In this video to promote the AlwaysOn conference happening today and tomorrow in Half Moon Bay, California, panelists DFJ’s Tim Draper, seed-stage investor Mike Maples, and investment banker Michael Barker of Revolution Partners, among others, comment on the state of the startup industry.
As you’ll see, the clip covers a lot of ground, from when the IPO market will reopen to the world’s next investing hotspot. But the most surprising aspect of the video is the uniformity of the esteemed group’s answers.
For example, when asked what impact the credit crisis will have on the availabity of venture financing, Maples says that “a smaller amount of companies will receive a greater amount of funding” and that VCs will be “more risk-averse and expect more traction, more evidence of a successful business model.” Barker answers that “a lot of people in the venture community, just given what’s going on globally with the economy, are a little more cautious, a little tighter, I would say, with their checkbooks.”
Asked where valuations will head, managing director Gilbert Ahrens of JP Morgan, says, “I wish I could say that valuations are going to be super healthy, that there will be a premium over previous rounds’ financing, but the truth is that for companies to ultimately be successful they need to get financing now, and that’s almost irrespective of valuation.” Says Maples, “I think a very small number of deals will be valued very dearly and the rest will have to get used to lowered expectations.” And Barker? “Valuations will continue to come down over the next couple of quarters,” he observes.
Only the legendarily optimistic Tim Draper dares to be different, heralding the credit crisis as a good thing for nascent startups: “If you’re an entrepreneur starting a business today, there is no better time,” he says in the clip.
But Draper’s cell phone ringtone really steals the show when at the end of the video, in the middle of one of his responses, his phone erupts with the first few bars “I Kissed A Girl.” The moment is vintage Draper.
This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It’s not what, I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you
Caught my attention