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In Silicon Valley, the Big Venture Funds Keep Getting Bigger

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The latest firm to raise a jumbo-size fund is Canaan Partners, a fixture on the venture-capital scene that collected $800 million for new investments in tech and health-care startups. Canaan's new war chest furthers a trend since early last year of venture funds ballooning to levels not seen since the dot-com boom. The influx of capital has helped startups stay private longer with money that in past eras would have been raised on the public markets. Last year, U.S. venture firms raised 30 funds totaling at least $500 million each, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. That is up from 17 in 2015 and is by far the most in a year since 2000 when there was 54.


Tech faces hour of reckoning as fundraising drops, layoffs rise

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The wild ride may be over for tech startups. Venture capitalists, the ones who invest billions into promising ideas for companies, have cut back on spending. Chris Sacca, an investor in Uber and Twitter, says of tech in early 2016: "Reality is setting in." (Photo: Bryan William Jones for USA TODAY) SAN FRANCISCO -- Is tech in for a rude awakening this year after a magic carpet ride the past few years? The numbers, and recent actions by once-highflying start-ups, would seem to suggest so. Consider: Mega-rounds, defined as funding of more than 100 million for venture capitalist-backed companies, are in free fall.


How Blockchain and ICOs Are Changing the Funding Game for Startups

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Blockchain technology is changing the way many technology startups raise money. Entrepreneurs seeking capital to build tech startups have long sought out elite venture capitalists on the famed Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley. Now the many startups developing applications for blockchain technology have another option: They can go online and raise millions by creating digital tokens, for use as currency on blockchain platforms, and selling them in what is known as an initial coin offering, or ICO. It's a way for these companies to raise lots of money without giving up decision-making power to venture capitalists or surrendering any equity to them. Blockchain software provides a ledger for recording and verifying transactions and other information among multiple parties without expensive intermediaries like brokers or exchanges.


Cryptocurrency Mania Fuels Hype and Fear at Venture Firms

WIRED

Bart Stephens has found himself in high demand lately. After four years of investing in cryptocurrency and preaching its gospel, his venture-capital peers are finally listening. During a recent briefing at a storied Silicon Valley venture-capital firm, the young analysts in the room nodded along to his words in excitement, Stephens says. But not everyone was sold. In the middle of his presentation, a gray-haired senior partner stood up, yelled "PONZI SCHEME!" and stormed out.


Female Founders in Short Supply at Enterprise Tech Startups

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Work-Bench calculated the percentage using its database of female-founded companies and information from financial data company PitchBook Data Inc., which shows a total of approximately 18,500 venture capital-backed business-to-business software startups in the U.S. Women have been historically underrepresented in the technology side of the software industry. U.S. Department of Labor data from 2019 shows that 18.1% of all software developers in the U.S. are women, and those women on average earn 88.7% of what their male counterparts earn. Things aren't easier for women who branch off to start their own enterprise software businesses, experts say. A combination of implicit biases, discrepancies in networking connections and a cycle that leaves women largely outside the venture-capital sphere makes it harder for female-led companies to get off the ground--perpetuating a stubborn gender gap in one of the country's most male-dominated industries. "Of course it's hurt me," Idit Levine, the founder and chief executive of Solo.io, said about being a woman in the enterprise software space.