Sad VC: Fred Wilson waves “shitty 2012″ goodbye, hints at “new phase” for startups



As we wrote earlier, the Fred Wilson index showed no activity in 2012 – meaning that Wilson hadn’t made an investment in 2012. In fact, it’s even worse, writes Wilson on his blog: he hasn’t invested in a company since the summer of 2011, resulting in an 18 month dry spell. While it’s natural for VC’s to reject about 99 to 99,5 % of the opportunities that they get pitched, rejecting a 100 percent of them is not that common.

On his blog, Wilson is clearly unhappy about this – he calls 2012 a “shitty” year. But he also says that he’s planning on closing a deal in early 2013, and if his blog is to be believed, that investment might show where Wilson thinks the startup world is going in the next half decade.

He says he sees three phases in his career, all spanning about 6 to 8 years. And he says he thinks another one of those phases (web to mobile) is coming to an end:

The first, at Euclid, was software to internet. The second, at Flatiron was internet to bubble. And the third, at USV, has been web 2 to mobile.

I have always used a new firm to denote a new investment phase for me. Throw away the old. Start with the new.

And I feel that 2012 is the next demarcation year for me but this time I have to do it in an existing firm with an existing portfolio. That is new for me and I don’t have a model for how to do it.

It was reported a few weeks ago that I had not made a single new investment in 2012. That is true. In fact, I have not made a single new investment since the summer of 2011. Fortunately my partners have picked up the slack and we have made a dozen or so terrific new investments at USV during that period.

I have been working on a new investment and I hope it will close in early 2013. So it is likely my 18 month dry spell will end soon. And I am going to treat that dry spell like a new start. I don’t want to invest in the same stuff today that I invested in five years ago. I want to do new things, learn new lessons, and share them with you.

Very curious to see where this leads. If anyone has an informed or semi-informed guess, let us know what this “new phase” might be.

Read more/Photo: hang in there, Flickr

 

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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