As Chris Dixon wraps his conversation with Thrillist co-founder and Lerer Ventures partner Ben Lerer, Lerer offers his assessment of the present day start-up environment. From his perspective it is a mixed bag. (Note: this was taped before the most recent financial meltdown)
“Since we started investing, we’ve seen a lot more money enter the market . . . so it’s tougher to be a seed stage investor because valuations are going up.” However, Lerer continues “the advantage for us is that there is more money at the Series A stage and so more of our companies are given a chance to go on and continue.”
Dixon weighs in on the current landscape by relaying chatter he’s heard from some investors. He says, “what bothers them about the current environment is less the valuations being so high but more the fact that the time is so compressed that they have to make a decision [to invest] in three days.” Dixon’s opinion? “I think it is a mistake on both sides.”
Picking up their conversation in the video below, Dixon asks Lerer who the competition is when it comes to investing. Lerer responds that a lot of it comes from people with financial resources who are new to the tech investing game who, “throw money at it” and “don’t understand the ecosystem.” He continues with, “there are some silly checks being written.”
Ben Lerer is the co-founder and CEO of Thrillist Media Group, a digital media company converging leading men’s lifestyle brand Thrillist.com and members-only shopping club JackThreads.com. The three brands collectively reach over 5 million daily subscriptions, targeting a young, urban male demographic locally and nationally, online and offline, through content and commerce. Since its launch in 2005, Lerer has overseen the growth of Thrillist’s marketing, sales and business development efforts, as well as its expansion into e-commerce with the 2010...
Lerer Ventures is a New York-based, seed stage venture capital fund run by Ken and Ben Lerer. LV invests in founders in the earliest stages of a startup’s life, seeking out those entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition. Its portfolio includes betaworks, chartbeat, Canvas Networks, Simple (formerly BankSimple), gdgt, GroupMe, Greplin, and Venmo.
Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that...