Perception is everything — especially when it comes to the value of software startups and total addressable markets (TAM). During 2020 and 2021, as COVID bit into the economy, tech products turned out to be more recession-resistant than expected. What’s more, tech companies grew faster than previously anticipated.
Those conditions combined to make TAM feel huge last year, which, in turn, led investors to pay far more for startup shares, calculated against their existing revenues. However, the growth rates of companies that caught a demand tailwind from COVID have dropped sharply, meaning that some TAM expectations were, perhaps, misplaced.
Where does that leave startups trying to measure their TAM today? Exploring the answer to that question is just one reason we’re thrilled that Kara Nortman, managing partner at Upfront Ventures; Aydin Senkut, founder and managing partner of Felicis Ventures; and Deena Shakir, a partner at Lux Capital, will join us onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18–20.
In a conversation called “Taking the BS Out of Your TAM,” these three experts will discuss how founders and investors should think about TAM and readjust their perceptions to avoid deluding themselves or their colleagues.
Kara Nortman is a managing partner at Upfront Ventures. Her portfolio includes investments in Parachute Home, Time by Ping, Endgame, Writer, Open Raven, Britive and Fleetsmith (acquired by Apple in 2020).
Prior to joining Upfront, Nortman co-founded Moonfrye, a children’s e-commerce company. She also spent seven years at IAC, where she co-led the M&A group, oversaw the initial investment in Tinder, and served as SVP and GM of Urbanspoon and Citysearch.
Nortman, a founding member of All Raise — a VC-led group dedicated to increased diversity in funders and founders — is also a founder of LA’s professional women’s soccer team, Angel City Football Club.
Aydin Senkut, the founder and managing partner of Felicis Ventures, is a super-angel turned multistage investor. Senkut has appeared on Forbes’ Midas List nine times and on the New York Times’ Top 20 Venture Capitalists list four times.
Since founding Felicis in 2006, he has earned notoriety as an early backer of iconic companies, including Credit Karma (acquired by Intuit), Fitbit, Guardant Health, Guideline, Notion, Opendoor, Pluralsight, Rovio, Shopify and Soundhound. Currently, his areas of focus include infrastructure, security and the future of health.
Deena Shakir is a partner at Lux Capital, where she seeks out extraordinary, mission-driven founders and invests in transformative technologies that improve lives and livelihoods.
Her portfolio investment areas include women’s health (Maven Clinic, Alife, Gameto, Adyn), digital health infrastructure (SteadyMD, H1, AllStripes, Everly Health), health equity (Waymark, Galileo, Miga), food tech (Shiru) and fintech (Mos, Ramp, Neo.Tax).
Prior to Lux, Shakir was a partner at GV, where she led product partnerships at Google (for health, search and AI/ML) and directed social impact investments at Google.org. As a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, Shakir helped launch President Barack Obama’s first Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
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