venture capital

Angels, Not VCs, Are Giving Tech Startups Wings

Web startups are now so cheap to build out and can fail so quickly that very early stage funding, when angel investors tend to participate, has risen in prominence. Venture capital, which usually enters at a later stage, is playing a shrinking role.

What's Needed to Create a Virtuous Economic Cycle

Until companies start hiring American workers, banks make affordable credit available for deserving consumers and institutional investors start providing more capital for start-ups, the U.S. economy will limp along -- or maybe worse.

Bill Gates Revs Up His Investment in EcoMotors

With the successful IPO of electric-car makers Tesla Motors (TSLA) -- among many other factors -- any company focused on the internal combustion engine would appear to be be far behind the times. Yet, there are savvy investors who still think its imminent demise has been greatly exaggerated.

Should the U.S. Tax Firms for Shipping Jobs Overseas?

Intel co-founder Andy Grove has an interesting proposal to induce U.S. firms to rebuild the nation's manufacturing base and boost our employment: Tax companies for every job they offshore, and reinvest the funds in companies that create jobs here.

How to Restart America's Innovation Engine

Harvard Business School professor William Sahlman believes startup capital is out there, waiting for the right ideas, entrepreneurs and companies. But if America is to reattain the level of startup creation it enjoyed in the 1990s, he thinks two specific things need to happen.

Can Russia Bring Silicon Valley to Moscow?

Russian President Dimitry Medvedev visited California this week in an attempt to establish economic ties with the U.S. -- and to entice Russian entrepreneurs to set up shop back home.

Stumbling Venture Capital Harms Startups

A lot more money could be flowing to promising startups. But it's not because some investors are disgruntled about VC's high risk, low returns, and scarcity of ways to cash out. And in the absence of a new wave of big tech innovation, investors have little incentive to part with their cash.

GM Goes VC: Automaker Starts $100 Million Fund

A newly energized GM is setting up a $100 million investment fund to bet on technologies that the automaker hopes will enable it to launch desirable, more fuel efficient cars -- and do so faster than its competitors.

Is Digital Sky Creating a Bubble in the Valley?

The hottest venture investor in Silicon Valley comes from Russia: Yuri Milner of Digital Sky Technologies. Milner's huge bets on Facebook, Groupon, Zynga and others have the Valley abuzz -- and somewhat concerned.

Quirky.com Turns Anyone Into a Product Designer

Quirky.com was designed to capture the brilliance of the masses and turn it into killer products. Take the pooper scooper that doesn't require any bending, bowing, scraping or cleaning, for example. The collaborative design site just got a big boost with $6 million in venture capital.

What America's Start-Ups Need to Get Growing

N.Y. Times op-ed writer Thomas Friedman calls for increasing the number of "high-IQ risk-takers." But jobs will result when entrepreneurs can get the capital they need to start and build successful ventures. And getting that money takes more than just smart people.

Silicon Valley Is Gearing Up for an IPO Comeback

IPOs are serious business in Silicon Valley, where many venture capitalists won't fund start-ups they can't spin public or sell off for a rich profit. So the recent shutdown in the general IPO market was a devastating blow to the tech ecosystem, and its resurrection this year is a huge relief.

Clean Energy Revenues Grew in '09 -- but Not Solar

Despite the world's economic woes, the global clean-energy market grew in 2009, becoming a $139.1 billion industry and the largest venture-capital category, according to a new Clean Edge report. But although solar installations increased, solar revenues fell because of plunging prices.

The Bloom Is Off the Box, and VCs Learn a Painful Lesson

It's barely been a week since a media frenzy marked the public launch of Kleiner Perkins backed Bloom Energy, which makes a mini power plant known as Bloom Box for homes and businesses.Now, it seems the bloom is off the box and venture capitalists should heed the pitfalls of investing in early stage clean energy companies.

Stormy Skies Ahead for Thin-Film Solar Startups

The next two years will be rough in the thin-film solar industry, as economic conditions cull the cash-strapped herd of startups, a Photon Consulting analyst predicts. But companies with healthy balance sheets -- and luck -- could follow in successful First Solar's footsteps.

Venture Capital Pulled Back on Tech in 2009

VC didn't find much to like in the tech sector in 2009. According to a new report, venture capitalists invested just $17.7 billion in 2,795 start-ups last year: 37% less money and 30% fewer deals than in 2008.

Low Expectations for Private Equity in 2010

The private equity sector suffered severely in 2009. The late 2008 financial crisis shaped the year that followed it, constraining institutional investor capital and limiting strategic alternatives. Even with the recovery in public capital markets that occurred, investors in private equity funds remained cautious with their cash, a trend that appears likely to continue into 2010. New capital raised by private equity funds fell 61% from 2008 to 2009, with the deferred effects of the 2008 financial crisis finally coming to bear.

Is Twitter worth $1 billion?

TechCrunch reports that Twitter is about to sign a contract to take an investment of $50 million that would value the company at $1 billion. On a...