The tech “bubble” – if there ever was one – appears to have peaked sometime in late 2015/early 2016 and venture capital funding for tech startups has gone into a global decline, according to new data from KPMG.

The good news is that the decline is slow and undramatic. We are not seeing the sudden crash that characterised the dotcom bust in 2000. For those who feared that VC funding of tech companies had become worryingly frothy, this will be reassuring. Having arrived at the top, tech appears to have stepped back from the ledge.

Nonetheless, it still means there is less money and fewer deals going on. And the deals that are getting done are generally larger – money for smaller deals is drying up.

Here’s a snapshot of what the peak looked like, and where we are today.

    Q1 2015, total number of VC funding deals globally: 5,250. Q2 2017, total number of VC funding deals globally: 2,985 (down about 43% from the peak). Q2 2016, total VC funding in dollars globally: over $45 billion. Q2 2017, total VC funding in dollars globally: $40 billion (down 11% from the peak).

KMPG put together a series of useful charts on the data. This is the total universe of funding, showing a clear pullback over the last two years:

Global funding

Global venture financing by stage

Foto: source KPMG

KPMG said in its report:

"Worldwide VC deal count slid again by just over 7% between Q1 and Q2'17. However, thanks to a surge of mega-rounds, the quarter-over-quarter increase in total venture capital invested was a staggering 55.3%. This included the largest venture round ever, raised by Beijing-based ridesharing platform Didi Chuxing, at $5.5 billion. Analyzing year-over-year figures, even the massive $40 billion invested in Q2'17 was down by 14.2% relative to the $46.7 billion invested in Q2 2016, while deal volume fell by 24% across the same timeframe."

The US

The largest market, the US, saw moderate softening. Total funding in Q2 2017 remained near the peak but the number of deals declined by about 27%:

Venture financing in the US

Foto: source KMPG


The pullback was more pronounced in Europe.

The total number of European deals more than halved from the peak, and the total value of deals declined by about 48%:

venture financing in Europe

Foto: source KMPG

In Europe, KPMG said, there was "a fifth straight quarterly decline in deals volume, however, total VC investment in Europe remained strong as a result of a number of mega-deals. Three $100 million+ deals together accounted for $1 billion in European VC funding, including $502 million to London-based Improbable, $397 million to Berlin-based Auto1 Group, and $100 million to London-based GammaDelta Therapeutics."

The UK

The UK looked like a version of the wider trend. Deals declined by more than half, and the total value went down by about 22%:

venture financing in the UK

Foto: source KPMG