The Equity of the Crowds
Crowdfunding began as a cool way for your college roommate to raise money to finally record his first album, but has quickly gone on to be a bigger part of how the tech industry does business.
CB Insights, a research analytics firm that bills itself as the “OkCupid for venture vapitalists,” has released the first study of crowdfunding’s growing role as a serious part of the tech business. The survey took a look at every crowdfunded tech hardware project on either Indiegogo or Kickstarter, which came out to 443 projects.
Tech Bubble Watch
With all of the excitement over buzzworthy trends like food delivery apps, Internet of Things appliances, wearables and 3D printing, it’s tough to sort out the real trends from the hype. But if you need a reliable way of figuring out what’s really taking off in tech, your best bet is often to follow the money. Read More
Internet of Things
A new CB Insights report shows that big corporations are pouring into the tech investment scene. While many might fear this means we’re headed for a second tech bubble, the report’s authors insist that’s not the case.
Major corporations like Intel and Comcast have become a third of the V.C. landscape. The deal sizes are getting bigger and bigger, and the last quarter saw the highest valuations we’ve seen since the last major tech crash. It’s not hard to see why people think history could repeat itself.
When people hear “Internet of Things,” their first inclination is to think of Google-owned talking thermostats. But it’s the less-buzzworthy global communications titans like Intel and Cisco who have been building up their portfolio of Internet of Things companies over the past few years — and they’re only getting started.
Intel recently bought up Basis Systems, which makes health tracking bands, and Cisco’s portfolio includes companies that put sensors in home utility meters and bicycles. These are companies that made their multinational empires building satellites and wireless networks — and now they want to develop consumer products that put sensors in alarm clocks, hearing aids and thermostats.
Startup Food Chain
3D printing has been talked about for years as a potentially groundbreaking technology, and it looks like investors finally got the memo. Funding for 3D printing companies in 2013 was 319 percent higher than the previous year, says a report on the CB Insights blog.
“Previously, consumers didn’t really know how to get things printed with their 3D printers,” CB Insights founder Anand Sanwal told Betabeat. “By having a growing marketplace to lead the space, the applications will be more clear and usage will have a lower barrier of entry.”
Since GrubHub Seamless went public with a valuation of $2.67 billion, venture capitalists are racing to find the next hit food delivery app for their portfolios.
According to the report on the CB Insights blog, investments in food tech in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1) were the highest they’ve been in five years. Over $200 million went to food and grocery apps during those three months, which was the biggest VC investing boom in over a decade.
Most of these are small, local apps that focus on a particular set of stores and services, whereas GrubHub and Seamless are nationwide giants with a combined 25 years under their belts. The two companies merged last year, and served over three million customers nationwide in 2013 alone.
2014 has been explosive year for tech funding. According to a report published this morning by venture capital database CB Insights, VC-backed deals in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1) are at the highest they’ve been since 2001.
The sudden spike in funding is driven largely by a small handful of major deals Read More
It’s that time again: CB Insights has released its quarterly VC report. The money’s still big, though with a focus on seed deals. Quarter three closed with 835 deals totaling $7.5 billion invested. But CB Insights is quick to dispel any bubble talk, pointing out that unless Q4 brings $9.2 billion in funding, 2012 will show an overall drop in VC investments.
The Facebookers Will Inherit the Earth
News flash: it is not 1999 anymore, and it appears that corporate venture capitalists have adjusted accordingly. CB Insights released its Q1 Corporate Venture Capital Report yesterday, revealing that CVCs participated in just 84 deals totaling $1.09 billion, a record low for the past five quarters.
But while overall CVC funding is down 20 percent, funding for the Internet sector is up 30 percent, with CVC deals in that sector increasing for the third straight quarter.
A new report from CB Insights attempts to gather up all the ventures of the roving Facebook Mafia and put a number on how much money these Silicon Valley chosen ones have raised. “For those unfamiliar with the term, the Facebook Mafia refers to alumni of Facebook who’ve gone on to found new startup companies,” the report says.
So how much have these enterprising Facebookers convinced investors to give them? $271 million since 2006, with $130 million of it all in the first half of 2012 (Quora is responsible for $50 million of that). Momentum “appears to be accelerating,” the report says. Doesn’t it always?