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U.S. Venture Investment Lowest in 11 Years, Down 50% to $3.9 Billion in First Quarter
Date:4/17/2009

deal count since 1995.

"Technology companies have long been the primary focus of venture capitalists," said Ms. Canning. "But with a non-existent IPO market and corporations paying less for venture-backed technologies, the incentive for investors to back new or unproven business models is just not there."

The information services sector, which includes most of today's Web 2.0 technologies, saw investment and deal flow fall back to the levels seen in 2005. Information services companies attracted $323 million in 55 deals during the first quarter, down more than 61% from the record $828 million invested in 116 such deals a year ago.

Health Care Sees Smallest Drop

The Health Care industry saw investment and deal flow fall to their lowest levels since 2003. According to VentureSource data, $1.35 billion was invested in 118 health care deals in the first quarter of the year, a nearly 34% drop from the $2.04 billion in 162 deals during the same period in 2008.

By sector, biopharmaceutical investment slipped 21% from $918 million in 69 deals in the first quarter of 2008 to $723 million put into 56 deals in the most recent quarter. Medical device companies saw investment fall 51% from the $972 million put into 74 deals last year to $477 million invested in just 42 deals in the most recent quarter.

Even Energy Investment Crashes Back to Earth

The Energy & Utilities industry garnered $189 million in 15 deals during the first quarter, down 59% from the $457 million it saw invested in 24 deals last year.

The renewable energy sector, which makes up the backbone of the industry-spanning "cleantech" category, accounted for the bulk of the industry's investment in the first quarter with $117 million put into nine deals. This represents a 73% decline from the $427 million invested in 16 renewable energy deals in the first quarter
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SOURCE Dow Jones
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