In the past five decades, the venture-capital industry, running less than 2% of the world’s institutional assets, has funded ideas that have gone on to transform global business. Seven of the world’s ten largest firms were VC-backed. VC money has financed the companies behind search engines, iPhones, electric cars and mRNA vaccines.

Now capitalism’s dream machine is itself being scaled up and transformed, as an unprecedented $450bn of fresh cash floods into the VC scene. This turbocharging of the venture world brings risks, from egomaniacal founders torching cash to pension pots being squandered on overvalued startups. But in the long run it also promises to make the industry more global, to funnel risk capital into a wider range of industries, and to make VC more accessible to ordinary investors. A larger body of capital chasing a bigger universe of ideas will encourage competition, and is likely to boost innovation, leading to a more dynamic form of capitalism.


Zanny Minton Beddoes