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Today: May 12, 2024
January 5, 2024
1 min read

“Plunging US Venture Capital Fundraising: Lowest in 6 Years”

TLDR:

  • US venture capital fundraising has hit a 6-year low, with $79.2bn raised in 2023, down 25% from 2022.
  • The decline is attributed to less investor interest in early-stage investments, concerns about regulatory risks, and a shift towards other investment opportunities.
  • Despite the decline in fundraising, the total value of US venture capitalist-backed exits reached a record high in 2023, with $209.2bn generated.

US venture capital fundraising has hit a six-year low, with $79.2bn raised in 2023, down 25% from 2022, according to data provider Preqin. The decline comes as investors are showing less interest in early-stage investments and concerns about regulatory risks are mounting. At the same time, a shift away from venture capital towards other investment opportunities, such as private equity and hedge funds, is also impacting fundraising figures.

Despite the decline in fundraising, the total value of US venture capitalist-backed exits reached a record high in 2023—$209.2bn. This is partly due to a surge in acquisitions, which reached a record high of 4,447, as well as a boom in the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). The strong exit market is also driving up valuations, making it difficult for early-stage companies to secure funding.

Investor interest in early-stage investments declines:

Investor appetite for early-stage startups has waned in recent years. According to a survey conducted by software company Stripe and researcher Harris Poll, 37% of surveyed investors said they are less likely to invest in early-stage companies now compared to three years ago. This decline in interest is driven by a desire for more stable returns and less risk. As a result, later-stage companies are receiving a larger share of venture capital funding, while early-stage startups struggle to secure funding.

Regulatory risks dampen investor sentiment:

Investor concerns about regulations, particularly in the tech and healthcare sectors, are impacting venture capital fundraising. Recent regulatory scrutiny and proposed legislation has raised concerns about stricter oversight and potential challenges for early-stage companies. In addition, policymakers are increasingly focused on curbing the power of large tech companies and increasing regulation in areas such as data privacy and cybersecurity, which could impact investment opportunities in the sector.

Shift towards other investment opportunities:

Investors are also diversifying their portfolios and pursuing other investment opportunities outside of venture capital. The growth of private equity and hedge funds has drawn capital away from venture capital, as these sectors offer more mature, stable, and predictable returns. Private equity funds have seen significant growth in recent years, driven by strong performance and increasing investor interest.

Despite the challenges facing venture capital fundraising, the overall health of the US venture capital industry remains strong, with a record level of exits and significant amounts of capital deployed. However, the decline in fundraising and investor interest in early-stage investments raises concerns about the future of innovation and the ability of startups to secure funding.

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