Fear and loathing in Silicon Valley?

We will ask the tough questions about the state of the VC landscape at Vator Splash Spring on May 12

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 9, 2016
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Editor's Note: Our annual Vator Splash Spring 2016 conference is around the corner on May 12, 2016 at the historic Scottish Rite Center in Oakland. Speakers include Tom Griffiths (CPO & Co-founder, FanDuel), Andy Dunn (Founder & CEO, Bonobos), Nirav Tolia (Founder & CEO, NextDoor), Mitch Kapor (Founder, Kapor Center for Social Impact); Founders of Handy, TubeMogul, VSCO, Vinted; Investors from Khosla Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners, Kapor Capital, Greylock, DFJ, IDG, IVP and more. Join us! REGISTER HERE.

With the number of startup investments hitting a four-year low, the venture capital industry isn't exactly off to an exciting year.

In the U.S., startups raised $14.8 billion according to the Q1 2016 Venture Pulse Report from CB Insights, an 18.6 percent decrease from the $18.2 million invested in the year ago quater. There were 1,035 deals in Q1; not only was that down over 17 percent year-to-year, its the lowest number of investments made since the first quarter of 2012. 

And, at the current rate, 2016’s figures might actually wind up being lower than 2011.

Things are also rough for workers. There were 250,061 jobs cut through the first four months of 2016, a 24 percent increase from the 201,796 in the first four months of 2015. It is the highest January-April total since 2009, when 695,100 jobs were cut.

At Vator Splash Spring on May 12, we will be holding a series of panels on the state of the current venture capital landscape, how it is evolving and where it is going. 

Just to be clear: we will not be cheerleading for the venture capital industry. We know that things are rough right now, for both startups and investors, and we are going to ask the tough questions. It's important to know how VCs see the landscape and how their investing criteria and outlook have changed as a result.

Here are some of the things we want to know: how much belt-tightening is really going on? How is this changing the way they look at startups? What are the tough questions they'r asking startups? What do the VCs want to see from companies now to invest their money, and how have those metrics changed since the market began to slide?

Ultimately, what does a down market mean for the companies that want access to that funding, and to the firms that are in charge of giving it out?

Come check out the sessions on May 12 to learn more!

  • "Pitching to social impact VCs: Demystifying what it takes to attract their investments, and deliver social and financial returns"

Anthony Heckman (Investor, Kapor Capital), Carolina Huaranca (Entrepreneur in Residence, Kapor Capital

  • "Surviving an evolving venture biz, and finding deals as an emerging VC fund"

Moderator: Alastair Goldfisher (Editor, Venture Capital Journal and peHUB); Panelists: Eva Ho (Partner, Susa Ventures), Paul Willard (Partner, Subtraction Capital), Zach Ware (Partner, VTF Capital), Matt Oguz (Partner, Palo Alto Venture Science

  • "With the market slide, what’s the outlook for venture?"

Moderator: Jules Walker (Venture Director, KPMG); Panelists: Tianxiang Zhuo (Karlin Ventures), Jules Maltz (Partner, IVP); Alex Rosen (Partner, IDG Ventures), Erik Rannala (Partner, Mucker Capital)

  • "With VC investments slowing down, are Post Seed rounds more prominent?"

Moderator: Ari Levy (Reporter, CNBC); Panelists: James Conlon (Partner, Bullpen Capital), Shruti Gandhi(Managing Partner, Array Ventures), Chad Byers (Partner, Susa Ventures), Jenny Lefcourt(Partner, Freestyle VC), Jim Andelman (Co-founder and Managing Partner, Rincon Venture Partners)

  • "VC money is pouring into FinTech: What’s hot and what’s not and how do you get your startup funded?"

Moderator: Jackson Gates (Founder & CEO, Sweep); Panelists: Jay Reinemann (Partner, Propel.VC), Alex Davidov (Partner, Core.VC), Ben Savage (Managing Director, Clocktower Ventures), Todd Kimmel (Managing Partner, Montage Ventures)

Hope to see you there!

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Kapor Capital
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Description: Kapor Capital invests in seed and early stage startups whose success in business generates positive social impact.
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Description: Sweep helps you get ahead of your bills, expenses and savings goals so you never have to budget again. Unlike other finance apps, Sweep g...
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Description: IDG Ventures is a global network of venture capital funds with approximately $3.6 billion under management and a portfolio of over 220 co...
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Description: Venture/Science is a venture capital firm located in San Francisco. The firm deploys decision theory, quantitative and stochastic models ...
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Description: Bullpen Capital is second round investor who invests in companies previously seeded by the Super Angel funds.
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Description: Karlin Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund based in Los Angeles. They are value-add partners helping entrepreneurs who take c...
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Description: We partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who have deep domain expertise, principally in the greater Los Angeles area, to provide their e...
Susa Ventures
Description: Name of the company
Bio: Zach is the managing partner at VTF Capital, an seed/A venture fund focused on the future of retail and commerce. He was Head o...
Bio: Co-founder and CEO of Sweep (acq. Affirm). Previously VP of BD and Corp Dev at Pandora. Former VC Associate/Analyst.
Bio: Partner at Subtraction Capital, investing in early stage enterprise software companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Bio: Two decades of investing in, and working with, software and consumer companies.
Bio: I've worked as a business reporter and an editor since 1994, with the last 10+ years focused on venture capital, covering every...
Bio: Serial entrepreneur turned investor. Data junkie. @fikavc, @Susaventures, @Factual, @Google, @Youtube, Applied Semantics, Navi...
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