macroeconomic environment

Hope for a resurgence during 2024 in Venture Capital fundraising, investment, and returns was strong at the beginning of this year, with optimism fueled by the recovery in 2023 of U.S. stock markets (lead by the performance of large tech companies) and anticipation about how AI might transform industries. Market observers were optimistic then that U.S. venture investment activity would pick up significantly from 2023 levels, which—based on PitchBook data—had reverted to the lower average level of investment seen during the period of 2018-2020 as compared to the robust levels of activity seen in 2021 and the first half of 2022. This hope was centered in large part on expectations about how the Federal Reserve would begin lowering interest rates.