SentimentVC – Sentiment Analysis on the Early Stage Market

Published January 28, 2015

The things that top venture capitalists and angel investors say – whether in a tweet storm, a blog post or a music video – are taken seriously by founders and other investors. That said, individual proclamations from investors tend to be very boom or bust and don’t always represent complete market sentiment.

Today, we are announcing SentimentVC, a project focused on gauging early-stage investor sentiment and using that data to help give companies and investors insight into where the market has been and where it is heading so that they can make smarter investment and business decisions.

Getting Started

Last Wednesday, our team spent the day hacking away at a few interesting, non-Visible projects that we had been thinking about for a while. Some proved to be a little less than successful…

Wouldn't you shoot at something with a mustache like that?

…while others seemed like they could be worthwhile to pursue. There were a couple of key traits we wanted our projects to have:

  • Be somewhat related to our core business at Visible (we like shooting Nerf guns, so the dart board technically counts)
  • Have a short-term path to monetization
  • Be finished by the end of the day

For the reasons I outlined above, one of the projects our team decided to pursue was SentimentVC.

What is SentimentVC?

First and foremost, SentimentVC is an experiment. At Visible, we help give crystal clear performance insight to startups and their investors and we are excited to see if SentimentVC can help give companies and investors crystal clear insight into where the market is going.

Inspired by the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, the goal of SentimentVC is to understand how leading early-stage investors (series seed and series A) view the market and use that insight to help companies take more informed actions around fundraising, hiring and other core company building strategy.

By assessing investor attitudes on the early stage market landscape, we hope to better understand how key factors like deal pricing, perceived company quality, and emerging sectors are evolving over time. From there the data will help us quantitatively judge the extent of investor bullishness and bearishness (on the entire market and specific verticals), identify interesting trends and forecast future changes in the early stage funding market.

Each quarter, we will survey top investors with the aim of understanding a number of key things, including:

  • How they view current market conditions in relation to previous periods
  • What they expect for the early stage market in future periods

Once we have collected responses, we will publish a report of our findings, supplemented by publicly available investment data and interviews with top investors. If you are interested in seeing what we come up with, you can sign up here. The report will be sent out for free to those who sign up before the release date.

If you are an active early stage investor, we invite you to take the survey (takes less than 5 minutes). All data is anonymized and aggregated, so your name, email and firm will not be shared with anyone. We ask that you only take this survey if you are actively involved as an early stage investor. Every survey submission will be reviewed.

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