The Global Startup Ecosystem Report – GSER 2021

In March 2020 startups’ prospects looked bleak. Consumer demand had cratered. Travel ceased. Struggling businesses shed workers or closed. Global VC spending dropped 17% in the first quarter compared to the preceding one, with the number of rounds down 5%, according to Crunchbase. In China alone the number of venture rounds plunged 74% in just two months. Then everything changed. Covid-19, which made rapid adopters of us all, slashed a bright line between how we once lived and how we will live. It is a line across which entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to ferry us. That is why, for many economies, startups are leading the way back to economic vitality.
In the first half of 2020 venture funding worldwide was $148 billion. In the first half of 2021 it had soared 95% to $288 billion, with increases at every stage, according to Crunchbase. Startups also are benefiting from new investment channels, including democratizing startups like Robinhood; crowdfunding; and special purchase acquisition companies (although some increasingly are skeptical of SPACs.)
For entrepreneurial ecosystems, 2021 is turning out to be a year of remarkable growth and productivity. And the dispersal of success—already underway before the pandemic—has only accelerated.

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