There once was a time, say in the mid to late 90s, when VCs were eager to invest seed capital in promising start-ups. Today, VCs are all but ignoring this financially needy population, as George Lipper notes in a recent article, Seed Funding But a Small Fragment of Venture Capital on the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds website.
Lipper cites a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association/Thomson Economics Money Tree survey, which documents the precipitous decline in seed-capital investing. Over the last decade, the amount of seed capital invested has dropped dramatically, from $1,313,868,400 invested in 1995 to just $354,343,100 in 2003. This downward trend is likely to continue, and as Lipper mentions, could be the reason why many regional angel groups have sprouted up to support seed-stage companies.
Inc. recently wrote about the increase in angel groups in a January 2004 article by Suzanne McGee. In it, she writes that nearly 170 groups have launched over the past several years. Inc.com has also kept up with the growth in its Angel Network Directory, where you can find up-to-date information on regional networks and links to their websites.