September 25, 2021
Photo: Paulo Fridman/Getty Images
Hello and welcome to Pipeline. This week: venture capital's Great Resignation, how startup execs say you should run meetings, and the great arms race in seed funding.
In August, Andreessen Horowitz announced a new $400 million seed fund — more than double the size of the seed pool rival Sequoia had touted in February. Not to be outdone, Greylock one-upped a16z a month later when it raised $500 million to invest in seed-stage companies
That's nearly $1.1 billion dedicated to seed investing between the three this year as all the firms found that nearly half or more of the deals being done were all in seed-stage companies.
There's a question whether these funds are playing offense or defense. Offense: Snap up larger stakes in the best startups earlier. Defense: Don't let the Tigers of the world eat their lunch in later stages. The answer: Both, as VCs get sandwiched.
So what happens to the seed industry from here? One view of it from Vitalize's Gale Wilkinson is that it's going to bifurcate and that "we're going to naturally have a falling out into two camps."
It may be an arms race, but it doesn't mean it's war. "Both options play nice in the sandbox," Wilkinson said. The real winner here will be founders who have more of a choice than ever. Their main dilemma is picking between them: "Founders are going to have to decide what they stand for," she added.
The way we work has fundamentally changed. According to the International Data Corporation, the revenue for worldwide collaboration applications increased 32.9 percent from 2019 to 2020, reaching $22.6 billion; it's expected to become a $50.7 billion industry by 2025.
This fall, as enterprises everywhere decide whether to return to the office, continue working remotely or establish a hybrid working model, collaborative technology platforms will be more important than ever. Asana COO Anne Raimondi shares advice with business leaders as they move into the next productive work phase, whatever shape that may take.