Tech Startup Valuations Continue to Rise

More indications of a coming tech boom are showing up. Not so long ago, the angel or seed round would value a company at around $1-2M. With the rise of the SuperAngels and the Cambrian Explosion of interest in consumer Internet deals, seed round values have crept up to $3-4M, levels normally seen with traditional Series A rounds.

Now observers are noticing that they are jumping over the $4M line as well. Two recent deals received around $1M each at values above that $4M line. I know of a number of other financings above that line, but what is striking about these two deals is that they are getting done by newer entrants to this game:

  • Hipmunk raised in a “hyper-competitive” round where a cluster of angels drove the values up; previously we had seen this sort of auction coming from traditional VCs after the seed round
  • The Pulse iPad app (shown above) raised an angel round from four traditional VCs (Redpoint, Mayfield, Greycroft and Lightspeed), who followed the SuperAngel convention of an uncapped convertible note

Both may be one-off situations, particularly the gang of four VC stepping down to the angel level. Sometimes these types of investments make sense due to relationships and are not the start of a new trend. Nonetheless, it is clear the rapid rise of SuperAngels is disrupting the traditional VC business.

About Duncan Davidson 228 Articles

Affiliation: NetService Ventures

Duncan is an advisor to NetService Ventures, where he focuses on digital media and the mobile Internet.

Previously he was at four start-ups: Xumii, a mobile social service based on a Social Addressbook; SkyPilot Networks, the performance leader of wireless mesh systems for last-mile access, where he was the founding CEO; Covad Communications (Amex: DVW, $9B market cap at the peak), the leading independent DSL access provider, where he was the founding Chairman; InterTrust Technologies ($9B market cap at the peak), the pioneer in digital rights management technologies, now owned by Sony and Philips, where he was SVP Business Development and the pitchman for the IPO.

Before these ventures, Duncan was a partner at Cambridge Venture Partners, an early-stage venture firm, and managing partner of Gemini McKenna, a joint venture between Regis McKenna's marketing firm and Gemini Consulting, the global management consulting arm of Cap Gemini.

He serves on the board or is an adviser to Aggregate Knowledge (content discovery), Livescribe (digital pen), AllVoices (citizen journalism), Xumii (mobile social addressbook), Verismo (Internet settop box), and Widevine (DRM for IPTV).

Visit: Duncan Davidson's Blogs

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