Crowd Is The Silver Lining In Startup Sky

Dark blue sky with the sun brightening some of the clouds

UK equity crowdfunding, led by Crowdcube and Seedrs, is the best bit of good news in Beauhurst's latest report on startup dealflow, covering the first three months of 2017.

The research house calls the marhet 'stagnant', which we think is a little unkind.

 "Despite a small improvement in deal numbers, equity funding in the UK is still stagnant when compared with its steady growth pre-2016," Pedro Madeira, Head of Research at Beauhurst, told Business Insider: "The prospects for UK startups are still bleak compared to previous years."

Let's put this into context. There was the small matter of a referendum at the end of the second quarter, last June. Beauhurst's bar chart (click through for details) shows a dip in Q2 2016 (the uncertainty of anticipation) then a further dip in Q3 (we'd all heard the result, but we didn't know what the government's Brexit strategy was going to be.)

Since the fourth quarter of 2016,  volumes of dealflow have started to pick up. We wouldn't call that 'stagnant' or 'bleak'. Put yourself in the position of a startup company, that has a strategy, and then decides it wants to adjust it, because of the EU referendum. How long does it take your management team to absorb that information, make the appropriate adjustments to your strategy, and then  get back into 'raise capital mode?

What we find heartening is that the firms raising money on the equity crowdfunding scene are responding more rapidly than those in the venture capitaland "traditional" sectors.  It's too soon to say whether that's because of grteater openness and better communication. We intend to watch this recovery carefully, and share what we discover.