Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

There has been a bunch of talk lately about the decrease in seed-stage funding, particularly in terms of number of deals. Here was Fred Wilson's take:

"When I talk to my friends who do a lot of angel investing, I hear that they are being more selective, licking some wounds, and waiting for liquidity on their better investments. When I talk to my friends who started seed funds in the past decade, I hear them thinking about moving up market into larger funds and Series A rounds. You can see that in the data. Less deals and bigger deals."

Fred's point about liquidity cannot be overstated, but should be expanded upon.

Buyside: The angel pool should be teeming right now with new entrants, given the public stock market boom. But the reality is that the big angel money doesn't usually come from St. Louis orthopedists so much as it does from newly-minted Silicon Valley millionaires. And the "stay private longer" trend means that latter group hasn't been refreshed to the same extent as it has in prior cycles. Instead, most early "unicorn" employees are still sitting on paper returns, rather than using it to buy angel halos.

Sell-side: Unicorns staying private longer also has caused many of their employees to stick around longer, unless they have some independent wealth to cover the tax bill on vested options. This has reduced the number of engineers who spin out to launch their own startups, thus also contributing to the angel deal swoon. For example, where is the Airbnb or Uber Mafia?

It is unclear if this liquidity crunch will abate in 2018. We've heard rumblings about a unicorn IPO boom, but we heard the same thing at this time last year. One thing that could help on the sell-side, at least, is part of the GOP tax bill that would prevent stock options from being taxed until there actually is a liquid market. Well, assuming the tax bill gets passed.

Update: Sarah Cone, an investor with Social Impact Capital, added another plausible explanation for the seed-deal decline:

Go deeper

President Joe Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!