The CFO Who Cried Wolf
The Brenner Group recently surveyed its CFO and controller consultants to measure their confidence in the technology startup market. The results paint a fairly optimistic picture, although colored with a continued sense of caution.
For the first time this year less than half of our CFO’s and controllers believe a correction or slowdown will take place over the next few quarters. As much as there was a slowdown in startup funding from the all-time high in Q3 2015, we have not seen a correction in the tech startup space take place in 2016. To many of our CFO’s and controllers, this year appears to have a strong “the boy who cried wolf” factor, with anecdotal evidence around every corner that we are going to see a correction, but fundamentally market confidence and investor appetite remaining strong.
That said, our CFO’s and controllers are reporting that fundraising conditions are less optimal than they were during 2015, a record year for technology startup fundraising.
While little over 50% of CFO’s and controllers feel very optimistic or positive about the future, there is an increased sense of long term caution. More than one in three are “cautiously considering all options” and 15% of respondents “expect things to get worse before they get better”.
Our CFO’s and controllers remain bullish for the months to come, while remaining alert for bears (or wolves) as we transition into 2017.
Andries Verschelden is the Managing Director of The Brenner Group, one of Silicon Valley’s premier professional services firms. He has held a variety of consulting and management roles throughout his career, including work in New York, Brussels, Shanghai, and San Francisco.