Recently, I’ve had quite a few conversations with East Coast venture capitalists who feel West Coast investors are getting too much credit for the East Coast’s early risk taking. The common wisdom is that West Coast VCs are the big risk takers, but in a handful of significant companies, East Coast firms like Spark, Union Square Ventures, or First Round Capital lead early rounds while bulge bracket Sand Hill Road firms paid up to pile in later– once the idea was proven. Those Sand Hill firms meanwhile are getting most of the credit.
It’s a messy argument to make, given the state of seed investing “party rounds,” where more than a dozen investors may pile in on a seed deal– some from the East Coast, some from the West Coast, some from Middle America. You have to look at who lead those early rounds, not simply whose name shows up on Crunchbase.