Venture Firms Still Writing Small Checks Despite $271 Billion in ‘Dry Powder’

Navin Chaddha and Jenny Lefcourt. Photos via Getty
Navin Chaddha and Jenny Lefcourt. Photos via Getty
Aug. 7, 2023 6:00 AM PDT

In 2019, Sean Park—a co-founder of Anthemis Group—was on the road 200 nights a year, traveling to Boston, London and other tech hot spots to meet with startups. Even after Covid-19 curtailed travel, Park, who is also the firm’s chief investment officer, was swamped with Zoom meetings with entrepreneurs he was thinking about backing.

How times have changed. Now Park estimates he’s on the road at most 20 nights a year from his home base in Geneva, Switzerland, and the number of pitch meetings he does via Zoom has settled down. His firm is doing 25% fewer investments than it was last year, which is one reason Anthemis in January let go of about a quarter of its staff. One of the most welcome changes is that his firm’s global team now has more time to conduct due diligence on new investments. Between 2020 and most of 2022, Park said his firm missed deals because it wasn’t willing to participate in some fast-moving rounds.

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