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Asymmetry and the Venture Capitalist

Barry Ritholtz
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The venture-capital business is one marked by a fundamental asymmetry, says Scott Kupor, managing partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and this week's guest on Masters in Business: The average venture capitalist has done hundreds or maybe even thousands of deals; the typical entrepreneur is raising capital for the first time.This information and experience asymmetry creates issues, not only for the entrepreneur, who doesn't want to be taken advantage of, but also for the VC, who is concerned with finding and funding quality deals. Kupor, author of the new book "Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It," describes the road map for startups that want to better understand the nature of venture capital. He explains the advantages that accrue to any founder who knows how to successfully navigate the perils and pitfalls of the capital-raising process.Kupor explains why Y Combinator and other seed funds were such game changers for start-ups. As entrepreneurs became more educated, the deal funnel and gate-keeper relationship that was previously controlled by a handful of connected VCs was altered. These changes were quite significant: Since 2005, Y Combinator has backed more than 2,000 startups with a combined valuation of more than $100 billion.The influence of venture capital on the U.S. economy is hard to overstate. Venture-backed companies now spend 44% of the entire research-and-development budget for public companies, and the 656 publicly traded businesses that were VC backed make up 20% of the total market capitalization of all public companies.Kupor's favorite books are here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Castbox, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak with Allison Schrager, co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners and author of “An Economist Walks into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk.”To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The venture-capital business is one marked by a fundamental asymmetry, says Scott Kupor, managing partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and this week's guest on Masters in Business: The average venture capitalist has done hundreds or maybe even thousands of deals; the typical entrepreneur is raising capital for the first time.

This information and experience asymmetry creates issues, not only for the entrepreneur, who doesn't want to be taken advantage of, but also for the VC, who is concerned with finding and funding quality deals. Kupor, author of the new book "Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It," describes the road map for startups that want to better understand the nature of venture capital. He explains the advantages that accrue to any founder who knows how to successfully navigate the perils and pitfalls of the capital-raising process.

Kupor explains why Y Combinator and other seed funds were such game changers for start-ups. As entrepreneurs became more educated, the deal funnel and gate-keeper relationship that was previously controlled by a handful of connected VCs was altered. These changes were quite significant: Since 2005, Y Combinator has backed more than 2,000 startups with a combined valuation of more than $100 billion.

The influence of venture capital on the U.S. economy is hard to overstate. Venture-backed companies now spend 44% of the entire research-and-development budget for public companies, and the 656 publicly traded businesses that were VC backed make up 20% of the total market capitalization of all public companies.

Kupor's favorite books are here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Castbox, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.

Next week, we speak with Allison Schrager, co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners and author of “An Economist Walks into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk.”

To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.