Dec 17, 2019

The venture capital party is not over

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

"The venture capital party is over" was the gist of countless mainstream and social media predictions in October, following WeWork's IPO collapse and SoftBank's difficulties in raising over $100 billion for its second Vision Fund.

Why it matters: They were wrong.

The big picture: Tuesday's issue of Axios Pro Rata includes 23 venture deals, totaling over $1.1 billion. Moreover, PitchBook data shows that startups have raised more venture dollars in November and December (to date) in 2019 than they did for the same period in 2018.

  • PitchBook also Tuesday morning released a series of 2020 VC predictions, one of which was that U.S. mega-venture deals will hit another record.
  • It argues that the driving trend of low global interest rates persists and adds that funds are flush with capital due to both rising public equities (e.g., denominator effect on VC allocations) and an active exit environment that generates large distributions that can be recycled.

Yes, there have been some changes to what sorts of companies VCs seek to support, including increased emphasis on financial fundamentals, but that's just about aiming the fire hose in a slightly different direction, not about shutting the spigot.

  • Only widespread calamity, beyond the private markets, has historically proven to deter venture capital. A few high-profile flameouts won't do the trick, particularly when there are still multibillion-dollar sales and IPOs are still outperforming what could be the S&P 500's best-ever year.

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