All across the UK, blockchain and cryptocurrency startups have started to focus once more on conventional ways to raise the desired capital. This is due to the initial coin offering (ICO) coffers of these startups having dried up amid absolute bear markets. According to new reports, ICO funding gathered last year has plunged 71% in value. What this means, is where there was once £700 million in ICO coffers, approximately $875 million, there is now only £200 million, or about $250 million.
A Shift From ICO To Equity Funding
When one compares it to equity funding, you can see that £168 million, or $210 million, was provided to startups back in 2019. This stands as almost identical to the year before, as well. This information comes from MMC Ventures, a venture capital firm. Back in 2017, the total amount of equity funding raised only reached £100 million. When one crunches the numbers, going back all the way to 2013, the total amount of equity financing that’s supported UK’s crypto businesses, stands at around £525 in total.
MMC Ventures explained that due to the circumstances of the world right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICO funding model has become more and more difficult. As a result, many companies are turning back to traditional capital raising strategies, according to MMC Ventures. Interestingly enough, this prompts the founders of the various companies to focus on the company fundamentals, which might not be that bad after all.
Equity Sales Mandates Proper Business Structure
Throughout the past few years, the UK crypto entrepreneurs have experienced a promising story of success. Since the founding year of Bitcoin, all the way back in 2008, 2,700 crypto companies have been founded within the UK. However, only 9% of all these startups leveraged the sale of shares as a means to raise money. ICOs simply proved to be popular, at least until the bubble burst back in 2018.
The report went further, stating that most ICOs fail in the UK due to the majority of these ICO-seeking companies were not interested in creating long-term value. Equity financing, however, mandates a strong business case to be made, as well as an infrastructure foundation. The venture capital firm explained that capital is less abundant than it was within the ICO bubble; however, this has caused a more efficient deployment of resources, targeting fundamental areas within the overall technology stack.
Weathering The COVID-19 Storm
MMC expects the UK startup funding to slow down throughout the year of 2020, possibly for longer than that as well. However, the venture capital firm expressed its optimism when it comes to this pragmatic approach, taking care of the business case first when they make a startup. With this, MMC is convinced that these firms are capable of surviving the downturn.