2021 DocSend Startup Index: Pitch Deck Interest

Tracking pitch deck interest and engagement for the startup community.

We know there’s currently a lot of uncertainty in the startup community right now, especially among founders who are currently fundraising, or are looking to fundraise in the coming months. To help gauge VC appetite for pitch decks, we’ve begun tracking three key metrics using the DocSend Startup Index in 2020-2021.

We’re looking at the amount of pitch decks potential investors are reviewing, how long they’re spending reading those decks, and how many pitch decks founders are sending out. We’ve created interactive charts for each of these metrics below, and will be providing weekly analysis around what these mean for the current fundraising landscape. However, some VCs will be more active than others based on their current portfolio and areas of investment. If you want to know if a specific VC is currently reviewing and making deals, check out our Active VC List.

Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions

Our main Pitch Deck Interest metric looks at the average number of pitch deck interactions for each founder happening on our platform right now. We will track this metric over time to show the health of current fundraising activity.

Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent

We’re measuring the average time spent per pitch deck by potential investors. This offers a look at how long VCs are spending reviewing deals. As they get busy, the time spent tends to go down. We expect to see a lot of fluctuation in this number over the coming weeks.

Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created

We’re measuring how many links each founder is creating. Lots of founder activity means lots of decks being sent out. The less links created, the less pitch decks investors are receiving.

For weekly updates on these metrics, subscribe to The Weekly Index.

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What it Means

*Analysis updated every Monday for the previous week

Updated: May 10, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -5.21%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.18%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +11.17%

Investors pumped the brakes again last week and were slightly less active than the week before: VC deck interactions were down 5.21%. Investor activity last week prolonged the volatility we’ve seen since the index hit its most recent all-time high around mid-April. It’s important to point out, though, that this volatility still falls within the domain of “high activity,” meaning that VCs are still quite active overall, both compared to earlier points in 2021 and compared to previous years. For example, last week’s activity was down just 10.78% from the mid-April high but was still 53.37% higher than last year at this point. While slowing down their activity, investors were also slightly more efficient with their time last week: the average time on deck now stands at 2 minutes, 44 seconds (just over 4% faster than at the start of 2021). We predicted last week that founder activity would jump up again after a quick dip, and that’s exactly what happened: founder links created were up 11.17% on average last week. Founder activity continues to mirror VC activity with one or two weeks’ lag, so we can predict that the links created index might dip in the next week or so. But will investor volatility persist? Check back next Monday to find out.

Updated: May 3, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +5.88%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.36%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -10.14%

Last week, we predicted that founder activity might cool off slightly in response to the slowdown in VC deck interactions–founder activity has lagged slightly behind investor activity all year so far. This is exactly what happened: last week, investor activity rose again while founders took a breather. Investor activity was up 5.88% after the previous week’s dip, bringing the deck interactions metric to its second-highest weekly average of the year. VCs were about as active as they were the previous week, as well: the average time spent on pitch decks increased by just 0.36%, so investors were a bit busier but no less efficient with their time. Founders, however, slowed down: the average number of links sent out declined by 10.14% and is now 22.28% off the 2021 high from mid-March. Since investor activity crept upwards again last week, we can expect founder activity to do the same in the coming weeks–2021’s pattern of founders following on investors’ heels doesn’t look to be changing just yet. Check back next week to see whether founders responded immediately.

Updated: April 26, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -10.82%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +2.96%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -0.4%

After a two-week surge in activity, investors took a breather last week: VC deck interactions were down 10.82% from the previous week’s milestone high. All marketplace dips are relative, though, and some context shows that we’re still at a time of unprecedented optimism and investor interest: VC activity is up 56.32% over this time last year (as investors were recovering from the initial COVID slump) and 22.52% over 2020’s most active week. Investors may have backed off slightly compared to previous weeks this year, but they’re still much more active than they were in 2020. Alongside last week’s cooldown, the average investor time on deck increased by 2.96% to hit 2 minutes, 47 seconds. On the other side of the table, founder activity continued nearly unabated: the average founder links sent decreased by 0.4% as founders continued to respond to the recent surge in investor demand. Bear in mind that founder activity has lagged a week or two behind VC activity this year, so we might expect a cooldown on that side of the funding table in the near future. Check back next week to see whether founders also took a break and whether VCs returned to previous weeks’ high engagement levels.

Updated: April 19, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +7.77%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -0.37%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +22.68%

Last week’s activity shows us that Q2 is already in full swing. Investors were busy: deck interactions were up 7.77% while the average time spent remained virtually unchanged, meaning VCs were more engaged with decks but hardly any more efficient with their time. The activity level reached last week is already higher than anything we saw in an already robust Q1. Optimism abounds, and we can expect investor engagement to keep climbing as the new quarter gets busier and as COVID vaccination rates continue to rise. That said, it was on the founder side of the funding table that we saw the biggest jump last week: the average number of founder links created rose by 22.68%. As we predicted, founder behavior is lagging a week or two behind VC activity, so this spike was to be expected after several weeks of healthy investor engagement. Founder activity hasn’t yet hit the heights it reached in Q1 (it’s still 13.16% below that level), but it should keep rising over the next few weeks in response to investor demand. Overall, last week’s activity was emblematic of 2021 so far: founders followed the lead of investors and both sides of the table seem full of optimism. Check back next Monday to see whether this pattern continued.

Updated: April 12, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +12.3%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.21%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -8.3%

The start of Q2 last week saw VC activity rebound sharply from previous weeks’ end-of-quarter slowdown. This was to be expected, as investors have been seeking deals with increasing zeal all year. With last week’s gains, investor deck activity has returned with a flourish and is now just 0.7% lower than it was before the Q1 cooldown. Predictably, the average time on deck also fell as VCs needed to move more efficiently through the decks they were looking at. The average time spent on a deck now stands at a shade under 2 minutes, 40 seconds, and we expect that number to fall further as Q2 activity ramps up even more. Last week also saw the reappearance of another Q1 trend, with founder activity falling in the face of a healthy increase in investor deck interactions. The average founder links created dropped by 8.3%, continuing a slide that began in mid-March. However, if last quarter is anything to go by, we can predict that founder activity is lagging a week or two behind investor activity and will jump accordingly in the near future. Check back next week to see if founders got a head start on catching up to investors.

Updated: April 5, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -6.32%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -4.27%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -5.58%

The funding marketplace continued its end-of quarter slowdown last week, with both investors and founders seeming to ponder their next moves before Q2 began in earnest. Investor deck interactions fell by 6.32% and founder links created fell by 5.58%. Investors also spent less time looking at decks: their average read time fell by 4.27%, the most significant drop we’ve seen since January. The investor time spent metric is telling, though: the fact that it dipped last week even as deck interactions also fell might indicate that they were devoting less time overall to evaluating deals due to the end of the quarter. Likewise, the low average number (2 minutes, 41 seconds) still indicates that investors are remaining efficient and likely know a good deal prospect when they see one. This behavior still indicates that we are likely still in the end-of-quarter quiet period. Following the Easter holiday, we can expect deck interactions to pick up again. This also holds true for founders, who also sent out fewer links on average last week. They were likely aware that VCs would be devoting less time to decks at the tail end of Q1 and so either sent out more pitches earlier or delayed sending until Q2 to hopefully ensure more eyes on their decks. Based on yearly activity so far, we might predict that these metrics will rise again once Q2 gets into full swing in the next week or two. Check back next Monday to see if the marketplace got busier once the new quarter started.

Updated: March 29, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -5.61%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.36%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -18.25%

Our analysis last Monday was all about confidence: large increases in investor deck interactions and founder links created illustrated just how much optimism has been in the fundraising marketplace since the start of the year. This optimism was tempered last week, however, as VC and founder activity both declined. Investor activity slowed a bit and was down 5.61%. The average time spent on decks remained virtually unchanged amid this slowdown, increasing by just 0.36%. Founder activity decreased much more sharply, though: the average number of links created was down 18.25% on the previous week. These dips in activity may be due to the upcoming end of the fiscal quarter. Investors and founders have both been particularly busy lately, trying to get deals in place by the end of the quarter. From this perspective, an end-of-quarter cooldown is almost inevitable as both sides of the funding table assess their positions and plan for renewed activity in Q2. As we have pointed out following previous weekly marketplace dips this year, activity overall remains very high: founder activity is up 40.79% since the start of 2021 and VC activity is up by a healthy 59.17%. Taken in a quarterly context, then, last week’s slowdown hasn’t done much to dent fundraising confidence. Check back next week to see how Q2 kicked off.

Updated: March 22, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +3.26%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -0.72%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +10.68%

When we analyzed marketplace activity last week, we wondered whether the slight leveling off we had seen was the start of a cooldown or just a quick break by both founders and investors. So far, it looks like the latter hypothesis holds true: activity surged again last week, with investor deck interactions and founder links created both hitting new highs. VC activity was up 3.26%, and the average time investors spent on decks fell by 0.72% as investors needed to be more efficient when going through so much material. The average deck interaction time now stands at 2 minutes, 45 seconds. The biggest jump in a very busy week came on the other side of the fundraising table, as founder activity rose by 10.68%. Founders have clearly caught on to the fact that VCs are busily looking for new deals and have responded by increasing the supply of deck links in the marketplace. More broadly, though, this renewed surge of activity indicates just how strong economic confidence is in the fundraising world these days. With a new COVID stimulus bill passed and vaccination numbers continuing to look good (not to mention President Biden’s suggestion that Americans could safely hold July 4th gatherings), the promise of returning to some kind of normal may be buoying founder and investor hopes. What will fundraising confidence look like next week? Stay tuned to read our take next Monday.

Updated: March 15, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -1.43%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.17%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -2.83%

Activity in the marketplace leveled off slightly last week, following the previous week’s increases in investor deck interactions and founder links created. VC activity was down 1.43%, as was the time they spent on decks. Investors averaged 2 minutes, 45 seconds per deck, down 3.17% from the previous week. Even though investors were slightly less busy last week, they still moved through decks very efficiently, suggesting that their criteria for evaluating decks at this time of high overall activity are firmly in place. As demand for deals remains strong, investors seem to have a clear sense of what they’re looking for. On the other side of the funding table, founder activity was also a bit lower last week: the average number of links created was down 2.83%, as founders appeared to take a breather after the spike in activity we saw in early March. Both the supply and demand sides of the marketplace pumped their brakes a bit last week. Is this the start of a cooldown or just a quick break before investors and founders jump back into the fray? Check back next week to see if a clearer picture has emerged.

Updated: March 8, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +3.7%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.08%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +25.15%

It’s becoming predictable that each new weekly analysis will open with an observation about how active investors have been. This week is no exception: VC activity climbed yet again last week and was up 3.7% on the week before. Investor optimism continues unabated, and even a slight 1.08% uptick in time spent on pitch decks hasn’t done much to hinder how efficiently busy VCs are moving through new decks looking for deals. Investor deck interactions are now 69.7% higher than they were a year ago at this point, right at the very start of the pandemic. The bigger story last week, however, came on the supply side of the equation: founder activity was up 25.15%, as founders seemed to respond enthusiastically to ever-increasing investor demand. After weeks of only modest increases that seemed out of step with surging VC activity, founder optimism finally broke through last week and rose to meet the tone set by investors. The marketplace is buzzing on both sides of the funding table: founders are 61.59% more active than they were last year at this time, and both VCs and founders seem confident that conditions are right for getting deals done. This optimism could be due to continued good news about COVID vaccinations or to the fact that a new economic stimulus plan seems right around the corner. Whatever the cause, it looks likely that the marketplace will remain abuzz in the coming weeks. Check back next Monday to see if this prediction holds true.

Updated: March 1, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +12.03%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.47%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -2.53%

Following a little recent volatility, investor activity reached another new high last week. VC deck interactions increased by a healthy 12.03% to set a new high-water mark that came in at 4.65% higher than the previous milestone we saw a month ago. Investors are still hungrier than ever for new deals. With all these deck interactions, it’s not surprising that the average time VCs spent on decks fell last week, coming in at 2.47% lower than the week before for an average of 2 minutes, 46 seconds. This efficiency metric is just 3.36% higher than the lowest time spent average of 2020. With deck interactions and time spent moving in opposite directions, it’s clear that VCs are growing more focused as they’re looking to read through a high number of decks. When it comes to founder activity, we’re back to the pattern we first observed several weeks ago: our founder links sent metric was down slightly (2.53%) even as investors were busily looking for new opportunities. As we’ve seen so far this year, although founders have sometimes been slow to respond to investor enthusiasm they have eventually been compensating for the lag. For this reason we can predict that founder activity will continue its general upward momentum while still displaying some volatility on a week-to-week basis. Check back next week to see whether founders caught up to their high-flying VC counterparts.

Updated: February 22, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +1.26%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.05%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +4.70%

In last week’s update, we wondered whether the decrease in founder and investor activity was a blip of volatility or the start of a trend. Since then, activity in the marketplace has rebounded slightly: investor deck interactions are up just over 1%, with the average time spent on decks down 1%, and founder links created are up 4.7%. For the moment, investors are holding steady after a nearly 8% drop in activity two weeks ago. Founders, however, are continuing to respond to the high baseline of VC deck engagement: despite the 6% dip in links created two weeks ago, founder activity is now just 1.7% lower than the high-water mark we observed during the week of February 1st. Investor activity is now 6.59% below its early February peak. Although there’s been some volatility lately, it’s helpful to keep a broader historical context in mind: investor deck interactions are up 33.15% on this point last year while founder activity is up 24.68%. The fact that we’re continuing to see such a sustained increase in fundraising activity when compared to pre-COVID data is encouraging, and we predict that this increase will continue for the time being. The optimism in the marketplace continues to flow, even with some volatility here and there. Are more fluctuations on the horizon? Check back next Monday for our analysis.

Updated: February 15, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -7.75%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +3.31%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -6.11%

Last week, both VC and founder activity cooled off slightly after a hot start to the year. Investor deck interactions were down 7.75% and the average number of founder links created down 6.11%. Investors also spent slightly longer on pitch decks, which might be expected given the dip in deck interactions. After record-setting weeks for both founders and investors it seems like both parties at the fundraising table have taken a step back to catch their breath. That said, activity overall remains high: investor deck interactions last week were only 0.42% lower than their first record-setting week at the end of January. Moreover, the average amount of links shared by founders last week would have been the third-highest point in all of 2020. Putting these dips in context helps us see that although activity dropped off slightly last week, founders and investors are still very hungry for deals. The supply and demand sides of the fundraising table are both still primed for action, but what will the coming weeks have in store for us? Check back next Monday to see whether this cool down was only temporary or, perhaps, the start of a trend.

Updated: February 8, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +7.95%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.37%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +15.86%

Another week, another new high for DocSend’s Investor Deck Interactions metric. The index rose slightly less last week than the week before (7.95% versus 9.13%), but there’s no denying that investors’ appetite for deals remains strong. Investors also remained quite efficient last week, as the average time they spent on pitch decks was nearly unchanged despite the continued uptick in average interactions: investors are still averaging about 2 minutes, 42 seconds per pitch deck. What’s even more remarkable about last week is that founder activity finally rose to meet investor demand: the founder activity index was up 15.86%, reaching a new high. We’ve seen founder activity increase in fits and starts since early January, but last week’s jump finally signals more clearly that founders are matching the energy of investor demand. Last year, founder activity began slowing through February, but of course this was in pre-COVID times. Nowadays, anything can happen: will we see volatility in founder activity over the next several weeks or sustained optimism on the supply side? Check back next week, as we may have a clearer picture.

Updated: February 1, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +9.13%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -9.46%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +1.33%

Investor interest continued to rise last week, with interactions increasing 9.13% on top of last week’s 10.05% jump. Although surges in VC demand are historically normal throughout January, last week’s activity brings us to a new milestone: the investor deck interactions index reached an all-time high, eclipsing the last high-water mark (reached in early October 2020) by 7.66%. VC demand is also 57.24% higher than at the same point last year. With all this action, it’s unsurprising that the average time spent on pitch decks fell sharply, dropping 9.46% to reach an average of 2 minutes, 41 seconds. Founders were less active than their investor counterparts: the average number of links created rose by a comparatively modest 1.33%. While founders may not be as active as VCs, the founder index is still just barely below the pre-pandemic high, coming in at only 2.18% lower than the high reached just before the “COVID slump.” This robust activity, and unprecedented investor demand, signals continued confidence in the fundraising marketplace even as broader economic uncertainty is still the order of the day. As Congress begins wrangling over a new stimulus package this week, the fundraising marketplace may respond to news of potential pandemic relief out of Washington. Will stimulus talks and historic investor demand nudge founders to send out more links to match VC activity? Check back next week for an update.

Updated: January 25, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +10.05%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.34%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -4.8%

Our prediction from last week, that founder and investor activity would continue to increase, only partially held true in the marketplace. Investor deck interactions continued increasing at a healthy clip: VC interactions were up by 10.05% over the second week in January. The average time they spent on pitch decks hardly budged (up 0.34% and still under 3 minutes per deck), so investors remain optimistic and are increasingly efficient when evaluating potential deals. By contrast, founder activity fell slightly: the average number of links created was down by 4.8%. This modest decrease could be due to several factors: founders were more active over the holidays in 2020 than they had been in recent years, meaning early 2021 would see less of a “catch up” effect; they may also be waiting to see what the first days of the Biden administration look like before sending out links. With so many eyeballs on last week’s inauguration, founders may not have wanted to compete for attention. At any rate, if investor interest remains keen then we should expect founder confidence to be buoyed by the prospect of new deals. Check back next week to see if this dip was indeed just a one-off or possibly the start of a trend.

Updated: January 18, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +17.75%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.4%%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +19.49%

Last week, we predicted that both investor and founder activity would follow historical trends for this time of the year and continue their upward trajectory. This is exactly what happened: the second week of January saw notable increases in investor interactions and founder links created. Investor activity was up 17.75% and founder activity up 19.49%. Once again, investors remained efficient: despite the significant increase in activity their average time spent on pitch decks only rose by 1.4%, to 2 minutes and 54 seconds per deck. Although the increases in activity follow historical patterns, the year-on-year change shows just how robust the 2021 fundraising marketplace is so far: investor interactions are up 40.14% on this time last year and founder links created are up 47.57%. The question is, though, will this buzz of activity continue? In historical terms, all signs point to “yes.” We should expect founder and investor activity to increase (though perhaps at a slightly slower pace) over the next few weeks. But as we know, in a post-pandemic world all bets are off. Next Monday we’ll see how the marketplace responded to the presidential inauguration. Will the optimism continue?

Updated: January 11, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +77.15%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -4.07%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +27.55%

Investors started the first full week of 2021 with a bang: VC interactions with pitch decks were up 77.15% on week 53 of 2020-21. Such a jump could signal a “back to work” mentality after the holidays, of course, but if we dig a little deeper we can see that investor activity is beginning the year at a higher baseline than in any of the years 2018-2020. For example, investor interest is 135.38% higher than at this point last year. VCs were remarkably efficient last week, too, as the time spent on pitch decks fell by just over 4% even as the number of interactions spiked. Founders were similarly active, though not to the same extent: the average number of founder links created jumped by a healthy 27.55%. Founders, too, are starting strong as activity is up 77.48% on the same point last year, and like VCs they are starting from a higher baseline than in any of the years 2018-2020. The overall picture is one of buzzing activity and confidence: both VCs and founders appear to be picking up where they left off before the holidays. Historically, the first few weeks of Q1 see sustained increases in both investor and founder activity, so we should expect to see both of these metrics continue their upward trend over the next several weeks. Will last week’s violence in Washington put a damper on this early-year surge, though? Check back next week to see how our metrics responded.

Updated: January 4, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -22.44%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.95%%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -3.53%

Last week was a “bonus” week that began in 2020 and ended in 2021–it’s logged as the 53rd week of 2020. The past week saw a continued dip in investor activity over the holiday period: pitch deck interest from VCs in terms of investor deck interactions fell by 22.44%. VCs continued their efficient streak, however, as the average time spent on pitch decks fell by nearly 4%. This means that the time spent average will officially end 2020 at under 3 minutes. Founder links created fell by 3.53% in another slow year-end week. Check back next Monday to see how the first bona fide week of 2021 went.

Updated: December 28, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -32.79%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.33%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -24.86%

The end-of-year slowdown continued last week, with both investor interest and founder activity falling sharply. It seems that not even news of further pandemic stimulus could shake the marketplace out of “holiday mode.” Even with the predicted decline in activity, though, investor interest will end the year up 44.03% on 2019 and 52.22% on 2018. Founders were equally sleepy last week, sending out almost 25% fewer links than the week before. But just like investors, they end the year far more active than they were in previous years at this point: founder activity is up 21.72% on 2019 and 56.85% on 2018. The time spent on pitch decks increased slightly last week, so investors will end the year spending just over 3 minutes on average per deck. Although the marketplace was quieter last week, the fact that activity remains high compared to previous years suggests that we could see a more energetic start to the new year than we did in 2019 or 2020. Check back next week to see what the first few days of 2021 brings us.

Updated: December 21, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -2.66%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.02%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -7.85%

Founders surprised us last week when they increased the average number of pitch decks sent out at a time of year that historically sees a slow decline in activity. This week, however, was more in line with expectations: founder activity fell by 7.85%. Although activity remains high at this point compared to previous years (up 33% on 2019 and 44% on 2018), we anticipate that the decline will continue through the end of 2020. Investor interest continued to decline, down 2.66% from last week. As with founders, investors remain more active now than they were last year at this time: investor activity is up 18.83% on 2019 and 44% on 2018. The average time spent on pitch decks increased ever so slightly and crept back toward the 3-minute mark. Overall, while the week-on-week decline in activity by founders and investors was to be expected, the fact that activity is still significantly higher than in previous years offers encouragement heading into 2021. This sustained confidence on both sides of the fundraising marketplace allows us to hope that founders and investors will make a strong start to the new year. That said, 2020 might just have one more wrinkle in store for us: check back next week to see how the marketplace reacted to the news that Congress has agreed on a second pandemic relief bill.

Updated: December 14, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -3.59%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.93%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +13.43%

Last week, we suggested that fundraising activity might decline during the final few weeks of the year, as has historically been the case. This suspicion was confirmed by two of our three metrics: investor interest fell slightly by 3.59% and the average time potential investors spent on pitch decks fell by a similar amount, 3.93%. Potential investors are once again below the three-minute threshold, where they’ve been for most of the second half of 2020. Even though investor interest seems to have begun its end-of-year decline, activity is still 20.5% higher than at the same point in 2019. As we’ve seen since the spring, post-lockdown activity remains high and could signal investor confidence heading into 2021. Surprisingly, we saw a sustained increase in the number of founder links created last week. This metric rose by 13.43% on top of the post-Thanksgiving spike we saw and comes in at 35.13% higher than this time last year. The increase in founder activity may be an end-of-year rush to get pitch decks out before the holidays. But the spike could also reference founders’ optimism about an economic recovery following the encouraging news about COVID vaccine distribution beginning in the United Kingdom and United States. Will founder activity continue to buck historical trends? Check back next week for more updates.

Updated: December 7, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +21.12%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +2.03%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +10.5%

This Pitch Deck Interest metrics update tracks how the fundraising marketplace bounced back the week after Thanksgiving. During Thanksgiving week, we saw the largest drops in Investor Interest and Founder Links Created in 2020. Data we’re publishing today is based on last week’s activity and we can see that Investor Interest has rebound sharply by 21.12%. This is 4.84% higher than the number we recorded during the same week in 2019.  The average time spent per pitch deck by potential investors, last week, increased by 4 seconds to reach just above 3 minutes for the first time since June 29th. We also saw an increase in how many links each founder is creating by 10.5%, which comes in at .15% lower than what we recorded during the same week in 2019. Historically, this is the last week we record an upward trend and fundraising activity could decline for the remainder of the year. Check back next week to see new updates.

Updated: November 30, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -18.27%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.74%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -18.74%

Last week we predicted that there would be a drop in both the investor interest and founder links created metrics, but we couldn’t have predicted the massive drop we recorded. With an 18.27% decrease in investor interest last week, this marks the largest drop in all of 2020. The clear culprit for this lack of engagement and interest from investors can be attributed to VCs taking time off from reviewing pitch decks during Thanksgiving week. This year has been the most active fundraising market we’ve recorded in our dataset since 2018, so we don’t blame VCs for taking a week off. The number we recorded last week, 16.1, is only 2.55% above what we recorded in 2019, which is the closest delta between both years’ data since Q1 2020. As the fundraising market gets back to work this week, we do expect investor interest to increase again, but not to the previous levels in Q4. Counter to the huge drop in invest interest, there was a slight increase of 4.4 seconds in the average length of time spent reading per pitch deck to 2 minutes and 56.4 seconds. In prior years, we’ve seen the time spent metric gradually go up until the week of Christmas, when it’s expected to drop. Along with investors taking a week off, based on our data, it looks like founders did, too. Last week’s decrease of nearly 19% in founder links created is the biggest drop in this metric we’ve recorded in 2020. The metric is recorded as only 0.81% above what we recorded during the same week in 2019. We do anticipate the average number of pitch deck links created by founders to go up next week but will remain lower than past Q4 numbers for the remainder of the year. This is 2020, so anything can happen. Overall, last week was a very slow week for fundraising marketplace activity. Check back next Monday to see if founders and investors rebound this week or if they remain less active.

Updated: November 23, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -4.37%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.79%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +3.39%

Last week’s investor interest dropped slightly but remains high for this time of year compared to data we’ve recorded since 2018. The average investor time spent reading per pitch deck went up to 2 minutes and 52 seconds. There was a 3.39% increase in the average number of pitch deck links created, which is 23.86% above the same week in 2019. With Thanksgiving this week, we expect to see a drop in investor interest and founder links created, as it did in 2019.

Updated: November 16, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +0.49%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -5.78%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -11.93%

For last week’s Pitch Deck Interest metrics, we’ll check on how the market performed, based on our data, the week after the US elections. For the overall Pitch Deck Interest metric of investor deck interactions, we can see that it just slightly edged upwards from the prior two week’s leveling off. It looks to be that Investor Interest was not negatively impacted by the US elections and continues to remain 24.1% higher than the same week in 2019. In the past two years, we’ve seen Investor Interest mostly drop for the rest of the year, which could be a factor of the holiday season, but this is an abnormal year, so keep an eye out for our updates in the weeks to come. The average time spent per pitch deck by potential investors did drop last week by nearly 6%, signaling that investors had to spend less time processing the large number of decks they received during election week. In 2018, the amount of time spent gradually went up, while the time spent stayed roughly the same for the holiday season in 2019. We expect investors to continue processing decks with efficiency and at a fast pace, remaining below 3 minutes per deck for the rest of 2020. Founders during election week had a large spike in the average number of pitch deck links they created. This could’ve been due to confidence in the election results or fear of uncertainty and wanted to get their decks sent “while they can”. We can see, based on last week’s Founder Links Created metric, that the average number of links did fall by almost 12%. We’ve seen throughout 2020 that a spike is followed the next week by a big drop, so this was expected. Once again, this is typically the week where we start to see a gradual drop in the number of links created for the rest of the year. Make sure to check back next week to see how the fundraising marketplace is performing. In the meantime, make sure to download our Seed fundraising report and Series A fundraising report to better understand what it takes to raise those funding rounds.

Updated: November 9, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: 0% Change
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +2.92%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +16.07%

Last week was an important one for US elections and it was up in the air as to how the fundraising marketplace would perform. DocSend’s CEO, Russ Heddleston, shares how the Pitch Deck Interest metrics performed throughout the week, as quoted in Protocol’s Pipeline newsletter. “On Monday and Tuesday, pitch deck interest fell fractionally, and on Wednesday we saw a big dip likely fueled by election uncertainty,” he said. With the full week’s results in, let’s dig into what happened.

Overall Pitch Deck Interest in terms of investor deck interactions, surprisingly, didn’t go up or down but stayed the same as the previous week. Investor interest does remain high for the year and is 23.49% higher than the same week in 2019. The average time spent by investors reading pitch decks went up by 6 seconds or 2.92% to 2.52 minutes. An increase in time spent means that investors took more time reading pitch decks. The big spike we recorded last week was a 16.07% jump in the number of links each founder created. This was the second-highest number of founder links created we’ve recorded in 2020. We think this can be read as optimism by founders in the fundraising market. The Pitch Deck Interest metrics we record this week will be telling of the outlook both investors and founders have for the fundraising market now that US election results are in. Make sure to subscribe to DocSend’s Startup Index newsletter for weekly updates on the health of the fundraising marketplace.

Updated: November 2, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +1.99%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.77%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +3.29%

With so much uncertainty happening in 2020 and even in this Quarter, we are certain, based on last week’s Pitch Deck Interest metrics, that startup fundraising activity is staying consistently high compared to data we recorded in past years. Last week’s investor interest broke the downward trend and slightly increased, whereas the metric went down in 2019. The average number of pitch deck interactions by investors for each founder happening on our platform right now is 32.36% higher than the same week in 2019. The average time spent per pitch deck by potential investors went down after a 5.11% increase the week prior. This brings the average amount to 2 minutes and 46 seconds, which is 18.97% lower than the same week in 2019. The number of links each founder created last week went up to an average of 7.22. Based on last year’s Pitch Deck Interest metrics, we might expect a decline in the number of pitch deck links until mid-December, which would be a rush to get them sent before the end of the year. This week is election week, so make sure to check back next week as the numbers come in to see how the fundraising market performs. For now, you can read Russ Heddleston’s three scenarios of how the election will impact the fundraising market in his interview with Biz Carson of Protocol.

Updated: October 26, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -3.37%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +5.11%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -3.85%

Last week’s investor deck interactions metric, tracking the average number of pitch deck interactions from VCs for each founder happening on our platform right now, continued its two-week decline from its 2020 peak recorded on October 12th. Even with the 3.37% drop, investor interest remains 14.86% higher than the same week in 2019. The amount of time spent reading by investors broke the month-long downward trend with a slight spike of 5.11%. The metric measuring how many links each founder is creating continued its drop to now be below the 7.61 number we recorded in 2019 by .62. This week and the next few weeks may be outliers due to the election and our CEO, Russ Heddleston, shares his three possible outcomes with Biz Carson of Protocol in How three election scenarios could change the fundraising landscape.

Updated: October 18, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -6.31%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.81%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -8.9%

After spikes in both investor interest and founder links created two weeks ago, we recorded that last week the numbers for all three metrics we track have decreased in percentage points. Slightly down from the 2020 high, average investor interest by potential investors has gone down 6.8%, yet remains 29.19% higher than the same week in 2019. It is likely that investor interest will continue to drop over the next few weeks, but it’s 2020, so anything is possible. The average time investors spent reading pitch decks went down slightly last week. This is unique because it marks the second-lowest recorded “investor time spent” metric in 2020 and measures 20.29% lower than the same week in 2019. With the huge spike in metrics two weeks ago, it was expected that investor time spent would go down. With more supply and demand, investors have pressure to read more pitch decks faster. In line with past spikes in 2020, the average number of pitch deck links created by founders also went down last week. The drop of 8.9% last week is less than the 14.74% drop during the same week in 2019. The current level of 7.27 pitch deck links created is high, but if this metric follows the trend we recorded in 2019, we’ll see an increase over the next three weeks. To get these updates via email, subscribe to DocSend’s Startup Index newsletter.

Updated: October 12, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +22.65%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -4.2%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +21.28%

Last week, we released our Q3 Pitch Deck Interest metrics analysis, where we highlighted the record-breaking summer and offered our predictions for early 2021.

The metrics we recorded from last week broke records again. We saw investor interest in pitch decks spike higher last week than any 1-week jump in all of 2020 to an all-time high recorded score of 22.2. Investor interest last week is 43.31% higher than the same week in 2019. As expected, with an increase in investor interest, we saw a decrease in time spent reading on average per pitch deck by potential investors. Time spent dropped to its second-lowest number since we started recording our Pitch Deck Interest metrics. Investors are speeding through pitch decks to keep up with the supply. The supply of pitch decks, as tracked by our founder links created metric, we saw a huge spike of 21.28% last week. There are likely many factors that motivated founders to create and send 17.01% more pitch decks last week than the same week in 2019, including the election season, reportedly high Q3 VC funding numbers, or founders looking to get their pitch decks sent before the market uncertainty of November. As we can see in the numbers, founders are very eagerly fundraising at the start of Q4 and investors are very actively screening decks to keep up.

Updated: October 5, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -3.21%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.42%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +3.54%

For last week’s Pitch Deck Interest metrics, we recorded that investor interest continued its gradual decline from highs in the summer to 2019 levels. Investor interest is their average engagement with pitch decks while time spent reading is specifically tracking the length of time investors spend reading per pitch deck. Last week’s time spent reading by investors went back to by almost the same amount it went up two weeks ago. We can conclude that the time spent reading plateaued at an average of ~2.50 minutes for Q3. This is the first quarter since we’ve started recording these metrics that time spent stayed below an average of 3 minutes per pitch deck. Over the past four weeks, the number of founder links created has stayed around 6.5 links per founder. This is still slightly above 2019 levels. Based on data from 2016-2019, we expect the average number of links to increase over the next few weeks. We are releasing our full Q3 Pitch Deck Interest metrics analysis on Thursday in our Startup Index Newsletter. Subscribe here to get the data first.

Updated: September 28, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -1.06%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +3.58%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -2.99%

Our data from last week shows that investor interest slightly declined and remains 31.69% higher than the same week in 2019. The average time spent by potential investors reading per pitch deck increased by 2.14 seconds. This doesn’t seem like much time, but it could mean that investors reviewed pitch decks they were more interested in than the prior week. The average number of pitch deck links created by founders slightly declined and that could be a trend of the numbers normalizing for to 2019 levels. As we did with our Q2 Pitch Deck Interest metrics, we will be releasing our Q3 review next week. Subscribe to DocSend’s Startup Index newsletter to get the analysis.

Updated: September 21, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +8%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.46%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: 0%

Based on last week’s Pitch Deck Interest metrics, we saw that investor interest spiked up 8%, whereas it dropped 8.44% during the same week in 2019. We saw a four-week upward trend in last year’s data starting at the beginning of Q4, so we expect investor interest to remain high for the coming weeks. With this spike in interest, we saw a slight decline in investor time spent reading per pitch deck, which continues the overall downward trend starting at the beginning of Q2. The average length of time spent by VCs reading each pitch deck historically remains low during Q4 and founders should keep this in mind when creating their decks. For the first time in our recorded data during 2020, founders did not increase or decrease their average number of pitch deck links created. This is a notable moment as it is the first time since May 24th that we recorded the number of founder links created to be below the 2019 number. It’s expected that this number will rise during Q4, but as of last week, it has normalized back to 2019 levels. Are founders losing steam sending their pitch decks to investors? Check back next week to see how how the health of the fundraising marketplace changes.

Updated: September 14, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -6.42%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.06%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +4.21%

Based on our recorded data from last week, investor interest in pitch decks has continued its 3-week decline towards 2019 levels. With this drop in interest, there is also a slight decrease in the length of time investors are spending reading pitch decks. Investors are spending an average of 16.12% less time reading pitch decks now versus the same week in 2019. The amount of time VCs are spending per deck is still declining, meaning that they’re actively looking at each deal, they’re just not spending too much time pouring over the details. Founders have slowed down sending out pitch decks compared to the high Q3 average. Last week’s number of pitch deck links founders created went up at a higher rate than it did in the same week of 2019. The fundraising marketplace activity typically increases this week going to mid-Q4, so founders should be sending their decks now to get ahead of the fundraising rush.

If you’re raising your Seed round or investing, RSVP to our webinar on Thursday with DocSend’s CEO, Russ Heddleston, where he’ll share new data and actionable insights on what it takes to raise Seed funding: Register and get our new report here.

Updated: September 7, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -4.59%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -5.07%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -4.46%

Our data shows that investor interest in pitch decks has dropped 24.56% over the past three weeks to its lowest recorded number since the end of May. This breaks the upward trend line we’ve seen so far in Q3, yet remains 41.67% higher than the same week in 2019. If investor interest continues to drop in the coming weeks, founders should not be worried, as it would mean a market correction back to historical levels. The amount of time investors spend reading pitch decks went down last week, after a slight uptick the week before. Since the beginning of July, investors have spent, on average, less than 3 minutes reading each pitch deck. This indicates that investors are processing pitch decks faster this quarter than any quarter we’ve recorded starting in Q1 2018. With that, the number of pitch deck links created last week by founders continues the downward trend over the past month and is only slightly above 2019 levels. The health of the fundraising marketplace is still very good, despite drops in the metrics we track. Investor demand is high, time spent reading pitch decks is low (think processing time), and supply is still higher than the same week in 2019.

Updated: August 31, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -3.45%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +5.4%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -10.52%

Investor interest in pitch decks remains high this quarter despite a slight drop last week. The trend line for investor interest has been gradually increasing over the past few weeks and, notably, last week’s interest number is up +54.33% compared to the same week in 2019.

As we predicted in our update last week, the average time spent reading decks by potential investors has increased to nearly 3 minutes per deck. This is a likely response to two consecutive weeks of drops in the average number of pitch deck links created by founders. With fewer decks in circulation, investors have more time to read each one in more detail. Having another double-digit decrease in the number of links being created by founders feels significant after we hit the record high two weeks ago, but it can be seen as the supply side adjusting back to historical levels for this time of year. Even with this correction, founder links created remains +14.29% higher than the same week in 2019. We’ve traditionally seen fundraising marketplace activity increase this week through late October. So, if founders want to get free, data-driven feedback on their pitch and warm intros to lead early-stage investors, based on our quality bar and VC criteria, they can apply to the DocSend Fundraising Network.

Updated: August 24, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +5.18%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.83%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -11.75%

With the surge in Founder Links Created two weeks ago, investor interest with pitch decks last week has slightly increased to 2.53% above this quarter’s average number of interactions. The recent drops in VC interest are still on an upward trajectory (last week was 19.3, before that 19, before that 18.8). So, we’re still seeing an overall upward trend in VC interest moving into fall.

Coupling this with last week’s drop in average time spent reading per pitch deck to 2.75 minutes, it could mean that investors are having to skim pitch decks vs reading them in more detail. This gradual decline in time spent reading has continued since mid-July when we started seeing an average increase in links created by founders. The number of links created last week dropped from the previous week’s record high. This could mean that we’ll see a rise in the time spent reading pitch decks next week, as investors will have fewer to process. Founders are still very active for the season and as Caitlin Bolnick of OpenView said in our Q&A last week, “You add all this together and it’s an unprecedented environment, but also, there’s no better time to raise.”

Updated: August 17, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -4.45%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.35%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +26.26%

Since last week, we recorded a slight drop of 4.45% in investor interest with the score hovering between a score 19-20 over the past 3 weeks. This means investors have maintained their appetite for reviewing pitch decks throughout the summer season. The time spent reading pitch decks last week remains low for 2020 and sits at 19.9% lower compared to the same week in 2019. The number of pitch deck links created by founders had the second-biggest jump of the year last week with a 26.26% increase from the previous week. We’ve normally seen the start of a plateau this week in Q3, but it seems the fundraising market activity this year isn’t abiding by past trends. Founders spending more time on their laptops vs traveling, at events, and in-person meetings could be contributing to this huge increase in links created.

Updated: August 10, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +6.31%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.45%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -13.81%

This time of year is traditionally the “slow season” for investors and founders in the fundraising marketplace. Based on last week’s data, we’re seeing that investor interest (interactions with pitch decks) has stayed higher than the previous two years of activity in Q3. The time spent reading each deck continues to trend downward from normal levels of above 3.25 minutes we saw in Q1 and is 21% down from this same week in 2019. The amount of links created has dropped to roughly the same number as of July 20th and remains high for the season. These metrics are “not normal” for this time of year, but, as we know, most things aren’t normal this year. We expect the fundraising market activity to remain high as we continue through August, so now is the time to be fundraising.

Updated: August 3, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -7.32%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.69%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +0.64%

We’re seeing that investor interest in pitch decks (read: demand) dropped in the past week to just above the level we recorded on July 20th. This is still much higher than the historical market activity. With investors viewing and engaging with more decks on average this summer, their time spent reading those decks has stayed slightly below 3 minutes per deck. On the supply side of the fundraising marketplace, the number of links founders created last week to share their pitch decks hit an all-time high for 2020. This means that founders are very actively seeking funding and investors are keeping up. Here are Russ Heddleston’s thoughts on what Q2 fundraising data tell us about the rest of 2020.

Updated: July 27, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +9.04%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -4.69%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +16.14%

Since last week, we’ve seen investor interest climbing back up towards the record high we reported two weeks ago. This level of interest is 44% higher than the same week in 2019 and 31% higher than this week in 2018. As investors are showing higher interest this week, their average time spent reading decks continues to trend downward. Founders are keeping investors busy with a 30% jump in links created per deck this week vs. the same week in 2019. With the significant increase in links created, the decline in time spent reading, and an increase in investor interest, this summer continues to be more active than the traditional summer slump. For analysis on Q2’s Pitch Deck Interest Metrics, read our review.

Updated: July 20, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -12.77%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +9.76%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +0.15%

While we’re seeing a small correction in the amount of VC interest, we’re still seeing more interest than this week in both 2019 and 2018. This correction can also be seen in the rebound in time spent per deck. We’re still below three minutes, which means VCs are still reviewing deals at pace, but this rebound might mean a settling of the fundraising marketplace for the summer. But based on the amount of activity from founders we don’t expect VC interest to drop much, as we’re also still experiencing higher than normal founder activity. As summer is traditionally slow, this could be what slow looks like for the next few months.

Updated: July 13, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +8.41%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -11.37%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +3.05%

We’re looking at another record-breaking week for pitch deck interest from VCs. But all that shopping is coming at a cost. The time spent per deck has dropped far below three minutes. If you’re looking to fundraise right now we recommend you keep the information in your deck concise. Remember, the goal of your deck is just to get you the meeting. You can always give your potential investor more information when you meet. The amount of links founder are creating has been fairly steady over the last few weeks, which is very much in line with the end of Q2 every year. However, traditionally we also see a drop off in founder activity in July. That also hasn’t happened this year. With both founders and VCs unseasonably active we should continue to see above-average activity all summer.

Updated: July 6, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +3.46%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.08%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -2.36%

Traditionally this week in fundraising marks the steep descent in interest during the summer months. With VCs officially coming back online in September. However, as we’ve seen this year is anything but traditional. We think it’s safe to say that this is no longer just displaced interest from the steep drop earlier this year. The shift in the world economy plus all of the issues the pandemic has wrought has opened up new interest from VCs. Some of the biggest companies in the world today were borne out of the last financial crisis. It’s clear that new companies are being created to address the current problems society is facing, and VCs are ready and willing to invest.

Updated: June 29, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -8.7%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.3%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +4.2%

While VC interest dropped from its record high last week, it’s still 10.5% above this week in 2018 and 33.3% above this week in 2019. We could finally be seeing the summer slowdown, but it looks like founders are becoming more active, so we’ll likely see sustained VC interest unless we reach a point where the fundraising market has stabilized. Another metric that leads us to believe that things are settling down is the amount of time spent per deck. It’s slowly creeping back up. The average is typically 3.5 minutes, but we’ve seen VCs rushing to get through decks recently as they actively look for deals.

Updated: June 22, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +3.5%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.6%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -4.0%

The recent founder activity has to lead to a record high week for VC interest. The unseasonably high numbers look like we’re not only going to buck the summer trend, it also seems like the brief break we saw in March for fundraising means VCs are now actively looking to deploy money. The amount of links created by founders has dropped once again, leading us to believe that there may be more demand than there is supply right now. That’s great for valuations as founders are likely to be in a good place to negotiate terms (our DocSend Startup Index: COVID-19 Impact Report showed that 64% of founders were not changing their target valuations). Time spent is still hovering around the three-minute mark, which means a tight pitch deck is still your best bet.

Updated: June 15, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +4.1%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.2%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -14.3%

Last week’s extra supply of pitch decks has once again created an increased VC interest. In fact, VC interest is the second-highest it’s been in the last two years. It’s just 2% down from the all-time high from the beginning of 2018. Last week also marks the first time we’ve seen the average amount of time spent per pitch deck go below 3 minutes. While founders have taken advantage of the increased interest from VCs in the last few weeks, it seems last week they took a break. However, the amount of links being created is still 20% higher than in March when the implications of the pandemic began to hit. The amount of links created is also 15% higher than it was this time last year, and nearly 28% higher than this time in 2018. Read More...

Updated: June 8, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +4.3%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.2%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +19.2%

VC interest is bucking the seasonal trend and continuing to rise. In fact, it’s just 3% under the 2020 high which we achieved the week of April 20th. What’s even more interesting is the jump we see in the number of links being created by founders. It’s actually the highest it’s been in the last two years. If the fundraising market is working, and we don’t have too much supply, we should see demand (VC interest) rise to meet the increased supply over the coming weeks. We’re also continuing to see the amount of time spent on pitch decks decreasing. This means you need to have a very tight pitch that can be understood in just three minutes.

Updated: June 1, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -5.6%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -0.6%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +6.7%

While VC interest seems to have declined a bit, we’re still seeing a lot of activity from founders. It looks like the decline in the fundraising marketplace earlier this year is going to drive an unseasonably active summer. The amount of time VCs are spending per deck is still declining, meaning that they’re actively looking at each deal, they’re just not spending too much time pouring over the details. Remember, the goal of your pitch deck is to get you the meeting. Don’t put every detail about your business in the deck, put just enough to get you in the (Zoom) room.

Updated: May 26, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +2.6%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -0.6%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -14.3%

While Memorial Day weekend seemed to affect founders (links sent was down over 14%0, it seems VCs spent their downtime reading decks. Overall pitch deck interest in terms of investor deck interactions was up another 2.6%, which puts it up 30% YoY. It also means that interest is continuing to buck the seasonal downward trend we would expect to see as we move into summer. The amount of time spent reading each pitch deck also went down slightly as VCs read through more decks. With founders taking a break last week we might see a drop in VC interest as they will have fewer decks in their pipeline to read, but expect it to remain high.

Updated: May 18, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -1.5%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.9%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +8.2%

Investor interest dropped slightly this week, but it’s still higher than in any week in 2019. We may be seeing an indicator that the fundraising market is going to begin to adhere to its seasonal pattern, however, the number of links created by founders rose once again this week. If interest rises to meet it, we’re going to see another spike next week. Last week was the second-highest week for founder activity in 2020. The main trend that founders need to be aware of is the amount of time spent per pitch deck. Earlier this year we found that VCs spent around 3:23 on successful pitch deck, meaning you had less than three and a half minutes to get everything across in your send ahead deck. That’s not a lot of time to describe your entire business. We’re now seeing that VCs are spending just over three minutes on a deck. While the loss of 20 seconds doesn’t seem significant, that’s nearly 10% of the overall time spent on a deck. Founders need to make sure their decks contain the right information without anything superfluous.

Updated: May 11, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +8.4%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -4%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +5.5%

Investor interest is continuing on at a high rate, despite this time of year traditionally seeing a drop. In fact, interest is 11% higher than this week in 2018 and 23% higher than this week in 2019. The number of links created by founders has also jumped again, meaning founders are also bucking the seasonal trend. This is the fourth week in a row that we’ve seen the amount of time spent per deck drop. While it’s still within the normal range, it likely means VCs are reading more decks and spending less time on each than they typically would.

Updated: May 4, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -10%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -5%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +1%

While interest came down again last week, it’s still historically high. Overall interest is up 10% YoY and it looks likely to maintain that bump is founders remain active. And while they didn’t bounce back much this week, and an increase of 1% will likely lead to a small resurgence of VC interest next week. What’s interesting is that the amount of time VCs are spending on decks is down 5%. As shelter-in-place orders are lifted and people begin to get out of their houses, we could see a change in this number.

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +14%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -11%

Last week brought us another spike in VC interest. In fact, investor interest was the second-highest it’s been since the beginning of 2018. But that interest has peaked in a week where we watched the number of links being created by founders drop another 11 percent. Links created is a leading indicator of founder interest, so with the spike last week in links it makes sense that VCs are consuming more decks this week.

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: Flat
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: +17%

It looks like founders are getting back into action and sending out their pitch decks. While pitch deck interest in terms of investor deck interactions has remained flat, the time spent per deck has dropped slightly. With an increase in decks being sent this makes sense. This has traditionally been the week each year where we start to see a drop in interest, so flat interest from VCs here is actually great news. Interest is 4% more than it was this week in 2018 and a whopping 18% more than in 2019. Founder links created are still slightly behind its peak from earlier this year. If you’re a founder looking to get funding, you may want to consider sending out your pitch deck now.

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +3.5%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +3%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Links Created: -7.6%

We’ve had another week showing increasing investor interest. This was paired with founders sending out fewer decks and investors spending slightly more time per deck. These conditions are very good for founders looking to send out a pitch deck. Investors are showing interest, and they’re spending more time per deck. We recommend adding a slide to your deck that shows how you expect COVID-19 to impact your business and market opportunity over the coming 12-18 months.

Apr 6, 2020

Investor interest is increasing, but the amount of decks being sent has not yet risen to match. If you need to fundraise now might be the right time to take advantage of a less crowded market.

Based on our three metrics, we can see that after a decline over the last few weeks, investors are back to reviewing decks at nearly the pace they were before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. In fact, last week was only 5.4% down from the week of February 17th. That interest can most likely be correlated with the amount of decks being sent. The average number of links sent out per company was at an all-time low two weeks ago, but is now creeping back up to the pre-COVID-19 range. It looks like founders are slowly starting to fundraise again, or they’re working on much more targeted fundraising efforts.

With investor interest in pitch decks rising, but the amount of links not rising to match, it means now could be a great time to send out your deck. The market could be less crowded when vying for a VC’s attention.

It also tracks that investors are spending slightly less time reviewing deals than normal. The added complication of working from home, plus spending more time with their current portfolio, means many VCs will have less hours in the day to review decks for new business deals. As things become more settled over the next few weeks, these numbers may start to stabilize. But for now, decks are being sent, VCs are reviewing more decks, and they’re doing it quickly.

Mar 30, 2020

This week saw a 10% increase in pitch deck interest from the week before and we’re just 5% down YoY.

While many investors have reported spending more time with their portfolio companies, it looks like the lack of events and meetings has given them plenty of time to still peruse pitch decks. VCs are approaching investing in multiple different ways. Many still have large funds that need to be deployed, while others are taking time to look at deals, but not necessarily pulling the trigger right away. If you’re a founder who’s looking for funding in the next few quarters, now might be the perfect time to get your pitch deck in front of potential investors.

Mar 23, 2020

Despite the current crisis, pitch deck interest only dropped 11% YoY over the course of the week.

With the announcement that all non-essential businesses in California will remain closed for the foreseeable future, it’s not a surprise that pitch deck interest dipped over the course of last week. Many VCs are looking at new ways to meet with founders, with many already taking meetings via Zoom. We also must note that many of the usual ways that VCs receive deck (warm intros from portfolio companies, meetings at events) are no longer happening due to the current restrictions. That means VCs are not only spending time on internal alignment in how best to move forward, they are also facing a limited pipeline. But both Axios and TechCrunch are reporting that many VCs are still actively seeking deals. Their funds have already been raised and they still very much plan to deploy them.

 

 

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This is a first of its kind index covering fundraising from Pre-Seed to series B. It offers the first look under the hood at what makes a founder successful, from their age to team size to the order of their pitch deck. Our first report on the index is taking a deep dive into what makes a company successful in the (somewhat) new Pre-Seed round. For more information on our research, media requests, or suggestions please contact us at research(at)docsend(dot)com.

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