past relationship will come back to haunt you.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Follow Up
Absolutely follow up three-six times with an investor. No, you will not be scaring them away. Now, don’t do it over a two-day span, but over a two- to three-week period. Follow up quickly and consistently. With fundraising as your highest priority, ensure you have a couple of partners to help you manage the communication. Fundraising is a big and vital project and should be treated as such. Read tips on how to write a perfect follow up email here: https://sifted.eu/articles/vc-follow-up-email
5. Don’t Run Your Business Like Raising Money Is the Main Objective
While your main goal as CEO is to fundraise, you need to be careful not to run your business as such. That means not telling your employees that you need this particular story to be told when raising capital, whether it be a Series A or B or otherwise. No employee wants to be working at a company that’s always running to raise the next round.
6. Practice Your Pitches
Lastly, identify your top 10 to 20 investors who invest in companies like you, are top-tier, or are competitors of competitor investors. Then put this list aside. When raising capital you want to practice your pitch with “junk investors,” and wait until your pitch feels organic. Junk investors aren’t necessarily bad investors, but they are the investors you’re okay not getting your pitch perfect with or not winning. Strategically select when and who to talk to, because you won’t get a second chance to pitch right.
There are some VC firms that claimed their intentions to support startups founded by those who have worked in tech corporations and lost their jobs. Moreover, we have collected lists of pre-seed VCs that will definitely be useful for first-time startup founders.
Multi-stage VC firm Index Ventures, which has bankrolled Facebook, Etsy and Skype, launched its second Origins fund, which will invest $300 million in early-stage startups. Silicon Valley investor US Venture Partners and Austrian VC firm Speedinvest have meanwhile earmarked a similar amount for newly founded companies.
If you have any other questions/topics you find necessary to be included in this guide, please, reach out to Alina Gegamova at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop her a note on LinkedIn. We appreciate your contributions!