Venture capitalists are losing leverage with founders to young influencer investors
- Venture capitalists long held the power over the people they invest in.
- Influencers and celebrities are encroaching on the investment space, giving entrepreneurs options.
- "There's this old line that being a VC was 99 percent saying 'No' and 1 percent begging," an anonymous VC told Vice. "And now, it's more like 10 percent begging. "
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It's brutal out there for venture capitalists.
"There's this old line that being a VC was 99 percent saying 'No' and 1 percent begging," an anonymous venture capitalist told Vice in a recent interview. "And now, it's more like 10 percent begging."
That's due to the ever-encroaching investment capital from celebrities and influencers, from Ashton Kutcher to Jay Z to this group of TikTok stars, they said, who offer not just an alternative form of funding but also celebrity appeal.
With investment competition from outside the world of venture capital, "You spend a lot of your time trying to convince some 23-year-old little s--t that you are better than some internet celebrity who they think is going to be more effective than you are because they have more Twitter followers," they said.
Like influencers and celebrities, VCs tend to seek attention - albeit through Twitter and LinkedIn rather than Instagram and TikTok.
That often manifests as so-called "humble brags," which are the passive-aggressive version of boasting. The behaviour is so common among VCs that it reached the stage of parody last year with a popular Twitter account called "@VCBrags."
"One of the reasons that VCs are so annoying on Twitter," the anonymous VC said, "is because at the very earliest stages, they win by being known... You build a brand. And so VCs are out there trying to build the brand."
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