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Venture Capital Startups Markets

The Dark Side of the Funding Boom: Skimpy Due Diligence, Burnout

Photo: Illustration by Danielle Davis

Eye-popping valuations. Mega rounds. Lawyers so busy they’re turning away clients. It may seem like the greatest moment in history to be a venture capitalist, founder or one of the many service providers that caters to startups.

But a grim reality underlies the pace of such a frenetic market: burnout. Many venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, lawyers, recruiters and others in the startup industry say they are experiencing unprecedented workloads, with fewer respites between deals to catch their breath. Investors are scrimping on due diligence. And extreme fatigue is making it harder for startups to retain employees, while the scramble to hire replacements is helping to push up salaries.

“There’s a lot of exhaustion, for sure,” said Eric Bahn, co-founder of seed investment firm Hustle Fund. “It just feels unsustainable.”

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