3 views: The new decentralized venture landscape is changing the way we report startup data

Where is silicon? Valley, really?

In 2021, it’s no longer a Bay Area hub backed by Sand Hill Road investors – it’s everywhere. The decentralization of capital into emerging ecosystems has not only enabled local entrepreneurs to raise this follow-up round, but has also changed the way we work as journalists.

After Mary Ann was released an exclusive look at how fundraising goes beyond Silicon Valley, we decided to express our views on the long-term effects of the trend. Mary Ann followed her coverage with some thoughts that the rise of startup hubs across America is not new and certainly not to be feared. Natasha and Alex delved into data-focused reporting, a key element of startup journalism that evolves as the market evolves. What can we say the equity team can’t stop talking!

  • Natasha: Financing data is no longer as important as it used to be.
  • Maria Anna: The decentralization of startups is not new, even if it is accelerating.
  • Alex: The declining impact of aggregated start-up funding data is good news.

Natasha: Funding data isn’t as important as it used to be

I’ll give in here and say that in a world of fast-moving deals and the end of HQs, the geographic data of startups has never been less important.

Now that you’re careful, I’m going to hedge this easily and say that this somewhat controversial mindset does not include emerging markets. For the longest time, startup data has helped us understand how an entrepreneurial scene is growing. For example, concentrating capital in late-stage deals would show that the winners win, but possibly at the expense of smaller upstarts. A thriving angel scene would let us know that pre-seed startups are going to enjoy a boost in activation energy.

But what happens when the boundaries of traditional geography disappear? You may be a Boston-based startup, but where do the concentrations of your people reside? Where do your investors live? You may have answers, but maybe they are only correct for the month.

Aside from the digital nomads, my point is that the popularization of distributed work tarnishes a bit of our classic coverage of “local startups”. Detroit’s scene may be booming, but thanks to a nod from Miami and a message from Boston. I think this means that more than ever, our data needs to be focused on networks in order to understand – on an aggregate level – how the success of a startup affects other communities. In other words, Duolingo’s public debut may have benefited the local Pittsburgh startup scene, but what if the company’s growth now only looks international? That’s hypothetical, but I think we need to ask deeper questions about funding data and bottom-level profits.

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