Venture capital

Venture funding hit a 12-month low in April

Still, the $47 billion invested worldwide was a higher sum than in any 2020 month.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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After the climb, the descent.

Following a record-smashing 2021, a private market downturn has, by at least one measure, arrived.

By the numbers: In April, global venture funding hit its lowest point in over a year, falling to $47 billion, per Crunchbase. That’s 10% lower than the March total of $52 billion, and 12% lower than a year ago, and marks the second month in a row of year over year declines.

  • In other words, this may be the start of a broader buttoning-up trend.

But let’s zoom out for some perspective. Whether or not the money machine gets turned off from here, April’s monthly total of $47 billion was still higher than any single monthly total in 2020.

And the slowdown didn’t prevent several megarounds from materializing:

  • The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s tunneling venture, raised an eye-watering $675 million Series C. The company will use the cash to plow ahead with hiring “across engineering, operations, and production.”
  • Anthropic, an AI research company that focuses on “AI safety” work, raised a $580 million Series B. The company, founded just a year ago by OpenAI alums, plans to spend the money building out “experimental infrastructure” so it can “improve the safety properties of computationally intensive AI models.” It will also hire a team around policy and social implications of these models.
  • Upside Farms raised the biggest-ever funding round for a lab-grown meat company: a $400 million Series C. As we reported at the time, most of that money will go to building out a brand-new facility that can produce tens of millions of pounds of cultivated meat. The company expects construction to take at least a year…during which time it also crossing its fingers that regulators will greenlight the sale of cultivated meat in the US. TBD on that.

Looking ahead…Some investors and analysts say we’re on the brink of a deeper tech downturn.

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