After a decade of crappy returns in the VC business, it’s a good time to retire. Or fire your lousy partners. Or just close the firm.
And so some folks are taking that opportunity.
But the departure of many VCs from the industry is actually good news for the rest. For more than a decade, there has been too much VC money chasing too few high-quality opportunities (which is one reason returns have suffered). With less capacity, the remaining players will do better.
(Unfortunately, there will also be less not-so-smart money for entrepreneurs…)
Pui-Wing Tam, WSJ: Not since the dot-com bust has the industry experienced as much turnover as it is now. Since the end of 2007, the number of venture-capital principals, who make investment decisions and are directors of start-up companies, has tumbled by more than 15%, according to the National Venture Capital Association.
The exits just in the past few months include a Who’s Who of firms and partners…
At Sequoia Capital…partners Pierre Lamond, Michael Beckwith and Eric Upin have left the firm recently. Longtime partner Mark Stevens also is transitioning out… Atlas Venture, Advanced Technology Ventures, Foundry Group and VantagePoint Venture Partners also have lost partners. And lower-ranking vice presidents and associates are leaving some firms, including Bessemer Venture Partners.
The retirements include Tony Sun, a former managing partner at Venrock… and El Dorado Ventures partner Shanda Bahles.