Alan Patricof (Greycroft), Christoph Braun (Acton), Moshe Lichtman (Israel Growth Partners) and Scott Levine (Time Warner Investments) explore the funding landscape over the course of time. The session is moderated by Zeev Klein.
Although the title of the session is 20 years of funding, Zeev Klein explains that venture capitalists prefer to look to the future.
Moshe believes we are seeing a blurring of the lines between different types of venture funding. VC funds are trying to expand their strategy. Coinvesting with angels. VC's are also starting to talk about late stage investing.
He says a lot of startups in Israel are stuck because no one comes to take them to the next level after the initial rounds. This is a problem because the window of opportunity is now much shorter.
Scott Levine sees the difference between the past and now in the way companies are able to scale. Infrastructure investment is no longer such a capital sink as it was 20 years ago.
Alan Patricof says there are now a huge pool of angel investors that weren't available 20 years ago.
Christoph Braun was asked if there is an angel structure in Europe, at what the similarities or differences to the States might be.
He believes they have the same structures as well as the same growth and capital gap. An angel system has started to establish itself. London was first, followed by Stockholm and now Berlin has started to play a role.
What makes a great angel?
According to Christoph it is someone who is serving almost as the first inofficial board member. Zeev on the other hand thinks a great angel is a silent angel.
What will the next big thing be?
Alan: Mobile and video
What is currently being overhyped?
Christoph says mobile and video. He wishes there was less emphasis on more young new startups. He would like to see more people work with existing companies.
The panel doesn't seem to be interested in talking about negatives though, and the discussion turns back to what a VC fund is looking for right now. Moshe says a growth fund is looking for a good business model.
Scott states that video is going through massive changes: The amount of video views are enormous, cost of development is going down. Major companies are not good about producing small video productions. He also sees an opportunity in China right now in social and video.
Alan Patricof believes the IPO window will be positive for the next year.
The panel is closed with a request for one good piece of advice.
Scott Levine says never wait until you need the money to raise the money. Christoph Braun says you should hold on to a good asset, and Alan urges any company to find VC's who spend all their time trying to get business and access for their young companies.