Expensive Seed Deals Were Rare in the Underwhelming 2023 Venture Capital Market

Hopes that it would become easier for startups to raise capital in 2023 were left unmet as the year ended. The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. New data from business database PitchBook paints a modestly dim picture of venture capital investment activity in the fourth quarter of 2023. Per PitchBook’s preliminary count, startups in the U.S. raised 2,879 rounds worth about $37.5 billion in the fourth quarter — the lowest quarterly deal value since Q3 2019, and the lowest deal count since Q4 2017. Across stages, venture capital investment activity in the United States is flagging, and this extends past aggregate figures — for example, we saw less total capital invested in U.S. startups last year than in 2020.

Hopes that it would become easier for startups to raise capital in 2023 were left unmet as the year ended.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on TechCrunch+ or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

New data from business database PitchBook paints a modestly dim picture of venture capital investment activity in the fourth quarter of 2023. Per PitchBook’s preliminary count, startups in the U.S. raised 2,879 rounds worth about $37.5 billion in the fourth quarter — the lowest quarterly deal value since Q3 2019, and the lowest deal count since Q4 2017.

Across stages, venture capital investment activity in the United States is flagging, and this extends past aggregate figures — for example, we saw less total capital invested in U.S. startups last year than in 2020.

However, there is an interesting wrinkle in the data: We saw a decline in the number of seed deals, in keeping with the trend in the rest of the market, but it seems the youngest startups are generally faring better than everyone else. Observe:

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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