The steroid era of startups is over - Here's what 8 top VCs think will happen next


unicorn 2x1

Business Insider

The game has changed.

In April, venture capitalist Bill Gurley wrote an essay crystallizing what many venture capitalists had been talking about for months.


Essentially, too many companies have taken too much money at unsupportable valuations. A lot of the money they raised came with huge caveats that would protect late stage investors.

A lot of these companies now have limited options, Gurley wrote. They can't raise more money from the private markets because their last rounds came with such strict conditions. They can't go public because their numbers aren't good enough.

"In the steroid era of baseball, a lot of people were hitting 30 home runs and the perception was that wasn't that difficult. Well the reality is almost no one ever hits 30 home runs without using special supplements and the same thing is true [for startups]," says Keith Rabois, a partner at Khosla Ventures. "And as you deprive companies or take away the steroids, it turns out that very few people can build transformative and disruptive companies that are worth billions of dollars."


So what happens next?

Business Insider spoke to 8 leading venture capitalists about what the tech landscape looks like from their point of view - and where startups go from here.

The answer involves a lot of pain for founders, employees, and investors in the years to come.