In the first quarter of 2001, early-stage, pre-IPO companies raised less money than they have since the second quarter of 1999. According to the "PricewaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree Survey in Partnership With VentureOne," total equity financings in venture-backed companies fell to $10.1 billion in the first quarter of 2001, a 40 percent drop from the last quarter of 2000. That represents the steepest quarter-to-quarter drop in history in terms of absolute dollars.
What does that mean for companies seeking financing? The number of businesses receiving early-stage funding dropped from 453 in fourth quarter 2000 to 235 in first quarter 2001, a 48 percent decline. Yet the median dollar amount each business received fell only 13 percent, from $10.9 million to $9.5 million per company (see below for first quarter investments for the last three years). So while it's more difficult for companies to get backing, those that do, get plenty of it to grow rapidly. Plus, industry sectors like networking, telecommunications, consumer and business services and software continue to attract huge amounts of funding compared to mid-1990s levels.
The dramatic drop-off in investing doesn't necessarily
indicate a significant economic downturn. Setting aside the
Internet gold rush of the last two years, the current climate is
still more aggressive than historical norms and will likely remain
that way. The bottom line is that entrepreneurs need more than just
a new idea to get funding.
Venture Capital Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Equity Financing ($M)
firms, corporations, private placement and individuals into companies that
have received at least one round of professional venture capital.
in Partnership with VentureOne"