Founders and Investors Do Not Share Wall Street's Optimism, New Survey Finds

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

Founders and Investors Do Not Share Wall Street's Optimism, New Survey Finds

Valuations are dropping substantially, pessimism about the economy is growing, and most VCs remain skeptical about investing in fully remote companies. Those are some of the sobering findings of a new survey released Tuesday of 141 VCs and 461 seed and series-A founders by NFX, an early-stage firm based in San Francisco.

The firm first performed the survey in early April – during the relatively early days of the coronavirus pandemic – and decided to follow up last week to see how sentiments have changed. It found that over that time, founders and investors have become more pessimistic about how long it will take the economy to recover. Perhaps not surprisingly, founders remain more optimistic than VCs. Wall Street has also been far more hopeful of a quick recovery, though this survey was conducted June 3rd, before May's shockingly positive jobs numbers were released.


Fundraising is a mixed bag, with about half of founders saying they are moving up their raises and the other half saying they will delay or stop raising money.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • 60% of VCs have seen valuations drop by 20-30% so far as a result of COVID-19 and they predict additional declines over the next year.
  • Though 74% of founders plan to move to majority or fully remote work, nearly 60% of VCs say that remote teams are less attractive as investments. Only 9% say remote teams make them more likely to invest.
  • 40% of tech founders have reported no change to revenue while 20% have reported an increase in revenue.
  • 60% of founders are still hiring, but half of those say they're offering lower salaries.
  • 60% of founders give the federal government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic a D or F failing grade.





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Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Wants to Offer You a Chance to Invest in Green Energy Startups
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

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Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

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