In January, more than 500 Term Sheet readers and VC/PE industry professionals took a survey conducted by Semaphore, a business consulting firm, about confidence in 2018. Approximately 31% of respondents work in venture capital, 15% work in private equity, with the rest being bankers, LPs, operating executives and third party vendors.)
The full results are quite interesting, but here are the highlights:
• 93% of respondents have confidence in themselves, while 79% have no or little confidence in President Donald Trump.
• 88% were confident or somewhat confident in their own business
• 80% believe sexual misconduct, harassment, and gender bias is a problem in the VC/PE industry.
• 76% have confidence in the U.S. national economy
• 74% expect to earn more than they did in 2017 with 6% expecting to earn less and 20% the same amount
• 53% are confident that the corporate income tax rate cuts will spur the national economy in 2018, while 47% do not.
There were some additional comments that struck me. (Note: respondents were 85% male and 15% female).
On sexual misconduct:
• “Any time there is a material imbalance of leaders and role models for any group (race, sex, etc.) a bias will naturally develop through a lack of representation of viewpoint.”
• “I have had a front row seat. It is destabilizing, demoralizing, divisive and completely unacceptable behavior that always ruins a business.”
• “It needs to be talked about, but it's being blown way out of proportion. The end result now is men will fear doing business with women.”
• “PE firms need to hire women above the rank of associate. Non-investment professionals should not count towards diversity counts.”
• “Hire women. Promote women. Work extra hard to get women who are truly qualified and primed for success. Very simple — if powerful women are in a room, people do not do that shit.”
• “Valuations are high across the board. 2018 may not see a VC correction, but one is coming. PE will probably cool due to rising interest rates and lower deductibility of interest (ie larger equity checks required for deals mean lower purchase multiples).”
• “VC industry exits are taking too long and early startups want a higher valuation but don’t deserve it.”
• “Although an operator, I feel that early stage valuations are way out of control. Would not be surprised to see a correction this year.”
On the tax overhaul:
• “I actually have no idea how the tax change affects me personally. I have not read the bill and do not have any first-hand informed opinion on how good/bad the bill is for each income level. In general, my assessment of any tax changes are not tied to how it will affect my personal income status. I'm young — the solution is always to just make more money.”
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to take the survey. If you have any additional thoughts, share them with me on Twitter.
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China’s Didi partners with SoftBank to launch taxi-hailing services in Japan. Sell your DNA on the blockchain? Qualcomm rejects Broadcom’s revised buyout offer. The crypto candidate for Congress.
• Icertis, a Seattle-based provider of enterprise contract management in the cloud, raised $50 million in Series D funding. Meritech Capital Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including PSP Growth, Cross Creek Advisors, B Capital Group, Ignition Partners, Greycroft and Eight Roads Ventures.
• Vreal, a Seattle-based virtual reality livestreaming and broadcast platform, raised $11.7 million in Series A funding. Axioma Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Intel Capital, AET Fund, Upfront Ventures, Vulcan Capital and CRCM Ventures.
• Niche, a Pittsburgh, Penn.-based platform that helps people choose schools and neighborhoods, raised $6.6 million in Series B funding. Allen & Company LLC and Grit Capital Partners led the round.
• Univfy, a Los Altos, Calif.-based predictive machine learning and fintech platform that provides fertility patients with personalized probabilities of IVF success, raised $6 million in Series A funding. Rethink Impact led the round.
• MineralSoft, an Austin, Texas-based software company focused on developing solutions to manage oil and gas investments, raised $4 million in Series A funding. Cottonwood Venture Partners led the round, and was joined by investors including Blue Bear Capital and Y Combinator.
• CultureIQ, a New York-based provider of integrated culture management software, raised $2.25 million in funding. Investors include Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures and Founder Collective.
• Grove, a San Francisco-based personalized financial planning platform, raised $2.1 million in funding. Investors include First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Upside Partnership, SV Angel, CFSI, and Jake Gibson.
• Apical Technology, a provider of artificial intelligence technologies, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from NextWave Ventures.
• Property Brands, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based provider of property management technology solutions, raised funding of an undisclosed amount from Insight Venture Partners.
PRIVATE EQUITY DEALS
• Thomas H. Lee Partners LP agreed to acquire Alfresco Software, a San Mateo, Calif. and UK-based enterprise open-source provider of process automation, content management and information governance software. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
• New Heritage Capital acquired a minority stake in Flying Colours Corp, a Canada-based aviation services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
• Capzanine will invest in Alphitan, a France-based company that specializes in maintaining electronic components and motorization equipment used in industrial processes. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
• Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. made a minority investment in Diligent Corporation, a New York-based company focused on enterprise governance management software solutions. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
• Thompson Street Capital Partners and Onward Capital acquired Tech Manufacturing, a Wright City, Mo.-based maker of complex 5-axis structural aerospace parts. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
• Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will invest $486 million for a 38% stake in Shiji Retail Information Technology Co, a domestic big- data firm focused on hotels and retail, according to Reuters. Read more.
• Trinity Mirror bought titles including the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! magazine for 127 million pounds ($177 million) in cash.
• Platinum Equity Partners is in advanced talks to buy the European vacation-rentals business of Wyndham Worldwide Corp (NYSE:WYN), according to The Wall Street Journal. The deal values the business at $1 billion. Read more.
• Toyota will invest ($69 million) in JapanTaxi, a Japan-based Uber-like service.
• Reputation Institute acquired Mettle Consulting, a U.K.-based big data media analytics company. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
• Goldman Sachs Group Inc is in talks to buy Clarity Money, a New York-based financial services company. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Clarity Money has raised approximately $14.5 million in funding from investors including Soros Fund Management, Maveron Ventures, and Bessemer Venture Partners.
• Medical Solutions agreed to acquire PPR, a provider of travel nurse staffing and interim leadership for acute and post-acute markets, from Trivest Partners. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
FIRMS + FUNDS
• Mary Grove will join Revolution as a partner on Rise of the Rest. Previously, Grove was at Google where she was the founding director of Google for Entrepreneurs,
• Mainsail Partners promoted Vinay Kashyap to partner.