5 things in tech you need to know today

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5 things in tech you need to know today
A photo illustration of a founder holding a &quotdirty&quot term sheet from an investor with &quothair on the deal.”Samantha Lee/Insider

Welcome back! We're changing things up as we close out the year. This week, some of Insider's tech editors are sharing five of their top stories of 2021. We'll be back in regular action next week.

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Hi! I'm Julie Bort, a deputy editor overseeing a team of reporters that covers startups and the venture capital industry. It's a world filled with everything from inspirational stories of people achieving success against all odds to wrongdoing to the delightful silliness that could only happen in a place like Silicon Valley.

2021 was a record-breaking year for venture capital, so it was painful to have to shave my favorite big stories of the year down to just a few — but I braved it to come up with this list.


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1. Startup founders, VCs, and lawyers open up about the dark world of dirty term sheets. Underneath the headlines about huge sums of money obtained by unicorn startups is a world where founders fall trap to shady practices and shrewd investors screw them over. Our investigation uncovered what some investors don't want founders to know.

2. We named the 100 best early-stage VCs. There are thousands of seed investors. So our Seed 100 list used exclusive research from firm Tribe Capital to determine the most effective ones over time. Here's how we adapted its model for our exclusive Seed 100 inaugural list.

3. Mailchimp employees told us how angry they were when their company was sold for a whopping $12 billion. Unlike a typical startup, Mailchimp employees didn't get equity as part of their pay — in part because the founders told them they would never sell. Employees described how they fumed while the founders pocketed billions.

4. Black angel investors are changing the tech industry. Black tech founders and execs aren't trying to change traditional venture firms to be more inclusive. Instead, they are creating their own investing ecosystem — not just in Silicon Valley, but nationwide. Our exclusive report details the rise of Black angel investors.

5. Spring Health's founder led a fast-paced culture that caused employee panic. Employees at the mental health startup, run by a 29-year-old founder CEO, said they began questioning if they really needed to subject themselves to the grind of startup hustle culture. Here, employees describe their experiences at Spring Health.

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Written by Julie Bort. Follow Julie Bort on Twitter @Julie188, or email her at jbort@insider.com. Edited by Jordan Parker Erb.

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