How founders raised money so far in 2023

This week, DocSend dropped a big load of statistics about the VC activity over the past half year or so. For TC+, I did a deep dive into the trends that are starting to show up. Subscribe for the full story, but since you’re a trusty reader of this fair newsletter, I’ll give you the TL;DR:

  1. “Why now?” is becoming more and more important to investors — why should they part with their cash to invest in you in this exact moment? I’ve written more about “why now” in the context of pitching elsewhere, but it’s interesting to see that surface.
  2. Decks are getting shorter; last year, the average successful deck had 19 slides. Now the average is 16. Do more with less, get to the point.
  3. Financially, the world is a little bit wobbly right now, so investors want to see decks that show that founders know how to optimize for break-even, then profitability. You can always spend more money if you want to grow faster, but the business basics are getting more important.
  4. Financials overall are getting more scrutiny. There’s a stark change: Investors are spending 60% more time on the financials section of a pitch deck compared to a year ago. Get it right.
  5. Investors are getting weary about AI . . . If you’re going to slap AI/ML on a deck, it had better be because leaning on new technologies gives you a real, measurable advantage for your startup, not because it is the newest, hottest thing.

Haje Jan Kamps



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