VC-backed ecommerce investment experienced increases in deal count and value in the fourth quarter, but overall totals for 2023 were down.

The salad days for companies seeking ecommerce investment — getting easy money to build and grow their operations — are over.

In fact, those days might be over for good, according to new research published by, which tracks venture capital-backed investment in digital technologies.

How strong was ecommerce investment in Q4 2023?

The ecommerce technology market experienced a modest increase in venture-backed deal count in the fourth quarter of 2023, with 116 deals valued at $3.8 billion. Though the total number of deals was only up 2.7% quarter-over-quarter, the combined value of those deals was up 105.4%.

However, for the full year, investors funded 471 deals valued at $11.7 billion, down 30.4% year over year and close to 2018’s $10.5 billion total.

“The COVID-19 lockdown offered the perfect storm of low interest rates and a bevy of consumers stuck inside with no option other than to shop online, but these conditions are now entirely behind the e-commerce vertical,” the Pitchbook report’s authors wrote. “Consequently, the sector is unlikely to return to the levels of funding seen in 2020 to 2022 for some time.”


The report assessed that exits “remain challenged” while the window of opportunity for initial public offerings is “largely closed.”

Most active companies in ecommerce investment deals

Since 2019, the company making the most ecommerce deals has been Walmart (with 6 deals), followed by:

  • (5)
  • Shopify (4)
  • AppHub (3)
  • PayPal Holdings (3)
  • BigCommerce (3)
  • PDI Technologies (3)
  • Ascential Group (3)
  • Nielsen/Q (3)
  • Lightspeed (2)

“Q4 represented the highest quarterly deal value since Q4 2022, and deal count appears to have reached a steady state in 2023 as each quarter produced between 113 and 122 deals,” PitchBook reported. “We are less confident that deal value has stabilized, as this figure steadily decelerated beginning in H2 2022, and the e-commerce VC ecosystem has exhibited a degree of seasonality in years past.”

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