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Sunday, January 29, 2006

The 2006 Forbes VC Midas List & Future Investment Directions

Michael Moritz of Sequoia, the NO.I in the Forbes Midas List says that consumer-tech businesses, are a pit of "muck and mire." As he sees it(after making tons of money out of it recently), they have low margins, require massive marketing budgets, compete with monster retailers' house brands and face Asian copycats. Though he has helped fuel the consumer craze, he laments the rise of handheld gadgetry: "The march of consumer technology will spell an end to tranquility & warns that most of the venture money going into consumer-related companies will be squandered, and the rest will be lost." David Chao (10)and Dixon Doll (24) were among the first U.S. VCs to woo middle-class shoppers in Asia. This year they took five firms public in Asia, including JCI, a wireless provider. Says Chao:"If there is any one engine that is going to drive the next bubble-good and bad-it will be those billion handheld devices that will be sold in 2007." Forbes notes that a lot of names on the list last year are gone with the disappearance of the gargantuan valuations of the boom era. The article also notes that with the continued rise of China and India and waves of driven, newly minted capitalists, these rankings will get more multinational each year. It is no coincidence that all the top five dealmakershave been associated with Google in one way or other. The list of sectoral interest, polled by readers,actually surprised me - by and large looks lot more balanced.I hope to see the oversee investment share move from 20% to higher number in the years to come.

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