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Why startups can thrive rather than survive to 2025

Why startups can thrive rather than survive to 2025
Image credit: eamesBot / Shutterstock

A tech bull market lasting more than a decade was the backdrop to the startup funding frenzy in the years following the pandemic. Investors, enticed by rapidly increasing valuations, jumped at the chance to be a part of the action at the early stage.

However, the flurry of excitement in European private markets came crashing down in 2023, with funding dropping by nearly 46% to €57.1bn compared to the previous year. Valuations across the board plummeted, Covid unicorns faltered (take Hopin, for example), and VC funding dried up. There is strong consensus that we won’t return to the heydays of 2020-2021 anytime soon.

Yet amidst the challenges, 2025 looks like it could be a bounce-back year for startups. As public markets begin to thaw, the liquidity will filter down into venture markets. But while there are signs that we will see improvement, there is no guarantee. For startup founders and investors, simply waiting for the good times to return won’t do it....