May
22
13



Investing in the Consumer Web is Dead

Reading through the tech press since the Facebook IPO, you might get the impression venture capitalists are still reeling from that apocalyptic offering, believe no further successes can be had in the consumer web and so are fleeing the consumer web in droves to pursue enterprise investments.

That’s because in the past year or so most major tech publications have swung from focusing on consumer products to enterprise companies. GigaOm made this transition first and TechCrunch and Pando are following suit.

But the problem with sounding the alarm for the ebbing consumer investment is that just not true.

Consumer investments historically have garnered massively disproportionate press coverage compared to their volume because consumer products are easier for readers to understand than enterprise technology. Consumer products evoke emotional reactions and drive page views and build business. It’s hard to jump for joy or trigger lots of retweets over data center virtualization innovations unless that’s really your cup of tea.

Tot put this into perspective, what do you think is fraction of venture investment dollars last year were in consumer companies?

About 17%.

How about over the last 17 years?

16%.

Here’s a chart of NVCA data for that period. Click on it to enlarge it.

So 84% of venture dollars invested over the past 17 years have been invested in enterprise companies. It’s clear that enterprise investments are the bread and butter of the venture business. And that trend isn’t changing.

This massive swing toward enterprise investing never was. It’s a fallacious perception. Enterprise investing has always been the norm and will continue to be for quite some time.

*Reposted from Tomasz’s personal blog, which you can read here.