Hey, did you hear that the economy isn’t doing that great? Well, according to a new survey from audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG, venture capitalists got the memo, too — although they’re not as concerned as you might think.
We’ve been writing quite a bit about the different ways the downturn is hitting the startup world — this overview, for example, touches on declining public offerings, fewer acquisitions and a lack of VC confidence. Most of the data we’ve seen has focused on actual investment numbers, but if you want to gauge where things are going, it’s important to track investors’ mood, too. KPMG’s survey indicates that mood is neither chipper nor completely bleak. Of the 201 VCs, corporate buyers and investment bankers surveyed, 69 percent believe the United States is in a recession — 47 percent said it will be mild and short, while 12 percent said it will be extended and severe. Asked if the downturn will lead to decreased investment this year, less than half of the respondents (49 percent, to be exact) said yes.
These numbers reflect the same mood found in the extremely unscientific survey we included with that article, in which 71 percent of respondents said the bad times won’t last. Some even chided us for failing to include more positive options.
KPMG’s survey, which was conducted with AlwaysOn, also found that VCs believe investment will continue growing in sectors like cleantech, internet services and biotech, and will also hold strong overseas in China and India. (When it comes to cleantech, early signs say they’re right.)
Now, it’s hard to know how much we can read into these findings — are some VCs just putting on a brave face? I’m not sure, but I hope those optimistic investors are right.