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Is the Social Media Frenzy Over?

A new survey shows U.S. investor confidence dropping for social media--and increasing for biopharmaceuticals.

This week, the National Venture Capital Association and Deloitte released their annual "Global Venture Capital Confidence Survey." The survey, which goes out to VC firms all around the world, received 403 responses this year, 35 percent of which came from investors within the United States. 

According to PandoDaily writer Carmel DeAmicis, the most interesting takeaway from the 2013 survey is that VCs are losing interest in social media.

"It mirrors a trend others have noted: the social media bubble is quietly, slowly, timidly deflating," writes DeAmicis. "This latest NVCA report shows that confidence is still high in social media compared to other sectors -- it's just less than it was last year." 

While DeAmicis's point is accurate, there's a bigger picture: the social media sector is not the only one to take a hit.

Looking just at the U.S.-based VCs, overall confidence in investing within the U.S. decreased by four percentage points. Those surveyed expressed decreased confidence in the U.S. capital markets' system as well as in the government's ability to enact policies that would support domestic investment. Meanwhile, their confidence in investing outside of the U.S. in the upcoming year decreased by a noteworthy thirteen percent. 

Out of the five specific sectors included in the survey, the only place where these VCs showed increased confidence within the U.S. was Biopharmaceuticals, by just two percent. Along with social media's ten percent decrease, Medical Devices and Equipment dropped two percent drop and Healthcare IT & Services four precent.

The Energy/Clean Tech category, however, was the worst hit. Confidence fell by 16 points, despite recent calls by President Barack Obama for entrepreneurs to step up and help address climate change and a variety of major names in tech funding projects in the sector

So while the social media frenzy may be breaking, with VC interest dropping across most sectors, it's more likely part of a larger trend.

Last updated: Aug 15, 2013


Jana Kasperkevic is a graduate of Baruch College, City University of New York, where she earned a bachelors degree in Journalism and Political Science. She covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurship for Inc. Her work has appeared in The Village Voice, InvestmentNews, Business Insider, and Houston Chronicle, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.

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