For my first blog post I wanted to do something a little more than just push out a list of things I intend or aspire to do and then dare myself to follow up on them.  I wanted to put something out there that I find interesting and I hope you will to.  With my two sentence preamble over, let’s get started.

Earlier this year I started was becoming more curious about startup funding activity and wanted to follow the money trail more closely.  That endeavor eventually led me to and their data set.  Without going into every gory detail regarding how to access this data set I was able to fetch enough data such that I believe I could extract something interesting from it.

This being my first post I’m going to keep it a little light and focus on the capital pattern in two key locations; Seed and Series A.  Thanks to James Cheshire at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and his treemapbrewer.r script (awesome!) I was able to make a couple of nice tree maps of the first quarter of 2012 and compare it to the same quarter in 2013.  For those unfamiliar the treemaps, the ones below are grouped by the type (Seed, Venture, etc) and within the round are sized and colored by the size, or amount, of the round.  Lighter colors equal less capital.

A little bit about the data, there were 1418 valid samples for Q12012, with 239 values with no amount given.  The Q12013 data is similar in that there are 1114 samples with valid amounts with 180 samples which did not give the amount of the funding.  What you see below are only data with valid amounts given.  If anyone has opinions regarding how to handle the funding activities with no amounts given please drop me a line.  Quartiles, means, I’m all ears.

First Quarter Funding 2012

In the 2012 data set the interesting case that stands out is the large debt round attributed to DIRECTV.  Without that sample there’s only $486M in the Debt segment and will be looking forward to drilling down further on what’s left.

I’m only getting started “bending” the data around, but getting back to the the Seed and Series A funding the Seed rounds Q12013 had 329 samples to Q12013’s 399.  The good news is the mean for Seed funding is up in 2013.  The mean Seed round was $528K in 2012 compared to $963K in 2013.  Again, I’m excluding data that’s unreported, but there doesn’t seem to be a reason to dispair if you have a pitch and are looking for Seed money.

First Quarter Funding 2013

My last note is on the Series A funding for the two quarters.  The sample sizes being similar, Q12012’s 208 to the 191 issued in Q12013.  The mean Series A numbers are again up for Q12013 coming in at $7.8M over Q12012’s $6.1M.

I’m not going to draw any conclusions regarding the Series A crunch as I’ve not gone deep on the entire data set.  I think the quarter over quarter data does speak to the notion that there is capital to be had if you have the right pitch and show that your providing value to your customers (hint: you should have some).  I’m also not going to draw any conclusions regarding the nearly $6B drop in funding other than to say there are probably other samples like DIRECTV that will skew the data set but plan on looking at all of this in more depth.

More when I have it folks, thanks for reading.


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