The last time the Federal Reserve's benchmark interest rate was much above zero Silicon Valley was a very different place. Facebook was still battling with MySpace, Twitter had raised less than $25 million and Uber and Snapchat hadn't even been created.
Facebook is now one of the most valuable companies in the world (MySpace is an afterthought), Twitter is publicly traded and Uber and Snapchat headline a long list of Internet and mobile start-ups that have achieved multibillion-dollar valuations thanks in large part to access to cheap capital.
Seven years of record low borrowing costs have driven investors across the globe to seek yield. Mobile and Internet start-ups have been a popular place to park some of that cash, leading dozens of emerging companies to raise sums of cash that would have been inconceivable in prior cycles.