2022 VC / Tech Slow Down

Public markets have pulled back significantly

  • SaaS multiples dropping from ~20x revenues to closer to ~10x

  • Similar to pre-COVID levels (~2020)

Private markets also pulling back significantly

  • Deal data is a trailing indicator - data not released for at least a quarter

  • Still was hitting fundraise highs and deal count highs in Q4 2021

  • Very large drop in funding in Q1

Trickle down effect from IPO to growth to venture deals

  • Higher concentration of smaller size / earlier deals (seed/angel) in Q1 2022

  • Check sizes smaller but deal counts still high in this space

  • Exit opportunities with early stage companies are still very far away

Crypto largely separate

  • Explosion of web3 based funds means lots of capital ready to deploy in different vehicles from equity to token

Venture funds have a lot of money / capital is still a commodity and in excess. Where is it going?

  • Worst case

    • Fund closes, LPs renege

  • Base case

    • Slower fund deployment in the next year or so, accelerating again when the markets pick back up

    • Increasing positions in existing portcos

    • Secondary opportunities

  • Other

    • Increased consolidation

    • Smaller companies with 0 traction or product will be wiped out. Only those who have a superior product will be able to raise well

    • Push and pull of power - not a founder's world anymore

What will valuations look like? Round sizes?

  • Normal is a relative term. The new normal may not be the same as 2020 / pre-COVID

  • VCs are figuring it out too. Definitely not the 100x revenue or $100mm valuation for a pre-revenue company. Not sure though. Will come down though

  • Round sizes very likely to come down

What founders should keep in mind

  • Burn / cash management. Most 2020-2022 founders have not seen a slower market. Managing in bear and bull markets are critical skills

  • Changes to the hiring landscape as less people want to join tech

This may also be a short correction. Not sure. Either way just some trends, observations, and things to keep in mind. The market moves in cycles. We must all be aware so we can navigate all of them.

#other tech