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VC Survey Results
January 2017
1
Mark Suster, @msuster
Chang Xu, @_changxu
“It’s a great time to be a startup raising money”
2
Mark Suster, March 2017
3
Let’s get the good news out of the way! VCs are dramatically more optimistic about
funding startups than they were a yea...
4
VCs are clearly more excited about the investment environment than they
were a year ago with almost no VCs expecting to ...
VC experienced
a “mild winter” in 2016
5
6
Heading into 2016 many VC’s had been forecasting a slower investment pace but
that didn’t materialize for most with 2/3r...
7
And while valuations have cooled off slightly it has much less significant than
the industry had expected. 30% expected ...
8
Amongst the more mature startups who have raised a lot of capital VCs are clearly
guiding startups to cut costs and valu...
9
The biggest shift is sentiment amongst VCs is that last year they were pushing for
valuation drops. Most believe the mar...
10
VCs aren’t expecting 2017 to be a floodgate of IPOs for unicorns with more realistic
options getting out via M&A or res...
11
VCs attribute the “mild winter” to the low interest rates and also the huge
influx of capital from big funds, new funds...
VCs expect to be raising less money
themselves in 2017
12
13
2016 was a huge year for VCs looking to raise money from LPs. Many expect 2017 will cool a bit
or keep pace. Very few e...
14
Almost half of VCs think it will be harder to fundraise from LPs in 2017 - but
this is strangely at odds with what LPs ...
15
VCs who make the effort to reach out internationally have seen a dramatic increase in interest from foreign
sources of ...
VC views on
emerging investment areas
16
17
Most VCs are most excited about AI & Machine Learning as their most
important investment theme for the coming 5-10 year...
18
VCs believe there are many near-term opportunities are in AI & Machine Learning
and seem to feel AR/VC + Blockchain mar...
How did VCs feel
about Trump — before
the inauguration?
19
20
VCs we polled in an anonymous survey were very anti-Trump. One brave soul did feel he was the right person to lead
our ...
21
Two-thirds of VCs were shared some concerns about Trump’s social policies affecting the startup
ecosystem with 20% deep...
22
On policy issues VCs overwhelming shared concerns in this survey and at the Upfront
Summit in person that Trump’s polic...
23
However, two-thirds of VCs polled felt that in the end Trump wasn’t likely to
affect the industry too strongly. Maybe t...
Appendix
Annual Upfront VC Survey Participants
115 respondents in January 2017*
159 respondents in January 2016
24
* In 20...
2017 VC respondent demographics (I)
25
Fund type
0
20
40
60
Angel Seed VC (Early) VC (Mid) VC (Late) PE
1
99
38
54
2
Fund ...
2017 VC respondent demographics (II)
26
Survey respondent geography
0
30
60
SF/Bay Area SoCal New York Boston Other US ROW...
2016 VC respondent demographics (I)
27
New investments per partner per year (excl. follow-on’s)
0
20
40
60
1 2 3-4 5-10 10...
2016 VC respondent demographics (II)
28 Source: Upfront Ventures survey of VCs (N=159), Jan 2016
Survey respondent geograp...
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17
Most VCs are most excited about AI & Machine Learning as their most
important investment theme for the coming 5-10 years.
AI / ML IoT AR / VR Blockchain Bots-based
2%
9%
20%
9%
58%
15%
16%
23%42%
27%
30%
42%
23%
30%
8%
40%
26%33%
18%
7% 13%7%1%1%
Deeply skeptical
Too hyped
Similar to other areas
Some interesting investments
Most important for next 5-10yrs
Q. How do you feel about the following investment areas?
Source: Upfront Ventures survey of VCs (N=115), Jan 2017
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