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Startup investment trends in Q1: Growth momentum & new venture opportunities

The key trends in startup investments in Q1 2024: an overview of emerging sectors and top-funded regions.

4 min read

While the first quarter of 2024 didn't witness a significant surge in venture funding for startups on a global scale, there are promising signs, particularly within the Healthtech, Biotech, and AI sectors. Notably, Europe experienced a remarkable upswing in investment. Also, the integration of Generative AI into diverse fields is creating new venture opportunities. 

Healthtech and AI, the global leaders

In the first quarter of 2024, the startup universe witnessed a remarkable surge in AI and Healthtech, with the latter clearly dominating the tech funding landscape: Healthcare and Biotech companies secured a substantial 24% share of global funding, totaling $15.7bn

The top 20 startups in these sectors collectively raised $2.9bn, marking a significant 161% increase from the previous year. AI ventures claimed the lion's share of funding, making up 17% of global investment, including standout performers like the LLM company Moonshot AI with $1bn of funding. 

The US startup universe at a glance

Across the US startup landscape, Healthtech, Biotech, and AI emerged as the primary focus areas. According to Dealroom data, the first quarter of 2024 saw a total of $44.5bn VC investment in US startups, from which B2B SaaS and Healthtech startups received $14.9bn and $13.7bn, respectively. Within the SaaS segment, Generative AI attracted the highest funding, totaling $8bn

Of note, 7 of the top 10 global cities by VC investment in Q1 2024 are situated in the US, including Denver, New York City, and of course the San Francisco Bay Area region along with the Research Triangle in North Carolina.

Europe's startups blooming in spring

When closing 2023, the European startup funding had been above pre-pandemic levels though down against the highs seen in 2021 and 2022. The trend continues: Dealroom data show that in Q1, tech companies across Europe raised $13.06bn through venture capital solely. 

SaaS and Climate tech: Dominating deals and funding 

B2B SaaS startups emerged as the frontrunner in deal numbers: 358 deals amounting to $1.6bn were closed, with Cybersecurity and Insurtech closing the biggest deals. 

Not surprisingly, Climate tech claimed the spotlight in funding, securing nearly $3.7bn spread across 288 deals. 

Ventures like the Bill Gates-backed CemVision raised $10m to pioneer sustainable cement production using recycled industrial waste. 

German startups on the rise

Climate is also the driving force in the German startup ecosystem. Energy was the top-funded sector in Germany, ahead of Health and Fintech. 

Germany has been driving European funding recently, witnessing a 15% surge in investment in Q1 2024 compared to the same period of the previous year. 

This accounted for the second-highest venture capital in the past quarter on the European level. 

Funding hot spot Netherlands

The most significant increase in funding, however, was witnessed in the Netherlands, with VC investment skyrocketing by 107% compared to the same period last year. This meant a total of $105bn for Dutch startups across different sectors, with Deep tech emerging as a theme. The growth is a result of an increase in late-stage deals, including the online supermarket Picnic ($355m) and the cloud-based property management system Mews ($101.38m).

Notably, the number of investments from American investors in the Dutch startup market has doubled. 

A fertile ground for innovative startups 

With Climate, Health, and AI as trending topics not only in global news but also across the startup investment sphere, startups in these sectors are expected to keep attracting investors and public funding. Also, combined market opportunities are arising—AI's integration into fields like organ transplantation and food tech is reshaping these industries, creating the next generation of health and food and opening new avenues for startups to jump in. 


About the author

Tamara Hofer
Copywriter & Marketing Assistant

Tamara is our multi-lingual expert in copywriting and storytelling. She also helps with all digital marketing efforts.