The lowdown for European startups looking to raise money in 2023

We’re an impatient bunch here at TechCrunch+, so while we await tidied quarterly venture reports from major startup databases, we’re also running our own queries to get early looks at the state of the fundraising world. As it’s the last day of the first quarter, we’re too antsy to wait any longer to see what’s been going on in Europe. Let’s take an early peek.

In the wake of Techstars’ decision to leave the Swedish market, we looked at Sweden’s startup scene earlier this week following a glance at what is happening in the United States. Those were useful exercises, but we’ll need a broader dataset to really set our bearings. To that end, let’s look at all of Europe and then consider the three largest venture markets in the region: the U.K., Germany and France.

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The numbers are fascinating and can be read as either bullish or bearish. The negative take is simple: European venture totals are down from a year ago. The more positive perspective is also worth considering: When we focus our view on just the last few quarters, it appears that venture is done contracting.

Naturally, we’ll have oodles more data and charts when Q1 2023 data fully drops, but we can get a head start. Let’s talk Europe.

Inside Europe’s Q1 2023 venture results

European startups raised $28.85 billion across 2,274 deals in Q1 2023, according to preliminary PitchBook data. That’s less than in Q1 2021, but we already know (and you may be tired of hearing by now) that the 2021 venture vintage was an outlier. However, the figure also represents a year-on-year decline, which may sound like a surprise: In Q1 2022, the downturn had already started in the U.S.

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