SAN FRANCISCO – While investors and industry insiders worry about a future tech industry crash, legendary angel investor Chris Sacca is ready for the bottom to fall out of the market. In an interview at the Launch Festival today, Sacca — a former Google employee and early investor in Twitter — said that he “can’t wait” for what he sees as the industry’s inevitable crash.
“I think this whole Valley has gotten way ahead of itself, and I’m excited for the crash, and for all the pretenders to clear out and for the people who are the die-hards, the builders, the people who have been hustling and selling candy in their high school cafeteria, who have been going door-to-door their whole lives, who are built for this game, I can’t wait until it’s just them again,” he said.
While Sacca doesn’t have any predictions as to when or how that would happen (he said he relies on Marc Andreessen and others for that sort of market knowledge), he said that a recent meeting he had about a late-stage investment deal really brought things into perspective.
According to Sacca, the company — which he did not name — checked out. But when Sacca asked how much they were looking to raise, they requested a $1 billion valuation.
When he pressed the company to come up with why they needed all that money, they called a billion dollar valuation “table stakes” for a company at their stage.
“If we’re going to recruit we have to be on a list of unicorn companies, so it has to be at least a billion,” he was told.
Sacca wasn’t convinced by that argument in the slightest.
“That’s f–ed,” he told the audience. “That’s completely f–ed.”
His comments drew some uneasy laughs from the conference’s massive audience at San Francisco’s Herbst Pavilion. The tenor of Sacca’s remarks are markedly different from the Launch Festival’s policy of providing low cost or free admission to current and aspiring entrepreneurs.
That’s not to say that he’s against investing large sums of money into companies he believes in. Earlier in his talk, he revealed that at one time, he had spent all his money investing in Twitter, and then got a loan from his assistant in order to invest more in the social networking company. At the time of its IPO, Sacca owned a double-digit percentage of Twitter’s stock.
[This post has been updated to clarify Sacca’s comments about the company seeking to raise money.]