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Navigating the Fundraising Landscape in 2023: A Guide for Founders

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

The Q2 2023 data from Carta presents nuanced insights for founders looking to fundraise.

Here's a breakdown:

  1. Recovery Insights: The 26% QoQ growth in venture funding on Carta should signal to founders that the market is becoming more receptive. While still down 58% YoY, the trend indicates a shift that might open doors for startups with strong fundamentals and a compelling story.

  2. Valuation Realism: With 20% of all rounds in Q2 being down rounds on Carta, founders must align their valuation expectations with market realism. Overvaluation might lead to difficulties in subsequent rounds, so thoughtful pricing and strong financial planning will be key.

  3. Late-stage Opportunities: The first increase in late-stage deal counts since Q3 2021 indicates a thawing at Series B and beyond. Founders at these stages may find more investor appetite, provided they present clear differentiation and a path to profitability.

  4. Regional Opportunities: The West's share of capital on Carta dropped to 44.3%, with regions like the Northeast claiming 29.9%. Founders in emerging hubs may leverage this trend to access local investors who are increasingly engaged.

  5. Employee Stock Option Trend: Only 26% of vested options were exercised on Carta in Q2, reflecting market uncertainty. Founders must craft transparent equity and retention strategies to assure team members of the long-term vision.

  6. Sector Specifics: Reviewing industry-specific data on Carta may reveal pockets of opportunity or caution. Different sectors are likely experiencing these trends differently, so targeted research is advised.

  7. Long-term Strategy: While Q2 data shows some positive signs, expecting a rapid return to the peak activity of 2021 would be optimistic. Founders must build robust, flexible strategies that align with the new normal of venture activity as reflected on Carta.

In conclusion, 2023 presents a challenging but navigable landscape for fundraising. The blend of caution and opportunity will define the path forward, and a detailed understanding of the Carta report can provide the necessary compass for founders looking to succeed in their fundraising endeavors.

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We are an advisor-powered venture platform for fintech & commerce tech founders. Function Ventures supports entrepreneurs at scale globally, partnering with high-impact entrepreneurs and providing a network of targeted services to support the company’s scale, including access to advisors, talent, markets, tech, and capital.

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