As coronavirus keeps offices closed, wealthy venture capitalists are moving out of apartments in San Francisco and New York and decamping to other vacation-friendly zip codes. In San Francisco, a city known for high housing costs, rates for a one-bedroom apartment have dropped 9% from a year ago.
As one investor said to me the other day: Will Lake Tahoe’s seed ecosystem have a resurgence?
Bourgeois bunker jokes aside, this new redistribution of investors could create some interesting — and perhaps more inclusive — changes in the way venture-backed businesses are funded.
If the wealthy are no longer a quick drive from San Francisco, are they more open to doing remote investments? Or will the newly distributed investors put their money where their mailing address is? The permanent change is contingent on if, nor when, the world reopens, but for now let’s get into the first wave of reactions.
Matchstick Ventures’ Natty Zola said most investors fall into two buckets: A crowd that only invests in their backyard, and those who are explicitly all-in on certain geographies outside their home base. Then, the coronavirus hit and everyone went remote.
For a firm like Zola’s, which invests in Minneapolis and Denver, the remote wave could mean a rush of generalist investors who are newly considering dipping their toes in the smallish ponds that Matchstick focuses on.