Startup round sizes got bigger at most stages in Q1

Startup round sizes got bigger at most stages in Q1

Author: Kevin Dowd
Read time:  3 minutes
Published date:  17 April 2024
The median venture round size increased at every stage from seed to Series C during Q1 2024, a welcome development for cash-hungry startups.

The median venture round size increased at every stage from seed to Series C during the first quarter of 2024, a welcome development among startups hungry for new infusions of cash after a lean last year on the fundraising trail. 

The largest increase came at Series C, where the median round size on Carta grew to $23 million in Q1 2024, according to our preliminary data from the quarter. That’s a 27% increase from Q4 2023, when median Series C round size sunk to its lowest point of the past four years. 

First Cut Q1 2024 B and C rounds

At Series B, the median round size increased for the fourth straight quarter, reaching $21 million. That’s up 11% from the prior quarter. Meanwhile, the median Series A round size in Q1 was $9.3 million, a 9% quarter-over-quarter increase, and the median seed deal size was $3.5 million, up 17% from Q4 2023. 

First Cut Q1 2024 Seed and A rounds

The desire for dollars

Over the past two years, startups seeking new capital have had to be increasingly patient. In many cases, these larger round sizes from Q1 represent the arrival of some long-awaited financial fuel. 

In 2023, venture deal count on Carta declined by 24% from the previous year, while combined venture deal value fell by 50%. The scale of those declines point to a major shift in the fundraising market from the white-hot days of 2021 and early 2022

With fewer transactions taking place, startups had to wait longer between new funding rounds: For instance, the median time between a Series A and a Series B reached 784 days in Q4 2023, the longest wait since at least the start of 2019. 

Median time between Series A and B highest yet recorded

Longer times between rounds means that startups had to extend their runways and stretch each dollar further. With early- and mid-stage round sizes on the rise, those startups that successfully closed new rounds in Q1 were able to get some relief. 

Steady growth at Series B

In the longer term, round sizes are showing the most growth at Series B. Over the past year, the median Series B deal size increased by 75%, rising from about $12 million in Q1 2023 to $21 million in Q1 2024. 

At Series A, the median round size grew by about 27% year over year. Median Series A round size has increased in three of the past four quarters, with Q4 2023 the lone exception. 

Median deal size at the seed stage saw somewhat smaller year-over-year growth, at 13%. And at Series C, median deal size declined by 4% from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024.

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Kevin Dowd
Author: Kevin Dowd
Kevin Dowd is a senior writer covering the private markets. Prior to joining Carta, he reported on venture capital and private equity at Forbes, where he wrote the Deal Flow newsletter, and at PitchBook, where he wrote The Weekend Pitch.