The low point for European startups looking to raise money in 2023


We are impatient here at, so while we wait for tidy quarterly corporate reports from major startup databases, we’re also conducting our own searches to get a first-hand look at the state of the fundraising world. As it’s the last day of Q1, we’re too nervous to wait any longer to see what’s going on in Europe. Let’s take an early look.

In the wake of Techstars’ decision to exit the Swedish market, we took a look at the startup scene in Sweden earlier this week after a look at what’s happening in the United States. Those were useful exercises, but we need a broader data set to really get our bearings. So let’s look across Europe and then look at the three largest venture markets in the region: the UK, Germany and France.

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The numbers are fascinating and can be read both bullish and bearish. The negative view is simple: European company totals are down from a year ago. The more positive perspective is also worth considering: if we turn our gaze to just the last few quarters, it seems that business has finished contracting.

Of course, we’ll have a lot more data and charts when the Q1 2023 data drops completely, but we can get a head start. Let’s talk about Europe.

Within Europe’s Q1 2023 venture results

European startups raised $28.85 billion in Q1 2023 from 2,274 deals, according to preliminary PitchBook facts. That’s down from the first quarter of 2021, but we already know (and you may be tired of hearing by now) that the 2021 corporate year was an outlier. However, the figure also represents a year-on-year decline, which may come as a surprise: In the first quarter of 2022, the downturn had already started in the US.