Y Combinator’s biennial demo days have always been highly anticipated events for venture capitalists looking for the next big startup. However, in recent years, some investors have noticed a decline in the excitement surrounding these events and have chosen to sit them out. We reached out to 15 investors to gather their perspectives on why they have decided to skip YC Demo Day. Here’s what they had to say:
Investors are increasingly sitting out of YC Demo Day due to concerns over the changing landscape, including larger and less selective cohorts, inflated valuations, and declining significance of the event. They are instead exploring other curated platforms to identify promising early-stage startups.
The Changing Landscape
Many investors expressed concerns about the changing landscape of Y Combinator and its demo days. Some noted that the cohorts have grown larger and less selective, leading to a dilution of quality. They believe that this shift has resulted in a higher number of startups that fail to meet their investment criteria. In addition, some investors expressed reservations about the inflated base valuations and round sizes of the startups presented at demo days, suggesting that they no longer align with their investment strategies.
Less Pomp and Circumstance
Investors also mentioned that they felt a decline in the overall significance and hype surrounding YC Demo Day. In the past, these events were regarded as must-attend gatherings where investors had access to some of the most promising startups. However, some investors now feel that the appeal of demo day has diminished, and they no longer view it as a critical opportunity to identify potential investment opportunities.
Seeking Alternative Platforms
While some investors have opted out of YC Demo Day, they emphasized that their decision did not reflect a lack of interest in early-stage startups or the innovation ecosystem. Instead, they are seeking alternative platforms and events that prioritize quality over quantity. These investors believe that by focusing on more curated and selective opportunities, they can increase their chances of discovering the next big thing.