Last week, something turned. We found out that not only are we in a recession, but it started a year ago. Tech layoffs went into overdrive (12,000 at AT&T, 600 at Adobe, 130 at Real Networks), bringing the total unemployed tech workforce to at least 90,000, by our count.
Even Facebook decided to indefinitely postpone an earlier plan to allow employees to sell some stock privately. One likely consideration in Facebook’s about-face is that outside investors may no longer be willing to buy Facebook stock at the already-lowered $4 billion internal valuation the plan called for, never mind the over-inflated $15 billion that Microsoft got in at last year.
Capital is drying up, and things may still get worse before they get better. So far in this downturn, we’ve seen startups batten down the hatches (as they should) and hope to survive long enough to make it out the other end. But what about venture capital firms? When will we start to see the VC layoffs and fund closures?