The venture capital industry is going through a ton of disruptions lately. One of the better explanations I’ve heard recently of what is going on comes from Duncan Davidson, a managing partner at Bullpen Capital who gave a great talk on the subject at TechCrunch Tokyo last week. I interviewed him backstage on video, where he summarized his views.
Just as there are now legions of “lean startups”… → Read More
In Part III of my interview with Accel partner Jim Breyer, we get into the disruptions occurring in the venture capital industry itself with the abundance of angel money and the impact that is having on traditional VC firms. In the video interview above, I ask him whether he thinks there is a Series A Crunch. “I don’t think there is,” he states, echoing what Paul Lee has argued here before. … → Read More
In this video interview, I ask VC Jim Breyer what he thinks about the current IPO market and whether he agrees with Steve Case, who argues that we need more IPOs to create more jobs—“90% of job growth is after a company goes public.”
Breyer disagrees with Case that IPOs are the answer. At About the 2:35 mark, he says that the IPO process could be made a little bit easier, but ushering in… → Read More
Whenever I’m about to make a new investment, I always think about the 2×2 matrix I learned from Andy Rachleff, a former partner at Benchmark Capital.
The idea is that if you make a new venture investment… → Read More
Series A financings are on the decline. They peaked at 283 in 2007 and are on pace to barely crack 100 this year (all data is from CrunchBase through the end of June—it is imperfect but the best I’ve got, see chart). They’ve also declined in relative terms, representing nearly 40% of all equity financings in 2006, and less than 20% year to date. I believe there are two main reasons for… → Read More
One of my favorite recent blog posts is Seth Godin’s “Getting funded is not the same as succeeding.” Whether or not we’re in a bubble, it’s a sign of the times that this post has to be written in the first place. As Josh Elman tweets, we’ve gone from RIP Good Times to funding a grilled cheese company in less than three years (Sequoia was involved in both interestingly). Instead… → Read More
It seems that Venture investors are none-too-happy with current IPO activity. According to a study sponsored by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association released yesterday, over 80 percent of venture capitalists from around the globe believe “that current IPO activity levels in their home countries are too low”. Low enough, in fact, that it has investors worrying over whether or not… → Read More
Over the years I’ve heard many legitimate gripes from entrepreneurs about the way venture capital firms treat them while fundraising. I must confess an imperfect record of courtesy myself, though I do try to be respectful, and to incorporate feedback. For example, I once resolved never to keep entrepreneurs waiting long for me in our lobby, and I think I live up to that.
But I often hear one… → Read More
Any seasoned investor knows that past performance is not indicative of future returns. That is as true with public stocks as it is with venture capital firms. But if someone were to ask you to rank the top VC firms today based on their probability of success, how would you do it? Remember, looking at past returns won’t help you.
On Thursday, Raj Atluru announced that he was stepping down as a managing director with Draper Fisher Jurvetson, where he served as a key cleantech investor since 2001. He will join a private equity group that invests in later-stage clean energy companies, Silver Lake Kraftwerk, which was formed earlier in 2011 by Silver Lake Partners and Soros Fund Management, led by Adam Grosser.
Atluru took… → Read More
U.S. venture capital firms raised more money last quarter than in any period since 2001. The total raised for new funds was $7.7 billion, according to Dow Jones LP Source. The capital going into VC funds was up 97 percent from a year ago, when they raised $3.9 billion. (Venture capital funds benefited from an overall influx of money into U.S. private equity funds overall, which attracted a… → Read More
I guess $1 billion under management just wasn’t enough. Andreessen Horowitz has just announced a new growth fund of $200 million. The fund with co-invest alongside the firm’s most recent $650 million fund, providing more capital for the kinds of late stage deals that have been raging in the Valley of late. (Check out our three part series on the trend here, here and here.)
That “co-invest” part… → Read More
On May 26, 2009 Mike sat down with Yuri Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and a Flipcam to talk about the then-scandalous $200 million investment DST made in Facebook, at a price that valued the company at about… → Read More
Editor’s Note: This is part two in an in-depth series exploring the ramifications of the explosion of late stage capital being raised by the Valley’s elite venture firms. For part one, go here.
In the mid-2000s when nearly every top venture capital firm was expanding to India and China, Benchmark Capital did not share its peers’ worldly ambitions. In fact, while the firm retained its Israel fund… → Read More
Angel investor and entrepreneur Craig Shapiro is starting a new seed fund based in Los Angeles with the help of friends and advisors like YouTube founder Chad Hurley and Kiva co-founder and Profounder CEO Jessica Jackley. Investors in the relatively small $6 million fund include GM O’Connell, Nicholas Negroponte, Jason Krikorian (co-founder of Sling Media), Ben Goldhirsh (founder of Good and heir… → Read More
A lot of venture capitalists and super angels are not only active investors, but also active bloggers. Below is a list of the top 20 VC power bloggers as compiled by Larry Cheng of Volition Capital based on traffic data from Compete. The metric being used here is average monthly unique visitors during the fourth quarter of 2010.
Back in December, we spotted an SEC filing indicating that Union Square Ventures was raising between $135 million and $200 million for a new “Opportunity Fund.” The offering wasn’t complete and the firm could not discuss it, but today partner Fred Wilson explains in a post what the new fund (which ended up being a $165 million fund) is all about.
The fund is not about going after different… → Read More
When Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz launched their venture firm, they talked a good game about things being different; about having a smorgasbord of partners skilled in different areas that could tag in-and-out of portfolio companies as appropriate. And a lot of that sounded like the usual “value-add” venture capital spiel.
But two funds into the firm’s life, that vision is starting to take… → Read More