Editor’s note: WRAL TechWire co-founder Allan Maurer is covering the Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte as it happens, including an in-depth recap from Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Scott Kupor of Andreessen Horowitz. Our Insiders can find out just what Kupor had to say. Plus, check out the links with this post for in-depth coverage of the Charlotte Venture Challenge.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Is there a tech bubble in the making? Not really, Scott Kupor, managing partner of the $4 billion Silicon Valley-based venture fund Andreessen Horowitz said in his keynote address opening the Southeast Venture Conference (SEVC) in Charlotte on Tuesday.

Marshalling charts, graphs and reams of facts, Kupor noted that it’s true there are now 75 companies valued at more than a billion dollars and we’ve seen a record number of tech IPOs, and that 90 percent of the largest venture capital funds were raised in the last five years.

But, he pointed out, so far in 2015 with only three tech iPOs, “We’re nowhere close to the 49 IPOs in 2014.” We’re also far from the 642 IPOs during the 1999-2000 tech bubble. In addition he said that the overall contribution of technology to the GDP is flat at 6 percent, “Not indicative of a tech bubble type behavior.”

Companies are increasing their valuations before launching IPOs, he said, “But the culprit is that they’re staying private longer. The average time a company has stayed private before an IPO over the last 35 years has been eight years. In the tech bubble it was 4.5 years. Now it’s 11 years.

That tells us that 4.5 years is “too short,” and he said as far as he’s concerned, 11 years is too long.” But the point is that the large valuations of companies going public now is that they’re “Much more mature when they do their IPO.”

Private markets have adapted

For a time during what Kupor called “The long nuclear winter of 2000 to 2004-5,” there was little or no venture capital or other funding available so they stayed private longer out of necessity. Now they do it because with new sources of funding coming into private markets, such as hedge and mutual funds willing to take on greater risk, there is a much greater amount of capital available.

“The private markets have adapted,” Kupor said.

Another factor, he continued, is that “There is not a lot of growth to buy in public markets today” compared to the past. That’s why investors are coming into the private market.

“Facebook would have to be worth $60 trillion dollars to match the 500 times growth that Microsoft experienced in the public market.” Facebook raised $5 billion in private capital before going public.

Also, he said, we’re in a different tech world than we were during the Internet boom that ended in a burst bubble at the beginning of the 21st century. “In 1997, there were 55 million Internet users today there are 3 billion. It reached a mere 2 percent of the world then, and 42 percent now.”

On top of that, there are now 5.5 billion mobile phones in use, half of them smartphones. And, “4 billion people buy a new phone every two years, the shortest cycle in history that eclipsed that of PCs in only five years.”

What to watch for to spot a tech bubble

Today, said Kupor, many startups are “Customer driven rather than supply chain driven,” referring to those such as AirBnB and Lyft. “More and more companies will be built that way,” he said.

What should we watch for to spot a real tech bubble?

Kupor suggests keeping an eye on IPO volume and maturity, limited partner inflow, and the technology percentage of the GDP. “If technology gets overly weighted, that would be something to think about.”

What Kupor sees as the greatest risk to the U.S. economy now are “global macro events, something that happens in the Middle East or China, not a tech bubble.”

Kupor concluded by discussing crowdfunding, which he said needs U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission clarification of new investing rules before it can become mainstream.

Finally, he provided some insight into why only a few deals a venture capital firm invests money in end up providing highly profitable exits. “It’s a game of slugging percentages, not batting average,” he said.