Software & Internet VC for Q4 2011 in Philly area not too strong

Tom Paine

Fourth Quarter 2011 VC investment in the Greater Philadelphia region totaled $132.7 million involving 30 deals, according to the MoneyTree report issued today by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on Thomson Reuters data. For the full year 2011, VCs invested $492.2 million in 122 deals here. Although the total investment represented 8% growth over 2010, it is still well below levels that prevailed for several years prior to 2009, and did not grow as much as investment nationally.

Looking at the VC picture for Internet, software and digital technologies in the region reveals larger concerns. In the fourth quarter, the four largest investments totaling $103 million were for companies with food processing and water purification technologies and for Pharma startups. Much less than the remaining $30 million went to Internet or software ventures. In fact, the largest Internet investment listed, slightly more than $4 million, was for SolveMedia, a company that's actually New York-based now though it still has a Philly office. The next largest was probably PHD Virtual Technologies; though the amount of its recent round is not shown in the MoneyTree report, CEO Thomas Charlton told me in a December interview it was for $4 million. DuckDuckGo raise $3 million, Sidecar (formerly Snipi) raised $2.52 million and Quik Inc of Blue Bell raised $2 million. One company I hadn't heard about before is LogoGarden of Wilmington, a site that helps people create custom logos, which was reported to have raised $2 million.

The remaining investments reported were all for well under $1 million, many of which were included in Ben Franklin Technology Partners' recent funding announcement.

The MoneyTree report may not capture some important dynamics, particularly in the seed/angel investment area. Although MoneyTree reports a decline of 48% in seed funding by VCs nationwide in 2011, many angels and private investors are not part of the reporting system used to collect this data, and their paticipation may not be fully reflected.

Nationwide, in 2011 venture capitalists invested $28.4 billion in 3,673 deals, an increase of 22% in dollars and 4% in deals, according to MoneyTree. One factor that could impact future investment is that VC firms raised $10 billion less than they invested last year, a pace that obviously can't continue forever. Further cuts in Ben Franklin's 2012-2013 funding could also have a negative impact locally.

Dow Jones VentureSource released its own set of numbers today released its own set of numbers today, which are somewhat different.


Comcast & the FCC: Is the secret in their logos?

Tom Paine

For those conspiracy theorists out there who believe the FCC takes its marching orders from Comcast, I offer Exhibit A: note the eerie similarity between their respective logos. Maybe its a secret sign indicating that the two are, indeed, joined at the hip.


DirecTV "Don't end up in a roadside ditch" ad

Tagline: See what happens when you make bad decisions. Get rid of cable and upgrade to DIRECTV.

Daily Links 1/20/2012: Verizon, Comcast Send Marketing Deals to FCC in Spectrum Review

Verizon, Comcast Send Marketing Deals to FCC in Airwaves Review (Bloomberg)
FCC Docket: Verizon Wireless and SpectrumCo, Verizon Wireless and Cox

Comcast Challenges FCC's Program Carriage Ruling That Landed in Tennis Channel's Court (Multichannel News)

Audrey Zibelman's Energy-Saving Software
Her startup Viridity Energy makes software used by buildings and factories to manage their power use. It also lets them sell energy back to the grid
(Bloomberg Business Week)

Philadelphia-based online ticketing service TicketLeap’s beginnings couldn’t have been more humble (Ben Franklin Technology Partners SEP: KEYnotes)

After Laying Off 60 People, RueLaLa Raises $22 Million (TechCrunch)
Boston-based RueLaLa is part of Michael Rubin's Kynetic LLC holding company.

Update: RueLaLa says filing is about options, not new funding (Mass High Tech)

Salesforce's happy workforce
(Fortune Tech)

SAP Acquires Datango's Software, Entering Enterprise Training Race
Now SAP faces the huge task of convincing the jaded enterprise training market to invest in training.
(Information Week)

ING Direct deal should close soon, Capital One says (Wilmington News Journal: Delaware Inc.)