State of startup fundraising scores

At-a-glance ratings of founder/investor activity based on historical trends

Current scores for founders and VCs–Q1 2023

Updated: February 23, 2023

Founder activity: +4

VC activity: 0

VC activity is broadly in line with activity levels over the past 3 years, whereas founders are more active compared to historical benchmarks. This discrepancy is a sign that it’s an investor’s market: VCs are receiving a healthy inflow of decks each week, and startup founders will need to hone their storytelling to stand out from the crowd.

About our fundraising scores

DocSend’s state of fundraising scores help founders and investors quickly gauge what’s happening in the startup fundraising marketplace. This new, fundamental score provides insights into current fundraising trends so founders and investors can determine the state of the market.

We study historical trends in our weekly Pitch Deck Interest Metrics data to rate founder and VC activity in the current quarter on a scale of -10 to +10. The higher the score, the more active founders/investors are relative to historical benchmarks (like the year-to-date average and quarter-over-quarter average). By weighing these benchmarks against current quarterly activity, we provide founders and investors with an at-a-glance look at the relative health of startup fundraising.

Interpreting our scores

A higher score out of 10 means founders/VCs are currently more active than they’ve been over the past 3 years. A score of zero means activity is generally in line with the past 3 years. A negative score out of 10 means founders/VCs are currently less active than over the past 3 years. A three-year historical timeline allows us to interpret current activity levels in light of recent quarterly and yearly trends while keeping an eye on how these trends fit within a broader perspective.


DocSend’s fundraising scores measure quarterly VC and founder activity according to five weighted factors from our historical data:

  • 3-year trailing average
  • Previous year’s quarterly activity
  • Previous quarter’s activity
  • Year-to-date average for founders and VCs
  • Year-to-date founder/VC activity relative to year-to-date VC/founder activity

To arrive at our scale of +/- 10 scores, we begin at 0 and add/subtract 0, 1, or 2 points based on how much quarterly activity exceeds or falls short of our five historical benchmarks. Our model weighs recent benchmarks more heavily.

Dive into our fundraising research

Data-driven insights into the latest fundraising trends and how to succeed.