Weekly VC Insights by Uniborn #15

Inside: Glimmers of hope for fundraising, a cool way to cut costs, and Europe's place in a resurgent VC world
Barbara Krassner
🇬🇪 Uniborn Team
4 min read

It's Friday — which means it's time to wrap up the past few days. Here's Uniborn's weekly dose of VC news to spice up your preekend. Subscribe to be part of the action.

🔥 Brave yourself; we are probably only halfway through "VC winter" 

As the summer takes center stage, the startup world faces the harsh reality of the so-called "VC winter" — when the flow of venture capital dwindles and valuations sink. How deep are we buried in this cold season, and when will the VC world finally bask? This question, posed by EU-Startups, resonates in the minds of investors.

More than 300 investors voted — and 35% believe we are only halfway to spring. This is in line with the feelings of founders of promising startups. A couple of weeks ago, we reported on a study showing that 39% of "soonicorns" harbor doubts regarding the amelioration of the European fundraising terrain in the latter half of 2023.

But there is a huge difference in the number of hopefuls. Among investors, there seems to be much less of them than among founders: 7% versus 30%.

To learn more, dive into the EU-Startups’ poll results.

🔥 Q3 leaves Europe a gap for hope

In the second quarter of 2023, a substantial $84B of venture capital was poured into startups on a global scale, an 11% decline from the previous quarter. 

In Europe, however, Q2 showed tentative signs of recovery, effectively ending the prolonged funding downturn that lasted nearly a year. In particular, VC transactions reached a commendable $16B — a remarkable 14% increase over Q1, albeit a troubling 53% decline over the same period last year. 

Many industry observers expect the road to triumph to be gradual, paving the way for optimism in the upcoming Q3.

European VС investment by quarter. (Image: Dealroom)
European VС investment by quarter. (Image: Dealroom)

To learn more, dive into the Dealroom report

🔥 The biggest room is for hot sectors like deeptech (especially AI) and also for healthcare and energy

In the midst of the venture cold season, healthcare and energy proved to be stalwart fortresses within Europe. 

These sectors showed remarkable resilience, with deal values declining by only 34% and 32%, respectively (yes, it's "only" compared to, say, B2C's 69% decline) when comparing the first half of 2022 and 2023. The number of deals in healthcare and energy declined by 10% and 30%, according to PitchBook's data.

The reasons for this relative stability are clear: the region's unwavering commitment to energy transition continues, while the lessons learned from the pandemic have instilled in us the enduring importance of preventive medicine.

European VC deal count by sector. (Image: Pitchbook)
European VC deal count by sector. (Image: Pitchbook)

To learn more, dive into the Pitchbook review.

🔥 For the rest of the industries, it's better to stay in a frugal state of mind

Shopify has introduced an intriguing addition to its employee calendar app — an ingenious calculator designed to expose pointless meetings. This tool calculates the estimated cost of any meeting involving three or more people.

Using compensation averages for various roles and areas, coupled with the length of the meeting and the number of attendees, the calculator puts a price tag. A typical half-hour meeting with three employees can range from a staggering $700 to an astounding $1,600.

This initiative aims to underscore that time is money. You can agree this is a non-trivial way to cut back until investment flow resumes.

To learn more, dive into the Bloomberg article.

Cover image: iStock

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