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Startup Founders Sound Just as Pessimistic About a Bubble as Tech Journalists

A new report says founders predict gloom and doom for 2016.

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There has been a lot of kvetching of late about whether or not we’re in the middle of another tech bubble, and most of the pontificating has come from venture capitalists and tech media.

But what do people who launch startups actually think? According to First Round Capital’s new State of Startups Report — a survey of more than 500 founders of VC-backed companies — founders are also largely convinced we’re in a tech bubble of some sort.

First Round’s findings indicate that startup leaders are having a harder time raising money and that they think it’s only going to get tougher. The report also says they believe bitcoin is one really overhyped technology, whereas self-driving cars don’t get enough attention. We’ve embedded the report in a slideshow below, but here are some key facts and figures from First Round:

  • 80 percent of founders say they were able to raise what they wanted to in their last rounds, but virtually all of them say that it will be harder to do so in the next year.
  • 73 percent of startup founders believe we are in a bubble, but enterprise startup leaders are twice as likely to say we aren’t (twice as many enterprise tech founders also say they’ll be profitable in the next year).
  • 45 percent of women say that entrepreneurs have power over investors when negotiating deals, versus 66 percent of men.
  • 62 percent of male-led companies have diversity improvement plans in place, whereas 87 percent of woman-led companies do.
  • No one has a clue about what the IPO market will look like in 2016: One third says there will be more IPOs, one third says it’ll be about the same and one third says there will be fewer.
  • 90 percent of founders expect to see more tech mergers and acquisitions over the next year, which is also what’s generally expected by industry analysts and experts.

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