Jul 8, 2023 - Economy

Signs of hope for late-stage valuations

Data: Carta; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Carta; Chart: Axios Visuals

Median pre-money Series C, D and E valuations for U.S. startups showed signs of bouncing back — or at least not falling anymore — in Q2, according to new data from Carta.

Why it matters: Since the downturn started about 18 months ago, late-stage startups have borne the brunt of ripples from the private market, given their proximity to public-market valuations.

Yes, but: This is only one quarter's worth of data, so don't start partying like it's 1999 yet. It's unclear if this pattern will hold; it could just be a blip (more on that below).

  • Also: This data only includes Carta customers and not the entire universe of private venture-backed companies.

Yes, but: Global venture dollars continue shrinking

Global venture capital dollars invested
Data:Crunchbase; Chart: Tory Lysik /Axios Visuals

Despite a small uptick in Q1 this year, the most recent quarter saw global venture dollars invested continuing to shrink, per Crunchbase data.

Be smart: Often these anomalies are caused by a couple of big funding rounds that have nothing to do with marketwide trends.

  • Adding to the evidence: Crunchbase's data shows that the deal count shrunk in Q1 compared to the prior quarter, and shrunk again in Q2.

Meanwhile: The Asia bright spots

Global VC exit activity, by region
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Defying all other trends, Asia continued to dominate exit dollars during Q2, a trend going back more than a year now, according to Pitchbook.

Between the lines: Similarly to global VC dollars invested, this appears to be happening because of a number of outsized exits in Asia.

  • When looking at exits by deal count, the data is less weighted toward Asia, with North America and Europe each having higher counts.

Meanwhile: Asia is also leading in venture fundraising in dollar terms (see chart at the bottom).

  • But again, this is likely because of some new mega-funds in the region, as the fund count is more neck-and-neck with North American venture fundraising.
Global VC fundraising activity, by region
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals
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