Fundraising trends for 2024: Get to the point, explain ‘why now’

Thanksgiving is long behind us, so unless you’re already in due diligence with a VC, you may as well pack up your fundraising knapsack and chill out until the holidays are over.

But this is an opportunity, too. The quiet weeks ahead are the perfect time to polish your pitch deck and perfect your pitch before kicking things back off in January.

According to a new report on the early-stage fundraising trends of 2023 by DocSend, things are pretty bleak for young startups. At the seed stage, founders have had to contact more investors but ended up with fewer meetings, pointing to an increasingly competitive fundraising environment.

The report shows a correlation between the number of investors contacted and both the number of meetings held and the amount of funding raised. Many seed-stage startups in the dataset managed to secure a significant number of meetings, and consequently, raised capital, by reaching out to fewer than 50 investors. In contrast, founders who contacted more than 80 investors were a lot less successful.

There may be some noise in the data, however: AI’s popularity and availability has made it easier for founders to reach out to a lot of VCs (anecdotally, that seems to be what the VCs are observing as well). The best advice? Make sure you know how VC works and what an investment thesis is.

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