The venture capital valuations for still-have-that-new-car-smell startups like Quora, FourSquare, Blippy are reaching unprecedented levels, and we wanted to find out why. Top VCs Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway and David Hornik came by the TechCrunch offices to debate the issue.
Four month old Blippy is worth around $38 million. Quora, still in private beta, is valued at around $86 million in its most recent round. And Foursquare will be worth $80 million or more when it closes the round it’s negotiating now.
These are all young, basically pre-revenue startups. A year ago these valuations would have been unthinkable. So what’s driving the feeding frenzy? The IPO market is still mostly closed to startups, and most acquisitions are still in the low tens of millions of dollars. There’s no clear profitable exit for VCs who invest at these valuations.