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The Latest Trends in Early Stage Startup Investment

Mihir Gandhi

General opinion seems to be that there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Venture capital funding in 2014 reached almost $24 billion - its highest levels in 13 years.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that early startup companies are having an easier time of securing investment. Most of the capital invested is going to more established companies with more proven track records.

It’s true that there is a bigger pot than before available for start up companies, but there is still a significant disparity between the percentage going to early stage businesses and that earmarked for later stage investments.

In order to tap into the larger, but still comparatively small, pool of investment funding, early stage startups should take note of some of the emerging trends that are influencing investment.

The Numbers are Growing

The late 20th century trend that saw the marketplace dominated by massive corporates is starting to give way to the rising popularity of smaller companies. It’s a trend that’s taking place across a wide number of industries – from the high tech startups of Silicon Valley to the car industry – and is expected to set the tone for a while yet.

Startups are Becoming Cheaper to Get Off the Ground

It is cheaper than ever before to start a business. The main reason for this is that technology and infrastructure are cheaper and easier to come by. The increasing availability of white-label solutions and apps for all sorts of business administration functions – such as accounting, user testing, etc. – have greatly simplified procedures and reduced costs.

The effect of this phenomenon is that failure costs less. This means more entrepreneurs will have the courage to try out their ideas on the markets.

Investors are Becoming Easier to Reach

Angel investors are better organized than ever before, and are more readily accessible to entrepreneurs. In the past, entrepreneurs had to tap into their personal networks in order to try and reach investors. Now, however, online communities such as AngelList, provide a platform for startups to post their business ideas in the hope of matching up with an investor who likes their business.

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