Startup Fundraising Pitch Deck Metrics

Tracking investors’ hunger for deals and founders’ search for capital on a weekly basis through DocSend’s analytics of pitch decks.

Pitch Deck Interest (PDI) Metrics

DocSend’s Pitch Deck Interest metrics measure the activity of founders and investors in the fundraising marketplace. They track how pitch decks are being shared and viewed across our platform on a weekly basis.

We break pitch deck activity down into three metrics:

  • The number of pitch decks investors are reviewing
  • How long investors spend reading those decks
  • How many pitch decks founders are sending out

These metrics allow us to evaluate activity in the fundraising marketplace using a supply-and-demand model. We use founder activity as a proxy for supply and investor activity as a proxy for demand.

We’ve created interactive charts for each of these metrics below, and provide weekly analysis of what they mean for the current fundraising landscape.

PDI Metric 1: Investor Deck Interactions

This Pitch Deck Interest metric tracks VC activity in the marketplace by showing how potential investors are interacting with decks. It looks at the average number of pitch deck interactions for each founder happening on our platform right now. This metric gauges the strength of investor demand for startup deals.

PDI Metric 2: Investor Time Spent

Here we measure the average time spent per pitch deck by potential investors. This offers a look at how long VCs are spending reviewing deals. As investors get busy, the time spent tends to go down.

This Pitch Deck Interest metric measures the average number of links each founder is creating per week. High founder activity means lots of decks being sent out. Fewer links created means investors are receiving fewer decks. This metric tracks the strength of founder supply of pitch decks in the marketplace.

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

PDI Put Into Action: Q4 2021

Weekly updates for the current quarter

*Analysis updated every Monday for the previous week

Updated: October 18, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: +20%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.79%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +10.89%

Investors and founders ramped up their activity levels last week as Q4 got into full swing. VC activity rose by 20%, taking our Investor Deck Interactions metric back to the heady days of April this year: investor activity is only down 9.8% from the all-time high we saw in mid-April. What’s more, investor time on deck fell to a new all-time low last week: this metric fell by 3.79%, meaning VCs are spending an average of 2 minutes, 32 seconds analyzing pitch decks. The demand side of the fundraising marketplace is clearly abuzz, and the supply side is doing its best to keep up. Founder activity rose by 10.89% last week, meaning there’s optimism throughout the fundraising landscape. This bodes well for the rest of Q4: while we’ll certainly see a slowdown over the holidays, as usual, the activity baseline is so high that the marketplace should be busy for the rest of 2021. Will news about growth slowdowns in China temper this outlook? Check back next week to see how the fundraising marketplace has digested this potential uncertainty.

Updated: October 11, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: -2.54%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.87%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -11.78%

Activity slowed across the board last week as Q4 got underway. Investors were slightly less busy last week than the week before as VC activity dipped 2.54%. Despite this dip, VCs were a bit more efficient in going through decks: the average time on deck fell by 1.87%, bringing us back near all-time lows. VCs continue to remain laser-focused when evaluating deals, and founders sending out decks should prepare succinct pitches accordingly. Founders were much less busy than investors last week: founder activity fell by 11.78% after several weeks of stability to end Q3. A drop like this is to be expected, though: founders have businesses to run, and if they were busy sending out pitch decks by the end of last quarter they may have taken a break to help their companies start Q4 right. Overall, founder and VC activity remains high relative to 2020 and earlier, so we can expect these metrics to increase again as everyone starts hitting their stride in Q4. Check back next week for more clarity on Q4 momentum.

Weekly analyses for previous quarters

Q3 Pitch Deck Interest Metrics 2021

Updated: October 4, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: -9.23%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.76%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -0.98%

Two of our three metrics (time spent and founder activity) remained relatively stable last week as Q3 drew to a close. However, investor activity fell by 9.23%. This dip might seem significant at first glance, but investor activity tends to fall at the end of every quarter and the baseline for VC activity is still very high–it’s currently up 26% compared to this time last year. So overall, investors are still very active heading into Q4. Even though they were less busy last week, they hardly changed their time on deck: this metric crept upwards by just 0.76%, remaining near all-time lows. Founder activity was also static, falling by just 0.98%. Here, too, the baseline remains high: founder activity is up 55% year over year. Heading into Q4, then, the fundraising picture is clear: we’re still looking at a very active marketplace, one where investors are moving through decks very quickly. Will founders and investors take a breather at the start of the new quarter? Check back next week to see how Q4 began.

Updated: September 27, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: +3.59%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.26%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: 0% (no change)

Fundraising activity remained busy last week as founders and investors prepared for the end of the quarter. On the demand side, investor activity increased by 3.59%, reaching its highest point of the quarter. To be sure, VC activity is still a ways off from the heights of early Q2 (down nearly 15% since those heady days), but this Q3 high suggests that investor activity will retain some momentum heading into Q4. Investor time on deck also ticked downwards to match that increase in activity, once again reaching the all-time low we saw a few weeks ago. On the supply side, founder activity remained steady last week, but this is actually a signal of strength: for such a volatile metric, recent increases plus a week of no change also evinces momentum for the new quarter. But will fears of a government shutdown dent fundraising confidence? They’ve already caused volatility in equities markets. Stay tuned to see how the fundraising marketplace digests these concerns in the home stretch of Q3.

Updated: September 21, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: +5.46%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +1.92%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +21.43%

In last week’s analysis, we posited that the fundraising marketplace was poised to pick up a head of steam going into the end of Q3. Last week’s founder and investor activity bolstered that prediction: VC activity was up 5.46% after remaining unchanged the week before. The average investor time on deck crept up slightly but is still at the second-lowest point we’ve ever seen. The real action last week, however, was on the supply side of the market: founder activity was up 21.43%, reaching its highest point yet this quarter in a third straight week of gains. This surge in activity on both sides of the funding table suggests that we’re going to see a sprint to the finish of Q3: we can expect founders and VCs to continue ramping up activity and end the quarter with a bang. Check back next week to see whether VCs can match the founder enthusiasm we’ve seen this week.

Updated: September 13, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: 0% (no change)
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -4.46%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +7.28%

As founders and investors got back to work after the Labor Day holiday last week, they gave us several things to consider for the fall fundraising season. Overall investor activity remained unchanged from the week before, and this is a sign of strength in the marketplace. We’re in what has historically been a slower fundraising period–even during the hot second half of 2020 VC activity fell around late August and early September, so the fact that VCs kept up their pace last week means the demand side of the marketplace is in robust health. What did change, however, was the Time Spent metric: the average time investors spent on decks fell by 4.46% to reach an all-time low of 2 minutes, 34 seconds. Investors are going through decks more quickly than ever, and founders should prepare pitch decks accordingly and succinctly hook readers from the get-go. Over on the supply side of the marketplace, founder activity rose by 7.28% last week, making gains for the second week in a row. Founder momentum looks set to keep a steady supply of pitch decks coming in for VC review, and investors look set to read those decks eagerly but efficiently. Is the market building up a head of steam for further gains through the end of Q3? Check back next week to see how things have progressed.

Updated: September 7, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: -6.67%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.2%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +2.35%

Updated: August 30, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: 0% (no change)
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.45%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -15.66%

Updated: August 23, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: +6.7%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: 0% (no change)
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -1.41%

Updated: August 16, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: +4.37%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -3.24%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +12.47%

Both investor and founder activity rebounded last week. Investor deck interactions were up 4.37% after two weeks of declines. More remarkably, though, was how efficient VCs were with their time last week: the average time on deck fell by 3.24%, reaching 2 minutes, 41 seconds. This is the lowest weekly time on deck average in 2021 and the second-lowest weekly point since 2018. Although investors aren’t quite as active as they have been at other times this year, they’re moving through decks very quickly and likely know exactly what they want to see in a potential deal. Founders should take note: as VC time on deck drops, pitch decks need to be short and succinct to capture investors’ attention. VCs weren’t the only busy ones last week, either. Founder activity rose by 12.47% after the prior week’s sharp drop, continuing the volatility we’ve seen from founders throughout much of 2021. Will founders remain consistently active, and will the investor time on deck average continue to fall? Check back next week to see how the landscape has evolved.

Updated: August 9, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: -3.38%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -4.18%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -15.76%

Updated: August 2, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: -5.95%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.35%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +5.66%

After two weeks of upward movement together, founder and VC activity moved in opposite directions last week. Investor activity was down by 5.95% and the average time on deck increased only slightly, by 0.35%. Some investors might be out of the office on vacation, whereas others could be feeling slightly more cautious these days due to news about the spread of the Delta variant of COVID. Even taking these explanations into account, though, VC activity remains high overall, as investor pitch deck engagement is up more than 16% over this time last year. Founders, for their part, didn’t show signs of a summer lull or pandemic uncertainty last week: founder activity ticked upwards once again, increasing by 5.66%. Founder activity is now just 1.92% under its high-water mark for Q2, indicating that Q3 could get even busier on the supply side of the fundraising marketplace. Will founders stay this busy, and will investor activity increase in response? Check back next week to see how the marketplace shifted.

Updated: July 26, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: +9.09%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.36%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +2.34%

The fundraising marketplace continued to buzz last week, as both founders and investors continue ramping up their activity in Q3. Investor activity was up 9.09% after a comparatively more modest increase the week before. VC activity is down over 17% from its all-time high in April, but when compared to previous years we can see that investors are still very hungry for new deals. As investors have gotten busier, they’re still allocating about the same amount of time to each deck: the average time on deck was almost unchanged last week (up by just 0.36%), and when we factor in the spike in activity we can see that investors are working hard but not cutting corners in deck analysis. Founder activity leveled off somewhat last week, increasing by 2.34% after the previous week’s 14%+ spike. Still, two consecutive weeks of increased activity could signal a trend, especially given the week-by-week volatility we saw in this metric in Q2. We can expect activity levels on both sides of the funding table to keep ticking upwards in the coming weeks. But will VCs become more efficient with their time as they get even busier? Check back next week to see how they managed.

Updated: July 19, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: +5.96%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -0.72%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +14.54%

Updated: July 12, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -4.8%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.08%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -16.95%

Q2 Pitch Deck Interest Metrics 2021

Q2 2021 research and analysis shows significant, sustained growth in startup fundraising activity over the past 15 months. Founder and investor activities dropped abruptly in March 2020 only to rebound quickly in April 2020. Since then, founder pitch deck activity and investor engagement have steadily risen, increasing by 45% and 39%, respectively.

Founders also sent out pitch decks 18% faster than the pace at which investors were reviewing and engaging with those pitch decks. This indicates more founders were actively seeking funding during this time, either for a first-time startup or for an existing startup. It also suggests the supply of startups is outpacing investor demand. 

TL; DR: Not only has the fundraising market grown since the pandemic first took hold, but it’s also outperforming pre-pandemic market levels measured in 2018 and 2019.

Key Pitch Deck Metrics Stats:

  • Founder pitch deck activity increased by 45% since March 2020
  • Investor engagement increased by 39% since March 2020 and 41% year-over-year (YOY)
  • Pitch deck links created by founders actively fundraising increased by 36% YOY

Updated: July 5, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -4.58%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.12%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +9.26%

The last week of Q2 once again saw VC and founder activity move in opposite directions. Investor activity was down 4.58%, continuing a two-week slide into the end of the quarter. The average time investors spent on decks fell by 2.12% and now stands at 2 minutes, 46 seconds. Investors seem to have gone into the pre-holiday week with their loose ends tied up. By contrast, founder activity rose by 9.26% heading into the end of Q2. Founder activity had been quite volatile since mid-May, but founders ended the quarter on a high note: this was the second consecutive week that activity increased. Whereas investors began winding down their quarterly activity several weeks ago, founders made a two-week push to get decks out before the Fourth of July weekend. Will VC activity ramp up to begin Q3, matching this spike in founder activity? Pre-COVID, these summer months were slower for both investors and founders; last year, though, there was sustained activity throughout the summer. Since the economy continues to recover, and given all the VC money currently in the fundraising marketplace, we can expect activity on both sides of the funding table to remain healthy throughout Q3. Check back next week to see how the new quarter got started.

Updated: June 28, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -10.78%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +0.72%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +10.77%

Updated: June 21, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +1.89%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.79%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -8.45%

Updated: June 14, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: +10%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.42%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +7.04%

Updated: June 7, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -4%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: +2.95%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -7.87%

Activity in the fundraising marketplace slowed last week. Following the Memorial Day holiday, investor deck interactions fell by 4% and the average time VCs spent on decks ticked upwards, by 2.95%, after falling for several weeks. On the other side of the funding table, founder activity fell by 7.87% after rising by over 10% the week before. Part of this marketplace slowdown can be attributed to the after effects of the holiday: investors and founders alike may still have been in “vacation mode” and in no rush to get back to the hustle and bustle of deck sending and evaluation. However, it’s also true that VC activity has been falling steadily since its last high point in mid-April. Likewise, although founder activity has been more volatile, it too has strayed from its last high-water mark in mid-March. The marketplace remains very active overall, although this holds true more for VCs than for founders: the investor index is still sitting above its 2020 post-outbreak peak, whereas the founder index is now sitting below the three highest weeks of 2020. We’re still confident that fundraising activity will heighten as Q2 draws to a close, but will it approach the highs we saw in Q1? Check back next week to see how founders and investors positioned themselves.

Updated: May 31, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -3.48%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -2.54%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: +10.63%

Investor activity slowed slightly last week, as VCs may have had one eye on the upcoming holiday weekend. Investor deck interactions fell by 3.48% and the average time spent on decks fell by 2.54%. These are fairly gentle dips, though, and we can expect investors to ramp up their activity over the next few weeks as the end of Q2 approaches. Founders, for their part, were more active before the holiday: the average number of links created rose by 10.63%, a healthy uptick after the previous week’s drop. Can we expect a similar end-of-quarter rise in activity from founders? The supply side of the fundraising marketplace has been more volatile than the demand side for much of 2021, but even with this volatility it’s likely that founders will be making a push to get decks in front of investors before the end of June. This is all the more true with so much economic optimism in the air. Check back next week to see what the post-Memorial Day marketplace looked like.

Updated: May 24, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -3%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -1.09%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -17.88%

Updated: May 17, 2021

  • Pitch Deck Interest: Investor Deck Interactions: -2.2%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Time Spent: -0.73%
  • Pitch Deck Interest: Founder Links Created: -3.45%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

Q1 Pitch Deck Interest Metrics 2021

VC demand outpaced startup pitch deck supply in the first quarter of 2021, with demand up 62% compared to Q1 2020. During the same 12-month timeframe, overall VC demand increased 53% faster than the available supply of startup pitch decks. The supply of startups seeking funding also jumped up 41% year-over-year (YOY) and 19% from the previous quarter. 

With more supply comes greater demand on VCs’ time and the average time investors spent reviewing pitch decks decreased 17% YOY in Q1, down more than 3% from the previous quarter. This indicates investors spent less time scrutinizing pitch deck information before deciding whether to meet with founders.

TL; DR: With more supply and increased VC demand, investors continued to spend less time evaluating company potential, indicating that nailing the pitch deck remains a critical capability for founders in 2021.

Key Pitch Deck Stats: 

  • Investor engagement increased by 62% compared to Q1 2020 and 53% YOY 
  • Startups seeking funding increased by 41% YOY, with pitch deck link creation for pitch decks per founder increasing from 6.25 to 8.79 in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
  • The average time investors spent reviewing pitch decks decreased by 17% YOY, down 3% from Q4 2020

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

Q4 Pitch Deck Interest Metrics 2020

Despite ups and downs throughout a historic year, investor activity reached an all-time high in Q4 2020, increasing 21% year-over-year (YOY). Underscoring how volatile the fundraising landscape was throughout 2020, Pitch Deck Interactions (PDI) spanned the highs (early October) and lows (early March) of the year with a 54% spread. 

Key Pitch Deck Metrics Stats: 

  • Investor engagement increased 21% YOY, reaching an all-time high in early October
  • PDI spanned the high and lows of 2020 with a 54% spread
  • Links created by founders in Q4 increased 14% YOY, peaking during the week of the U.S. presidential election

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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.

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%

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%

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%

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.

Q3 Pitch Deck Interest Metrics 2020

Key Pitch Deck Metrics Stats: 

  • Investor engagement increased 40% YOY and up 28.2% compared to Q3 2018
  • Investors spent an average of two minutes and 51 seconds per pitch deck, lower than both 2019 and 2018 third-quarters
  • Pitch deck links created by founders in Q3 increased by 18.3% YOY and 51.3% over Q3 2018
  • VC interest declined by 6% over week 37, a time period that historically kicks off the fall rush

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%

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%

Updated: September 21, 2020

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

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%

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%

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.

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

Q2 Pitch Deck Interest Metrics 2020

Although VC attention in Q1 focused on existing portfolio companies, market analysis indicated investors spent more time on new opportunities in Q2, with Pitch Deck Interest (PDI) increasing by 26%. Peaking during the week of June 15, 2020 with 20.6 interactions per pitch deck, the top 10 weeks of investor interest for the year were all in the second quarter.

TL; DR: Startups with the right business models and market opportunities are being met with open arms by investors who are again becoming eager to source deals.

Key Pitch Deck Metrics Stats:  

  • PDI increased by 26% in Q2 2020, compared to 2019
  • The top 10 weeks for investor interest in 2020 were all in Q2
  • Founder pitch deck link creation increased by 11% YOY, 3% higher than in Q1 2020

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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: April 27, 2020

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

Updated: April 20, 2020

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

Updated: April 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.

Q1 Pitch Deck Interest Metrics 2020

TL; DR: Pandemic lockdowns swiftly eliminated early market gains in 2020. With offices remaining closed for the foreseeable, virtual engagement between founders and VCs, along with market uncertainty, is going to be the new normal.

Key Pitch Deck Metrics Stats

  • Pitch deck link creation per founder peaked in January, marking a 41% YOY increase
  • PDI and pitch deck link creation declined over 20% and 21%, respectively, from their 2020 heights in February 2020
  • By the second half of March, PDI rebounded to just 5% down YOY 
  • The top four worst days for PDI, in order, for Q1 2020 were: March 19, 6, 12, and 20

Updated: April 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.

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.

Updated: March 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.

Updated: March 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.