VC Engagement With Startup Pitch Decks Hit Record High in Q4 — Report

By Adriaan Brits | Wednesday, January 12, 2022 | Finance, Startup

Secure document sharing startup Dropbox DocSend has published a new report that breaks down investor and funding activity in the venture capital (VC) market for Q4 2021 and full-year 2021.

Man standing behind "Pitch."

Strong VC Activity Across the Board

The report, which was based on Pitch Deck Interest metrics, indicated substantial year-over-year (YoY) gains in the VC market. According to the report, VC engagement with startup pitch decks hit a record high in Q4, surging by 55% YoY and 44% throughout the entire 2021 year.

VC investors are now forced to move quickly when identifying and funding new startup companies as a result of the ever-growing capital being invested into early-stage startup companies. Consequently, VC spent less time reviewing pitch desks in Q4, hitting an all-time low of 2 minutes, 28 seconds for “time spent on deck,” the report showed. This marks a 12% drop from Q4 2020.

Via its Pitch Deck Interest, the startup company monitors pitch deck activity to evaluate investors’ interest in providing funding and completing business deals, as well as founders’ need for funding. Some of the key metrics Pitch Deck Interest analyzes include:

  • The number of pitch decks being sent out to business investors by startup founders,
  • The number of pitch decks being reviewed,
  • The amount of time investors spend reviewing pitch decks.

"2021 was so busy compared to 2020 that even this year's seasonal lulls were higher than last year's all-time highs. As we close out the year, VCs are racing each other to get through pitch decks and sprinting to solidify deals," said Russ Heddleston, co-founder and Head of Commercial of Dropbox DocSend.

"2021 further solidified the role of pitch decks in the fundraising process. While there was somewhat of a return to in-person meetings in the past year, it's clear that the pitch deck has become both the calling card and the business plan for founders. VCs are quickly scanning decks and looking to go from pitch deck to term sheet faster than ever,” added Heddleston.

Fueled by excessive liquidity provided by central banks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of dollars were poured into VC funds last year. As a result, startup companies were able to increase pitching and fundraising. The overall number of startup founders looking for business funding surged by 33% in Q4, compared to the same quarter in 2020.

In addition, the interest of business investors in pitch decks also soared by 18% from Q3, while VC engagement climbed to a new record high in the first week of November. This translated into a new record of an average number of interactions per pitch deck (43.6 interactions), which is 67% more than the annual average.

Founded in 2013, the startup company develops a secure document sharing and tracking solution that allows companies and organizations to easily and securely share key business documents. The startup company was acquired by Dropbox in March 2021 and was rebranded to Dropbox DocSend earlier this month.

Summary

Dropbox DocSend’s new report on founder activity in the VC market for Q4 2021 and full-year 2021 showed a 55% increase in VC engagement year-over-year. The report also showed that VCs moved significantly faster when reviewing pitch decks, spending an all-time-low of 2 minutes, 28 seconds per deck.


About the Author

Headshot of Adriaan Brits

An analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in advanced analytics and media.

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