As VCs favor B2B startups, B2C upstarts’ venture activity falls

AI/ML deals rake in dollars and female-founded startups' fundraising slows

The Q2 2020 venture capital market did not bring a catastrophic slowdown to either the global private investment scene or the U.S.’s own VC scene. But inside the rosier-than-anticipated private capital results of the second quarter, there were pockets of weakness, and strength, that we should understand as we look to the rest of 2020 and the continuance of the pandemic-driven economy.

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This morning we’re exploring trends detailed in the PitchBook-NVCA Q2 venture report, adding to our coverage of similar data sets produced by competing venture and private business information sources CB Insights and Crunchbase.

The NVCA data provides a useful cross section of venture activity beyond the usual quarterly totals, allowing us to better understand the diverging fortunes of domestic venture investment into business-serving startups (which appear strong), and investments into consumer-serving startups (which appear weak).

It also provides a peek into AI/ML-focused investing, a topic that TechCrunch has covered extensively this year. And, finally, we have a lens into recent U.S. VC results for startups that have at least one female founder, or were founded by all-women teams.

Some of the news is positive, and some of it is less so. But we owe it to ourselves to understand all of it. So to wrap up our week’s dive into Q2 VC activity, let’s get into our final look at the data, focusing today on the nuances of the United States’s own venture results.

B2B’s rise continues

As 2019 came to a close, TechCrunch wrote about a notable trend: Seed investors shifted their attention from consumer-focused startups to business-focused startups. Seed deals had moved from majority-B2C to majority-B2B, in other words.