How today’s startup market isn’t like 1999, and what you need to raise a hot Series A – TechCrunch

As wounded 2021 Down, The Exchange wanted to research what might happen if the startup music stopped playing. So we have veteran venture capital Matt Murphy On the phone to talk to him.

Murphy began his career at Sun Microsystems in the mid-1990s, joining Kleiner Perkins in 1999, where he remained until 2015. From there, the investor changed teams to Menlo Ventures, where he has worked ever since. For a bit of context, Murphy has invested in DocuSign, Egnyte, AppDynamics, Carta, and others.


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But more important today is his experience investing during downturns, including the downturn of 2000-era startups and the 2008 financial crisis. So, armed with a fist of questions and a recorder, we spoke through a range of topics, from current startup standards to the robustness of today’s startups. and changes to the overall startup success rate.

Our conversation with Murphy was extensive. To manage its length, we’ve broken down his answers by topic, and added subheadings where he changed the topic a bit. We’ve also sharply edited our questions and made modest edits to the text for clarity and length, including expanding some abbreviations.

enjoy your snowy day read!

About whether the current period is hectic or backed by fundamentals

Matt Murphy: Well, I’m very OK with the investments you’ve already made, because it makes you feel like a hero, and so shocked by trying to get into new things, because it makes you feel like an idiot. [Laughter]

[But yes,] The way the ratings have changed and continue to change in a relatively short period of time has been amazing. Certainly more than it was in 1999. I feel like this was more of a long haul. It’s more distributed, and every time you think it’s a new maximum, something else happens.

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