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April 18, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Kauffman Fellows generally upbeat in the group’s first-ever venture sentiment survey

Fifty-five percent of respondents believe the macroeconomic conditions will improve in 2024.

Kauffman Fellows is a global network of 882 individuals from 765 venture capital (VC) firms, and 86 percent of the Fellows are either General Partners or Managing Partners/Directors. These Fellows and their teams have invested in more than 90,000 entrepreneurs and harvested more than 27,000 exits.

The organization recently released its first-ever venture sentiment survey, and the results are generally positive. Comprising insights from 262 emerging and established fund managers, who collectively oversee $250 billion USD in assets, the report was gathered between Q4 of 2023 and Q1 of 2024. It is described as delivering “promising prospects for founders, while at the same time it highlights uncertainty for General Partners in their fundraising efforts, as well as for the liquidity expectations of limited partners.”

The report is broken down into five key sections (survey demographics, macroeconomic conditions, fundraising, deal flow, and exits). Overall, there is a marked improvement in the sentiment analysis comparing 2024 to the previous year, indicating that the VC winter is over.

  • Better Macroeconomic Environment: Fifty-five percent of respondents believe the macroeconomic conditions will improve in 2024, while 30 percent believe it will not change from 2023, and the rest believe it will deteriorate.
  • Challenging Fundraising Prospects, Yet Confidence Is High: While 97 percent of respondents believe that fundraising in this environment will be somewhat to extremely challenging this year, half of them are confident they will reach their fundraising goals in 2024.
  • For Entrepreneurs at Least, Winter Is Over: While in 2023 more than 50 percent of VCs invested less than the year before, this trend is expected to completely reverse in 2024.
  • For Limited Partners, It Is Still Unclear if They Will Get Liquidity This Year: About 30 percent of VCs believe 2024 will be a very challenging year for exits. Yet 40 percent of all respondents believe that there is a market for acquisitions.

The report can be downloaded at this link.

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