Are accelerator programmes backing more mature companies?

This tweet from YC’s Sam Altman was in my feed this morning:

You can see why he’s pleased. Lots of his companies have got a $1mm revenue run rate which is a sign they are valuable.

It takes a while to get to a $1m run-rate and I’m wondering if YC is trending towards backing more mature companies and fewer true startups.

Here in the UK it seems to me that Seedcamp and Techstars have made a similar shift in strategy. It makes sense, they get similar equity positions in businesses with more proof points that are therefore more likely to be successful. On top of that the introductions these programmes can make to potential investors, customers and advisors are more valuable to companies that have product and revenues.

That leaves a gap for true startups. Which is where we play 🙂

  • Having a 1M run rate doesn’t necessarily mean the company is valuable. Some questions to ask are: how much have they burned to get to 1M, how much more do they need to scale up and at what point do they become profitable.
    So why do we see more companies at YC with run rates of 1M? Painting the tape for future funding…

  • Strange feeling that accelerators are slightly shifting towards a seed fund-like approach, not so much pre-seed anymore. Has its + and -, indeed.

  • Exactly