Valuations and momentum in 2024

May 23

Data Insights

Aumni

Data from the first few months of 2024 presents a market that is still finding its footing -- there are some indications of normalization in early-stage financings, while an inflection point for late stage still appears further away.

The prevailing narrative since the end of 2021 has been one of stress feeding through venture markets owing to a combination of a higher rates environment, banking market volatility, and subdued IPO markets. Median post-money valuations fell ~50% from 2022 to 2023. These developments were accompanied by steady increases in the prevalence of down rounds through last year, as noted in the Aumni Venture Beacon Year End 2023 Report.


Where do we stand now in 2024?

At the macro level, the picture in 2024 remains mixed. Supporting a more constructive view, one can point at market commentary generally more centered on rate cuts than hikes. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq is sitting close to 2021 highs following a period of strong performance, and a growing number of companies are achieving IPOs with strong post-listing performance.

Supporting a more cautious perspective, there may be a meaningful number of companies that last raised in a ZIRP-era paradigm that are yet to raise a follow-on round and whose historic valuations may not yet be fully supported by current revenue and growth. At the same time, market expectations for rate cut timings have moved out in recent weeks following more hawkish Fed commentary.

Valuations

While valuations are nowhere near the levels seen in 2021, data does indicate some recent improvement from last year, but with a bifurcation of performance by stage.

Early-stage companies have seen median post-money valuations increase ~40% in the last 6 months, and even late-stage companies have seen ~10% improvement in PMVs over the same period. In addition, early-stage companies have started to see some reduction in the prevalence of down rounds – however the up-trend has yet to be broken in late-stage financings, where ~37% of companies are experiencing a down round, according to recent data from Aumni-tracked venture deals.

Momentum

Using YoY change in median post-money valuation as a proxy for momentum, we can also see that both early- and late-stage companies were experiencing maximum (50%+) YoY declines in PMV in 2Q23. Following the rapid decline, early-stage companies stabilized relatively quickly and then saw improving trends. However, late-stage companies have seen a slower recovery in valuation trends, only returning to flat YoY change in PMV in April.

Aumni will continue to monitor these trends and other market developments.

Photo by Edryc James P. Binoya on Unsplash