Funding is not the Biggest Startup Problem

Startup success & failure depends on these five things

7 min readMay 8, 2022

The year 2021 will be remembered as a record breaking year for the world of startups and venture capital. The total amount of venture investment raised was $643 billion, nearly doubling the amount of funding raised the year prior. To put this in perspective, there was 10x the capital deployed last year than in 2012.

Global Vnture Dollar Volume 2012 to 2021
Global Vnture Dollar Volume 2012 to 2021 via Crunchbase

The glut of capital and a lack of places to put it has led to a massive inflow of cash into funds investing into startups. In the US alone, VC funds raised a record $128.3 billion across 730 funds in 2021, a 47.5% increase compared with the previous record of $86.9 billion in 2020.

This has in turn created a startup flywheel where valuations and startup creation are at all time highs. Based on Crunchbase data, unicorns (startups valued at $1 billion-plus) were being minted at an average of more than 10 per week in 2021. As of this month, there are over 1,000 unicorns globally, you can view the entire list of unicorns here.

While the economic outlook for this year and next is pointing towards a significant downturn, VC funding is still active. Many have noted the dip in global startup funding from last year, yet funding for Q1 of this year was still 7 percent higher year-over-year when compared…




Thoughts on developers, digital transformation, startups, community building & engineering culture. Author is Mark Birch @ AWS 👉