(Bloomberg Brief) Brazil’s economic and political woes are creating some opportunities for venture capital investors, according to panelists at a conference last week. Private equity, particularly buyout fund, returns are somewhat correlated to economic cycles, while VC operates relatively independently of the economy, Scott Voss, managing director at HarbourVest Partners, said on a panel at the LAVCA Venture Investors New York Summit last week.
“Venture capital returns are correlated to innovation cycles,” Voss said. “Arguably if you are a startup and you are looking to disrupt an industry, the best time to do it is when the incumbents are weak. There is an opportunity if you are focused on startups and innovation, regardless of what part of the economic cycle it is.”
The weaker Brazilian currency means U.S. dollar investors are “getting a lot of value”, whichever stage of venture capital they are investing in, he said. Investors in Monashees Capital’s latest fund asked few questions about the macroeconomic conditions, according to Eric Acher, the firm’s managing partner.
He expects the firm will, in a few years, reap the rewards of investments made today. “The really true, long-term venture capital investors, they believe that this is a phase of the cycle,” he said. “The new investors that we were able to attract to this new fund, we heard from them ‘it’s not about macro, it’s about investing in the globalization and applied technology . . . in which Brazil [is a] hub, it’s about trying to be with the leading and dominant VCs.”