SAN FRANCISCO, May 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- DocSend, a secure document sharing platform, today released data that showed venture capital investor interest and engagement in startup pitch decks was up 16 percent in April, after plunging in the month of March. Through its platform, DocSend is continually measuring the quality and engagement of venture capital investors that are reviewing pitch decks from startups around the world.
The Pitch Deck Interest Metrics are part of the DocSend Startup Index and measure activity via three key indicators of investor engagement. The insights help startup founders better understand fundraising conditions, especially in the volatile COVID-19 landscape. The Index anonymizes, aggregates and compiles metrics in real-time and reports on changes via interactive charts on a weekly basis, focusing on three core metrics:
- Pitch Deck Interest - the average number of pitch deck interactions for each founder happening on the DocSend platform, which can serve as a proxy for demand.
- Time Spent - the average time spent per pitch deck by potential investors.
- Founder Links Created - the average number of pitch deck links each founder is creating on the DocSend platform, which can serve as a proxy for supply.
DocSend is the leading secure document sharing platform for startup founders to send their pitch decks and other due diligence documents to new and current investors. In 2019 alone, 10,000 startups signed up to use DocSend to raise capital. Every week the DocSend Startup Index measures the interactions between tens of thousands of startups and investors.
The real-time metrics collected on the platform are both objective and completely confidential. DocSend views the data from a macro-level to help startups better understand the investment landscape.
"Securing funding is one of the hardest things a startup will do, even in the best of times. So founders need any insight they can get to fine-tune their fundraising approach. The good news is that investors are still actively reviewing pitch decks," said Russ Heddleston, DocSend Co-founder and CEO. "We're entering a time of heightened capital discipline across the board, so we wanted to share our company's data to give founders a better understanding of what's going on in the heads of investors and increase their odds of closing deals."
With the company's unique insight into the overall activity taking place in the fundraising world, the Index is able to provide a data-driven historical snapshot of pitch deck activity during the COVID-19 crisis. Investor behavior can be categorized into three distinct time periods in 2020 as firms adapted to uncertainty.
January 1 – February 29, 2020
The early 2020 Pitch Deck Interest metrics saw the year off to a better start than in 2019. After the first week of January, the Index metrics showed interest up year-over-year, sometimes as much as 19%. This matches the pace of founders, who were far more active in January and February than they were in previous years. The amount of links founders were creating to their pitch decks peaked at a 41% increase year-over-year during the week of January 27. According to the data, 2020 was on pace to match the fundraising activity of 2018.
March 1 – 31, 2020
With the announcement that all non-essential businesses in California were to close in mid-March, it comes as no surprise that overall Pitch Deck Interest for the first two weeks of March dropped nearly 12% as compared to the first two weeks of February and was down 11% year-over-year.
As the nation went into lockdown, both pitch deck interest and number of links founders were creating plummeted. The week of March 16 saw pitch deck interest down over 20% and links created down over 21% from their 2020 height in February. VCs were not only adapting to social-distancing orders, many were also spending more time with their portfolio companies as the COVID-19 crisis intensified. In fact, thus far the top four worst days of 2020 for Pitch Deck Interest were: March 19th, 6th, 12th and 20th.
As VCs adjusted to working from home, Pitch Deck Interest increased slightly in the second half of March, rebounding to just 5% down year-over-year.
April 1 – 30, 2020
Through the month of April, VC interest in pitch decks rose steadily, peaking at 25% up year-over-year the week of April 20, as investors continued to adjust to the crisis. On the other hand, the overall number of links being created by founders was down by 7.6% in the week of April 6, signaling that many founders had either paused or suspended their fundraising efforts.
The beginning of the week of April 13 saw a robust rebound in founder links created, up 37% from the week of March 16. The month of April ended with higher rates of interest from VCs, up 16% year-over-year overall.
Seven of the top 10 best days for Pitch Deck Interest in 2020 were in the month of April.
The Next Phase For Founders
As shelter in place and stay-at-home orders begin to ease in some states, DocSend will continue to measure VC appetite for pitch decks and funding activity across the board. With many offices likely to remain closed for the foreseeable future out of an abundance of caution, virtual engagement between founders and VCs is going to be the new normal.
DocSend updates its pitch deck data every week on Mondays. Users can access the data and analysis free of charge on DocSend's website. DocSend has also made available a list of VCs who are actively looking at deals and offering term sheets in their Active VC List.
DocSend enables companies to share business-critical documents with ease and get real-time actionable feedback. With DocSend's security and control, startup founders, investors, executives, and business development professionals can build business partnerships that have a lasting impact. Over 12,000 customers of all sizes use DocSend today. Learn more at docsend.com.
104 West Partners for DocSend