One year has made a big difference in terms of funding for tech startups as unicorn worship has given way to cockroach austerity. While tech ecosystems don’t seem to be heading for a collapse along the lines of 2000, the money isn’t flowing like it was in mid-2015.
Funding for U.S. startups in this year’s first quarter fell 25 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 to $13.9 billion, the largest quarterly decline on record since the dot-com bust, according to (warning: paywall) data from Dow Jones VentureSource. The numbers of Q1 deals hit a four-year low of 884.
Also in the first quarter, the median value of U.S. startups plummeted to $18.5 million after hitting a peak of $61.5 million in last year’s third quarter, according to the same report. Comparable data aren’t available for Canada, but the trend is clear.
Still, the weak patch doesn’t mean the well has gone dry. Here are some of the most-read stories of the past month about funding for Canadian startups:
You might well use Bench for in your own organization, so this is good news for the future. Ian Crosby, CEO of Bench, says that the Series B funding will remove constraints and allow them to “undergo rapid employee growth.”
Meanwhile, you’ve probably already used ThirdShelf without realizing it. ThirdShelf’s USP is that they allow independent retailers to retain their own customer data, rather than making them partner or share their lists. If you want a glimpse of the future of the checkout line, the article also talks about ThirdShelf’s work with developing bots that can gauge how and when to engage each customer.
More than just the latest contender for ‘most Canadian startup name ever’, Hockeystick helps link startups with their investors, enabling a free flow of financial data. This interview with Raymond Luk, the company’s founder, shows how startups need to get over with their hesitance to share, and the advantage Hockeystick has over competitors that rely on surveys alone.
Lastly, here’s a list of hard data. Startups from Vancouver to the Maritimes (that’s PEI and Fredericton in there) are pulling in a good deal of angel and venture capital. Topping the list is Etobicoke-based Flipp at $61 million, who create digital versions of flyers and in their well-rated app.