I was on CNBC earlier today to argue that rising VC deal sizes are reflective of a burgeoning investment bubble.
This is a topic I first wrote about last Friday, following the release of quarterly MoneyTree data (which only examines investments in U.S.-based companies). In short: Larger investments — particularly when seen across company “stage” — reflect VC belief that larger returns are coming around the corner. Maybe such euphoria is being driven by successful IPOs for unprofitable companies like Tesla Motors (TSLA) and Zipcar (ZIP), but even those have proven exceptions more than rules (given the continuing paucity of VC-backed listings).
While in the green room this morning, I took another look at the MoneyTree numbers and found that average deal size between 2002 and 2010 was $6.74 million. Last quarter, it was $7.98 million. The last time it broached $8 million, on an annual basis, was 2001 ($8.3m). And that’s the same year that VC returns began to nosedive, thanks largely to the dotcom crash…
Here’s the TV spot: