Below is a chart from Barron's
on the history of interest rates for US Treasury bonds. Throughout the 1800s, interest rates were between 3.71% in the later half to a peak of 11.49% in 1842. During the first half of the 1800s, the railroad industry was born and in the second half of the 1800s, the industrial revolution was happening. While the interest rates during those times can be comparable to the interest rates that the economy is dealing with today, it's likely that up and coming capital intensive businesses will continue to receive funding and develop during these times.
The railroads and big manufacturers of tomorrow will be growing during times of higher interest rates as investors will either prefer treasuries, oligopolies, or monopolies. Foxconn will definitely be one of the businesses thriving in the era of higher interest rates as EV startups look to slim down on their business and rely on the Taiwanese iPhone producer to produce their vehicles. Startups that are in the business of 3D printing homes (like ICON) or that are involved with the creation of hyperloops will continue to receive backing from VCs even if it will take them a long time for them to become commercially viable. Waymo can continue to make progress and eventually disrupt $UBER
thanks to the continued investments from $GOOGL
. Meanwhile, software companies will struggle to receive funding since the barriers to entry for the industry are a lot lower than that of hard tech startups. There are many struggling software companies and few success stories, making the odds of investing in a successful software startup to be smaller than compared to investing in a hyperloop company, where there are very few startups and the odds of choosing the successful one are a lot higher.
Hard tech remains an attractive place for venture capital.