The last ten months have been unprecedented in the Silicon Valley. When COVID hit our region back in February, there was a simultaneous selloff in public markets – and an unprecedented slowdown in the rate of early-stage venture investing. Very quietly, hundreds of venture-backed companies in our region shut their doors, including: Zume, Essential, Hipmunk, Kahuna, Beepi and Sentient Technologies just to name a few. All have been closed down or acquired in an asset sale this year alone.
Two things have surprised experts in the ten months after COVID hit: Public Company stocks recovered quickly to pre-pandemic levels and Venture Firms continued to pour money into Series B and Series C companies with revenues and proven concepts. Series A investments have all but dried up outside of Fintech and Medical Technology companies.
Less well understood is a change in the mood of the leaders of companies in our region. As a leading executive recruitment firm, we speak with CEOs and CXOs every day – across market segments. And what we have learned is this: the most sought after talent has lost faith in early-stage venture companies and are scrambling to relocate themselves back into big public companies in our region. There has never been a better time to recruit proven executives across functional specialties to public and late-stage private companies than there is right now. Some of these executives are experienced leaders with real scale, looking to climb back into companies with more dependable funding sources and markets.
So it’s time to ask yourself – Am I taking advantage of this trend? Do we have the team today that we will need as our company moves forward?