Are rising seed-stage valuations a poisoned gift for startups?


Compared to a year ago, startup valuations have dipped across the board, no matter if you’re a startup raising a seed round or a Series E.

But there’s good news if you’re a growth-stage startup: Valuations for startups raising Series A, B and C rounds across the world ticked higher in Q1 2023 from Q4 2022, according to data from CB Insights.

That said, it’s not looking good for early- and late-stage deals: valuations for angel, seed, Series D rounds and later-stage rounds are trending downwards globally.

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In the United States, however, PitchBook data paints a different picture, one that confounds and fascinates at the same time: Seed-stage valuations have climbed higher, while Series A, B, C and later-stage deals are worth less now.

It appears startup trends in the U.S. are diverging from the rest of the world: what’s going up in the U.S. is going downwards elsewhere, and vice versa.

This dissonance is interesting, but today we’re going to explore a question that’s even more intriguing. If we continue to see valuations rising for startups raising seed rounds while later-stage prices dip, how long will it be until the journey from seed to Series A becomes one that sees companies losing value?

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