Yes, it’s become harder for startups to raise funding

Founders are keener to get cash than VCs to deploy capital, DocSend data shows

Today’s venture capital market feels strange because it isn’t uniform. While some companies are still able to raise mega-rounds, reach unicorn status, and even attract lots of new capital in sectors that have seen their exits struggle on the public markets, other startups are not having similar luck.

After several years in which capital flowed freely and the entire venture capital ecosystem and startup market marched in lockstep toward bigger, faster rounds at new, higher prices, we’re in a more mixed environment today. This has made reporting on Q2 venture capital totals a bit tricky; Yes, for example, fintech venture totals are falling, but they remain above 2020 levels. Is that bad or good?

To better understand where the venture market actually stands today, we’ve pulled in a new dataset, this time from DocSend (former unicorn Dropbox bought the company in 2021). DocSend is best known as a software service that helps founders create and share their pitch decks with investors. As a result, it has a wealth of data concerning both founder and investor activity. The aggregated behavior of both sides of the investing table when it comes to startup funding is incredibly useful and paints a picture of a venture market diverging — but not as fast as we might have anticipated. There’s some good-ish news to be found.

(If you are fashioning a pitch deck — or wondering what one looks like — our pitch deck teardown series should be your jam!)

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The divergence between founders and investors that we’ll detail below is not good news in gross terms. However, when we compare the data to the doom and gloom we’ve heard from some founders, the information is nearly encouraging. Not great, but not terrible either. Let’s talk about it.