Valley of Death

Innovative technology companies often face a financing struggle known as The Valley of Death. According to most descriptions, it is the period of technology and product development that needs to happen well before any revenue comes in. According to some descriptions, a second Valley of Death can happen when post-revenue companies must scale but don’t quite have the traction and track record sufficient to secure financing.

Below are several different versions of the Valley of Death. Depending on who is talking about it, the financing alternatives for crossing successfully through the Valley of Death will change. For example, this first chart starts with Friends, Family and Founders and doesn’t conclude until IPO.

The above chart is the perspective on the Valley of Death for a technology spinout from a university.

Here is a chart from an angel investor group, although they likely lifted it from somewhere else:

Here’s another, simpler view from academia:

And finally, a graph from a much cited study by Osawa and Miyazaki including in an article in Forbes magazine



Don Gooding

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