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VC Spending Soars, Fueled by Software Deals

Venture capital is alive and well in 2014--at least for some industries.
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Looking for venture capital? Are you in the software industry? Then you're in the right spot. VC investments surged to a 13-year high last quarter, spurred in large part by software-industry deals.

The $13 billion invested marks the largest quarterly total since $13.1 billion in Q1 in 2001. Venture Capital investments for the first half of 2014 reached $22.7 billion, also a 13-year high, according to a new PwC/NVCA MoneyTree™ Report based on data from Thomson Reuters.   

Investments in software companies rose 50 percent from the previous quarter, fueled in large part by a single $1.2 billion investment in a transportation software company. The software industry also saw the most Q2 deals, at 454.

The biotech and media industries also enjoyed upticks, with biotech rising 69 percent in dollar volume and 7 percent based on number of deals, compared to Q1. The media and entertainment industry rose 40 percent by dollar volume compared to Q1.

“Investments going into companies with disruptive technologies remained strong in the second quarter, and VC investing is on pace to exceed the $30 billion invested in 2013,” said Mark McCaffrey, global software leader and technology partner at PwC.

Despite setting a decade-plus record, some experts downplayed fears that this investment activity is a sign of a bubble, pointing out that Q2 levels are still well below the all-time high.

“Before alarmists declare a repeat of the dot-com bubble, it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of this activity was driven by a handful of eye-popping investment rounds,” says Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. In fact, the rosy Q2 figures are more than $15 billion below the all-time high for VC investment. Nonetheless, Franklin said current spending levels are of "historical significance." 

Although some industries saw major investment increases, nine of the 17 that MoneyTree tracks experienced significant decreases, most notably business products and services, telecommunications, and semiconductors .




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