Will Tech Layoffs Lead to Wider Distribution of VC Investors?

The rise of remote work led to many people and companies leaving high-cost coastal cities. This redistribution of talent has changed how early-stage venture capital is deployed. Before, investors would invest only in entrepreneurs whom they could meet in person. Many investors preferred to not travel, so founders migrated to cities with a high concentration of venture capital investors. But the pandemic and the redistribution of talented entrepreneurs changed this. Investors now regularly invest in founders whom they’ve met only over Zoom.

I’ve been thinking about the tech layoffs by large companies like Amazon and Google and what they’ll do to the distribution of talent. I suspect that a material number of people laid off by these companies will rethink living in their high-cost cities, especially if their job was the main thing keeping them there.

I could be wrong, but if this does play out, I’m curious about how venture capital will adjust. If a lot of talented founders no longer want to reside in the Bay Area, for example, how will these firms adjust? Will they continue to stay heavily concentrated in places like the Bay Area and do even more investing over Zoom? Or will they rethink where their firms or their firms’ investors live?