First Round Capital Releases Annual State of Startups Survey

This year's survey dives into the fundraising climate, exit environment and startup challenges. Overall, founders retain their inherent optimism.

“Founders are optimistic about IPOs…for the fourth year running,” according to an annual survey released by First Round Capital, a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs and companies.

“Founders have been bullish about the IPO market every year since the State of Startups survey began (four years ago). With unicorns like Uber, Slack and Palantir expected to go public soon, this year is no exception. 78% of respondents predict the pace for public offerings won’t let up in 2019.”

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, when it comes to daily operations founders continue to say yes to messaging tools to improve workflow, collaboration and productivity. “Naysayers may still believe that real-time messaging tools are a real time suck. But 70% of founders say tools like Slack and Yammer increase productivity. That should come as no surprise, since 98% use them.”

This year’s survey of 529 founders dives into mainstay questions on the fundraising climate, exit environment and the challenges of operating a startup. Overall, the survey suggests that founders retain their inherent optimism: year on year, they’ve never wavered in their belief that now is as good a time as ever to start a company.

Key findings include:


  • Many founders believe technology trends including VR/AR (63.8%), Bots (51.4%), Wearables (48.9%) and IOT(47.6)  are overhyped.

  • Approximately forty percent (40.4%) of founders agree that hiring and recruitment will inevitably be impacted by advancements in AI and machine learning. The University of Oxford estimates 47% of jobs will fall victim to automation and 62.9% of founders agree or believe that figure should be higher.

  • The fundraising process for the most recent round took 4 or more months for 29% of founders. Meanwhile 59.8% of founders pitched 11 or more firms.

  • Founders report that ageism is a problem in the fundraising process – 37.6% of founders note investor bias on the basis of age, followed closely by education level and alma matter (32.1%).

  • Incubators and accelerator programs are recommended by 85.8% of founders surveyed.


For more survey results view the full report below.



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