Raising capital is never easy, and the past few years have been particularly tough for startups. But there are signs that the tide may be starting to turn, as some founders are starting to get optimistic about their fundraising chances again. But not everyone.
A new January Ventures survey of 437 pre-seed and seed-stage founders found that 57% of early-stage founders are more optimistic about their ability to raise capital now compared to nine months ago. In 2022, 43% of founders were optimistic and 54% were optimistic amid 2021’s froth. But when you dig into that 57%, a clear demographic divide emerges.
Nearly 70% of male founders recorded that they were optimistic about raising in 2023. Male founders are more optimistic about raising funding this year compared to any other year since the survey started five years ago. In comparison, only 45% of women founders felt the same, making 2023 one of the lowest years regarding optimism from female founders since the survey started. Respondents were almost evenly split 50/50 male and female founders.
Women also feel particularly adversely affected this year: More than 70% of women responded that they felt their gender was holding them back as an entrepreneur.