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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

of 2008.

Elsewhere, the Business and Financial Services industry attracted $467 million in 69 venture deals during the first quarter, down 50% from the $927 million invested in 94 deals over the same period last year. The Consumer Services industry saw $144 million put into 26 deals in the first quarter, down 70%. The smaller Consumer Goods and Industrial Goods & Materials industries both saw investment tallies fall below the $50 million mark to $30 million and $28 million, respectively.

Deal Size Shrinks as More Money Goes to Older Companies

"Not only did venture capitalists back fewer companies in the first quarter but invested less money in the deals they did do deals," said Ms. Canning. "Much of this capital went to established, older portfolio companies to help them ride out the economic storm."

According to VentureSource, the median deal size fell to just under $2.4 million in the quarter, down 73% from the $9-million median seen a year ago and the smallest quarterly deal size since 2002.

Later-stage financing rounds accounted for 55% of all venture investment in the first quarter of 2009, up from 47% in the same quarter last year. By comparison, the proportion of seed and first-round investment was just 18% in the first quarter, down from 25% in the same quarter last year. The proportion of second-round investments held steady year-over-year at 23%. Recapitalizations accounted for 4% of investments in the first quarter of 2009 and 5% in 2008.

Regional Perspectives

California dominated venture capital activity in the first quarter, representing 42% of the nation's deal flow and 47% of the capital invested. By major region, the VentureSource data showed that:

  • The San Francisco Bay Area attracted the majority of capital, but saw investment fall 57% to $1.14 billion with 139 deals complete--the region'
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SOURCE Dow Jones
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