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Annual global VC investment drops to five-year low in Q4’23

2023 was a particularly difficult year for VC investment globally given the significant economic challenges, geopolitical tensions and conflicts, and ongoing concerns related to the valuations of VC-backed companies. Both annual global VC investment and the total number of VC deals globally fell to levels not seen since 2019 as VC investors continued to show an abundance of caution with respect to their dealmaking activities.



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Interest in AI helps check decline in US-based VC investment

AI continued to attract an enormous degree of attention from VC investors in the US during Q4’23, with investment flooding into companies operating in the space. Investments in AI were vast and varied, spanning a wide cross section of industries and service offerings. The AI space attracted many of the largest deals in the US during Q4’23, including a $2 billion raise by generative AI and large language model developer Anthropic, a $1.7 billion raise by AI-powered parking platform Metropolis, a $684 million raise by AI-powered data analytics platform Databricks, and a $323 million raise by neurotech company Neuralink. 

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Due diligence remains priority as Q4’23 investment sinks to 14-quarter low in the Americas

VC investment in the Americas fell to a four-year low in 2023, while the number of VC deals in the region dropped to a five year low, as investors became increasingly selective with their investments given the ongoing barrage of challenges. 




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VC investment in Europe falls over 20 percent in Q4’23

VC investment in Europe fell significantly quarter-over-quarter as VC investors — particularly from the US — pulled back from making major investments in the region. Global macroeconomic conditions, the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine, and a resurgence of the conflict in the Middle East likely all contributed to the pullback. While total VC investment in Europe for 2023 was down dramatically compared to the outlier years seen in 2021 and 2022, it remained on par with the level of investment seen in 2020 — and well ahead of investment in all prior years.

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VC investment in Asia Pacific region falls to seven-year low

Both VC investment and the total number of VC deals in the Asia-Pacific region pulled back significantly during 2023, amidst rising interest rates and other economic challenges, geopolitical tensions, and concerns about liquidity and the lack of exits. Q4’23 was particularly quiet for VC investment in the region, despite two $1 billion-plus funding rounds — one by China-based semiconductor manufacturer Changxin Xinqiao and the other by Singapore-based, ecommerce company Lazada.

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