Venture Capital Bets Big On Social Networking With $8.3B And 800 Plus Deals Since 2010

Venture capitalists bet big on social networking over the past couple years, motivated by the success of Facebook, LinkedIn and other pioneers, according to a study from Preqin.

The Preqin research identified more than 800 deals with an aggregate investment value of greater than $8.3 billion since the start of 2010. A summary of the work was released today in the company’s June Private Equity Spotlight report.

The study found that the quarterly deal flow varied over the 10-quarter period from about 60 to almost 100, with a spike of dollars allocated in the first quarter of 2011, when Facebook raised $1.5 billion and Zynga brought in $485 million.

Angel and seed investments accounted for 22% of the activity, Series A rounds represented 21% and Series B fundings were responsible for 12%.

The most active investors during the period were SV Angel, with 30 deals, Redpoint Ventures, with 22, and Lerer Ventures and Union Square Ventures, both with 19.  First Round Capital and 500 Startups had 18 each. (Please see accompanying Preqin chart for details.)

Union Square put $466 million into social networking startups over the period, while Redpoint allocated $338 million and Sequoia Capital, $290 million, the study reports.

Obviously it will be interesting to see how these investments work out over time. If public market trading is a guide, it might be a positive that Facebook shares were up 4.6% today to $31.41.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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