While some might scoff at the idea of there even being a bubble in hi-tech start-ups, it appears the massive wall of money that has been thrown at dot-com 2.0 names - all money-losing, social, mobile, cloud name-droppers - has dried up. As The TechCrunch Bubble Index shows, the last 90 days have seen startup-funding announcements collapse over 40% to their lowest level in almost 3 years...
The TCBI measures the number of headlines on TechCrunch over the past 90 days that specifically relate to startups raising money. I defined a "startup fundraise" as one where the amount raised was at least $100,000 and less than $150 million. A higher TCBI means more TechCrunch stories about startups raising money, which might broadly indicate a vibrant fundraising environment. For example, a TCBI of 209 on November 16, 2014, means that there were 209 TechCrunch headlines about startup fundraises between August 19 and November 5, or 2.3 per day.
So wait, did the funding bubble burst in the spring of 2014?
In the spring of 2014, investors pumped more than $5 billion into startups (as reported on TechCrunch) over a 90 day period. More recently, in the fall of 2014, that number has declined by almost 40%, to just over $3 bn. The earlier TCBI graph showed a similar decline, from a high of 346 in April 2014 to a value of 209 as I write this. In fact, the TCBI is now at its lowest value since June 2012, and the percentage of all TechCrunch articles that are about startups raising money has declined from 9% to 7% in 2014 alone.
It's also possible that it is simply getting harder to raise money!
I bucketed each fundraise article based on the amount raised to see if there are any trends within investment rounds (seed, series A, etc.):