First Round, State of Startup 2018 Survey Released

The State of Startups is the annual survey where hundreds of venture-backed founders speak frankly about what it’s like running a technology startup today.

Venture capital firm First Round surveyed more than 500 founders and collected nearly 150,000 datapoints.

This year’s survey dives into mainstay questions on the fundraising climate, exit environment and the challenges of operating a startup. It also introduced questions on everything from the impact of Softbank’s Vision Fund to the challenges of being a parent in the tech industry. As we move into 2019, a majority of U.S. startup founders are optimistic about the IPO market and confident that we won’t see a tech bubble pop anytime soon. Those are some of the main findings of a survey conducted by VC firm First Round Capital on the state of startups.

The things we were told in 2018 startups are discussed in each paragraph as follow.

  • Tech workers of all ages think older engineers are highly qualified, have good experience, and can share wisdom. But many older engineers are worried about losing their jobs as the tech workforce skews heavily towards Millennials. That’s the conclusion of a survey of 1011 currently employed U.S. tech workers conducted by job site The study had a number of startling — and so me not so surprising — takeaways.
  • First surprise: an “old” tech worker is defined as “over 40.” That lumps a bit of Gen X (born between the mid-60s and early-80s) in with us Baby Boomers. And if there’s age discrimination for workers who are over 40, I’d hate to read the results of a study of workers who are over 50. Indeed’s analysis showed that these “old” tech wounder; almost half (46 percent) reported that the average employee is age 35 or younger—that is, a member of the millennial generation. A solid chunk of respondents—17 percent—reported that they work at companies whose average tech employee is 30 or younger. Only 23 percent of the respondents thought there was anything disproportional about the mix.
  • Women and men disagree that it is hard to be a parent in tech. What an argument! 2/3 of men believe that tech companies give room for parents to operate. Thus, only 1/3 of female founders say the same thing. 75% offers work – from -home opportunity for nursing mothers while 65% does not have dedicated space for nursing mothers. But there’s plenty of improvem ent in resources for parents. Yes, they say yes to messaging tools like slack, I mean the founders. 70% believe that tools such as yammer and slack improve productivity. We should not be amazed about this since 98% of use them. Thus, water coolers are on the winning side.
  • Successful startups typically take one of two paths to provide liquidity to their early investors and continue to grow: acquisition or IPO. Founders who choose to go public over being acquired, often choose IPO because it allows them to retain their independence and control and continue to operate as a standalone company. Snap wanted to control its own destiny and its founders and employees wanted to continue work in a startup environment, as opposed to becoming a division in a larger company. 78% of respondents predict the pace for public offerings won ’t let up in 2019.
  • We strongly believe that the next wave of founders will come from Uber. Uber co-founders have prepared to launch Crypto Trading Technologies that “provides investors with a turnkey solution to trade crypto-assets” and focuses on “delivering its best-in-class crypto trading solution” to big financial players interested in getting involved with the crypto space. The launch is expected some time near the end of year.
  • 23% of respondents named Uber, 16% Slack, 15% Stripe and 14% Airbnb. We would love to be your first call whether or not you have worked at one of these companies.
  • Stripe’s valuation is the most likely to skyrocket. Stripe has just closed a $245 million funding round that ups its value from $9 billion to $20 billion, said co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Collison. Several large new customers have also been listed on Stripe’s website this week, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Uber Technologies Inc. While the funding round is modest by today’s frothy tech industry standards, the $20 billion figure places Stripe among an elite handful of the world’s most valuable private startups, including Airbnb, Palantir Technologies and Uber.
  • Yes, 39% say China will be the center of tech in 2028. From building the biggest experiments the world has ever seen to rolling out the latest medical advances on a massive scale and pushing the boundaries of exploration from the deepest ocean to outer space – China’s scientific ambitions are immense. Just a few decades ago the nation barely featured in the world science rankings. Now, in terms of research spending and the number of scientific papers published, it stands only behind the US. Close to 40% of founders predict that China will occupy the center of tech,50% argue that it will be in the US while less than 5% think it will be anywhere else.
  • Globally, SoftBank is known to flex this sort of muscle. For example, in ride sharing, it has been a keen votary of Uber’s moves to consolidate elsewhere and exit Russia, China and South East Asia. In China and SEA, Uber sold its operations to Didi and Grab, respectively. Both are SoftBank portfolio companies. In India, too, its investments in Uber and arch-rival Ola have fuelled talks of consolidation. Most founders think Softbank is the best choice for the startup ecosystem. Softbank has been making waves since launching its Vision Fund in 2016, arming some of the biggest tech startups with growth capital and crowning market leaders along the way. Many respondents are likely to have a Softbank-funded competitor, yet 70% of them still see Softbank as a net positive for the tech world.
  • Some are calling it a techlash. In the US, both the populist right and the populist left of the political spectrum are calling for big tech to be regulated. This includes essential public utilities, such as electricity or water. And some tech titans, not least Facebook and Uber, are no longer shrugging off the push for greater accountability and rule-bound behaviour Nick Bilton explored how tech giants “like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Google are being perceived as evil for taking advantage of our deepest, darkest secrets and fears.” We asked founders if they agreed.
  • Of the founders who had an opinion, 77% did agree that the tech giants are perceived as evil. But when asked whether they believe tech giants are evil, founders were evenly split: 50% said yes and 50% said no.
  • 85% of founders are blockchain skeptic in their various industries. 85% of respondents “are blockchain skeptics when it comes to their industry”. Contrary to this, when queried on how many members of their industry had been integrating cryptocurrency or blockchain technologies into their enterprises, 50% responded saying “A minority. It’s still experimental”, 38.2% said “No one. It’s not on my industry’s radar” and a mere 0.7% said, “Everyone, it’s revolutionized my industry”.
  • Some 13% of respondents also believe that cryptocurrency of blockchain technology will be dominant technologies in the future for their industries. A majority of respondents had recently completed Seed or Series A funding rounds, so when asked whether they think initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a “legitimate alternative to venture capital funding”, it comes as little surprise that a majority (44.3%) said “no”, with 28.6% modestly answering “I don’t know enough to say”, and the remaining 27.1% being distributed almost evenly between three other answers which all view that they are now or will be within or after five years.
  • Amid the skepticism, another interesting result, when asked if they personally owned cryptocurrency, 40.4 % said yes.

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