Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Limited partners or  LPs  — the pension funds, the university endowments, the family offices that largely provide venture firms with their spending money — are receiving a lot of attention from venture capitalists, some of it unwanted. VCs have begun knocking down their doors with requests for fresh capital commitments so they’ll have money to invest if the market cools down.

The problem is, many of these LPs are already over-allocated. LPs traditionally invest in many asset classes, such as public equities, and they allocate a small percentage of their portfolio to venture capital. Suddenly, they’re finding they’ve forked over more than they’d intended to VCs.

There are several reasons for this situation. First, VCs are returning to them ever faster for more capital  — sometimes in less than two years’ time  — because they are in vesting at such a furious pace.

Compounding the problem, not all LPs have received returns from their VC investments that they can recycle into new venture capital allocations. In some cases, this capital is still tied up in startups that are raising much more money than in the past and staying private longer. “We have some large exposures to blue chip names where IPOs have been rumored to be coming for a long time already, and now it’s maybe 2021, maybe 2022,” says one endowment manager who asked not to be named. In other cases where startups have gone public, falling prices have prompted VCs to hang on to their shares instead of distribute them.

The result is that LPs are having to cut back on the number of managers they can fund, and that could mean bad news for venture capitalists and startups alike. These LPs don’t have much choice. As the LP explains it, “We have a pretty structured allocation process, and we’re really trying to be creative,” she says. One venture manager who reappeared too quickly for more money was  “easy to walk away from,” says this person. “Others, we’re having to do financial backflips for them to remain strong partners.”

Either way, this LP adds, “We can’t add any new relationships right now,” meaning new venture teams in particular are out of luck. “When [VCs] shorten their fundraising cycle by nine months to a year, you can only squeeze the balloon so much.”

Backing up the truck

SoftBank’s $ 100 billion Vision Fund is one big reason LPs find themselves in their current predicament. From the moment SoftBank began waving money around several years ago, it launched a vicious cycle.  According to Chris Douvos, whose investment firm, Ahoy Capital, owns stakes in such venture funds as True Ventures and First Round Capital, “When Andreessen Horowitz hit the scene a decade ago, they changed the tempo of investing and everyone got more aggressive in their dealmaking as a response. Then SoftBank entered the picture in a big way, and it was like a16z on steroids.”

In order to compete with SoftBank’s money cannon, other funds supersized their own investment vehicles, and startup valuations soared. Uber and WeWork were prime examples. Uber went public, pricing below expectations, and its shares have been falling ever since. WeWork and its unconventional S-1 filing never made it past the starting gate.

Competitors are enjoying some schadenfreude: they can’t help but delight in SoftBank’s pain. But WeWork’s slow-motion implosion comes at an uncertain moment in time. If a second massive Vision Fund doesn’t come together — and that seems more than likely at this point — it would mean a sharp drop-off in startup funding. That alone might be fine. It might even be healthy for the ecosystem. But the world is also grappling with a U.S. administration that appears increasingly unhinged. More, a recession that seemed far away as recently as early July but could be around the corner.

Collectively, these elements could change the picture dramatically for LPs. Specifically, if LPs aren’t getting enough money back from VCs and their public holdings fall in value because the markets hit the skids, their commitments to venture funds could become even larger as a percentage basis of their overall portfolio. That would create even more imbalance in their asset allocation. Which would mean even less money for new funds. Which would translate into less money for startups. 

It’s a vicious cycle of another kind, in short.

Maybe it won’t happen. We aren’t there yet. But VCs of all sizes would be wise to take a lesson from their entrepreneurs and perfect their pitches. As is becoming clear, LPs can’t dole out capital at the same pace forever, especially without more money coming back to them. If VCs want to continue raising new funds, or raising funds as fast, they’d better have a very good story to tell.


TechCrunch

“Point Blank,” a new Netflix original film, stars Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie as a criminal and a nurse thrown together by circumstances — Abe (played by Grillo) is struck by a car while fleeing a murder scene, and he’s brought to the hospital where Paul (Mackie) works. Soon, Paul finds himself coerced into to breaking Abe out of the hospital.

Despite the presence of two Marvel stars (Grillo had a brief-but-memorable run in the Captain America movies as Brock Rumlow, while Mackie’s Falcon is about to become the new Captain America), “Point Blank” is a decidedly modest affair, focusing on these two men as they drive through the streets of Cincinnati, on the run from both the police and criminals.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to deliver a straightforward crime movie, but as we discuss in the latest episode of the Original Content podcast, we found ourselves underwhelmed by the results, largely because the film was so by-the-numbers.

Yes, there are moments when “Point Blank” tries to surprise the audience, but most viewers will see the twists coming a mile away. And while the movie (based on a French film of the same name) seems to owe a debt to buddy cop movies like “48 Hours” and “Lethal Weapon,” it lacks the finesse needed to balance its jokes with high-stakes violence.

We also discuss AT&T/WarnerMedia’s announcement that it’s taking “Friends” off Netflix, so that it can bring the show to its upcoming streaming service, now called HBO Max.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

f you want to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Introduction
0:39 HBO Max
13:27 Point Blank review
26:24 Point Blank spoiler discussion


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