ADOTAS – According to AlwaysOn, the venture capitalism biz is escaping a 10-year slump featuring a few recessions and marginal returns. Certainly during my year-plus tenure Adotas, I’ve been astounded by the amount of venture pouring into ad tech firms, but as the Interactive Advertising Bureau will tell you, revenue is going through the roof.
Weening down a list of 300 firms by analyzing portfolio performance and exit deals during the last three years, AlwaysON has concocted its second annual VC100, the top 100 venture capital firms (though the bent is toward the U.S.). Startup ad tech firms are likely memorizing the list at this very moment.
There are some mighty familiar names on there, such as the seemingly ubiquitous Union Square Ventures, heralded for its investments in Foursquare, Tumblr and Zynga, but also an investor in ad manager Clickable and mobile app analytic firm Flurry. Don’t forget the VC godfathers at Sequoia Capital, which — in addition to past investments in Google, Yahoo, Apple and other big names — led a funding round for Israeli firm KENSHOO this past summer.
Familiar to the interactive ad space will be Menlo Ventures, which has poured cold cash into DataXu, Invidi, YuMe and eXelate; Institutional Venture Partners, which dropped a fat load into ad verifier Double Verify’s wallet in March; Focus Ventures, which has invested in RTB platform Turn along with list member Trident Capital; and social media wizkids Buddy Media and attitudinal targeters Resonate investors Greycroft Partners.
Those who made the VC100 will be awarded gold chalices a la Lil’ Jon (HUH-WHA?) at the Venture Summit Silicon Valley 2010 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., from Dec. 13 to 15.