SV Angel, Sequoia, IA Are Venture’s Top Three Big Data Investors


Big data means big business for venture investors.

Venture capital going to startups with big-data-related business plans came close to $1.4 billion last year and accounted for more than 5% of all venture dollars placed with young companies. While that was down slightly from 2011, the number of deals grew and the total dwarfed earlier investment years, according to a study from CB Insights and the law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

At the head of this surge are Ron Conway’s angel firm SV Angel, Sequoia Capital and IA Ventures, the top three firms for doing big-data deals over the past five years. New Enterprise Associates and First Round Capital round out the top five on the most active list.

The study is the most up to date I’ve seen to isolate big-data investing. It found that dollars put to work have jumped in the past two years. While last year’s total fell slightly from $1.5 billion in 2011, both years are well above the 2008 to 2010 average of $578 million.

California has been the hot bed of activity with 45% of deals over the past five years, followed distantly by New York. The Golden State saw last year’s three largest deals: Cloudera ($65 million raised), Palantir Technologies ($56.1 million) and Rocket Fuel ($50 million), the study found.

Acquisitions of big data companies also have spiked in the past two years, with IBM the most active acquirer.

Of note is how the venture investment focus has changed in the past five years. Five years ago, big data infrastructure companies took the largest share of the dollars. Last year, big data analytics did.

What follows is a chart of the most active big data venture investors from 2008 to 2012 as determined by the CB Insights and Orrick study. (Photo above courtesy of Shutterstock.)

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