Friday Letter: coronavirus not yet impacting deal flow

Reflections on the coronavirus impact in VC. Use videoconferencing more.

As I write this column, I’m reading reports of how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the stock market.

So far, I haven’t heard much blowback from local VCs about the virus and its impact on their activities and travel.

However, at the Menlo Park office of Andreessen Horowitz, located next to the tony Rosewood Sand Hill, the firm put up a sign this week that read: “Due to the coronavirus, no handshakes please. Thank you.”

That’s it. At least for now. Fist bumps and elbow bumps may be the initial impact the coronavirus has on venture activities locally.

So I reached out to a VC firm in Singapore that invests throughout Southeast Asia and I asked how the outbreak is impacting them.

The rep at the firm wanted to know if I was seeing temperature screenings at major buildings in the US. Like security screenings at airports and government buildings, temperature screenings stop people before entering the building and check to see if they have a fever. And they are increasing in numbers.

The firm has also imposed travel restrictions, which is also becoming more common. As a result, face-to-face meetings have declined.

However, the VC firm source says that the coronavirus has not impacted deal flow. She says it has increased the use of videoconferencing.

I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on the coronavirus and how your firms are dealing with it. You can reach us on our contact page.

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I’m based in the San Francisco Bay Area and happy to meet folks in person and talk about anything you’re interested in.