At the Bloomberg Empowered Entrepreneur conference, talk of seed stage slaughter was in the air.
“A lot of seed stage startups are going to die,” said Jeff Clavier. “An enormous amount were funded over the last two years, and the money is not there now to support them in the next round.”
Lerer ventures Eric Hippeau said the IPO window, which seems to have recently snapped shut, makes it difficult to gauge their returns. “Facebook is worth 80 billion on the private markets, but we don’t know how that will hold up during the IPO.”
Mike Maples of FLOODGATE said venture investors have to change with the times. “The potential permanent change of the last ten years is the micro-fund matched to the realities of democratized innovation. The capital markets will have to adapt to that. ”
The angel investor won’t die off, even if many lose big on the current crop of startups. “You need to test an idea to see if its worthy,” said Mr. Hippeau.
“I want to help people build meaningful companies. I’m not a good fit for someone who says, photo sharing is broken and I want to build and app to fix that,” said Mr. Maples. “Don’t tell me what product you have, show me your engineering team, not your rinky dink little product.”
Mr. Maples said he loves to go all in when the outlook is bleak. “We gritted our teeth and backed Chegg when they were close to bankrupt and the chips were down. That’s a great feeling.”