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Dot-com veteran: There's no bubble now

Dot com bubble veteran

Despite a few seemingly high-flying stock valuations, the dot-com sector isn't in another tech bubble, Razorfish co-founder Craig Kanarick said Monday.

Comparisons, he said, are moot. "I think they're really off base because both the market itself and the people are completely different than it was 15 years ago," he said. "You know, in 1999, you had, what, 450, 500 IPOs and, like ours, a fifth of them doubled on the first day. We're not going to see numbers like that, you know, even close to that this year."

Kanarick, whose then-4-year-old interactive agency went public on April 27, 1999, watched his $16 stock double the same day. It was delisted from the in 2003 and eventually sold for $530 million.

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On CNBC's "Halftime Report," Kanarick said that the tech investing scene had evolved.

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"The IPO fever has changed to, I think, Series A fever, Series B fever, because these people are now going through crowdfunding, angel funding, Series A, Series B, all sorts of VC funding before they get to the public market," he said. "And that's radically different than it was 15 years ago."

The dot-com era of the late 1990s, Kanarick added, was one in which companies were betting on a distant future of ubiquitous connectivity.

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"I think what the bet was then was about a longer future, that when the Internet finally arrives for everybody, then we'll have customers, then we'll make money," he said. "What's happening for almost all these companies now, even with high valuations, is they have customers. A lot of them have revenue, so it's just a different type of feeling."

The veteran tech entrepreneur said that a couple of his current favorite tech names were Uber and Airbnb, "companies that are just sort of disrupting markets and taking assets that weren't monetized and leveraging them. I think those are really exciting to me."

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Correct valuations, he added, were open to interpretation.

"It's hard to tell, exactly," he said. "They seem high, but at the same time I haven't seen companies that grow and have the type of reach that those companies have had before."

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Twitter and Facebook remain "fascinating," he said, expressing admiration for Pinterest, as well.

Kanarick's second act involves an indie food purveyor, Mouth, which has raised funding via venture capital firms and private investors.

"We are part of this sort of growing movement of both a revolution in the food industry toward smaller brands and different type of manufacturing, and the huge, monster e-commerce trend," he said.

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While there is an increased interest in specific dietary profiles, such as gluten-free or the Paleo diet, Kanarick said that the food scene had evolved.

"I think also that people have taken an interest in food that they never have before. It's a hobby for people," he said. "Young people are spending probably more money on new restaurants and food products than they are on music and film. And so, I think that is a big part of it. People have an interest in where their food comes from, and they're also rebelling against the equivalent of large pharma, large food, big food companies. They want stuff that feels better to them and is more pure."