Elizabeth Warren has some sensible ideas and needs to be taken seriously, says megadonor who backs Joe Biden

Key Points
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren has some ideas that make sense and her presidential run needs to be taken seriously, Democratic megadonor Alan Patricof says.
  • "There are people ... even in the financial world who say some of the things she says make sense," says the venture capitalist, who supports former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • Patricof says he does not agree with Warren's plans to break up large tech firms and institute a wealth tax.
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Alan Patricof supports Biden, but says some issues Warren raises make sense

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has some ideas that make sense and her presidential run needs to be taken seriously, Democratic megadonor and tech investor Alan Patricof told CNBC on Tuesday.

"I think you have to take Elizabeth Warren seriously," Patricof, who announced his support for former Vice President Joe Biden's candidacy last month, said on "Squawk on the Street."

"There are people ... even in the financial world who say some of the things she says make sense," the founder of venture capital giant Greycroft said. "Destroying [the Dodd-Frank Act] was not the smartest move, putting pressure on the Federal Reserve like we've seen is not the smartest move."

But Patricof stopped short of endorsing two of the Massachusetts Democrat's signature proposals: breaking up large tech companies and implementing a wealth tax.

"Breaking up companies, I think that's a big step," Patricof said.

Patricof — who has argued that Facebook, Google and other Big Tech firms are "too pervasive" — said he believes "closer regulation and closer attention" on the companies are better alternatives than splitting them up. Patricof has called for a rethinking of the nation's antitrust laws.

Patricof said "no comment' when asked whether he would be affected by Warren's wealth-tax proposal, which would tax wealth over $50 million at 2% and wealth over $1 billion at 3%.

"I don't think it really makes sense," he said of the proposal to tax wealth instead of income.

There is an income inequality problem in the U.S., Patricof said, but "there are better ways of addressing" it.

"Some of the things, I have to be honest, I think she makes sense," Patricof said. "But I think that Vice President Biden is aware of exactly the same issue but just hasn't made that a campaign issue."

Warren's candidacy has steadily gained support from Democratic voters as the former Harvard law professor has rolled out a series of populist economic policy proposals.

She trails Biden by just .5% in the national Real Clear Politics polling average, with 26% support. Biden has 26.5%.

Warren, who has sworn off the support of wealthy donors and bundlers such as Patricof, leads Biden in an average of Iowa polls, 23% to 20.3%. The Iowa caucuses, in February, are the first contests of the 2020 election season.

Warren's liberal economic agenda has alienated some Democratic donors on Wall Street and in big business, who have said they will sit out the general election if she secures the party nomination or, possibly, support President Donald Trump. At the same time, some Democratic donors in Silicon Valley are warming to Warren's bid.

Patricof and his wife, Susan, bundled at least $100,000 for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential run, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. He also helped raise money for Democrats during their successful effort to gain a majority in the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterm elections.

— CNBC's Brian Schwartz contributed to this article.