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Watkins Bay LinkedIn Survey Reveals Diverse Investor Sentiments on the Next 12 Months



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Only 13% of the Investment Community have an optimistic outlook over the next 12 months


Watkins Bay LinkedIn Survey Reveals Diverse Investor Sentiments on the Next 12 Months. What are the Implications for Start-ups and Early-stage Companies?

Watkins Bay recently conducted a LinkedIn survey to understand investors' feelings about the next 12 months. The survey aimed to gain insights from investors from Australia, the USA, the UK, Europe, Asia, and Israel. It has shed light on the prevailing sentiment among investors regarding their investment outlook over the next 12 months.


Although, in reality, the sample size was too small to gain true insights the survey results paint a mixed picture, with varying levels of optimism, pessimism, neutrality, and uncertainty. We wanted to share my thoughts on these survey results and analyse their potential implications for start-ups and early-stage companies seeking to raise capital in the near future.




Graph representing Investor Sentiment
50% of Investors are neutral about the next 12 months.

Optimistic (13%)

The survey indicates that a small but notable portion of investors (13%) hold an optimistic outlook for the next 12 months. These individuals anticipate positive market trends, economic growth, and potentially lucrative investment opportunities. Their optimism may stem from factors such as technological advancements, industry trends, or macroeconomic conditions.


Optimisitc Investors might also be looking for value that might not have been there 12 or more months ago.


Pessimistic (25%)

A more significant segment of investors (25%) are pessimistic, implying a cautious approach to investing in the coming year. Economic uncertainty, geopolitical tensions, regulatory challenges, or market volatility might affect their pessimism. These investors may adopt a more conservative stance and exercise caution in allocating funds.


Pessimistic Investors might be holding onto cash with a view winners in their respective markets will become more apparent over the next 12-18 months.

Neutral (50%)

The survey reveals that most investors (50%) maintain a neutral stance, indicating a wait-and-see approach. They neither strongly anticipate nor fear significant changes in the investment landscape. These individuals may prefer to assess market developments, industry trends, and economic indicators before making important investment decisions.


A complex group to get a read on as they struggle to provide a clear message to the market and potential investment targets.

Unsure (13%)

A smaller portion of respondents (13%) express uncertainty, which reflects a need for more clarity or difficulty in forecasting market dynamics. Factors such as global events, regulatory shifts, or technological disruptions could contribute to this uncertainty. Investors in this category may only commit significant resources once they gain more confidence in the market's direction. Uncertainty brings caution to investors, which can be even more difficult for start-ups to engage with as they need help to provide clear messages to potential targets.



Uncertainty brings caution to investors, which can be even more difficult for start-ups to engage with as they need help to provide clear messages to potential targets.


Implications for Start-ups and Early-stage Companies

The diversity of investor sentiments highlighted by the LinkedIn survey results carries important consequences for start-ups and early-stage companies seeking to raise capital in the next 12 months. Understanding these implications can help entrepreneurs refine their fundraising strategies and align them with prevailing investor sentiments.


It is also advisable to watch costs more than ever to ensure enough runway for the next 12-18 months.


Start-Up Considerations


Capitalise on Optimistic Sentiment

Start-ups operating in sectors aligned with optimistic investors' expectations can leverage their positive outlook to attract funding. These companies may resonate with investors seeking high-growth opportunities by emphasising growth potential, disruptive innovations, and strong market demand.


Address Pessimistic Concerns

Companies operating in more uncertain or volatile sectors should acknowledge and address the concerns of pessimistic investors. Demonstrating resilience, adaptability, and a clear strategy to mitigate risks can help assuage investors' fears and build confidence in the company's long-term viability.


Appeal to Neutral Investors

Neutral investors, comprising the largest segment, will likely adopt a cautious and data-driven approach. Start-ups should focus on presenting comprehensive market research, robust financial projections, and a compelling business case to capture the attention of these investors, who may be swayed by evidence-based decision-making.


Navigate Uncertainty

Companies seeking funding must be prepared to address the concerns of uncertain investors. Enhancing transparency, providing comprehensive risk assessments, and offering contingency plans can help assuage investor anxiety and instil confidence in the company's ability to navigate uncertain market conditions.


Final Thoughts

The survey results from investors across various regions demonstrate diverse sentiments that reflect the complexity and ever-changing nature of investment landscapes. For start-ups and early-stage companies seeking to raise capital in the next 12 months, it is crucial to recognise and adapt to prevailing investor sentiments. By tailoring their fundraising strategies




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About the Author

Adam Ryan Start-Up Expert

Adam Ryan is a Professor of Practice (Adjunct Professor) at Monash University and is a principal at Watkins Bay. Adam has over twenty years of start-up experience in Australia and the USA. An expert in Company Structuring for Innovation, Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Capital for early and growth-stage businesses.


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12 jun 2023
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It will be an interesting 12 months for sure.

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Join thousands of people receving regular insights into ideas that help people and businesses grow.

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