Heard in the hallways at RE+ and Blueprint
Climate investors and founders hit Las Vegas this week for a pair of clean energy conferences — and seemingly everyone wanted to know whether the market is re-emerging from its chill.
Context: RE+, the big kahuna of climate gatherings, drew more than 30,000 people, and it overlapped with Blueprint, a tech-focused real estate conference that featured sustainability this year.
What they're saying: Folks were willing to talk in the hallways, but asked not to be identified.
- "I'm looking for a signal if there's as much promise as there was two years ago," one venture investor told Axios.
- "I'm sussing out how much pain is being felt by founders," another investor said.
Yes, but: Downturns don't affect everyone equally. Take software startups:
- "The ones selling to the large enterprises who are now sitting on their checkbooks — there's some twitching in the corner of their eyes," a funder told Axios.
Meanwhile, venture investors were venting about the banks.
- "I'm tired of the $30 million financings. It's time for the $150 million financings," one venture investor said. "Where are the bankers?"
State of play: Banks remain reluctant to provide loans for a startup's first major factory, leaving more expensive equity investments the only option.
- "You shouldn't have to build factories with 30% to 40% cost of capital," one climate venture investor said, referring to the high cost imposed by equity investment. "You should be doing that with 10% to 15% cost of capital."
Between the lines: Silicon Valley Bank used to own that lane. These days, less so.