In 2011, consumer tech startups ranging from the Gilt Groupe to AirBnB took 62% of the top 50 largest U.S. venture capital financing rounds raking in an aggregate $3.18B across those rounds. Now, the biggest checks from venture capital investors have decidedly moved toward the enterprise.
In fact, since the start of 2013 to date, 70% of the top 50 largest tech VC deals have gone to enterprise tech companies and have totaled $2.2 billion. In contrast, the consumer tech startups among the 50 largest financings raised just $1.28B with over $450M coming from two separate deals to Uber and Pinterest, respectively.
Venture capital investor Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital who has backed a number of high-flying consumer tech startups from Tumblr to Twitter recently opined that while he remains bullish on consumer tech, enterprise tech startups can appeal to venture investors because they
“sound completely reasonable. Web services for purchasing, security, expense reports , customer support, data center apps, human resources, payroll, salespeople etc. they all sound perfectly useful.”
And the “usefulness” of enterprise tech and their generally clearer path to revenue has also buoyed their exit numbers. As we revealed, enterprise tech took 84% of the 50 largest venture-backed tech exits in 2013 YTD. The strong exit performance for enterprise comes through in the graph below where we see that the 50 largest VC financings in tech have steadily and quickly moved away from consumer to enterprise since 2011 with enterprise growing from 38% of the top 50 transactions in 2011 to 70% in 2013 year-to-date.