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Hustle Fund’s Elizabeth Yin discusses 2020’s fundraising landscape


‘VCs have gotten quite scared, almost to a fault’

On the heels of her conversation-driving Twitter thread on 2020’s venture fundraising climate, Hustle Fund’s Elizabeth Yin converted her thoughts into an op-ed for TechCrunch. In keeping with her expansive thread, we asked her to adapt her thread for a TechCrunch column and join us for an extended conversation.

What follows is an interview between Yin and myself that came after I read her piece (which you can find here), digging into venture capitalist fear, the ability of established founders to raise outsized rounds, her advice on growth and how some Series A and Series B-stage companies posting impressive revenue expansion might be nigh-unfundable in this, the new fundraising reality.

What follows is an edited, occasionally condensed transcript of our chat. Let’s go!

TechCrunch: Okay, question one. You said, “VCs have gotten scared, almost to a fault.” Aside from the WeWork IPO implosion, what are the leading drivers of this recent increase in fear?

Elizabeth Yin: Taking a step back, I think we have to ask ourselves, what is even the place of venture capital in the first place? And when you think about the original venture capital industry, you know, decades ago, those VCs were taking big, big bets, like at those moments in time during the 90s, or even before that, for some of the chip companies or even Apple Computer, there were many bets happening there.

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I'm a 50 year old PLC programmer from Burnley, UK. I severed my time as an electrician in the baking industry and soon got involved with the up and coming technology of PLC's. Initially this was all based in the Uk but as the years went by I have gradually worked my way around the globe. At first it was mainly Mitsubishi with a bit of Modicon thrown in but these days the industry leaders seem to be the Allen Bradley range of PLC and HMI’s.

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