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$27 Billion Up in Smoke – That's How Much Cash the 3,200 Startups That Failed This Year Had Raised, Says PitchBook There were a string of high-profile startup failures in 2023.

By Kai Xiang Teo

Key Takeaways

  • Just over $27 billion in venture funding was raised by startups that failed this year, per NY Times.
  • That figure is close to the amount raised by startups in the third quarter of 2023, according to EY.
  • The cash burn figure excludes public companies and acquisitions.
imagedepotpro | Getty Images via Business Insider
Some 3,200 startups failed this year, according to PitchBook.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Startups are having a pretty grim year.

Just over $27 billion in venture funding was raised by the 3,200 startups that failed in 2023, The New York Times reported, citing figures from startup tracker PitchBook.

That's close to the amount raised by startups from venture capital in the third quarter of 2023 ($29.8 billion), according to accounting firm EY.

However, the $27.2 billion figure likely underrepresents the true scale of the cash burn, as many companies will have failed without any fanfare. And notably, the tally doesn't include major losses from public companies or those that were acquired.

For instance, coworking company WeWork raised more than $11 billion before its IPO, and filed for bankruptcy in November. And college financial aid startup Frank was acquired by JPMorgan in 2021 for $175 million, before being shuttered in January over fraudulent customer figures.

This year's seen a string of high-profile startup failures. Pizza startup Zume, which raised nearly $500 million, shut down in June after struggling to make its pizza automation technology work.

Convoy, the freight startup that was once hailed as the "Uber for trucking" and raised more than $1 billion, shut down in November.

This year's startup troubles led Tom Loverro, a general partner at investment firm IVP, to call it a "mass extinction event" for startups.

These troubles stem partly from the decline in funding. There's been a drought in VC funding compared with 2022, with $104.5 billion raised in the first nine months of the year versus $183.9 billion in the same period last year, per EY.

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