How Will Venture Capital Change Over The Next 20 Years?
2017-07-18
How Will Venture Capital Change Over The Next 20 Years?

The venture capital industry has changed quite a bit since I entered about twenty years ago. In my comments below I will use "VC" or "VC industry" to refer to the larger firms who have traditionally done Series A-C rounds, and not the relatively new "micro-VC" funds that raise smaller funds and chiefly do pre-seed, seed, and occasional follow on rounds.

The VC industry is more international. The growth of VC investing in China and other regions was almost unheard of twenty years ago. I think that this will continue and VC investing will continue to globalize.


One result of globalization, but not the only factor, is that VC firms generally have more decentralized decision making with more professionals making investment decisions. That has organizational implications. VC firms are and will continue to act more like traditional corporations - especially when it comes to hierarchy in their ranks and decision making - than the more traditional partnership structures they historically operated as.
With the growth of angel and micro-VC fund investing, VC firms have moved "upstream". When I was a partner, VC firms took product-market fit risk. Now product-market risk fit is the province of angels and micro-VCs. "Traditional" VC firms take scale-up risk and a lot less product-market fit risk.
In addition to angel and micro-VC funding sources, there are new "retail" sources coming on the market due to de-regulation and more interest from non-institutional camps to get into the startup game. The VC's will have to compete with these sources of capital and over time I expect that will give entrepreneurs more negotiation leverage and thus pre-money valuations will rise, and investment terms will be more entrepreneurial friendly.