Startup CEOs predict a funding level bump in 2013, but VCs aren’t so sure

Predictions on how U.S. VC investment dollars will fare by industry sector in 2013.

It’s never easy trying to figure out what will happen in the venture capital business. But, nonetheless, it is predictions time. The National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource today revealed results from a survey of more than 600 VCs and CEOs, polling the business leaders on issues around IPOs, M&A and investment levels.

According to the survey results, 47 percent of VCs expect funding levels to decrease in 2013, but as the chart below shows, the potential beneficiaries of that cash, startup CEOs, aren’t quite as pessimistic. The healthcare IT and business IT sectors will be the hottest arenas next year. (Correction: The numbers have been updated).

Percentage of VCs and CEOs who expect funding levels to increase, decrease or stay the same in 2013.

We’ve been tracking a significant uptick in venture capital dollars during the fourth quarter in Washington state, buoyed by investments in companies such as Zulily, Qumulo, Smartsheet, Nanostring and Limeade. And some of the folks I’ve been talking to in the venture capital industry are quite optimistic that the momentum will continue into the first part of the year, with several smaller deals in the works.

There also remains some hope around the IPO market, with Seattle area companies such as INRIX, Apptio and Tableau considered hopefuls to make the leap into the public markets. According to today’s survey, forty percent of VCs said they expected to see more IPOs during 2013 than they did this year. Forty seven percent of respondents said they expected more tech IPOs, the leading category over clean tech and life sciences.

The last tech IPO in the Seattle area was Zillow, which priced shares in July 2011.

Here’s more from NVCA President Mark Heesen on the state of the industry:

“While anecdotally we have been hearing about ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ from venture capitalists and CEOs alike, this year’s survey reminds us that we are not out of the woods yet. Ongoing uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff clearly impacted respondents’ outlooks for the coming year. The influence the federal government has over the growth or stagnation of our industry has never been greater. Lawmakers need to understand that their brinkmanship politics is hurting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which has been grasping for positive news for the last four years. The potential for growth is palpable, with positive forecasts for startup jobs, technology innovation, and global activity. But to realize this promise we must get on the right track in Washington, and quickly.”

And here’s a look at all of the slides from the NVCA and Dow Jones report.
Venture Capital predictions for 2013

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.a.bird Aaron Bird

    “According to the survey results, 47 percent of VCs expect funding levels to rise in 2013″ Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but doesn’t the graph show that 47% of VCs expect funding levels to DECREASE?

    Also, WRT the title: “VCs predict a funding level bump in 2013, but startup CEOs aren’t so sure”, doesn’t the survey show the opposite (CEOs think it will rise, VCs not so sure)?

    • johnhcook

      Thanks Aaron. I twisted things up in the headline and story. My mistake, and I corrected above. Thanks for letting me know, and sorry about the error.