Tech Venture Deals Down In 2009

The networking and equipment category recorded just a 5% decline in venture capital investment -- a relative bright spot in the technology sector.
Venture capital investments in 2009 followed the general lead of the U.S. national economy and declined some 37% from the previous year, according to a Money Tree report.

It wasn't exactly good news, but the networking and equipment category recorded just a 5% decline while other high tech classifications experienced double digit drops, according to the report compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). They used data from Thomson Reuters in compiling their Money Tree Report.

"The venture capital industry had no choice but to slow the investment pace in 2009," said NVCA president Mark Heesen in a statement. "Now that the economy has begun to show signs of improvement, we expect to see dollars flow more freely back into those sectors that offered the most promise before the recession began -- clean technology, life sciences, and IT."

While networking and equipment managed to avoid sharp declines, other high tech segment weren't so lucky. The telecommunications segment dropped 67% while semiconductors slipped 53%.

And, while Internet-specific companies dependent on the Internet showed a drop of 39%, the segment recorded a sharp uptick -- a 20% gain -- in deals recorded in the fourth quarter. During the full year, some $2.9 billion was invested in 629 Internet-specific deals representing a 39% dollar drop from 2008 when $4.8 billion was invested in 902 companies.

Including all segments, the Money Tree Report listed 2,795 deals in 2009 and behind that number was a 37% decrease in dollars invested from the previous year.

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