Venture capitalists’ confidence in the second quarter scaled back to 3.47 from 3.79 on a 5-point scale in the first quarter.
The 34th consecutive quarterly survey, dubbed the Silicon Valley VC Confidence Index Report, measures the confidence of those in the VC hub in the San Francisco Bay Area of Silicon Valley over the next six to 18 months. The current findings of the Silicon Valley Index were based on a survey conducted last month with 30 Bay Area venture capitalists.
Mark Cannice, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of San Francisco School of Management, said the decline was due to concerns over macro issues such as what’s happening on the economic front in Europe and China. Based on interviews with the VCs, he said there is a “positive momentum on the cloud, mobile and social-media technology trends.”
While Facebook’s initial public offering may have created some pessimism in terms of valuation issues, that seemed overshadowed by the liquidity that the IPO created.
“The Facebook IPO allowed early investors to cash out of the their investments and some have gone back to start new funds or invest in new businesses in angel investors,” Cannice said.
Cannice said the concerns over the overseas macroeconomic backdrop is due to startups conducting more business internationally earlier in their life cycle. Cannice explained that firms are scaling globally quickly to get market share to attract investors.
While a few years ago, health-care venture financing was the rage, regulatory constraints have caused some firms to pull back on financing. That has meant more financing available for technology firms, and there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of options.
Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners said in the survey, released publicly by the Silicon Valley Index, “We’re seeing real innovation across multiple Internet categories, from gaming, to commerce, to social, to financial services. It’s the first time in a long time that we’re seeing such broad-based creative energy, versus being confined to one vertical.”
The survey also found that the metrics for which firms are finding financing are also changing. That’s because while fund-raising is taking place, the amounts raised are heading to fewer venture firms, according to Cannice. The result is that those firms “need to make larger investments to move the needle in the fund,” which means it’s harder now for early-stage firms to get financing, Cannice concluded.
While later-stage firms seemingly have an advantage, they still have to prove themselves with better track records and experienced management teams to get the attention of VCs.
According to Debra Beresini of invencor, in her comment for the survey that was also released publicly by the Silicon Valley Index, “The investment community is actively writing checks, but is being very cautious. Experienced teams who have ‘done it before’ have a much easier chance of being funded.”