If you’re into reading tea leaves (and I’m a big fan), then you’ve been having fun lately.
The pace of angel investing has most definitely slowed down (and I still say AngelList is more of an indication of a bubble, than a fundamental change in how startups get funded), the funding wall (wherein angel funded startups have a hard time finding A/B round leads) is fast approaching, and Facebook is having no-bid auctions on the secondary markets.
Meanwhile, Zynga looks like it’s about to go public, Groupon has become the Pets.com of the investing intelligentsia (ie, they’re having fun picking on it), RightNow gets acquired by Larry (apparently, he doesn’t hate the cloud THAT much), and Workday takes on a monster financing (in the vein of Box.net) that they decscribe as “pre-IPO.”
What we’re seeing is a line of demarcation starting to form. Real businesses are going to get out the door to an IPO in 2012 (probably 2nd half), while real pain is going to hit the angel world (both angel-funded startups and angels themselves) — most likely by Q2 2012, definitely by the summer.
Put that together and what does it spell? By the summer of 2013, it’ll be looking like the IPO window *may be* about to really open, the froth will have been wrung out of the angel market, and the dwindling number of institutional (ie, experienced) VCs will be back to doing their thing with a limited number of startups. In other words, we’ll be set up quite nicely for a real tech bubble to develop between the years of 2013 and 2017 (4 year span).
At least, that’s my working thesis.
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