Third quarter data shows exits continue to totally suck. In fact, they suck worse

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So….

As regular readers know, we’ve spent the fall sloshing around conflicting stats, bombastic grandstanding, and endless fretting of what’s about to happen to the venture landscape any minute. 

Many hoped for some deus ex free-market-a catalyst of a crash coming in the form of –most recently– Square’s IPO. But that too had mixed results: Slashed price to get the deal done, but a decent pop the first day of trading. OK.

Third quarter data is starting to come out and — surprise! — it’s still a mixed bag.

The positive? Somehow mega rounds keep coming, unicorns keep popping out of the metaphorical unicorn womb of Sand Hill Road. In fact, the pace of unicorn-deals in the third quarter matched the previous one, the highest of the year so far. Just this week, there were reports that DoorDash is about to join the club.

So how about a big, steaming pile of negative? CB Insights just released its third quarter exits report. 

Oh right, exits. Money coming out of the industry. When it all turns into actual real dollars.

TL;DR: They continue to totally suck. In fact, they suck worse…

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For better or worse, Hillary may very well be the Silicon Valley favorite in 2016

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It’s a good time to be rich and powerful in America.

Corporations make record profits, pay some of the lowest effective tax rates in decades, and pass fewer and fewer of those spoils onto employees, as executive compensation has reached unprecedented heights.

But while an entrepreneur’s first $ 1 million is usually the product of innovation and invention, making and keeping hold of one’s next $ 1 billion usually requires some friends in Washington. And as the young Silicon Valley elite grows up, they’re less interested in buying sports cars and more interested in buying elections.

Lucky for technology firms like Facebook and Google, they’re coming up at a moment in history when campaign contribution regulations have never been so lax. Thanks to Supreme Court decisions in 2010’s Citizens United v. FEC and 2014’s McCutcheon v. FEC, corporations — and the rich individuals who control them – can donate to committees and parties in support of candidates virtually without limit. Where limitations do exist, they can be easily sidestepped thanks to a wickedly complex apparatus of non-profits. In many cases, contributions can even be made in secret, reserved for the kind of Koch Brother-scale contributions that expose the government to so much corruption, even the remarkably forgiving American public cannot stomach it.

Absurdly high CEO pay, record corporate in Silicon Valley, and an erosion by the highest court of the laws shielding America from pay-to-play corruption, have made 2016 arguably the most important election in the history of the tech industry.

So who will receive Silicon Valley’s biggest votes of confidence and cash? Libertarian Rand Paul? Establishment Democrat Hillary Clinton? The more classically-liberal Bernie Sanders..?

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