Venture Slowdown? New Data Shows Dip in Global Funding in 2022

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Venture Slowdown? New Data Shows Dip in Global Funding in 2022
Photo by Aidan Bartos on Unsplash

Global venture capital funding fell during the first quarter of 2022—reinforcing sentiments that the startup sector is now coming back down to Earth after the stratospheric highs of 2021.

Total venture funding hit $160 billion last quarter, according to new Crunchbase data, declining by more than 13% from the fourth quarter of 2021, when quarterly VC funding peaked at an all-time high of $184 billion.


Recent global venture funding by quarter. Recent global venture funding by quarter.Crunchbase

During the first quarter, early-stage deals (defined by Crunchbase as Series A and B funding rounds) suffered the greatest decline, falling 18% from the previous quarter to $51.9 billion. Late-stage funding (defined as Series C and onward) also fell 12% quarterly, to $97.9 billion. Additionally, the number of new unicorns—private firms valued at $1 billion-plus—slipped to 129 companies last quarter, decelerating both on a quarterly (146 in the fourth quarter) and annual (132 in the first quarter of 2021) basis.

Seed funding proved an exception to these downward trends, rising slightly—by about $200 million—from the prior quarter, to $10.3 billion in Q1 of 2022.

Recent global seed funding by quarter. Recent global seed funding by quarter.Crunchbase

This dampening of the private capital markets corresponds with that of the public stock market, which only recently rebounded after a very rocky start to the year triggered by inflation concerns, rising interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Though the numbers reflect a global venture slowdown, Crunchbase noted that funding remains at historically high levels, with the first quarter still exceeding every quarter of 2020 in dollar volume. “It’s too soon to call it a puncturing of the bubble,” Crunchbase senior data editor Gené Teare cautioned in the report.

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