A New Way to Read the Startup Market


Curious about the state of the startup market? A new index, the Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer, will track the “overall health of the business environment for private technology companies based in the U.S.”

The index takes a number of factors into account, including the amount of money invested by venture capitalists, the number of startups raising money from outside investors for the first time, and the number of startups either filing for an IPO or selling to a larger firm.

Right now the Barometer is a bit down relative to the start of 2016:

Bloomberg Ranking 1

But well up from a few years ago:


Earlier this year, the National Venture Capital Association reported that venture-capital firms had invested some $12.1 billion in tech startups in the first quarter of 2016. That was a decline from the first quarter of 2015, when the investments totaled $13.7 billion. The recipients of all that cash: established startups with a business plan and a path to revenue, such as Uber.

Startups without strong metrics or a well-defined plan, on the other hand, have found it progressively more difficult to draw funding. But if investment continues to decline in the near-term, even well-monetized startups could start tightening their proverbial belts. According to Business Insider, Dropbox and other large startups have already engaged in cost-cutting campaigns throughout 2016.

Given the diverse and often secretive nature of the startup world, it’s often difficult to obtain a clear picture of its health. With that in mind, the Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer is worth keeping an eye on.