Venture funding for startups just suffered the biggest crash since the dot-com bust

Venture capital funding for startups dropped 25% in the first quarter of 2016, the steepest decline since the dot-com bust in the early 2000s, according to new data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

A total of $13.9 billion flowed into U.S. startups in the first quarter, and only 884 deals were done, the lowest number in four years.

The report is really focused on the traditional VC market. It only includes startups with at least one venture-backed round, and ignores startups backed only by private individuals (such as angel investors) so very early stage startups are excluded. It also excludes companies that are majority owned by another company or by a private equity firm.

Even so, it’s more evidence that the cold wind is definitely blowing through Silicon Valley. As companies find it hard to raise money, they will have to get to positive cash flow sooner — that means real customers paying more money than the startup is spending.

Just today, “Uber for kids” startup Shuddle shut down, adding its name to the long and growing list of startups who have laid people off or shut down in recent months.

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