With summer in full swing and encouraging covid data, early stage firms appear to be recovering their swagger.
Most startups fail, as popular wisdom dictates, but founders are still well known for eternal optimism. But what with the pandemic, and Brexit, you would be forgiven for thinking that startup leaders might be pretty stressed.
According to a recent survey, however, three quarters (72 per cent) of UK startups are pretty confident about the next 12 months.
The Angel Investment Network recently gauged the opinion of 645 UK startups and found a strongly bullish mood despite the pandemic's impact on their growth, a dramatic turnaround from similar surveyed opinion in 2020. Just under half (42 per cent) said they were infact “very optimistic” - up from 23 per cent when a similar survey was conducted at the start of the pandemic.
Of those who have raised capital in the past year, 54 per cent reported being negatively impacted with investors pulling out. Meanwhile, 68 per cent reported delaying fundraising as a result of COVID.
For the startups surveyed, the biggest challenge going forward is raising investment (85 per cent), followed by product development (27 per cent), hiring/recruiting the right talent (25 per cent) and ongoing COVID issues (19 per cent). Consumer confidence was a concern for 15 per cent of respondents and Brexit remains an issue for 8 per cent of respondents.
Mike Lebus, founder of AIN says while startups by nature have an optimistic mindset the last 18 months have been enough to challenge anyone. But, their is a shift in optimism among founders.
“After the stalled growth due to the pandemic, there is huge pent up demand for fundraising and we are seeing a record number of connections on our platform. Many have used the time wisely, building up their networks and bootstrapping their businesses as far as they can go to get investment ready.”