RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Venture capitalists are a little gun shy when it comes to investing overseas, according to a new survey.
Apparently the world isn’t truly flat in their eyes, and while offshoring might be good business for their clients it apparently isn’t for their cash.
Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association report that 46 percent of the VCs surveyed do look for deals outside of the U.S. their offshore deals. However, the invested funds in those transactions represent less than 5 percent of their capital.
“The adage that ‘venture capital is a local business’ still rings true,” said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA, in discussing the report. “U.S. VCs want to stay close to their portfolio companies, and they believe there are enough good quality deals here to support their funds.”
Deloitte and the NVCA surveyed more than 500 VCs worldwide in the second quarter, and they report that investors are making deals “cautiously” even as many U.S. and international technology firms rush to grow markets in places such as China, India and Brazil.
Heesen acknowledged that a “small but dedicated group of venture capital pioneers” are going global. Interestingly, of the VCs who haven’t done international deals, a whopping 73 percent say they have no intention to invest overseas.
Those pioneers do expect to increase overseas funding, according to the survey. Nearly two thirds said foreign deals will make up between 6 and 20 percent of their under management funds over the next five years.
Mark Jensen, national managing partner for Deloitte’s Venture Capital Services, also noted that VCs do tend to follow the herd.
“While cautiousness still reigns, venture capital is an industry of fast followers,” he said. “Barring any significant negative experiences in foreign markets, we will see continued growth in global VC investment.”