How the cloud changed venture capitalism

– Mark Suster is a former serial entrepreneur and a partner at Los Angeles-based venture capital firm GRP Partners. This article originally appeared on Suster’s blog “Both Sides of the Table”. The views expressed are his own. –

In this three-part series I will explore the ways that the venture capital industry has changed over the past five years that I would argue are a direct result of changes in the software industry, not the other way around. Specifically, Amazon has changed our entire industry in profound ways often not attributed strongly enough to them.

I believe the changes to the industry will be lasting rather than temporal change. Venture capital is in the process of its own creative destruction with new market entrants and new models of innovation at the precise moment that our industry itself is contracting.

I will argue that when the dust settles, although we will have fewer firms, each type will end up more focused on traditional stage segments that cater to the core competencies of that firm. The trend of funding anything from the first $25,000 to funding $50 million at a billion-plus valuation is unlikely to last as the skills and style to be effective at all stages are diverse enough to warrant focus.

I will argue that LPs who invest in VC funds will also need to adjust a bit as well.

from DealZone:

E Ink sale not much of a VC payday

E Ink's "electronic paper" is the special sauce that makes e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle possible, but it hasn't proven to be much of a meal for its venture capital backers.

The privately held company was purchased by Taiwanese display maker Prime View International on Monday for $215 million, 12 years after it emerged from a Massachusetts Institute of Technology laboratory.

peHUB notes that the decade-plus span is far from ideal for VCs (the ideal horizon is five to seven years). Even worse, VCs including Intel Capital, Motorola Ventures, Solstice Capital, the McClatchy Company, Lucent Technologies, FA Technology Ventures, and the Hearst Corporation sunk some $148.8 million into E Ink over the years, for an underwhelming 1.4 multiple.