At PreMoney Miami, Mark Suster Meerkats His Presentation on the State of VC Funding

March 20, 2015

7:00 pm

Today is officially the first day of spring, and while it may be snowing in the northeast, down in Miami, FL, the sun is shining brightly for the attendees of PreMoney Miami. A one-day conference produced by 500 Startups in partnership with the Knight Foundation and the Simkins Family Foundation, PreMoney Miami is conference spotlighting venture capital – from the disruptive models and strategies currently taking place to the overall trends happening within this subsection of the greater financial sector. While it may sound weird to hold a conference on venture capital down in Miami, the reasoning could only best be described by 500 Startup founding partner Dave McClure himself, who earlier told Tech.Co:

“Miami is the hub of financial activity for the LatAm market, one of the fastest growing segments of the global economy. We brought our PreMoney conference to Miami for the same reason people rob banks – because that’s where the money is.”

While many of today’s sessions and panels centered on the rapidly growing startup ecosystem in Miami (and thereby the many different opportunities for investment), likely one of the most notable was the keynote held by Mark Suster, the general partner at Upfront Ventures. A notable leader in the venture community, Suster didn’t so much talk about Miami in the particular, but rather on the overall landscape of venture investing in the general. But what’s so unique about Suster’s talk was that he wasn’t actually in Miami to deliver it; instead, he used a combination of Skype and Meerkat to stream his presentation.


If you weren’t at this year’s SXSW Interactive festival, Meerkat was definitely the talk of the town – and probably one of the most used tools by tech geeks throughout the festival. Meant to focus on real-time events, the new social app enables users to display and watch live-streams of things going on around them – almost like a combination of Google Hangout or FaceTime with Vine, except the focus is on live-streaming (there’s no reruns of what you’re recording). While he’s not an investor in the company, Suster himself blogged a little about Meerkat and does a better job, I think of explaining what it is and why he thinks it’s gotten so popular.

Meerkat aside, though, Suster had some valuable observations about the VC landscape in 2015. Among them:

  • The conditions today are all working towards enabling successful companies (companies that have a good product and have actual customers) to grow faster than ever. There are 50 times more Internet users today than in 1995, Internet speeds are 180 times faster, and people rely largely on their mobile devices – all of these, plus many more factors contribute to an ecosystem enabling rapid growth.
  • Public company startups are more mature today than they were back in 2000. Back in 2000, startups averaged 3.1 years before going public; in 2013, companies averaged 7.4 years before they reached their IPO. This also means that companies that do manage to reach IPO today have raised much higher amounts of private capital and generated much higher revenues before going public.
  • This kind of environment has essentially created a new VC landscape where late-stage private financing has gotten a lot more competitive.

While there’s no recording of Suster’s presentation (yet), you can take a glance at his presentation slides below:

Image via Flickr / LeWeb3

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Ronald Barba is the managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". He also likes to cook things; you can check out all the noms on his Instagram. Email Ronald ([email protected]) or tweet @RonaldPBarba. You can also subscribe to him on Facebook or find him on Google.

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