Bill Gurley’s look at sky-high paper-based tech valuations is a little scary:
The reason we are all in this mess is because of the excessive amounts of capital that have poured into the VC-backed startup market. This glut of capital has led to (1) record high burn rates, likely 5-10x those of the 1999 timeframe, (2) most companies operating far, far away from profitability, (3) excessively intense competition driven by access to said capital, (4) delayed or non-existent liquidity for employees and investors, and (5) the aforementioned solicitous fundraising practices. More money will not solve any of these problems — it will only contribute to them. The healthiest thing that could possibly happen is a dramatic increase in the real cost of capital and a return to an appreciation for sound business execution.
The article is long and a bit verbose, but any employee or CEO working in a VC-backed startup should give this a read. From audit qualifications to dirty term sheets, it’s hard to argue there isn’t a tech bubble growing.