The trend seems to be that small businesses need much more venture capital these days to get started.
The average venture-capital deal is 65% larger than it was just four years ago, reports the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). The deal inflation seems to confirm what we all fear: that the venture industry is neglecting smaller, riskier upstarts. Not so, say analysts. The slice of the venture-capital pie going to start-ups has actually increased since 1991. Although the average start-up investment has doubled since that time, from $1.4 million to $2.8 million, the size of the companies receiving the money has remained remarkably constant. The explanation? According to NVCA president Carl Thoma, companies simply require more money to crack today's tougher, faster markets. So the small venture deal might be going the way of the 10¢ pay-phone call. But that doesn't translate into a capital drought for upstarts.