Fenwick Releases Silicon Valley VC Report for Q1 2009, and the Results Ain't Pretty

By Kevin Fayle on May 29, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you work in the legal department of a start-up funded by venture capital, odds are you have been doing financing rounds less often and raising less per round than in times past. 

Fenwick & West has backed up this anecdotal observation with a survey containing some less-than-encouraging numbers for Silicon Valley tech firms that rely on VC. 
The survey found that 46% of companies that received money in the first quarter of 2009 experienced a down round, while only 25% had an up round and 29% stayed flat.  That's the survey's largest differential between down and up rounds since the first quarter of 2003, according to the authors.

Overall, prices declined by 3% in the first quarter, which is the first time there has been an overall price decrease since Fenwick began tracking the stat in the first quarter of 2004.

The authors find it significant that the prices declined even though overall venture investment dropped in the quarter as well. 

VC investors put out $3.8 billion in 470 deals, which represents almost a 50 percent drop year over year.  As the survey puts it: "This was the lowest amount invested in a quarter by venture capitalists since 1998, and the lowest quarterly deal total since 1996."

If you do happen to work for one of the companies that are receiving financing, you may want to check out Wilson Sonsini's Term Sheet Generator, which provides a VC financing term sheet based on your answers to a questionnaire.  It also has some tutorials and other educational material.

If you don't work for one of those companies, you can still use the generator: Just plug in some numbers from the past and reminisce about the good old days.
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