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Ego capital and the ‘Series A Crunch’

The problem isn’t too little smart money, it’s too many dumb deals

By Ronald Weissman

The meme of the month is “The Series A Crunch.” According to Crunch Theory, many worthy seed-funded startups lack follow-on capital because VCs now have smaller funds or have moved later stage. CB Insights estimates $1 billion in seed financing will be “incinerated” and at least 1,000 companies will be orphaned. Other data suggest that the number of orphans could be much larger.

Those who say the problem lies with VCs (CB Insights isn’t one of them) must argue that the number of Series A deals has fallen sharply. This is not true and the problem lies elsewhere. Whatever the cause, there is, certainly, a capital crunch for seed-funded startups and it is likely to get worse, as the backlog of seed-stage companies needing Series A funding continues to grow.

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