Archive for February 22nd, 2012

2011 marked another strong year for venture capital, but will it continue?

By Peter Delevett


For the venture capital industry, 2011 was a year of superlatives — the highest level of investment in Internet companies since the dot-com bust and the highest level in cleantech ever. But it also was a year that ended on a worrisome downward swing.

Venture capitalists pumped $28.4 billion into nearly 3,700 deals, according to new numbers from the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Both numbers were an uptick over 2010, which itself had marked something of a turnaround for the industry after two years of declines.

But the fourth-quarter numbers limped across the finish line, showing a drop both in dollars and deals compared to the third quarter. And that third quarter represented a decline in activity compared to the second quarter, when investor enthusiasm soared after LinkedIn’s initial public offering of stock. During the second quarter of 2011, venture firms poured $7.5 billion into 966 deals. In the most recent quarter, those figures were $6.6 billion and 844.

Experts disagree on whether the declining numbers mean trouble for Silicon Valley’s startup economy.

Mark Cannice, a professor at the University of San Francisco who conducts a quarterly poll of venture capitalist confidence, reports that venture capitalists grew increasingly pessimistic as 2011 wore on. If venture firms continue to back fewer startups, he asked, “What great firms aren’t going to launch that we don’t even know about?”

Please click on link for rest of story.       http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_19990431?source=pkg

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