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Deep-Dive: A Recap of 2023’s Startup Valuations and Investment Trends

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This blog post first appeared first on old medium publication (, and was moved to this blog with the relaunch of our website in summer 2024.

Management Summary

In the “2023 Research Review” episode of, host Jörn “Joe” Menninger walks listeners through a detailed overview of the European startup scene in 2023. The episode covers topics such as investment trends, insolvency challenges, fundraising, and industry-specific insights. Menninger shares insights from various research reports, discussing valuations, private equity and venture capital markets, insolvency statistics, scaling opportunities, and investment volumes across different European countries and tech sectors. He emphasizes the podcast’s commitment to providing comprehensive highlights and encourages listeners to explore the detailed data linked in the show notes. Despite the challenging year, he expresses optimism for 2024 and invites audience feedback for future content.

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The European Startup Ecosystem in 2023: “Fundraising for new funds in the region proved more robust than in other parts of Europe.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger

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The Impact of Valuations on European Startups: “Startup valuations took a hit, but early stage investing mostly precede and seed and buy some series a funding has been going okay.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger


In this episode of, join us as we dive into the 2023 research review presented by Jörn “Joe” Menninger. We’ll explore the highs and lows of the European startup scene, from early-stage investments to insolvencies, private equity, and venture capital deal values. Together, we’ll dissect key findings from various research reports and gain insight into the ever-evolving world of startups. So, buckle up and stay tuned as we kick off 2024 and dive into the exciting landscape of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Economic Trends: “The number of insolvencies rose by 6% from 2021 to 2023, but a staggering 38% in 2023. Woah.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger

Questions We Answer

  1. What impact did the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors have on the startup scene in 2023, as mentioned in the episode?

  2. How did the startup valuations and investment trends in Europe, the US, and other regions evolve from 2022 to 2023? What were the key factors contributing to these changes?

  3. What were the challenges faced by the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) in terms of private equity, venture capital, and startup exits in 2023? How did the region compare to the rest of Europe?

  4. According to the European scale-up navigator, what potential does Europe have for creating scalable startups, and what sectors show particular promise for growth and job creation?

  5. How did the number of insolvencies in Germany and the founding of new businesses fluctuate in 2023, and what industries were most affected?

  6. What were the findings of the KFW VC and PE dashboard and the 2023 annual report regarding deal volume, investments, and the performance of startups across Europe?

  7. What were the trends and investment outlooks for deep tech startups, cleantech, and biotechnology companies in Germany and Europe as a whole in 2023?

  8. How did AI startup investments fare in 2023, and what were the key observations about startup funding in different cities or regions, such as Berlin?

  9. What were the record-breaking achievements for biotech companies in terms of fundraising and investments in 2023, and what notable examples, such as BioNTech, shaped these developments?

  10. Based on the overall review and research findings presented in the episode, what are the key takeaways and potential implications for the startup ecosystem in 2024?

“Europe needs startups that scale, but it has significant potential to do so. The authors estimate a potential of 200,000 scaling startups for a total of 340,000, which could generate 8,100,000 additional jobs and add 2,300,000,000,000 US dollars, yes with a t, in market capitalization, that’s 5,600,000,000,000 US dollars.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger

The Video Podcast is set to go live on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024

The podcast is available early to the members of our YouTube channel.

The State of Startups in Europe: “Startups in series a and b have risen more than one €100,000,000,000 which gives hope for the years to come.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger

The Audio Podcast is set to go live on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024

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Tech Investment Trends in Europe in 2023: “The overall deal volume is down by almost 40% across Europe, across the continent with 6 points, 67,700,000,000 were invested by more than thirteen thousand investors.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger

The Research/Reports:

In 2023, the European startup landscape experienced a mixed performance. Early-stage investing, particularly in pre-seed and seed stages, remained resilient despite a downturn in later-stage funding, leading to insolvency challenges for some startups. Equidam reported a decline in average startup valuations in Europe from $6 million in 2022 to $4 million in 2023, while the U.S. saw an increase from $7 million to $8 million during the same period. The DACH region faced a decrease in private equity and venture capital deal values, with startup exit values plummeting by nearly 70%. However, fundraising for new VC funds in the region proved more robust than in other parts of Europe. Germany, as highlighted by Databyte, witnessed a notable increase in insolvencies, particularly in the wholesale, construction, and retail sectors. The European Scale-Up Navigator emphasized the need for more scalable startups in Europe, estimating the potential for 200,000 startups to create 8.1 million jobs and contribute $2.3 trillion to market capitalization. Despite challenges, there is optimism in certain sectors, such as deep tech and biotechnology, as evidenced by increased investments in AI and record fundraising for German biotech companies in 2023. Overall, the European startup ecosystem faced headwinds in 2023, with varying degrees of impact across regions and industries.

There are different sources for the review and most importantly they are all linked so you can do your own digging — Look for the links at our blog

European Deep Tech Startups Funding: “Europe has all it takes to become a global deep tech hub.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger

Equidam Pre-Seed Valuations Europe (Link) — During the preparation of this episode I talked to Daniel, the founder of Equidam. We will do an episode talking about the wild ride startup valuations that have taken in Europe since the outbreak of corona in 2020.

Private Capital Breakdown DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) by PitchBook (Link)

Databyte review 2023 (via email)

European Scale-Up Navigator (Link opens directly as a PDF)

KfW VC and PE Dashboard (Q3 2023) (Link opens directly as a PDF) 2023 Annual Report, together with Creadum (Link)

2023 European Deep Tech Report by Dealroom (Link)

EY Startup Barometer January 2024 (Link)

German Trade and Invest — Record Fundraising for Biotech Companies in 2023 (Link) article with Insights from PitchBook (Link)

Biotech Investments in 2023: “More than €1,000,000,000 was invested in German biotech companies in 2023, up from around €900,000,000 in 2022.”— Jörn “Joe” Menninger

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The Interviewer

This interview was conducted by Jörn “Joe” Menninger, startup scout, founder, and host of Reach out to him:

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Automated Transcript

Narrator [00:00:05]:Welcome to Startupradio dot I o, your podcast and YouTube blog covering the German start up scene with news, interviews, and Live

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:20]:Events. Hello, and welcome, everybody. Welcome to the exciting world of Startupradio Joe Where innovation meet insights. Ladies and gentlemen, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts, We are thrilled to kick off the 1st episode of 2024, ushering in a year of groundbreaking business news And entrepreneurial endeavors. Join us on this journey as we uncover the stories behind the headlines, Connect with visionary leaders and dissect the strategies, driving success in the ever evolving world of start ups. Here’s a year filled with innovation, growth, and the relentless pursuit of greatness. Thank you for being a part of the StartupRadio Joe o community bugle up. Stay tuned.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:01:11]:And let’s make 2024 a year to remember. Really sorry here on a personal note for the delays, but the weather, the ongoing wave of infections, Think corona, influenza, and RSV threw a monkey wrench into my schedule. Always topped off with very severe weather here in the last Few days. Think freezing rain and then on top of it, heavy snow falls. But I do promise We’ll be back on track for 2024 and also pick up our newsletter again on Slack and LinkedIn. Big promise. We thought we would start with an overview looking back on 2023, and boy, It has been a harsh year for the Startupradio scene in general and, of course, for me in personal. But let us jump in.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:02:05]:Experienced a mixed performance. Early stage investment, particularly in pre seed and seed stages, remained resilient despite A downturn in later stage funding leading to insolvency challenges for some startups. The blog Deutsche Startups Has compiled list of more than 100 insolvencies of startups. We like this In our news episode to be published next week, our former interview guest, Equidigm, reported a decline in direct Startupradio valuation In Europe as a whole from 6,000,000 in 2022 to 4,000,000 in 2023 On average, of course, while the US saw an increase from 7 to 8,000,000 during the same period, The DACH region, meaning Deutschland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, also known as GSA region, faced a A decrease in private equity and venture capital deal value with start up exits, unfortunately plummeting by 70% or Nearly 70%. However, what’s the good news? Fundraising for new funds in the region proved more robust Then in other parts of Europe, Germany, as highlighted by Databyte, witnessed a notable increase in insolvencies, Particularly in wholesale construction and retail sector, keep in mind, that is not only startups. The European scale up navigator emphasized the need for more scalable startups in Europe, Estimating a potential of 200,000 startups to create 8,100,000 jobs In certain sectors such as deep tech, biotechnology as evidenced by increased investments in, of course, AI and fundraising especially by the German biotech companies in 2023. Overall, the European StartupRadio ecosystem Faced headwinds in 2023 with a varying degree of impact across the regions and industries. Here are different sources for the review.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:04:20]:Most important, they are all linked Joe you can start your own digging. Look for links in our blog, medium.comforward/startupgradedashi0 Joe the link Down here in the show notes, I’ll just go through 10 pieces. We do have quite a lot, quite a big, Library of potential content and hours deciding on just to do 10 and give you 1, 2, 3 highlights from the respective publication and link them so you can do your own research. By the way, that is the way StartupRadio was attended and set up. So ins so that’s the way we intend you to use this podcast. We give you the highlights. We give you an overview. And on our blog, there’s a link to the original source, and that’s where you can start digging where your interest lies.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:05:17]:By the way, happy New Year and happy digging. Number 1 was the ACWADM pre seed valuations Europe. Again, we are jumping bit here between Europe, Germany, and the DACH region, Shenando will try to highlight as much as possible, where we are here, but Equidem only does, A level of European StartupRadio that’s what we’re taking here. As our audience not already knows, Startup valuations took a hit, but early stage investing mostly precede and seed and buy some series a funding has been going okay. Later stage funding was depressed, unfortunately, and that led to a lot of insolvencies, mostly because they could not get their next Funding. The average valuation of a Startupradio according to Equidigm was in Europe €4,000,000 in 2023, down From almost 6,000,000 in 2022, the average valuation in the US was 7,000,000 in 2022 with an increase to 8,000,000 in 2023. Talking globally Joe the Africa. Europe and Middle Eastern startups took a valuation hit in 2023, But the valuation for startups in Latin America and the US Joe.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:06:42]:Southeastern Asian startups showed a very, very slight Growth in terms of average valuation. The next piece of research we have is private capital breakdown, Rad. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Buy the research house pitch book. The publication is an overview of the private equity and venture Capital markets in the region. The data here is based on the report which is which ended At end of q 3 2023, not a surprise here, but it does not look very bright. According to PitchBook, the deal Value in private equity is expected to be around 14% lower this year than in previous year. And venture capital, even 45% lower.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:07:35]:Startup exit values have been down by almost 70%. The good news is that the DACH region was more resilient in fundraising for new VC funds as the rest of Europe. That’s at least a climmer for of hope for the region. Databyte. Databyte is a data provider that regularly reaches out to us via email. And we found this piece of research pretty nice, pretty interesting, so we include it in our review. That is, again, Germany, but very general business, not necessarily on startups alone. And insolvencies in Germany exploded.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:08:14]:The number of insolvencies rose by 6% from 2021 to 2023, But a staggering 38% in 2023. Woah. Most companies actually file for bankruptcy either in June, November, or December. As we already said, most insolvencies Occurred in wholesale, followed by construction and retail, surprising also consulting companies, filed for insolvency as the fourth Industry. There have been 9% less companies founded in Germany in 2023. November, minus 26, and December, minus 51% have been really tough. In total, still around 120,000 new businesses have been registered, Mostly consultancies, again, followed by financial services company. Spot number 3 was taken by companies related to real estate.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:09:13]:Itabytes outlook, it will get better, and they expect more newly found companies. Good news here. The European scale up navigator is our next piece of research. This is a more general position paper by RISE Europe, but it fits quite well looking at later stage startups in Europe. Again, this was published in November 2023, so assume at Maximum q three data of the year, but nonetheless, it’s an interesting read. Europe Europe needs more startups That scale, no surprise here. Europe needs startups that scale, but it has significant potential to do so. The authors estimate A potential of 200,000 StartupRadio here for a total of 340,000 scaling Startupradio which could generate 8,100,000 additional jobs and add 2,300,000,000,000 US dollars, yes with a t, In market capitalization, that to, 5,600,000,000,000 US dollars, And that size is three and a half times the market cap of Europe’s largest index, the DAX.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:10:26]:Germany’s DAX has only 1.6 US dollars in market valuations at the point, the research was was conducted. And they make cases for countries where they have identified successful scaling StartupRadio, namely Estonia, Sweden, Latifa, Lithuania, Germany, and Switzerland. Our 5th piece of research is the KFW VC and PE dashboard. Note the interview with chief economy doctor Fritzi Koehler Geit of KMW here where we talked about this dashboard. We’ll link it in the show notes. The database is based again on q 3 2023, quarter over quarter. The deal volume and number of deals are down by more than 20%. Also, larger deals in the scale up space have been lower, but startups in series a and b have risen more than one €100,000,000,000 which gives hope for the years to come.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:11:26]:2023 could be a deal could see a deal volume of €8,000,000,000 according to KFW. Surely below record, but still above many pre corona years. So the long term trend upwards is still Intact. Our 6th piece of research is 2023 annual report together with VC Kay Adam. Note. We are dealing here with a European perspective that puts German numbers, Before a bit into perspective, the overall deal volume is down by almost 40% across Europe, across the continent with 6 point, 67,700,000,000 were invested by more than thirteen Thousand investors. The top countries receiving the funding did not change. UK, 24,000,000,000, Germany, 8,700,000,000, France, 8,200,000,000 and the Netherlands, 6,100,000,000.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:12:27]:The new dialing of the investors are energy and cleantech startups, no surprise here, who raised more than €17,000,000,000 across Europe in total. Joe Switzerland made a remark Kerbal number 6 with €2,800,000,000. 2023, a European deep tech report by Dearoom. The authors write that Europe has all it takes to become a global deep tech hub. The category was amongst the most resilient VC Categories which held steady compared to 2022. To put this in perspective, Fintech was down 70% In, in a funding slump, deep tech hubs are emerging across Europe with Stockholm, London, Paris, Grenoble, And Munich, the Startupradio, Barometer, January 2024. This is by Germany and TIST Germany, according to the numbers are bleak and startups in Germany only waste €6,000,000,000. Remember KfW said it could reach €8,000,000,000? And, yes, the numbers are different for the different reports, and they never matched.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:13:44]:Don’t worry. It’s money to us as well. But it gives you a general trend. AI startup investments jumped fourfold. The hardest hit by lesser funding was actually Berlin. Good news, also is of the opinion that we reach rock bottom in terms of StartupRadio funding. Number 9, German Trade and Invest. That is the, basically, the investment promotion agency of Germany.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:14:15]:Record fundraising For biotech companies in 2023, another bright spot next to DeepTech, Cleantech investments, Especially AI are investments in biotechnology StartupRadio. One just needs to remember the smashing success of BioNTech to know why. German Trade and Invest reports report that more than €1,000,000,000 was invested in German biotech companies in 2023 Up from around €900,000,000 in 2022. And last but not least, an article by with insights from PitchBook. We like that because it condenses a little bit the very Strong, content of the PitchBook article. This is based on another big report by PitchBook covering All of Europe, similar to the to their own report, PitchBook finds minus 41% Minus 49.1% for your investments by volume at the end of q three. The forecast is that the total investment 2022 of €109,000,000,000 will not be reached. Keep in mind for all of Europe.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:15:30]:Again, highlights are cleantech and I Startupradio looking at the regions, France, Benelux has had largest gains compared to 2022 With plus 27.8%, followed by DACH region with 24.3%. Guys, that was a lot of data. Really, really sorry to have I threw that all to you, like, In such a short amount of time. But as I said, go down here in the show note. There is a link to our blog post. And in the blog post, there are all the links So all the data, you can start digging and keep digging, digging, digging, digging like I did for hours or even days. If you have any questions, mail me, Joe. Happy to reply.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:16:21]:Happy to hear from you. And, make sure to go down here in the show notes and leave Feedback on our audience survey, especially if you’d like to have similar solo pieces in the future. Last time you said, yes, you want, so I keep doing them. And of course, we’ll also pick up our entrepreneur interviews In the future, as I said, we actually planned an entrepreneur interview today, but, well, the person was 6 Joe we could not do anything about it. Again, happy new year 2024. Make it a better year than 2023. We will totally try our best to do it as well. Keep digging.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:17:08]:Thank you very much. Have a great day.

Narrator [00:17:16]:That’s all, folks. Find more news, streams, events, at Remember, sharing is as


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