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Several uncertainties have hit investor confidence in startups: Study

The speculations of a pandemic re-run have put businesses under extraordinary economic strain as they deal with safety regulations, supply chain interruptions, and, in some cases, complete shutdowns. The uncertainty of the situation has had a profound impact on investors, who have become more concerned with profitability and sustainability when making decisions. According to GlobalData, the volume of funding deals in India declined by 62.5 percent (year-on-year) in January 2023, while the value of deals fell by 80.3 percent. The impact of this uncertainty on investor confidence in startups has been felt across the board, with venture capitalists becoming more cautious in their investments.

This makes assessing the probable level of success of a startup difficult for investors, as many businesses’ estimates have been substantially skewed because of the destruction. Furthermore, the economic downturn caused by the pandemic has resulted in a general decrease in venture capital investment, as investors weigh the risk of their investments against the potential reward.

In addition to this, the Russia-Ukraine war has created enormous uncertainty and has a big influence on investor confidence in startups. Investors may be concerned about the security of their investments as a result of the war. Furthermore, as economic sanctions increase, investors have fewer resources at their disposal, making investing in startups appear too risky. Furthermore, the ongoing conflict has caused significant volatility in global markets, further reducing investor confidence in startups. According to a joint study published by Bain and Indian Venture and Alternate Capital Association (IVCA), the conflict has led to interest rate hikes, uncertain capital markets, and fears of a future recession soured this momentum, and startup financing crashed down to $25 billion in 2022 and experts further predict that 2023 will be no consolation either.

Given the uncertain climate, it has become difficult for investors to forecast what type of business will succeed in the long run. Venture capitalists are more cautious of costly and time-consuming investments in areas that have proven to be or may prove to be a ‘trend’ or are likely to be severely impacted by the worldwide pandemic. Furthermore, the emergence of new technologies and competencies in the startup scene adds to the uncertainty, and investors are frequently unsure of which new entrants will be able to make an impact.

Subhashis Kar, Founder & CEO of Techbooze Consultancy Services comments, “One way investors are dealing with unpredictability is by making more informed decisions about the type, magnitude, and timing of their investments. To reduce risk, many investors invest lesser amounts over a longer period. Furthermore, in an effort to reduce the risk of similar fates for various startups and companies, investors are opting to invest in startups only after extensive due diligence and careful consideration of the futuristic expectations.”

This decline in investor trust has presented an opportunity for entrepreneurs, as they can discover new and innovative ways to attract investors and compete for capital without compromising their goals or strategy. Proof of user traction, adequate legal frameworks, extensive market growth plans, and exhibiting a long-term vision will go a long way towards providing prospective investors with the reassurance they require to consider investing in startups in the wake of the pandemic.

“While the uncertainty has a negative impact on investor confidence in startups, there are some silver linings as well. Many investors, for example, are experimenting with alternative sources of sourcing deals, which have proven fruitful as a result of a greater emphasis on digitalization and automation. Furthermore, investors are taking advantage of low-interest rates to borrow for investments that will benefit them in the long run,” adds Subhashis.The pandemic and war-related uncertainty have had a significant impact on investor confidence in startups. Because of the changing nature of the economic climate, growing levels of competition, and the advent of new technologies, the landscape has become increasingly complex, making it difficult for venture capitalists to identify which startup investments will yield a decent return on investment. Both investors and entrepreneurs must remain vigilant and change their tactics accordingly. Investors must consider the long-term competitive landscape, investment prospects, and revenue outlook in addition to the short-term. Similarly, entrepreneurs must develop solid business plans that can withstand economic unpredictability and ensure that their operations are resilient and their finances are secure.

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