writes copy 28 Mar 2023

Q1 VC results tread water but thats cold comfort for SaaS unicorns

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We are mere days away from the end of the first quarter, putting us on the precipice of a welcome data deluge. Starting in early April, TechCrunch+ will dig into information relating to startup fundraising in the first quarter.

But we’re an impatient lot, so instead of waiting for the private-market data companies to drop their curated reports, we’ve been doing our own investigating.

The picture forming from Q1 2023 venture data is one of measured decline compared to the end of 2022. Naturally, as we’re looking at first-quarter information a little early, there’s wiggle room in the numbers. And March brought with it something akin to a boomlet in domestic venture activity, which could become an even brighter spot if the last bits of first-quarter data further bolster the month’s totals.

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That said, the results of our preliminary analysis underscore how far venture activity has fallen from year-ago totals and just how brutal the venture capital market appears for late-stage startups. The largest private-market tech companies are stretched between retreating venture capital totals and an exit market that is effectively switched off.

Let’s walk through an early look at first-quarter venture results, including a monthly breakdown of Q1 2023 investing trends. Then we’ll dig through why “not as bad as we might have expected” from venture activity is thin comfort for starving unicorns. To work!

How’s Q1 2023 venture shaping up?

Q1 VC results tread water, but that's cold comfort for SaaS unicorns by Alex Wilhelm originally published on TechCrunch

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