Sunday, May 15, 2016

How Uber/Lyft's departure from Austin will impact your VC Fund Raise in Texas

For some, the recent defeat of Proposition 1 in Austin signaled Austin's shift away from the tech world in which venture capital is a critical component for starting and growing companies.  At TEN we recently ran our Healthcare Texas 2016 event in which we had over 100 companies from Texas (mostly Austin) pitch in one-on-one sessions with 60+ venture capitalists, private equity, and angel investors from across the country.

In the run-up to the event, I talked with many of our investors and heard a variety of viewpoints about Prop 1 and on how the fight between the City of Austin and the the Transportation Network Companies  (TNCs) was playing out.  Some investors viewed it as a proxy on Austin's position in the Tech world but most considered it a political fight over who is going to call the shots.  Many questioned Uber/Lyft's campaign strategy and tactics.  In the end that strategy backfired on Uber/Lyft and they lost the vote along with some credibility.

The common message I received from investors was this . . . as long as you have quality deals that meet our fund's criteria, we'll keep coming to Austin.  As one investor said, "the teams are great, the valuations are good, and we want more."

We ended up with over 240 one-on-one sessions throughout the two-day event.  We launched the Austin Healthcare Council initiative.  Uber and Lyft are no longer picking up rides within the city of Austin, but most expect they will be back. The VCs are asking, when is your next event?

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