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A few things Mark Wallace

Tag: venture capital

More Evidence of Maturing Private Equity Markets

Entrepreneur, investor, and “data guy” Mike Greenfield has a nice post on how AngelList quantitatively changes the investing game, which lines up nicely with a few of the points I was trying to make in my recent post on whether startup valuations are overinflated as a result of programs like Y Combinator.

Mike finds that startups funded through AngelList end up with a more diverse pool of investors than those that locate investors through more traditional word-of-mouth channels. This is not necessarily a surprise, given that AngelList seems designed to flatten the world of private equity financing and give more people on either side of the table a look at more deals — but it is a nicely crunched set of numbers. And to my eye it’s another indication that the private equity markets — or at least the corner of the market that tech startups and venture capitalists inhabit — is passing into a phase of greater maturity, where more information is available to more players, and the playing field is leveled a bit in comparison to periods that have come before. As Mike puts it, “As AngelList and crowdsourcing grow, the impact of the old boys’ clubs will shrink. For companies, the pool of investors is growing.” Not a bad result.

Y Combinator Over-Inflates Startup Valuations? Don’t Think So

I can’t subscribe to the view — put forth in a recent Business Insider piece on startup valuations — that the Y Combinator program is driving startup valuations higher across the board. And in fact, the article strikes me as a fairly shallow take on the issue. It collects a mess of unattributed quotes (as well as quotes from one or two attributable sources), and does very little of the due diligence you’d hope to get out of a journalist with a calculator and/or a Google spreadsheet to hand. Math aside, it completely fails to take any kind of close look at the startup market itself, and instead slavishly regurgitates the (again: overwhelmingly unattributed) quotes that the reporter has collected.

If you take a little time to assess the market, a different picture emerges. Continue reading

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