Startup Company Valuations and the Offers We Encounter

To my surprise, the valuation expectations of start ups are at reasonable levels. This might be due to the cash squeeze that is still affecting the market, especially for illiquid investments. The discount rates used across most sectors, no matter how mature, are still high, due to the last decade full with fluctuations and daily crises.
 
On the other hand, it is somewhat disturbing to hear about the number of predatory offers investors make on solid teams of entrepreneurs with good ideas.
It is one thing to discount a candidate heavily, to compensate for the risks & to guarantee a return.
But it’s quite an other to demand +50% equity stakes in 1st rounds of investments, limiting the upside potential for the entrepreneurs severely, not to mention the ‘ceilings’ imposed on follow on rounds.