With the level of uncertainty in the global market intensifying — from increasing interest rates to domestic and geopolitical challenges, significant economic concerns, war in Ukraine, and concerns about the stability of the global banking system — no region was particularly immune to the shifting market forces.

Both startups and corporates continued to batten down the hatches in Q1’23, prioritizing cost-cutting and operational efficiencies and laying off staff in order to reduce their spend. VC investors also tightened their purse strings, enhancing their scrutiny of potential deals quite significantly. 

In addition to alternative energy, defense-focused companies continued to attract attention. B2B productivity also remained front of mind for investors given the growing pressure on companies to become more efficient and the continuing challenges of hybrid work. Artificial Intelligence generated the most buzz this quarter, if not investment, as the ripples from OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT made their way through all markets. Generative AI will likely be a space to watch for the rest of 2023.

In this quarter’s edition of Venture Pulse, we look at these and a number of other global and regional trends, including:

  • The strong interest in alterative energy and EV solutions
  • The continued focus on cost-cutting and finding efficiencies
  • The relative resilience of early-stage deals
  • The growing focus on generative AI