Most people working in Silicon Valley can rattle off a list of influential venture capital firms and individual venture investors. But if you're wondering which of them are being the most actively discussed in the media, you'll find some interesting data available in a new report from ITMemos. (Disclosure: I am an adviser to ITDatabase, the parent company behind ITMemos.)
That Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, Benchmark and Accel top the list of most quoted VC firms is not terribly surprising. However, Fred Wilson of New York's Union Square Ventures, a significantly smaller firm, tops the list as most publicized individual VC, leading the pack in quotations and press mentions in the last six months (only stories relevant to the individuals' VC activity are counted). Wilson, an active blogger, is also an investor in Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga, all of which receive a great deal of press coverage.
Most Talked-About VC Firms
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Sequoia Capital
- Benchmark Capital
- Accel Partners
- Intel Capital
Most Quotable Investor
- Fred Wilson -- Union Square Ventures
- Jeremy Liew -- Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Vinod Khosla -- Khosla Ventures
- Matt Murphy -- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Bill Gurley -- Benchmark Capital
The influence of venture capital goes beyond media and often casts a heavy shadow over entrepreneurs. To the extent that VCs can prove themselves to be good communicators as part of the entrepreneurial community, there is a much higher likelihood that they will be sought out by the best companies. While being visible is not the main factor in finding great companies, it certainly doesn't hurt.
As the IT economy continues to rebound, I would expect more individuals and VC firms to put more effort into media efforts. With a lack of IPOs in the immediate future, VCs need to dig in now and find great opportunities.