Ford’s ex-chief economist once wrote, “I cannot think of an industry more cyclical or more dependent on the business cycle than the auto industry.”
Over two decades and an industry bailout later, auto-tech entrepreneurs are acutely aware that their pitches must be recession-proof to impress investors at this week’s massive Collision tech conference in Toronto, as the deal-making environment sours to its worst in a decade, and popular fundraising tools like SPACs are floundering.
“The sentiment around this conference is a little bit different. I’ve heard people pull out [of the event] because of their talks being irrelevant, or at least tone-deaf, given the current environment,” said Clutch CEO Dan Park.
“Companies like ourselves—Series B, Series C, Series D—are certainly feeling the impact of that. I think that continues to trickle down. … I think we’ll go through a healthy period of normalization, resetting expectations of multiples, which I think in the long term will be better. But I think it will also cause two years of pain.”